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PLEASE HELP! Multiple mistakes made, but I’m learning.

vanalisa

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Can I just add the gallon per inch of fish is completely out dated and should not be used! When following this rule it would mean you could have a 10 inch fish in a 10 gallon tank which is just ridiculous!

It is very misleading and if not clarified can indeed end up with ridiculous results.

In my mind 1 gallon for one inch of fish means that a 1" fish would at all times have a gallon of water to swim around in all by itself.
So a 10 inch fish needs 100 gallons all to itself at all times.

With imaginary borders, of course.
 

MordyBroke7

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You don't have to get a proper tank or a pretty one. I had to make an emergency tank and so I had to get creative.

It also seemed like you spent money on a bunch of additives (API stuff) which I I'm not familiar with and honestly don't understand. Right now that's beside the point.

Go to the dollar store get the appropriate amount and size of Clear storage buckets. Get a knife and cut out a hole for the filter cord. Your friends and family will think you're a genius for the DIY.

After you get your fish and your tank all together you will still have this stuff on hand and from my experience you will not have wasted money.

it won't razzle-dazzle anybody but it will work and that's all you need to worry about right now

Give yourself a break ♡



Yes! I was going to mention the fact that investing in some of this stuff will actually save you money own the line. So, while it may seem like a lot now, it'll be worth it. You nailed it. Also, forgot to mention that your suggestion about getting a cheap dollar store container and going that route is something I've had to do in the past when I was really new. I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into XD haha. Anyway, this worked for me! Good advice!
 

Freshwater Sucker Fish

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It is very misleading and if not clarified can indeed end up with ridiculous results.

In my mind 1 gallon for one inch of fish means that a 1" fish would at all times have a gallon of water to swim around in all by itself.
So a 10 inch fish needs 100 gallons all to itself at all times.

With imaginary borders, of course.

truth be told every fish is different and I don't think there is a perfect amount. These are fish that are contained in a glass box rather than swimming in oceans. no matter what it's stressful on these poor fish. But common sense and using facts that worked for others help thus is why these forums are sooo good. It's true we don't know the perfect environment. but we give them the best that we can without neglecting.
 
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I made a beginners mistake of not doing all my research before getting a new aquarium started! My fault, I totally admit it and feel bad for the several fish friends that have already perished, but please help me going forward!

I Bought a 38 gallon tank at Petsmart that came with a penguin 200 bio wheel power filter, and a heater. Set it up with gravel and large rocks along with a piece of driftwood I bought from local small business fish store. Theres a medium air stone supplied by a tetra whisper 40 air pump also 5 small Vallisneria Spiralis and one anubius Nana plant. I let the tank sit full of water but without fish, for 2 days. Then...

I made the mistake of adding all the fish at once this tank could hold for tank size:fish ratio BEFORE the new tank had even cycled! I’ve lost several (2 tiger barb, 2 guppy, 1 honey gourami, 1 bristle nose pleco). There are currently 5, 1” Glofish tetra, 1 swordtail, 1 bristle nose pleco, 1 Cory cat fish, and 2 platy.
Feeding a small amount once, every other day.

I’ve added API quick start (several times), once did a monthly bacteria cleaning solution, Tetra brand water conditioner/dechlorinator, Tetra monthly maintenance was added once.
Was I supposed to add any chemicals besides the dechlorinator while the cycle was taking place?
I have been doing 10-15% water changes every other day.

DO I NEED TO JUST START OVER AND LOOSE SOME FISH???!!

Clean/vacuum the gravel, 50% water change, and get down to 5, 6 FISH MAX! No more chemicals (besides dechlorinator when 10-15% water change is performed every other day). Then allow the tank the cycle before doing anything else?
What about the plants?

I’d really appreciate someone’s help!
You don't have to get a proper tank or a pretty one. I had to make an emergency tank and so I had to get creative.

I noticed you said you had a 38 gallon and if I counted correctly it didn't seem like you had too many fish as far as per gallon.
I could be wrong I don't know a lot about the size of the fish you mentioned but anyway the point is you did that right thing by not overstocking. unless I'm wrong somebody correct me if that's the case.

It also seemed like you spent money on a bunch of additives (API stuff) which I I'm not familiar with and honestly don't understand. Right now that's beside the point.

Go to the dollar store get the appropriate amount and size of Clear storage buckets. Get a knife and cut out a hole for the filter cord. Your friends and family will think you're a genius for the DIY.

Go to the fish store and buy air pumps air tube and sponge filters.

If you have any pothos ivy cut cut the end off leaving about 3 leaves on, rinse it off real good, and stick that in there just like that for a while, obviously remove if it wilts, that baby will start growing roots in a couple days which does something really important somebody else can explain to you.

After you get your fish and your tank all together you will still have this stuff on hand and from my experience you will not have wasted money.

I haven't found a way to get around the price of heaters though. :(
But I have two of my tanks sitting on the same shelf and I have a small space heater directed in there that direction and the tank doesn't get hot the water gets warm because the general area around the tanks is warm and if you have one of those at heater won't cost you anything except for maybe a small amount on your electric bill.

it won't razzle-dazzle anybody but it will work and that's all you need to worry about right now

Give yourself a break ♡
Thank you so so much for all the advice and tips!
I understand splitting them up or the need for having an additional tank for isolation/hospitalization and I will definitely start gathering materials!

This is a new tank...I had introduced all the fish at one point a week ago Saturday, and slowly lost 1-2 fish per day last week. Am currently feeding every other day just a small amount. There are currently 11 fish all around 1” in size.
In regards to the initial cycling process, I will continue 10-15% water changes every other day and include the use of dechlorinator. Is this all I need to be doing or do I need to use any other chemicals or products to help reduce ammonia, nitrites or nitrates when they are elevated to a stressful or dangerous value?
Thank you again so much!! EVERYONE!
 

Aquarium guy person

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I would also recommend tetra safestart plus because I have used it. I put some in my 40 gallon breeder as instructed and put the fish in right away. Those same fish have all survived about 6 months in there and are all really healthy
 
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Wow, I made my number of mistakes also. Look at Tetra safestart plus here is a review.
Thank you for the info!

Would you recommend a complete restart and use the tetra safe start plus? (complete water change, new filter, then add the tetra safe start)
OR
Add the appropriate amount of tetra safe start NOW, keep the same filter (its been in for 2 weeks) and continue the partial 10-15% water changes until the cycle has completed?
 

Retired Viking

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Thank you for the info!

Would you recommend a complete restart and use the tetra safe start plus? (complete water change, new filter, then add the tetra safe start)
OR
Add the appropriate amount of tetra safe start NOW, keep the same filter (its been in for 2 weeks) and continue the partial 10-15% water changes until the cycle has completed?
I have used it once on a newly started tank that had water and filter for a day before adding Safestart. If your ammonia levels are high I would do a large 75-90 water change first and then follow the instructions. Here is a link with those instructions
. https://aquamovement.com/tetra-safestart-plus-review/
 

vanalisa

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I'm glad you are going the DIY route.
Clever you!

I personally can't advise you on any additives although I am positive you must dechlorinate your water.

Try to relax I don't think you're out of the woods yet. You're going to have to take the advice of the others when it comes to your fish compatibility and any other questions you may have of a more technical nature.

I will still be cheering you on though and will offer any ideas if I have them.
I'm not sure if you only got 11 fish for that 38 gallon tank because you were trying to save money or whether or not you wanted the fish to have a lot of room I'm just going to go with you wanted the fish to have a lot of room and you didn't want to overstock.
Sound good?
;)
 

Splashdaddy

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Hi. I use API quick start for getting tanks up and running and it's a great product. Its pretty much the same thing as tetra safe start I believe. Basically it just contains bacteria that will munch your ammonia and nitrites as they appear. The bacteria will die at first because you wont have much for them to eat at first so you'll have to add more quick start every few days.
As for your problem, one thing that stands out is the driftwood. Did you boil it before adding it? Even driftwood bought from a store should be boiled for two hours or soaked in water for two weeks before adding to a tank to leach out tannins and other chemicals.
Otherwise perhaps your tap water contains nitrates? If it does no amount of water changes will fix your problem. I'd test that before doing anything else. It seems odd that you've been losing fish so quickly. Normally it takes toxins like ammonia, nitrites and nitrates a while to build up.
 
OP
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I'm glad you are going the DIY route.
Clever you!

I personally can't advise you on any additives although I am positive you must dechlorinate your water.

Try to relax I don't think you're out of the woods yet. You're going to have to take the advice of the others when it comes to your fish compatibility and any other questions you may have of a more technical nature.

I will still be cheering you on though and will offer any ideas if I have them.
I'm not sure if you only got 11 fish for that 38 gallon tank because you were trying to save money or whether or not you wanted the fish to have a lot of room I'm just going to go with you wanted the fish to have a lot of room and you didn't want to overstock.
Sound good?
;)
I started with 20 fish last week, but lost 1-2 fish on average per day last week. Haven't had any fatalities in a couple days now ;)
 

Freshwater Sucker Fish

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No, no, no. The inch per gallon “rule” is very inaccurate. You always need to do research before getting any fish or plant. Check SeriouslyFish.com for stocking recommendations.
But how is that calculated? so I have soft water and want to put a catfish in a tank as I will buy the appropriate tank this website fails to tell me what size tank. not to mention the pages say they can't be displayed when looking.
you say do research yet a very reputable novel has said how to determine the amount of water needed. Yet for some reason, you say it's not reputable information?

I have people on this forum say all sorts of things and pet stores say another truth be told I don't think there is a science behind it at all.
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side note: Everything from 20- 80 gal where is the truth I wonder. Im thinking in the middle 60 gal.
 

Byron

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There are some general issues mentioned in this last post (#29) for which I should be able to provide some guidance.

But how is that calculated? so I have soft water and want to put a catfish in a tank as I will buy the appropriate tank this website fails to tell me what size tank. not to mention the pages say they can't be displayed when looking.
Presumably this comment is in reference to Seriously Fish. Most of the profiles recommend minimum tank dimensions rather than volume. This is because the physical space is the more important factor. For example, a group of "x" fish may be fine in a 20 gallon long which is 30 inches by 12 inches (75 cm by 30 cm) length and width; but the same group of "x" fish might not be suited to a 20 gallon high/basic which is 24 inches by 12 inches (60 cm by 30 cm). So the volume is not the critical factor, it is the length and width that matters.

As for page display problems, sometimes these can be overcome by logging in as a member rather than browsing. There is no charge on SF. And you will not likely receive more reliable information on fish species anywhere else.

you say do research yet a very reputable novel has said how to determine the amount of water needed. Yet for some reason, you say it's not reputable information?
I have people on this forum say all sorts of things and pet stores say another truth be told I don't think there is a science behind it at all.
There are a number of long-standing myths in this hobby that keep getting repeated. There is also the problem of the internet...a great source of information but only if one accesses the reliable sources. Any one with the money can set up a website and promote themselves as expert; anyone can post videos proclaiming what is absolute nonsense and rubbish. But there are also reliable and accurate sites. I always make it a habit to learn about the individual running the site--if he/she has credentials in the scientific side of the hobby, fine; if not, buyer beware.

This is a scientific hobby. Every aspect of water chemistry within the aquarium is governed by the laws of nature. Same holds for the requirements of the fish, and their physiological function, metabolism, etc. Not everyone can learn the chemistry, ichthyology, biology, botany...but we can learn from those who have. Seriously Fish, Planet Catfish, Loaches Online, Corydoras World...these are some of the highly reliable sites run by educated and experienced people. Seldom will you find conflicting data from these. I always find out who owns/runs a site, and what their qualiifications are, before paying attention to what they say.

The initial issue I believe was the "rule" of 1 inch of fish per gallon. This may work with fish less than one inch in size, but it most certainly does not work beyond that, as other members have noted. Selecting fish for an aquarium takes research...the requirements of the fish (shoaling species require a group of "x" or more, species "a" might be a aggressive to this or that type of tankmate, the water parameters [GH, temperature, pH] are crucial, the flow from the filter might be an issue, the aquascape decor [substrate material, plants, wood, rock], etc, etc, etc. It is much more involved than just fish mass to water volume.

side note: Everything from 20- 80 gal where is the truth I wonder. Im thinking in the middle 60 gal.
I don't understand what is the issue here, can you clarify?
 

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