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 sort me out, I'm in a pickle!

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mooncat
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PostSubject: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:21 am

Hi, am looking for some advice on my set up, as know next to nothing about fish (as will probably become apparent!)

I have a 100 litre coldwater tank, with a light on during the day, which heats the water a little (am waiting on delivery of a thermometer to check the temp range)

Pets at Home advised me that it was ok to keep danios, apple snails, goldfish and ancistrus in the above set up, and I have only just discovered this is wrong, after recently being given the go-ahead to buy an extra 10 danios, all but 3 of which died within a week, and the red bottom (sorry, got no idea how else to describe it!) infection that started as soon as they were in my tank also killed off my 10 year old goldfish rest in peace I called PaH after 2 days when I noticed the tail vent of one of my ancistrus had the same red swollen look that the dead danios had when they died. PaH said it was "danio disease" that wouldn't spread to my other fish and couldn't be treated.

Anyway, now I am left with 2 x 6month old goldfish, 7 x danios (4 x 1 year old, 3 x couple of months), 4 apple snails, no idea how many ancistrus, but at least 10 - original 7 year old pair of albino female and brown male, and a range of offspring from newly hatched up to a male and female that are now fully grown.

Questions I have ...

as they were ok til the new addition of the extra danios, should I keep the water temp as it is, or raise it for the benefit of the ancistrus, danios and snails?

How many ancistrus should I have in a 100 litre tank?

As they have been breeding for several years now, is inbreeding likely to become a problem if I don't remove all the offspring?

I love having lots of catfish, but want to keep them in the best conditions for them to survive.

I am aiming to give away the larger offspring but want to make sure things have stabilised in the tank after the recent disease.

Wondering whether to remove the 2 goldfish, but someone told me they need 100 litres each, and really don't have room for another tank that big.

Any advice is welcome, as I say I know nothing about fish other than feeding them, doing water/filter changes and
keeping an eye out for disease.
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:01 pm

First off i wouldnt take to much advice from Pets at home... Evil or Very Mad
If they are telling you its fine to put another 10 danio's into your 100 litre setup then in my opinion they havent a clue as from what you have told us about how many fish you have in there i would say your well over stocked......
If your 7 Ancistrus are fully grown then you have to many...
Gold fish for me are a no no as they tend to create alot of waste...

I would go and buy your self a new heater.....
also buy yourself A PH test kit and a Nitrite test kit...
Dont buy the strips as they are useless in my eye's.....

Put your heater in and set the temp to 26.5'C.....

Do a PH test and a nitrite test and post the results in here....

Also do you have an air-pump in there???

What type of subsrate have you got? ie. gravel/sand...

Do you have plants in their??

And in total how many ancistrus are in there including baby's???

It would also be a big help if you could post a pic up of your setup.....

Untill you have made these small changes i cant really give you further advice....

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Mooo
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:13 pm

Hiya Welcome again..
You have a lot of research and reading to do, stick to the forums for your info as the shops only want the $$, they don't care about the fish dying, they just love to sell you replacements..shameful.
sounds like you having a mini cycle from adding the new ones..You can only ad a few fish to a tank at a time or it will add too much stress on the bio load and it can't make enough good bacteria to cope with the new waste...
My advice is get to know your water chemistry, Read up on cycling a tank, whats involved..& why it is necessary.
If I were you, I would buy a 100watt heater, set it on 26 and not worry anymore about the water temp. You need to get the bio load uunder control, with a load of bubs specially, get the bacterias sorted and it should be all GO . ..???
Let us know how you get on...
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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:58 pm

Thanks, realising I have a lot to learn about fish keeping! affraid (my daughter posted the icon because she has a wobbly tooth, but I think it's quite apt anyway!)

I had no idea I was overstocking the tank, that's why I asked PaH what was ok. I only bought more danios because I read they are happier in larger groups, so in a misguided attempt to improve things I actually messed them up on a grander scale!

4 of my ancistrus are fully grown - the parents and oldest 2 offspring (1 male 1 female), there are a number of others maybe 3-5 cm long, hard to tell as there are lots of places for them to hide in/under/behind - couple of pots, some wood, cave etc, that's why I guess about 7, but it could be closer to 10. Would say definitely not above that though.

Dad is still in his coral tube with some of the babies, it's hard to see past him but I est there are 6-10 left in there, have also seen about 6 little ones that came out of the tube yesterday and are sticking close by it.

I have a fluval 3+ filter that was putting air in near the surface, but recently I bought 60 cm of bubble curtain and an air pump to add extra O2 from the bottom

yes, I do have plants - about 4 in the standard little pots from pets at home, and a bit of O2 weed

I have gravel on the bottom of the tank, it is in a deeper layer at the end of the tank that is opposite the filter, presumably from the flow of water.

Yes, i have a lot to reading to do! Will find out about tank cycling and get myself a heater and water testing kit and get back when I have more more info and a pic.

Thanks.
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:34 pm

testing your water on a regular basis is a very important part of fishkeeping, once you get the kits post the results...
its good to see your very keen to learn.... Very Happy

were abouts in the uk are you from..??

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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:51 pm

I dread to think what the results will be!

I ordered a 100w heater, gravel cleaner (realised after looking at some tank care videos that I should have been doing this, no wonder it's all going wrong!), and got some test-for-everything strips from an ebay aquatics shop. Did look at the other testing kits, as you suggested, but it was starting to add up to a lot so thought maybe try a test that covers a broad spectrum rather than have to buy one for nitrites, one for ammonia, for ph..... Got a feeling it's going to be a scary result - the more I learn the more I'm amazed anything's surviving in there at all!

Will go and do a water change as soon as the cat shifts - she spends most of the day spread out on the top of the tank due to the warmth from the light.
:cat:

Am in Gloucestershire, Cotswoldy-chocolate-box-houses type of area.

Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I'll learn enough and get the right tools for the job to start looking after them properly, feel terrible I've been getting it wrong for so many years!

Embarassed
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Spreebok
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:02 pm

In regards to your goldfish, it's 40ltrs per fancy (fantail, black moor, bubbleeye etc) and for common/shubunkin/comets it's usually best to find them a pond to live in, as housing them in a tank is a right royal pain, considering they do grow a foot plus @x@

Goldfish = Poop Machines
Ancistrus = Poop Machines

2 Goldfish + X amount of Ancistrus = Lord of machines that poop.

Honestly, your best course of action would be either:

a. Thin the numbers out. It may be hard to let them go, but it's better to have a few happy fish instead of loads of unhappy fish. Try give the goldies to someones pond (if they're common) or get them a 90ltr tank if they're fancy. Young ancistrus can be taken to a lfs, you may or may not get money for them, but they'll be sold on to good homes. If noone will take them, try advertising online. Larger ones may also be taken in by lfs if you plead your case, or sold online.

b. Upgrade and buy seperate tanks for those with diffrent requirements. Expensive, and space consuming yes, but the option if you dont want to let them go. 90ltr for the goldies if they're fancy, and probably something in the region of 60-90 gallons (just an estimate, I only keep fancys) if they're common (which is why it would be easier to pond them, they are pondfish after all)
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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:56 pm

Thanks, really wish the people who sell the fish would be so helpful, but then guess they wouldn't sell so many!

When I started out 10 years ago I was sold 8 goldfish/shubunkin in one of those round plastic fairground tanks with the coloured ring on top and told they would be fine in there with no filter, light or anything. They came from a little pet shop in Canterbury. Wish I had questioned what I was told and done some research instead of just accepting it.

The fish are comets, I think - sort of standard looking goldfish with a bit of white and maybe slightly longer tail than a plain one. They belong to my daughter, and I know what the response will be if I suggest getting rid of them. (is there a tantrum icon anywhere?)

Grandma has a pond so will suggest that, otherwise will get another tank and just not buy any more fish!


Btw what is an lfs?
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Spreebok
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:07 pm

LFS means local fish shop/seller, I wandered what it ment at first as well lol! xD

Aw bless her, I'm sure she'll understand that mr and mrs Goldfish need a bigger home, and she'll still get to see them at grandmas! Smile

And yes, it disgusts me how pathetic shops are in making sure their fish are well looked after. I once came across a shop who sold 4 pond goldfish to someone with a 20ltr goldfish bowl, no filter or anything -facepalm-. It is like you said, they wouldnt make as much money otherwise.
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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:39 pm

Thanks, I thought it might mean that but didn't want to say in case I was wrong! Laughing

I didn't know there were any places that sold fish other than the big pet shops these days?

I'd be happy to offer the offspring to anyone on here who wants to collect them, but you all seem to have lots of fancy ones already and mine are the plain brown ones. Will stick a notice in my local pet shop when the tank is stabilised and see if anyone replies.
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Spreebok
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:53 pm

Oh yes, they're plenty, you just gotta know where to look! xD They're either really great or really not though, can be a bit of a lottery.

That sounds like the best plan of action there Smile
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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:39 pm

I tried to upload a pic of my tank in its current state into this message but couldn't do it. I managed to put it into my personal album on here though. Is that freely accessible to everyone? If not there's no point in me describing what it shows as no-one will be able to see it. If anyone can see it, let me know and I'll explain which fish is which and the sizes so you can get a perspective.
Thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:55 am

Its no were near as bad as i thought it would be...
youve got some talent in arrangment there... Good Job ...

I wouldnt change the setup to much just add an heater, and a couple of thermometer's....
Remove the goldfish, test the water and i think your onto a winner....

And dont feel bad about not caring for them right because as far as im concerned youve done a cracking job....

but the water is very deceiving and although it looks nice and clean and clear it may be a little toxic...

If you struggle in future with your pics then put them in the gallery like you did and i will edit them and put them in for you... Very Happy

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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:26 am

Thanks for putting that up for me!

To put it in perspective - the tank measures 76cm across

the catfish on the front top right of the tank is the oldest male offspring, he is 10cm long and has big bristles all round his mouth, but not the nose-horns (?) yet.

the one on the lower right in front of the cave measures 5cm, there's quite a few this size.

you can just see dad's tail sticking out of the left tube of coral, there are babies all round the black stones in front of the coral but they are too small to show up

some of the danios are flicking this morning, so perhaps last night's 10% water change didn't help. I also cleaned the filter sponges (in old tank water). Might have to do quite a few small daily water changes. Was surprised how warm the water was last night when I changed it, it felt like a warm water tank already! Hoping the things I ordered get here soon.

I have a couple of close ups of dad, and a big offspring eating a piece of cucumber, in which you can see a couple of the babies, so will stick them in my gallery too. Unfortunately there's a lot of reflections in the photos and lots of algae in the tank, so they're not very clear!
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:09 pm

wow, Shocked Your tank is very lovely, I agree, your aquascaping skills are great. Tank really looks good. Two thumbs up.
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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:10 pm

oh, thank you. I'd like to say that it was all carefully planned, but really it was a case of "how quickly can I fit all this in?" after my house move 2 years ago, when all the fish had to be scooped out and travel for 4 hours in a plastic box! The coral tube was a bit I found in the back garden of a flat I moved into 6 years ago, had no idea that it was just what the catfish liked
:o
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PostSubject: water test results   Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:33 am

Ok, testing strips, gravel cleaner and heater arrived today. Still no thermometer yet. Don't really want to put heater in yet as it will make the goldfish produce more waste and cause more problems presumably? Working on getting them rehomed asap.

Unfortunately discovered oldest female offspring/mum of new babies dead last night. She was right at the back of the tank behind a plant pot, and I only saw her by accident as I moved the filter. Been dead a couple of days by the look of it, so that won't have helped the water quality. She was the one that got the redness underneath after the new danios went in, I thought she had recovered, but clearly not. None of the others showing any symptoms, and new babies are now spreading around the tank more.

Forgot to mention before, I also have 2 clams in the tank. One has buried itself under the wood, but saw the other yesterday and is still alive.

Water results:

GH 180
KH between 180-240
PH 7.5
NO2 0
NO3 80

the notes haven't made a lot of sense to me yet, they all seem to say "buy this", will have to re-read them and see if I can work it out.
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:03 am

sorry to hear about your loss.... rest in peace

Have a quick read through this article i found for you.....

it may help you understand it a little better...

http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/waterchemsitry/a/watertesting.htm

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mooncat
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:50 pm

sorry, forgot to say, thanks for that link, I think it's slowly sinking in. Bit of a pain the multi-testing kit doesn't do ammonia levels, so think I might get a separate one for that. My thermometer arrived and tank temp seems to be 21.5 fairly evenly throughout the day, so will leave it at that for now. Babies are all out of the tube and seem to be doing well.x
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:08 am

Great news about the babys....
I would still get the heater to be honest...
If you get an heater that can be controlled you can slowly lift your temp day by day.....

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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:21 am

heater's there and ready to go, just don't want to put it on with the goldfish in there, given the water quality problems I've had already.

Maybe I could just creep it up a tiny bit and try and find some sort of middle point. hmm.

so far no takers for the goldies from my daughter's school friends, a possibility they could go to grandparents at end of july (4 hour drive though so not something we can get done any sooner), or an ad in the pet shop. working on it!
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PostSubject: Re: sort me out, I'm in a pickle!   Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:27 pm

mooncat wrote:
heater's there and ready to go, just don't want to put it on with the goldfish in there, given the water quality problems I've had already.

Maybe I could just creep it up a tiny bit and try and find some sort of middle point. hmm.

so far no takers for the goldies from my daughter's school friends, a possibility they could go to grandparents at end of july (4 hour drive though so not something we can get done any sooner), or an ad in the pet shop. working on it!

Its ok to say youve grown very fond of them lol....
Goldfish were the first species i kept and i also found it difficult to get rid of them....
so my parents setup a little tank for them and they live happily in there now... Very Happy

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