View Full Version : Hello, new here and researching

04-18-2013, 03:18 PM
I'm new here and just wanted to say hello and thank you for all the information on this site. I don't have an aquarium, yet. We are considering getting one, but I want to do my homework, first, so that I know what I'm doing & make sure it's a good decision. So, I probably won't post much, except to ask questions.

I have had roommates in the past that have had nice tanks that they managed very well. One was a salt water tank, with various fish, live rock and anemones. The other had a freshwater tank with breeding cichlids & a very neat white plechostomus that I was fond of. I watched both roommate maintain their tanks, but that does not mean that I could do it, myself.

I would really like to have a freshwater tank with live plants, and fish that are hardy, and slow growers (if that makes sense). I've been thinking about a 20 gallon tank.

04-18-2013, 03:47 PM
Welcome to the AC.

04-18-2013, 03:59 PM
Good job for doing research up front. I dont know how serious you want to get into the hobby but my first advice to any novice fish keeper is to get the biggest tank you can afford and place in the room. This is because larger tanks offer a wider variety of stock options and they allow for mistakes at a much larger level. A 20 gal tank can go south really fast where a 75 has some wiggle room and you are going to see signs of issues before they become highly toxic.

Also this is just advice from someone who went from a 10gal tank to 39.... sooooo... it really depends on what you want and how much time you want to devote to the hobby. Also, what fish are you interested in?

04-18-2013, 04:11 PM
Yeah, I'm seeing that I need to go bigger than 20 gallons. We were considering the 20 gallon tank because I figured the smaller the better, and I'm seeing the opposite as I research. I'm going to have to save more money than I thought, too.

I really don't know what I'm interested in, as I don't know much about fish. The one thing that I know I'm drawn to is that we would like to have a habitat that is as natural as possible. I'm drawn to cichlids. My husband does not like seeing carnivorous animals. He can't handle seeing them eat like that. He's had dart frogs, once, and seen one eat the other and he was over it, real quick. So I need to make sure that he enjoys our aquarium, too.

04-18-2013, 04:20 PM
Welcome! As stated above, the larger the better. Be aware that no matter what size you decide to get, get enough filtration for at least double the size of the tank and make sure to cycle the tank before adding fish - there is a good article in the beginner section about that.

People post here asking what they can put into a 5 or 10 gallon tank and they are told "a betta and snails for a 5gal or really small tetras/microfish for a 10gal" - that's not a lot of fish.

Some fish require schools (6+) to be comfortable & act naturally, some need to be by themselves due to aggression and others can be by themselves.

Larger tanks also allow you to add fish which occupy different parts of the tank - like the top, middle and bottom so the tank is nice and active.

04-18-2013, 04:23 PM
Sounds like you have some adverse opinions. Cichlids are a semiagressive fish and in general, if you have babies, the fry will get eaten unless specifically protected. Even guppys will have a baby and sometimes the mom just turns around and eats the baby...

If you have decided on cihclids, an all male Peacock tank would be a great starter. They are agressive cichlids but you overstock them and it quells the aggression because not just one fish is picked on. You could have a 75 gallon tank with a good number of fish that are of decent size, 4-5in when they hit adults and all kinds of colors. KGTropicals.com is a good source of looking over Peacocks. And as always google.

If you want something more community and plant based, you could go with german blue grams or bolivian rams with tetras or other community fish. The possibilities are endless.

04-18-2013, 04:44 PM
welcome the community, there is a ton of great info on here and the members are very helpful. The biggest issues are deciding what you want, making sure it doesn't pose a compatibility problem and whether or not you are a going to listen to good advice. Best of luck to you in your new hobby! Check out Petco's $1 per gallon sale on aquariums- you will need to get there little member card but it's free.

04-18-2013, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the info, I'm not totally set on cichlids. I'm just familiar with them, a little, and have enjoyed them in the past.

04-18-2013, 08:53 PM
I like the sound of having a large tank with different areas occupied by different things. I've seen tanks like this and really liked them.

04-19-2013, 04:30 AM
I would really like to have a freshwater tank with live plants, and fish that are hardy, and slow growers (if that makes sense). I've been thinking about a 20 gallon tank.


Please do familiarize yourself with the nitrogen cycle and fishless cycling.

A 20 gallon, especially a 20 long is a nice starter size. If you want plants (love planted tanks myself!) then do make sure you get something with a decent amount of light, twin T5 tubes would be best.

04-19-2013, 06:11 AM
Welcome to the community

04-19-2013, 08:58 AM
Welcome to the AC... :22:

Goes to 11!
04-19-2013, 12:28 PM
Welcome to the AC :22:

04-19-2013, 12:32 PM
Welcome to the forum!:22:

04-19-2013, 05:00 PM
Welcome to the AC!

I am also a newbie and decided on a 75 gallon for my first tank. I was originally going to get a 55 gal, but when I saw the 75 right behind it, I realized that extra 6 inches of depth made a big difference in the choices I could make.

If you can swing it money-wise, it is a great size tank, with many options for aquascaping and choices of fish. And yes, it is easier to keep the larger 55 or 75 gal healthy.

Also, be sure to check out online vendors for your equipment - www.thatpetplace.com, www.petmountain.com and www.drsfostersmith.com are great.