First of all, I acquired this tank because my irresponsible brother bought it “for decoration” and once he realized fish actually require effort he didn’t want it anymore. I’m the only person taking care of the fish right now, but I’ve never had fish before and I don’t really know much about them… so it’s not like I just got a tank without researching it fish. The tank fell into my hands.
Anyway, I have a sunset platy in the tank now. I went and had the water tested last week after. Per advice from the guy at Pet Smart, who tested our water last week, our ammonia level was .05 and our chlorine level was a little high as well (I don’t remember exactly what it was, but we were using tap water), but he said that it should be fine for that one fish for right now until the tank is a little older and beneficial bacteria has started to build up. It’s also a 5 gallon fresh water tank, just for the record.
Well, the one fish we had in the tank was pregnant (that was a surprise). Yesterday she had her fry, and now we have at least four fish in the tank that I can count. I think we had more, but she ate some. I didn’t separate her from the fry because our tank is too small to have an isolation area, and I don’t have another place to put her.
So, to get down to the actual questions, should I be feeding my adult fish more because she gave birth yesterday (I have no clue how fish are with birth… I’ve only ever owned cats and dogs)? Prior to yesterday she swam around the entirety of her tank, but today she’s swimming near the top eating air bubbles. She’s never done this (of course we’ve only had her a little over a week). Is this a bad sign? Otherwise she swims normally, and still reacts to me once I walk up to the tank (she swims away and hides behind a tiki statue). She did eat her normal fish flakes earlier. What about the fry? It sounds awful, but I don’t really care if she eats them (I don’t think our tank is old enough to support them anyway), but I feel like I should at least feed them while they’re in there. Do they eat fish flakes, or should I be buying those frozen brine shrimp, or something else?
As for the tank in general, it was just one of those cheap $30 kits. I don’t know about the filter system, except the the intake for the air pump is under the gravel (I didn’t set the tank up) and then the air goes up a cheap light bulbs through the center of the tank and empties at the top. Sorry if that doesn’t make sense, but again, I don’t know much about tanks. We don’t have a problem with heating the tank as our house is pretty warm, and every time I’ve checked the temp in the tank it’s around 75. I did replace the plastic plants my brother had in the tank with real plants (the guy at the pet store said it would help keep the nitrate level down). We have an LED Fluorescent Replacement, which apparently (according to the same guy) is okay for aquarium plants, and I keep it on about ten hours a day. So far we don’t have any snails that I can see (the plants we bought were guaranteed snail free). What else can I do to keep my tank healthy? Should I be adding calcium to the water, or any other additive? Should I be changing water in small amounts? The guy at the pet store said purified spring water was best. True?
Doc Z- I’m in Florida, so no… no where near there. Thanks though. I think I’m going to go to the pet store and pick up a ten gallon tank later today.
I think the platy is okay in her tank for right now (also it’s a circular tank which I think helps because she can swim around it rather than back and forth), but I’d like to get more fish eventually. She is eating her flakes, so I figure if she was in real trouble she wouldn’t be. I also read reviews of the tank I have online (Aquaview 360… if anyone is familiar with that) and apparently their hunks of crap that will likely break soon, so I’d like to have another tank ready to go in case that happens. I think my brother said he only paid $20 for it.
Well you just needed to cycle the tank and get all the nitrates down. Your tank is too small for a single platy, they need 10 gallons because they are active fish. She might eat the fry, she might not. They just need crushed flakes. It’s not bad if she does eat them though, because she can give birth for another six months without a male. I suggest you upgrade to a 10-15 gallon tank with the led strip lighting for the live plants, cycle it for a couple weeks then add the female platy, you should add some more females too. No males! If you need more info, then edit your question.