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Thread: Beginner Advice

  1. #1

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    Default Beginner Advice


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone,

    My name is Chris and I am looking for some advice or guidance with my aquarium. I have a 10 gallon freshwater aquarium, gravel substrate, two artificial plants, a 6" air tube and a hang on back filter. This is my first aquarium, I also have a 2 gallon tank for my betta fish, that I got in October that is doing great.

    I originally got my tank on Dec. 26th 2014, and let it run for about 1.5 weeks. I was told by my local pet store that this should be sufficient to regulate water temperature. It is consistently around 80 degrees. I then bought 2 neon tetras, 2 black skirt tetras and 2 gold mollies.

    Everything was good until last week. At the beginning on January I want on a vacation and my folks looked after my tank. Unfortunately the fish were overfed. I had my water tested at my pet store and was told that the nitrate and ammonia levels were higher than they were supposed to be.

    I then started doing 10-25% water changes about every other day, while vacuuming the substrate on those same days. I also used a mag-gloat and scrubbed the glass walls of the tank as there was this white hairy-like substance growing on the glass (not on substrate or decorations or plants that I could see). A week later, one of my gold mollies died. I kept up with the the routine water changes, then two days ago my other molly died.

    I am going today to get my water checked again, I am hoping that my efforts are making at least a small difference to help.

    I am looking for suggestions or tips. I understand that the tank was not cycled for as long as it probably should have.

    I am really looking forward to learning more about my fish and aquarium, I hope that I can get this under control and possibly look at adding a couple more to the tank, which I know might be maxing it out, but one can still wish. Please let me know if I can provide any more info.

    I look forward to all help! Thanks in advance!

    Sincerely,

    Chris
    Last edited by Chris_Jabroni; 01-21-2015 at 06:03 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2

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    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    Read, re-read, and understand the cycling with fish sticky in the beginner section

    Invest in each of the following, these are valuable tools for fishkeepers...you need to be testing your own water:

    http://www.amazon.com/Seachem-116043.../dp/B00025694O

    http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater...aster+test+kit

    Your tank is surely not cycled, so you are going to have to do many water changes daily until you can get your water right, using a good water conditioner like the Prime I linked

    First though, read and understand that sticky, and post back with more questions as they occur to you

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  3. #3

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    3 Not allowed!
    Increase the water change to 75% every day until you purchase an API freshwater master test kit.

    Use Prime or equivalent water conditioner (Kordon Amquel Plus), and treat the total volume of the tank when using.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to prime above. While displaying nitrite on test kits I would dose prime daily 4x the labeled amount. (2x to detoxify nitrates)

    I would also recommend purchasing Seachem AmGuard to detoxify your ammonia (prime does allow it to bind in 24hours) because it can last 48hours detoxifying ammonia which is more than prime can do. Ammonia is extremely toxic to fish. Even though you're dosing prime daily for nitrites, having a more effective ammonia guard is good as well for initial stages of nitrogen cycle.

    I have also recently found that using Seachem Safe (basically powder prime) is more effective for fish-in cycling due to it's higher concentrations.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you all so far for the replies. It's appreciated!

    So right now I should buy:
    - Seachem prime
    - Seachem Amguard
    - API water kit

    Right now when I do water changes I put water aside for 24 hours in a separate container with some dechlorinater in it. Would I put the water aside and add these in then? Once 24 hours pass, then add to tank after vacuum?

  6. #6

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    1 Not allowed!
    I've never used the Amguard, but you definitely want the Prime and the test kit

    No need to set water aside with the Prime, you add it as you fill your tank

    When you get your test kit, we'll test your tap water too, just to see what your source water is like
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  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    My only concern with not setting water aside is the temperature of the water ... Provided I guess the temperatures are about the same, is that alright?

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    As long as it's not a crazy temp shock I wouldn't worry. I have added 55 degree RO water in the morning because I left my jugs in the back of my car overnight... Yeah I poured slower but fish didn't tweak on me. I have a little more water than 10gallons though. Just pour slowly and temp match as best as u can out of fossil

    AmGuard could be useful but is not necessary. If you have the money to spare I would.. May be hard to find a supplier that carries seachems complete line.. A good reef store should.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Ok. I stopped by my pet store today to have a water sample checked. Results were very high nitrate with no ammonia.

    I've ordered the water kit and Seachem. Unfortunately with Amazon Canada the shipping isn't as fast as I'd like, looking at a week.

    So for now, keep changing water daily?

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the gift! I bow to your experience so i wanted to be sure that i did not give the OP wrong info. - Silbar   Tx for all the help for me and everyone else! - angelcraze2   Rocksor knows cichlids! - Brhino   Can''t give rep points, but great job on the diagnosis/treatment - Boundava   Sending you a geophagus to  tank you for your analytical powers! - discusluv   

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    I hope they used a liquid test. Test strips are not accurate.

    Yes, keep changing water daily. Once you get the test kit, test your tap water so that we know what you are dealing with in terms of water source.

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