Anonymous asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

i am confused becuase of the pet store lady with my tank?

she told me to suck out 75% of my water in my 55gal tank weekly is this normal?? also i added four fish to my new tank two weeks after being cycled then tw days after them added two more different fish and all my tests or good except ammiona is a little high and says stress at 0.4, my fish seem good eating and swiming and all but should i be worried or do wanter chage? i want to add a couple more fish can i? the pet store lady said is donst matter how many fish you add as long as you test the water and do frequent water chages? als she said tanks cycle in a couple hours not weeks? i need some hellp here from some pros ia m confused?!


tw- 2 sorry about that typo

Update 2:

for the ammiona i added some cycle that helps with that

Update 3:

i think my test are good i am new at this so i dont really know!

Update 4:

i have afriacan chilchds the little mnubs and yellows and blood parrots and a black with spikes sucker thing that stays on the bottom the pet store lady said he eats snails and algea

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Cycling a tank takes 4-6 weeks. You received poor information. Also, you should perform partial water changes of 15-20% only. You may need to perform two partial changes of 15-20% as your tank cycles.

    Please research "new tank syndrome".

    Here are some links you'll find very useful:

    Nitrogen cycle:

    How to cycle a tank:

    Basic Tank Care/Set-up:

    Rarely do pet shop employees have expertise in aquarium care. There job is to sell product. If you have a local mom/pop shop, you'll generally get better advise.

  • Ianab
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You shouldn't do a 75% water change except in an emergency. And this isn't one. You can change 100% of the water in a tank and not loose any fish, it's just you should never have to.

    Your tank isn't cycled, no matter how long you ran it empty. The cycle process doesn't start untill there is a source of ammonia in the tank. This may be bottled ammonia, a dead prawn, or in this case, your fish. You may need to do some extra partial water changes to keep the Ammonia and Nitrite levels down while your tank cycles, but unless it's really high, 25-30% changes as needed will keep it under control. Your water tests are OK, but show that the tanks cycle is not working properly yet. An established tank should allways read Zero for Ammonia and Nitrite. If it's higher than that, there is a problem, the filter is still new in this case.

    Have a read of the link below, it explains how the cycle works. You are doing a 'cycle with fish', so be carefull or you may loose them to ammonia poisoning. But as it's taken 2 weeks for the ammonia to build up I think you will be OK. The fish must be small in relation to the tank size - that is good.

    NO MORE fish untill the ammonia and nitrite levels in your tank are zero. Adding more fish now will just increase the ammonia level. Just do partial water changes if it goes any higher.


  • The lady you talked to is crazy, a tank takes weeks to cycle, and the bottled product called "cycle" is just dead bacteria, and not even the right kind.

    See this Article:

    The amount of water you need to change out depends entirely on what kind of fish you have. Larger fish, like Oscars, or fragile fish, like Discus would require large weekly water changes, but a lightly stocked tank with a few small fish would only need a 50% bi-weekly water change.

    Also- don't add fish for about 2 weeks, your tank is probably still cycling, and fish need to be added very slowly to keep your bacteria steady. In the future, only add about 2 fish per week, this will let your tank slowly adjust to the increased bio-load your fish create.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    do a 25% water change once every two weeks.

    read my answer to 'jerry b's question 'the problem with large water changes'. Also when cycling the tank you should not remove any water. everything that goes in from day one stays in. and don't add any more fish until it has completely cycled. If the ammonia is high that means the cycling has not been completed properly. I only do changes bigger than 25% if a disease has had a significant impact on the fish and water chemistry then I do a 100% water change to kill all bacteria in the tank, good and bad. the process then has to start again. this happens like once a year at most.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you are doing a water change and are getting a lot of debris off the bottom then you will need to do several small water changes(25% should work) daily, as long as the gunk is in the gravel. This is rotten food and will cause other problems as long as it remains in the tank. Watch while you feed if you are seeing whole flakes or pellets going to the bottom of the tank your over feeding.

    Also I think you need to research how large your fish are going to get, and remember for each inch they grow to you need one gallon of space.

    Normally I like to add only a couple of fish a week to my tank, that way your less likely to overload the biological filter.

    Don't start adding a lot of chemicals to your tank, if you need to treat for an illness they sometimes interact with each other and can cause cloudiness or even death to your fish.

  • 1 decade ago

    African Cichlids are very dirty fish. But, in actuality, these are also fish that breeders I have spoken to recommend keeping slightly overstocked in a tank to avoid any one fish being singled out. The one inch of fish per gallon rule is a joke. It does not take in to consideration the surface area of the tank (a 20 long can hold more fish then a 20 tall), the amount of waste that the fish produces (fish that are mainly carnivores produce much more waste that herbivores), or the special requirements of each fish. Please take the time to research the cichlids you are keeping to make sure they have everything they need. And, in my own personal experience, it is better to err on the side of caution and do a large water change with treated, same temperature water then to risk the effects of ammonia. Here is a website that will help you learn more about cichlids. It was very beneficial to me. Make sure to check out the library for lots of great information!

  • 1 decade ago

    You didn't say what kind of fish - so I can't help you with how many fish to add

    But I do know this - you should NEVER change more then 25-30% of the water in a tank at a time - it stresses the fish out too much to have a water change higher then that.

    You should research on a reputable site for information on fish and such. The fish store lady was incorrect - grossly incorrect - she may have been parroting what she was taught to say to sell more fish and supplies (though I am not saying all fish store people are like that)

  • 1 decade ago

    Anything that i have ever been told is to take out 25% of the water. What i have done with all my tanks is set them up and don't any any fish or anything alive for a few days to a week. After that the water should be good. Start out with a few cheaper fish, casue if they do die, you won't be out alot. I never test the water, but that is just me. My fish are doing good. Another thing i have been told is 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water. Hope this helps.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First of all most pet store people (no offense if ur one) dont know much and are teenagers trying to do their job....2nd your supposedto do a 25% water change...people say even 50% is dramatic..3rd yes you can add fish the rule if you dont know is 1 gallon per inch of fish...and 4th tanks cycle in weeks and if your risky days (i did 1 day cycle and fish are fine but it is reccomended you cycle longer.) What pet store do you go to? and good luck to your new tank im jealous!

  • 1 decade ago

    "you should NEVER change more then 25-30% of the water in a tank at a time - it stresses the fish out too much to have a water change higher then that."

    Bunk. Total bunk.

    If you have that many fish in an uncycled 55G tank, you should consider a 75% change per *DAY*.

    Look, clean water does not kill fish. Ammonia and nitrite *DO* kill fish. I do not understand where the rumor about large water changes started?

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