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New Tank - Clowns

Posted By: Mr Leadfoot <leadfoot@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Tuesday, 9 April 2002, at 5:43 a.m.

I am a newbie. There... I'm out of the closet. :-) I need help, please. 2 weeks ago, I bought my first tank for my kids. Needless to say, I started with a 10 gallon starter kit. Now, no one in any of the fish stores told me I was supposed to "cycle" a tank (can you believe it?), so I got one 4" dojo, two 2" clowns and a goldfish. I was told that the clowns and dojo liked warmer water than the goldfish, and that if I averaged the water to about 72 - 75 degrees, I shouldn't have a problem. So, I started the tank using a dechlorinator/stress coat, then added the fish.

I noticed the water begin to cloud on the second day. I called the fish store, and was told it would clear up within the week. After 5 days the water was still cloudy, and I noticed the clowns scraping themselves on the gravel and cave I had put in the tank. At the time I thought they were just being clown loaches, you know what I mean? And, I started liking them alot, and thought the behavior was cute. I called the fish store about the cloudy water, and it was recommended I do a 25% water change. I did, and of course it helped a little, but by the 7th day, it still haddn't cleared up, so I went to a different store for help.

The 2nd store told me that my cloudiness problem was due to the fact that I had too many fish in the one 10 gallon tank, that the goldfish was a "dirty" fish. I was also told that the clowns and dojo were swimmers, so I should get a 20L tank. It made sense to me, so I decided to go a bit bigger to a 29 gallon tank, thinking I could add more fish later. I also got an AuqaClear150, 150w heater, UGF w/powerhead, and 1 - 1.5 inch of gravel.

So, on the 8th day I started the 29 gallon, again with only the dechlorinator/stress coat treatment, then transferred the 2 clowns, 1 dojo, and goldfish (temporarily). and returned the 10 gallon starter kit to the first store.

Upon returning home, I noticed that the powerhead added a lot of oxygen to the tank, and saw bubbles all over the clowns. Although I did notice there were no bubbles on the other fish, I just figured that the clowns had a different type of skin that bubbles "liked" more.

Like the first tank, on the second day the water began to cloud. By now, I'm thinking the first fish store was right, and maybe it just took a little more than a week to clear up. I also thought maybe the "dirty" goldfish should go, so I went back to the 2nd fish store that day and gave them the goldfish. Assured that I was doing the right thing, because the goldfish didn't fit the mix of fish anyway, due to different temp zones, I figured the cloudiness would quickly disappear now that the goldfish was gone. So, I got four 1" tiger barbs, and two 2" bala sharks. The store recommended I add starter bacteria to the tank to help speed up the clearing of the cloudiness, and actually explained the importance of the bacteria in relation to the ammonia from the fish and their waste. So, I went home, dumped in the bacteria added the new fish to the tank.

While I was doing that, I noticed the clowns looked pretty lethargic. Thinking they were hungry, I fed the fish. The clowns ate, so I figured that's what the problem was.

The next day, the clowns got small white spots that I thought were smaller bubbles. Another 2 days later, I learn that the "bubbles" were ICH. I got some Rid-Ich from the store, used it for two days, but it didn't seem to be doing anything, so I went to ANOTHER fish store.

The 3rd store told me to try QuickCure and salt with 50% water changes instead. They also said I should be adding bacteria everyday for a week, instead of one a week like the bottle label says. So just to be safe, I did 30% changes instead, and treated with QuickCure and added bacteria. It's been two days since I started doing that. Still no improvement. By this time, it's been 2 weeks and the warranty on the fish from the store I bought them from was about to expire.

So, I decided to take the two ICHed clowns back to the first store where I got them, and get my exchange. When I fished them out, I noticed a bala shark had died, and a tiger barb had a sore. So, I took them for exchange, too. The person there told me I should also really have more than two clowns for a school, so I got a 3rd clown.

I just got home and added the new fish. I now have two 3" clowns, a 2" clown, a 4" dojo, four 1" tiger barbs, and two 2" bala sharks in a cloudy tank that's 6 days old. So, I need your help, please.

What should I do? Remember I treated for ICH, and although the ICHed fish are gone, I should still treat the tank for 5 more days, right?

What about the bacteria? Does adding it while I'm water changing and adding ICH medicine cause any kind of chemical abnormality? (I don't want to lose by precious clowns!)

Since ammonia levels are probably high right now, bacteria is low(?), and I'm going to be constantly changing 25% with the treatment, will all of this be too stressfuly for my clowns? (I've grown to love clown loaches through all of this, that's how I found this forum.) I've been told that I really should've started the tank with fewer fish, and certainly not clowns, which are quite delicate, and because around 6 weeks, my nitrate level will rise, and I'll lose 30% of my fish anyway. But, I had no choice but to get replacement clowns because I could only exchange the clowns on my warranty which ran out today.

So, are there some pointers I can get from you all? Both, on the tank, and even special things needed for the clowns? ANY help would be sincerely and greatly appreciated.
 

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