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 Newbie head over heels for BNs

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Jeff
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PostSubject: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:54 pm

Very Happy Heyas all! Fell in love with my friends BN, so friendly and adorable i just had to have 1 or 2 Wink

So been researching all I could the last week, prepared my tank and am now the proud papa of 2 very small (1 1/2") cuties!

These are the first fish i've ever had and 2 days in I just love them!

I just have a 10 gallon tank, I know it is small but will be upgrading asap. There is 2 java ferns, 1 pce malaysian wood(bog?), 1 cave, 1 airstone, and a decent pump/filter. I have been feeding them algae discs and some flakes to get them started, and will try some blanched Zuccini tonight.

I don't have any intelligent questions right away, heh, but if ur seeing a red flag, pls let me know. These little guys are keeping me company while I am stuck at home for the next several months, they are helping me relax and smile and I want to keep them happy as they are making me Smile

Guess i have 1 question to start... Should i get them some friends? Like 6 glowlight tetras i was thinking or similar very small fish.

This is the first forum I've ever joined as well (besides the mmo i play), but just thought i'd say hi to all and see how this goes. Not sure how i became a BN lover basically overnight but am looking forward to sharing experiences and info with you all.

Jeff
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:24 pm

Hi Jeff and welcome to Bristlenoseworld cheers

There is a list of veg HERE that you could try. The six in the starter list usually go down well.

Your set up sounds fine, you could add a couple of small fish or better still you could wait untill you upgrade.

Any problems and there will always be someone on hand to help Good Job
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:30 pm

welcome abard Very Happy

No red flags from me Smile

See you out on the forums

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:25 am

Hi and welcome to the forum cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:19 am

Thanx for the quick responses! Been reading the forums(apparently not logged in) for the last few hrs, I def found the right place Smile Loving all the pics and info!
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:10 am

Hi Jeff Smile Your bristlenoses don't need any friends and will be happier without any and also the tank will be cleaner with less fish and healthier for them with it being on the small side.If you want other fish that is a different matter and in a tank that size don't add very many,a school of tetras or similar will be fine but i wouldn't get more than that.Would be better to wait till you upgrade like Jim said Smile

I have a question,You say you set up the tank last week and these are the first fish you have had.Did you cycle the tank ?
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:38 am

cheers Great to have you hear jeff cheers

You've defo come to the right place...... cheers Have fun.......... Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:31 pm

I ran the tank with conditioners for about 4 days. All tests were good, have had Fred and Wilma in for 3 days now and they are doing well and are quite busy in there. Have decided to keep just the 2 of them in this tank.

So, I made the caves out of brown plastic jar lids (boiled first, im on a budget) is this acceptable? They are dark, but i set them up so I can just barely see inside. They use both of them, one is underneath bogwood, and the other near the plants. Also, on the plant side i have gravel and the bogwood side i left the bottom bare... they are keeping it very clean. I have another plastic lid weighted with some gravel which am using as a food dish, blanched a green string bean peeled it in half last night and they didnt seem to go for it. They are liking the algae discs, and few tropical flakes that ive put in are getting vacuumed up. Am pulling the food out every 8 hrs, they barely make a dent in the discs tho. Some fine particles in the water from the wood i believe, tho i did soak them for 24 hrs in the bathtub first.

Loving this hobby so much!
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:34 pm

Oh, am going shopping, gonna buy some mushrooms and see if they will go for them floating on the top Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:48 pm

Hi Jeff and welcome.

I've been a member of a few forums and this is one of the best/friendliest I've known, no-one here will make you feel like you've asked a stupid question and all will try and help with some friendly advise.

As my dad always says, whats a simple question to one is hard to some one who doesn't now the answer and the only way to get to know the answer is to ask.!

cheers

Jon

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:04 pm

jond4261 wrote:
Hi Jeff and welcome.

I've been a member of a few forums and this is one of the best/friendliest I've known, no-one here will make you feel like you've asked a stupid question and all will try and help with some friendly advise.

As my dad always says, whats a simple question to one is hard to some one who doesn't now the answer and the only way to get to know the answer is to ask.!

cheers

Jon


well said jon..... cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:42 am

to Bristlenose world you will love it here


Bristlenoses wrote:
I have a question,You say you set up the tank last week and these are the first fish you have had.Did you cycle the tank ?

Very good question Smile

Jeff there are beneficial bacteria in your tank that use ammonia as a food source, converting the ammonia into less harmful Nitrites and converting the Nitrites into less harmfull Nitrates. (This is called the Nitrogen Cycle) This ammonia is supplied by the fish waste in the tank. When the tank is first set up there isn't enough beneficial bacteria to take care of all the ammonia so it can build up and cause harm to the fish. Water changes will help lower the ammonia until there is enough bacteria to handle the load. A good water testing kit will help you know when to do a water change until you have enough beneficial bacteria. I use API freshwater testing kit. I'm not sure what you can get there as I live in the USA
Bristlenose like other types of Plecs are huge waste producers so it doesn't take long for the ammonia to get out of hand.

Don't mean to throw this at you all at once but I know you want to take good care of your new buddies Very Happy
Let us know if you need anything Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:42 am

Hmmm, i did not know much about the cycling being my first tank.... prolly should've cycled it for a few weeks. When I upgrade my tank, i will be more patient.

Yesterday while riding the train, I saw a small hole in the wall fish store so I stopped in on the way home. Ran into Peter who I met before in a very large industrial style fish warehouse. I have been visiting many fish stores in my city and have found most of the people who work in these places all know each other! So we're chatting and I told him my love of Bns and that i felt my 2 may both be males (1 for sure, his bristles are already*antlering, the other has a lot of whiskers around the mouth) and that I would really like a female. This small store had many large *normal Plecs, but alas, no Bns, the 500Gal tank had an amazing 1 1/2 ft albino plec!

Anyways Peter asked me if I had 10 min to spare, of course i did, so we went to his home across the street and he showed me his 15 or so tanks OMG! He showed me his personal Bn assortment, pointed out his females(for sure) and asked me which one I wanted Shocked so 20 min later I left with a head swimming with more knowledge and ideas than I can comprehend still, and a beautiful female partner for my 1 1/2 men!

Fish ppl are so awesome!
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:37 pm

Congrats on getting yourself a female for ya boys. It's always good to meet people in your local area and exchange ideas. Good luck with your venture into breeding Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:00 pm

Hi again,congrats on getting a female Smile O.K now I am concerned that you are going to run into trouble because you havn't cycled your tank.Please get a test kit or at least some test strips and start testing your water every day for the next few weeks and doing water changes as required.I would hate for you to come on here and say your bristlenoses aren't looking or doing very well.Carol gave some good info on why the cycle is important and now you have a third fish it will be an even bigger ammonia load.What will help is underfeeding instead of over feeding and water changes,water changes and more water changes Smile.

If you do infact have two males and one female you will probably need to get at least one more female as two males to one female isn't a great combo but please first sort the cycle out.I am only saying this as I don't want you to have problems and your fish get ill or worse die.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:58 pm

Water changes would be the most important then right now? I have the test strips and an Ammonia test kit. Testing now...(I have been changing water daily at about 15%) gh 180, kh 240, ph 7.2, nitrite 0.2, nitrate 10, ammonia .5

Am going to change 20% water now, and check again in 1/2 hr.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:09 pm

Hiya Jeff, welcome to the best ever bn forums!!

First off congrats on getting your new companions, great little fishies aren't they?

Would like to add a little bit of advice. If you've got some of the liquid biological booster stuff, (good bacteria in a bottle), perhaps add some of that stuff in every 3 days after a water change. It'll help keep the biological filter growing with the good stuff, and help speed up the cycle a bit.

Your idea of caves out of lids is awesome, and if your bns like it, then you know you made it well! Very Happy

Enjoy yourself on the forums, and do not hesitate to ask for help. ^_^


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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:17 pm

Softwhiite wrote:
Water changes would be the most important then right now? I have the test strips and an Ammonia test kit. Testing now...(I have been changing water daily at about 15%) gh 180, kh 240, ph 7.2, nitrite 0.2, nitrate 10, ammonia .5

Am going to change 20% water now, and check again in 1/2 hr.

Hi again,keep doing your water changes daily and test daily.You need to keep the ammonia and nitrate as low as possible,zero being the ideal.You will probably see a nitrate spike in the next week or so.Keep a note of how often you test,your water changes and your test results.That way you will see what is happening over the days.

Yes the water changes are of utmost importance at the moment.Once the cycle is over and the tank is stable you can do them less frequently.Try not to overfeed aswell as this will not help.If you can get some API stress zyme plus (or similar) (as Tegan suggested) and add the correct amount once or twice a week to the tank after a water change this will also help,good luck Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:26 pm

Softwhiite wrote:
Water changes would be the most important then right now? I have the test strips and an Ammonia test kit. Testing now...(I have been changing water daily at about 15%) gh 180, kh 240, ph 7.2, nitrite 0.2, nitrate 10, ammonia .5

Am going to change 20% water now, and check again in 1/2 hr.

Hi Jeff

Although water changes are important, you can do too many and this again has an adverse effect. Personally if I was in your position, I would do as silvashadow said and get some of the filter aid. There are several sorts available, one of the best, comes in little squidgy balls of liquid that you just drop in to your tank and then the skin dissolves and releases the good bacteria in to your tank. Sorry I cant remember whats its called, but your LFS will know the one I mean. There are several more different types available and everyone has there own preference. I'd also limit the water changes to about 10% every 2 days, because as there are only 4 fish in the tank this should be ok. This wil also help give your filter chance to mature properly.

However I would continue to check the water parameters with your test kit daily just to ensure that the levels stay in the recommended limits. If they are staying there then then I'd cut back on the changes to once every 3 days, if they are going outside the parameters then I'd increase one of the changes to 15% and alternate 10% and 15% again every two days (I don't think this will be an issue) untill it stabalises.

I know my filters are nicely matured, but I only now do about 15-20% water change once a week and then only really to clean the bottom not because there is anything wrong the water parameters. Of course I still check them every couple of days to be sure.!!

Anyway hope this is of some help, and although I expect that some might not agree entirely with what I've written, they will agree that you don't what to keep driving your tank into a new cycle which is what will happen if you do too many frequent/large water changes.

cheers

Jon
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:01 pm

jond4261 wrote:
Softwhiite wrote:
Water changes would be the most important then right now? I have the test strips and an Ammonia test kit. Testing now...(I have been changing water daily at about 15%) gh 180, kh 240, ph 7.2, nitrite 0.2, nitrate 10, ammonia .5

Am going to change 20% water now, and check again in 1/2 hr.

Hi Jeff

Although water changes are important, you can do too many and this again has an adverse effect. Personally if I was in your position, I would do as silvashadow said and get some of the filter aid. There are several sorts available, one of the best, comes in little squidgy balls of liquid that you just drop in to your tank and then the skin dissolves and releases the good bacteria in to your tank. Sorry I cant remember whats its called, but your LFS will know the one I mean. There are several more different types available and everyone has there own preference. I'd also limit the water changes to about 10% every 2 days, because as there are only 4 fish in the tank this should be ok. This wil also help give your filter chance to mature properly.

However I would continue to check the water parameters with your test kit daily just to ensure that the levels stay in the recommended limits. If they are staying there then then I'd cut back on the changes to once every 3 days, if they are going outside the parameters then I'd increase one of the changes to 15% and alternate 10% and 15% again every two days (I don't think this will be an issue) untill it stabalises.

I know my filters are nicely matured, but I only now do about 15-20% water change once a week and then only really to clean the bottom not because there is anything wrong the water parameters. Of course I still check them every couple of days to be sure.!!

Anyway hope this is of some help, and although I expect that some might not agree entirely with what I've written, they will agree that you don't what to keep driving your tank into a new cycle which is what will happen if you do too many frequent/large water changes.

cheers

Jon

Hi Jon,I am sorry but i disagree about water changes,water changes will not affect the bacteria in the filter whatsoever.This is my opinion and my experience on the subject and from all i have learned and read and been told over many years.

There are certain things that must be done or not done to ensure the safety and health of the bacteria though,these are as follows.The water being added must be declorinated before being added and also must be the same or very nearly the same temperature as the water being removed,also make sure the perameters are not a lot different,if they are then much smaller more frequent changes are better.The filter media must only be rinsed out in old tank water and must not be kept out of the water for any length of time.

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:34 pm

Bristlenoses wrote:
jond4261 wrote:
Softwhiite wrote:
Water changes would be the most important then right now? I have the test strips and an Ammonia test kit. Testing now...(I have been changing water daily at about 15%) gh 180, kh 240, ph 7.2, nitrite 0.2, nitrate 10, ammonia .5

Am going to change 20% water now, and check again in 1/2 hr.

Hi Jeff

Although water changes are important, you can do too many and this again has an adverse effect. Personally if I was in your position, I would do as silvashadow said and get some of the filter aid. There are several sorts available, one of the best, comes in little squidgy balls of liquid that you just drop in to your tank and then the skin dissolves and releases the good bacteria in to your tank. Sorry I cant remember whats its called, but your LFS will know the one I mean. There are several more different types available and everyone has there own preference. I'd also limit the water changes to about 10% every 2 days, because as there are only 4 fish in the tank this should be ok. This wil also help give your filter chance to mature properly.

However I would continue to check the water parameters with your test kit daily just to ensure that the levels stay in the recommended limits. If they are staying there then then I'd cut back on the changes to once every 3 days, if they are going outside the parameters then I'd increase one of the changes to 15% and alternate 10% and 15% again every two days (I don't think this will be an issue) untill it stabalises.

I know my filters are nicely matured, but I only now do about 15-20% water change once a week and then only really to clean the bottom not because there is anything wrong the water parameters. Of course I still check them every couple of days to be sure.!!

Anyway hope this is of some help, and although I expect that some might not agree entirely with what I've written, they will agree that you don't what to keep driving your tank into a new cycle which is what will happen if you do too many frequent/large water changes.

cheers

Jon

Hi Jon,I am sorry but i disagree about water changes,water changes will not affect the bacteria in the filter whatsoever.This is my opinion and my experience on the subject and from all i have learned and read and been told over many years.

There are certain things that must be done or not done to ensure the safety and health of the bacteria though,these are as follows.The water being added must be declorinated before being added and also must be the same or very nearly the same temperature as the water being removed,also make sure the perameters are not a lot different,if they are then much smaller more frequent changes are better.The filter media must only be rinsed out in old tank water and must not be kept out of the water for any length of time.


As I said not everyone will agree and everyone will have their own opinion. As I have only been keeping BNs for just over a year I am well aware that there are a lot of people on here that are more knowledgable in their keeping than me and I whole heartedly agree that any water changes should be with declorinated water with water as close a temperature as the tank as possible. However in the 38 years or so that I have been keeping tropical fish I do not believe that doing water changes more that 15-20% once a week is necessary, unless you have something specific wrong, ie an overcrowded tank with abnormal parameters (ie high amonina or nitrite (N02) levels) or after treating the tank for any reason, when more frequent changes of smaller volumes is necessary untill you are able reduce the number of fish in the tank and/or staballise the parameters at the right levels.

For info, I also keep my water very slightly brackish, (1% salinaty), as this helps keep the fish healthy and also acts as a PH buffer. I also keep my tanks very heavily planted.

With this set up I have never had to "trigger" a spawn, the BNs seem very happy and breed regulary every 3 or 4 weeks.

But as I said at the begining everyone has their own ideas and although mine works for me and my tanks/setups, other peoples ideas with different setups will undoubtedly work for them.

cheers

Jon
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:17 pm

Hi again Jon,I agree that most tanks have different needs but in the instance of a tank that has not been cycled very frequent water changes are necessary and also in my opinion even a well cycled and stable tank will benefit from regular water changes as long as what I said above is adhered to.In the wild the water is constantly changing (as in a river environment) or is extremely diluted ( in the case of large lakes etc).There are things in water that we cannot see and do not test for (or cannot test for).If we kept our fish in constant fresh water (as in 100% daily changes),we wouldnt even need filters but as this would be too large a task and too time consuming and maybe too difficult (in certain circumstances) and not practical either,then we need to use filters.I am definately no expert and I fully respect your knowledge and experience,i am just stating my own opinion and thoughts on the subject.Everyone like you say has their own ideas and experiences and i respect those Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:31 am

Wow, ty very much for the info! My problem is that I did not cycle the tank properly. Next tank I set up I will def cycle it for at least 3 weeks. I did not know about the bacteria in the filters... heck, i didn't know anything except these fish have amazing personalities and are really good looking :P.

I ended up spending all day slowly changing water with a beer pitcher (heh), with each jug I used cold tapwater, warmed it up in a sink of hot water, de-chlorinated it and used a drop or 2 of Seachem Prime. Poured it in the tank, waited a few minutes, pulled another jug out and repeated the process. Testing regularily. I will look into the biological accelerators because my new filter obviously will still take some time to activate still. In the meantime, i will continue with the beer jug brigade Smile

My tank is right beside my bed at eye level, and with the room lights dim and tank lights off I can just barely see inside... but it is enough. They are so playful when they think I cant see them it unbelieveable.... I cant sleep now, might have to move the tank Smile

I felt horrible when I realized the mistakes I had made, I just wanted to enjoy these guys, but my enthusiasm coupled with the lack of knowledge got the better of me. We will recover I'm sure, none of my babies seem the worse for wear, but I will def keep on top of this hard until my cycle is started proper.

Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate it! My Bns ty too!

Might sneak out and get a 55 to start cycling for 3-4 weeks till I begin mebbe looking for some more friends. So, to start the cycle, I'm thinking of moderately planting, getting my wood and caves in, and setting up a mirror to shine sunlight on it to get some algae growing as well. Any thoughts on getting some algae growth to start? or is that a bad idea?

Gonna try and post pics of my setup in the next couple days, just waiting for a friend w/camera to drop by hehe

Much thanx, Jeff
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:31 pm

Hi Jeff,your enthusiasm is commendable Smile If I was you i would not bother with the beer jug as it is a bit like defeating the object as you need to get out the bad stuff and add good stuff,so you need to take out what you are taking out in one go.Then add new water to replace it.Doing it the way you are doing it you could be taking out good water that you have added already.That's the easiest way to explain it and I hope you understand what I mean.It is the amount of water you change and how often that we were debating Smile

You need to get some household ammonia if you are going to cycle a tank with no fish in.If you need help on the subject just ask and good luck Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie head over heels for BNs   Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:33 pm

You are doing a good job mate, hehehe, but I think to save you some time get an old icecream container and use that to scoop out one or two container-loads of water. Nice and quick, and 1-2 scoops usually does the desired amount. That's how I used to water change my little tank which would be about the same size as yours. Take out one or two scoops, then fill the container, put the rough amount of conditioner in and pop back into the tank, and with that add a cap-full of beneficial bacteria to the water around every third water change. Try to get the temperature as close as possible to the tanks water or your little pals might go into shock.

What you have in mind for your new tank sounds like a great idea, but still ideally needs a couple fish to kick start the cycle. Your filter needs the fish waste to drive the bacteria into growing and converting. Get your gravel, wood and caves set up first, condition the water, add a dose of the beneficial stuff, pop a couple of little fishies in, then leave it for about 3-4 days. After that then add some plants in, do you little water changes, and you're good to go. Give it at least 3 weeks then go visit the lfs Very Happy

Looking forward to seeing the new setup once you've got it ready cheers

~Tegan
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