Complete newbie and clueless!

Just started on your fishy adventures, ask for help in here.
LookoutTrout
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Titchyfeep wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 12:18 pm It was given to me by the lfs- it was a small quantity not in the original bottle and had hand written instructions for dosage. the hand writing wasn’t the best but it did say seachem aquavitro but I know there are numerous versions. I hadn’t bought any fish when it was given to me, I hadn’t even mentioned a possibility of getting platys at that point. I had told them my plants had melted even though I thought it was my fault for not having the light on for long enough. They gave me replacement plants along with the aquavitro.
Plants also need minerals in the water, that might be why they gave it to you.
Odd though as plants melting is quite normal when they are first put in the tank, you just wait for new leaves to grow.
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There was pretty much nothing left of the plants, the only one that was ok was the Java fern. Tbh I bought fake plants and now only have 3 real plants in the tank. I done a water change not long after putting the aquavitro in and haven’t put it in again since.
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Its ok, thats the plant food which is fine to add with real plants. It's most likely Seachem Aquavitro Envy as thats their all in one plant food :)

Don't give up with the tank, it can be a difficult learning curve at first but you'll soon get used to it. Its easy to get distracted by fish in a shop and end up walking away with something less than suitable. Take a note of the fish people recommend (on paper) and take it with you next time, and ask if they have any of them before taking a look at the tanks. I find this to be a great way to stop them pushing other types of fish on to you that are either not suitable, or not what you want.
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What I wrote there was not meant at all as a passive-aggressive comment for/at you : it was aimed squarely at the LFS concerned.

I'm not 'neurotypical' either (Asperger's or something peculiar of that ilk) and had not recognised your ADHD.

I think, once settled, fishkeeping on however modest a platform could be of great benefit to you and yours. If in your position, while I might continue to buy stuff from your LFS I would be disinclined to accept without further research any advice that they were to offer to me. It sounds maybe like a family concern who do things now the way they've always done them, because they've always done them that way!
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The thing is they weren’t pushy at all and we’ve been in a few times and left with nothing. If anything there were loads of fish that they absolutely wouldn’t let me buy based on the test results of my water. That’s why I felt I had no reason to think they were lying to me. They talked me out of buying some pretty expensive fish. Perhaps I should go to a different shop but there aren’t that many in the area. My main concern now is if I’m being really cruel keeping these fish.
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fr499y wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 13:37 pm Its ok, thats the plant food which is fine to add with real plants. It's most likely Seachem Aquavitro Envy as thats their all in one plant food :)

Don't give up with the tank, it can be a difficult learning curve at first but you'll soon get used to it. Its easy to get distracted by fish in a shop and end up walking away with something less than suitable. Take a note of the fish people recommend (on paper) and take it with you next time, and ask if they have any of them before taking a look at the tanks. I find this to be a great way to stop them pushing other types of fish on to you that are either not suitable, or not what you want.
I absolutely second this advice. Even when not pressured into getting something I get easily carried away with talking about different fish with people at the LFS... to help with my own ADHD-related overload, I have in the past gone to my LFS with a web page open with what I came for (or a couple of options) or notes on suitable species and the water parameters they like to keep myself on track.

And to follow up on what Vale! said, they're probably aren't lying to you but their experience of keeping fish is not necessarily best practice on what's most likely to give fish their best chance at thriving (which is what you want!)

On a forum you're more likely to get advice which combines lots of people's experiences from many years of discussion and following one anothers' progress. Online we can also check our facts against different knowledge bases for things like species' water parameter requirements (which are also often built from many people's many years of experience and research) much more easily, too. :)
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Aquatic shops may get a bit of harsh treatment sometimes, I doubt many are the cut throat pirates they are sometimes made out to be.
What I've noticed:
1. They will almost always recommend something they sell, this might be snake oil. The same branded product can be completely different in different countries depending on local legislation, you might look on the web and see great reviews for product x, your LFS will sell product x and they probably don't realise it's not the great thing sold abroad.
2. Understandably they rarely give out advice for free, they may not suggest the really cheap and simple option when they sell a premium product.
3. They are not specialists in everything so may inadvertantly give the wrong advice.
4. They don't have a spare hour to listen to the whole story so are likely to rush it a bit.

I have bought some utter junk equipment from my LFS and I wouldn't ask any LFS for equipment advice because they don't have much to choose from, if I've done my research and they have what I want then I'll happily buy it there even if it's a little more expensive.
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I don't think anyone here thinks badly of you. That's never our intention.
We care about our fish and try to give the best advice we can from our experience.
Have a virtual hug from all of us and understand we've all been where you are now - trying to make sense of all the information you're bombarded with.
Most of us (however experienced) are still learning. ;)
We're on your side and the side of the fish. :)
I think the thing with ph and hardness is one of the most difficult things to understand about water.
Hardness affects the fishes' osmotic systems, ph doesn't. That's the most important thing to understand.
If at first you don't succeed....
...get someone else to do it! :D

Enjoy your fish, shrimps and snails!
Ian
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I realistically do know people are being supportive and just advising what’s right for the fish. I unfortunately have rejection sensitivity disorder as part of my ADHD so often take things in the wrong way.

I had a bit of a surprise this morning. The kids were adamant they could see a tiny yellow fish. I couldn’t see anything but then saw something that I thought was a bit of plant. But they were right, it’s a tiny fry. Obviously I knew they were live breading but I didn’t expect it as I assumed most would be eaten or go in to the filter.
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I'm always pulling fry out of my sump as they seem to get down the overflow, past the filter floss, under the ceramic rings and then swim around in the return chamber like its a perfectly normal thing to do :) they must think they are on Takeshi's Castle!

Anyway, it’ll survive! They don’t seem to bother with their young.
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