Jump to content

Suggestions on my first tank


lmhicks101
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

I just set up my 29 gallon fresh water tank 7 days ago. My current water parameters are below. I currently have half gravel and half Fluval Stratum. I'm using the API master test kit and Tetra strips to monitor everyday before and after water changes. This tank is planted as well and I'm getting the below fish. Besides lowering my ammonia to below .25 what else needs to be done with this tank? I'm planning on stocking 12 Cardinals on Wednesday and feeding them after 4 days then waiting a week then feeding them again then twice the next week and so on until each day. I will be getting the other fish the following week or so as I had to special order all these fish because the local stores only do Cichlids and a few others I don't want and Petco doesn't have them either. I plan to water change every day and treat fully with Prime. 

The plants are doing great and no issues I see. I have the 3 snails in it already since day 2. I seeded the tank with Fritz fishless fuel and Fritzyme 700 on the first day and then got filter sponge water from a koi tank at the local fish store the next day and added a few small pieces of raw chicken that I just took out today. The tank topped at 5 ppm ammonia but never touched any Nitrite or raised the Nitrate. I just started doing 50% water changes yesterday and today and dropped it from 5 ppm ammonia to 1.5. Today it got to 2 ppm and I changed and its at 1ppm. I'm also using Prime at every change a little over the normal dose. On day 3 or 4,  I did clean the filter and sponge out in a bucket of tank water just to get the mass amount of dirt from the substrate out and then put them back and I left the tank light on from day 3-5 24/7 to try and get allege and left the window blind open as well but none grew so I went back to 12-14 hours of light.

This tank is for my son's birthday and was a last minute idea as we just went to the aquarium and he absolutely loved them and is so excited for this tank. Otherwise I would of done this the right way and let the tank cycle over several weeks before stocking anything. 
 
Tank 
pH - 6.6
Ammonia - 1 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm 
Nitrate - 5 ppm
GH - 75
KH - below 20
Temp - 76-78
 
 
Tap
pH - 7
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate 5
GH - 150
KH - 30-40
 
Fish
12 Cardinals
6 Rummies
6 Harlequins
3 Pygmy Corries
3 Khuli loaches
2 Hillstream loaches
3 Nerite Snails 
 
Plants 
1 medium Amazon Sword
1 small Flame Sword
1 medium Narrow leaf chain sword with 2 off shoots I replanted
1 Bronze Wendtii
1 Green Wendtii
2 small cups of Java moss split into 4-5 patches
 
Filter
1 medium sponge air filter
1 Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO 20 with a sponge over the intake
1 Fluval small bio ball in the filter
1 small Fluval polishing pad cut up to fit in the filter
1 Carbon filter that came with the filter
 

image0.jpeg

image1.jpeg

Edited by lmhicks101
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@lmhicks101 until you’ve had a nitrite spike that then shifts to nitrates, your tank isn’t cycled properly.  You don’t have enough plants in there to have such low nitrates after having raw chicken in there for 7 days.  Your nitrites are zero and nitrates minimal because you haven’t had time to build up enough beneficial bacteria.  Even with the boost from the koi pond, I don’t think you’re there quite yet.

You should consider adding some ammonia and test daily looking for a nitrite spike that should then shift to a nitrate spike.  If that shift goes all the way from at least 2 ppm ammonia all the way through nitrites to nitrates within 24 hours, you are cycled.

You should not have to do water changes for ammonia during a fishless cycle unless your ammonia gets over 4-5 ppm that can stall your cycle).  The bacterial colonies need to grow sufficiently to do that for you.  If your filter can’t do a 2 ppm ammonia to zero  ammonia within 24 hours you are NOT cycled or safe for fish yet.

I suspect you are close, but this is something you can’t rush.  You have to get those bacteria established.  Getting stuff from the koi pond was smart and shortened the cycle, but you still have to let those bacterial colonies grow.

I suspect the raw chicken had your ammonia so high that it may have actually stalled your cycle.  Plus raw chicken like that can add bacteria you DON’T want to the tank, so that isn’t a way I typically recommend you start the cycle.  That’s a bit much.  A little fish food is safer or buy pure ammonia.

You're probably past the worst of the cycle now, but you need to stop water changes, get your ammonia back up just a little, then see how your biofiltration handles it.

Edited by Odd Duck
Correct typo.
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks nice. You will want to familiarize yourself with quarantine procedures (if you have not already) for fish. Here is a link. Coop also has other great qt videos including a quick affordable qt set up by Irene. Make sure to space out your fish additions after your cycle has completed so beneficial bacteria has enough time to grow more to accommodate each addition. 

 

Edited by Guppysnail
Forgot the link 🤣
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Odd Duck I appreciate the advise. I had already took out most of the chicken but had a tiny piece still floating around and just took it out. I tested this morning and I’m still at 1 ppm ammonia and no nitrite so I put some more fish food in and dosed 1ppm with of the fishless fuel.
 

I think you’re right about the chicken not helping and was kinda worried about the ammonia being high but no nitrites yet. I didn’t think it was the plants that was doing anything. 
 

@Guppysnail thank you for the link. I picked up Ich-x, paraclense, and maracyn from the shop. Should be getting it today or tomorrow. I’m having the fish store hold the other fish for my for at least a week and quarantine them and I’ll dose them again when I get them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would agree with odd duck, it doesn't sound like your tank is cycled yet. I'd aim to get ammonia levels to about 2ppm and set the temperature to between 26 and 30 degrees C (not sure what that is in f) as this is the best range for bb growth. Keep an eye on the PH as when it drops below about 6.5 it will change to the less toxic ammonium which will also affect the cycle, if possible avoid doing anymore water changes (will take longer to cycle with water changes). 

12 cardinal tetra is going to be to many to add to anew tank in one go IMO. I would suggest not adding more than 6 at a time and then leaving for 1-2 weeks before adding more fish, depending on water perramiters. 

Something else you can try is maybe adding a few fast growing stem and floating plants. 

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/5/2021 at 12:34 PM, lmhicks101 said:

@Intuos what plants would you suggest? I got some root tabs to put in last night. The tank has a bottom layer of gravel then a layer of soil then gravel on top in some areas. 

Water Lettuce is a nice floating plant that's easy to manage.  I got mine on ebay because I had a hard time sourcing it locallly. It came with all the roots melted off, but it bounced back really well.  Because it's pretty big, it's easier to take out some when it overgrows. 

I have had really good luck with Hygrophilia Augustifolia as an easy stem plant.  

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to the store and got a couple small pieces of Anacharis and a lobelia cardinalis as everything else you guys suggested they didn’t have. After testing again I got the following. 
 

pH - 6.6

Ammonia - 1.5 even though it was a 2 this morning 

Nitrite - 0 

Nitrates - 5

The fish came in today so I paid for them and the owner is going to keep them for a couple weeks but I’m going to bring home 6 cardinals as they’re tiny right now and dose with prime each day and not change the water. There’s plenty of food at the bottom for them to eat so not gonna feed them for a week. I also got a large bag of old filter water again and poured into the filter again. Fingers crossed  

 

088B3B44-B04B-4DD4-A929-B9B92BE18C0D.jpeg

7E4B7FFD-CFFA-489C-8C2E-31E09CC4D52D.jpeg

DC0D288C-9AA4-4BAB-9E70-BC02A4F7ACF1.jpeg

  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck, I hope it goes well for you. The best thing about those plants is that you will easily be able to propagate them when they grow and have more plants for free. The cardinalis can be made to grow really bushy. The anacharis grows really quickly and once it has doubled in length I would cut it in half and replant the trimming. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone else has covered the cycling issues, but I'd like to offer a stocking opinion, if you're open. I think maybe you're overcrowding the mid-water schooling fish, and you might want to consider more bottom and top dwellers. I'd bump up the school of pygmy corydoras to 6 to 8 when you get around to it, and then choose Kuhli Loaches *OR* hillstream loaches to go along with them. Nerites are fine. I'm not sure I'd do cardinals, rummynoses, and harlequins. maybe choose a max of 2 schoolers and add a centerpiece, or 1 schooler and a pair of eye-catching fish. I just worry that the schooling fish will feel a bit too crowded with those numbers in a 29 gallon.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@lmhicks101 the carbon is up to you, the only time I really use it is if I'm trying to get meds out of the water after a treatment. If you have any way of getting actual media from the LFS, that would almost insta-cycle your tank but I would definitely try to add more media to your filter instead of the carbon.

One suggestion I would have is that you may want to remove some of the food you have in there...it seems like a lot and doesn't seem to be breaking down very quickly - if you have flake, that usually breaks down fairly quickly, or try crushing the blood worms before you throw them in (?)

To add to your list of possible plants - I've had really good luck with rotala and Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus in my tank (also running a 29 with stratum) PSO grows really fast and my schooling fish love it!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/5/2021 at 7:24 PM, lmhicks101 said:

@laritheloud would 12 cardinals with 6 harlequins for schooling. 4 pygmies, 1 Borneo hillstream, 3 Khuli, and 1 beta? I love odd ball fish so that’s why I have the loaches. Also someone told me to get rid of the carbon filter and just load more media. Should I? 

I think you'll have happier fish if you have a bigger group for the pygmies and Khuli loaches.  Maybe something like

12 cardinals, 6 harlequins, 6-8 pygmies, 1 hillstream, 6+ kuhlis, and a betta.  Ideallly I think one schooling fish would make your maintenence less but if you cant choose, the bioload for pygmies and kuhlis is very low, and they really like being in groups, so I'd still consider increasing their numbers.  One think about is that they're not out a whole lot if they don't have plenty of cover and friends (or at least for mine--a recent water change.  That makes them go nuts for some reason in my tank.)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I got the fish and will dose with prime. I’ve been told that every dose of prime negates 1ppm of ammonia. My tank is at 2 so I’m double dipping. It lasts 24-72 hours. After 24 hours do I do a water change or dose again until I see nitrites and the. Nothing but nitrates?
 

Also got another cardinal plant and leaving it in the rock wool as none of the plants suggested here are at my store. 

 

Current water tests

ammonia - 2 ppm 

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrates - 10 ppm - went up 5 

pH - 6.8 - went up .2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...