New Tank Advice Please

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New Tank Advice Please

Postby karenrose » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:21 pm

Hi this is my first post so hello to everyone.

I have a new tank that is maturing (fishless),
I have had the tank 3 weeks now and am using API 5 in 1 test strips + API ammonia test strip.
my readings have peaked but dont seem to get to zero,
my local supplier says my water is still not good enough for fish. :(

I have done 1/3 water changes weekly
I used Tetra Aqua Safe on the tap water
And added Nutrafin Biological Cycle as per the instructions
I have also added live bacteria between the filters layers

My tank is a Juwel Rekford 96L

It has a gravel substrate
a piece of Bogwood
rocks forming a cave
3 moss balls
5 live plants
3 faux plants

Readings are:

Ammonia 0
PH Level 6.5
General Hardness 120
Carbon Hardness 120
Nitrate 40 ppm
Nitrite 0.5 ppm

I am hoping to get the following fish:

Glowlight Tertas
Mollies
Cory Dorias
and maybe a Bristlenose Plec

Can you tell me if that is a good combination and the sort of numbers of fish i can get,
and should i add anything else to this community. :?:

Sorry to be long winded but this is my first tank.

Karerose
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Postby sunny23uk » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:10 pm

Hello and welcome :)

It's nice to see someone taking the time to seek advce before rushing headlong into setting a tank up. So far you have been doing a good job too. :)

I would like to recommend that you get hold of either some liquid or tablet tests for the nitrite & ammonia, as they tend to be much more accurate than the dip tests. You might find that your nitrite reading is better with one of those test kits.

Have you continued to 'feed' your tank through it's cycle? If so, what with?

As for your fish choices, the first thing I would say is that your water isn't really suited for mollies, as they prefer harder more alkaline water to thrive in, whereas yours is relatively soft with a more acidic pH. This is much more suited to South American or South East Asian fish.

This means, the tetras, corydoras and bristlenose catfish will be fine and you might even get them breeding if your water conditions remain good. One thing to consider though, is that corydorus catfish are more sensitive and you should wait at least another 2-3 months before adding them to your tank.

Can you also check that your gravel is fairly smooth and rounded, as rough, course gravel can cause damage to the corydorus' barbels.

Initially the bristlenose catfish is a good one to start with as they are pretty hardy and will tolerate the slightly poorer water conditions that can occur with a newly cycled tank.

Other alternatives to the mollies would be gouramis or rainbowfish which are generally of a similar size to mollies.

What sort of numbers are you thinking of adding?

Hope this helps to start with.
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Postby karenrose » Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:39 am

Hi thanks for the reply,

Sorry to seem daft but I don't understand what you mean by 'feed' the tank through its cycle? ? ?

As for the amount of fish to add I have a rekford 96l any suggestions? ? ?

Thanks
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Postby chaoz » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:47 am

feed the tank basicly means add food although theres no fish,this produces ammonia as it breaks down which supplies food for bacteria to grow.
as for fish it all depends on what fish/type you want
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Postby sunny23uk » Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:00 pm

Sorry - feeding the tank, simply means to continue adding a food source for the bacteria through the cycle, not just at the start. So you would continue adding a small amount of flake every day, so that it breaks down and the bacteria can grow and start to convert it.

Initially, I would add one bristlenose catfish and then a small shoal (5-6) of midwater fish, like glowlights. Then monitor your water chemistry as it's possible you might see some of the levels rise initially as the bacteria grows to cope with the new stocking levels, but if you feed lightly every other day, then you should keep things under control, along with weekly water changes.

Then in 10-14 days time, you can add a few more fish, possibly another small shoal of tetras. Once these have settled in and if your tank's water quality is stable, then after about 4-6 weeks, you could add a group of corydorus catfish. :)
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Postby karenrose » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:55 pm

Thank you for all your advice, it is greatly appreciated :D

I now have

6 mollies ( 3 orange and 3 dalmation)
5 glowlight tetras
2 panda corydoras
also 1 apple snail (donation from a friend)


Things are going great. My water readings are ammonia 0. Nitrates 0.1 and nitrites 5 ppm.

I am doing 25% water changes weekly, I have a mix of live and artificial plants.

I am loving having fish, its the best thing I have ever done.

I am hoping to get a bristlenosed plec and some neon tetras in the next few weeks (no rush though).

Thanks for all your advice I am sure it will keep me a float (!groan) in the next few weeks

:lol:
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Postby Angel Fish » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:58 pm

karenrose wrote:My water readings are ammonia 0. Nitrates 0.1 and nitrites 5 ppm.


:shock: I hope you've got those the wrong way round?

(NitrItes need to be 0, NitrAtes need to be below 40 :wink: )
All the advice I give is based on my own personal 30 years of experience.
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Postby karenrose » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:12 pm

Doh!! :oops:

I do my best, but there is just no helping some people!! :lol:

Yes it is Nitrates 5 and Nitrites 0.1!!!
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