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08-14-2012, 01:47 PM #1
First cycle - learning from my mistakes!
I'm new to aquaticcommunity.com and I need a bit of advice. I set up my first tank a little over 2 weeks ago. It's an Aqueon Evolve 8 (which is really more like 7 gallons), freshwater tank set up in my office. I'm using Flourite substrate, driftwood, and I put in some live plants about 3 days after I first filled the tank with water (they are growing excellent, by the way). The aquarium light is on a 10-hour timer. One week after first setting up, I added 3 guppies. Ultimately, I want 6-7 fish but I knew I should add fish a few at a time. Yesterday, one of the guppies died - the other 2 seem to be doing fine.
Here's where I think I made a few mistakes. Right before I left the office on Friday, I put in a self-feeding tablet for them to nibble on over the weekend, and it was completely gone when I got back yesterday, so I'm afraid there is a LOT of uneaten food in the aquarium now. I'll not be doing that again. Second, I did my first water change yesterday (about 40%), and I rinsed out the filter, so I'm pretty sure I killed any bacteria that were growing. I tested the water with a test strip (I know...I should really invest in a liquid kit!), and all the parameters were normal, although it did not test for ammonia.
Do you think I added too many fish at once? Did the ammonia level get too high because of the self-feeding tablet? The fish that died didn't show any signs of illess other than just getting weaker and weaker. He died right after the water change, so I guess the stress was too much for him in his weakened state. Like I said, though, the other two are fine.
So, until I can get a liquid test kit, what do you recommend? Should I do daily water changes, or leave it alone for a day or two? Also, is it better to let the fish go hungry over the weekend than risk overfeeding them?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Last edited by AllieCat; 08-14-2012 at 01:59 PM.