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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 06:40 pm:       

Okay, I am feeling like a beginner all over again! I am on my second fish tank. I started with a 10 gallon over a year ago. I enjoyed it so much that I progressed to a 29 gallon. My one pleco, three swords and two zebras made the transition. Then, the zebras started eating each others tails. One died and the other followed. Next, I added six Harlequin Rasboras and a Gold Apple/Mystery snail to the community. The swords started trying to attack the Rasboras and the snail. So,a friend adopted them. Everything seemed wonderful for a day or so. Now, my pleco just hangs in one spot all the time. He used to hide in his cave but no longer seems interested. The water surface has a little bit of an oily look to it also. Any thoughts?
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8384
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 06:46 pm:       

how long ago did you set up the 29? is it a new filter? Did you test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH?

How often have you done water changes? how much water each time? frequency of changes (ie., weekly, monthly)?

Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? http://badmanstropicalfish.com/discus/messages/27480/42904.html?1094990785
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 07:21 pm:       

I set the 29 up about six months ago. Same filter that came with the kit. It is a Whisper Power Filter with Bio-Bag disposable filter cartridges. Current cartridge has been in less than a week. Tested for chlorine, nitrite, ph, and hardness. Everything was good. I change water about every 3-4 weeks...half the water. Floyd (the pleco) just seems listless. He is decent sized...7.5-8 inches.
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8385
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 07:37 pm:       

Good is not really a quantifiable number we can put our arms around to try to help. Exact numbers might help us see what is really going on.

Your tank needs to have water changed weekly--about half of it.

When you mention cartridge, do you mean you throw away the biological media/filter when you clean the filter? the tank may have been going through a mini cycle.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 3
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 08:22 pm:       

Wow. I have never changed the water that often. My fish must hate me. How often should I change the filter cartridge? It is a filter bag that you add activated carbon to and slip on the plastic frame. This whole thing slides down into my filter.

It is amazing how little info I managed to get from my local aquarium shop. I have ceased to trust their input. When I set up my 10 gallon 18 months ago, I went to Jack's Aquarium. I told them that I knew NOTHING about fishkeeping. They helped me stock my tank. Following their recommendation, I had a pleco, a male sword, a male lyre-tail dalmation molly, a male platy and four zebra danios...all in a 10 gallon. The molly basically bullied the platy to death. Jack's let me return the molly. By that point, I had started researching on-line. I knew that my male sword needed two females. So, I added those. Things were good after that. My other beef with the shop was that they did not tell me how huge Floyd would grow. I am worried about what I will do with him when he outgrows my 29 gallon. Frustrating.
"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 08:25 pm:       

Oh! Sorry, I rambled and didn't answer part of your question. My Mardel test strip only has ranges. The Chlorine was less than 1 ppm. The Nitrite is less than .5 ppm. The Total Hardness is 120 ppm. The pH is between 6.8 and 7.2. Does this help?
"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8389
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 09:33 pm:       

So, lol, you babble like I do. We should make good company.

If it is a common pleco he should have outgrown the 29 gallon tank by now. My common plecos take about 6 months to move into the 12-14" range when I purchase the wee ones at the lfs. You might think about rehoming him soon and maybe getting one of the smaller varieties of pleco.

Changing water once a week with at least 50% of the water changed will show a dramatic change in the growth rates and activity level of your tank--as well as the health of the fish living there.

Changing water once a month at a 50% rate can shock the fish into disease and/or death.

Many of us here do not use carbon in our filters (http://badmanstropicalfish.com/discus/messages/27480/41630.html?1116359415) . So, we do not have the worry about how to change it. In your case I would simply rinse the filter media in water removed from the tank during water changes. And then place new media after the old media and pull out the old media a week later. that way you have allowed the bacteria to flow into the new media and grow for a week. But, i would only dump the carbon from the old media and then return teh filter pad itself to the position you pulled it out of. but most helpful here would be to know what filter you have.

by the way. I would do another water change tomorrow afternoon--or tonight if you have the time. Freshwater fish love freshwater.

And, it may be your pleco is being a pleco. Those big dogs sit unmoving in one spot for what seems like days sometimes. he has no need of a cave if there are no other fish about--the entire tank is his cave.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 11:13 pm:       

Okay. Tomorrow will be a water change day. I also wrapped some dark, leafy lettuce around a rock and dropped it next to ole Floyd. Hopefully, he will respond to the treat. The only other residents of the tank are currently the six Harlequin Rasboras and the snail. Once I get things settled, do you think three guppies would be a good addition?

What is the best type of filter? Are products like Cycle a good idea?

Thank you for your patience and wisdom, Sully!
"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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April
Advanced Member
Username: jumpingtadpoles

Post Number: 1312
Registered: 07-2005


Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 11:27 pm:       

She said she has a whisper power filter, I have one too, very good filter, You can purchase quilting batton, in sheets, from walmart, or a simular place to replace what is on the cartridges, for cheaper. Just wrap it around it, and secure the clips on the top.

Products like cycle are pretty much crap, if you are interested in establishing a bacteria count in your tank, for the proper survival of your fish, Bio-spira is the way to go.

You'll need a water conditioner that removes chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals.

You may want to purchase more accurate water testing supplies, that test individually. This way you can understand what is going on in your tank. The most important thing IMO is my nitrate test, it can help me understand when I need to change the water. You'll really want to buy a nitrite, ammonia and nitrate test. pH is the thing I test the least. Maybe once a month.

Hmm, I ran out of things to write
Dream big, celebrate life, and never stop learning.
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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 7
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 11:38 pm:       

Thanks for posting on the filter. So, do you put anything inside the batting? Is the carbon necessary?

Also, another newbie question: What is MTS? Is it a snail thing?
"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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April
Advanced Member
Username: jumpingtadpoles

Post Number: 1313
Registered: 07-2005


Posted on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 12:23 am:       

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/discus/messages/27480/41630.html?1116359415

No I do not use carbon, because I simply couldn't afford a product with such limits to it. If you medicate it's recommended to remove the medicines after treatment is over, with carbon, but next to that it has little use for me, and many other members here. I just use the batton, and squeeze it in dirty tank water, in a bucket, when I change water. It provides biological filteration, and mechanical filteration, removing all small particles. It keeps my tanks sparkling clean, and I've used polyester batton since this last summer. Make sure it's polyester, so that it doesn't decompose, adding to bad water quality, since it's the opposite of what you want the outcome to be, lol.
That black foam sponge thing also holds in the good bacteria, never get rid of it/them, just swish in tank water every week as well.

MTS in this hobby means two things:

1) Multiple Tank Syndrome

2) malaysian trumpet snails

Personally i am a victim of MTS, and MTD (multiple tank deprivation) I only have three tanks running, my biggest is a 25g, and I have a 90g sitting in the garage waiting to be transformed into a paludarium
Dream big, celebrate life, and never stop learning.
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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 05:37 pm:       

Okay, wise and sage fish advisors...
I emptied the carbon out of my filter and rinsed it rather than replace it. Fish population is:
1 clown pleco
1 cory catfish
5 Harlequin Rasboras (1 died)
3 Green Cobra guppies (1 male, 2 female)
1 Golden Apple/Mystery snail
Water looks good. The Clown Pleco isn't nearly as efficient at algae removal as Ole Floyd was. (Floyd the ginormous pleco was rehomed by my LFS.) I have one bushy fake plant, a cave and a jalopy for cover. The temp is 74 degrees. Am I doing everything that I should be? Thanks for all the good tips.
"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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John D
Regular Member
Username: john_d

Post Number: 408
Registered: 02-2005


Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 06:00 pm:       

Hi Ellie. Back to your filter for a second. I bought my 29 gallon tank as a kit and it came with a Whisper filter, so I'm assuming we have the same one. There should be 2 cartridges in the filter - the white mesh bag one that the carbon goes in, and a black 'foam' type cartridge. The white one is safe to change as you see fit (notice I said as you see fit, and not based on what the box says ;) ). However, you should never change the black foam one. This is where the majority of the bacteria that keep your filter cycled reside. At most, if it starts to get gummed up, take it out of the filter and lightly rinse/squeeze it out in a bucket of water that you've just drained from the tank after a water change.
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Ellie Bryant
New Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 10
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 09:39 pm:       

Ack! I have no black foam-type cartridge, just the white mesh bag with the black plastic frame that slides down inside. Can I buy just the foam part?

When I first purchased this tank, my LFS told me to use Cycle every week. Do I need to use Bio-Spira that often?

I have been feeding Nutrafin Max Color Enhancing Flake Food (one small pinch, 2X per day). Do I also need to drop algae wafers in for my Clown Pleco? He isn't even eating the algae on sides. I also have some TetraMin Tropical Tablets The Rich Mix for bottom feeders. Should I be putting one of these in each day for the Cory? I hope these brands/types are healthy for my fishies.

As always...thank you, thank you!


"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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Kim
Advanced Member
Username: kimrin

Post Number: 2285
Registered: 01-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 09:45 pm:       

those are the fish in your 29? that's not bad at all, might even add two cories so your one has friends. I do believe clown plecos need to gnaw on wood. He'd love a piece of driftwood. :-)

keep up those wonderful weekly water changes at 50% and you shouldn't have any trouble with that stocking level. Remember that the pleco and snail poop ALOT. Do you have a gravel vac? Vacuuming the gravel will go a long way towards water quality and appearance.
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Ellie Bryant
Junior Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 11
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 09:57 pm:       

Okay, I will add a piece of driftwood. That won't bother the guppies or rasboras?

I do have a gravel vac. It is one of my favorite toys. Love the way it hooks right up to my utility tub faucet.

Kim, any other stocking suggestions?
"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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Kim
Advanced Member
Username: kimrin

Post Number: 2289
Registered: 01-2004


Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 10:21 pm:       

I think if you add a couple more cories your stocking would be complete. That's just me though...
the gups and rasboras won't mind the wood at all, they'll like it too and will peck at it.

Bio-Spira is used in one or two doses, after the tank is broken in you don't need to add anymore. You're probably okay if the tank has been running for 6 months. Even if you don't have the best filter media there should be a decent bacterial colony coating the rest of the tank. Just don't dump media and clean the walls and decor at the same time! Did that once :-(
I think Whisper/Tetra/Second Nature, whatever they're calling themselves ....make a cartridge you can buy with the foam insert but I know for sure that Top Fin from petsmart has one that will fit. It's got a thin blue sponge, not much of one unfortunately but it's something.
You can add a layer of batting. They just clip into a plastic frame.

edit: well,on further thought, maybe some more rasbora or a male gup or two... :-)
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Ellie
Junior Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 12
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 11:07 pm:       

Well, I have adopted two more corys and (here's a shock)one of my guppies had babies. Seven or maybe eight are hanging in there. They are at least one week old. Hopefully, I didn't suck any up with my gravel vac, last week! Yikes. I added a small piece of driftwood. I would like to have a couple more rasboras. I will have to see how many guppies I end up with! Thanks to all for the good advice. It really helps.

"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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