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Old June 28th, 2006, 12:46 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Red face What to put in my tank?

Hello.
I'm not new to the animal field but new to the fish field! My husband decided that he wants to add a fish tank to our animal family. He bought a 10G tank. He really likes Neon Tetras.
My question is...he's going to get some neon tetras but I was wondering what other fish to go with them? Depending on who you talk to or where you look everything/everyone says different things. I know that all fish are different but I was wondering in general what kinds of fish people have had success putting with Neon Tetras.
We like bright fish (ie Moly's) but also don't want to spend a fortune on fish until we can get things settled and know that we can take care of them!
Thanks in advance for any/all help!
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  #2  
Old June 29th, 2006, 01:00 AM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hi there,
Welcome to the fish keeping hobby!
Allow me to provide info a couple basics many beginners
dont know about, so as to avoid a troublesome beginning for you.

When you first get a new tank, when you set it up and add livestock,
the tank will go through what is called the Nitrogen Cycle.
As the fish pee and poop in the tank, ammonia will build up.
Ammonia is lethal to fish. However, soon after ammonia builds up in
the tank a type of bacteria called Nitrosomonas builds up to turn
that harmful Ammonia into less harmful NitrItes. Ammonia starts to disappear
off your test kit and NitrItes rise to near lethal levels. Then, another type of Nitrosomonas bacteria builds and eats the NitrItes, resulting in the end product NitrAtes, a relatively harmless chemical that feeds live plants.

The cycling period takes approximately 21-60 days, depending on how many water changes you do, how often, and how much bioload (the amount of waste and size of fish in the tank) that are present.

Neon Tetras, while beautiful, are fragile and will not survive the cycling process. There are however fish that will.
You should ask your local fish store, if you can return fish in trade, after your tank has cycled. Tell them you would like to purchase 6 zebra danios,
to cycle your tank, and would like to return any living danios after the cycle back to the store for either credit, or trade for Neons.

Zebra Danios are about the toughest, hardiest fish there is. They will usually survive a cycle, without any problems, where many other fish would die.

Now, you need to get test kits for Ammonia, NitrItes and NitrAtes,
or a master test kit that includes these. Dont buy the dip stick ones, they are faulty, dont read right, and need to be replaced monthly as the reagent starts to detiorate upon exposure to air. Stick with the liquid drip tests. They will last you years and be reliable too.
This will help you measure the levels in your tank.
Once your ammonia has disappeared to 0 and your NitrItes have dropped to zero, and NitrAtes have risen, your tank has cycled and is ready for your stock.

During the cycling period, when ammonia reach 2.0 ppm, you will need to do a small water change. You generally should try to do water changes only every 2 weeks while cycling, if you can. But if the ammonia gets high do a 25% (of the tank volume) water change.
Always replace water with Dechlorinated, Same temperature water.
A great Dechlorinator is Prime. Its the cheapest in the long run and superior beyond all others. 1 capful treats 50 gallons of water. It removes Chlorine, Chloramine, heavy metals, and detoxifies Ammonia and NitrItes. It is great to use during the cycle , every few days to keep the ammonia less toxic to help the fish through.

Now, once your tank is cycled, you can add your fish.
Definitely 10g has room for some neons and some other fish.
The general rule of thumb for stocking fish is 1 inch of adult fish,
per gallon of space.
Neon tetras are schooling fish, so should be kept in groups of 5-6 of more.
As neons are about 1 inch at maturity, if you got 5 neons, that would be 5 inches of adult fish, allowing you approx 5-7 inches remaining to work with.
There are many fish that are suitable with neons. I suggest a contrasting tetra or similar, perhaps the nice yellow Lemon Tetra, or the pinky with white gold and red White Cloud mountain minnow, or perhaps the slightly larger cousin of the neon, the Black neon, which is black and sports a sharp white stripe.

You could do two schools of 6 small 1 inch fish each in your tank, if you are willing to do 35% water changes with gravel vaccuum of 50% of the substrate every 7-10 days, or every 10-14 days if you have a fair amount of Live Plants.
If you do not have live plants, stick to the schedule of every 7-10 days.
Never remove too much water or vaccuum 100% of the gravel, as that will harm the nitrosomonas bacteria that live in your gravel, and may cause your tank to go through a mini cycle.

Another option to stocking, could be to go with some neon tetras,
and then choose a centerpeice fish, a small, colorful fish, that can be kept individually, and usually has a fair amount of personality.
A male betta (siamese fighting fish), or a Dwarf Gourami, Or a Paradise Fish,
all come to mind. All are bout 2.5 inches at maturity, peaceful so long as kept with no others of their kind, and do well in a smaller tank. Beckfords/Dwarf Pencilfish are very interesting, and can be kept in pairs or trios. Could definitely be a centerpeice fish. There is also the Blue German and Bolivian Rams, smaller cichlids that can be kept alone in a small tank. The blue is more colorful, but the bolivian more hardy. They grow to 3 and 4 inches respectively.

Or, maybe you like catfish. If so, the Corydoras group of catfishes include many varieties that are smaller, and suitable for a 10g tank.
Cory cats are schoolers as well, so of course you would want to keep a group of 5-6 with your group of 5-6 neons.
Several of these are very large fish, over 3 inches and even 4. Avoid these particular few :
Albino or Bronze
Pepper /Paleatus
Metae/Bandit '
Emerald Green /Brochis Splendens
They are the largest of the cory family and reach 3 or more inches, and need at least 20g of space. The emerald green is not really a cory, and grows to about 6 inches.

Pretty much every other cory catfish is small enough for a group of 5-6 in a 10g with some neons.
Some are particular small, such as the Pygmy Cory or the Hasbrosus Cory,
both coming in at 1.5 inches or less. They are super cute!

Also, there a 2 different types of Loaches, which are kinda like catfish, that would work in a 10g tank. One is the Dwarf Chain Loach, species Botia Sidthimunki, which grow to about 1.5 inches.
The other is the Kuhli loach, an orange and black striped fella that looks almost like an eel. They are about 4 inches long, but very thin, so would count them as only about 2 inches of bioload each. Loaches are Shoaling fish, slightly different that schoolers, preferring some members of their own kind, with 3 individuals being the generally lowest accepted number for keeping together.

There are also many other ideas, like, Guppies, Platies, many tetras, many rasboras, killifish, mosquitofish, etc etc.

Also, there are non-fish critters, such as Shrimp, African Dwarf Frogs,
and even crayfish(but these eat fish so care must be taken that they are not mixed with slow, less intelligent fish like guppies).

Mollies of all species are too large to fit in a 10g tank. Most mollies reach 3-4 inches, and some as much as 6. Mollies are also much more difficult to keep than their cousins the Guppies, Endlers, and Platies.

Also, in case you were rolling the idea of goldfish around anywhere, dont.
No goldfish are small enough to fit in a 10g tank, goldfish require specific setups, with 30G being the minimum for 1 individual.

I hope this is enough to get your started.

Remember, the fish you are choosing are tropical, and will need a heater.
Most will also do best in a neutral PH , between 6.8-7.2 being best.

Filtration is also important, and, if i didnt mention above, never change a filter cartridge when doing a water change, just rinse in used tank water and pop back in. Only replace when absolutely needed, when filter speed is impaired or tank looks dirty.

Also, dont overfeed your fish. The size of their eye is the size of their stomach. Feed accordingly, only what the fish can eat in 3-5 minutes time,
and also siphon off any uneaten food.

Also, try to vary foods a little, say a regular flake, a veggie flake, a shrimp pellet, some frozen bloodworms. This will help your fish grow strong healthy and beautiful.

Please dont hesitate if you have more questions, and heres a link to a description of the Nitrogen Cycle you may find useful.
Good Luck!

http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html

And a link to a pair of actual Fish only Forums, which you also may find useful:

http://www.fishprofiles.com
http://www.petfish.net
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  #3  
Old June 29th, 2006, 11:22 AM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Wowzers!

Thank you very much for all the information...it was a little over whelming though (not complaining!)
I understand the ammonia cycle and everything like that but they didn't tell me that I'd need a tough fish. My husband went out and bought 5 Neon Tetras and one Female Beta (they told him that the females are less aggressive and best in a community tank).
Well, that was Tuesday night and by this am, all the Tetras are dead. But hearing what you said, it makes sense! We're going to bring them back to the store tonight and now in reading your post, I'm not going to get new Neons!
This is what we have:
10G tank, plastic plants, hiding things/swim through things, three different kinds of food (Nutrafin Max foods: Earthworm flakes with bits of freeze dried tubifex worms, colour enhancing flake food and spirulina algae flake food). We have three different chemicals that we add to the water. AquaPlus (tap water conditioner), Cycle (reduces fish loss, Nitrifier) and Waste Control (rapid reduction of organic waste). The only fish in there is Betta Bertha. We also have a syphon hose to clean the tank and gravel. Forgot to add that we also have a filter, heater and thermometer.
So now my questions are:
Is this ok or do we need more stuff to keep the tank healthy? Big Betta Bertha is doing fine, eating lots, colour looks good, bright, swimming around normally.
We want easy fish to take care of as this is new to both of us (and not very expensive would be good too).
So what fish should I add, what order and when? I know you said in your post but honestly it overwhelmed me.
We're going back to the pet store tonight to return the dead ones and hopefully get new fishies if I can get the information (since what they told me is obviously wrong!)
Thank you so much for everything...I really do appreciate it!

Last edited by RVT092481; June 29th, 2006 at 01:39 PM.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 02:39 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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I read your reply a little more throughly and now I'm understanding the majority of it (I am a blonde after all! )
I'm going to ask about the zebra danios when we go back to night but I was also wondering that since we have one female betta in there already, can I use betta's to cycle the tank? If not, will she get along with the danios? IF not what do I do with her? I have a very little tank when I had a male betta long ago (no filter, heater, thermometer, nothing fancy - just small tank, rocks and a little plastic plant). Do the females need all the other stuff or are they treated the same as males?
Thanks soooo much for all your help! Hopefully I'll hear from you before I go to the store tonight!
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Old June 29th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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phoenix phoenix is offline
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Hi
Sorry your neons died. Where are you buying your fish?

If I were you, I'd get a credit from the store and wait a bit. Let the tank cycle with the betta since she's already in there.

If you wanted a danio, might be ok... not a long finned one- just the regular zebra- they'll survive the cycle but the thing to remember is, then you're stuck with him and he takes up valuable inches in the 10G (unless you want him)... means less fish you want in the future unless your fish store lets you trade him in.

Look up "fishless cycling" on google, there are tons of sites/instructions. You could put Bertha in a bowl for a while and do a fishless cycle using pure ammonia or fish food- much less cruel to the fish. Get a test kit and keep testing your water parameters... you want to see an ammonia spike, followed by ammonia dropping and nitrite spiking, followed by ammonia and nitrite at 0 and nitrate going up. Then you know the tank has cycled, and you can safely add fish.

Neons aren't hardy. If you do get them again, make sure you acclimatize them in the fish store bag- float the bag in your tank for 20 min or so to get the temperature evened out, then open the bag and take out some water (down the sink) and add some tank water to the bag... repeat every 5 min or so for 2-3 times... then catch the fish in a net and place in your tank. Don't put the fish store water in your tank.

There is so much to know about fish... I started with a 10g, got a 15g a few months ago, and today I bought a 46g. Watch out, it's addictive!!

Good luck
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Old June 29th, 2006, 04:11 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Thanks.
With the help from here I can understand why they died though. I was worried that Bertha was picking on them but they all looked fine (other than not being alive). The last one that died was swimming sideways for a while and would get swept away easily with the filter flow. She'd like herd him towards the food and keep him away from the plants (so he wouldn't get caught in them) and stop him from hitting the sides. They would all swim together like she was their big mamma.
I did the whole acclimatizing thing with the fish.
We'll probably do the starter fish cycling since we already have a fish in there. I can't see her being too happy about going into a much smaller tank without as much neat stuff. Will she get along with and danios though? Or should I get a couple more Bettas?
Thanks so much again. This has been really helpful! Like I said, I know small animals and some exotics, but not fish!
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Old June 29th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hi there,
just make sure you can return the Zebra Danios.
DOesnt matter if they are long fin, albino, or leopards, they are
all the same species.

Just a comment on your 3 products.

Aquaplus - is an OK water conditioner. It is not the best. When you run out, I would replace it with Prime, it is MUCH better.

Cycle - this product is a rip off. It claims to contain active bacteria, but it doesnt. It sits on the shelf so long, and is not refrigerated, and so, you are just dumping dead bacteria in your tank. It wont help your cycle go faster, and it wont add beneficial bacteria to your tank.
There is only one product that actually does contain live Nitrobacter, its called Bio-Spira. You would find it in the refrigerator section of your fish store. It must be kept refrigerated to avoid death of the nitrobacter.
Stresszyme can be useful - its an enzyme that stimulates the growth of bacteria. I have found it works. The hagen Cycle - leave it on the shelf.

Waste control - Please Do NOT Use this product. What it does is breaks the organic compounds down into unusable parts. It causes the waste to clump together and renders it useless to Nitrobacter. In high concentrations, It can be lethal to fish. Please discontinue its use. There is no product which will reduce waste in your tank. You MUST do water changes, not use some chemical.

Do NOT get any more bettas till your tank has finished cycling. You will be very very lucky if the one you have survives through your cycle.
You can add 6 zebra danios to cycle your tank, nothing else.
Get a test kit and be patient.
Only when your tests read 0 on ammonia and nitrItes and have 40ppm or so showing on the NitrAtes, has your tank cycled.
Your betta likely will not survive through the Ammonia Spike, espescially without a product to detoxify the ammonia, like Prime.

Also, when your tank is cycled, if you choose to get female bettas,
your max stocking will be 3 female bettas. Thats it, thats all, thats fully
stocked, you have room for nothing else, except maybe a mystery snail.
Just so ya know.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 08:51 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Thanks again for the response.
We threw out the Cycle stuff as soon as we read your post. We're going to go out this weekend and find some of the other things that you mentioned.
We returned the dead tetras and purchased 5 Zebra danios. The guy wasn't too keen on selling them to us. He said that the really only reason why people get these to cycle their tank is because they're cheep. He wanted us to buy some Platies that were pretty expensive for starter fish (I know that that's his job though).
My question is...should I leave Betta Bertha in the tank with the new Danios (she just seems annoyed at them like she's wondering if they'll ever stop moving). They swim by each other with no problems so far but she's been hiding in a rock thing a lot or along the bottom (they've only been together for like 20 mins though). Should I leave her in there and see if she survives or take her out and put her in the smaller betta tank that I have? Would a smaller tank not go though the same cycle in theory? I want to give her the best chance possible but understand the risks to her.
Sorry I have to many questions but you all are just so helpful to me! And I really appreciate it!!
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Old June 29th, 2006, 09:29 PM
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phoenix phoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakypete79
Hi there,
just make sure you can return the Zebra Danios.
DOesnt matter if they are long fin, albino, or leopards, they are
all the same species..
I said that because long fin fish aren't great with bettas. Maybe that's only for the males.

All good advice!

I would take the betta out and put her in a bowl for a while, just do lots of water changes for her. I think she'd have a better chance of surviving.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 12:14 AM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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A small tank with no substrate that is done regular water changes on
is generally what bettas are kept in anyway.
She will be fine with the Danios for sure, but its whether or not
she will survive the ammonia spike is what im concerned about.

Danios are tough...its not cuz their cheap ppl use em to cycle,
I paid 3.99 each for my danios, so not what I would call cheap.
But mine have cycled 4 tanks and are still kickin!

You could keep the betta in a 1g or 1/2g jar of any kind,
with a 100% water change every 3 days, or 50% every day.
Shed be fine like that, and then once the tank cycles you could
pop her back in.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Mahealani770 Mahealani770 is offline
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Wow, kudos to you SneakyPete for being such an impressive expert! I am now inspired to try and start a fish family. I had no idea how complicated it was to start one, though. I'm a little intimidated..lol At least now I know who to come to for all of my expert-needed advice.
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Old July 1st, 2006, 10:02 AM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Thank you so so so so so much!
I found the prime stuff at a different pet store so when I'm out of the aquaplus, I'll be buying that. I didn't find the other two products (probably had the fridge stuff behind the scenes - I was in a rush so I didn't ask anyone).
The Danios are doing much better than the tetras did! They are all still alive. The dog REALLY likes to just sit there and watch them zip around like a bunch of crazy monkeys!
My husband doesn't really want to take Bertha out of the tank. We took her out for a while and put her in a smaller one but she seemed really upset. She kept going to the side of the little tank that was buy the larger one and running into the side. She looked really frantic. He put her back in the large tank and she's much happier! She swims around with the danios and isn't afraid of them like she was the first night.
Is there a slim chance that she'll survive in there? Or is she pretty much doomed? Is there anything else that I can do to help her chances of survival?
The store won't take the danios back if any survive after the cycling. They only have a health guarantee that if they die or become really sick then they'll take them back. But it's only 15 days. But I was reading that they can go in ponds as well. My father-in-law has a pond so we were thinking that we could always put them in there...if that's ok. And also I was talking to a girl at work and found out that she has three tanks and was thinking about starting another one. So she'd take any survivors to use to cycle her tank as well.
Again, thank you so much for everything! This is much more helpful than all the internet articles/research and book readings I have/could ever do!
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Old July 1st, 2006, 07:33 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hi there,
you can try another pet store for returning the danios to.
Try a small local one.
Danios are tropical fish and will not survive in ponds that have temps below
72F.
If you buy the Prime, you could add that during the cycle if Bertha
seems stressed at all. That will help detoxify ammonia.
Also, doing small water changes of 15-20% will also help lower ammonia
levels.
You need a test kit to monitor, you should be showing ammonia by now.
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Old July 1st, 2006, 09:26 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakypete79
Also, doing small water changes of 15-20% will also help lower ammonia
levels.
I have to work tomorrow and my clinic is right beside the pet store so I'll pick up some Prime tomorrow.
The water changes though, is that weekly or every 2 weeks still?
Again, I'm so dense and asking so many questions...but you're much better and more understandable than any book or website that I've found!
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 10:03 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Did you get a test kit for ammonia?
Best way to judge when you need a water change.
When the ammonia starts to creep up around
1.5ppm you need to do a small water change.
This could be weekly or biweekly, there are
many factors involved. The best way to judge
is with a test kit.
Also, if you see fish looking irritated - breathing heavily,
gills looking red, or flashing off things (scratching themselves
on objects) those are all signs of irritation, a good indication
of the need for a water change.
You can add a small amount of prime every 3-4 days during the cycle
to keep the ammonia less toxic for your betta.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 10:24 AM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Unhappy White spot on Bertha

I did notice the other day that Bertha has a white spot on her. There are the two ventral fins, it's right behind those fins. It's like the size of a pin head. It's been there for two days and hasn't gotten any bigger or smaller. Any ideas as to what that could be?
I'll try to take/find a picture to make it a little clearer.

Forgot to say...
I did some very quick searches of ich and it doesn't look like those pictures or descriptions. It's a "ball" that's sitting on the skin, not like freckle that's "part" of your skin. I really hope this makes sence!

Last edited by RVT092481; July 5th, 2006 at 10:34 AM.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hi there,
if its a single spot, I wouldnt worry too much.
Just keep an eye on it.
It possibly....(not for sure) could be a cist, or a tumor,
or a wound. Give it time to clear up or get worse so you
can determine what it is.
Have you been monitoring your Ammonia levels to keep
track of where your cycle is at?
Have you been doing water changes?
Adding prime?
Check the decor in the tank, all plants and decorations, feel all over
for any rough edges or rough spots. Bettas are very curious,
and often wound themselves through trying to squeeze in small spots,
or hide, or just cuz of curiousity for curiousity sake.
Its likely a small scrape or missing scale.
If it worsens, keep me posted and I will see what we can deduce.
Of course, a Picture is always helpful too!
Feel free to post one asap so I can have a look.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 09:54 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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I tried to get a picture yesterday and today. I just got back from work and was trying to take picture of her. If it wasn't for her moving than it was those crazy danios getting infront of her. This is the best picture that I could get. You can see a white dot on the underside of her by her ventral fins. I didn't see it just now but she's pretty ticked at me for chasing her around the tank snaping random shots. This was the best I could do.
We did a partial water change yesterday (~25% - it was looking really cloudy too and we got carried away and were more worried about sucking up a fish and didn't realize how much water we were actually taking out). I haven't checked the ammonia. The only test kit we could find was $180 and I don't really want to spend that.
We did add prime yesterday. I will check all of the plants and things for sharp edges. There is one stone hedge type thing that she likes to go in a lot so that's my first spot to check!
I'll let you know if I find anything.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 11:44 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hi there,
180 dollars for a test kit?!!?!?
I paid 24.99 for my Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
Master test kit, and 14.99 for my NitrAtes test.

Try at walmart, they sell drip tests for ammonia nitrites and
nitrAtes, or try a petsmart or petcetera if you have one
near you, they stock test kits too.

Good news though, Your fish is absolutely fine.
What you are seeing is the Ovipositor of this little girl.
It means she is ready to lay eggs.
She does look nice and egg bound too right now.
Its perfectly normal, she will reabsorb the eggs over a couple
weeks time and the ovipositor will withdraw.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 08:52 PM
RVT092481 RVT092481 is offline
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Phew! I'm glad that she's not sick. I'm especially glad that since I came home tonight the white dot had reappeared. I thought that she was looking a little "pudgy".
I'll have to do some running around this weekend so we'll stop at Wallmart and see what they have. We looked at SuperPet, Petcetera and PetSmart.
Thanks for all your help. My husband thinks that I'm a little crazy for caring so much about a fish! But she's so cute!
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Old July 7th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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LibbyP LibbyP is offline
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Holy Crap, what alot of information for starting a tank I have two tanks, in my smaller on I have male guppies, neon tetras(5), zebra danio(3), and pocumuss(2)(ws), I did want colour as we have small children, but I picked fish that didn't breed like the crazy guppies do I also asked about betta's and was told not a good idea as the other fish would eat the fins and it would just hide in a corner
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  #22  
Old July 7th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Libby, your fish "pocumuss",
is a Plecostomus, or more commonly, just Pleco.
I hope youre aware that these fish can reach 24-28 inches if
its a common pleco.
Youd be best to return them both to the pet store.
There are no Plecos small enough for tanks less than 20g,
and even then, there are a very limited number of plecos that small,
all of which usually run 40.00 and up.

Bettas can be kept in community tanks, depending on what
fish you have, and what the temperment of the betta is.
The Betta we have been discussing is a female, and females are
much much much less aggressive than males, and dont have the
long flowing fins.
None of the fish you have mentioned are incompatible with male or
female bettas, except the male guppies. Betta males will kill Male Guppies
due to the long colorful finnage.
I have kept several male bettas over the years in my community tanks
with no issues between the Bettas and the other fish.
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  #23  
Old July 7th, 2006, 08:33 PM
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LibbyP LibbyP is offline
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Thanks sneakypete79, when I went to the pet stores(3) to begin with they don't carry female Betta's, as that is what I was thinking first as the have nice colour as well, that's when I asked about putting one male in my tank, I have a 20g(I think), can female Betta's go together? Next question how quickly will the pleco's grow? I went in and asked for allege eaters and they were they ones that told me to go with two of these, I have one in my large tank and it's as long as my hand(to tell you the truth it scares the crap out of me) any more info would be great
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  #24  
Old July 7th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hey Libby,
generally female bettas can be kept together in a sorority,
with only the occassional female being too obstinant.
It helps to watch them in the store and avoid any that are
aggressive acting.

Plecos can grow pretty fast....about 8 inches in a year if given enough space.

Heres a couple pics of a couple different kinds of common plecos for you to compare.















As you can see, there are many different types of common pleco,
and all these range from 12 inches to 36 inches depending on species.
None are suitable for tanks under 75g in size.
Maybe yours is one of these?
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  #25  
Old July 14th, 2006, 07:36 PM
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Hunter's_owner Hunter's_owner is offline
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Hi. My room-mate has a pleco in her tank, and was just wondering what will happen to it if the tank is not big enough? Its a 20gal tank, that has some tetras, 2 tiger barbs (? I think?), 2 angel fish and a couple of bottom feeders.
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  #26  
Old July 15th, 2006, 09:28 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hi there,
well 2 things are possible that could happen.
The first possible thing is stunting.
This is when the tank is too small, and what happens to the fish is
that its bones stop growing, but internal organs continue to grow.
As the fishes body stops growing, eventually the organs all bunch
up and either explode within the fish, or develop cancers and they usually
die a very painful slow death.
The secnd thing that can happen, and often does with Plecos,
is that they dont stop growing, and will continue to grow, until they
are so large they need to bend around in the tank to survive.
They usually become extremely hostile, intolerant of other fish, and often
kill the other fish for more space. Eventually they will injure themselves lethally, jump out, or even break the tank.

My suggestion to your room-mate - take the pleco back to the pet store.
Exchange it for store credit, for an algae eating fish that is small enough for her tank, such as Otocinclus catfish (dwarf suckers - 1.5 inches),
or a Bristlenose Pleco (ancistrus pleco - 4 inches), or a rubbernose Pleco (4 inches, also called bulldog, pitbull, rubberlip plecos).

Also, angelfish grow too big for a 20g tank too.
They can grow to be 8-10 inches from snout to base of tail, and from
top to bottom as much as 14-18 inches tall. If kept in a short tank,
they will develop bent and deformed fins.
Angels should be kept in a tank at least 18-24 inches tall,
the smallest I know of being a 25G tall tank, which is 18 inches tall.
Also, if the angels grow larger and pair up to breed,
they will eliminate all the other fish within such a small tank by killing
them.
Angels can be hostile while breeding. It is very difficult to determine
gender in angelfish till mature.

You could suggest to your roommate - that a much better and more
appropriate stocking for her tank would be something like:
6-8 of whatever kind of tetra she has - they are schooling fish and should always be kept in groups.
6-8 Tiger Barbs - also a schooling fish and can be very very aggressive and nippy if not kept in large enough groups. Diff. Color T-barbs like greens, orange, albinos can all be mixed in 1 group.
1 Bristlenose Pleco OR 4-5 Otocinclus Catfish OR 5-6 Corydoras Catfish,
but not all.
That would be a quite overstocked tank, but with once weekly- every 10th day water changes of 35% could be manageable, and live plants of course
would be an excellent choice.

Hope this helps!
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  #27  
Old July 16th, 2006, 01:07 AM
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LibbyP LibbyP is offline
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Hey sneakypete79, here is the size of my lrg tank (Q) How many gallons is it?
12.5(w), 36(l), 19(h) and my small is 12(w), 23(l), 15(h) thanks so much
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  #28  
Old July 17th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
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Hi Libby,
your big tank is 35 gallons. Your smaller tank is 15 galllons.
Neither is suitable for a common Pleco if that is what you have.
You could easily return them to the pet store for credit,
and get some smaller algae eaters.
There are tons!
Any that grow no larger than 6 inches would be suitable
for your 35g tank, and any that grow no bigger than 3-4 inches
would be suitable for your 15g tank.

For all you catfish and pleco lovers or people who are just plain
interested, here is a great place to look up the one you have,
the one you want, or to just dream of the day.

http://www.planetcatfish.com

Click on the cat-elog for listings of catfish. Many great articles on specific
kitties too in the catfish of the month journal.
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