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Thread: Bought a new cichlid, red devil

  1. #9

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    Hi Trapsrock,

    Ok, things sound good -- for now. The tank is still going to "cycle". What that means, basically, is the fishie is going to do numbers 1 and 2 and you are going to overfeed a bit and waste in the form of ammonia is going to be relaesed into the water. The tank's ecology is going to start growing bacteria to process the ammonia but that takes about 4 to 6 weeks to happen in a new tank -- so that the ammonia is processed instantly as it appears and the water stays perfect -- so, for the next 4-6 weeks you need to feed the guy lightly once a day and change 50-80% of the water every week -- OR -- more often if the ammonia and nitrite go up or the water looks the least bit cloudy. The water changes and light feeding will keep the ammonia in check those first 4 weeks and allow the fish to make it through the cycle process alive. Needless to say, when you change water you must de-chlorinate the replacement water and allow it to pour into a bucket so that it pulls oxygen into itself before you pour it into the tank. Water right out of the faucet or hose that is allowed to fill a container without breaking the surface (hose under the water's surface) has no dissolved oxygen in it and the fish cannot breathe then. This is very important to remember when changing water -- especially big water changes.
    The bubbles on the glass should pass as they are not great for the fish's gills. They can irritate the gills.
    Devil's are not big on flakes and flakes will create alot of missed food in the tank which decayed makes more ammonia. Try small pellet food -- Hikari is a great brand. Get pellets that are the small size so they are easy to swallow. Earthworms and bugs are good foods. Pieces of raw chicken liver and beef heart are good, or small popcorn shrimp -- but wait until the tank is cycled for the last 3. Frozen bloodworms are a good choice.
    Your keys right now will be water changes, watching the ammonia and nitrite levels and light feedings of good food.
    Is the light incandescent or flourescent? It sounds incandescent if it is hot. The problem with those is they raise the temperature of the water when on and let it fall when off. If the tank has a heater see what the highest temperature is when the lights are on and if it is not above 84F set the heater to keep it there 24/7. 78 or 80F would be better. Devils are forgiving about temperature within reason.
    If the fish ever acts lazy and sick -- change water!
    Good luck.

    Bobby [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

  2. #10

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    I understood half that. Could you Rephrase? It takes 6 weeks for the water to clot? Or what? I couldnt understand most of that.
    "That guy looks like pant food, toooo meeee"
    -Little shop of horrors.

    "Now, this thing smells like ****!"
    -College proffeser smelling my corpse plant.
    ^Just thought id put that in there, it was pretty funny when he said it.

  3. #11

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    Hi Trapsrock,

    Ok, let me see. Fish put out waste -- liquid and solid. Food goes uneaten and decays and creates more solid waste. What does a tank do with this? It has a filtering system. The filter system works on 3 levels:

    Mechanical -- the filter pad (many types) picks up solid waste
    Chemical -- the charcoal (carbon) takes out smells, elements and color in the water
    Biological -- good bacteria that grow in the filter and on surfaces in the tank itself that break down (eat) the waste (ammonia and nitrite).

    When you buy a filter, it may work by doing one, two or all three of these levels of filtration. An outside power filter is often just chemical and mechanical but the Emperor 400 RamPuppy mentioned does all 3 kinds of filtration. An undergravel filter is just a biological filter. The biological aspect of filtering water is the most important part because frequent partial water changes can do what mechanical and chemical filration do but only biological filtration can do its job. It's the biological filtering that keeps the tank healthy and the fish free from swimming in their own pee and dooky. From what you wrote, I am not sure if you have a good biological filter or not.
    So, you set up a new tank. Biologically it is pretty much sterile. You add fish and feed. Waste starts collecting in the water. The good bacteria then start to grow as they have food to eat now (ammonia -- fish pee and dooky). The bacteria explode in numbers and overgrow and produce their waste which is ammonia turned into nitrite. The nitrite waste of the bacteria is almost as deadly to the fish as their own waste (ammonia -- pee and dooky). For about 4-6 weeks, the waste and bacteria are trying to get into balance so there is just enough bacteria to eat all the waste as soon as it forms in the water. Until that balance is reached you will get spikes of ammonia and nitrite in the water and these can kill a fish. The tank has to do this to become a healthy life supporting system but it is rough on the fish. The main things to do are to change part (50%)of the water at least once a week the first 6 weeks -- or change more often if the water gets cloudy; don't add more fish until the balance (cycle) is reached and feed lightly and make sure all the food is eaten.
    Your local fish store will test your water for ammonia and nitrite over these 6 weeks or you can buy the kits and do it yourself.
    I hope this is clearer. It boils down to feed lightly, change water and keep a close eye on the tank the first 6 weeks so you see a problem forming before it goes too far.

    Bobby [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

  4. #12
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    Traps, here is a quick and dirty link I dug up..

    http://www.algone.com/cycle.htm

    that has a diagram of the nitrogen cycle in a fish tank, which is basically what we are talking about here.

    I would like to reccomend that you purchase a product like CYCLE, or another beneficial bacteria product, just go ask your pet store guy for one, and he'll gladly sell it to you. what your doing is buying a culture of good bacteria that will speed up the cycling process in your tank, they will colonize on every surface or rocks, plants, the tank walls, in the weave of your filters, on the silicone, EVERYWHERE (this eventually happens in every tank, your just helping speed along the process.)

    I think this is great stuff, and it will probably keep your fish from going through unessecary stress. (but you still need to do everything biggun said&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    here is another great article on NEW TANK SYNDROME.

    http://www.bestfish.com/breakin.html

    remember, were not 'getting huffy' we are trying to mentor you in a new hobby and help you learn so your successful. We want you to have fun and enjoy this, and all to often newcomers to the aquarium hobby fail because they are not armed with the right information.

    10 gallon is fine for now, and as said, as the fish grows, so does his home, just like a family.

    Also, you will want to get him on the pellet food as soon as possible, one reason many people fail with the predators is the live prey the feed, feeders are usually stocked heavily and disease can be a problem, if your devil eats something he can't handle, he'll get sick to.

    One way to train him off live and on to frozen is to make a feeding stick, find a tube that is clear and attatch a paper clip to it, silicone works best. You use the paper clip to hold a dead fish, or a piece of chicken, or something else he might find tasty, and you wiggle it around, get him to strike it. It should be loosely attatched so he can pull it off and swallow it. over time, you move it less and less, and then start throwing the food in without the stick, or try waving pellets on the stick eventually, the idea is to introduce a common demoniator, the stick, into the feeding process, so he associates the stick with food, not the food.. I know it's weird, and maybe a little hard to understand, but it works on a number of species, I don't know if it will work on a red devil, I am betting his appetite and attitude will let you brake him of the live food habbit strictly by starving him.
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  5. #13

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    Thanks for all your help guys, I went to predatoryfish.com and all they did was chew my head off, they really bugged me, the people buy one fish and act like there fish doctors and rule the world, I appreciate you guys being nice about all this. Im sorry I said the FYI thing was rude, because now when I compare him to what I had him in, and what hes in now, it seems like a joke. I bought a new under-gravel filter for him, so his tank will be even more clean, the filter hes got can only clean the water and syphon the little bits and pieces, I noticed that when he...well...whatever ill just say pooped, it kind of just sank to the bottom and sat there, the filter isnt strong enough to do that, so I got a under-gravel, which will suck up his sinking...waste. His aqaurium is sparkly clean, and every two weeks I will change about 20% of his water, I got him trained on Tetra Tropical fish flakes Select-a-meal. He has a variety of 4 different foods, brekafast, lunch, dinner, and treat so he wont get bored, and I bought some dired blood-worms. Those weird cichlid staple stuff from Hikari was like 12.99! Right now his diet is the occasional guppy, and 3 light feedings, breakfast, lunch dinner. Ill report tommorow, bye.
    "That guy looks like pant food, toooo meeee"
    -Little shop of horrors.

    "Now, this thing smells like ****!"
    -College proffeser smelling my corpse plant.
    ^Just thought id put that in there, it was pretty funny when he said it.

  6. #14

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    Just remembered something, you can get tetra natures delica, it's expensive, but cichlids love them!

  7. #15

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    Quote (Spectabilis73 @ June 11 2003,8:42)
    Just remembered something, you can get tetra natures delica, it's expensive, but cichlids love them![/QUOTE]
    Exspensive, is the key word, thats the reason why I didnt buy the hikari stuff, but hes doing fine now, and im looking into investing my money into a 30 gallon also.
    "That guy looks like pant food, toooo meeee"
    -Little shop of horrors.

    "Now, this thing smells like ****!"
    -College proffeser smelling my corpse plant.
    ^Just thought id put that in there, it was pretty funny when he said it.

  8. #16

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    Quote (Trapsrock @ June 11 2003,06:04)
    I bought a new under-gravel filter for him, so his tank will be even more clean, the filter hes got can only clean the water and syphon the little bits and pieces, I noticed that when he...well...whatever ill just say pooped, it kind of just sank to the bottom and sat there, the filter isnt strong enough to do that, so I got a under-gravel, which will suck up his sinking...waste. His aqaurium is sparkly clean, and every two weeks I will change about 20% of his water, I got him trained on Tetra Tropical fish flakes Select-a-meal. He has a variety of 4 different foods, brekafast, lunch, dinner, and treat so he wont get bored, and I bought some dired blood-worms. Those weird cichlid staple stuff from Hikari was like 12.99! Right now his diet is the occasional guppy, and 3 light feedings, breakfast, lunch dinner. Ill report tommorow, bye.[/QUOTE]
    Hi Trapsrock,

    Cichlid keepers are a nutty bunch. Try not to let them make you feel badly. They talk more than they listen.
    The Undergravel Filter was a great choice. They work well. I hope you have a small grade gravel and not a large size as the UGF will work better with the small gravel. Now the UGF will pull the solid waste down into the gravel and break it down -- to a point. UGFs work by drawing highly oxygenated water down through the gravel and then back up the lift tubes where the bubbles are bubbling. The water flowing all through the gravel allows the entire gravel bed to become rich in good bacteria which makes for rapid processing of the waste and alot of waste at that. It will still take the tank 4-6 weeks to cycle with the UGF but when it finishes you will have a good bacteria bed in the gravel. When you do water changes be sure to vacuum clean the gravel so you suck all the dirt that gets stored in the gravel by the UGF out of the tank. If you leave it in the gravel it will build up, turn the water yellow and lower your pH too much. Cleaning the gravel by vacuuming is as important as partial water changes. I hope that is clear
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] .
    I'd try to change at least 20% of the water once a week the first 6 weeks. It will help keep things in check during the cycling.
    The flakes are fine and the variety is good. Small bags of Hikari -- 2 oz size -- Cichlid pellets should cost $3-$5 a bag. Pellets of some type are better as they create less uneaten food -- flake particles fall off when the flake is eaten and some even get blown out the fish's gills. Soon it will cost more in flakes as it takes more flakes to fill the Devil up. Pellets are denser as a food and it takes fewer to fill up the fish. There is a pellet called Shrimp Pellets that is a good food and pretty cheap but if you over feed it at all it makes a stinky dirty tank! I am pushing pellets as I think they will make you happier in the long run.
    Keep thinking about the earthworms. They are a great food and can be free!

    Bobby [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

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