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View Full Version : Too many fish, not enough space...



new2this
12-31-2009, 06:04 AM
Hi, I'm Nisa and I'm new to having fish and taking care of them.

Yesterday, I bought a 10 gallon fish tank and 2 black convict cichlids (I think both are males) and a larger fish that the person in the petstore couldn't identify (it's a cichlid too, though, I believe).

Anyway, after I bought the fish and the setup and everything, I read that a 10 gallon tank is too small for 2 convict cichlids, let alone the third larger fish too. I was wondering how long it's okay to keep them in the smaller tank until I have the money to buy a whole new setup for them? I'm worried that the larger convict cichlid and the other large cichlid will hurt the smallest of the three since they seem to be chasing him around the tank.

I appreciate any help you can give as the perstore people don't seem to know much of anything about fish (they told me I could put 10 convict cichlids in the 10 gallon tank).

Northernguy
12-31-2009, 06:07 AM
Welcome to the Fabulous AC!:22:
Return the fish.If they don't kill each other the small tank will.
Sorry about the bad news!
Did you cycle the tank?
Have you a test kit?
I do suggest you read the free ebook.Its on the left
It will help as we help you get started.

little hawaii
12-31-2009, 06:17 AM
Hi, I'm Nisa and I'm new to having fish and taking care of them.

Yesterday, I bought a 10 gallon fish tank and 2 black convict cichlids (I think both are males) and a larger fish that the person in the petstore couldn't identify (it's a cichlid too, though, I believe).

Anyway, after I bought the fish and the setup and everything, I read that a 10 gallon tank is too small for 2 convict cichlids, let alone the third larger fish too. I was wondering how long it's okay to keep them in the smaller tank until I have the money to buy a whole new setup for them? I'm worried that the larger convict cichlid and the other large cichlid will hurt the smallest of the three since they seem to be chasing him around the tank.

I appreciate any help you can give as the perstore people don't seem to know much of anything about fish (they told me I could put 10 convict cichlids in the 10 gallon tank).


We have all been where you are . Don't feel bad, the guy that sold you the fish is , well he needs work lets say. First off I would not feel bad about taking them back, take a big brother if you need to. You could exchange them for some Small South american cichlids. Or if you like this group of fish, I have a solution for you. It's temporary but it works. When I was breeding a lot of fish yrs. ago i used those almost clear storage containers that are made by rubbermade and such. The best ones i ever used had a flat ribbed bottom, they were the sturdiest. They will all bow out at the top a bit, I was useing 40 of them at one time and never had a failer. They are fish safe, the only drawback is they are slightly opac. But once you fill it up it is not too bad for viewing. This is a good cheap temporary fix. Good luck.:fish: :fish: :goldfish:

Scrup
12-31-2009, 06:17 AM
pictures would help with the larger fish. (got a nickel on it being an oscar)

the convicts are somewhat of a bad choice IMO unless its 2 females, and even then a 10G is too small for them. 2 males will probably fight to the death and a pair will breed you out of house and home, and kill anything within 2 feet they can get a hold of (even your hand once the eggs are layed)

new2this
12-31-2009, 06:35 AM
Welcome to the Fabulous AC!:22:
Return the fish.If they don't kill each other the small tank will.
Sorry about the bad news!
Did you cycle the tank?
Have you a test kit?
I do suggest you read the free ebook.Its on the left
It will help as we help you get started.

I don't know what cycling means exactly, sorry. (uber noob =/)

I do have that (yay xD). The pH and hardness of the water are okay for now.

Thanks for the suggestion, I definitely will!

My brother and I are thinking about getting a larger tank either tomorrow or Friday. Would it be okay to keep the fish in the tank until then? If so, would a 20 gallon for the 2 convict cichlids be okay? I'll probably end up giving the larger fish back for now. He isn't an Oscar, he looks a lot like the fish here:

http://www.aqua-fish.net/imgs/fish2/white-cichlid-3.jpg

I can't get him to come out of the cup cave at the moment but once he does I'll put his actual picture here.

Lab_Rat
12-31-2009, 06:40 AM
Since the tank isn't cycled, I'd return all the fish and fishless cycle your tank. While waiting for it to cycle you can research what you want and what would work. None of those fish will be ok in a 10g and 2 male cons in a 20g won't work for long.

Start with reading the ebook and the stickies on cycling:
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=36492
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=5640
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/ebook.html

Scrup
12-31-2009, 06:47 AM
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/Tropical_Fish-A_Beginners_Guide.pdf can give you most of the basics...a good start for sure.

read up on cycling a tank. will save you a lot of heartache, as well as keep your fish alive.

Basics are- fish make ammonia(deadly to fish), ammonia gets eaten by bacteria and made into nitrItes(also deadly to fish), that gets eaten by other bacteria and turned into nitrAtes(not nearly as harmful, but can be when it gets concentrated enough)

The catch is, it takes time for that bacteria to grow (about a month), and in the meantime, the ammonia and nitrites are still in the water.

After your tank has cycled, it has enough bacteria to constantly keep the ammonia and nitrites out of the water.

make any kind of sense? you can always just goggle tank cycle. Lots of info out there.

frequent water changes and close monitoring of the ammonia/nitrite levels will probably keep your fish alive, but it will be risky. Lab_rats advise is pretty solid on returning them.

do you know anyone with fish that lives nearby?

new2this
12-31-2009, 06:58 AM
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/Tropical_Fish-A_Beginners_Guide.pdf can give you most of the basics...a good start for sure.

read up on cycling a tank. will save you a lot of heartache, as well as keep your fish alive.

Basics are- fish make ammonia(deadly to fish), ammonia gets eaten by bacteria and made into nitrItes(also deadly to fish), that gets eaten by other bacteria and turned into nitrAtes(not nearly as harmful, but can be when it gets concentrated enough)

The catch is, it takes time for that bacteria to grow (about a month), and in the meantime, the ammonia and nitrites are still in the water.

After your tank has cycled, it has enough bacteria to constantly keep the ammonia and nitrites out of the water.

make any kind of sense? you can always just goggle tank cycle. Lots of info out there.

frequent water changes and close monitoring of the ammonia/nitrite levels will probably keep your fish alive, but it will be risky. Lab_rats advise is pretty solid on returning them.

do you know anyone with fish that lives nearby?

No no one I know has fish, but you guys are right. I didn't want to give up the fish (I've kind of gotten attached), but I'd rather give them back then have them die here. Thanks for the info, I'll start reading up and then start over the right way.

souly
12-31-2009, 08:05 AM
I'm with the other guys, return them ASAP, not cycling the tank is deadly for them, let alone the size of the tank. From my understand most Cichlids need a 30 and up tank, and not usally under 50g. But I don't know much about them....Since your a first time fish owner, I would read the Ebook on setting up tanks, it helped me bunches! I had no concept of cycling tanks and was just lucky that I was using a betta in my tank.

Crispy
12-31-2009, 11:40 AM
pictures would help with the larger fish. (got a nickel on it being an oscar)

:hmm3grin2orange: I was thinking the same.. probably an oscar or reddevil.

james20
01-03-2010, 08:42 PM
(they told me I could put 10 convict cichlids in the 10 gallon tank).

O_o You shouldn't really buy anything from that store... EVER

annageckos
01-03-2010, 08:53 PM
Everyone else gave you good advice on cycling the tank. When you are ready to start the cycle you are going to need a good test kit to test of ammonia, nitrites and later nitrates. Ph and hardness are not real important as long as they remain stable. API Master test kit and Tetra master test kit are both really good brands. Of the two I would go with the API. You want to stay away from the test strips. Get a good liqiud test kit. And IMO convits get kinda big for even a 20 gallon. A 30 may work, but you would be lucky to get anything other than the convits in it.

Oscar_freak12321
01-03-2010, 11:41 PM
That's an interesting larger fish. You have been given some very excellent advice on what to do from here. :22:

Shisshi Sakana
01-13-2010, 05:39 PM
I keep hearing that for every inch long that the adult size of the fish measures you need at least 2 gallons of tank space. So if your cichlids get to be 5 inches each (5 x 2=10 and then x 2 fish= 20gallons), a 20 gallon will just bearly fit, but if they grow larger problems may occur. Best of luck!

CGY_Betta_Guy
01-13-2010, 11:10 PM
You might also want to consider taking the entire purchase back, tank and all the fish, and buying the slightly bigger tank now (with no fish) if you have the extra money. That would give you time to save up for fish as well as cycling the bigger tank properly. Since you have only just purchased it I would think that the pet shop shouldnt have any issues with you exchanging it... especially since they gave you poor information and did not tell you about cycling which kind of tells me they are trying to capitalize on your fish dying so you have to come back into the store so they can sell you more things. Maybe even hint that most of your future business will be with them if they could accomodate the exchange. Whether you do give them the business should depend on the service they give you on this exchange. Be polite and I would suggest you take a parent or older sibling with you as back up. As a consumer you do have some power.

wolf_eyes
01-17-2010, 03:39 AM
I keep hearing that for every inch long that the adult size of the fish measures you need at least 2 gallons of tank space. So if your cichlids get to be 5 inches each (5 x 2=10 and then x 2 fish= 20gallons), a 20 gallon will just bearly fit, but if they grow larger problems may occur. Best of luck!

I hope this doesn't come off as picking on you shisshi, that's not my intention :).

This rule works alright for community fish, but cichlids are a completely different case. Cichlids vary greatly in aggression and what may be alright for filtration may not be good for tempers. 2 male convicts will see the tank as their territory and fight with each other over it, possibly non stop until one of them only gets a small corner to themselves. For a beginner into the world of fish, I would recommend starting with some community fish. if you really like cichlids you could possibly look into getting one of the smaller, more peaceful species like bolivian rams

Cliff
01-17-2010, 03:46 AM
You got a lot of great advise here.

The free E-book many have talked about here is really good. I've kept fish for years and I had no idea of all the things I should have been doing but had no idea. Its a great book.

Also, you might want to use the below link when trying to pick fish for your tank. This website will factor in everything that is improtant to keep and to let you know if it looks like you'll be stocking too much, or if the fish you are thinking about will get along and be able to live together.

Hope this helps

http://aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php

bluebluecow
01-17-2010, 05:10 AM
hello and welcome, you have had some brilliant advise already.

I would return the fish, if you can't afford to upgrade the tank size, have a look at some of the blogs and journals that are around the size of tank you have, these will give you a great idea of what you can keep in that size tank.

Liz