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Fluval Roma 90
October 24, 2013
4:51 pm
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NinjaShrek
New Member
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
October 24, 2013
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Hi All,

I am returning to the world of fishkeeping after not having any since my family kept them about 25yrs ago. How times change. 

You will laugh, but back then we used to do complete water changes every couple of weeks, completely cleaning the gravel and filters. Looking at all the information now its a wonder they survived. However they did and we successfully bread Discus, Severums etc. 

Returning to the hobby I was unaware of all the new advice etc and our local LFS was happy to suggest we did a fish in cycle, adding the helpful bacteria which came with the tank. I started with a stock of 6 Zebra Danios, but lost 4, I believe down to ammonia spikes in the tank. The other 2 are doing well and have grown, become more colourful and active.

I feel sorry for putting them through a cycle. Going forward with any new tank I would be doing a fishless cycle now I know more about it. I have now prepared myself for the long haul of waiting for a complete cycle and adding fish bit by bit. 

My questions are as follows:-

1. My Levels (using the API) master kit have sat at the following levels for a couple of weeks now

ph:- 8.2
Ammonia - 0.50ppm
Nitrite - 0.25ppm
Nitrate - 40ppm
Temp - 24oC
Water Hardness - Very Hard.

I am not adding any more fish until I have 0 ammonia and nitrites for at least 3 days, but I am concerned these levels aren't changing. I also to a 20 - 30% water change every 2 - 3 days. 

Will these change suddenly or is it a matter of waiting it out?

2. My final stock list will be something like the following, do this look ok or would you recommend changes:-

99% Stock Level from aqadvisor
5 x Leapord Cory or similiar
1 x Dwarf Gourami
6 x Zebra Danios
6 x Cardinal Tetras or similar

I keep going back and forth on this, but trying to get something for all levels and 1 main fish as the centre piece. 

This is how it looks currently. Fake plants for now, but will eventually add real plants. 

IMG_00000202.jpgImage Enlarger

I look forward to hearing from you. I am pleased to be back to fish keeping and I am hooked, just a steep learning curve to go through. 

Regards

Scott

October 24, 2013
11:37 pm
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KittyKat
Norwich, UK
Member
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 22, 2008
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Hi Scott,

NinjaShrek said
I am returning to the world of fishkeeping after not having any since my family kept them about 25yrs ago. How times change.

Indeed they have :)

NinjaShrek said
You will laugh, but back then we used to do complete water changes every couple of weeks, completely cleaning the gravel and filters.

Unfortunately, this is still not uncommon…

NinjaShrek said
My questions are as follows:-
1. My Levels (using the API) master kit have sat at the following levels for a couple of weeks now
[…]
I am not adding any more fish until I have 0 ammonia and nitrites for at least 3 days, but I am concerned these levels aren't changing. I also to a 20 - 30% water change every 2 - 3 days. 
Will these change suddenly or is it a matter of waiting it out?

A couple of questions right back at you here: what are your tap water parameters? Are the ammonia and nitrite increasing if you don't do water changes? Are you dechlorinating properly?

Also, do you have a reading for your hardness?

NinjaShrek said
2. My final stock list will be something like the following, do this look ok or would you recommend changes:-
99% Stock Level from aqadvisor

Please don't use that website, it is very inaccurate.

NinjaShrek said
5 x Leapord Cory or similiar
1 x Dwarf Gourami
6 x Zebra Danios
6 x Cardinal Tetras or similar

Ignoring water hardness, in my personal experience, schooling fish do best in groups of 10-15+ per species and I consider 6 per species an absolute minimum. The Corys, danios and tetras that you name are all schooling fish.

Having said that, keep in mind that your tank has a footprint of only 60×35 cm. This is quite a small tank and while it can take any of a large selection of species, I would not call the above as suitable (for the most part) because they are all quite large and active.

The other point is that two of those are softwater species and you have hard water. While it is possible to keep softwater fish in hard water, I would not recommend it to you just yet as at the very least, the fish will be more susceptible to disease.

If you have hard water, you would have better success with some dwarf rasboras (which generally prefer more neutral water) instead of tetras and a couple of dwarf plecos instead of Corys. Alternatively, hard water is a good choice for shell dwelling African cichlids, but these are not really community tanks and require require more maintenance than a planted tank (again, in my experience of keeping African cichlids).

I personally consider it cruel to keep zebra danios in tanks that small (one of the few things that I disagree on with this website) as they can zip across a 4-5 ft tank in a fraction of a second. When I have seen them kept in small tanks, they tended toward being stunted and going around in circles… not what I'd want to see in my fish.

Of course, many livebearers would love your hard water, and some are a classic "community" fish.

Anyway, I won't ramble on for too long, but let me know what you think.

Kat
October 26, 2013
2:04 pm
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NinjaShrek
New Member
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
October 24, 2013
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Firstly thanks for you reply, I will try to answer best I can. 

 

My tap readings were:-

ph= 7.6

Ammonia = .25ppm

Nitrite = 0ppm

Nitrate = 40ppm (very hard to read Nitrate as the colours varys so much in different light. I don't actually believe this. 

 

After a 50% water change today my readings are now:-

ph = 8.0

Ammonia = 0.25ppm

Nitrite = 0ppm

Nitrate = 10ppm

 

My water hardness from the water board is :-

139mg/l calcium

24.325 English degrees

19.46 German degrees

 

As for the fish

Your advice is appreciated and I will take a look at the fish you suggest. There seems to be so much different advice on fish and your advice regarding the zebra danio's is a prime example. 

As I have 2 now, would it be acceptable to increase the shoal to 6 with a view to moving them into a large tank next year? I plan to invest in a larger tanks (possible 200l +). I don't ideally want to have to remove these fish from the tank right now as they are doing well and seem very happy. 

Are the corys no good for my water conditions then? Are there any other suggestions you would make for my tank. I am very opens to ideas at this time and by no means want to give any fish a poor life. 

Scott

 

 

October 28, 2013
9:27 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
Admin
Forum Posts: 8239
Member Since:
June 13, 2011
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KittyKat said
I personally consider it cruel to keep zebra danios in tanks that small (one of the few things that I disagree on with this website) as they can zip across a 4-5 ft tank in a fraction of a second. When I have seen them kept in small tanks, they tended toward being stunted and going around in circles… not what I'd want to see in my fish.

Agreed and I've just upped the minimum tank length recommendations on the majority of Danio profiles.

 

 

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