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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought three guppies + another fish (a small sucker fish, I forget the name) today and I accidentally got goldfish food instead of plain fish food. Is it ok to feed this to the guppies? I've never had fish before (I love them already!) and I'm still uncertain how to take care of them.

On a side note - DH came up with the greatest names for our fish! The two red guppies are Fred and George, the green one is Ron, and the suckerfish is Percy.
 

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It will not harm them but it is a bit low in protein for them. It might be a good idea to get a jar of tropical flake when you get a chance and feed a small amount of each. If its a new aguarium be prepared for it to cycle. Feed the fish only what they will eat in 3 minutes once every other day until the cycle is complete. Your ammonia will go up ( not harmful if your pH is at 7.0 or below). As your ammonia comes down your nitrites will go up. These are the biggest killer of freshwater fish. Adding rock salt or another non iodized salt will help prevent problems. You will want to add at least 1 tablespoon per 5-10 gallons. This is also very beneficial for guppies. They tend to get sick with out the salt. As you nitrites come down your nitrates will go up. Once you have 0 ammonia and nitrite than your tank is cycled and you can start feeding your fish small amounts daily or add new fish. Your tank will recycle if you overclean it, overfeed it, or add too many fish at once. Try not to let this happen. When your tank is cycling it is normal for it to be cloudy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK, wow, livinzoo, I don't know what any of that means. How do I know what the levels of all those things are? It's cloudy today (day two) and we bought some regular tropical fish food. I was planning on doing the morning feeding with goldfish food and the afternoon feeding with the tropical fish food. Is this ok?

Also - any hints for transporting my fish to work? I wanted to put the tank on my desk at work, but I'm not sure how to get them there without spilling tank water all over my car. I figured I'd just put them in a baggie with lots of air and enough of the water so that it won't spill in the car, then putting them back in at work. It's only a 10 minute drive to work, so it'll probably only be 30 minutes tops that they'll be out of the tank. Will this work?
 

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There are test kits that you can buy at walmart and target super stores. Also wherever you bought the fish at should have them as well. All you have to do is dip the test strip in the water and it will turn colors. The bottle will tell you which color means what and also what levels are acceptable. Ideal is 0 for ammonia and nitrites, and I think 40 or so is tops for the nitrates.

Basically when there is waste in the tank, from excess food or fish waste it decays and produces ammonia. Natural bacteria in your tank will grow and "eat" the ammonia, but will produce nitrites. Once the ammonia is broken down, a different bacteria will eat the nitrites, but produce nitrates. Nitrates are the safest of all of them so long as they are under a certain level. The nitrates will continue to build until you change the water. It is recommended that you change approximately 20% of water about once per month. Any more than that will get rid of too much of the good bacteria.

You will need a gravel vacuum to get rid of the debris in the gravel. They are around 10-20 bucks for the cheap ones (which work just fine) and upwards of $90 - $100 for the self syphoning ones. Vacuum out your tank once per month when you do water changes. AFter you've cleaned your gravel, take out additonal water until you've reached 20%. If you are vacuuming and find that it will take more than20% of the water, keep going until a max of 40% of the water is taken out. If you are still not done, then stop for now and repeat in a few days. When you put water back in the tank it is also a good idea to put something in there to take out the chlorine. You can use Stress Coat, Prime or the like. On the bottle it will say what it is supposed to get rid of. I highly recommend doing more research. There is a lot more to fish than just feeding them. Also when you clean the tanks, you will probably need an algae scraper to get rid fo the scum and algae on the glass. It looks like a green sponge with a handle on it.

Oh, btw, your sucker fish is most likely a Chinese algae eater or a plecostamus (sp?) also called a pleco.

Before getting ANY fish, do your research. People at these places are rarely knowledgeable. I'm sure the sales guy failed to tell you that guppies get sick really easily and also reproduce easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My sucker fish died.
DH thinks it's because the tank is so new that it had nothing to eat.
 
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