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First Tank

Author Topic: first tank  (Read 3465 times)

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Offline loosenix

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first tank
« on: July 14, 2013, 07:49:53 PM »
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hi, i have a new tank 55ltr and measures 40x40x40 cm. everything i have done is on the advice of pets at home and maidenhead aquatics, cycled for 8 days before adding 3 lemon tetras. waited 7 days before adding 3 more. tank has been running for 23 days. i have done 2 20% water changes. water tests are all in parameters of recommendations. ph a little high at 8 ammonia is 0. all fish seem very happy since being in group of 6. after reading on several sites it seems my tank is to small for lemon tetras and the twenty odd fish the shops said i could eventually have is way over the top. fish i did intend to add were cardinal and bleeding heart tetras with some shrimp. dont know if it is normal but my tetras seem to be swimming in and out of the air bubbles and eating them. the internal pump has an adapter to push a tube onto which hangs outside the tank sucking in air on  the pump outlet to create bubbles. the tank has 4 live plants 2 ornaments and a piece of bogwood. would the tank be ok in size if i kept just the fish i already have and added a few shrimp. i apologise for all the questions but want to be safe.  not sure if i should trust the shops. any advice would be helpful. many thanks

Offline Sue

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Re: first tank
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 08:50:24 PM »
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Don't trust shops. Too many of them will say anything to make a sale, and a lot know nothing about keeping fish.


Your tank is a bit on the small side for lemon tetras. It isn't so much that they'll grow to big to fit as they need more swimming room. If you had a rectangular tank rather than a cube, the length for your volume would be something like 60cm, which would be big enough. For a tank with a footprint of just 40 x 40cm, you need to look at very small fish.
If you really do want to keep the tetras, you could add something like half a dozen endlers - males only as females will give birth to fry every months which would soon overpopulate your tank. With your pH of 8, they would be quite happy.


But before you add any more fish, you need to wait until you are sure your tank is cycled - that is, the filter has grown its two colonies of bacteria. You say your ammonia is zero - do you have your own test kit or are you getting the test done at the shop? If it's the shop, take that reading with a pinch of salt. You also need to know your nitrite reading as that only appears once your filter has grown some ammonia eating bacteria and is also toxic to fish.
8 days is not long enough to have cycled the filter. Even if you added a bacterial starter that actually worked and ammonia solution, it would have taken around 2 weeks. If you don't have your own test kit, you really need to buy one. If you don't want to get a whole kit, get just ammonia and nitrite liquid reagent testers. Then test the water every day and do a water change whenever you see a reading above zero for either of them.
Once both tests show zero, you can get some more fish, but only a couple at a time. There will only be enough bacteria for the lemon tetras and getting too many more at one go will be too much for the bacteria.

Once you have all the fish you want, you can get shrimps. Red cherry would be the one to go for. But only when the tank has been running a couple of months as shrimps are more sensitive to ammonia and nitrite than fish.



As for eating the bubbles, it shouldn't harm them. Fish are not the brightest of creatures, and when they see anything moving in the water they think it's food  :D

Offline ColinB

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Re: first tank
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 10:55:25 AM »
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Hi Loosenix, and welcome to the forum.

If your tank is the AquaOne NanoCube 40 then it's the same one that I have, and also Daniel (DJT) has one as well. The filtration in that tank is absolutely huge - far more than 55litres needs - so the filtration capacity is nothing to worry about and is very stable once established. I had a 4 hour power-cut with no ill effects at all.

Swimming space is the main concern - very active fish need more room to stretch their legs (as it were) so the fish I've found to be truly excellent inhabitants are Cherry Barbs (Click here). 3 male and 3 female. The males turn bright cherry red when they're displaying to each other or the barbie girls, and they'll be fine with your pH8 and they'll also so occupy the bottom half of the tank while your Lemon Tetras have the top half. The colours will look good together too!

I have a total of 17 fish in my tank (5-band barbs, cherry barbs, guppies and a red honey gourami) and everything is as peaceful and quiet as can be. Plenty of quick growing plants to handle the Nitrate, lots of bogwood with Java fern attached to give the slightly black-water effect, some cryptocrynes for them to nose around in, and Dave the Dinosaur for them to swim in-and-out of and hide in. What more could a little fishy want! ;D

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Fiveband Barb (7) - Checkered Barb (7) - Slender Harlequin (7) - White Cloud Mountain Minnow (13) - Hillstream Loach (9) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline loosenix

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Re: first tank
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 08:05:19 PM »
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thank you to all replies, it is most appreciated. the one good thing to come from the pet shop advice was 24's worth of water testing kit with test tubes and liquids for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and ph and colour chart. this is what i have used to test so far. plants are already shooting up, 2 are a broad sword shape leaf, 1 is like a lily which is tied to the bog wood and the other is a fairly fast growing feathery type. ornaments are a cannon and a barrel with holes big enough even for the tetras to swim in. all seems happy in there at the moment so will just leave the tetras in there for a couple of months. as long as no problems appear i will add a few shrimps. the tank is same an aqua one 40 which i thought good value at 79 (on offer) with all components. i must admit the cherry barbs were one of the fish i first looked at. will do some more tests for a couple of weeks to see if all is settling down. thanks again for all advice

Offline Sue

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Re: first tank
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 08:18:04 PM »
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Have you checked your nitrite as well as ammonia? Both of them are toxic to fish. As your ammonia is zero, you are safe on that one, but do check your nitrite.

Offline ColinB

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Re: first tank
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 09:58:20 AM »
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Nice one! That's a good deal on both the test kit and the tank. Take care with the plastic clips which hold the top glass covers in place. They're easily broken..... don't ask!! >:(

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Fiveband Barb (7) - Checkered Barb (7) - Slender Harlequin (7) - White Cloud Mountain Minnow (13) - Hillstream Loach (9) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline loosenix

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Re: first tank
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 08:22:05 PM »
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i have done water tests tonight, ph is 7.6. ammonia is zero. nitrate is 10 and nitrite is zero. followed all instructions and all seems well. will keep testing though and hope it all stays ok. got bloody snails now. they are something i did not want. i know were they came from and the aquatics centre just said tough if they are on the plants there is nothing they can do. i get rid of 2 or 3 and the next day there are 2 or 3 more. but hey, fish seem happy and a pleasure to watch and the water is fine.

Offline Sue

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Re: first tank
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 08:30:33 PM »
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Good to hear your ammonia and nitrite are zero, they are the important ones. The nitrate tester can be unrealiable as it is next to imossible to make an accurate one at a price we can afford. Treat your nitrate result as a ball park figure. Don't forget to test your tapwater as some of the nitrate in the tank will have come from there.

Just to check - when you 'followed the instructions' that did include all the shaking for the nitrate test?


Most snails do not cause problems in a tank, they just look unsightly. Crush them against the glass (if that's where they are) and the fish will eat them. The main cause of huge numbers of snails is over feeding the fish as they eat all the left over food and breed like crazy. I gave up trying to get rid of the snails in my tanks years ago - I have little flat ones, some sort of mini ramshorn. And also the ones I bought  ;D

Offline loosenix

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Re: first tank
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 08:52:18 PM »
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all shaking of mixtures and liquids was followed to what the instructions said and no i have not tested the tap water. i will do that now, thank you for the advice

Offline ColinB

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Re: first tank
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 09:54:43 PM »
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That's good advice, too. Thames Water kindly supply me with 25ppm of Nitrates straight out of the tap! It took me a while to work out what was happening with my water.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Fiveband Barb (7) - Checkered Barb (7) - Slender Harlequin (7) - White Cloud Mountain Minnow (13) - Hillstream Loach (9) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

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Re: first tank
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 03:46:04 PM »
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While you are testing your nitrate, test your tapwater's pH as well. Then run a glass of water, leave it to stand for 24 hours and test the pH of that. It is likely that your tapwater pH will be different between freshly run and left standing. If you know the pH of tapwater that's stood for 24 hours, you won't panic when freshly run tapwater has a different pH from the tank - tank water has stood a while.

Offline daniel_james_taylor

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Re: first tank
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 08:38:00 PM »
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Take care with the plastic clips which hold the top glass covers in place. They're easily broken..... don't ask!! >:(

Yes, I strongly second what Colin has said here! snapped mine like a twig, so went back to the store and said the clip was broken in the box when I opened it.  :P

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