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need pacu help bad!!!!!

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by willieb18, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    i just bought a red pacu last week i have it in a 55 gallon tank. the 1st day i got him he was fine yesterday he was laying sideways on the botton but he would move if scared. the guy at the fish store told me that the water needed to be about 78.. i had the wated at 70. oned i got to water temp up he started acting ok. i also have some guppies in the tank. the guy told me the fish would eat them. i don't have any rocks or sand in the tank. what all do i need???? please help.
     
  2. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    can anyone help me?? he hasn't been doing too good and i don't want him to die.
     
  3. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Are you aware that red bellied pacus can get over 24" long and almost as tall? And just one needs at least 300 gallons? They also grow very quickly so unless you're willing to go the the expense to get a huge custom tank made for it pretty soon, I suggest getting rid of it now.

    As for your current problem, was the tank cycled properly before you added the fish? What are your readings for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte?

    -Chelle
     
  4. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    i know that it going to get big. what do you mean by letting the water cycle? i left the water in the tank for like 3 weeks before i got the fish. and i don't know about all that other stuff you asked. the guy at the store told me that i didn't need a test kit or anything.
    the fish seems to be doing good now. but it seems he is really shy. what can i feed him it dosent look like he is eating the guppys.
     
  5. figgy

    figgy New Member

  6. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    The guy at the store either didn't know what he was talking about or he lied. Everyone who keeps aquariums needs test kits for at least ammonia nitrIte, and nitrAte.

    There's a process called the nitrogen cycle. Fish produce lots of ammonia which is toxic to them. Anything above 0ppm can make them very sick or even kill them. In an established (cycled) aquarium the filter contains 2 types of bacteria. The first converts the ammonia into nitrIte. NitrIte is also toxic to fish and like ammonia, anything above 0 ppm can kill them. So the second type of bacteria converts nitrItes into nitrAtes. At low levels (below 20ppm) nitrAtes won't hurt fish. The 2 ways to remove nitrAtes is by either having TONS of live plants (not very practical) and by doing water changes.

    Like I said before, a fully cycled tank will have enough bacteria to convert all of the ammonia & nitrIte, so they should both stay at 0. If they're ever above 0, it means either something has happened that killed off your bacteria colonies or your fish are producing way too much ammonia for the bacteria to handle. That can generally be remedied by buying more filtration (but only works to an extent) or even better, getting a bigger tank since more water will dilute the ammonia.

    And since there is nothing in the tank itself that will remove nitrAtes, you need to monitor it and when it starts getting close to 20 ppm, you need to do a water change. But keep in mind that the more overstocked your tank is (ie even a 1/2 grown pacu in a 55 gallon tank is overstocked), the quicker your nitrAtes will build up and the more frequent your water changes will have to be. My guess is by the time your pacu is 1/2 grown, you're going to be needing to do water changes every 2 - 3 days.

    Back to your current problem.

    If all you did was let the tank run for 3 weeks w/o any fish and w/o adding any ammonia, it's not cycled. The bacteria did not have anything (ammonia) to eat so it couldn't grow. Now that you put the pacu in there, your levels of ammonia and nitrIte are probably getting pretty high because there currently isn't enough bacteria to covert it all. So your pacu is getting poisoned.

    I suggest immediately buying those test kits and posting the results here ASAP. After you test the water, do a large water change (50%). That will help bring the levels down a little.

    -Chelle
     
  7. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    "Keep your Pacu in a tank of at least 2 gallons per inch of mature fish length, this provides sufficient space for your Pacu, so he can remain healthy, and this allows the tank to help you keep healthy fish. I recommend a minimum of 30 gallons for a Pacu aquarium, though larger varieties or multiple fish will likely mandate a larger tank."

    Um, nope, don't think so.

    Pacus need a heck of a lot more room than a 30 gallon tank.
    Like I said before, red bellied pacus will get at least 24" long and roughtly 20" tall. The standard 29 gallon tank is 36" x 12" x 18". There is no way an adult pacu will physically fit in that tank.

    Here's a nice visual. (note that bright orange fish in the lower right is an 8" red devil).
    [​IMG]

    300 gallons is the BARE MINIMUM for 1 pacu, 500 gallons being much better.

    -Chelle
     
  8. Alen

    Alen New Member

    Did you buy your pacu at Wall Mart or Petco or another pet store of that kind? I ask this because I too have recieved horible info on fish and fish matenience from these stores. The people have no idea what they're talking about for the most part. It's fine to buy your equiptment from stores like this because it's cheaper, but to get your fish and info I would recomend going to a fish dealer. This is just my experience, it might be different where you live.
     
  9. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    so to do a water change i just get the water out and add more? do i leave the fish in when i change the water? can i get the test kit a walmart? if so i will go get it tonight. if i can't get it at walmart i can get it tomorrow. the fish is only 3" long, so he still has some growing to do. what is the best thing to feed him?
     
  10. Alen

    Alen New Member

    Once again, what have you already been feeding him. Sometimes you'll find that a fish will just be a picky eater. About getting the test kit at Wall Mart I don't see a problem with that. If you do get it there could you post the price. Thanks!!!
     
  11. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    i got my fish from petland they have a lot of fish. that is not all they deal in so i don't know how much they know
     
  12. Alen

    Alen New Member

    About the water changes now,
    What you do is you take out about 20% of the water out and yes you can leave the fish in, at least thats what I do. When replacing the water you want to treate it with a water conditioner to take out the chlorine and other harmfull metals that might be in regular tap water. You can get this at Wall Mart too. Also if you put aquarium salt in your water you want to put some in the replacement water as well.
     
  13. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    well the 1st time i went to the pet store the guy sold me fish pellets. then 2nd time i went another guy sold me some guppys and told me that he would go crazy on them. and i read that he will eat fruit so i put as grape in there and it looked like he chewed it up and spit it out.
     
  14. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    i have a little bit of water conditioner from a previous fish tank you think i should put come in?
     
  15. Alen

    Alen New Member

    Putting the water conditioner in wouldn't hurt.
     
  16. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    i have a water test kit that will test pH and CL will this be helpful at all?
     
  17. willieb18

    willieb18 New Member

    how much should i put in?
     
  18. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Walmart might have the test kits. I know the Walmart here only has the paper strips, but the liquid test kits are better.

    If you don't have a gravel vacuum get one of those too. That will help remove all the waste from the substrate. And yes, to do a water change you are just removing some of the water from the tank and replacing it with fresh, dechlorinated water (make sure it's really close to the same temp as the tank water). And it is best to leave the fish in the tank (moving them is very stressful).

    He should eat the pellets, but at the moment he's probably just sulking due to the change in environment. I would keep offering the pellets and remove any that aren't eaten within a couple minutes. He should eventually come around and eat.

    -Chelle
     
  19. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Not really. You need tests for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte.

    -Chlele
     
  20. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    The instructions on the water conditioner should list a dosage (x amount of conditioner / x gallons). You only need to treat the new water you're adding. So, if you have a 55 gallon tank and you're doing a 25% water change, that means you are replacing approx 14 gallons. You will need to add enough conditioner to treat those 14 gallons.

    -Chelle
     

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