Is it possible to humanely place two dwarf gourami in a 10 gallon planted tank?

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
You can't vacuum nitrifying bacteria away. It is normal for the substrate to have detritus in it, but what kind of substrate are you using? What is the pH and KH? What kind of tetras are we talking about? How much and how often do you feed? When did you add the tetras?
Thank you for your reply.

I have small river pebbles. There is an artificial log with live java fern on it, floating hornwort, floating pennywort and a floating plant of watersprite. The plants cover only about 50% of the water surface. I started a fishless cycle April13 th. By Sunday May 12 the nitrites and ammonia were at zero. These remained at zero Monday-Weds. On Thursday May 16 th I added 11 new neon tetras. (One of these had belly bloat and I did not choose him but since the fish were so traumatized by getting caught and acclimating I waited till the next morning to remove him.)

Friday May 17 I did what I considered an aggressive cleaning of any detritus with a python tube. At first I pushed the tube only around the surface but then proceeded to repeatedly shove it all the way to the glass bottom resulting in a fine cloud (like glacial flour if you have ever seen that) flowing through the tube. Lots of it. I did a 50% water change. The next evening I found one fish dead and another too weak to swim being just carried by the water current. Testing showed ammonia 0.15 ppm and nitrites at 0.15 ppm. I did a 50% water change. Then about four hours later I did another water change 0f 20%.

Late Friday (May 17) ammonia was at a trace and nitrites at zero. This morning May 18 ammonia was at 0.25 ppm and nitrites zero, nitrates at 20 ppm. I fear losing all my fish because I know ANY amount of ammonia is deadly. I am not sure how to proceed. There are 8 remaining neons with good color and normal behavior. (One of the neons tend to isolate which worries me but sometimes he seems to consider one end of the aquarium exclusively his and will chase away other neons.)
 

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
My present intervention is placing a "Fluval ammonia remover" bag in the compartment of the HOB Penguin 100 HOB. I set the other filter cartridge inside the tank for now. I will see if the Fluval bag really does remove ammonia. Yet I fear somehow I messed up the nitrogen cycle by unnecessary removal of what ever that cloudy suspension was next to the glass bottom. Granted, there is still bacteria in the tank on surfaces etc. but I believe I removed a good deal of it and it may need to equilibrate back to stable cycling.
 

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
You can't vacuum nitrifying bacteria away. It is normal for the substrate to have detritus in it, but what kind of substrate are you using? What is the pH and KH? What kind of tetras are we talking about? How much and how often do you feed? When did you add the tetras?
The pH remains at 7.5 to 7.8. I did not test the KH.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
9,448
615
144
SF Bay area, CA
I agree with the loach, you can't vacuum out beneficial bacteria. It's on all the tank surfaces, filter media, décor, plants; everywhere!

I think your neons were less than healthy from the get go...& 11 new fish are quite a lot for a small newly cycled tank.

Big water changes will help...but if you still looking to add a dwarf gourami STOP adding ANY fish & work on getting your tank stable. You may need to change water every few days.

How exactly did you "really clean" your tank?
 
  • Like
Reactions: the loach

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
I agree with the loach, you can't vacuum out beneficial bacteria. It's on all the tank surfaces, filter media, décor, plants; everywhere!

I think your neons were less than healthy from the get go...& 11 new fish are quite a lot for a small newly cycled tank.

Big water changes will help...but if you still looking to add a dwarf gourami STOP adding ANY fish & work on getting your tank stable. You may need to change water every few days.

How exactly did you "really clean" your tank?
Of course I will add no other fish to this tank as it is obviously not stable.

As far as how I "really Cleaned" my tank I scrubbed down the inside glass walls with a scrubber, aggressively used the python vacuum to not only get the particulate stuff off the bottom beneath the pebbles but rubbed some of the large smooth rocks "cleaner" and then exchanged 50% of the water.

I have that feel about what happened with the python because at first I would be sucking out various irregular pieces of detritus from the top inch of the pebbles. Then I discovered that when I shoved the python vacuum tube all the way to the glass bottom, instead of particulates I then got smooth roiling grey clouds in the water getting sucked out. I thought, "Boy, I am going to get this really clean for my fish." I continued to suck up the grey clouds of water from underneath the gravel. I really do think that, while I certainly did not remove all the beneficial bacteria, I may have sucked up a good deal of those organisms so now I am somewhat depleted and they have to build up again.
 

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
After about 2.5 hours with the "fluval ammonia remover" the ammonia has continued to spike. Thirty minutes ago the ammonia was at 0.5 ppm!!! My gosh!!! I just got done with a 50% water change. I put back the original Penguin cartridge. All eight neons seem to be doing good. Their color is good and they seem perky. I can't believe they are surviving that ammonia spike. I don't think there is anything else I can do. Is there?

It is so hard for people that want to set up an aquarium in Michigan. There are no longer any other options to buy supplies or plants or fish locally. Three good private fish stores have closed. Only Pet Supply Plus is here. I have no idea where to get fish. How can they survive shipping and all? Since Drs. F&S got shut down I REFUSE to have anything to do with Petco or "Liveaquaria". Now all their fish must come from California. Last I looked the Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami was "out of stock" from Petco, as if I would buy from them!! There is a store in Green Bay that may be a good source.

I am surprised I ended up in this predicament. I was so careful about the fishless cycling. And after a week with 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite the tank should have been able to accommodate fish right? If only I could get some frogbit really quick. But the quickest place is Amazon I guess.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
9,448
615
144
SF Bay area, CA
That fine detritus is normal, especially lower in the substrate. I have finer substrates now, but when I had smaller gravel (even pool sand) & fewer plants, I routinely vacuumed down to the bottom glass. This is not causing your problems IMO. You have plants to help too.

You should try feeding less each time too, neons & other fish are usually "full" after 3 or 4 bites of flakes or other foods. This is hard to tell since the fish will often "strike" food even when they aren't really eating it.

I'm guessing you have unhealthy fish rather than a "bacteria" problem. Can you post pics of them? Maybe we can see something that you don't.

I see you were posting while I was typing & watching hoops. I'm from MI originally too, years ago. Clubs can be a great resource if you have 1 fairly local to you. Might be worth a road trip once in a while for plants & comradarie.
 

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
That fine detritus is normal, especially lower in the substrate. I have finer substrates now, but when I had smaller gravel (even pool sand) & fewer plants, I routinely vacuumed down to the bottom glass. This is not causing your problems IMO. You have plants to help too.

You should try feeding less each time too, neons & other fish are usually "full" after 3 or 4 bites of flakes or other foods. This is hard to tell since the fish will often "strike" food even when they aren't really eating it.

I'm guessing you have unhealthy fish rather than a "bacteria" problem. Can you post pics of them? Maybe we can see something that you don't.

I see you were posting while I was typing & watching hoops. I'm from MI originally too, years ago. Clubs can be a great resource if you have 1 fairly local to you. Might be worth a road trip once in a while for plants & comradarie.
Why is there high ammonia but no nitrites? Plenty of nitrates too. Yes I really like your idea of trying to find a club. I keep popping in to this site's chat room but it is not very active. I sure would enjoy a chat room with fish people. :)
 

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
That is very helpful what you said about how the neon tetras eat. I had been worried about them that they weren't eating enough. They would snap at a piece of food floating by but seemed to be eating little. I have been trying to feed them more volume of food to give them a better chance to catch a nibble. I wonder if THAT could explain the ammonia spike. You know that just might be it. Also, at the store where I bought the fish it was so very stressful on them because they were so hard to catch. It took a long time to try to catch the ones I had picked out. By the time I got them home and in the tank (which I should have done more slowly) they were in shock I think. They huddled in a tight group in one depression in the gravel for a couple hours, barely moving. I felt terrible about putting them through that. Wish I did not have to learn stuff the hard way. Hard on the fish that is.
 

nellafantasia

AC Members
Original poster
Apr 6, 2019
46
2
8
72
That fine detritus is normal, especially lower in the substrate. I have finer substrates now, but when I had smaller gravel (even pool sand) & fewer plants, I routinely vacuumed down to the bottom glass. This is not causing your problems IMO. You have plants to help too.

You should try feeding less each time too, neons & other fish are usually "full" after 3 or 4 bites of flakes or other foods. This is hard to tell since the fish will often "strike" food even when they aren't really eating it.

I'm guessing you have unhealthy fish rather than a "bacteria" problem. Can you post pics of them? Maybe we can see something that you don't.

I see you were posting while I was typing & watching hoops. I'm from MI originally too, years ago. Clubs can be a great resource if you have 1 fairly local to you. Might be worth a road trip once in a while for plants & comradarie.
Here are some photos of my fish. It seems there are two of them that look like cardinal tetras.

20190519_161354 (1).jpg

20190519_161920 (1).jpg

20190519_170048.jpg
 
Last edited:
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store