help please

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by wito-zn, May 25, 2009.

  1. wito-zn

    wito-zn

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    Hi my name is stephen and have been with fish for a while but i have been reading through threads and fourms and i have relised that i have been doing it very wrong.
    Could anybody help me?
    I have a 3foot tank with an aquaclear filter the one that sites on the side of the tank, a power head inside to circulate water around the rocks and the tank. I have an albino cichlide, a tiger cichlide, blood parrot, 2 plycs and one convict. i have a 250w heater and trying to make a cooling unit coz living in durbaz the summers get very hot.
    Please tell me what i am doing wrong and what i can do to keep my tank from going funny after 3 months. Every 3 months i have to do a full water change.
    Please help.
     
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  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin

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    Hello Stephen

    please provide more detailed specs of the filter, model number? what do you feed and how often? do you do water changes - how much and how often? Please detail your maitenance schedule. How big are the fish? What happens every 3 months that you need to do a full water change?
     
  4. solex69

    solex69

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    Sorry but I don't understand what exactly you are asking here (unless I've just had too much of a long day).

    What exactly is the problem that you're experiencing?

    Chiao
    Dale
     
  5. OP
    wito-zn

    wito-zn

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    I am not so sure on the specs of the filter because a friend gave it to me that was no longer using the filter. The name on the lid of the filter is AquaClear MINI. The filter keeps the filter clear so decided to use it. I feed the fish Aqua-Plus Cichlid food at 7 am and again at 5 p.m. I give them about a teaspoon full every time. I do a water change once a month about 30%. Every 3 months the water goes a bit milky and smelly so I do a full water change and rinse the gravel under boiling water.
    The fish sizes goes as follows:
    · Albino Cichlid – 10cm excl back fin
    · Blood Parrot – 12cm excl back fin
    · Tiger Cichlid – 7cm excl back fin
    · Plychostomis 1 – 15cm excl back fin
    · Plychostomis 2 – 12 cm excl back fin
    · Frontosa Cichlid – 6cmexcl back fin

    My maintenance schedule goes as follows, weekly I vacuum the gravel and clean the sponge and change filter floss. I wipe the glass every second week. I do a 30% water change monthly.



     
  6. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    It really doesn't sound like you are doing much wrong to be honest. What media do you have in the aquaclear ? That model of aquaclear might just be to small for a 3 foot tank. Does the sponge clog up quickly? You may also want to try putting a purigen bag in your aquaclear if you have space.
     
  7. veegal

    veegal

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    Your weekly maintenance schedule sounds about right except for the fact that you are changing your filter floss every week. This means that you are getting rid of all the good bacteria your tank needs to keep the fish and water healthy. You should be changing about a third to half of your filter floss once a month or even once every second month, alternating each month. Approximately how much water do you remove when vacuuming the gravel and I assume you replace it then as well with new water?

    I would really suggest that you try and avoid doing a full water change, especially removing all the gravel and scrubbing it clean as this kills all the beneficial bacteria you have growing in the gravel. When you redo your entire tank you are in essence starting from scratch with the cycling etc although you may have some bacteria living in your filter it is most likely not sufficient as you are changing your filter floss once a week at the moment.

    BTW: What is a Tiger Cichlid?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  8. Rory

    Rory Administrator

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    Yip agree with veegal. I wouldn't take out and rinse the gravel. Do the water change though. I'd recommend not doing a 100% water change but do a 25% one day, 50% the next and then a 90% or so.

    Are you adding a dechlorinator or anything when you do a water change?
     
  9. Rowland

    Rowland

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    I agree with what Veegal has said. I also think you are feeding too much. I feed six ADULT discus a teaspoon at a time. I think a lot of your food is sitting rotting in your gravel, hence the 3 month build up. I also think that the Aqua clear mini is a bit under powered for that sized tank with those inhabitants. Perhaps add a powerhead to the mix??
     
  10. small_fry

    small_fry Fish King

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    hey stephen,

    everyone is forgetting 1 very important thing, and that is his tank is way over stocked for that size filter and tank. it sounds like to me that you are having a BB mass die off due to too much ammonia and nitrite to process with not enough filtering. never mind the fact that the tank is way too small even 1 of those fish. get a bigger tank or get smaller fish and an extra filter.
     
  11. veegal

    veegal

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    A very good point small fry....
     
  12. OP
    wito-zn

    wito-zn

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    I know this is a stupid question but what is media and a purigen bag?
    [​IMG]
    this is what the fish looks like. when i bought the fish the name was tiger oscar.

    yes i add it to the bucket of water and leave it for an hour before adding to tank.

    What size tank should i have because i really love my fish and i dont want to get rid of the fish. What filter do you guys suggest i should be using.

    thanks very much for the help.
     
  13. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Media meaning carbon or ammonia bag. Purigen is made by Seachem and is a nastie absorber. Helps purify the water and there is away one in my tank. You can either buy it in a 250ml container and bag it yourself or you can buy it already bagged in a 100 ml bag. Once exhausted it can be recharged with household bleech. I would definately put one of those in the hang on filter. BTW, have you done any tests on your water? You shoud invest in some good test kits.
     
  14. OP
    wito-zn

    wito-zn

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    no i havent done any tests. the problem is when i bought the tank and the fish no one told me what i should do at the local pet shop so i just thought fill water add dechlor wait an hour and add fish. now i really feel like an idiot.
     
  15. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    It's not that bad. Just don't add any more livestock and perhaps get some Seachem Stability which puts beneficial bacteria into the water. Dose that for about a week and try not do more than a 30% water change at a time otherwise you are throwing away all your beneficial bacteria. When you start a tank or do big 100% water changes you start a nitrogen cycle from the beginning again which means ammonia spikes and high nitrate. As it has already been said you must definately not clean all your gravel or all your filter media at once.
     
  16. veegal

    veegal

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    Not to worry wito-zn, we've all felt like idiots at some stage in this hobby but look at it this way, you've asked and now are correcting things so that's great! :) Seachem Stability is a tad expensive so you should you wish you could look at getting Organic Aqua instead which also works very well.
     
  17. rogerrabbit

    rogerrabbit

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    Hi wito

    As it says on the front cover of the hitch hiker’s guide to the galaxy- “DO NOT PANIC"

    These guys on here will sort you out. I suggest you read up on biological filtering, either in a book from the library or through Google.

    You will soon notice we don't actually keep fish, we keep and grow bacteria colonies and the fish is just there to feed them. Consider investing in a canister filter, one big enough to cope with the bigger tank, when it comes, and believe me it will come.

    By the way, I think most of us here would be very surprised if your local pet shop gave you all the correct advice first time round.
     
  18. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Never a truer word spoken. Just stick to the forum and everything will be ok. :blink1:
     
  19. OP
    wito-zn

    wito-zn

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    thanks guys i really appreciate the help.
    So true i have already started planing my next tank, but i will do a whole lot more research before i do anything.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  20. veegal

    veegal

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    I think research should be the golden rule to fishkeeping....pity not everyone adheres to it though.....so hats off to you for doing so from now on wito
     
  21. small_fry

    small_fry Fish King

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    Gorgeous looking oscar!!!! 1 4ft tank (std size) will do for 1 oscar. to keep all those fish together you would need 2m x 600 x 600 (800+- liters) for all of those fish. its not so much as amount of water that is important but the footprint of the tank. for filtering i generally build an internal box filter into the tank. but you can go for a sump or a few cannisters (i.e. for the 2m) for the current tank, add a eheim pro 3 or pro2. get the bigger of the 2. but you will pay through your :bootyshake: for those filters. thus why people go for a sump.
     

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