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Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: archive:
August 20, 2001 - 05:01 pm
After reading a few messages, I realize that I have fallen
into the same trap that many beginners have... I listened
to the Pet store worker and took his advice "hook, line
and sinker". I bought a 20 gallon tank and MANY fish
(4 black skirt tetras, 5 small neon tetras, 2 gold crescent
platys, 2 med. sunset platys, 2 blue gourami, 2 neon sword
tails, 2 tiger barbs and lastly 2 golden barbs). Just
after I bought and setup the tank, I got a computer. Now
I am finding out everything I have done wrong. Since I already
have too many fish, is it possible that I maintain this
many? I have lost one of my Gold Crescent Platy's two
days after the tank was setup. I don't seem to notice
any of the other fish are under stress, but I am a novice.
I am not sure if the pet store allows returns for overcrowding?
The person assisting me there said nothing about me buying
too many fish, and he sold me the tank on the same visit...
I made him well aware that I am a beginner at this. The
tank kit I bought came with a Whisper filter, and a light
with hood. Additionally, I have 25 lbs. of gravel, 3 plastic
plants, a large stone for the fish to hide in, and 2 tall
thin sprigs of live plants. I have a water test kit for
PH, and it appears to be good at a level of 7.0. My water
temperature is ranging from 76 - 78 degrees farenheit. My
main question besides the crowding problem, is do I need
to buy an air pump and airstone? I know little about these
but see the site has information on what ones to buy, just
not the necessity. The pet store man said nothing about
needing this. Also, what water test kits are entirely necessary
for me to insure the proper water for my fish? At this time
I do not have a heater, but the pet store man said I won't
have to have that for a few months until the weather is
colder. I really appreciate that you all are here, and look
forward to your assistance.
August 20, 2001 - 06:00 pm
Deb get a heater immediately. Unless your house temperature
stays about 76-78 or you have a heated room that your tank
is in and the temp doesn't drop at night the temperature
fluctuations will stress and kill your fish. I would try
and take some of your fish back and shop at a different
LFS. You should cycle a tank with only about three fish(it
takes about 4 weeks to safely cycle a tank and then you
should only add a couple of fish at a time over succeeding
weeks). The reason your fish are okay as you haven't
fed them yet and they have't been in the tank long enought
to produce waste. In a couple of weeks things will go downhill
fast. Go to the main board and read the articles Basics
and Genesis. Some of the other reader submitted articles
are also very good. ASAP Get test kits for ammonia, nitrate
and nitrites and forget about the ph for now. First your
ammonia levels will rise in the tank(probably just after
your fish guarantee runs out) and many of your fish
may die since the ammonia level will just be too much. There
are things you can do if you have just a few too many, but
you have way too many fish for a new tank! Maybe your 4
black skirt might have been okay, but sadly there just isn't
much that will help to save them all. A whisper filter is
adequate filtration with a 'properly' setup tank
and you don't really need an airstone. If you look at
some of our archived posts you will find you are not the
only person to be put in this terrible position by bad advice
from a LFS store.
August 20, 2001 - 08:12 pm
Deb if you look under fish statistics on Badman's main
board there is a small section called good fish/bad fish
that will give you the best idea of what to keep. Your golden
barb would be first choice for cycling and possibly those
black skirt tetra second. But not the two tiger barb as
they may shred gourami's fins eventually and are not
a very good choice for your tank. Complain loudly at the
fish store or donate some of the fish to a friend.The store
was trying to get you to spend money.
August 20, 2001 - 09:04 pm
Thank you so much for all of your help. I'm off to the
store in the morning to complain LOUDLY! I'll do more
homework tonight. I really appreciate it!
August 21, 2001 - 12:21 pm
I HATE piss-poor LFS! That just really burns me as it shows
1) they have NO concren for the customer and 2)
they have no concern for the health of the animals they
After my own experiences (thank god my lfs was not quite
as bad as deb's....they were just misinformed) with
my lfs I am CONVINCED I need to open a lfs of my own (maybe
hire some of you folks here??) just to give the ONLY
lfs in my town competition....
deb....good luck, and stick around here as the people here
are GREAT!!!! they have helped me where my lfs just fed
me mis information.
August 21, 2001 - 01:26 pm
I like to stay away from places where the person helping
you with fish just finished unloading a skid of dogfood.
August 21, 2001 - 06:51 pm
Well, believe it or not, the suggestion I got from my LFS
is to let them die off until they get to the right amount
of fish. That is why I wouldn't sell them back my fish.
Be leary of PETCO! Luckily I have a couple of friends to
adopt my fish out to. I bought a heater and installed it
today. I also tested the water for ammonia, nitrate and
nitrites. It appears to be okay at this point. I'll
keep checking. I am going to keep the 4 black skirt tetras,
the 2 golden barb and my two gold crescent platy's.
OH NO, after taking a quick peak at the tank, I just noticed
a very small fish. Guess what, my gold crescents are parents.
I will try to set them up in a separate area of the tank.
Wow, this is something I didn't plan on. Oh well, we'll
see how it goes. Gotta go deal with that right now. Thanks
again for all of your help!
August 21, 2001 - 09:38 pm
Deb keep track of the ammonia readings if the fish act like
they are having trouble breathing and hang near the surface
it may be rising. This will be the first thing that happens
in the cycling. I hope your read about the nitrogen cycle
in the genesis article because that really tells you what
to look for. Make sure you use a conditioner in the water
to break the chloramine bond and treat for chloride. They
do sell tank dividers if you want to try separate the platys,
chances are some of the other fish will eat the fry(they
may have trouble surviving in a tank that is cycling also).
Be VERY careful not to overfeed as any wasted food will
also contibute to the ammonia. I am glad you found homes
for your fish! Keep us posted on the readings you get.
August 23, 2001 - 03:50 pm
Thanks again for all of the information you have given me!
This IS a great site!!! I'm glad I found it! UPDATE:
The fish seem to be doing fine. My ammonia readings are
0. My Nitrite reading was 2.5, and then went to 0. All the
fish seem to be happy and swimming all around. My Platy
fry seem to be doing fine believe it or not (there are
13 of them!). I have them in a breeder box. I am so
thankful it happened the way it did, (the platy's
were getting their fins chewed by the tiger barbs, so I
moved them temporarily into a small fish bowl until I could
figure out what to do. Within minutes of being in the bowl,
mama had the babies! How ironic!) I have been unable
to get the fish to my friends yet, but they seem to be doing
fine as is for now. I still plan on adopting them out, but
it hasn't come together yet. Hopefully within a few
days. OH, I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING... I am feeding the
fry with crushed spirulina flakes. I found another LFS,
and this was their advice for me. They said this would be
easier than doing brine shrimp. I can't believe all
of the fry are alive and swimming around. They have grown
a little bit, and are more active. My question is... in
the breeder box, how do I deal with uneaten food? Do I just
leave it on the bottom of the box? I think I overfed them
the first feeding (I haven't fed them again yet).
Also, if (God forbid) any of the fry die, do I leave
them in the breeder box? If I have to remove anything from
the box, I am afraid of hurting the existing fry. Any suggestions
would be welcome. Thanks again!
August 23, 2001 - 04:26 pm
Deb get a net breeder(they are pretty cheap). I
used a breeder box and my platy grew up stunted and deformed.
There is not enough water circulating in those plastic boxes.
If the fish don't have clean water they will either
die or be deformed and yes get rid of your leftover food
by scooping it out with a net or sucking up with a turkey
baster.Livebearing fish are big enough to eat finely crused
flake. Please try to reduce your fish load with your added
babies being fed the water parameters will get worse.
August 25, 2001 - 05:19 pm
I now have another problem.... I just came home and noticed
the bottom 1/2 of the heater is covered in white powdery
stuff. What could it be? Any ideas?
August 26, 2001 - 09:44 pm
Sorry Deb was gone for the weekend. It may be just some
mineral deposits...calcium carbonate? or such. I sometimes
get it on my filters and bathtub for that matter. How new
is your heater? Make sure it doesn't have any cracks
or water in it. Sometimes the cheaper ones break easily..I
replaced all my heaters with Tronic's. Ebo's are
also good...thicker glass and they are quality heaters.
I kept a couple of the cheaper ones for a QT tank. Anyways
yours should be okay as long as it's not cracked and
is maintaining the temperature.