Paranoid - Advice Welcome

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Lammergeier created the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

I've been reading too many threads in the Emergency - Please Help! section of this forum, and it's given me a nervous tick! I'm fairly new to fish keeping, and I've made myself paranoid. Any advice as to what I could improve on would be great now, so that no health issues occur in any of my fish.

I have one young tiger oscar - named Henry - and 10 silver dollars (that I've collectively named 'the Shekels'... yeah, I know) in one tank that I've had for 3 weeks, and one red devil (possibly hybrid - she was wild caught and formerly from a university's fish lab. Long story, but happy to share for the curious) named Daisy in the other. For details on the tanks and my current setup, see below:

As an FYI, I'm using API's master test kit, and also have bottles to test GH and KH.

Tank 1:
Size: 180 gallons (US) 150 gallons (UK) (6ft x 2ft x 2ft)
Occupants: 1 tiger oscar (10cm) 10 SDs (6 - ~11cm long - the smaller ones are newer tank additions). This isn't overstocked, is it?
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: Between 5 - 10ppm, the result of testing shows up a lightish orange colour between those two parameters according to the test kit chart.
Temp: 25C (77F)
Substrate: Sand
Other stuff in the tank: 3 large pieces of driftwood, fake plants (fairly tall, and two 'jungle vine' ones that are draped around 2 bits of driftwood) and a few river rocks. Everything was soaked for >24 hours, and rinsed and scrubbed with very hot water prior to the tank being set up.
Filtration: 2 canisters - 1 is a Fluval 405, the other is an Aquaone 1050. I also have a secondhand eheim 2215 that I need to get biological media for and will be setting up next weekend - just undecided whether to put it in here or with the red devil. I've also got a large airstone that runs along the back of the tank.
Food: Hikari cichlid gold pellets are the staple for the oscar, though the SDs get some occasionally. The staple for the SDs is tropical or spirulina flakes, depending on which I grab out of the fridge first. This is supplemented with thawed, shelled peas (both, though the oscar glares at me when I feed these), algae pellets (SDs - the oscar spits them out and glares at me) and thawed shrimp (which is a weekly treat for everybody).

Tank 2:
Size: 90 gallons (US) 75 gal (UK) (4ft x 2ft x 18 inches)
Occupant: 1 x red devil (20cm)
pH: 7.4 (she has some KH added to her water to up the hardness slightly as afaik CA cichlids prefer slightly harder water to oscars?)
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
Temp: 25C (77F)
Substrate: Gravel
Other stuff: One barrel, 3 x pvc pipes (2 were brought with her when I took her home from the fish lab), 5 small fake plants. I'd like to decorate her tank, but she freaks out and hides if I add anything else. The pipes were soaked for 24hrs before she got access to them.
Filtration: 1 canister - Aqua One 750. I'm worried this may be too small to use on its own for her, even though she's the sole occupant of the tank. She also has an airstone that was positioned at the back of the tank, but is currently half in the gravel, half sticking out thanks to her rearranging of everything constantly.
Food: She gets the same as the oscar, though won't eat peas and looked pretty confused at the prawn. She'll eat algae pellets, however.

So yeah, I think (hope) I'm doing everything right, here, but any advice is of course welcome. My fish all currently seem pretty happy and healthy, but any suggestions regarding what else I can feed them, how often I should do water changes (currently doing ~50% twice weekly for both tanks) and so on would be appreciated.

The only other question I have is how to get the damn SDs to stop nibbling my oscar's anal fin. They seem to eat his poop on a fairly regular basis (thanks, round silver vacuum cleaners!), but when they hover around the oscar waiting for him to poop I've noticed they occasionally nibble at his fin. It's healing up very quickly, thankfully, but it's still annoying.

Man, this is a long post. Sorry!
Tl;dr: I'm paranoid about the health of my fish, check my tank info and let me know if I'm doing anything wrong. Cheers!
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OFL replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

Welcome to our little community.

On your big tank, the height is 24 inches, how far up does the water reached? Would you like to remember is that even though the glass maybe 24 inches, the water may only come up 22 or 23 inches, that will make quite a bit of difference to how much water is attacked. Normally, a 6 x 2 x 2' aquarium holds around 130 gallons of water.

Also, you say that the tank has been set up for three weeks? Does that mean the tank is in the process of cycling?

I looked up your Aqua one 750 canister filter and and it quotes that it's suitable for aquariums up to 120 L, obviously that is considerably smaller than 90 gallons(75 gallons UK) So to answer your question, yes you will probably need a little bit more filtration.

As for the silver dollars, I don't know how you can stop them from nibbling the Oscars fins. You could try putting in some live plants and see if you can divert their attention. Silver dollars are vegetarians so will it plants, I'm sure it's worth a try, although I have absolutely no idea whether it would work. Bearing in mind that Oscars sometimes take great delight in destroying plants :-)

Anyway, I'm sure other people will chime in with some advice

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Lammergeier replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

Yeah, it'd be holding around 130 gallons.

No, it isn't cycling. I've had the fish for 3 weeks, and the tank for 2. I originally had the oscar and 6 SDs in a 55 gal (that was fully cycled prior to getting them), with the intention of moving them to a bigger tank when I moved house (2br unit) in a few months, but changed my mind pretty damn quickly and got the 180 gal within a week of getting them. I'm very glad I did that, considering that the oscar has grown from 6.5cm - 10cm (<3 inches to 4 inches) in around 3 weeks!

So yeah, the 1050 was fully cycled, and I transferred a bit of the 1050's biological media into the 405, and hooked up the 405 to their 55 gal tank as well when I got it for a few days (it came with the 180 gal). I then did a mini fishless cycle using the 405 in the 180 gal (I figured (hoped) it would have partially cycled already) using fish food (can't get pure 25% ammonia here - only cloudy ammonia) and tested it daily. I had a minor ammonia spike of ~1ppm in the first few days, but then that and the nitrite dropped to 0 and nitrate started climbing.

So yes, the tank was fully cycled before I put anyone in there, and I moved the 1050 over when I moved them over :) They've been in the big tank less than a week. I've been testing it daily just in case, but the ammonia and nitrite have remained consistently at 0ppm, but nitrate slowly climbs over time.

Re: filtration. I'll put the eheim on her tank, then. I just need to get some media for it and give it a good clean out.

Hmm... I might give that a shot. The only issue would be lighting for the plants (I think, I know nothing about keeping plants in a tank) I guess I could try putting in some lettuce or something for them, though! Might have the same effect. I tried once before but they didn't take to it, but who knows - worth another shot.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

Hello and welcome.. it appears that you have 2 very good setups running. Water parameters are good, diet is good. 180(ish) is not overstocked at all. As suggested a little more filtration would be good on both tanks. On the Rd tank you could add a big hob like an Aquaclear110 or Emperor 400. On the big tank a good sized canister would be a good addition, then you could move the 406 to the Rd tank, maybe skip the hob. The only other suggestion I have is to bump the temp up to about 82 on the 180. Oscars do best with temps in the low 80's. When you have a spare moment or 2 throw us some pics of your stuff!


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Lammergeier replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

Thanks very much! It's a huge relief to hear that. I will post some pics when I can, definitely. I can up the temp without an issue, but I'll do it in the morning as to not disturb them.

Regarding filtering, any canisters that you'd recommend? There's two options I've been thinking about:
1: get a 2nd, larger canister for the 180 gal and put the fluval on the RD tank as you suggested, or:
2: Put the eheim on the rd tank (so she'll have two), and get a 3rd canister for the big tank.

The 2nd option would be a bit cheaper as the 3rd canister wouldn't need to be quite so large as the first option, but I'm not sure if 3 filters could cause any issues. I'd think not, as at worst the SDs will have more bubbles to swim in, and more surface area for bacteria and all that, but input would be appreciated regardless. I'm willing to spend the $ if need be :P I've already given up my dining room haha.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

I have a 180g that is filtered with a Fluval FX5(nowFX6) and an API Filstar xpxl(formerly Renaxp4) The Fluval is a beast, I have a few, they move a lot of water. The Filstars are my personal favorites, not the capacity of the big Fluval, but very quiet, efficient, user friendly and reliable. A lot of Eheim supporters on the forum, in the past I found them too expensive. They are now comparitively priced, but here in North America they are now made in China. Thats a red flag to me. Budget permitting, I would put an FX6 on the 180. No such thing as too much filtration, I have a few tanks with 3 filters, nothing but benefit.


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Lammergeier replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

Yeah, eheims are definitely on the expensive side over here in Aus. Only reason I'm talking about one is because an eheim 2215 was given to me for free by a friend that stopped keeping fish (I mentioned it briefly in the OP). It's still in good working order, but needs a big clean out and new bio media. I'll look into the Fluval FX6 or FX5, I think! I'll keep an eye out for any available secondhand, but failing that there's one here for $480 (which is good for here, at a LFS I'd be looking at double that) thereefshop.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=10&products_id=2261
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

OUCH.. that is pricey. FX6 in Canada about 350, US a bit less I believe. Not much dif between old 5 and new 6, couple of dials, and reported to use less hydro. Same canister, baskets and gph though. You look into Filstar? Maybe get a couple for the price of 1 Fluval?


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Lammergeier replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

I had to type my last post twice - it didn't submit for some reason. I forgot to mention when I typed it up again that I haven't seen any Filstars available anywhere over here. Even looking on places like ebay etc - the only available ones are shipped from the US, and postage is absolutely massive :( I'm also concerned that even if I found one that was cheaper inc. postage, that finding replacement parts or media would be an absolute pain.

If I got a Fluval from that site I'd go the FX6 solely because it's offered with all the filter media for an extra $20 compared to the FX5, which only comes with the foam filter blocks. But yeah, the brands of canisters here are fairly limited here to:
Eheim
Fluval
Aqua One
Jebo (never heard of anyone having these)
Rena
Resun

I'm sure there's the occasional different brand around, but they're the main ones (with eheim, fluval and aqua one dominating the market, it seems).
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Paranoid - Advice Welcome

Rena is Filstar, Rena was bought by API a few yrs ago. I have a couple older Renas and a few newer API, there is limited difference. The old Renas came with a spraybar, the new ones have a single funnel type outlet and a shorter intake tube. Same motors, canisters and parts.


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