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Results 1 to 10 of 82
  1. Default Beginner aquarium

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone I am new to this site and to aquariums. I have been under a lot of stress recently due to studies, work and personal problems and it has completely messed up my sleep. I have tried many different things but to no avail. However I remember as a child I had a small tropical fish tank next to my bed and whenever I had trouble sleeping I used to watch the fish swim about and whatever was keeping me awake seemed to dissappear and I fell asleep straight away. I am hoping that tropical fish will have a similar calming effect on me as an adult and help me with my sleeping problem.

    I have decided to get a small tank but have no idea of the set up, maintanance etc so I could really use some help. Here's a list of other things that I'm hoping to get advice for.

    I would like to put a plant or two in the small aquarium but I have no idea which would be best (preferably easy to maintain)

    I'm not looking to have a wide variety of fish, probably just a small group of the same fish with a bottom feeder to help with cleaning. i would like these to be nice to look at and quite active whilst being to maintain and won't breed frantically as I want to keep the tank size quite small

    Any do's and don't that a beginner needs to know.

    Hope to get some answers soon and thanks for replies

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    A good place to start will be to read the cycling stickies found in the beginner section.

    I would recommend Fishless cycling, as it is faster, and humane. The rest depends upon your tank size. Tank size will determine where you can go after cycling :)

    Do you have a certain size in mind yet? < cycling link.
    130g: 4 Angelfish, 2 Roseline Sharks, 12 Conga Tetras, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, 1 Corydora

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    methuen ma usa

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    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to fishless cycle, its not as hard as you think. if you have the space for it a decent sized tank for you would be a 29g. you can have 2 schools of smaller fish and maybe a school of corries in there. its also fairly easy to maintain, much easier than a 10g imo. the larger the tank the slower the parameters change. for a set up like you would be looking at i would choose the following (all ideal imo)
    set up:
    29g (check craigs list for a good stand/tank equipment combo you would be surprised how cheap it can be)
    slighlty upgraded lights (for low light plants) dual t8 would do fine or a single t5no would also work fine. 6500K-6700K
    glass hood
    eheim jager 125W heater
    aqua clear 70 filter, or a single aquaclear 30 and a single 50.
    maybe a bubbler if you want it
    W/E you like for gravel or sand. dark is always nice. sand is better if you want cories

    the stock:
    (eight of everything to follow)
    zebra danio
    bleed heart tetras
    false julii cory
    harlequin rasbora

    some plants:
    java ferns 2 would be good
    anuibus (sp?) 3

    water changes and maintenance:
    15g weekly water change (ideally)
    wipe some algae away if any
    bi weekly/monthly gravel vacing

    daily feeding of a good flake (i like omega one)
    treat with some frozen food
    some algae wafers and veggies for the corries.

    i know that's ALOT of info i threw at you but a set up like that seems like something you'd like. also feel free to add driftwood and rock work / decor as you see fit.

    edit: im sorry i didnt see the "not" when you said a wide variety... sorry...
    Last edited by genocidex; 03-01-2013 at 03:15 AM.
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Both previous posters are spot on suggesting a fishless cycle. Since stress is an issue for you, cycling your tank without fish is the way to go. You'll have it all ready before you add your stock and won't have to worry about whether or not they will struggle if you cycle the tank with them in it.

    I agree, a 29 gallon is a great size for a tank. In addition to the ideas listed above, you could substitute any one of those fish with Colombian Tetra, Serpae tetra, cherry barbs - a huge list.
    Since you are a student and want this for your bedroom, if a 29 gallon is too large, perhaps a 10 gallon might be a good size for you. It will be easy to change the water and keep clean and you can stock some really nice fish. I'm thinking a school of neon or cardinal tetras would look great. Harlequin rasboras would also be a good choice. both are pretty fish and active and fun to watch. You could add a couple colorful apple snails for clean up and additional movement or some cherry shrimp would also be a nice addition.
    If you don't want to get into plant maintenance, you could add some anubis rooted to a piece of driftwood or float some hornwort.
    Others will have some suggestions for you too. Good luck and continue to ask questions. We'll happily help you through the fishless cycle.
    Last edited by fishmommie; 03-01-2013 at 03:13 AM.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I would advise going in a slightly different direction for stocking. Since you say that you want to keep the tank size small, how about a ten gallon with a male betta and a small group of pygmy corydoras? Neither one will bug the other, the cories will be active mostly in the bottom of the tank and are very cute, while the betta will provide a lot of interest mostly in the middle and top.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    I see a few potential weak points in the ,ast two suggestions.

    Neons, cardinals and harlequins do like to stretch their fins. If kept at the minimum number of 6 in a 10 gallon there will not be much chance of that. Cardinals also do get relatively big. All three species will survive in conditioned tap water but they will be much happier in soft water.

    Pygmy cories, corydoras pygmaeus at least pose another problem. While you could easily keep 6 with a betta in a 10 gallon there's a very good chance you won't see much of them. When kept in the low numbers we typically keep them in an aquarium (after all, not many of us have the space or the money to keep 50+ of them) they rely on dither fish for security.
    I have kept mine in a shrimp only in which they were perfectly healthy but you hardly ever saw them. They are now in my big tank and hang out with my green neons a lot of the time.

    Assuming that the OP goes to a dorm perhaps a shrimp only is a better idea. If the tank is properly cycled and planted they can easily be left alone during a break with only a weekly feeding. Their bioload is very small so water changes will not be a necessity as much as with fish.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Talldutchie has a good point.

    You could focus on making the tank visually beautiful with a few small plants, a decent light, nice substrate, and a few shrimp.

    There are loads of colorful and gorgeous shrimp out there! They can be active, and are fun to watch when they work together. Not to mention they are a sort of clean up group, which you mentioned you would like to have.


    Or you could do a microfish tank! I know where you can order a wide selection of great fish!

    Just a few examples of the stock she carries.

    BTW: I'm NOT affiliated with those people, I just thought you'd like to know that the microfish are readily available. :)
    130g: 4 Angelfish, 2 Roseline Sharks, 12 Conga Tetras, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, 1 Corydora

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    If you don't have room for a 29 gallon, I love my ten gallon neon tetra tank. Talldutchie will disagree with me on this point as we have in the past. So yes, keeping neons in a 10 gallon is a gray area. I would recommend a school of 8 to 10. You could keep shrimp with them too.

    They are very colorful and fun to watch. If neon tetras aren't your thing, you could do a betta with small cories.

    Either way, African dwarf frogs are one of the most entertaining occupants for your aquarium, although feeding them is not as easy as feeding the fish because they need to be target feed with reptile tongs or a turkey baster.

    The plants recommended by the others are very easy too. Java fern, moss, anubias. I have them all in my tank with a single t8 fluorescent and they grow really well.

    If you go with the ten gallon I would get an AquaClear 30 filter, no smaller.

    I also agree that the fishless cycle method for prepping the tank is your best jumping off point. Remember when you go to the fish store that the employees are there to sell you things. Don't let them convince you that there is a chemical that you can dump in your tank that will instantly cycle it, because there are a lot of products that make that claim. You'll want to also pick up a water test kit. Many of us use the API Master Test Kit.
    120 gallon FW bowfront in progress

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by MandyK View Post
    Talldutchie has a good point.

    Just a few examples of the stock she carries.

    BTW: I'm NOT affiliated with those people, I just thought you'd like to know that the microfish are readily available. :)

    Sorry to interrupt again here mandy but this is not a small tank species. This is Trigonostigma espei. I keep those. I got them initially in a heavily planted 60cm (2ft, 4inch) wide tank. They did ok but were not very active at all. Once I moved these to my new tank and upped their number to 7 they really started to shine.

    The clown killi is an interesting suggestion but requires a well planted tank. The shrimp is one example of what I had in mind.

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    *shrugs I didn't do any research on those fish, just showing examples of what is carried there. They specialize in microfish, so I assumed that's what they probably were.

    At any rate, I was also taking for granted that the OP would be researching whatever species interested him before actually purchasing.

    Of course, maybe I shouldn't assume that, seeing as that's how most people end up in the messes they do. Lol.

    SO --- NOTE to OP. DO be sure to research the species you are interested in, even if they are suggested here. :)

    Also, I think we're having more fun out of this thread than the OP, seeing as he doesn't seem to have returned! Booo, come back to us!!!! Lol!!!
    130g: 4 Angelfish, 2 Roseline Sharks, 12 Conga Tetras, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, 1 Corydora

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