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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a new 20 gallon tank and 3 rbp's. I am new to the hobby and am already hooked..
I have had the tank for around 2 months and the water seems to be a little cloudy. It is a little white and opaque. Nothin too bad but iw ould like to have it crystal clear. I have what looks like a film on the inside of the glass. I don't know how to get that to go away either. Also my ammonia is at .25 and my nitrate and nitrite levels are so dark pink on the test strip i can't even tell what it reads.
I have a whisper 20 filter on it. So im wondering if i need another filter? need a lot of water changes? or if there is some chemicals i can add or something to clear this stuff up? Also there is what looks to be like gray dust on my driftwood and plants... how do i clear all of this up??
Any help would be very appreciated!! i love this site and have been reading it constantly since i got my p's... Thanks for any help!
 

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OK, well let me be the first one to welcome you to the best piranha site on the web!! Also let me be the first one to tell you yor tank is way overstocked! As a general rule, 20 gallons per fish! You did not state how big your RBP's are, however if they are still juvie's the 20 gallon will definitly not last long. You will soon have territorial disputes
, stress
, etc. I also believe this might be some of your water parameter problems..

You should do a water change every week to keep down the nitrate etc. But right now I would concentrate on finding a 75 gallon and getting it set up and get it cycled. Also do an immediate water change on the 20 gallon to help out your current conditions. Regular water changes every week should help out with your cloudyness and algae problems..

Good Luck and read through some of the pinned topics on this site... very useful information!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info!! This is the best site on piranha information i have ever came across. I am so excited for the new hobby. I know i am going to have some trouble with the small tank so once they get bigger i am going to find someone with a bigger home for them, as for now i live in a dorm at Ohio State University and cannot have anything bigger than 20 gallons due to flooding reasons and other bull. I hope to have the water parameters cleared up and the tank looking good soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would it be smart for me to add another filter onto this tank? Or would that not really do enough. As for right now i have one whisper 20 on the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone!! I love it. I do have another question. There is pieces of food and other stuff floating around in my water. What can i do to get rid of this stuff. Also my amonia is at .25 and my nitrite is off the charts. What can i do to fix this in a hurry?? Thanks so much for your help!
 

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Hi, i am new to this site as well. Good luck with your new hobby. I know your fish will quickly outgrow your tank and instead of spending money improving it you should save for a new one. But you said you cannot have anything bigger at your dorm. In that case I would think you should improve your tank while you have it.
Your parameters are bad. I personally would not only get another filter but also one of those sponges on a stick for aquariums they have at the pet shop. I would clean that gunk of the sides, you can probally find a much better filter for like 20 bucks which would help alot I think but not a cure to your problem though.... Also keep up on water changes as you may have to do them a little more often that normal. Keep testing and try to keep your numbers low. Was your tank cycled before you added your red bellies?
I agree with the others you will need a bigger tank but I don't see a problem with making the one you have better in the mean time. Then you can use it for something else later and you'll already have everything you need. If your tank is clean and nice looking and your fish are healthy I think that will inspire you to continue with the hobby.
Also read read read... alot of good info here. Learn from others mistakes instead of having to live them yourself. Good Luck!!!
 

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As far as food. Use your net and get it out of there. Give them time to eat then when they are done. Take whatever is left right out. Also I would do a water change now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome everyon.. Yea i just did about a 15% water change.. that seemed to help get some of the gunk out. I need to get a new filter. Its been in there for a month and a half and its really dark green almost black and its covered in stuff?> I stuck in in the bucket of tank water i took out and tried to get some of the chunks off.. is this the right thing to do?
I am just startin out and could use any available info... Also with this 20 gallon set up... what kind of filter do you guys recomend?? I am going to get a sponge to get rid of the white film on the inside of the aquarium on the glass. Hopefully the water changes will get rid of the stuff floating around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also i live in the columbus, ohio area, and will be looking for a new tank within a few months so if anyone hears of any deals on a bigger tank and they are somewhat close to my area just let me know please! Thanks again for all of the help!
 

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There are several people on this site that are from Columbus, OH.. (me personally was born in Lancaster, OH -- but that is asside the point) So, I do not think you will have a problem finding a larger tank. Is a 20 gallon the largest the dorm will let you have??

Make sure after you do a water change that you use a conditioner for the water to take out chlorine etc. or your piranhas could suffer from burns. There should never any food left over in the tank after they have eaten. Always remove uneaten food. Give them a couple hours to eat it though. If you did a water change today... I would do another small one on Monday and re-test your parameters. It is very important that you get the water condition to normal. High nitrites and your piranhas are prone to nitrite poisoning...(very bad) As someone else has already asked... was your tank cycled?
 

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as far as a filter read through the equipment threads. Different people like different things. Collect information and make your own desicion based on what you learned. Lots of people here like to go overboard with filtration, which seems to work well for them. It also depends on your money situation. I can find online links for companys if you like, online appears to be cheaper than the lfs but then when you add shipping it's a coin toss I guess.
I'ts good to clean off the gunk that builds up on your filter now. Esp. if it inhibits it's potential. But leave the media thats on the inside alone for a while as it can be helpful to your tank. I recomend looking up some essays about cycling your tank and understand about bacteria etc. That will give you much insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys... I have read up for a while and understand the beneficial bacteria and what not, i was just looking for reassurance in the fact i was doing something right... Thanks for the help guys, i appreciate it so much. My tank was probably halfway in its cycling process when i added my p's. I know now that that was such a bad idea. However i didn't have anywhere else to put them. I have the Prime that i add in the bucket before i pour the water into the tank. Yes 20 gallons is all they allow in the dorm. Just incase of a spill they don't want me ruinin all the people underneath me. I am moving into a house next year so i will be able to have the larger tank i want. Thanks so much for your help everyone. Ill keep you all updated on the water parameters, clarity, and heath of the p's. And if you have anymore suggestions please keep them rolling!! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well...
GOOD NEWS> i got my tank to clear up. After a few water changes i seem to have got a fair amount of the floating debris. As for now the fish seem happy. The nitrates and nitrites are on their way down. however. the ammonia is still around .25. I am under the assumption the tank is STILL cycling
.. but i will keep you posted. However on a happy note the clarity has improved by a million!
My buddy just got a new digital camera so i hope to maybe post a picture or two of the tank sometime!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea i love the hobby... i am instantly hooked. Rainydaze do you think you could give me a few of those webistes you have found, also a suggestion from you are anyone on what sort of filter would be adequate to add with my whisper 20 to my 20 gallon would be great. Thanks!
 
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