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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Unsure of Rainbow Shark and tank heater

Hi guys,

I'd checked everywhere but couldn't find a post relating to my question. I have a 35 gal setup, with 8 columbian tetras, 5 serpae tetras, one rainbow shark, plastic plants, hidey cave, a rock that looks like a donut, a roman thing with pillars that holds a bubbler, red cabomba, green cabomba, red ludwigia, and hygrophila polysperma.

The ph is 7.2, ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, and nitrate is about 5-10 (was HIGH around 50+ before I added live plants). The nitrates were a constant battle, rising by 20 overnight. I couldn't find any organic decaying matter. I feed VERY sparingly. I was quite confused. I did a 75% water change when the nitrates hit 100+ because everyone was going after each other and becoming voracious eaters. Now, after the massive water change and more live plants, the nitrates seems to not rise above 10. I feel that issue has been solved though I still test the water every second morning to make sure it's not spiking so drastically. So far I can almost go one week per water change, I really don't understand it. I do know that once the shark reaches max size I have to switch him to a 50+gal tank, and I look forward to it It would be beautiful.

My question: All my research puts my safe tank temp between 24-27 degrees. But I keep it at 22 because when I put it up to 24, the shark acts WEIRD. He starts acting..."floaty". It seems hard to explain. Anywhere he swims, he looks like he's testing his buoyancy or something. He'll rest on something on his mid tummy area, and it almost looks like he wants to see if he can balance. I could almost say it's like his energy level drops. The temp increase to 24 doesn't affect the tetras, it's like they don't notice.

Does anyone else here have experience with Rainbow sharks? What temp do you find best in your tank? How does yours act? Mine loves to forage along the bottom, he cleans but doesn't eat my live plants.

Thanks

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Also when I turn the temp up to 24, the shark starts hanging out at the other side of the tank more. I'm not sure if he's more comfortable, or less?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 12:29 PM
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Possibly more comfortable....ideally, based on your species present, your tank temp should be 25șC-26șC.

I am unsure as to the shark's behaviour at this point, but I am curious as to a couple of details. What filter are you using on your tank, what media, and how often (and how) do you maintenance it? How frequently and what sizes of water changes are you currently doing? Are you providing any sort of aeration?

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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The filter is a Hagen for 30-40 gal, containing a sponge, charcoal, and amrid pouches. I give it a very quick dip in a bucket of tank water for a rinse of any plant debris. I do know the tank is nicely cycled since I never have any ammonia or nitrite levels. Right now I water change according to nitrate readings. My most recent water change as I stated was 75% because my nitrates were over 100, this was 4 days ago. As I'd tested it I noticed it could rise 20 overnight (amazed me). Since this water change I also added more live plants and tested the water daily, it hasn't gone over 10 yet. Before this massive water change I was doing 30% every day, then every second day, then I said "that's it!" and changed the 75%. I am so careful with feeding so I was never sure what was causing that reading to rise so much. No one/nothing is decaying in the tank. I have not done a water change in 4 days since my nitrates are staying much lower, my goal is to stabilize it so that I only need to do 30% once a week. I don't gravel vacuum because of how many green and red cabomba clippings I have rooting throughout the tank, in hope of creating more plants to absorb more nitrates. It seems to be working well so far, not a single clipping has died and all have grown roots. I have an under gravel air bubbler that runs 24/7, connected to the base of the roman-pillar decoration so that it appears to come out the back/center of it. This is on the other side of the tank (heater on left, bubbler on right) and is where the shark seems interested in hanging out more. Could the shark have issue with his cave being 4 inches from the water heater? Does the heater have that strong an effect? Right now he is out and about foraging, he seems slower, but equally as agile. Could he simply be calmer?

Please let me know if I answered your questions incorrectly

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Would the shark's behavior make sense if the tank was too warm? Say 28 degrees? I just checked my thermometer and even though my heater is set to 24, my thermometer says the water is 28. So, I turned the heater back down to 22, and that should bring the temp down to a more appropriate temp of 24-26.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2011, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulder View Post
Would the shark's behavior make sense if the tank was too warm? Say 28 degrees? I just checked my thermometer and even though my heater is set to 24, my thermometer says the water is 28. So, I turned the heater back down to 22, and that should bring the temp down to a more appropriate temp of 24-26.
That would explain it. Never trust the heater's thermostat, they're often faulty .

So it sounds like the tank was actually the right temperature the whole time .




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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I think the tank was the right temperature the whole time. I just got back from being gone for 2 days, and the thermometer says 26 Everyone in the tank is doing great. I'll just leave the heater set for 22. Thanks for the insight!

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 03:48 PM
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Bingo...always have a good-quality, accurate thermometer and trust it...far too much can go wrong with heaters, and inaccuracies with heater thermostats are far from rare.

G. A. Christian Bilou, Herpetologist
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Director, Reptile Rescue Alberta (Est. 1994)

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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I noticed the temp yesterday, when set to 22 (which it usually is), started reading 28, so now I have it set at 20, and yesterday and today it's steadily reading 26. If the heater keeps this up, I'll be trying to return it to the store! I've only had it a month!

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