Aquarium Fish

Freshwater Fish and Aquarium Questions, Page 2

Page 2 of Freshwater Aquarium Setup questions continued from: Freshwater Aquarium Setup page.

From: Bob - Forgot to Rinse Aquarium Gravel
Hey great web site. The wife and I are on it at least once a day! We recently purchased a 46 gallon bow front fish tank for the house and I forgot to wash off the gravel before filling the tank. I am planning on buying an aquarium vacuum tomorrow to clean it up and I was wondering if this would be a problem. I looked all over the web site but found nothing on any accidents like that. I don't really want to drain the tank so hopefully a vacuum will do it? Thanks keep up the good work.
Hi Bob. Although I'd love to take the credit, what makes this place so great are all of the forum members here. It's always fun and interesting. As far as rinsing the gravel goes, I'd get that gravel vacuum (python vacs are great) and give the gravel a couple of thorough vacuuming sessions. How many really depends on what type of rock you're using. If it's the colored small pieces you may be at it awhile. If it is larger pebbles maybe a couple of vacs should do it. Also, don't forget to read up on the aquarium nitrogen cycle before adding any fish.

From: Mike from Alaska - Getting Friend's Fish
I have a friend who needs to take down his aquarium setup for a couple of months while he redoes his flooring. He's curious about the process (should he wash and reuse the rocks when he sets up again? Will anything grow on the bio filter wheels while they sit dormant? Soap and water okay for everything?) He has offered me his small collection of fish - is there anything I should test for before importing them into my tank?
Hi Mike - tell him that he can definitely wash the rocks in just tap water, no soap. It can be difficult to remove all of the soap residue and it would be harmful for the fish if he were to reuse that gravel. Things may grow if the bio wheel while it sits dormant, but probably nothing that would help the fish. He hee. What if you took his filter and hooked it up to yours and left it running until he can set his tank up again? This is assuming that he didn't have any sort of pest problem or disease issues with his fish. Assuming that you could take it off his tank and on yours rather quickly, the beneficial bacteria in the filter should be able to make the transition to your tank. This way your friend wouldn't have to re-cycle his tank when he set it back up.

Test his tank parameters (pH, general hardness, nitrates) and then test your tank parameters to determine the differences in readings. This should give you a good indication of how long to take when acclimating these fish to your aquarium or quarantine tank. The quarantine tank would be the best way to do it if you feel that you need to monitor them before introducing to your main aquarium.

From: Kabir - New Tank, Fish Deaths
I have a new 25 gallon aquarium with lots of fish in it, like different types of angelfish, various goldfish, catfish, black widow tetras, silver dollars, betta, guppy, pleco, loach etc. I have a problem and that is the aquarium is cloudy and a couple of fishes are dyeing frequently too.

Now I am planning to get a 50 gallon tank because I suspect that the water in my 25 gallon tank isn't good for my fish. The question is whether I should transfer some water from my 25 gallon tank to my 50 gallon tank because I plan to transfer some fish to the new tank also. What should I do? By the way, I can't find the water testing kits in my locality. Any other way to test the water?

That is a lot of fish for a 25 gallon aquarium. I'm glad to hear you're upgrading to a 50 gallon tank. Read up on the "aquarium nitrogen cycle" since it's likely that your tank is cycling which is leading the death of your fishes. If you can't get test kits locally, you'll just have to wait out the cycle which can take up to 2 months starting from scratch all the while performing frequent partial water changes to keep your fish from dying. If you can, increase the aeration and tank temperature, then get some of a friend's old filtration media and use it in your filter to help speed up the process. More ideas on how to speed up the cycle on the page mentioned.

From: Stacey - New Tank (not cycled) Stocked with Fish
I recently inherited a 30 gallon tank, filled it with water and let the filter run for 24 hours and then went off to the pet store to buy 11 fish! I feel ridiculous now that I know about the cycle (oddly, the staff sold me 11 fish as well as the recommended bottle of Cycle). However, the fish seem happy on day 2 but I know it will be tough. I have 2 yoyo loaches, 4 black tetras, 1 gold gourami, 1 pearl gourami and 3 emerald corydoras which I know now will be a little overcrowded eventually. Do you think I will be able to maintain this many fish in this size tank? All are still relatively small but I am worried that I may have doomed them.
So far my water is cloudy but I have added lots of Cycle and I did a 10 percent water change on day 2 and the fish perked right up.
My big question is how can I make the cycle process less stressful now that I have introduced my fish too soon? Thank you! Your site has been a wake up call.
Yeah, unfortunately some pet stores don't ask any questions, they just want to do their jobs, make the sale and go home. You could try to take most of the fish back until the cycle has completed. I've heard both good and bad reviews on the product you're using. Most members on the forum here really like the bio-spira product for cycling new tanks.
If for some reason you can't return the fish, you will have to stay on top of the water parameter testing for ammonia, nitrites and eventually nitrates. As you know from reading about the cycle, ammonia and nitrites can be very harmful to your fish and you'll need to keep these parameters very diluted in order for your fish to make it through the cycle. Partial water changes are the best thing you can do for your fish right now. The downside to doing all these water changes during the cycle is that it may lengthen the amount of time it takes to finish the cycle. Cycling with fish is the hard and long way to do it. Re-read the cycle page for ideas on how to speed up the process.

From: Jim Harris - Hard Water Deposits
I just got a 55 gallon tank from a friend and it has a lot of (hard water) build up. I was wondering what is the best process to fix this. Thanks I really enjoy your site.
Hi Jim - assuming this is an empty tank you're cleaning, try a 50/50 vinegar/water solution in a spray bottle. Spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub with a wash rag or towel. Rinse and repeat. Be sure to rinse the tank well with clean water to remove any remaining vinegar from the tank glass. We have to do this on the quartz sleeves of the aquarium uv sterilizers. We just let the quartz sleeve soak in this solution for about 10 minutes and then wipe off the deposits. Works like a charm.

From: DONL121 - How many fish? - Stocking question
What is the equation for figuring out how many fish to put in a tank. I have a 39 gallon high tank. I have 4 gold gouramis, 2 red parrots, 1 gold severum, 1 red rainbow, 2 giant danios, 1 pleco and 1 catfish. I'm looking to add an angel or 2. Thanks for the help.
There isn't an "equation" to compute an exact figure for the amount of fish you can keep in an aquarium. It boils down to fish temperament, water surface area for gas exchange, tank size and shape, etc. A tall tank like yours will be able to hold less dissolved oxygen in the water due to it's smaller amount of surface area at the top of the tank for gas exhange. Sorry to say but your tank is already way overstocked when you take into account all the adult sizes of these fish.
Please do not follow the 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water rule! This "rule" only works for the smallest of fish species. Also use the adult size of the fish when considering them for your aquarium.

From: Kingsley - Stocking and aquarium filter question
Hello, my name is Kingsley and I am a beginner. I have a 55 gallon tank with 1 Iridescent Shark and 2 oscars. I want to know if these fish are perfect for the tank size and if I should always leave the power filter on 24/7?
Hi Kingsley - you definitely need to keep the aquarium filter running 24/7. Also remember to rinse out the filter media on a regular basis, especially stocked as you are... The Iridescent shark is going to be way to big for a 55 gallon tank. Return it to the store for a credit or refund. The two Oscars should be ok in a 55 but would be better in a larger tank.

From: Brock - New 29 gallon setup
I just purchased a 29 Gallon tank, got a kit with it that included filter and water heater and the rest. Washed the rocks, cleaned my ornaments, and put in the water heater. I just wanted to know would it be a good idea to add a live plant in the tank to help the nitro cycle? I plan on adding columbian sharks to the tank when its well and ready. Also how many columbian sharks would be proper for a 29 Gallon. 1 more question, is a 100W water heater enough for a 29 Gallon?
I'd hold off on plants until after the cycle has completed. There will be more nutrients available from the fish (nitrates) once the cycle has completed. The columbian shark gets way too big for a 29 gallon aquarium. So, don't add any to your tank please. A 100 watt heater for your 29 gallon sounds about right.

From: Ryan
Thank you fishlore! This website has helped so much over the past few months and we use it a fair few times a day! Once again thank you!
Awesome! Very glad to hear that and just glad we could help you. We hope you get as much enjoyment out of this great hobby as we do.

From: John E. - New Tank and Overstocked
My girlfriend just bought me a 10 gallon tank. I wanted to start out small because of the skills needed to keep up. Anyway, the tank came with a filter, heater, hood with the light. I bought some salt and water conditioner. I rinsed out every thing. Then I added two tablespoons of salt and two caps of conditioner. I then let it sit for 24 hours (supposed to be 48 at least) but I got kinda fish happy and decided to buy some. I figured-water temperature is stable between 78 and 82 degrees F, so I got 2 bala sharks and 2 clown loaches. After a couple of hours the water got a little cloudy, for some reason I feel like something isn't right. Oh and I found out that my girl fed them without me knowing on the first day and I heard that you weren't supposed to. I really don't want to hurt these little guys and I really like my new fish. So if there is something I could do while I buy a 100 gallon tank (But not for like a couple (2) months) I'd apreciate it if you could let me know. Thank you for reading!
Sounds like you have read up on the Bala Shark and the Clown Loach after getting them and now realize the large tank accomodations they really need, with a 10 gallon being way too small for them. The cloudiness could be from a bacterial bloom which usually indicates that the aquarium cycle is kicking in gear. As the fish release wastes into the tank bacteria spring into action to start converting the ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates. Find the aquarium nitrogen cycle article here on Fishlore for all the details. I'd return these fish to the store for store credit. Let the store know where you bought them from that you only have a 10 gallon tank. They should have asked what kind of tank they were going in anyway. If they don't take them back I'd shop elsewhere in the future. Until you can get them back to the store perform partial water changes (about 25 percent) daily to keep the fish from perishing. Then save up for a larger tank or shop for smaller species to stock the 10 gallon tank. Read up on the beginner articles here to get up to speed. It's not difficult at all, just takes a little diligence on your part.

From: Mervyn W. - Aquarium in Bedroom?
Can a tropical fish tank be placed in a bedroom. I have one in my 12 year old son's bedroom and was wondering if it is safe to do so for health reasons.
If your son has immune system problems you should know that there are bacterial infections that aquarists can catch from aquariums. Our aquariums are loaded with bacteria (good and bad) and it's always a good idea to use sleeve length gloves (Aqua Gloves) when working inside the tank. There are fish species that can be harmful (venomous species like the saltwater lionfish, rabbitfish, etc.) too. Check out this article too: Fish Diseases Transmitted to Humans.

From: Jeff R. in Arizona - Reuse old tank water in new tank?
I'm cleaning my 30 gallon cube tank and have the fish and the water into a 10 gallon tank while I clean and change the gravel. How many gallons of the old water should I save to put in the new tank. I'm also planning on seeding it with some of the old gravel as well as keep the current filter media intact for about a week before changing. Comments on this method for redoing my larger tank?
Hi Jeff - it's likely that your gravel and filter media will contain the bulk of bacteria needed to carry on the cycle for your new tank. Personally, since you're using some gravel and filter media from the 10 gallon I would start with all new water in the 30 gallon. Make sure that you keep the filter running on the old tank while you are preparing the new tank. Otherwise, the beneficial bacteria could die off if the filter is turned off.

From: Momo - Thanks
I just wanted to say thanks for making this article! It really helped when I got my first tank, (29 gallon). It provided me with the extra info that the fish store didn't give me. Especially about the cloudy water!

From: Vicki - Tetra Safe Start
I have a 55 gallon tank, new set up. It has 1 pearl gourami, 1 dwarf gourami and 6 platy. Used Safe Start to help boost the cycle. My question is how long before my ammonia levels start spiking? Currently we are on day 5 and ammonia and nitrite levels are 0, nitrates at 20. Thank you in advance, great informational site.
According to the information on this product the ammonia and nitrites may be quickly converted to nitrates in the first day or two. So, you may not see any ammonia or nitrite spikes when using Tetra Safe Start. Sounds like many folks are getting good results using it too.

From: Jack C. - Fishkeeping tips
I have been in the fish hobby for more than two decades and now do volunteer work at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I hate to see empty aquariums, with stories about how we tried but all the fish died. I believe that a lot of hobbyists are doomed from the start from pet dealers who care more about making a sale than the welfare of the animal. For example I've heard retailers telling customers they can add their fish the same day they purchase their aquarium although some may survive it is generally a bad idea and a good way to set yourself up for problems down the road. I've also heard retailers speak about catfish replacing a filter. Another false statement is fish will only grow to the size of their environment. That is only partly true. Mostly confining a large fish to a small tank is simply cruel as well as buying a juvenile and not being prepared when it reaches it's adult size. My advice to you is do your homework know what you want before buying on impulse. I don't buy livestock from large chain stores. There's to much going on to do everything well. With a little research you should be able to find a fish only store. Most important read and do your research before all else. Remember slow and steady will be rewarded with a life time of aquatic enjoyment.
Good points. Thanks for sharing your tips.

Freshwater Aquarium Setup Questions (page 1)

Author : Mike FishLore

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