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Aquarium Talk - I Need Some Help.

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posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 05:36 AM
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Being a HUGE fan of aquariums, I figured I would start this thread.
I have a nice reef tank. A reef tank is salt water, and contains corals. I have had her running for over 10 years. I have the testing and chemistry down to a science. It is thriving. I can sit and watch it for an hour and be mesmerized. Corals, shrimp, clams, polyps, and a few fish for bio load. I love it.

Now here is where I need help. I am not so good with fresh water aquariums. Here's the dealio. I have a 6 year old son, and I bought him a little 10 gallon starter tank. Gravel, a couple plastic plants, an air pump piped into a treasure chest, the standard canopy with lights, and a filter.

I washed the plastic plants well, and rinsed the gravel before putting them in the tank. I filled the tank with tap water, hooked up the filter. The filter is a standard aquarium filter where you can change the medium. I use charcoal. Then I let it run for about a week before buying any fish. The first fish were goldfish. My son loved the goldfish and named him Black Jack. Unfortunately Black Jack died. We've had several fish since. Some have died, and some, well actually one, is still swimming around.

I feed them once a day. I use the food which is made specifically for them in flake form. Not too much, but enough.

I get some dark (almost black) algae on the plants and walls of the tank. I do the diligence, and scrub them clean. Then I do a water change of approx 10%. Every time I do this, some fish will die within 48 hours.

I want to move to Cichlids, but can't even keep Guoramis alive. I need some help here!

Need some help with Salt Water? I'm your man, but fresh water..... Yikes! I thought it would be easy.




posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 06:15 AM
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reply to post by lombozo
 


I'll be back in the pm with my resident expert.



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 06:45 AM
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Originally posted by lombozo
Now here is where I need help. I am not so good with fresh water aquariums. Here's the dealio. I have a 6 year old son, and I bought him a little 10 gallon starter tank. Gravel, a couple plastic plants, an air pump piped into a treasure chest, the standard canopy with lights, and a filter.

I washed the plastic plants well, and rinsed the gravel before putting them in the tank. I filled the tank with tap water, hooked up the filter. The filter is a standard aquarium filter where you can change the medium. I use charcoal. Then I let it run for about a week before buying any fish. The first fish were goldfish. My son loved the goldfish and named him Black Jack. Unfortunately Black Jack died. We've had several fish since. Some have died, and some, well actually one, is still swimming around.

I feed them once a day. I use the food which is made specifically for them in flake form. Not too much, but enough.

I get some dark (almost black) algae on the plants and walls of the tank. I do the diligence, and scrub them clean. Then I do a water change of approx 10%. Every time I do this, some fish will die within 48 hours.

I want to move to Cichlids, but can't even keep Guoramis alive. I need some help here!

Need some help with Salt Water? I'm your man, but fresh water..... Yikes! I thought it would be easy.


i'm thinking the filter is your problem.i haven't had a tank in a while but go for the real deal not one of those medium changing ones..get the water flow happening.

cichlids are much hardier than guoramis and the like.try electric yellows,tiger loachs,and barbs.with those 3 species you have low/mid/high lvl dwellers..that's aussie speak i'd guess they're called the same elsewhere.



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 07:49 AM
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reply to post by lombozo
 

Since it looks like you are losing fish after changing your water you might want to look into a water conditioner when you add to new water. I have the same problem with my city water, its just too hard. So I add a conditioner that balances the pH and removes the chlorine. I add this into the tank after I put the new water in.

I was a cichlid owner for most of my life, only now I have wussied out and have gone the more tropical fish route. If your planning on getting cichlids, make sure you go completely cichlids. These are highly aggressive and intelligent fish that will make a meal of your nice pretty tropical fish.

I had success with some large catfish and cichlids in the tanks before, something like a pictus catfish have done well with them.

Also remember there are two types of cichlids African and South American, the African like a little higher pH and some salinity. But, I have also been able to mix both kinds in the tank. I would recommend the African because they are a lot more colorful.

I find pet stores only stock small cichlids. So take that in consideration when setting up a tank. Because these fish will grow, and once they get to be larger enough if you add smaller cichlids they will eat them.

Also some species breed very easy in captivity, so don't be surprised if one day you will see 100's of fry swimming around. They also make excellent parents, but fending off a tank of hungry other fish will eventually end up a losing battle.



[edit on 13-2-2009 by testrat]



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 07:54 AM
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are you using anything to take the chlorine out of your water? if not you should be using a dechlor or a stress coat. don't take the water straight out of the tap.
take the filter medium out and rinse it good and start the tank over again and this time with no gold fish. goldies have a very high amonia content in their urine and that will mess the chemistry up.
a 10 gallon tank is gonna be hard to keep cichlids in cause it is so tiny but you can probably ger away with a couple mbuna or shell dwellers. they are pretty small but they have a lot of fight in them.
black algae is not what you want. not a healthy tank brother



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 08:04 AM
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I filled the tank with tap water


Did you treat the water before adding the fish?

There is an anti-chlorinator, etc. you should add. Just a few drops, but does the trick...(but should treat before adding fish)

Also, you want to be sure to get a small Algae Eater fish for the tank (Plocostamus) (sp?)

Cichlids are pretty tough, at least in my experience...



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 08:19 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


plecos do good with eating the algae when they are smaller but as they get larger they become nothing more than a big creator of waste. if you are going to get a pleco, which you chould i would get a bristlenose or a rubbernose pleco. those will do the job much more efficiently for you.

the dechlorinator i use is called stress coat. i would will my bucket up from the tap at the correct temp and then add the appropriate amount of drops to the bucket and it instantly takes out the chlorine. it is also good for the fishes slime coat that is why i like it better than the dechlor. you probably got chlorine and amonia in your tank from that friggin goldie. never use a goldie unless it is going to be a goldie only tank.
i say start it over with some tiger barbs. they are pretty hearty. you can put a few of them in a 10 gallon tank.

since you like salt water so much you could turn it into a nano reef tank. peramiters have to be perfect but they are cool tanks.



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 08:30 AM
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the dechlorinator i use is called stress coat. i would will my bucket up from the tap at the correct temp and then add the appropriate amount of drops to the bucket and it instantly takes out the chlorine


Same here....
and a good note about the temperature of the water...very important (especially when trying to start a tank up in winter...)

And good point on the algae eater...that's why I stressed a small one....



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 08:33 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


i always kept my temp between 77 and 78. i was real strict about that. got to watch the plecos though cause they get friggin big. for a 10 gallon tank a chinese algae eater or two might be better off. the bristlenose plecos don't get as big though



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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Hey Lombozo mom said you wanted my two cents so here it is.

There are several things that could be a factor here. You said in your post that you let the water sit for a week before adding fish so I don't think chlorine would be a problem but depending on what the city uses to treat water other chemicals and/or heavy metals could still be present. Quite often I'll use natural spring water bought from the store making sure it is NOT ozonated or distilled. Some places still have lead pipes in there water system because they cost too much to replace they add more phosphates to the water. These phosphates coat the lead to prevent leaching into the water, however high levels of phosphates are a boon for algae. Although black algae is ugly in a tank I could not find anywhere that said it was harmful to fish. It is however rather hard to get rid of. Another thing that should be noted is that algae is normal in an aquarium but is generally green and hairlike in a healthy tank.
www.aquariumpros.com...

Mixing fish species can be tricky especially with goldies as they don't require a heater other tropicals including Gouramis do and they may not be hardy enough too handle the ammonia levels given off by goldfish. I don't understand why the gold fish are dying they are usually pretty tough fish and can handle a wide range of temps. You could also try guppies as they are usually pretty tough and colorful despite their small size.



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 01:39 PM
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And people wonder why I love BTS so much.......
Thing Fish, Aylyan, Testrat, Gazrock, Feral Rage - awesome advice! You all ROCK!.
My water temp is a constant 77 degrees F.
Now I need to do some thinkin' and stuff from those that know more than my brain can handle and stuff.
Now if anyone says I need to put Zappa on a CD player running next to the tank to keep those fish feeling good....... Hmmmmmmm............

Thanks for the advice everybody! Every single one of you are awesome! Thank you!!!!!!



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