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Overstocked ??

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: Beginner freshwater : Overstocked ??


Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:08 pm
Hello ....

I have a 12 Gallon/Eclipse that has been up and running for 10 weeks now ... cycling is complete.... I have 4 Cory cats (2) peppered (2) I think, green aeneus or Bronze.... and what I forgot to mention in previous posts (2) snails .... don't know what kind, I got them from a person who had one of those "aquababy" things and the fish died and the two snails were left .... they have been in the tank the whole time, 10 weeks ... they are the size of my pinkie nail and do a great job of eating any algae that grows on the plastic plants in the tank.... however, I've since read that the snails create more waste than fish do.

The tank has only plastic plants, a rock cave ( which I boiled before putting in tank ) and very fine gravel/sand .... looks like sand but it's actually very very small rocks ( got from a fish store )... all in the tank from the beginning.

The tank finished cycling last week .... my reading were pH 7 ( which is how it comes from the tap... but I do use Aquasafe for Chlorine), Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 ....

The day before yesterday one Peppered Cory died ( just when I thought I was free and clear, go figure ) .... I went and got new test kits in case there was something wrong with the one's I had .... the new ones read .... pH 7 , Ammonia .25 , Nitrite 0 , Nitrate less than 20 ( probably 10 .... 20 was the last reading on the chart and it was less than )

There was NO visible sickness or change in activity of the Corys ... eating habits etc ....
Did a close check of his lit' body and nothing looked unusual ( besides being "dead" ).

Is the .25 Ammonia reading bad? ....the chart say's it's "safe" but not "ideal" .... Ammonia hasn't changed with the 20 to 25% water change I do once a week ..... is that unusual? ... and is it unusual with the Nitrite and Nitrate reading I got?

Or is my tank for it's size OVERSTOCKED .... the Cory's are about 1 1/2" and the Peppered one is smaller about 1" ....

Before replacing the Peppered Cory, as I want to keep them in pairs .... I thought I'd check for advice .

Also, when I first started this tank I had a Male Betta who died of Dropsy toward the beginning of cycling .... my plan was to get another once the tank fully cycled.... but now this ! .....

Thanks in advance for any advice !



Friday, January 25, 2002 - 08:03 am
The tank isn't necessarily overstocked, but it is still a new tank. I would have advised going a little slower on your additions. The longer the tank is running the more the time the good bacteria have a chance to develop. I think you can add another cory, but wait a few weeks until things stablize a bit.



Friday, January 25, 2002 - 03:31 pm
Thanks Joyce .... I will wait on adding the Cory.
Hopefully the Ammonia will go down within that time.



Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 10:44 am
Patrick, ideally ammonia should be 0 in an established tank, this is the most toxic form of a product of the nitrogen cycle. I think it might have had a slight spike because of recent introductions of new fish, but you should be seeing it go down if you stick with that water change schedule. Oh, and cycling is actually an ongoing process anytime you have new fish, it doesn't just end the first time ammonia and nitrites go to 0. joyce is right, even at 10 weeks, it is not considered entirely established if you are still changing the stock in it.

Good luck!



Monday, January 28, 2002 - 01:35 pm
Thanks Pandora .... maybe you can tell from my post I have a tendency to ramble on to long and not explain myself very well :-)

Actually, all these poor fish, the (4) Cory's and the (2) snails and the Betta (before he died) have been in the tank from the beginning ( the entire 10 weeks ) ..... I failed to do any research on setting up a tank until after purchasing the tank and the fish :-( ..... I haven't added any new guys since I set up ..... all the fish I've had since the beginning of the cycle.... so now there are (3) Corys and (2) snails left.... all purchased with the tank.

I suspect this may be why the tank took so long to produce favorable test results ..... too many occupants for cycling a 12Gallon tank.... ( live and learn, I suppose :-) .....

Since purchasing the new test kits.... I was worried that the ammonia was not going down below .25 after 10 weeks and thought the tank was overstocked and it might not go down at all ......

But to my surprise .... after my water change this past Friday the ammonia reading this morning (Monday) dropped to 0.

I will take Joyce's advice and not change anything for a few weeks and if these reading hold for that time I will purchase a replacement for the Cory that died then and let the tank settle again.

Thanks again for responding ..... it's wonderful people on this site actually take the time to answer and help us panicked beginners :-)


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