The attack of the Guppies!!! oh and help needed :)

pauliface

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My guppies are starting on my gourami (honey gourami). My fish are mostly guppies, so i am thinking of schooling my gourami into 2 or 3 as i only have the one. Is this the best thing to do, or what else should i do?

My fish setup isn't new, but it has had a previous owner, my nitrate is 0 so i am wondering if this is a good thing? my ph and other levels are good. I have 7 guppies all male, and 1 gourami. All of these fish were put in today at the same time. My tank is a hexagon shape and is about 70-75 litres which is said to be about 20 gallons according to the calculator on this site. I have an external 105 fluval filter. So what other fish would be reccomended with this setup? I was thinking on adding a African silver cichlid, is this wise? Also what larger fish would be safe with the current fish?

Thank you.
 

0morrokh

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Did you just set up this tank? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? If not, check out the Fishlore Articles for Beginners, at the top of this section. You will need to keep a close eye on your water parameters. Low nitrates is good, after the tank is cycled that is. Right now the nitrates are 0 I assume because you just set up the tank. It will be probably at least 6-8 weeks, probably more, before you get nitrate readings.
 
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pauliface

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This tank has been set up previously and waiting for fish. As for the cycle i am not entirely sure about. The nitrite is 0 which is good i believe, right?
 

0morrokh

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The nitrogen cycle is essential to know about. I will explain it in a nutshell.
You add fish to a tank, feed them, and they produce waste.
That waste produces ammonia, which is extremely toxic in any amount.
After a while, bacteria will grow in the filter which eat the ammonia and convert it into nitrite (with an I) which is also toxic, though slightly less so.
Later, more bacteria grow which eat the nitrite and convert it to nitrate (with an A), which is not toxic as long as it stays at or below 20 ppm.
You do weekly water changes of around 25% to keep the nitrates at a suitable level.

The process of establishing this bacteria, or cycling the tank, may take up to or over 2 months. Many people cycle the tank fishless, by adding pure ammonia or fish flakes (which break down into ammonia). Once the bacteria has grown in the filter (that is, you no longer have ammonia or nitrite readings but you have nitrate readings), then you add the fish, so they are not subjected to harmful ammonia.

Because you have already added fish, you will have to test the ammonia and nitrite daily. You will need to do lots of water changes to keep the ammonia from getting too high. This will slow down the cycle, since the bacteria grows faster when the ammonia gets really high, but is essential if you don't want all your fish to die. I believe an ammonia reading of as low as 1 ppm can kill fish. After the ammonia goes away you will get nitrites, and once those go away and all you have is nitrates you are out of the danger zone.

So to answer your question, nitrates of 0 would be ideal (though that is pretty much impossible to achieve--most tanks have a reading of at least 10), but the reason you don't have nitrates is because the bacteria have not grown yet which convert ammonia--nitrite--nitrate.

hope this helps, just let me know if I lost you somewhere.
 
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pauliface

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Well thank you for putting it simple

I will do 25% water change each week and will check the nitrite and ammonia. Thank you for saving my fish! The aquatics didn't tell me the info on the cycle. Do you have any reccomendations for what other fish to add (when safe) wether it be large/same size as my guppies? What large fish could i add and what other colourful fish can i add? Are all small fish best in schools?

Thanks.
 

0morrokh

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I am a little confused...is this tank cycled yet, or not? As in did you just add fish or has it been running with fish previously?
If it is cycling right now, you will need to check the ammonia and nitrites every day. As long as you are getting readings of these compounds you will need to do probably daily 50% water changes or else the fish will probably die.
As for more fish, don't add anything else until the tank is cycled. You do not have a ton of room left in the tank, but you could add a few more fish. If there is a fish you like, I could probably tell you if they would be compatible or not.
 
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pauliface

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Okay, this tank has had fish in previously with another owner. However, i cleaned the fish tank and rinsed the 'external' filter and obviously changed the carbon filter for a fresh one. I was told that each gallon is equal to 1 inch of fish bearing in mind a fish grows and what size they grow too etc. I was also told that the external filter allows more room for adding fish and the maturity of the tank, however it will increase the chance of infection and need of more water changes.

This tank is probably going through cycles as i am not sure where it is. It has had a few water changes already, the tests were normal but the nitrite hit 0.1 last night so i did another water change. I am not sure where in the cycle i am. I don't plan to add fish until it's done, whenever that is. As for fish to add maybe danio's, corydoras or some tetras such as neons.

I have a local aquatic who stated to not change the water at all and let it set, he owns about 50 tanks which are set up and running well. I get so much info which conflicts. I'm getting confused. Lastly i like the silver cichlid but i was told by a fish shop owner (not the same as previously) that it would be safe with guppies, however the guy in the aquatic with the 50 tanks that it would eat my guppies, i'm confused even more.

Thanks.
 
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pauliface

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Just tested nitrite and it's at 0.1mg/litre is that bad? Also is 1ppm = 1.0mg?

Nitrite = 0.1mg/litre
Ammonia = 0.1mg/litre
Nitrate = 50mg/litre
PH = 7.5

Bearing in mind we have replaced the water, do we need to do it again? We purchased bio spira online, when it arrives from the US should we use that with the fish in?
 

0morrokh

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You are getting close to the end of the cycle it seems. Your nitrates are WAY too high though. They need to stay under 20. Test your tap water, it may be that it contains nitrates. You do not usually get nitrate readings while you still have ammonia, let along nitrates that high.

I think a ppm is a different measure than a mg, not sure...

Bio Spira is used in a uncycled tank. You add it and add the fish right away. It is an instant cycle. You do not need to cycle the tank and then add Bio Spira.
 
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pauliface

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How do i know when i am at the end of cycle? Also how would I reduce the nitrate? Is the ammonia okay? What am i to do? If the water is naturally high in nitrate from the tap, what else other than the tap stuff (fresh water/ tap safe) should i use?
 

0morrokh

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The cycle is over when you are no longer getting ammonia or nitrite readings. That is, the nitrogen cycle is constantly going on, but when there is enough bacteria to take care of all the ammonia and nitrites, the start-up cycle is done. Any ammonia or nitrites in any amount is harmful.
Nitrates are reduced by doing weekly water changes of around 25%. Do you know how to perform these?
If your tap water is naturally high in nitrates to the point where it is going to harm your fish, there are two things you can do. First of all, you could mix it with spring or distilled water (maybe 25%?) to help dilute the nitrates. Or, I think you can get something that will actually filter out the nitrates from water. Even if it has too many nitrates, you need to use tap water because it contains all the necessary trace minerals that fish and plants need. Bottled water does not contain these so it is not good for fish if that is all you use.
 
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pauliface

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I was told to get readings of 0 nitrites is good but impossible. Is this true? I was told that it can be extremely pale pink, but not white. I am getting another test kit due to the nitrate readings of my tap water which is too high. The nitrite however did reach a deep pink for one night and the next morning it went pale again. I will get the new test kit and see how it goes from there.
 
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