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ok yesterday morning i stopped in at the local fish store and picked up a aquarium kit... i talked to the guy for about an hour and a half about getting setup. According to him i could come back in a few hours and pick up some fish to put into the tank.

i got home and used tap water (w/ filter) to fill up my 10 gallon tank. i also assorted some rocks and a castle in the tank. On the guys recommendation i added about 90% of the scoop included to raise the ph level to 8.2. Then threw in some water conditioner.

Without knowing anything about "Cycling" i went back to pick up some fish. I chose an African Chiclid. He told me three would be the max hed put in it to start. so of course i chose three fish.

i got home and acclimated them. for about the first 6-7 hours they seemed fine, swimming around testing the "caves" out and the castle. Then i made another mistake by leaving the light on last night. i woke up about 4 30 am and they were swimming up and down very aggressively in one corner of the tank. so i turned the lights off and went back to sleep. I for got to add that i fed them right before i went to bed and at 4 30 ( i thought they may have bee hungry) .

i got back home around 2 pm, they were still doing the same thing, staying up against the glass going up and down very rapidly. So i decided to try to get them in a pattern by keeping the light on from 2pm to around 9pm and turn it off till the morning. So at about 845 i feed them and turned the light off at 9. i left the room almost pitch black for about 2 hours. i went to check on them a few minutes ago and they are still doing the same thing!!!!

some final notes.. i realize now that i jumped into this WAY to quick... i know i should have cycled the tank.. but i didn't... the temperature dropped overnight to about 70-72 degrees, so i went out and bought a heater. its now running at about 76-80 degrees....

so my question is what do i do? are these actions normal? can i expect these fish to die?

Thanks!
 

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These fish will most likely die. You need to filter for atleast two weeks, and you might have made this process much longer. They were doing this because the fish were not able to live in these conditions, do your research and dont believe people at LFS.
 

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Cichlids are very curious and move alot and quickly.never listen to the people at the pet stores most will tell you what you want to hear to make a sale.3 cichlids in a 10 gallon is to many.most Africans will get atleast 4 inches some 8-10.Need to know what species you bought.Now some people cycle there tanks using fish,im strictly against it.Because if you get lucky and they live chances are you have shorten their lifespan.plus its cruel.Dont use buffer to adjust your P.H.Best thing you can do if the fish are still alive is take them back.By a bag of eco complete african cichlid gravel,substrate or sand.The eco complete will cycle your tank in less than two weeks.If i were you i would do my best to find atleast a 20 gallon.10 gallon is very hard to take care of.Bigger the tank easier it is to maintain!Make sure the rock you put in your tank has no metals in it.use limestone or river rock..Hope this helps!
 

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ok yesterday morning i stopped in at the local fish store and picked up a aquarium kit... i talked to the guy for about an hour and a half about getting setup. According to him i could come back in a few hours and pick up some fish to put into the tank.

i got home and used tap water (w/ filter) to fill up my 10 gallon tank. i also assorted some rocks and a castle in the tank. On the guys recommendation i added about 90% of the scoop included to raise the ph level to 8.2. Then threw in some water conditioner.

Without knowing anything about "Cycling" i went back to pick up some fish. I chose an African Chiclid. He told me three would be the max hed put in it to start. so of course i chose three fish.

i got home and acclimated them. for about the first 6-7 hours they seemed fine, swimming around testing the "caves" out and the castle. Then i made another mistake by leaving the light on last night. i woke up about 4 30 am and they were swimming up and down very aggressively in one corner of the tank. so i turned the lights off and went back to sleep. I for got to add that i fed them right before i went to bed and at 4 30 ( i thought they may have bee hungry) .

i got back home around 2 pm, they were still doing the same thing, staying up against the glass going up and down very rapidly. So i decided to try to get them in a pattern by keeping the light on from 2pm to around 9pm and turn it off till the morning. So at about 845 i feed them and turned the light off at 9. i left the room almost pitch black for about 2 hours. i went to check on them a few minutes ago and they are still doing the same thing!!!!

some final notes.. i realize now that i jumped into this WAY to quick... i know i should have cycled the tank.. but i didn't... the temperature dropped overnight to about 70-72 degrees, so i went out and bought a heater. its now running at about 76-80 degrees....

so my question is what do i do? are these actions normal? can i expect these fish to die?

Thanks!
Wow, way to rush into things :)
First off, I would return the ciclids to the store, maybe even for store credit. Then I would properly cycle my tank. Make sure to test the water every few days to see where your levels (nitrates, nitrites, ammonia) are. I'm not sure, but I think cichlids prefer a PH of 7.6.

next time, do some research :)

Matthew
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks guys for all the help.

an update- i have done a 30% WC two days in a row. and added Cycle to speed up the cycle process. i have been conditioning the water with stress coat. i went to petsmart last night and got my water tested everything is ideal. while i was there i also picked up a liquid testing kit. for the past two days the fish have been acting completely normal. :animated_fish_swimm
 

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I know it may not be possible, but are you able to get a larger tank at this time? 10 gallon tanks are great for quarrantine and hospital tanks. Also, if you are in a big city, you might be able to get some bio spira locally so at least your tank could be cycled in a few days. Can you post some pictures so the cichlid gurus on this site know what you got in your tank? I commend you for bringing these issues up on the board. We have all made most of the same mistakes when we first started. Don't give up! ;)

P.S. You will need good testing supplies if you plan on staying in the hobby. Not knowing what you got for testing, might I recommend you purchase an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test kit which can be found in most fish stores. If you have a PetSmart, go to their website and print the page showing the master test kit and price and take the page to the store. The should honor the online price which could save you about half the cost. ;)
 

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I know it may not be possible, but are you able to get a larger tank at this time? 10 gallon tanks are great for quarrantine and hospital tanks. Also, if you are in a big city, you might be able to get some bio spira locally so at least your tank could be cycled in a few days. Can you post some pictures so the cichlid gurus on this site know what you got in your tank? I commend you for bringing these issues up on the board. We have all made most of the same mistakes when we first started. Don't give up! ;)

P.S. You will need good testing supplies if you plan on staying in the hobby. Not knowing what you got for testing, might I recommend you purchase an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test kit which can be found in most fish stores. If you have a PetSmart, go to their website and print the page showing the master test kit and price and take the page to the store. The should honor the online price which could save you about half the cost. ;)

yes i bought the Freshwater master test kit, currently financial wise i cant afford anything that is not absolutely necessary for at least a month. but i do plan on updating to a 20 or 30 gallon tank in the near future.

heres a picture... advice would be appreciated . this covers about 98% of the tank

 

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They should be fine. Africans are pretty tough critters. The main thing is to prevent ammonia buildup before the tank gets it's bacteria going.

They sell some ammonia removal stuff you can put in the filter.

They also sell some biobacteria that you can put in there to speed up the 'cycling'...

Btw, what are you using for a filter?........z
 

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OH, and if you're using tap water, most likely it's chlorinated.

Get a 5 gallon bucket and fill it about halfway, and let the water sit for a few hours. The chlorine will then come out of solution....use that water for your water changes. If you let the bucket sit in the sun, the chlorine will go bye bye pretty quick...say an hour.

Did you find out how big those Afrikans will get?.....z
 

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OH, and if you're using tap water, most likely it's chlorinated.

Get a 5 gallon bucket and fill it about halfway, and let the water sit for a few hours. The chlorine will then come out of solution....use that water for your water changes. If you let the bucket sit in the sun, the chlorine will go bye bye pretty quick...say an hour.

Did you find out how big those Afrikans will get?.....z
That will only work for chlorine and not chloramines which are in most municipal water systems nowadays. Check to see what's in your local water supply if you don't want to use a water conditioner, and make sure the condition you use also treats chloramines if you have them. Some of the conditioners out there only treat chlorine. ;)
 

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a 10-gallon is far to small for ANY kind of african cichlid. I say return the cichlids and let the tank cycle proprely, with maybe an addition of biospira to get it cycled. Be sure to use PRIME water conditioner. Its the best kind out there. And remember this: pet store guys will tell u anything for u to get something there. Anything else i would say has already been said.
 

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Freaking chloramines???....Damn...it never ends does it?..:fishGreen:....lol.....

Btw, I live in a desert area, and our muni water is pumped from about 2-400 feet down.

I knew it wasn't chlorinated, but recently checked it just for shiggles......05 ppm chlorine!!!....I called the water company and they said they'd just started doing that....you know why? Cause they were covering their buttocks in case somebody sued them.....unfreakingbelievable.....z
 

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Discussion Starter #16
They should be fine. Africans are pretty tough critters. The main thing is to prevent ammonia buildup before the tank gets it's bacteria going.

They sell some ammonia removal stuff you can put in the filter.

They also sell some biobacteria that you can put in there to speed up the 'cycling'...

Btw, what are you using for a filter?........z
im not sure, what that means. ive got the filter that came with the tank.
 

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ImTheCrew.You never really want to use the filter that comes with the tank lol.What i mean is im assuming you bought the tank as a kit?If so they just put in the cheapest things possible.What i recommend is an aquaclear filter they are quiet and work great.
 

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ImTheCrew.You never really want to use the filter that comes with the tank lol.What i mean is im assuming you bought the tank as a kit?If so they just put in the cheapest things possible.What i recommend is an aquaclear filter they are quiet and work great.
ok, will do, and yes i have a tank kit filter... and i think its slowing down already lol. like i said im short for money now, i work on commission. But i will get new tank and filter within the month
 

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another problem im encountering is the fact i have no clue how much to feed. i know its based on time.. but like a pinch? One fish is eating like 80% of the food, the other is eating like 15% and one i dont see eat, and rarely see him eat 1 piece
 

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Ok cichlids are not like most fish.They will eat and keep eating so you have to be careful not to over feed.Or you will run into what is called malawi bloat.And that in most cases kill the fish.
What type of food are you useing?Try to get some frozen shrimp or bloodworms.
Take a cube of it in your hand place your hand into the tank and let it break up.Cichlid pellets are ok also/but DO NOT overfeed lol.Cichlids are beggers once they see you they will start swimming at the front of the tank and the top making you think they are starving lol.
Like i have said before main thing with cichlids are rocks but remember they need room to swim.So main thing right now is to focus on a bigger tank.Do some looking and try to find something like a 29 gallon.And remember if you are not sure plz ask all the question you have before jumping into anything:)
 
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