Bought a used tank that came with fish... now what?
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:26 PM   #1
lullafishi
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Bought a used tank that came with fish... now what?


Hi all!

I just brought home a cheap and used 10 gallon set-up with the intention of using it for a quarantine tank for my 40B (currently sitting dry). I mainly wanted a tank and lid, but the deal I found also included a shady looking heater, Whisper 10i filter.... and two male guppies and three neon tetras.

Now, I like guppies. And I like the neons. I'd love to save them if I can help it, and eventually add them to my 40B with a fuller school of neons. But this tank is filthy and smelly.... covered in algae with algae-covered glass marbles at the bottom. I did a 50% water change, removed all decor except the marbles (I'll remove those tomorrow), plugged the filter in, but I don't trust the heater. I'm ordering a sponge filter and new heater for this tank, but I don't know when they'll get here.

Any suggestions on what to do to keep the guppies and neons alive, but clean up the tank to quarantine standards?

Can or should I use any of this tank to help cycle my 40B?

My other concern is the water temp since the heater looks pretty untrustworthy... The only established tank I have is a non-planted 2.5 gallon that houses two male guppies I'm quite attached to. I have a little heater in this tank. Should I move this heater to the 10 gallon so the neons have warmer water, or would that put my two original guppies at risk?

Last edited by lullafishi; 05-29-2013 at 02:20 PM.. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:58 PM   #2
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I would think the fish would be fine in a bucket while you bleach the tank, if they are healthy. (I'm figuring that if you want to use the tank for quarantine or hospital purposes, you don't want to start off with whatever junk has been hibernating in that muck for who knows how long. Seed your filters from your own 2.5 gallon that you know has healthy fish.) If the fish don't look good or the water quality is ridiculously bad, acclimate them to clean water more slowly.

Guppies are pretty adaptable, if you ask me. Mine do without a heater - not sure about the tetras. Personally, I would wait for the new heater to arrive, as I don't like to risk my older animals.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:20 PM   #3
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I should be able to float some of my new bio-media (for the 40B) in a mesh bag in my 2.5 gallon tank to get that seeding. I'm also about to run out and get some pure ammonia to help start the fishless cycle for the 40B.

I'm not as worried about the guppies because mine always did fine without a heater until winter-time, but this is my first experience with neons.

Does this sound like a good plan?

- Keep new fish in the used tank with old filter running. Cross fingers that the tetras will be fine without a heater for a week or so.

- When new sponge filter and heater arrive, move fish to a bucket with tank water and filter. Bleach the 10 gallon and install new filter/heater.

- And now I'm stuck on getting the quarantine tank cycled to receive the new fish for a true quarantine period. Should I seed the sponge filter in my little 2.5 for a few days before putting into the freshly-cleaned QT?
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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New heater and filter for the QT ordered and expected to arrive Friday. The tetras seem to be doing fine so far. I called my LFS asking about seeding material and they recommended I buy Seachem Stability because they don't want to be liable if one of their tanks has disease. Boo.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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You could post an ad online asking for some seeding material. Usually people will give that for free.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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you could leave the neons and guppies in a 5 gallon bucket with no heater and filter and theyll be perfectly fine. just maybe a wc every week or so. they are really hardy and shouldnt die. (i've done this before with neons)

don't worry about a heater with neons/guppies they really don't NEED one ime. just get that seeded media from someone would be your best bet. also theyre products like "old sea mud" and "bacter100" that helps speed up the cycling process.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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I'd stick it out with a dirty tank until you get the 40b up and running. Get that cycled, drop the guppies and neons in it, then concentrate on breaking down the 10g for cleaning. That way you'll be able to keep all your seeded media which you can put back in the QT and have an almost instantly cycled tank.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:52 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input, everyone! I feel better about the aspect of putting them in a bucket with a filter now.

I've posted to my local board here asking if anyone can help me with seeded material. Thanks for that suggestion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
I'd stick it out with a dirty tank until you get the 40b up and running. Get that cycled, drop the guppies and neons in it, then concentrate on breaking down the 10g for cleaning. That way you'll be able to keep all your seeded media which you can put back in the QT and have an almost instantly cycled tank.
That's an idea! I'm sure it's going to take a few weeks before my 40b is cycled and ready, and if I continue monitoring the fish in the dirty tank then that will still be 3 weeks of quarantine for them.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:15 AM   #9
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What is the ambient temp in your home? If its somewhere in between 72 and 80 and it doesn't fluctuate too much then you'll probably be fine without a heater.
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