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Old 08-04-2010, 06:38 PM   #1 
Kokonoko
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Riddle's Tank: Need some guidance =)

So its been a few weeks since I first got riddle and set up his tank, but I was hoping I could get some guidance on how I'm handling everything so far. I've gained alot of knowledge from this forum (Thank god, or else I don't know how poor Riddle would have survived ) So please! Place your 2 cents here!

Current:

(Equipment)
-10g Tank with Lighting hood
-Tetra 3-10g Whisper Filter with home-made baffler
-Food; Tetra BettaMin Flakes, Freeze Dried Bloodworms
-API Stress Coat and Conditioner
-Mirror (for Riddle's activity)
-Aqua-Tech Activated Carbon (To replace filters carbon)

(Decor)
-Fake Plants
-2 Real Plants (Bulbs bought from Walmart)
-1 Hollowed Pirate Ship
-1 Cave
-Multiple smoother marble stones
-Sea-life background picture


(Maintenance)

=Water Changes= I've started doing 20% water changes every other day. I do this buy taking a 1 gallon glass jar and slowly taking water out (only 2 gallons of course) Afterwards, I slowly poor in the new conditioned water into the tank, letting it hit the palm of my hand first so as to weaken the power of the entering new water (To kick less up from the gravel, keeping the water clear)

=Gravel Vaccum= I haven't purchased one yet, but will tomorrow. Although when I saw it at walmart, I thought it was to simply to be true. Does the Vac really work with only the syphoning motion of the water? If so, do I really start it up by just motioning it up and down a few times? Also, is there such a thing as 'over-vacing' the gravel?

=Carbon Swapping= I haven't had the opporunity to yet, since this filter is only 2 weeks old now, but when it comes time to change the carbon all I have to do is cut a slit int he filter pouch, empty the old carbon and place the new carbon inside? Then rinse the new carbon to get off any dust?


Things I'll be purchasing in a day or two!
1)Tank Heater
2)Gravel Vaccum
3)Scrubby to clean the inside of the tank glass
4)Possibly a plant... wife-permitting http://www.aquariumplants.com/Anubias_Nana_Anubias_barteri_v_Nana_p/po089.htm

The only thing that is still annoying me (And this might change witht he gravel vaccum) the the clearness of the water. Out of a 1-to-10, 10 being horrible and 1 being completely clear, I'd rate it a 3 or 4 right now. Theres particles shifting int he water that I'm unsure of, and my apple snail seems to be leaving -alot- of waste behind, but in general the water just isn't as clear as I would like it to be for Riddle =(

Please leave your 2 cents here and tellme what I should/shouldn't be doing! ^_^

Heres a pic of the tank currently:
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:52 PM   #2 
Adastra
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From what you described, it seems like you're attempting a fish-in cycle. Do you have a water test kit? Without a test kit there's no way to tell how your cycle is progressing or whether your tank needs a more substantial water change. A liquid test kit such as this one: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...54&pcatid=4454 is not really optional for cycling your tank, especially if you're using the fish-in method. Personally, I only advocate the fishless cycling method since it tends to be faster, builds up a larger colony, and is much kinder to your fish.

Also, I would not keep the mirror in with the fish all the time. The idea that there is another male constantly around can stress out some fish, so you only really want to put the mirror in for about a half hour a day.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:06 PM   #3 
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Ah thank you. Yea when I first pruchased Riddle I wasn't aware of the whole cycling procedure, but since then I haven't had a real issue yet >.< I know that sounds like I'm just tempting fate and/or being ignorant to the facts, but I didn't have much of an option that I knew of. The tank has been 'sitting' for 2 weeks now though with Riddle inside it. I will definently add that tot he list of items I need to purchase though, thank you very much!

On the mirror, I forgot to mention I dont have it as a constant at all. I actually bought the mirrow after having read the efects of it and such. Its an out of tank mirror that I only show every once ni a while (maybe once a day or every other day) to keep him feeling that hes living an active world. Thank you though!

Also, I was wondering, the particules int he water seem to be moving against the glass in a supicious manner, like there not just material particules, but organisms... should I be concerned?

Edited: Its annoying how I can't edit my original post after so much time! =( I can't add the test kit to my shopping list! Argh! I'm so ocd when it comes to organized posts!!! *cries*

Last edited by Kokonoko; 08-04-2010 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Explanation
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:59 PM   #4 
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Lol, I get really annoyed by the editing restrictions too, because I like my posts to be as thorough and coherent as possible. Often I'll forget something and edit about 5 times before I'm satisfied with what I've written--I really don't like to double post just to add one little thing I forgot to say. :)

There are lots of little critters that live in fish tanks, copepods, amphipods, decapods, planaria.. none of it is harmful, although it can be a sign that you're not cleaning thoroughly enough or you're overfeeding. If you're seeing tons of them, you might want to alter your cleaning/feeding routine.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:08 PM   #5 
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Quote:
=Water Changes= I've started doing 20% water changes every other day. I do this buy taking a 1 gallon glass jar and slowly taking water out (only 2 gallons of course) Afterwards, I slowly poor in the new conditioned water into the tank, letting it hit the palm of my hand first so as to weaken the power of the entering new water (To kick less up from the gravel, keeping the water clear)
I've gathered that you're doing a fish-in cycle, but I don't know if a 20% water change is too much (or too little, for that matter). Only way to tell is with a testing kit so that you're able to see what needs fixing, and when. For instance, if your ammonia is out of control, or if your nitrites are beginning to spike, etc. Typical betta and cycling care.
Quote:
=Gravel Vaccum= I haven't purchased one yet, but will tomorrow. Although when I saw it at walmart, I thought it was to simply to be true. Does the Vac really work with only the syphoning motion of the water? If so, do I really start it up by just motioning it up and down a few times? Also, is there such a thing as 'over-vacing' the gravel?
A gravel vac is definitely a necessity. It's used as you've described, but yes, it can be used too much. You don't want to use it while you're cycling because the appropriate bacteria is colonizing in the substrate and you don't want to risk removing it. You could do a light vac over the top, though, to pick up any waste if your ammonia is too high. After your cycle is complete, all you have to do is stir the gravel gently to pick it up in the tube and dislodge any waste to be sucked away. No need to uptake everything unless you find something to be funky with your parameter readings.

Quote:
=Carbon Swapping= I haven't had the opporunity to yet, since this filter is only 2 weeks old now, but when it comes time to change the carbon all I have to do is cut a slit int he filter pouch, empty the old carbon and place the new carbon inside? Then rinse the new carbon to get off any dust?
Some would argue that carbon is unnecessary. That it could lead to carbon leeching(?), or that it doesn't do enough of anything at all and is just a corporate scam. Though I bought a pack of carbon filter replacements for my Whisper Filter myself, I never ended up using them and have only continued replacing the fabric pads every several months when they get too disgusting. I know there are several on here who've stopped buying brand name filter replacements for any part of their filter, and use dollar-store sponges instead. They serve the same purpose. This is probably the worst explanation of anything, so I'm hoping someone will come along and expand on things more clearly. Just know that you don't need to keep up with carbon maintenance, but that there are alternatives if you feel it necessary (like Flourish Excel, lighting adjustments, etc).

Quote:
Also, I was wondering, the particules int he water seem to be moving against the glass in a supicious manner, like there not just material particules, but organisms... should I be concerned?
Could it just be a slow release of trapped oxygen from the substrate? I doubt you'd have some kind of organism drifting around in there. Maybe some algea or other floating matter. Poop, even. And on that note, yes, snails do excrete quite a bit. Be sure to maintain a regular cleaning schedule to avoid any spontaneous build up and spike in ammonia.

Quote:
Also, I would not keep the mirror in with the fish all the time. The idea that there is another male constantly around can stress out some fish, so you only really want to put the mirror in for about a half hour a day.
Dearest Adastra, do you mean a half hour throughout an entire day, or half hour in one sitting? I ask because most people only leave the mirrors in their tank for 5 minutes at a time. Maximum. Any longer and their fish becomes too stressed. I'm not criticizing, just curious, nawmean?

Let the records show that I've been writing this post for over an hour, on and off. Any illegibility is to be blamed on my ADD.

Last edited by Kittles; 08-04-2010 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:08 PM   #6 
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*Nods nods* Yea, I think that the major contribution to thier growth right now is do to the lack of having a gravel vac? I feed Riddle a little at a time as to avoid extra waste! Well its good to know though that they're more then likely not harmful in small factors.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:12 PM   #7 
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Thank you very much for your response kittles!! I appriciate the advise and will follow as instructed! *Salute* Ah, thanks for explaining the gravel vac too, it was somewhat confusing on its operation usage and what not <.< lol
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:15 PM   #8 
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Mold on Plants?!

First off, when cleaning out my tank today (40% water change, gravel vacced, srucced the inside glass walls) I found black spots on my fake plants!! The only thing I could think of is that its mold, but why would old be growing on ites that were ment to be under water?? And what actions should I take from here???????


Second, heres an update on what I've got so far.
Update as of 8-5-10

(Equipment)
-10g Tank with Lighting hood
-Tetra 3-10 Submersable Heater (set for 78-80 degrees)
-Tetra 3-10g Whisper Filter with home-made baffler
-Food; Tetra BettaMin Flakes, Freeze Dried Bloodworms
-API Stress Coat and Conditioner
-Mirror (for Riddle's activity)
-Aqua-Tech Activated Carbon (To replace filters carbon)
-Interior scrubbie for cleaning glass inside tank

(Decor)
-Fake Plants
-2 Real Plants (Bulbs bought from Walmart)
-1 Hollowed Pirate Ship
-1 Cave
-Multiple smoother marble stones


(Maintenance)

Water Clearness= 3
Out of 1-to-10 (1 being best, 10 being worst)

=Water Changes= Decided to do 40% water changes every other day. As of now I do not have a proper Php-Nitrite-Nitrate test kit. They were selling the paper strip test kits at wal-mart, but I heard those are famous for being inaccurate?

=Gravel Vaccum= Purchased. Not sure if I'm using it quit right though =( Seemed to suck up a little bit, but not much.

=Carbon Swapping= For now, I swicthed out the old carbon.

Things I still need!!
1)Possibly a plant... wife-permitting
http://www.aquariumplants.com/Anubias_Nana_Anubias_barteri_v_Nana_p/po089.htm
2)Along with the plant, I was thinking of getting drift wood. Was thinking I might switch the theme to something more 'natural'-beauty looking.

Last edited by Kokonoko; 08-05-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:46 PM   #9 
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Quote:
=Gravel Vaccum= Purchased. Not sure if I'm using it quit right though =( Seemed to suck up a little bit, but not much.
I had this problem when I first started using my gravel vac, as well. I almost brought what I'm about to say up in my previous post, but couldn't figure out how to properly word an explanation. In that regard, please bear with me.

Nevermind, I decided to draw you a picture instead.

Also, carbon should last you about a month before needing to be replaced.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:19 AM   #10 
Kokonoko
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...Omg... *Bursts out laughing* That picture rocks btw, and thank you very much. It definently helped demonstrate!

Yea, I got carried away when cleaning out his tank efficiently for the first time -.-; Do you know anything about the mold spots growing on my fake plants though? What I should be doing for that? There black dots appearing in the fabric of the plants (The fake ones)
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