03-06-2008, 04:12 PM #31
Maybe my tank is finally starting to build some bacteria. Out of 10 I have 3 left and they are still schooling together and acting normal. They seem to be in pretty good health, so hopefully these 3 Cardinal's will survive.180 Gallon
3 Neon Blue Dwarf Gouramis
10 Harlequin Rasboras
10 Cardinal Tetras
5 Leopard Cories
3 Black Kuhli Loachs
1 Albino Bushynose Pleco
04-03-2008, 11:31 PM #32
I recently established/cycled a 10 gallon tank with six Cardinals and they all made it (woohoo). Had I found this site a week earlier I would have done a fishless cycle, but it is what it is.
I'm positive that part of my success was dumb luck, but since I've been on this site it has become clear that the live plants I added probably played a very big role in speeding up my cycle (and saving my fish). The plants I added came from my lfs (local fish store) and they were in established tanks (i.e. they already had lots of benificial bacteria on them). I added them at the same time as my fish AND I FED MY FISH SPARINGLY (half a flake per fish every OTHER day). Less food means less fish waste (poop, etc.), less waste means lower ammonia levels. The fish gave me enough ammonia to start the process but because of the bacteria from the plants and because the fish weren't using the toilet as much, my cycle was faster and safer than it might have been (11 days). You also want to avoid cleaning ANYTHING while you cycle (you don't want to vacum up the bacteria).
In your situation, you might add some more live plants. I know you said you already have two, but in an 18 gallon tank you could add more (from established tanks at a reputable fish store) and this could give you a little extra bacteria boost. What kind of lights do you have in the hood? I chose Anubias Nana and Java Fern because they are easy to care for and don't require heavy lighting.
They're also some places may even give or sell you a cup of gravel from an established tank. You can put it in a cloth bag and hang in inside your tank. This can also give you a boost of beneficial bacteria that may speed things up.
The beauty of this website is that you will always be able to find TONS of people who know what they are doing (not me)...and often a few that have JUST been through a very similar scenario.
I rambled so here is a quick recap.
1) Look into adding more plants from established tanks (get some that are easy to care for and don't require special lighting). I'd suggest Anubias Nana and Java Fern (you'll want to anchor the fern to a rock or some wood).
2) Don't overfeed your fish. I used 1/2 a flake of food per fish every OTHER day. (this along with more plants will help your ammonia levels).
3) DO your water changes but DON'T vacum your gravel or clean anything! (you don't want to get rid of any bacteria).
4) If you have a reputable fish store in your area, see if they will give or sell you a cup of gravel from an established tank. Put in a cloth bag and hang in inside your tank (benificial bacteria baby!!!)
5) Don't panic...you are in the right place and we will get you through this10 gallon planted
* 6 Cardinal Tetras
* 3 Amano Shrimp
* Java Ferns
* Anubias Nana
* Crypto Lutea
* Java Moss