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Any fish keepers on here?? Some Questions

TurnipFarmer

Active Member
Hey Guys

I have a couple of questions that I need some advise on please on behalf of my nan. Im not a fish keeper so thats why I want to ask you guys.

1. My nan has a 30 - 35 litre tank, not a very big one and has approx 25 fish, 1 catfish, 5 guppies, 10 neons, 1 tiger barb, 1 angel fish and a few others. She has had the tank for quite a few years and the fish have lived fine however looking at fish tanks in aquatic places they have air pumps, does she need one? will they keep the fish healthier as it will keep the air my oxgenated? She has a Hagen Fluval 1 filter which the outlet of it is above the water level would this be enough to oxgenate it? Oh also theres no real plants in the tank just plastic ones and has a gravel bottom.

2. There is a heater in the tank but as these are all coldwater fish do they need it on? sorry but im not sure

3. During the summer the water temp can get quite warm but we are not sure why. Can this kill the fish if it gets too warm? Could it be the strip light? Could it be the pump as it pumps the water it gets warmer?

4. Sometimes my nan has a problem with tiny little snails, can anything be done about these?

There the questions I have got at the moment but any extra advise would be great

Oh also the temperature of the tank heater is set to 22 degrees celsious is this too hot or too cold for these fish?
 

Avenging Angel

Standard Member
The fish you mentioned are tropical fish and should be in warm water. The filter should be enough, no need for a serperate pump but every few weeks you should take out about a third of the water and replace it with fresh stuff.
 

HotblackDesiato

Well-known Member
The tank seems very over stocked, an inch of fish per gallon is the typical rule of thumb, 35 litres would be good for around 8-10 fish. Still if the fish are "happy" then it's probably fine.

The snails are harmless, you can bait them with cucumber if you want to thin them out.
 

solidamber

Active Member
The fish you mentioned are tropical fish and should be in warm water. The filter should be enough, no need for a serperate pump but every few weeks you should take out about a third of the water and replace it with fresh stuff.

remember fresh tap water is poisonous to fish due to the chlorine, leave to stand for 24hours before adding to the tank. and or use water conditioner drops.
 

vinvader

Well-known Member
You may want to get a water testing kit to check for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate (Ammonia and Nitrite is poisonous to fish and can be present due to over stocking).

The one i use is the API Freshwater Master Test Kit although there's loads of other brands too.

http://www.charterhouse-aquatics.co.uk/catalog/freshwater-master-test-p-1091.html

Also when you do a water change, replace the dechloriated water a little bit at a time so that the tanks water temprature doesn't drop suddenly.

:)
 

TurnipFarmer

Active Member
You may want to get a water testing kit to check for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate (Ammonia and Nitrite is poisonous to fish and can be present due to over stocking).

The one i use is the API Freshwater Master Test Kit although there's loads of other brands too.

http://www.charterhouse-aquatics.co.uk/catalog/freshwater-master-test-p-1091.html

Also when you do a water change, replace the dechloriated water a little bit at a time so that the tanks water temprature doesn't drop suddenly.

:)


My nan has got a testing kit with no probs with the water so far that I am aware of. Will the cucumber just attract all the snails I presume?

Some of the fish are not very big at the moment, however when they grow bigger we may need an air pump? My nan did tell me that she did lose a group of about 5 guppies in one go not so long ago but was not sure why, could this be the lack of oxygen or the heat? When they died the tank had similar number of stocked fish. She has been losing fish in recent weeks, not sure if this is down to age as these fish were old or oxygen problem.

As mentioned in my previous post that my nan has a problem with the tank getting quite warm however whats the safe temp that the tank can be for these fish? we are not of the cause of the heating up.
 

WibXL

Well-known Member
1. That's too many fish for a tank that size, the stocking density calculator at PFK recommends between 18-36cm but only towards the higher end if the filter is up to it.

To give you an idea these are the sizes that the fish will get when fully grown and then added up.

5 male guppies will probably reach around 12.5cm
5 female guppies upto 30cm
5 neons around 12.5cm
1 tiger barb 7cm
1 angel fish 15cm
1 catfish depends on the fish, anything from around 5cm upwards.

Presuming the guppies are male then just with those and the neons the tank would be pretty much full, also guppies prefer alkaline water and neons acidic but if they were bred locally they should be ok.

The angel fish will get way too big for a tank that size and the catfish could also be a problem plus the gravel substrate could damage it's barbels if it's of the type that dig for food.

Adding an air pump certainly wouldn't do any harm.

2. As has been said these are all tropical fish so the heater should be on and probably set to around 23 24c but the angel fish might find that a little cold.

3. Fish tanks getting hot in the summer is a problem that most fish keepers will face and yes if it gets too hot it can kill the fish. The main problem is that the tank will slowly rise to room temperature plus one or two degrees added by the light and this will happen a lot quicker in a small volume tank than a large one.

All you can really do is keep the tank out of direct sunlight and turn the lights off in the hottest part of the day. An air pump may help to reduce the temperature slightly but more importantly it'll increase the oxygen in the water which is important as the hotter the water the less oxygen it carries.

4. The snails probably aren't that much of a problem especially as there are no live plants but a sudden increase in numbers could indicate over feeding of the fish.

As the tank is overstocked and you say that she has been losing fish you really need to check the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels as it's likely one or more of those are causing problems.

A fish tank is a closed system with nowhere for waste to go so the water will became polluted very quickly but this is where your filter comes in. There are three types of filtration.

Mechanical, this is the obvious one and consists of sponges or other media catching the particles in the water.

Chemical, chemicals are added to the filter either in impregnated sponges or mesh bags such as activated carbon but you may or may not use these.

Biological, this is the most important one. Bacteria will colonise the filter media and surfaces in the tank and be a part of something called the nitrogen cycle.

Fish and rotting food produce ammonia which even at small levels can be leathal to fish, can cause skin irritation and burn their gills making hard for them to breath. This is handled by a bacteria that will dispose if the ammonia and produce nitrite.

Nitrite is as bad as ammonia but this will also be used up by the bacteria and produce nitrate.

Nitrate is a lot safer but in large amounts can still be leathal but live plants will use some of it up and a small weekly water change of around 20-25% should dilute the rest. When replacing water try to match the temperature of the tank and treat with a dechlorinator first. If you live in an area that treats its water with chlorine then leaving it to stand for 24 hours would be fine but if chloramine is use you'll need the dechlorinator.

When the nitrogen cycle is taking place ammonia will slowly began to rise and fall, when it begins to fall nitrite will began to rise then fall and when then begins to fall nitrate will began to rise until you do a water change.

When the ammonia and nitrite have risen and then returned to zero this means that the filter has completed a cycle and if it was a new tank you could then add fish and the process would began again but finish a lot quicker the second time. It can take up to six weeks for the first cycle to complete.

You would keep doing this adding a small amount of fish at a time until you reach your stocking level and then you'll have a mature filter.

If the tank is overstocked then it's possible that the fish are producing too much waste for the filter to cope with so you have ammonia and nitrite in the water and this will remain until either another filter is added or fish are removed.

It's likely that the fish have been dying because of ammonia or nitrite problems but guppies don't live very long (max around two years) so they could have been old as well but more than one fish dying at one time is suspicious.

Check for ammonia and nitrite, if there is any at all I'd recommend an emergency 50% water change (never more than 50%, never more than every 48 hours. This might stress the fish if you do it too often but the ammonia and nitrite will stress and kill them) to get the levels down and then check again in 48 hours but as the tank is overstocked it may be that you'll never be able to get rid of it in which you need to reduce the amount of fish.

Once you've done that check the nitrate levels, ideally they should be under 25ppm but up to 50ppm is probably fine but any higher than that and it's more water changes.

Finally if there is ammonia or nitrite in the water add an air pump as the fish may have burnt gills which don't take up oxygen as they should.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Im suppries no ome metione having a Tiger Barb in on its own with guppys the are noted for fin niping if kept in small quantitys, they are also likly to take a fancy to the parts of the angel fish.

If you have snails and have no plants there probably as above says eating what is over feed but on the other hand if you dont cut back on over feeding will help stop them little white worms (planataria?) that can with over feeding.
 

WibXL

Well-known Member
get clown loaches if you want to get rid of the snails

I did that and it went very well but a 35 litre tank will be too small as they can grow to over 30cm and around 15cm deep. Ended up losing two of mine to ignorance and having to sell the last one to the local fish shop for £20.
 

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