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Gavin3171

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Hi,

Im gavin. Very new to keeping fish and tropicals!

I have a 20l tank at the moment, 5 guppies, 2 yoyo loaches and now 2 cardinal tetras as we had 3 deaths in the last 48 hours.

After getting mixed advice from shops i have decided to stick to one shop and their advice has been spot on so far.

Had a problem with cloudy water and high amonia and nitrate levels but a 50% water change and cleaned out old food has made it crystal clear again. My local shop gave us 3 bags of their water that they keep their plnts in as they said its mature and will help with cycling the tank??

I cant remember the brand of filter im using but will get more info posted up in the morning.
 

Egmel

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My local shop gave us 3 bags of their water that they keep their plnts in as they said its mature and will help with cycling the tank??
Excellent, seems like you've found a good shop then - cycling refers to the nitrogen cycle: I was told this was understandable last time I explained it so I'll copy and paste it here... fish does wee = ammonia (bad), special bacteria in filter convert ammonia to nitrite (also bad), more special bacteria convert nitrite to nitrate (meh - too much is a bit suffocating but most fish are happy with some), you do a water change each week/fortnight depending on stocking/plants to dilute the nitrate.

The reason they've given you some 'mature' water it that it's likely to have some of the special bacteria floating in it, this should probably help kickstart your bacteria colonies and will set up what's known as your 'biological filtration' (the nitrogen cycle).

For anyone interested in current thoughts on the 'special bacteria' I'd recommend a read of this recent article in PFK which has some interesting things to say about bacteria. (Warning, technical content is higher than the above version!)
 
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Gavin3171

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The guys in Totally tropicals are very helpful and gave us free books to read aswell. Should we have real plants in the tank to break down the nitrates aswell as we only have plastic plants at the moment.
 

ZoddyZod

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welcome to the forum.....you've made a great choice!

Nitrates in a tank are nothing to worry about as long as they aren't at silly levels (into the 100's ppm). Just keep doing regular water changes to keep them down. Plants do help, but there aren't many you can just throw in a tank without also become a water gardener and providing for their needs also. If that's a route you want to head down then we have a great planted section on here,.....
 
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Gavin3171

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welcome to the forum.....you've made a great choice!

Nitrates in a tank are nothing to worry about as long as they aren't at silly levels (into the 100's ppm). Just keep doing regular water changes to keep them down. Plants do help, but there aren't many you can just throw in a tank without also become a water gardener and providing for their needs also. If that's a route you want to head down then we have a great planted section on here,.....
My green fingers have always let me down so maybe Thats not the best of ideas LOL!

I am going to do a 10% water change tomorrow night as the guys at TT have said do 10% every other day and feed every 3 days as its a new tank. Mayure tanks can be fed every day or every other.

I will be taking a water sample back to them on sunday.

The ammonia levels (green?) were half way down their scale and the nitrates (purple) were off the scale! They weren't overly concerned as they said its normal for a new tank to show high readings.
 

Egmel

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My green fingers have always let me down so maybe Thats not the best of ideas LOL!
Possibly best to stick with the fake ones then if you're happy with them.

I am going to do a 10% water change tomorrow night as the guys at TT have said do 10% every other day and feed every 3 days as its a new tank. Mayure tanks can be fed every day or every other.
Sounds good, the reason you're keeping the feeding down is to reduce the waste, most fish don't need to be fed everyday (try explaining that to my betta though, he makes it very apparent when he thinks it's feeding time!) but I'd probably recommend feeding a community tank daily, little and often. I actually feed twice daily so that there's some in the morning for the daily fish and some in the evening for the nocturnal ones. It's probably not necessary but each fish keeper finds their own rhythm
I will be taking a water sample back to them on sunday.
Glad to see they're keeping an eye on your water quality :)
The ammonia levels (green?) were half way down their scale and the nitrates (purple) were off the scale! They weren't overly concerned as they said its normal for a new tank to show high readings.
Sounds about right, just make sure you keep up the water changes, if you want you can get a test kit yourself so you can see what the levels are like. I think the purple reading is probably nitrite, nitrate is usually done with a yellow to red scale and they're not that worried about it. Do they test with strips or test tubes? Strips are generally quicker and easier but the test tube kits are considered more accurate if you want to keep delicate fish or just like the chemistry feel of playing with test tubes. ;)
 
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Gavin3171

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Happy as i can be since the mrs chose them! The loaches always seem to look for places to hide, so im thinking i should get more for their sake.

I cant really tell when they are hungry yet. Im not picking up an visible signs like i normally would with the fat greedy dogs we have! LOL. What signs should i be looking for? Also i got some bottom feeder pellets for the loaches. Doesnt have clear feeding instructions on the tub but will one pellet do for two of them? I think its the nutrafin bottom feeder pellets, red and white tub.

Definatly keeping on top of the water quality as that's what all of the people i have spoken to have mainly talked about. Do you think the higher ammonia and nitrite levels killed off all the tetras or maybe they were diseased when we got them, or my thought was the stress from the journey (45mins car journey) in the bag for an hour and then the larger water change.

I think i will invest in a liquid test kit as i hear and read the strips are very inaccurate.

I have the aquarian tropical flakes and the nutrafin pellets. Superfish aquaflow 100 filter, 25w heater, 20l tank, Stress coat+ and stress zyme, and a large bottle of NT labs tap safe water treatment. Have we made the right choices with the above products?
 

Egmel

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Happy as i can be since the mrs chose them! The loaches always seem to look for places to hide, so im thinking i should get more for their sake.
Can't guarantee it'll make them less likely to hide but they would probably appreciate being in a larger group. Saying that, a 20l tank is quite small for that many fish so probably best to stick with what you've got for now.
I cant really tell when they are hungry yet. Im not picking up an visible signs like i normally would with the fat greedy dogs we have! LOL. What signs should i be looking for? Also i got some bottom feeder pellets for the loaches. Doesnt have clear feeding instructions on the tub but will one pellet do for two of them? I think its the nutrafin bottom feeder pellets, red and white tub.
It depends on the fish, I would expect the guppies and tetras to notice when you come to feed them and be ready and waiting, they'll also begin to perk up when they see things they associate with food. (For instance my fish used to respond to people wearing red as I used to feed them while I was wearing my red dressing gown :rolleyes: ) Not familiar with the nutrafin bottom feeder pellets but if they're the ones which are about 5mm across and round discs then yes one between 2 will be fine to start with.
Definatly keeping on top of the water quality as that's what all of the people i have spoken to have mainly talked about. Do you think the higher ammonia and nitrite levels killed off all the tetras or maybe they were diseased when we got them, or my thought was the stress from the journey (45mins car journey) in the bag for an hour and then the larger water change.
It could have been any of the above!
I think i will invest in a liquid test kit as i hear and read the strips are very inaccurate.
I've heard the same but don't have first hand experience so I can't say for sure, I just like playing with the test tubes in the liquid kit :hyper:
I have the aquarian tropical flakes and the nutrafin pellets. Superfish aquaflow 100 filter, 25w heater, 20l tank, Stress coat+ and stress zyme, and a large bottle of NT labs tap safe water treatment. Have we made the right choices with the above products?
Haven't a clue about half of those products tbh! The tank strikes me as a bit small but so long as you don't overstock it you should be ok. One decholorinator is much like another. Check your heater is keeping the temp up high enough with a thermometer and then you know it's ok (this will depend on how warm you keep your house).
 
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