Snail Question

Joep606

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Hello everyone,

I'm Joe, and I just joined up at this forum. I love your site, nice and professional, just what I was looking for!

Anyway, to the point. I'm a relatively new fish owner and I have all of the essentials set and good (Food, filtering, aeration, etc.). I have started the whole nitrogen cycle process, and although I've lost two fish (a black molly and a lyretail molly, the lyretail killed the black and then proceeded to die a few days later), I'm determined have my fish survive their full life span. I've had my 10 gallon tank set up for three weeks now.

But I have a question. I have seen snails before at the store where I go to (Petco) and I know that they eat the algae on my tank. My question is, when do you think it would be suitable for me to get a snail or two for my tank? I don't really see all that much algae in the tank, but a little bit is starting to form on the rock in the middle. I don't want to introduce the snail too early, have nothing for it to eat, and then die. But then again I don't want too much algae to form up a kill my fish!

Any help is appreciated.

PS: One other question. Where is a good place to buy a background for my fish tank? Would a place like Petco or Petsmart have some? Thanks.
 

Marc

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The snail will be fine - even if you drop some flakes, veggie rounds, or almost any kind of fish food in for it.

Yes, you can buy a background at almost anywhere they sell pets - even Wal-Mart.
 

Gunnie

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I think the snail would be fine, but don't add one until your tank is cycled. Can you please post what your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are? Also, please post all the fish in your tank.
 
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Joep606

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We ('we' being my Dad, Mom, and I) tested everything today, I know I'm somewhere along the cycling process, but I'm not sure if I'm in the middle or near the end.

pH level is just a little high, bought some tablets today to bring that to the safe level. (Is ammonia and pH levels the same thing? I'm not sure :-\)

Nitrite levels are again just a little high, but we bought some other tablets today at Petco to take care of that as well.

Nitrate levels are in the safe zone.

Any idea where along the cycling process I'm at? I don't want to introduce anything too early so that it will die...then again the 2 mollies that I bought to eat the algae died (one killed the other and then proceeded to die a few days later) and I'd rather not have the algae build up...

And I tried to buy some hardy fish to survive the cycling process (we bought fish before I came to this site and read about the fishless cycling process...) and most so far have been doing well. I have one GouramI who seems to be doing just fine. Four diamond tetras as well, these little guys have been flourishing! I swear they have gotten twice as big in the last 3 weeks. Finally, there are two swordtails who we just bought today. Seems good so far.

Oh, one other thing, the water has been a little murky in the past few days. We partially changed the water about a week ago, and the water was clear, but it became murky again in the past few days. Any suggestions?

Thanks.
 

fish_r_friend

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Ammonia and pH are different. pH measures the alcilinity or acidty of the water. Ammonia is fish wastes and uneaten food in the water. What is your pH mine is 8.4 which is high but the pH agusters can do more harm than good so I don't use them. I don't use any chemicals in the water at all (well water) and my fish are very happy. cycling I can't help you much I didn't have a test kit when mine was cyclining and I'm cycling a new tank. As far as water changes go I would do in a cycling tank every to everyother day to keep all the levals in check changeing at least at lest 30% of the wate up to 50%.
 
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Joep606

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My dad is a chemist, I'll ask him next time I see him, haha.

We have well water, and out of the tap the water is very hard. The fish have been active, they aren't showing signs of poisioning or bad water. But better safe than sorry.

I'm pretty sure the ammonia is pretty good, when I checked the water early today, the only two things that were above where they should be is the alkalinity and nitrite.
 

Gunnie

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We really need the number of the reading of your ammonia and nitrite levels. Safe to your local fish store (lfs) is not necessarily safe to us.

Even if your ph is high, your fish will probably be fine with it as long as it doesn't fluctuate too much in a short period of time. You may want to check the ph on your water straight out of the tap compared to what your water is in your tank. Sometimes water will "gas out" overnight or in a couple of days causing ph fluctuations. This can be a problem for your fishies when you do tank maintenance, and is something you need to know now so you can adjust for this. But we don't want you adjusting your ph with chemicals. They can cause major ph swings in your tank, and could be the cause of fish fatalities. A stable ph is much more important to worry about than a high ph. There are natural and much safer ways to deal with these issues.

The nitrite pills you bought may cause problems for your cycle. Your bacteria needs to have this nitrite available so it can thrive and grow. Quit using these tablets for now, and if the level of nitrite goes above 1.0, get it down with water changes.

Your water is murky because your bacteria is trying to multiply to meet the demand in your tank. This is the only time you will actually "see" bacteria in your tank. This is called a bacterial bloom. Please do not add any more fish to the tank until it is cycled. Many hobbyists think it's cruel to cycle with fish, and the high ammonia and nitrite levels they must endure while a tank is cycling is very stressful to them and probably shortens their life spans. I am not trying to put you on a guilt trip here. My first tank was cycled this way. Just letting you know in case someone sounds a little ugly. But I an here now to help you get through this.

Please read the sticky called "FishLore Articles for Beginners". You must understand the cycling process completely if you want to be successful in this hobby. Your dad will be a big help with this, and we are always here to answer any questions you might have about anything going on in your tank. Knowing your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels will always be helpful in knowing what's going on in your tank, and will usually be the first questions asked when asking for help. It's great to have you with us, and hope you come here often!
 
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Joep606

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Thanks for you help with this everyone, I appreciate it.

Alright, so no more chemicals and no more fish until it is cycled. And I'm going to go read that article right now.

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So I should be more concerned with the readings on the test strip than whether the water is murky or not, right?

How will I know the tank is cycled? When the water is no longer murky?
 

Gunnie

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Your ammonia and nitrite levels should be at zero, and you will have some kind of reading of nitrates. This is when your tank is cycled. Test strips are not real reliable, and not recommended to use. They are more expensive too. I highly recommend you purchase an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test kit. It has all the tests you need to get started, and it's very reliable. If you click on the link below, print the page and take it to PetSmart. They should honor the online price. Normally to buy this master test kit locally, it will run you $30.00. Sometimes you can get them on sale.

PetSmart and Petco both have backgrounds for your tank.
 
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Joep606

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Hmmm, alright, maybe it's just me but I didn't see the link that you told me to go to (maybe you forgot it?)

So I took the name, looked it up on petsmart and this is what I came up with:



If you look at the bottom of the page you see 4 different options. The option I should get is the Freshwater Master Test Kit (3rd one down) right?
 

Gunnie

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Joep606 said:
Hmmm, alright, maybe it's just me but I didn't see the link that you told me to go to (maybe you forgot it?)

: Yep. I'm blond. Third one down is correct.
 
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Joep606

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Hahahaha, alright, thanks for the help, I'll probably head out today or tomarrow to go pick that up.

Thanks Gunnie. ;D
 

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