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Results 1 to 10 of 40
  1. Question Foster Aquarium - Take Tw... Waitaminnit...

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all!

    Some folks got a little overzealous. While I was away for a while, they invaded my house and set up an aquarium for me. @.@

    I spent yesterday and this morning trying to figure out what is going on, and here's the scoop...

    It seems they got a 29g kit (Filter pump, heater, tank), two 25-lb bags of gravel, a pagoda, some packages of aquatic plant seeds, and brought some of the old stuff from the other tank, such as the API LeafZone and some $80 worth of rocks, AquaSafe Plus, and the bubble bar and air pump.

    According to accounts, on Sunday night they rinsed the gravel and got really upset at the paint flakes in it, but finally put it in anyway. They filled, installed the heater, air pump and line, pump and filter media, put in (way too much) AquaSafe, buried the plant bulbs, and put in (an unknown quantity of) Seachem Stability.

    On Monday, it was dosed with (again, unknown amount of) Stability (the stuff seems to almost just be water in the bottle?), and three dalmatian mollies (2F, 1M) were thrown to the wolves. O.O They have been fed twice daily and "three capfulls" of Stability (it says dose 1.5 caps for seven days) have been added daily. Two people gave themselves chemical burns trying to use the Master Test Kit.

    On Tuesday, one of the cats got into the Master Test Kit stuff and generated a very expensive vet bill. The wife has decreed "No caustic chemicals around the cats at all!" and the MTK was promptly thrown away.

    On Thursday evening, I came home to "WTF?!" and three seemingly-healthy fish. Mildly cloudy water. Quite a few paint flakes from the gravel floating at the top, which I extracted. The top of the water holds bubbles much more than I like. The airstone and pump together creating bubbles keeps about a quarter of the water surface covered with bubbles, which of course pop all over the tank and send a drop of water flying, so the inside of the hood is in a constant state of soaked and there is already a while film forming on the protective plastic cover for the light.

    Friday morning found the larger female molly hiding behind rocks at the bottom and appearing to be breathing from one gill only. That gill was also inflamed. She did not eat but did react sluggishly to motion. I had to go to work, so there was nothing I could do at the time. Within hours, the wife alerted me that this one died and had been removed. The other two are continuing to behave normally for the most part.

    I retrieved the ammonia portion of the test kit from the trash when I got home yesterday and found levels at around 1.0. This makes me slightly worried. The rest of the kit was dead. I had two 6-in-1 test strips left that I managed to find this morning. Use of one of these found Alkalinity fine, pH good, soft water, no chlorine, but also absolutely no nitrites or nitrates at all.

    I'd like these two remaining finners to not have issues, but I'm worrying now. I've not had to deal with a brand spanking new aquarium at any point. I considered rehoming the fish and doing a fishless cycle, but I found out from multiple sources that ammonia without surfactant is nearly impossible to get in Colorado, to the point where three aquarium stores in the Denver area have said it's not possible. So now I'm just trying to figure out what happened with insufficient information and hope things can be recovered.

    I'll try to hunt down any information I can if any is missing. Otherwise the worries are the chemistry (tank does not seem to be cycling after a week), bubbly surface, one fish that died within half a day of appearing healthy, etc. Halp please?

  2. #2


    4 Not allowed!
    do a water change, now or as close to now as you can. at least 50%, and I would be tempted to do 75%.

    If you have chlorinated town water, dose dechlorinator at the prescribed dosage as you refill.

    You will be doing a fish-in cycle, so after this initial water change, you will have to keep the ammonia levels at 0.5ppm with regular water changes (likely every other day, but your tests will decide that for you)...have a read of the Cycling with Fish article here on the site.

    Your tank is not really bad off, despite the rocky start, just get that overdosed water out of there and basically you will be starting from a mostly clean slate.

    I would also remove the plant bulbs. Chances are you do not have enough light to grow the plants, and they will just rot and cause more waste issues.

    good luck!
    Last edited by sheamurai; 12-07-2013 at 07:30 PM.

  3. #3


    4 Not allowed!
    All mature aquariums rely on beneficial bacteria to convert ammonia from fish waste into less harmful substances. The process of accumulating these bacteria is known as the cycle. Most beginning aquarists are not aware of this and set up tanks and add fish immediately, which then die within a few days.
    The cycle cannot be replaced with any substance out of a bottle, only by a squeeze from the sponges from another mature tank.
    I would read up on the fish in cycle in the beginners section. For now, keep changing lots of water to keep ammonia below 0.25 ppm. As for the test kit, it is absolutely essential to have, as you have found out. Instead of the banning of chemicals around your cat(what about the other 100 household chemicals around the home?) find a cat proof place to keep them.

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to everything.

    Change the water ASAP 50-75% and keep all chemicals away from it..except your dechlorinator. Use the appropriate dosage for your tank size.

    A fish-in cycle will take a few weeks, not one. Keep the ammonia down to save those fish.

    Feed a SMALL pinch of food, not all they can eat. This was helpful to help me gauge how much food I should feed....their stomachs are about the size of their eye.
    20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Mystery of the four-hour death solved. Fatal birth complications. O.o

    One fry did make it though.

  6. #6

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    1 Not allowed!
    +1 to all of the above advice, please read and thoroughly understand the fish-in cycle:

    I am sure your new tank came with good intentions, but it is going to take some work to get it safe and healthy for the MUST have a liquid test kit to cycle, and some good quality water conditioner, such as Seachum's Prime...and a way to measure it for proper dosage...a medicinal syringe works great

    You have some experience, I know you can do what is needed to have a healthy, happy tank!...good luck to you!
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
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  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    This is almost as much stress as when I first took over the tank at work. -.-;

    72% water change.
    Ammonia down to ~0.25 PPM (Testing drops color chart doesn't show below 0.5, but was less green than that)
    The one fry we knew about buried itself under gravel at the front of the tank and was dead upon closer examination, so was removed. T^T
    Slowly bringing temp up to 82 from 78 per Fish-In cycle directions.

    Plant light:
    The tank has two 24" T5 tubes. Specifically an Aqueon T5 Dual Lamp Fixture 30" according to packaging. One 6,700K Daylight lamp and one Colormax lamp, both of which say "Good for live plants". Is that enough light for plants or no?

    Top front of the aquarium glass is bowed out about a quarter of an inch from square at the furthest point. Is this normal or bad?

    How many fish for a fish-in cycle? Two mollies that remain, or more?

    How do you keep cats off aquariums? The savannah seems pretty solidly too heavy for the glass top.

    Is there any good way to meter food better with flakes? So far "One flake per fish" seems to be what they are very happy with, but the flakes vary in size and two becomes nom and spit back out. When it was over 100 fish at work, just the hungriest ones made sure to nab food first.

  8. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    Glad the ammonia is down! It will all get better soon!

    Lighting depends on the plants you have, but plants sometimes need fertilizer and other things to help them grow right. Might want to see if you can find what types they put in there, and search the "plants" part of the forum.

    Some fish tanks come bowed out....but I don't know about yours...sounds iffy to me. Is it acrylic, and has the cat been up there a lot?

    Two mollies for a fish in should be's all about getting a baseline of bacteria, then adding in more fish slowly. Though if they are male and female, you might want to get another female to distract the male's attention. They can pester females to exhaustion.

    A small pinch of food should be fine. If you really worry about under feeding, you can feed twice a day as long as no food is reaching the bottom of the tank. Many fish can and will gorge themselves to the point of harm if you let them, so better to feed less. They always look hungry.
    20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!

  9. #9


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Charix View Post
    Ammonia down to ~0.25 PPM (Testing drops color chart doesn't show below 0.5, but was less green than that)

    How many fish for a fish-in cycle? Two mollies that remain, or more? As stated above, the fish currently in the tank will do the trick - their waste will grow bacteria in the filter - they produce ammonia (like you and I do) which grows and feeds bacteria - do not add anymore fish until the cycling is done.

    Is there any good way to meter food better with flakes? So far "One flake per fish" seems to be what they are very happy with, but the flakes vary in size and two becomes nom and spit back out. When it was over 100 fish at work, just the hungriest ones made sure to nab food first.
    One flake per fish is something I've never heard of LOL - you can crush them up a little, but only enough food for about 2-3min - if you see more falling to the bottom than being eaten, you're putting in too much at a time.
    As recommended, I would replace the liquid kit - strips just aren't very accurate - it's not difficult to keep the kit in an out of reach place and keep the lids on firmly.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  10. #10

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Charix View Post
    This is almost as much stress as when I first took over the tank at work. -.-;

    How do you keep cats off aquariums? The savannah seems pretty solidly too heavy for the glass top.
    I also had to have cat-proof tanks - and yes, a Savannah is definitely too heavy to be on top of the tank. Build a DIY wood canopy for the tank, which sits on top of the tank frame, above the glass top - very easy to do for a 29 gal. Is the tank placed against a wall? If so, attach 3 wooden blocks to the wall (into wall studs if possible) to support the back of the canopy. Build a 3 sided box (4 sides if it's not against a wall and no wall blocks are needed), add a top made of 3/4 inch plywood (will easily support the Savannah) and blocks of wood screwed into the inside of the front and sides (and back if 4 sided) to rest on the tank frame and support the canopy. Make sure the plywood top rests on the front, side and back pieces for better support. Add a block of wood at each back corner (on the backside) to keep the canopy from sliding forward. When tank maintenance is needed, just remove the canopy. You also want to be sure all your cords, tubes, power strip, whatever, are out of reach of paws and claws.

    This is the canopy on my dual 29 gals, which are placed end-to-end. Yours would be half this size-


    If this is of interest, send me a PM with your email address and I will send you pictures of the inside of the canopy. Very easy to build and with this canopy, if your "kitty" wants to lay on the canopy it's no problem.
    Last edited by gronlaura; 12-10-2013 at 12:05 AM.
    My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
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