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Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] Stocking tank/losing fish

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  • blue_lkb
    Ok, an update... I haven t purchased any more bettas, being afraid they d just die on me and not wanting to unnecessarily kill any more fish. However, I
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 6, 2008
      Ok, an update...

      I haven't purchased any more bettas, being afraid they'd just die on
      me and not wanting to unnecessarily kill any more fish. However, I
      haven't lost any other fish and they all seem healthy.

      I did treat the tank for ich after the last betta died and appeared
      to be affected by ich.

      Also, I just tested water from my tap and it tests at 7.8 pH.
      Surprisingly, I retested my 55 gallon (which is where all the bettas
      were dying) and it tests at 7.4 now. Also, I did as was suggested and
      removed all the shells from that tank. Strangely, however, my ten
      gallon tank (which houses a male betta and four zebra danios) tests
      at 7.8 pH. That betta has been in there a few weeks now and has never
      appeared unhealthy. I'm also not sure why my 55 gallon would now test
      lower, though I'm not going to complain. :)

      Carbonate harness is 7 dKH. General hardness...I couldn't believe
      when I tested it. I got to 54 dGH and stopped, because it *still*
      hadn't changed the color to indicate that was what it actually is. So
      I'm guessing my water is really, really hard. From what I've read,
      though, water hardness isn't really a problem unless it's really
      soft. Is that correct?

      Thoughts?

      Also, I have some other tank questions unrelated to this issue...

      I have hornwort plants in both my 55 gallon and hexagonal tanks and
      love them. I really didn't like the looks of them when I saw them in
      the pet store, but they actually look pretty good in the tanks.
      However, I didn't want mine floating but planted at the bottom...or
      whatever. What is the best way to keep them at the bottom of the
      tank? I have the bottom of one tucked under an edge of a piece of
      wood in one tank and the other held down with some gravel (which
      doesn't work very well, by the way!). What is a better way to keep
      them at the bottom? And what would be better substrate for plants
      than the regular tank gravel? I'm thinking of putting something more
      natural-looking in there (my gravel is different shades of blue in
      one tank and multicolored in the other). My 55 gallon has 1/3 of the
      bottom of the tank covered in sand that I bought thinking my Kuhli
      loaches would like it better than gravel (actually, though, their
      favorite hiding place is on the gravel side of the tank).

      Thoughts?

      Sadly, my local pet stores don't carry very many types of plant.
      Hornwort, Java ferns and various other plants, but none that were
      mentioned as good beginner plants. I don't really want to get into
      the CO2 injector or anything major, just something that looks nice
      and is easy to maintain, so I've decided to stick with hornwort and
      Java ferns.

      Last question - when I do start buying more fish again, what is an
      amount of fish I can add at one time without overloading my tank with
      more waste, etc. at one time? And how long should I wait between
      adding fish before adding more?

      Thanks!

      Best regards,

      Laura
    • pam andress
      Have you looked on aquabid.com? You can get so much there it isn t funny. As for gravel, I LOVE bayleesbetterbottom.
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 6, 2008
        Have you looked on aquabid.com? You can get so much there it isn't funny. As for gravel, I LOVE bayleesbetterbottom. http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/auction/auction.cgi?decorations&1221232543
        It is great for plants and the natural color is nice. I took all my blue out of one of my 55 gals and replaced it with this and it is such a nice change. I'm slowly changing all my tanks over to this and any new I set up are set up with it.

        Pam



        To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.comFrom: blue_lkb@...: Sat, 6 Sep 2008 17:19:46 +0000Subject: Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] Stocking tank/losing fish




        Ok, an update...I haven't purchased any more bettas, being afraid they'd just die on me and not wanting to unnecessarily kill any more fish. However, I haven't lost any other fish and they all seem healthy. I did treat the tank for ich after the last betta died and appeared to be affected by ich. Also, I just tested water from my tap and it tests at 7.8 pH. Surprisingly, I retested my 55 gallon (which is where all the bettas were dying) and it tests at 7.4 now. Also, I did as was suggested and removed all the shells from that tank. Strangely, however, my ten gallon tank (which houses a male betta and four zebra danios) tests at 7.8 pH. That betta has been in there a few weeks now and has never appeared unhealthy. I'm also not sure why my 55 gallon would now test lower, though I'm not going to complain. :)Carbonate harness is 7 dKH. General hardness...I couldn't believe when I tested it. I got to 54 dGH and stopped, because it *still* hadn't changed the color to indicate that was what it actually is. So I'm guessing my water is really, really hard. From what I've read, though, water hardness isn't really a problem unless it's really soft. Is that correct? Thoughts?Also, I have some other tank questions unrelated to this issue...I have hornwort plants in both my 55 gallon and hexagonal tanks and love them. I really didn't like the looks of them when I saw them in the pet store, but they actually look pretty good in the tanks. However, I didn't want mine floating but planted at the bottom...or whatever. What is the best way to keep them at the bottom of the tank? I have the bottom of one tucked under an edge of a piece of wood in one tank and the other held down with some gravel (which doesn't work very well, by the way!). What is a better way to keep them at the bottom? And what would be better substrate for plants than the regular tank gravel? I'm thinking of putting something more natural-looking in there (my gravel is different shades of blue in one tank and multicolored in the other). My 55 gallon has 1/3 of the bottom of the tank covered in sand that I bought thinking my Kuhli loaches would like it better than gravel (actually, though, their favorite hiding place is on the gravel side of the tank). Thoughts? Sadly, my local pet stores don't carry very many types of plant. Hornwort, Java ferns and various other plants, but none that were mentioned as good beginner plants. I don't really want to get into the CO2 injector or anything major, just something that looks nice and is easy to maintain, so I've decided to stick with hornwort and Java ferns.Last question - when I do start buying more fish again, what is an amount of fish I can add at one time without overloading my tank with more waste, etc. at one time? And how long should I wait between adding fish before adding more? Thanks!Best regards,Laura






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • blue_lkb
        Hi Pam, Actually, I hadn t heard of aquabid.com until now. Hmm, I will have to check that out! For how large of a town I live in, it s surprising to me that I
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 6, 2008
          Hi Pam,

          Actually, I hadn't heard of aquabid.com until now. Hmm, I will have to
          check that out! For how large of a town I live in, it's surprising to
          me that I can't find more plants, etc.

          I did buy more natural colored gravel for my 55 gallon tank and now I
          want to put some in my hexagonal tank. The ten gallon tank is
          Elizabeth's (my three-year-old daughter) and she likes the blue gravel
          and of course has a mix of ridiculous decorations in there, plus a
          dinosaur background behind it, but hey, she's a kid, so I'm leaving her
          tank as she wants it. I did add 2 hornwort plants for her fish, though.

          I'll have to take a pic soon of my 55 gallon and see what you guys
          think. I think it looks a lot nicer already and can't wait to do
          something to my hex.

          Thanks!

          Laura
        • Patrick A. Timlin
          Hi Laura. Replies embedded below... ... Or you have a bad test kit. I have had this occur to me with liquid hardness test kits. ... That depends entirely on
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 7, 2008
            Hi Laura. Replies embedded below...

            --- On Sat, 9/6/08, blue_lkb <blue_lkb@...> wrote:
            > Carbonate harness is 7 dKH. General hardness...I couldn't believe
            > when I tested it. I got to 54 dGH and stopped, because it *still*
            > hadn't changed the color to indicate that was what it actually is.
            > So I'm guessing my water is really, really hard.

            Or you have a bad test kit. I have had this occur to me with liquid hardness test kits.


            > From what I've read, though, water hardness isn't really a
            > problem unless it's really soft. Is that correct?

            That depends entirely on what sort of fish you have in the tank. For example, Ram cichlids and Discus cichlids would thrive in a tank with almost no hardness while they likely would not live very long in hard water.


            > I have hornwort plants in both my 55 gallon and hexagonal tanks
            > and love them.
            > However, I didn't want mine floating but planted at the bottom...
            > or whatever. What is the best way to keep them at the bottom of
            > the tank? I have the bottom of one tucked under an edge of a piece
            > of wood in one tank and the other held down with some gravel (which
            > doesn't work very well, by the way!).

            It is a losing battle. Hornwort is a floating plant and while you can bury the stem in the gravel or tuck it under something, this only lasts for a few days when the stem breaks off or rots off and the Hortwort is back floating at the top. Best to simply let it float, and find something else for the bottom of the tank.

            As hortwort grows, cut off the old bottom half and leave the newer top half in the tank to keep it under control.


            > Sadly, my local pet stores don't carry very many types of plant.
            > Hornwort, Java ferns and various other plants, but none that were
            > mentioned as good beginner plants.

            I am fairly sure I must have mentioned Java Ferns as a great beginner and usually easy to keep plant. Can tend to be a slow grower and usually does a little better in softer water, but usually grows in most water types. Only LIGHTLY plant it, basically just enough gravel to hold it down. If you plant it deeply, it will rot away. Or if you have driftwood, use some cotton thread to tie the Java Fern to the wood.


            > just something that looks nice and is easy to maintain,
            > so I've decided to stick with hornwort and Java ferns.

            Ooops, I wrote the above before I read this, so I guess you DID buy Java Ferns. But I will leave the above so you know not to bury them too deeply.


            > Last question - when I do start buying more fish again, what is an
            > amount of fish I can add at one time without overloading my tank
            > with more waste, etc. at one time?

            Once a tank is established it can adjust fairly quickly. SO I tend to buy my fish in whatever school size I want. So if I want a half dozen of a species, then get the half dozen, but wait on others until that school is safely in place.


            > And how long should I wait
            > between adding fish before adding more?

            Generally without test kits I would say a week or two, but the best way is to simply monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels. If after three or four days, you don't see any readings, then you are probably ok to add more.

            In general if you are adding a lot less fish than what is in the tank (e.g. you are adding 6 fish to your 20 fish 55 gallon) it is not much of problem. But if you are adding 50% or more (e.g. 6 fish to a fish tank with 10 or less fish for example) then you may want to give it a few extra days or test with test kits.

            Patrick Timlin
            http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
          • blue_lkb
            Hi Patrick, Good point; I ll have to try and pick up another hardness test kit next weekend and recheck it. ... For example, Ram cichlids and Discus cichlids
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 7, 2008
              Hi Patrick,

              Good point; I'll have to try and pick up another hardness test kit
              next weekend and recheck it.

              > That depends entirely on what sort of fish you have in the tank.
              For example, Ram cichlids and Discus cichlids would thrive in a tank
              with almost no hardness while they likely would not live very long in
              hard water.

              Do you know if bettas are affected very much by the water hardness?
              Although, I would assume not, since our male betta Elijah is
              thriving...unless he's just lucky and extraordinarily hardy. :) Now I
              am really concerned again, because I did actually buy another female
              betta - just one, though - yesterday. A little white one with a
              stripe of blue running vertically down her side on one side. Thought
              she was cute and figured our tank should be fine since water
              parameters (other than hardness) had been testing fine. I guess I
              could always take bottled water and put into a fish bowl and remove
              her until we get it figured out.

              > It is a losing battle. Hornwort is a floating plant and while you
              can bury the stem in the gravel or tuck it under something, this only
              lasts for a few days when the stem breaks off or rots off and the
              Hortwort is back floating at the top. Best to simply let it float,
              and find something else for the bottom of the tank.

              Yes, I went back and re-read your post to Dora about floating plants
              and I see now it was *water sprite* you said could be planted or left
              to float. Guess I didn't remember correctly! Now what am I gonna do
              with all this hornwort?? lol. It would seriously be way too much for
              the top of my tank if I let it all float. I might just keep it
              anchored down until I get that figured out.

              > As hortwort grows, cut off the old bottom half and leave the newer
              top half in the tank to keep it under control.

              Oh, nevermind, I guess I could do this... :) My sister also just got
              a small tank w/some African dwarf frogs and maybe I could offer some
              to her...lol! Anyone know if those frogs would be ok with this plant??

              Yep, I have one cute lil Java fern in my 55 gal. tank. It hasn't
              grown at all, though, and they are $4.95 each here so it would take a
              lot to make my tank less bare...the one I have hasn't seemed to grow
              much at all since I got it. I will definitely recheck tomorrow and
              make sure the roots aren't very deeply buried.

              Maybe I will just have to find a good place online (like aquabid, if
              they have plants for sale) to buy plants so I can get a variety
              instead of being stuck with what my pet store carries. Although, my
              husband is going to another large town to work for 2 days....hmm,
              wonder if I can talk him into swinging by the pet store there and
              seeing what they have?? lol.

              > Once a tank is established it can adjust fairly quickly. SO I tend
              to buy my fish in whatever school size I want. So if I want a half
              dozen of a species, then get the half dozen, but wait on others until
              that school is safely in place.

              Ok, sounds good. That's what we'll do, then. I still want to add a
              few Oto cats (do these guys need to be in schools of 6+, or are they
              okay with 2-3 or less?), some cardinal tetras and maybe some platies
              (anyone know if these guys are compatible with bettas? I haven't seen
              mention either way on the internet, but want to check first).

              I really wish bettas and dwarf gouramis were compatible, as I just
              *love* the male dwarf gourami we have. He's such a neat, and really
              pretty, fish. With my hex tank housing him and 2 albino cory cats,
              would there be room to add a female dwarf gourami or 2, do you think?
              (I realize they are not as pretty, but seems the best we'll be able
              to do). So far the tank has seemed really clean when I vacuum and do
              water changes.

              Oh, a question for my cory cats/dwarf gourami - I currently have this
              fake rock-looking cave in their tank for them to hide in, but they
              don't use it. (It has a smallish doorway, so I'm thinking they just
              don't like going in that, whereas I believe my cherry barbs would
              *love* it as they were zipping in and out of another fake rock I have
              in my 55 gallon tank one day when it got propped up a little bit
              during cleaning - I mean, they didn't have much space to get in, yet
              they were swimming in and out and having a blast). Anyway, what would
              be more appropriate for cory cats/dwarf gourami? I was thinking of
              just a rock ledge that is a couple of inches high so it's more open
              but still offers shelter/security. Thoughts? I had read that cory
              cats spend most of their time on the bottom, and indeed, in the 55
              gallon my 2 peppered cory cats do, but in the hexagonal tank they
              constantly swim up and down the sides as well as around the bottom.
              I'm wondering if maybe they are stressed because of a lack of
              somewhere to go to get out of the light, or ?? (Although, in this
              tank I have allowed - haha - some of the hornwort to float on the
              top, so it does help block the light a bit, I think).

              Any thoughts would be great!

              And, thanks again! Great advice as always!

              Best regards,

              Laura
            • Patrick A. Timlin
              ... No, bettas are pretty tolerant of a wide range of water parameters as long as it isn t too extreme either way. Bettas are one of those types of fish that
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 9, 2008
                --- On Mon, 9/8/08, blue_lkb <blue_lkb@...> wrote:
                > Do you know if bettas are affected very much by the water hardness?

                No, bettas are pretty tolerant of a wide range of water parameters as long as it isn't too extreme either way. Bettas are one of those types of fish that do best in soft water if you plan on breeding them, but can live in just about anything.


                > Anyone know if those frogs would be ok with this plant [hornwort]??

                Yes, they should be fine with it.


                > the one [java fern] I have hasn't seemed to grow
                > much at all since I got it.

                One thing about plants is they grow leaves that are suited for the water they are in. When they get moved to a new tank, often times the existing leaves stop growing (start to get covered in algae, etc.) and the plant begins working on putting out new leaves. So you may find that it starts to look a little ratty at first but hopefully you will soon see new growth starting.


                > With my hex tank housing him and 2 albino cory cats,
                > would there be room to add a female dwarf gourami
                > or 2, do you think?

                I would go with two. They are small fish and also this will split up any overly aggressive attention from the male between the two females rather than one being harassed endlessly.


                > Anyway, what would be more appropriate for cory cats/dwarf
                > gourami? I was thinking of just a rock ledge that is a couple of
                > inches high so it's more open but still offers shelter/security.

                That sounds good to me. My own experience with Cory cats is they don't do caves or hide inside things all that much, but may enjoy a "ledge" they can sit under. Normally, if you have enough of them to make a school, they are simply happy to hang out with each other and herd themselves around the bottom of the tank endlessly.


                > I had read that cory cats spend most of their time on the bottom,
                > and indeed, in the 55 gallon my 2 peppered cory cats do, but in
                > the hexagonal tank they constantly swim up and down the sides
                > as well as around the bottom.

                It could be that you don't have enough of them for them to feel comfortable and are searching for more cories to hang out with. And it may also be that the hex simply doesn't offer much ground space to explore so they spend more time swimming up the sides due to lack of a lot of bottom to cover. The ones in the 55g of course have plenty of bottom to explore.


                Patrick Timlin
                http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
              • blue_lkb
                Hi Patrick, Ok, that s good; so my bettas should be fine in my water conditions. ... Cool, maybe I can give some to my sister then. :) ... water they are in.
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 9, 2008
                  Hi Patrick,

                  Ok, that's good; so my bettas should be fine in my water conditions.
                  :) I'm not planning on breeding them, so am not concerned about that.

                  > > Anyone know if those frogs would be ok with this plant [hornwort]??
                  >
                  > Yes, they should be fine with it.

                  Cool, maybe I can give some to my sister then. :)

                  > One thing about plants is they grow leaves that are suited for the
                  water they are in. When they get moved to a new tank, often times the
                  existing leaves stop growing (start to get covered in algae, etc.) and
                  the plant begins working on putting out new leaves. So you may find
                  that it starts to look a little ratty at first but hopefully you will
                  soon see new growth starting.

                  Thanks; that makes sense. I'll just have to be patient, I guess.

                  > It could be that you don't have enough of them for them to feel
                  comfortable and are searching for more cories to hang out with. And it
                  may also be that the hex simply doesn't offer much ground space to
                  explore so they spend more time swimming up the sides due to lack of a
                  lot of bottom to cover. The ones in the 55g of course have plenty of
                  bottom to explore.

                  Hmm, maybe I should move my two albino cories to my 55 gallon and add
                  something else to the hexagonal tank? Would it be overstocked with 3
                  dwarf gouramis and 4 cory cats, if I chose to try adding more? If it
                  would be, do you think some otto cats would be more appropriate? Just
                  trying to figure out what's going to work best. :) I could always just
                  put the cories in my 55 gallon and add some small schooling fish to
                  the hex, like maybe cardinal tetras or something. So many options, so
                  many neat fish out there...lol.

                  Best regards,

                  Laura
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