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1 1/2 week old tank with fish? No chemistry changes?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by CrystalA, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. CrystalA

    CrystalA New Member

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    So I have a week and a half old tank that I had set up for the first week with out fish. I added a pinch or two of fish food to try and “feed” the bacteria I added with API quick start? I never had any kind of water chemistry changes. And after having the fish in there for 4-5 days now, all of my levels are still staying the same. I have done one 30% water change just to make sure every one was healthy and happy. I was just wondering if this was normal. I feel like I’m just going to wake up one morning and something will have gone terribly wrong and my 4 doh are going to be dead. Help?

     
  2. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    Hi there, welcome to the forum :)

    How big is your tank and exactly what fish do you have? Can you post the actual numbers from all your tests, as well as what test kits you're using, please? Do you have live plants?

    Sorry for all the questions, but there's not quite enough information in your first post for us to work out what might be going on :)
     
  3. CrystalA

    CrystalA New Member

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    No it’s totally ok I just want to make sure that my fishy are going to be ok.
    So it’s a 38 gallon tank that I bought in a starter kit by marine land. It came with the Marineland filter with a bio wheel and just a regular heater. I currently have 4 Platys in my tank now (2 male, 2 female). They have a fake ship and mountain along with an assortment of fake plants, no real ones. And since I have set up my tank the ammonia is consistent at .25 ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate goes between 10-20, Regular PH 7.6, high range PH 7.4. I use and bought the API master kit for testing along with a general water harness kit that came back at 125.3ppm with says that’s what most fresh water tropical fish such as mine prefer. They don’t seem to be super stressed, I know that one of my Platies is relatively close to having some fry, she came that way from the pet store. I think that covered everything. Oh and I added API quick start when I fish set up the tank and added 1 cap full just for an extra boost when I changed the water and also about 4 days after I intitally set the tank up. Also I have well water at my house so there is no chlorine so no need for dechlorinater. I think that covered all your question! thank you for the reply
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    You might have lucked out concerning the "cycling." Four platy (likely no where near full mature size) in a 38 gallon tank, using the API Quick Start, could be sufficient to get through the cycling without harm. Not perhaps advisable but it can sometimes work.

    A couple of other issues. With male and female platy, there should be more females to males as the males will drive the females and this is highly stressful; having more females than males helps spread this out. However, you do realize that once the females begin delivering fry, you will very quickly be overwhelmed? They will not all get eaten, and this is something you need to be prepared for; the fry will need other tanks.

    On the GH, this is a bit low for livebearers. Platy should have somewhere in the 10+ dGH (= 180 ppm and higher) range. Before going further, I would suggest you give some thought to re-homing the platy (back to the store for example) and plan on an aquarium of softer-water species. The choices are almost endless. Or if you are set on platy, you could add some calcareous substrate to increase the GH and pH (it does both, but a higher pH with livebearers is fine).

    Last on the nitrate...with well water, you might have nitrates in the source water. Have you tested the well water on its own for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? This is worth doing. Nitrate between 10 and 20 ppm could be in the source water.

    Byron.
     
  5. CrystalA

    CrystalA New Member

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    Yeah I wasn’t too sold on Platys in the first place but the lady at the pet store insisted that we get them. She also said that a 1:1 ratio short term would be ok but we where planning on getting mor females. I didn’t honestly take consideration to fry which I do agree will be an issue I just kind of assumed they would all get eaten but I know very little about these fish or tanks in general but have been researching non stop! I have not tested the well water it’s self but the nitrates have been present since the day we set up the tank so that makes sense! Should I take measures to try and drop the nitrates or is this level safe? We where originally wanting to do a chiclid tank but decided last minute on a community tank but really want colorful, vibrant, unique fish. Does anyone have suggestions on fish that fit these peramiters that won’t over run our tank with fry? We where thinking about maybe some blue rams?
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    It is indeed good that you are doing your own research. Unfortunately the "advice" from many fish store employees is frequently misinformed to say the least.

    On the well water...if this is your own (presumably), does it go through any apparatus before it comes out of the tap? I'm thinking of softeners, filtration, etc. As for the nitrates, you need to test the straight tap water. Depending what that shows, you may or may not need to do something. Mike (AbbeysDad) has dealt with this expertly and will be able to offer advice but we need to pin down the level.

    Fish will be easier to recommend when we have the water issue resolved. As for rams, the common or blue ram in any of the artificial varieties needs warm water, 80F (27 C) minimum. Not all fish in spite of being "tropical" can manage with this long-term.
     
  7. CrystalA

    CrystalA New Member

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    I know that it doesn’t go threw any kind of softener system and am not to sure as far as filtration. But as far as I know there is no kind of filter either just what ever happens within the pump when it comes up out of the well for large sediment. I will test the tap water as soon as I get back home. But would you advise getting some sort of water Gardner as for the GH level in the tank. And our tank is currently sitting at about 78F which I’m hoping is around the proper temp. I was having a little trouble finding consistent advice on how warm I should have the tank.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Temperature depends upon the fish species. Not all "tropical fish" can be healthy at the same temperature. This is one factor when establishing a community tank, the possibly different needs of each species. Temperature is a main driver of the fish's metabolism, so various health aspects and functioning of the fish's physiology can depend a great deal on temperature. Variations in natural tropical waters are not anywhere as significant as some might think.

    I tend to keep most of my tanks in the 75-76F (24 to 24.5 C) range. A couple tanks are a tad lower, one is much higher, because of the species. A degree or two may seem trivial, but to fish when long-term it can be a matter of health or demise.

    On the well water, I would make certain there is nothing being added to the water. Filtration through foam or whatever to remove particulate matter is fine, but if the process involves any chemical filtration you need to know. Water safe for humans to drink is not necessarily safe for fish.

    I don't know what you mean by "water Gardner." I'll wait for you to explain.
     
  9. CrystalA

    CrystalA New Member

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    Update*
    Tap water peramiters
    Ammonia .25ppm
    PH 6.8-7.0 (PH in tank is 7.6)
    Nitrite 0ppm
    Nitrate between 10-20ppm (same as in tank)
    Also there is no kind of filtration from my well)
     
  10. CrystalA

    CrystalA New Member

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    Sorry I meant to say water hardner! So should I slowly bring the temp on my tank down a few degrees? Like I said I’m really new to this whole thing so I’m trying to make sure my fish are happy as possible:) thank you so much for all the advise!
     
  11. Byron

    Byron Member

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    For platy, I would lower the temp to around 77F (25 C). Generally, the range given for a species on reliable sites like Seriously Fish expect the fish to do well mid-range; the upper and lower limits are more for temporary situations but not permanent maintenance. The warmer the water, the harder the fish has to "work" to maintain basic functions; the cooler the water, the less the fish will be able to manage the functions. This is all very general, there are always exceptions.

    You can harden water; as I said previously, if you really only want livebearers, the easiest and safest way is to use a calcareous substrate. Additives are expensive, and not as reliable. The substrate very slowly dissolving mineral to increase the GH and pH and KH is continual. However, it is still true that selecting fish suited to your source water is even safer, and makes water changes (including any emergency major changes) much simpler.
     

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