The Planted Tank Forum banner

Beginners learning curve

1098 10
Happy to be a part of this community. We just got a 36 gallon tank for Christmas and did quite a bit of research leading up to it, however we are basically first timers.

We set it up overnight, however we seeded the tank with some substrate and filter material from a friends healthy tank. We added a few fish and everything seemed to be going well for about 2 weeks. Then we noticed some white specks, and determined it was ich. We treated the ich with minimal loss.

I have been testing the water every day and have never seen any ammonia spike, nitrite spike, or nitrate presence. We were fully prepared (at least in theory) to do a fish in cycle, but have seen no evidence that anything is happening? Thoughts?
  • Like
Reactions: _DiAmOnDs_
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should maybe give some more information. We used CarabSea Eco complete substrate. Filled up and let sit for 3 days 25 gallons of water, and had a 3.5 gallon tank running for 3 days with the seeded substrate, and filter contents. We also treated all water prior to adding to the tank with Prime (Seachem), API quick start, and API stress coat. We have 8 plants in the tank.

for the Ich treatment we did the 2 doses 48 hours apart of super ich cure, and raised the temperature to 80F.
48 hours after the second dose we did a 30% water change, and 48 hours after that we dosed with Fritz Copper safe. Based on some reviews, I undersized with Coppersafe at least initially, as I understood without testing for heavy metals, there is come opportunity for overdosing the tank.
I know they say no water changes for a month, but I was going to start with weekly water changes for 30% a week after 2 weeks. That’s if I don’t see ammonia/ nitrite spikes.
Thoughts?

What is the substrate and exactly how many fish. What kind of fish are they and what size are they. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
Thanks for the reply!! We used CaribSea Eco complete.
15 fish:
2 leopard danio- long fin (about an inch)
1 zebra danio - long fin (about an inch) we lost the other one due to ich
3 mollies -silver lyretail (about 2 inches), 1 Dalmatian (about 2 inches), 1 black (under 1 inch)
2 cosmic blue danio (about 1 inch)
3 lyretail delta guppy (under 1 inch)
2 gold twinbar platy (about 1 inch)
2 blue wag platy (each a little over 1 inch)

we have live plants …about 8 individual plants….4 varieties: narrow leaf fern, Amazon sword, Anubias congensis, windelov Java fern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,602 Posts
Your friends’ seeding material would get your cycle going rapidly. It is likely that you are cycled, particularly since you are seeing no ammonia readings. Your plants need nitrogen, which can come from many sources. If your light is not too high and you aren’t injecting CO2, then your fish will probably supply all that is needed. The Eco-Complete will fill any gaps.

Do the weekly water changes that you wish to do. For ich, I recommend Seachems’ ParaGuard. No need to raise the temperature.

In general, it sounds like you’ve done some decent research and are off to a good start. If further problems develop, report back. Keep an eye on algae and, if it gets out of hand, let us know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: evil8 and Baidatank

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your friends’ seeding material would get your cycle going rapidly. It is likely that you are cycled, particularly since you are seeing no ammonia readings. Your plants need nitrogen, which can come from many sources. If your light is not too high and you aren’t injecting CO2, then your fish will probably supply all that is needed. The Eco-Complete will fill any gaps.

Do the weekly water changes that you wish to do. For ich, I recommend Seachems’ ParaGuard. No need to raise the temperature.

In general, it sounds like you’ve done some decent research and are off to a good start. If further problems develop, report back. Keep an eye on algae and, if it gets out of hand, let us know.
Amazing!!! Thanks for your reply! Also, what a relief.
I recently noticed some algae, just a bit on the front glass of my tank. The kids have been hoping for an algae eater…..I don’t really want to introduce any new fish until I am sure the ich is gone. So far it’s just a couple little patches on the glass. I guess I could scrub it off? Thoughts?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
177 Posts
With that stocking level, I would expect to see some nitrates. I would just test weekly just to make sure no funny business shows up. It's a good habit to have in the beginning.
Algae scraping is fine, I like to do a big water change after a maintenance session. Maybe it helps reduce the spores I released from the scraping?
Do yourself a favor, grab a cheap 10 gallon tank, with a cheap filter and air stone and run it as a quarantine tank. I medicate all fish coming into the house no matter what. They are watched for 30 days before entering my display tanks. It solves so many headaches. I've reduced fish deaths significantly, nearly 100% survival rate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With that stocking level, I would expect to see some nitrates. I would just test weekly just to make sure no funny business shows up. It's a good habit to have in the beginning.
Algae scraping is fine, I like to do a big water change after a maintenance session. Maybe it helps reduce the spores I released from the scraping?
Do yourself a favor, grab a cheap 10 gallon tank, with a cheap filter and air stone and run it as a quarantine tank. I medicate all fish coming into the house no matter what. They are watched for 30 days before entering my display tanks. It solves so many headaches. I've reduced fish deaths significantly, nearly 100% survival rate.
Perfect. That’s a good idea to do a big water change after scrubbing the tank. I’ll do that.

I got the 3.5 gallon tank to use as the quarantine tank. Do you think that will be okay? I plan to get it set up soon, so it can be functioning well before we get any new fish. I have the tank, basic filter, a heater, and an air pump/ stone.
Should I set it up just like my display tank? With substrate and live plants? I have heard/ read it’s better to keep it super basic (no gravel or plants) so if they do get sick it’s easier to eradicate. But if they are going to spend 30 days in there, I will have trouble with ammonia and the like if I don’t set it up correctly, right?

With that stocking level, I would expect to see some nitrates. I would just test weekly just to make sure no funny business shows up. It's a good habit to have in the beginning.
Algae scraping is fine, I like to do a big water change after a maintenance session. Maybe it helps reduce the spores I released from the scraping?
Do yourself a favor, grab a cheap 10 gallon tank, with a cheap filter and air stone and run it as a quarantine tank. I medicate all fish coming into the house no matter what. They are watched for 30 days before entering my display tanks. It solves so many headaches. I've reduced fish deaths significantly, nearly 100% survival rate.
Also. Thank you for your reply and the information!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,861 Posts
Using API Quick Start likely helped you deal with the initial ammonia spike, along with the bit of established media/substrate you added. Should you start a new tank in the future, though, you may want to consider a fishless cycle so you don't risk your livestock.

One thing to keep in mind: You likely won't be able to keep shrimp, snails or other invertebrates in your aquarium (maybe never) because of the use of copper. You'll need to make sure you don't add anything but fish.

I don't keep anything in my quarantine tanks that can't be discarded. Many of the pathogens and critters that impact planted tanks can, unfortunately, thrive without fish and live much longer than 30 days. Vorticella, many bacteria, many fungi, problematic flat worms like planaria, hydra and many parasites. So it's usually a good idea to go substrate-free in a QT tank. That way you can see anything that falls to the bottom of the tank because it can't hide in substrate. Some people paint the bottom of their QT systems black.

You don't even have to keep a QT tank running in order to use it when you need it - especially for fish. Frequent water changes and Prime are usually enough. But I like to keep a spare sponge filter running on an existing tank so I can stick it in a QT tank when needed. When I move a sponge to a QT tank, I add a clean one to the main tank so it can be populated with bacteria for the next time I need a sponge. When I finish with a QT tank, I remove the sponge, clean it extremely well and let it sit for a few months until it's needed again. Nuking a QT tank with bleach after it's been used never hurts.

3.5gal should be plenty as long as you aren't keeping a ton of fish in it or anything that's too large. It's small, so it'll be easy to store when not in use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Using API Quick Start likely helped you deal with the initial ammonia spike, along with the bit of established media/substrate you added. Should you start a new tank in the future, though, you may want to consider a fishless cycle so you don't risk your livestock.

One thing to keep in mind: You likely won't be able to keep shrimp, snails or other invertebrates in your aquarium (maybe never) because of the use of copper. You'll need to make sure you don't add anything but fish.

I don't keep anything in my quarantine tanks that can't be discarded. Many of the pathogens and critters that impact planted tanks can, unfortunately, thrive without fish and live much longer than 30 days. Vorticella, many bacteria, many fungi, problematic flat worms like planaria, hydra and many parasites. So it's usually a good idea to go substrate-free in a QT tank. That way you can see anything that falls to the bottom of the tank because it can't hide in substrate. Some people paint the bottom of their QT systems black.

You don't even have to keep a QT tank running in order to use it when you need it - especially for fish. Frequent water changes and Prime are usually enough. But I like to keep a spare sponge filter running on an existing tank so I can stick it in a QT tank when needed. When I move a sponge to a QT tank, I add a clean one to the main tank so it can be populated with bacteria for the next time I need a sponge. When I finish with a QT tank, I remove the sponge, clean it extremely well and let it sit for a few months until it's needed again. Nuking a QT tank with bleach after it's been used never hurts.

3.5gal should be plenty as long as you aren't keeping a ton of fish in it or anything that's too large. It's small, so it'll be easy to store when not in use.
This was extremely helpful thanks
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top