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Old 11-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #1
kneedraggin636
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Default New to the forum, and to fish for that matter

Hi Folks,

I have always wanted to keep fish but never really got motivated enough to do so. At the end of September our son's Beta died, so I figured it was time to really keep some fish. I didn't want anything too elaborate so I bought a 10gal setup from my local mom and pop fish store. Guy told me one inch of fish per gallon of water. So I went home, set the tank up, treated the water, added bacteria then went back to get the fish. Goy told me I was good to go in 24 hours.

Taking this guys word, I went back the next day and asked him to help us with the fish selection. I left the store with an Angel, Common Pleco, two Green Barbs and two Tiger Barbs. Despite telling him I didn't want to over crowd the tank he said I would be fine. Within 8 hours, all of the Barbs died. Took them back and he gave me four more. Within two days those died as well. Guy thought he had a bad batch of fish. I ended up with two Molly fish and two Platty fish. They are all alive and well. Oh wait, it gets better.

I have been testing the water every day with Amonia levels holding steady at > 4.0ppm. I thought my kit was bad so I decided to take some water to Petco and have them test it (guy at the mom and pop store assured me that was normal). The guy at Petco looked at me like I was an idiot when I told him what was in the tank. Then told me how big the Pleco would get. He said the fish had adapted to that water condition which is why they were not dead.

Last week during the wife's travels, she came across a 30gal sitting on the side of the road with a free sign on it. Got it home, no leaks or anything. We are moving into our new house next weekend so I am looking forward to getting the bigger tanks set up. My question is, what is the best way to move those fish over to the new tank? I don't want to stress them out anymore than they already are.

Also, I want to have live plants in there as well so is it better to set the tank up with plants and what not before I add the fish, or add the fish then plants? Any advice is welcome.

I never thought there would be so much work involved in fish, but I am really enjoying it. Can't wait for the bigger tank.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
hXcChic22
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Wow, your experience (while similar with what happened to your fish) seems so contrary to most peoples' first time stories. Usually, the big box store screws them over and the local fish store sets them straight!
Glad to see someone finally gave you some good advice, though.

Your best bet with moving would be to leave everyone alone until the absolute last minute. Then bag up your fish (in tank water) and also bag up any media that's in the filter, like the filter cartridge/sponge/biobeads in some tank water as well. If you feel like it, use some very clean gallon jugs to save some of the water from the 10 gallon.

Go to the new place, fill up the new tank and dechlorinate (add any water you may have saved) and reset the same filter you were using on the 10 gallon. Put the media back in as well... do not clean them even if they seem a little cruddy. While a filter rated for a 10 gallon will not be enough for a fully stocked 30 gallon, it will be ok temporarily for a tank with only a few fish. You'll want to purchase a new filter (preferably one made for a bigger tank than what you have, like a 40 or 50 - I recommend either AquaClear, canister filter, or a regular filter that used AquaClear media) and get it running alongside the old filter. After a few weeks, you can take the 10 filter off and use it for the 10 gallon, or just leave it if you want for extra filtration.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
kneedraggin636
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Thank you for the advice. I had wondered if tranferring some (if not all) of the water from the 10 gallon would be okay. I started this tank on Oct.1 and around Halloween, the nitrogen cycle had started, but unexpectedly stopped. I checked the water last night, and while the ammonia is still high ~ 4ppm, the nitrite level is starting to rise 0.25ppm. It would be great if I could jump start the cycle in the new tank.

And yes, I had considered getting a filter for a 50 gallon tank when I set the other tank up.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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Seeding a new tank with used media is practically an instant cycle. We've never had an issue with die-offs using that method.
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Tanks:

40 breeder - tons of Loaches, White Cloud Minnows, Clown Pleco
10 community - Kuhli loaches, feeder Guppies, pond snails
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:43 AM   #5
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i started working for petco last friday....i have probably explained to a dozen or more people about how big common plecos get..although i expected it ; i was still a bit surprised that some folks don't care...
all of the big stores only care about the money...they don't care what the employees know or don't know ; they are just there to sell as much as they can...if you have to lie to get the sale ; it's ok...if you sell sick fish ; it's ok..
fishfarms bring bettas in from asia....much cheaper that way as they don't have to pay american wages to maintain them...
i was pretty amazed to see just how few products petco handles...and how many sales they are missing out on...foods are rather limited and they sell little more then staples..
also some lack of organization..lights and hoods in one area and glass tops in another..
very limited selections of airpumps and filters and accessories.
our store loses about 83% of the fish they bring in...
it's is truly a shame , because they could make a huge amount of money if they did things right.....
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:19 AM   #6
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Patience is a virtue, we have all heard this but I have leaned with fish it means the difference between living and dead fish, also the difference between cost. Jump starting an aquarium works, I just never suggest it. If you take your time and do it right you will be far less likely to get frustrated.

For example, in this new 30g you want live plants? Have you considered what substrate you will use? A plant friendly one (which I would suggest) or a standard gravel? If standard gravel then you will want an under gravel filter for the plants. (also with an UG filter wherever you put the plants is where they will stay the roots grow down into it)

this is just one question to ask yourself not to mention lighting, heating, and water quality.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
kneedraggin636
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Thanks for all of the replies. wooferkitty, I am looking into the plant setup now, there is a lot to learn.

I have mixed feelings about both my local mom and pop shop vs petco. The guy at petco was very knowledgable and has been very helpful whenever I go there. The guy at the M&P shop is also very nice, I was just thought it was odd that he let me put so much in such a small tank. The M&P shop actually has a better selection of everything as opposed to petco, and depending on the item, their prices are better by $5-7. The M&P shop owner has a bunch of actual aquariums set up with various lights, plants filters etc. so you can actually see the products in action as opposed to getting it home to find it wasn't quite what you expected.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
fishrawesome123
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for the plants you dont want to use gravel, due to the fact a fish can easily knock the plant loose. as far as plants you want plant that give good cover for the fish.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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Each chain outlet is different depending on who runs it. But all get fish from the same place. Petsmart has a distribution center in IL and PetCo in FL. IME petco fish come in healthier, but we are a lot closer to FL. M&P stores usually buy from the nearest distributor, so you often see the same fish in all the LFS in one area. Some will buy from local breeders or order online, but this is becoming rare. PetCo has a small selection of equip, but they seen to cycle though it, changing the mix over time. I look for clearance stuff at both chains, but don't buy fish there. Sometime I find stuff for less than online + shipping.
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