COMMON PROBLEMS RID-ALL LOGO
 
Q1. Help ! My fishes died very soon after I pour them into my fish tank.
A1.  Whenever new fishes are added into a fish tank, they are subjected to shock which can kill them. Shock from the temperature changes and chemical differences in water chemistry between where they were last kept and the new environment. Slight variations can be tolerated but each species have different degrees of tolerance. Even same species have different tolerant levels. The basic solution is to limit or lessen as much of the shock as possible. To introduce new fishes into your tank, always float the plastic bag of your fishes in your tank for at least an hour. This is to climatize the temperature between your fishes in the plastic bag with that of your fish tank. After that, add equal volume of water from your tank to the plastic bag of fishes and float for between 15 mins to about half hour. This is to minimise shock from chemical differences like differences in pH, Hardness, salinity, etc.  
If you have a pH tester, you should test the pH of the water in the bag and the pH of your tank. Adjust the pH OF YOUR TANK to that of the fishes in the bag if your tank is empty of fishes. Remember that pH changes must be measured after about 1 hour and fishes cannot tolerate pH changes of more than 0.3 point. Adjust your pH according to your pH adjuster instructions. When all is in order, gently tip the bag over and allow the fishes to swim out.  
If your setup includes a biological or undergravel filteration system, your fishes could die suddenly because your tank setup is too new. Such tanks should be set-up with plants, filters, etc, and left running for about 2 weeks prior to introducing fishes. This allow for the nitrogen & ammonia cycle to settle down or to reach a balance. This will also allow plants to take root before the arrival of fishes. (:-)
Q2. How do I make my fishes spawn and when they finally do, the eggs do not hatch. Why is this so ?
A2. When a pair of fish is ready to breed, they will usually do so without any external help. This will of course require a female ripe with eggs and a young mature male, depending on species. Egg scatters, like goldfish, tetras, barbs, Rasboras, etc., usually have more males to each female. While most other egg layers like to make their own choices to pair-up (just like humans). Breeding usually takes place in the morning when the water temperature is cooler and the distractions, from noise and prying eyes, are less. To induce spawning, when you have a ripe pair of fish, change 10%-20% of water the night before you want them to lay their eggs. You should add RID-ALL BLACKWATER to keep the pH at a comfortable 6.5 for softwater fishes, and also to replenish the trace elements needed by most softwater fishes.   
This should induce them to spawn. There is a number of factors as to why eggs do not hatch - assuming that they are not eaten by the parents: Do they ALL turn white after a day or two? If yes, especially in Discus and Angel fishes, sometimes, two females paired up as a pair. Eggs not fertilised turns white after 24 hours. If you are sure that the eggs are fertilised, and it turns white after a couple of days, and even so, only some at a time, then you may have a fungus problem. Egg fungus attack the eggs and destroys them. Use RID-ALL METHYLENE BLUE 1% which is specially formulated for treatment of egg fungus. Temperature is another killer. Sudden changes in temperature can destroy the eggs. So keep temperature constant by using a heater set at a temperature of between 28º C to 30º C. Check also that pH remains constant and no sudden changes. Chlorine attack. Change water only when necessaey so as not to disturb the parents as fear can and will caused them to eat the eggs. When changing water, only 10% should be changed and anything more than 20% RID-ALL ANTI-CHLORINE should be used. Usage should be immediate as new water is introduced and not after the tank is full. Areation. Is the water getting sufficient areation? If your problem still persist, please email me. (:-)
Q3. I want to set-up a fish tank, how big should the tank be? This is my first tank.
A3.
You should set-up with a tank as large as your budget or as much as as your space permits. A good choice to start-up is a 30 gallon tank (about 36 x 16 x 16 inches) although a bigger tank (48 x 18 x 18) will allow for more fishes and better aquascaping. Small tanks are less forgiving when you make mistakes, like overfeeding, as the volume of water in question is lesser and therefore changes in pH can be faster and more lethal. Bigger tanks have greater volume of water to compensate changes in temperature and pH changes. Decide on the fish you intend to keep before buying your tank. A 36" tank can accomodate a small Arrowana (Dragon fish) for a few months and soon it will be time to upgrade. Better to start off with a 48" x 24" x 24" tank if you have the budget. Community tanks - mixture of assorted fishes - are easier to keep and maintain and allows for plants and aquascaping - i.e. landscaping in an aquarium tank. If this is your first tank, get a fish tank that comes complete with lighting. You will need a good reliable air pump, and a proper filtering system to maintain your tank. (:-)
Q4.
What filter should I use and what other equipment do I need?
A4.
You will need a good strong air pump, a filtering system, lighting, plants, gravel, some decorations - like drift wood. For a community tank, use an undergravel filter. As the name implies, a filtering plate is placed under the gravel or sand. An uplift pipe than forces air up the tube which inturn forces water through the gravel/sand into the tube and is uplifted by the air. This cycle continues indefiniately as long as the air pump is not turned off. Bacteria grows in the gravel/sand which acts as the filtering medium. (Please see Tips on Fish Keeping - No 11.) This system is known as a biological filtering system where bacteria is used to keep the water clean. This "good" bacteria converts ammonia and nitrites into nitrates which can then be absorbed by the plants. Hence, it is important to have live plants in this setup. Change about 20% of water at least once a month from the bottom of the tank.   
If you do not want to use this system, and decides to have a bare tank for easy maintenance, paint the bottom and 3 sides of the glass blue or any dark colour - black would not be my choice. This will make the fish colour stand out and the fishes will be less nervous. Use an internal or external power filter to filter your water. Advantages: can use mechanical, chemical or biological filtering medium or a combination of 2 or even all three types. Disadvantage: Expensive to buy. For larger tanks, forget about using box filters as they are not effective anyway. (:-)
Q5.
How do I keep my plants and fishes together without the plants dying constantly?
A5.
It is not easy to maintain Plants in an aquarium Tank. Plants need strong lighting and some substance for their roots to anchore on. The plants can be grown in the gravel in a pot or just in the gravel flooring. If grown in a pot, you can put-in fertilizers but the pot will take up space and can be unsightly.   
If your desire is to set-up a community tank, make sure you do not over plant or the fishes will little place to swim about. Have overhead lighting and make sure it is strong. I prefer to switch on in the day and off at night following my sleeping pattern. Remember that strong lighting will also encourage algae growth. Plants require a suitable pH for them to grow in just like fishes. Guppy plants require a pH similar to guppies and hence the common name. So check on the special requirements of the fishes and the plants you intend to grow. (:-)
 
 
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