Got my 12er going, does it sound good??
I set up my new 12 gallon eclipse acrylic tank Monday with new gravel, Spongebob decor, plastic plants heater, etc. I used the drops to get rid of chlorine, and added Tetra safe start to do the tank cycling for me. Today I brought in water sample to lfs and they said the water is all good to add fish. I wanted neon tetras because I has some as a child and due to the helpful advice from this site :) The lfs guy said they are too fragile for my tank, even though the water is testing fine. He said to wait till Ive had fish in it a while. So I was advised among a few choices. One was danias which some of you advised that 12 gallons is too small for, plus it seems like there is always a bully in the dania group. I decided on guppies. I love guppies, I had them as a kid and even bred them. I decided to get 2 male and 3 female. The lfs guy said he will take all my excess fish back, so there you go. I cant wait to be a new mommy!!!
Anyway, home I go with 5 amazing differently colored, beautiful fish. My DGD was thrilled! we put the bags in the tank to acclimate, then set them free.
At first all 5 stayed to gether in this tiny little huddle. They moved together and all 5 stayed within an area of about 3x 3. I thought that was wierd. I fed them to make them feel better. its been a couple hours now and they are just zooming around like crazy. They swim from the bottom straight up to the surface, and flip back down again. Does this this mean they are having fun or stressed out? They are very active. They also seem to like to swim up against the current. I really hope they are happy and dont die or start harrassing each other. I feel attached to them already. What should I do next, look out for? I feel like a new mother, I cant stop watching them and worrying. Thanks for any advice!
Post some pictures! (I love seeing pictures of people's tanks...)
I'm not sure what the LFS meant by saying the Neon Tetras are too fragile for your tank.
When I first added my fish to my tank, they swam up and down the glass for a week. Not sure why. I have read that the are bored, but I took that with a grain of salt.
Now, they swim around and interact with each other.
Congrats on the new tank!
Basically what he was saying, is that because the tank isn't cycled yet, even with the Tetra Safe Start added to the tank, the Neons will probably die during the cycle. Some fish are tougher than others, if they're used to cycle a tank.
Originally Posted by AllenIsbell
peskypesce. First thing that you really should do, is go back to your LFS and get yourself a test kit, if you can. I think you will find that your tank will still go through a cycle, even if you've added the tetra safe start. The tests that the guy at the LFS did for you came back all clear, because you had nothing in your tank to start with. There was no fish to produce any ammonia, so there will be no nitrites, and therefore there will be no nitrates.
In basic terms, cycling is the process of growing good bacteria in your filter media (the sponge, cotton wool, filter cartridge). The fishes waste will produce ammonia, which kicks off the cycle. Once the ammonia starts, bacteria starts to grow that eats the ammonia and turns it into nitrites. Once the nitrites start, then a bacteria starts to grow to eat the nitrites and turns it into nitrates. After the cycle is complete, your tests should read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and you will be seeing nitrates when you test. As suggested, get yourself an API master test kit, so that you can test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Having that kit will make it so much easier to keep track of what's going on during the cycle.
When you cycle with fish, you have to do water changes to keep the toxic ammonia and nitrites down to safer levels. When you start doing your water changes, do not change the water so that you get a 0 reading of ammonia or nitrites, and do not clean your filter. And make sure you use dechlorinator every water change. Chlorinated water will kill off the good bacteria. You need to have ammonia and nitrites in the water to keep the cycle going, until it completes. You need to keep testing, and only do enough water changes to keep the ammonia between .25ppm and .50ppm. Eventually the ammonia will lower to 0 as the bacteria grows enough to eat it all. The nitrites will do the same thing. They will show up on your tests, they will rise, then lower as the bacteria grows.
A couple of things you can do to help your fishes through the cycle, and to speed the cycle up a little, is to add some more oxygen to the water, and raise the temperature a little if you can. The bacteria that you want to grow thrives on oxygen, and doesn't mind the water a little warmer as well. 27C (80F) is good for Guppies.
Also, I hope that you have a plan for all the babies that you will be getting! Guppies breed like crazy, so you'll need at least 1 other grow out tank, if you're going to be selling them back to the LFS.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark