Too many critters???

  1. AtreyusMom Member Member

    Hi everyone!
    So we're new to aquarium keeping and i could use some advice please! It all started one rainy day about 2 months ago when my husband brought home a baby painted turtle he found dying in the parking lot of his work. We went right to petsmart for some food and a small house for him (smaller than a quarter) and left with a 40 gallon tank and all the fixins, 10 tetras, 2 albino plecos and a pictus catfish..i felt he needed buddies.Well a week later i felt the pictus needed a bff and also got 2 corydoras. About 1 month ago we were at the park with the pup and found a pond snail a bit bigger than a golf ball and added him/her to the mix. Well baby snails soon followed,we put 7 back in the pond and have 1 baby and mama/daddy still.Last sunday i found my plecos making a ruckus in a decorative shell and today when i did my water change i found a bunch of eggs inside, i left it be but the dad hasn't been around it since.I googled all my critters and learned as much on my own as i can..here's the thing, today my husband found a crayfish (about 1 1/4 in) and decided to add it to our happy tank and i'm very uneasy about it. He found his way to the top of the plants where my little turtle guy (Atreyu) hangs out and i don't like it. He hasn't gone after any of the fish, hasn't done much of anything really but i won't be leaving him in the tank when i go to sleep! Anyway does anyone have any advice on anything? I'm 99% sure Mr. Crayfish will be returning home tomorrow, everyone is healthy, eating,pooping and being goofballs..i lost 2 tetras during my first water change and was terrified..oh also i had 4 of the little see-through shrimp, we lost a 3rd one a few days ago so only 1 now. So any advice would be great, and we are thinking of getting another tank as our brood keeps growing!! Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Depending on where you live you might want to check with local wildlife regulations as to whether you can keep the painted turtle. I think they may be protected in some places.

    Please don't release any more of your captives back to the wild because having been kept with domestic creatures it is possible that they could harbour diseases that you wouldn't want reaching wild populations.

    Your turtle and your crayfish are both capable of injuring or killing their tank mates so if you can get them separated that would be best for the long term.

    Corydoras are shoaling fish and do best in groups of 6 or more.

    You have other stocking issues as well, probably temperature incompatibilities on top of everything.

    Turtles are huge waste producers so I hope you've got mega filtration! Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?

    Welcome to the forum and I hope we can help!

    Oh, and The Neverending Story is awesome;)
     

  3. AtreyusMom Member Member

    First and most important i love that you got his name!! Thanks for responding!! So much to learn about.. OK so they sell the painted/sun turtles at the pet store in my state so it should be ok, right? I have a 40 gallon tank and our filter is called a ZooMed TC-32 Qmax 160 gph. I have no idea if that is mega filtration but its got a powerfull output into the tank! I do a 50% water change 2 times a week using a tank vac to get all the poop from the bottom and use stress coat in the new water. I have taken the crayfish out of the tank and since you said don't put him back i will have to grab a friends old 20 gallon for him. As far as the snail babies, i don't mind having them, but will they stop breeding at some point? I know they breed more when there is alot of food so i try to pick up all the leftovers..and then the pleco eggs.. should i move the shell they're in in case they hatch?
    As far as Atreyu (my little warrior :)) he's more scared of his buddies than interested in eating them right now, i know this may change as he grows but i'm hoping being raised together will keep him civilized. But i'm prepared to get another tank just for him if we have any trouble. I will get the test strips to test the nitrogen levels tomorrow as well as a tank thermometer so i can keep an eye on that. Thanks for all your help!
     
  4. Peacefantasy Well Known Member Member

    Pictus catfish also need to be in a group of 6+..and a minimum of a 55g tank.. you might want to consider rehoming him.

    Also when you go to the store, grab a liquid test kit. They are cheaper (in the long run) and far more accurate than test strips. You get over 800 tests in a kit! Most recommended here is the API Liquud Master Test Kit
     

  5. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I second that^^^ Liquid tests are the way to go for maximum value and accuracy;)

    I don't know about your particular kind of snail but with pest snails they are limited by the available food. Your maintenance schedule sounds excellent though so hopefully they won't get to be a problem! Just be careful how much you feed;)
     
  6. Daniel W Member Member

  7. AtreyusMom Member Member

    [​IMG]
    I could only get the strips today, had them order the liquid kit for me, Not quite sure what to make of these results?? Thanks for any help!

    [​IMG]
    A better close up of NO2, NO3
     

  8. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Looks like you have very low KH/GH and pH. It also looks like you have close to zero nitrites and nitrates which could mean you have high ammonia.
     
  9. AtreyusMom Member Member

    Should i do my water change today instead of tomorrow like planned then? Do you think that the tank is still not cycled after almost 2months with all these guys.. i read up on it, i was a terrible fish parent:;smack, but i was hoping it cycled already. Thanks for your help with everything!
     
  10. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    If your pH bottomed out then your bacteria could have suffered. I can't remember if it affects the bacteria directly or if it simply alters the form of the ammonia so that the bacteria is less able to make use of it. I would do frequent water changes to keep your KH and pH stable and use Prime every day until it cycles. You may need to find a way to increase your KH.
     

  11. AtreyusMom Member Member

    OK i just did a 50% water change, i'll wait a bit and do another strip. I have to go back and get the prime tomorrow.I'm going to do a 25% water change before bed tonight as well as a few times throughout the day tomorrow to keep any ammonia down..i wish i had test strips for that. I'll get this thing right eventually i hope! Thanks for helping, it's greatly appreciated :0