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  1. Exclamation Hello fom the West Coast!


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone,

    I have joined in hopes of getting some advice, learn more about fishkeeping as it is something that interests me but I am very VERY new but willing to learn.

    Here's the thing....I got myself into a bit of a situation...
    I was offered the aquarium at work....being impulsive and from what I was told about fishkeeping that it'd be easy etc etc and thinking I could do it all I said yes...yes, it is a problem and I admit it. Plus they admitted that no one was caring for them, and were barely remembering to feed them.
    I took the fish home-and set up the tank and whatever.....I was told and given 'all the items needed for keeping the fish'......
    Now...I took the fish to the local pet shop, discovered I have 3 danois, 1 zebra tetra...and one unknown but the pet shop people believe it to be a type of tetra-maybe a black tetra type? I don't know and they didn't either.

    I am moving at the end of the month and I am planning on taking them with me...but I have discovered the aquarium I took in is 33 gallons! That size is not allowed at the new place...so I bought a smaller 10 gallon rectangle one. As I'm a complete novice, I'd like to start small even though I've read that a larger tank is easier to maintain?
    To top things off, the 33 gallon filter stopped working a couple days after I took it home. Arrgh! I think the timer stopped working too....or it is very possible I do not know how to turn it on/use it.
    I have several questions and am feeling discouraged, confused, a bit overwhelmed at all the conflicting instructions.

    Unfortunately, I'm learning the hard way and so are the fish. One died today. It saddened me quite a bit,...I am at fault I'm sure....but it's not like I know how old the fish are.

    Couple questions off the top of my head are....
    what is a ph buffer? I have 2 small bottles in the kit I was given. One says it increases the ph level, and one decreases it?
    is a ph buffer different than a chlorinator and a chloramine? I told the girl at the pet shop I had a ph buffer when I tried to find out as much as possible about caring for our little guys...but she said to not add it to the water...huh?
    I've read it can take 4-6 weeks for cycling? My fish, which are being kept in a small 6 inch by 3 inch container cannot live there for that long. I don't understand what cycling is. I've read the fishless cycling and fish cycling threads but I'm more confused than ever.

    If this 4-6 week stuff is true then should I-for the fish' sake-rehome them and set up the tank once we are in the new place?

    how do you clean the extra food? is there a detailed cleaning schedule for cleaning aquariums? I have no problem setting up a regular time slot and committing to it (I have a flock of budgies too)... simply I do not want to spend outrageous amounts of money on expensive equipment when not necessary.

    When should you remove the food?

    I've been told that 1 inch of fish requires 1 gallon of water...and that the fish I have are fine in the 10gallon tank...but now I'm reading that that is inaccurate and outdated.

    how can you tell a male fish from a female one?

    why do some sites say to remove 10% of the water when others say 25%?..and why do the people at my work insist on removing the entire water from the tank and refilling it? They say that's what they've been taught.
    Because I don't know anything, I'm having trouble differentiating between the people who don't know but think they do, and those that just want to profit from newbie pet owners. (ie: pet shops)

    Please help. I'd like to learn and best support/care for my fish as much as I possibly can.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Y0u are in a bit 0f a pickle, aren't y0u! Cycling the tank can take s0me time. It can be d0ne with 0r with0ut fish, many pe0ple ch00se cycling with0ut fish as it d0esn't exp0se them t0 the t0xicity 0f the amm0nia, nitrites and nitrates, as well as pH swings. A filter is a MUST, s0 if y0u are with0ut a filter, y0u are pretty well dished right fr0m the start. N0t t0 s0und cruel, but it might be best just t0 reh0me them until y0u are in a better p0siti0n t0 care f0r the fish. Read up 0n cycling y0ur aquarium first and then start fr0m there. There are many many very helpful pe0ple in this c0mmunity wh0 w0uld l0ve n0thing m0re t0 see y0u succeed as a fish 0wner, s0 d0n't l0se heart. It is never t00 late t0 learn, but it is best t0 d0 research bef0re hand if y0u w0uld like t0 be successful in this h0bby. Best wishes t0 y0u and a warm welc0me t0 the c0mmunity.
    Here is a link t0 get y0u p0inted in the right directi0n with cycling.
    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Last edited by Longshot; 07-04-2013 at 07:46 AM.
    When in d0ubt read it until it makes sense, then read it again!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi there! I'm still new to fishkeeping myself, but I've found this group to be very helpful and supportive! :)
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nani View Post
    Hi everyone,


    Couple questions off the top of my head are....
    what is a ph buffer? I have 2 small bottles in the kit I was given. One says it increases the ph level, and one decreases it?
    Fishkeeping can be kept relatively simple but some basic chemistry knowledge makes it a lot easier (wikipedia can help). For now leave these alone.

    is a ph buffer different than a chlorinator and a chloramine? I told the girl at the pet shop I had a ph buffer when I tried to find out as much as possible about caring for our little guys...but she said to not add it to the water...huh?
    Chlorine and chloramine are additives to tap water to keep it safe to drink and reduce the risk of E. coli and other bacteria. Fish don't handle it well so we add a water conditioner to render them harmless. Seachem Prime is a popular product for that.
    I've read it can take 4-6 weeks for cycling? My fish, which are being kept in a small 6 inch by 3 inch container cannot live there for that long. I don't understand what cycling is. I've read the fishless cycling and fish cycling threads but I'm more confused than ever.
    Hmm, that's a shame.

    Cycling is the process to encourage bacteria to colonize the stuff in your filter. We do that by adding their food source, ammonia, and wait for the very few that are naturally present everywhere to start multiplying. That process takes time.
    When you took home the filter it was already cycled. If it stops working or there is no fish for more than 24 hours or so the bacteria starve and die.

    If this 4-6 week stuff is true then should I-for the fish' sake-rehome them and set up the tank once we are in the new place?
    That's an option. What we don't know is how big your tank is and what fish you have exactly, only that you got 4 relatively small fish. In any sizeable tank you could keep these as long as you do an extra water change.

    how do you clean the extra food? is there a detailed cleaning schedule for cleaning aquariums? I have no problem setting up a regular time slot and committing to it (I have a flock of budgies too)... simply I do not want to spend outrageous amounts of money on expensive equipment when not necessary.
    In a good feeding schedule little to nothing reaches the bottom. But that takes experience. What many people do is get a device called a gravel vacuum
    like http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=23593 or http://amzn.com/B004RK405A personally I just use a small airhose and make circular motions with a finger just above the sand and syphon away whatever debris there is.

    For an established tank a weekly schedule of removing 30-50% of the water and replace it with fresh water treated with prime. Check the working of the filter and do what's necessary there (what depends on the filter). I run a planted tank so I also prune it.



    I've been told that 1 inch of fish requires 1 gallon of water...and that the fish I have are fine in the 10gallon tank...but now I'm reading that that is inaccurate and outdated.
    It's a rule of thumb that works more or less for small peaceful species.
    how can you tell a male fish from a female one?
    With most tetras and danios that's almost impossible. Females do tend to have a bigger, more rounder belly but it takes a trained eye to see.
    why do some sites say to remove 10% of the water when others say 25%?..and why do the people at my work insist on removing the entire water from the tank and refilling it? They say that's what they've been taught.
    All the water is a method used in the days of the small goldfish bowl. Most of us do anything between 25 and 50%. You remove a lot of waste that way but don't change the water parameters too much.

    Because I don't know anything, I'm having trouble differentiating between the people who don't know but think they do, and those that just want to profit from newbie pet owners. (ie: pet shops)

    Please help. I'd like to learn and best support/care for my fish as much as I possibly can.
    Hope this helps, if not ask. A pic of the tank would help as would some information about the filter.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone, you guys are truly fantastic. I went to bed really late with a headache from all the confusion and worry about the fishes, but this morning I've been reading some of the articles here and the wonderful replies from you guys and thank you so much. I feel much more optimistic. All the replies certainly helped me with clarifying things.

    I will go out and gather a conditioner, and post pics when I come back.
    I originally got a 33 gallon tank...but the filter stopped working..so I bought a smaller 10 gallon tank with an internal filter...you know..one of the starter kits kind of...I didn't get much help from the staff at the pet shop..and I figured I could always upgrade later after we've all settled into our new place...I just needed something for the fish for the time being..
    I'll be back.
    Thanks again.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Welcome my fellow West coaster, hope we can help you in the future.
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
    -Vince Lombardi

    Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ― John Wooden
    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    498

    Awards Showcase

    Blog Entries
    1
    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey Nani! I'm relatively new myself, and this group is a great resource. I've learned so much since coming here!
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nani View Post
    I originally got a 33 gallon tank...but the filter stopped working..so I bought a smaller 10 gallon tank with an internal filter...you know..one of the starter kits kind of...I didn't get much help from the staff at the pet shop..and I figured I could always upgrade later after we've all settled into our new place...I just needed something for the fish for the time being..
    I'll be back.
    Thanks again.
    Excuse my ignorance but why not replace the filter?

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Excuse my ignorance but why not replace the filter?
    No problem. I was going to, but the new place we are moving to has aquarium size restrictions...I'd like to try to coax the landlord into allowing me to have a 20 gallon in the future (if all goes well and we stay there awhile). For now though, I didn't want to scare him with a big fish tank size, so if he asks I'll just tell him its a small 10 gallon as opposed to telling him its a 33 gallon. I'll probably put up the 33 gallon for free on CL...or in the front yard.

    Thanks for everything guys!! I'm going to post pics now.

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Ok so here is the 10 G tank I mentioned earlier.....hmmm are that many bubbles normal?




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