View Full Version : New To Fish Keeping (any advise welcome)
02-27-2011, 11:34 AM
Hi to anyone that reads this thread,
My name is sam, and i have recently set up a 70-80 litre tropical aquarium.
i have had my water tested and told that it was perfect which was nice to hear, because i have heard stories of people not being able to get there chemical levels correct.
after being told that my water was perfect i asked the assistant at the local aquatics for his suggestion on what tropical fish to start with...
...after much thought and research i decided to get some plants and rocks etc in the tank and have just put 6 black neon tetras in my aquarium.
obviously i will leave it a few weeks before i put any other fish in with them, to allow the water to cycle and ensure that water changes go smoothly etc.
I was just curious as to what fish people would recomend to go with my tetras? i like the look of the red tailed shark, and also am quite fasinated by plecostomus.
im completley open to advise and critisism after all i am completely new to this and want to learn as much as i can and keep fish for years to come.
happy fish keeping
apologies on spelling if there are any howlers. :)
02-27-2011, 11:44 AM
Welcome to the AC... :22:
I would start here,
02-27-2011, 11:46 AM
Tank is about 20 gallons. Most plecos get too big. You can get a clown pleco, those stay small red tailed shark gets a little too big for the tank and gets aggressive( fish can always have the same type of fish be a happy fish, or a mean aggressive fish)
I recommend a bigger school of the tetras.
1 clown pleco.
6 or so Pygmy cories
1 clown pleco
6 Pygmy cories if they have enough bottom space.
What's the water parameters?
The water doesn't cycle the filter does.
02-27-2011, 01:22 PM
thanks for the advise guys...perhaps i thought i had done enough research but clearly not, there is soooo much to take in and learn...
next thing on my shopping list is a test kit for sure, i didnt realise it was so vital for the water to be tested as regulary as it does...the last thing i want to do is kill my fish.
i must admit that when i was looking at the plecos i thought they looked a little large and perhaps my tank is not quite large enough...my tank dimensions are about 24"x24"x24" its a mt50 by boyu.
i have read alot of posts about people being very unfortunate and finding dead fish, is this a common thing? even among those with alot of experience?
Fish do die. If the water and environment is good...then I suspect a percentage of fish deaths are largely genetic (as in poor quality due to overbreeding, inbreeding, etc. of pet store stock). Fish will also have health issues that we can't see or don't recognize as such while they manifest. Finally, some shorter lived species just die of old age at some point...
My advice with a 20g...don't overstock. As beginners we seem to want a lot of fish of different species - and this leads to various issues...
Have less fish, and think of each more as an individual...(well, hard to do with a school of neons I know...but still :hmm3grin2orange: )
02-27-2011, 02:07 PM
your not wrong as a begginer all i want is more and more fish, ideally i waned a marine set up, but after reading and researching i realised i was biting off a hell of alot more than i could chew. one day i will build up to it,
i did want a bigger tank than 20g but i only live in a flat so dont really have the room. but then again we all have to start off somewhere.
thanks for the advise guys its all new to me so its all helping.
02-27-2011, 02:15 PM
Welcome to the AC :22:
02-27-2011, 02:53 PM
couldnt help but notice your picture...is there any way i could see a full size? looks amazing...
02-27-2011, 07:48 PM
welcome to the AC! i would do a pretty dwarf gourami, if i were you, for a centerpiece fish. theyr easy to keep and would look nice with ur black neons
Don't put plecos in a 20 gallon trust me i did that when i first started BAD IDEA they get HUUUUGE:hmm3grin2orange:
02-27-2011, 08:17 PM
if u really want a pleco you'll have to do a lot of research on the best one because some get really really big - & do it fast - & its tricky pet stores tend to lable them wrong...research & knowing what they look like if u go that route is best
aquatic snails are neat too if u want to add something thats not fish & easy to care for.
& Welcome to the AC!!!
02-27-2011, 08:46 PM
Thanks guys all this advise is great...to be honest it's the wife that wants the bristlenose I'm not so sure...and yeah I think it's hard to find a decent aquatics my local place has things labelled up wrong I'm sure if ut
02-27-2011, 10:49 PM
^_^ Welcome to the community! If it's advice you're looking for, you've come to the right place
02-28-2011, 02:05 AM
Believe me I know the feeling of wanting more & more fish - I'm new at this too! Best thing is to do your own research on different types of fish to know what will work for your tank or ask the experienced people here and...Welcome!
02-28-2011, 02:15 AM
Hi Sam.....Welcome to the forum.
Hope you don't mind that I moved your post to the beginners freshwater section? Since you have a few questions, you can get more answers here than you would in the Introduction Thread.
I think with only 6 black neons, you may be waiting for quite a while to get the ammonia moving to start that cycle. If you were talking 6 platies or larger tetra's, then 6 would probably do it for you but the black neons are pretty small and not much waste producers. You don't want to go nuts and cram the tank full of fish but you also want to start with enough so it doesn't take forever.
I started my 29 planted tank with 14 glowlights. My ammonia never hit .25 which was good. It dropped and after another two weeks, I added 14 more glowlights. The plants will help remove some of the toxins.
I tested the water daily (API test kit) and never had a fish loss. I think you could add a few more neons if you wanted.
I agree with the others regarding the pleco and if you will be keeping all small fish, perhaps some cherry shrimp or snails might be interesting to you. Also Otocinclus catfish to help with some algae.
You can have a very cute, active tank with a bunch of little guys in larger schools. Generally works out better than having a small tank and trying to have 5 different species in it.
02-28-2011, 03:31 AM
Welcome to the AC, Im sure you will find fishkeeping to be a very satisfying (and addictive) hobby. As a beginer, like most said, you will want to load up on fish. I found that by just being different helps with that. I would bump your tetra shoal to 10 or so so that they can school together. I agree with Lady Hobbs when she said to get a shrimp. Dare to be different with your clean-up crew and stay away from fish. There are a large amount of different shrimp which will eat algae of all sorts. They are small and very interesting. You can also get a snail or two for glass cleaning as they like to stay out of the way. Best thing to do is read read read, there is TONS of information on our hobby and learning is half the fun.
02-28-2011, 12:27 PM
thanks guys, cant believe how helpful this forum is, normally forums are full of people that just tell you how much they know and how little you do and dont really help you out and seems to end up with online arguments.
will be looking to getting shrimp and snails and Otocinclus catfish...
just curious but i have been offered someone elses water to put in my tank this weekend when i do a water change...is this advisable? seems a little strange?...
thanks on advance :)
02-28-2011, 12:46 PM
There is no need to use someone elses water. But what would really help is if they would give you some of their filter media. Now that will really get a fast cycling going for you. Bacteria is not in the water but some in the substrate and tons in the filter media.
However, I would not use that media until time for your fish or the bacteria on it will simply die off without the fish in the tank. Get your tank up and running, planted, ready for the fish and then cram some of that filter media in your filter. (If they will give you some.)
02-28-2011, 02:19 PM
excuse my ignorance but filter media? i just put in my tank water or the foam?
sorry i sound like an idiot(blush)
...filter media is the filtering material that goes in your filter. Most have a sponge components (but there's also floss, carbon, ceramic 'pellet's, rings etc.). The pourous material (like the sponge) house huge numbers of 'good' nitrifying bacteria.
If you could get a well-establish sponge from someone (with a healthy tank!) you can 'instant' cycle your own tank. The filter media HAS to stay wet during the transfer to your tank, or your bacteria will die.
02-28-2011, 05:29 PM
Ah that's interesting to know...the guy who has offered the water is more of an acquaintance so might have to chat him up...but surely if he gives me his sponge he will have to start a fresh cycle? Which hardly seems fair :(
02-28-2011, 07:15 PM
Ok so I found another question...I'm going to do my first water change in a couple of days...as you know I got 6 little tetras and a few plants now obviously I'm going to prepare the new water with the chemicals first...BUT surely this new water is not going to be heated and I'm worried it may shock the fish...I'm a little bummed about going for fish in cycle but pet store wouldn't take them back...but I'm committed now and I got a good bunch of people to help :)
02-28-2011, 10:18 PM
You can just change the temp with the hot and cold handles. But some people say it changes the amount of metals or something bin the water because of the pipes in the house.
03-01-2011, 02:37 AM
Only speaking for myself, but my fish love the cool new water I put in my tank durring water changes. However, I have a separate bucket that I have full of de-chlorinated water on hand which I use. Thus, the water is room temp (which is still cooler then the 80 deg in my tank). But every time I add it, my little guys all swim up to the flow.
Goes to 11!
03-01-2011, 02:47 AM
I'm going to prepare the new water with the chemicals first...BUT surely this new water is not going to be heated and I'm worried it may shock the fish.
What do you mean: 'Surely this new water is not going to be heated' Do you not have a hot water system?
Make an attempt to match the temp of the tank, If your off marginally it is not the end of the world. Come as close as you can.
03-01-2011, 11:02 AM
sorry i should have been more clear, im putting tap water in obviously im using a dechlorinator to make the water safe, but im worried that the tap water will be too cold when i poor it into the tank and shock the fish? or isit a case of mixing cold with hot water and getting it as close as you can?
03-01-2011, 11:34 AM
Just as you adjust the water temp before taking a shower, you adjust the water temp that is needed for your fish. Dump your dechlorinator in the pail, fill it with water needed for your fish and it's instantly dechlorinatored.
Did you do a water test on your tank? You should not have to be doing a water change with only 6 small fish and plants already. That tank should be fine and water only changed now if the ammonia was to climb to a toxic level and I doubt that happened.
Your friend does not need to use all of his filter media. He only needs to give you a small amount.
03-01-2011, 12:46 PM
thanks lady hobbs,
well i just ordered my test kit yesterday so i shall test water before i commence with a water change,
i also want to take you up on your advice of maybe getting a couple more little black neons just to speed the proccess up.
its great how much i am learning from you guys... :)
03-01-2011, 01:33 PM
ok so i been looking around on the forums just trying to get more knowledge, and seen alot of people mentioning vaccuming there gravel? now im assuming that i dont need to worry about this just yet, but is there some other bit of eqp i need to buy?
thanks in advance :)
03-01-2011, 05:16 PM
You do not need to gravel vacuume as that will actually hurt your nitrogen cycle. Benificial Bacteria (BB) grows on every surface in your tank. This means that the gravel/sand, rocks, tank walls, plant's leaves and filter. The filter is the largest host of BB and forcing water to flow through it will remove free floating ammonia in the tank as well as standard ammonia but the other sources aid that.
Gravel vac's are normally neccissary when you have a lot of poop/wasted food on the bottom and nothing to absorb them. It creates a substance called mulm. The plants in the tank will eat the mulm (use it for fertilizer) but the surface stuff should be removed every month or so to keep water quality good.
03-01-2011, 08:55 PM
Cool thanks sandz...now I was debating a otocinclus cat fish would that help with reducing vacuum? And also how do you perform these vacuum?
03-01-2011, 09:01 PM
An oto catfish will eat algae that grows in the tank, but not the waste and other debris that will collect at the bottom.
I use a simple siphon like this http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=aquarium+gravel+vacuum&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=17780921587895651090&sa=X&ei=72ttTYKGBoXQsAPthainBQ&ved=0CGsQ8gIwCA#. I get a siphon started and run the larger tube through the gravel at the bottom. The waste is sucked up the hose and into your bucket while the gravel (which is too heavy to be sucked up) will churn around and settle back down. Some people use a "python" type device which is the same concept but uses the flow from your faucet to power the siphon, rather than just gravity. The python's advantage is that you can refill your tank from your faucet, rather than hauling buckets one at a time.
03-01-2011, 09:16 PM
Cool thanks Cascade...one day I will be full of knowledge...now I'm assuming my water is going ok I have a plant ( couldn't possibly say what type )
That has really "sprouted" and grown today obviously I will get true results when I get my test kit any day now :) I love my little tank
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