Aquarium Forum
 


Menu
  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Buy & Sell
· Calculators
· Equipment reviews
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Link to us
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

_________________
 
      
        Via paypal

  AC news is a part of
      Nature Blog Network

      Reef Aquarium Blog

Privacy & Ad Policy

Articles
  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Default Lots of questions from an accidental newbie!


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone

    In spite of having had an interest for a long time, I admit that I finally got started with an aquarium for the wrong reasons and the wrong way. About 6 weeks ago my son showed up home from school with bag of 4 small (about 1 to 1.5 inches) orange fish. The kids had created an ecosystem during the year with many fish in a large tank at school, but when summer came the teacher needed all these fish to go home with the kids. So, my son ended up bringing 4 of them home in a plastic bag. In a panic I rushed out late in the day to get a tank for these poor fish. Knowing nothing at all about aquariums I bought a kit I found at a local store near my house with a 2.5 gallon tank. Yes, I know, this is way too small, but back then i did not know any better.

    The teacher had said they were gold fish. I am not sure what these fish were but I have seen goldfish before, and they were NOT gold fish. I did some research online and finally identified the fish as "Rosy Red" fathead minnows. My guess is that these were being sold as feeder fish somewhere, and the teacher got them because they were cheap. More research revealed that these are not tropical fish, so I did not install a heater in the tank, but the kit did come with a Tetra whisper 10i hang-on-back filter, which seemed more than adequate for the small 2.5 gallon aquarium. The substrate in the tank is gravel and it has a lighted hood (incandescent) and a small plastic plant.

    Over the next few days I did aggressive research to educate myself as much as possible. I learned about the nitrogen cycle and realized my tank did not have the chance to be cycled, so over the next 4 weeks I managed the tank aggressively. I added bacteria from a small store bought-bottle, and followed with frequent water changes and water testing. One of the fish (the smallest) dies after only a day, sucked into the filter. My guess is that the fish must have been sick/weak to begin with, or the stress of the change was too much. All other 3 fish survived, and after 4 weeks my ammonia and nitrite readings finally stabilized at zero, so I now have a cycled 2.5 gallon tank with 3 fathead minnows.

    Of course I now realize that this tank is way too small. Also, I now caught the "bug" and want to set up a "real" aquarium with different fish species. So, I have been doing extensive reading to learn as much as I can, but some of it feel overwhelming, so I decided to turn to these forums for some basic initial questions.

    I think a good size for this first tank is around 30 gallons. It seems large enough to be able to have around 15 small subtropical fish that could get along with the minnows I already have and do well in the same temperature range of 65-75 degrees F. I have not yet settled on how to stock the tank, but I am looking at good "beginner" fish such as white cloud mountain minnows, leopard danios, and zebra danios. I know these fish do better in groups, so I know I will probably have to add about 4 or 5 of whichever ones I choose. I would use my current 2.5 gallon tank as a quarantine or hospital tank. I am planning on using all of the gravel and plastic plants from my current tank to help "seed" the new tank with nitrifying bacteria needed to help cycle the tank quickly.

    So, now that all that background is out of the way, here are my questions:

    - given the tank size and types of small subtropical fish I am thinking of having, should i consider plants? I know the advantages (more oxygen, and help with algae control) but I know they also require more care. For a beginner like me and a subtropical temperature tank, does the added oxygen and algae control justify the additional care needed? Or should I just go with plastic for now? I am trying to decide this now because it will affect the type of lighting I get.

    - I am finding a lot of "kits" with 29 gallon tanks. Some come with LED lights, others with fluorescent or incandescent lights. I know that fluorescent is preferable to incandescent because of less heat and better spectrum if I decide to add plants, but i have been unable to find anything about LEDs. Are LEDs suitable for tanks with plants? Are they better than fluorescents? Are they good with tanks with no plants?

    - In terms of filtration, the kits I am seeing come with one of the following: Tetra whisper hang-on-back systems (which i know well because it is what I now have), Aqueon QuietFlow Power Filter, or marineland biowheel filter. One advantage of the Tetra is that I could take media from my current filter to "seed" the new tank with bacteria to accelerate cycling. I confess I don't quiet understand how the biowheel works. Seems very complicated, and something else that can break. Is it worth it, given my skill level and type of fish I am going to keep? Any feedback? Or all these comparable and I can just any one?

    - Or, am I better off NOT getting a kit and buying an altogether different filter system?

    i know there are lots of questions... i apologize. I have been reading a lot over the past few weeks and feel somewhat overwhelmed by all the information, and I am trying to do this right the first time around! If you can shed some light on at least one of my many questions it will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,752

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 and gift - mommy1 Thanks for the rep - Cliff Thanks for the rep, have a cool one on me, Cheers - Cliff Thanks and a new fish for the tank - glarior 
    Thanks for the gorgeous slide show! - fishmommie Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff It's a Sudbury Saturday Night, Cheers - Cliff Hockey finals can not be watched without a hockey pop or two - Cliff Thanks for the rep :) - Greentoads41 
    Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Merry Christmas! - steeler1 Merry Christmas - Cliff May you be living as high as the holiday hog this coming year! - Trillianne Happy New Year - mommy1 
    Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Have a Birthday fish!! - steeler1 Here you go sir, I just wish it had been a good game. - steeler1 Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Live or plastic plants? I had plastic for years and they did their thing in the tank. I tried real plants for beginners, and I became obsessed. I like them, the fish liked them, and they look better in my opinion.

    Lighting?
    Your right about the need for extra lighting for real plants, but your fish will also look better under superior lighting.
    I myself have gone from incandescent to fluorescent to LED's. I like the low power usage of the LED's and they will keep live plants well.

    Filtration?

    I have always used two filters on my tanks, one HOB and a cannister. I like the ability to add what I want to a cannister and having a single filter fail due to whatever, wont be that bad to the tank. Most HOB are similar, the bio-wheel is just a HOB with a wheel that turns with the water expelled by the filter out-put. BB is said to grown on the wheel and be a good thing for the tank. I have had one and besides being a little louder then a HOB without one, I didn't notice the difference.
    Being able to seed a filter with BB from another filter using the filter media is a major plus.

    Oh by the way, Welcome to the AC
    Last edited by Strider199; 07-09-2013 at 02:06 AM.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you! This helps a lot.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,752

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 and gift - mommy1 Thanks for the rep - Cliff Thanks for the rep, have a cool one on me, Cheers - Cliff Thanks and a new fish for the tank - glarior 
    Thanks for the gorgeous slide show! - fishmommie Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff It's a Sudbury Saturday Night, Cheers - Cliff Hockey finals can not be watched without a hockey pop or two - Cliff Thanks for the rep :) - Greentoads41 
    Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Merry Christmas! - steeler1 Merry Christmas - Cliff May you be living as high as the holiday hog this coming year! - Trillianne Happy New Year - mommy1 
    Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Have a Birthday fish!! - steeler1 Here you go sir, I just wish it had been a good game. - steeler1 Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Keep asking when you have a question or come to a crossroad. This forum has alot of knowledgeable folks who don't mind giving assistance or their experiences.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Welcome to the AC. First of all - good for you for all the research you've done. You are miles ahead of so many beginners and I commend you for your hard work.
    Strider is right on all counts.
    and you are right too a 29 gal is a great tank for beginners because it gives you some choices. You could house a single angel fish and some cory cats and maybe a small school of danios as dither fish.
    You could have one large school of tetras or barbs or 2 tetra schools. Just lots of possibilities.
    Highly rec the AQuean HOB filter. I have 2 and they are quiet and work great - but as Strider said, double filtration is best. So you could buy a kit and an extra filter and be good to go.
    Aqua clears are what most here prefer in a HOB filter. I have one too and am pleased with it.
    Plants or plastic or silk - your call. I have 3 tanks, one fully planted, one partial plastic and partail plants and one all silk - although I'll be converting all to planted in the near future.
    Cycling - take some time to read the fishless cycle in the beginners section. fastest and easiest way to cycle your tank - also better for the fish. Not sure the filter media you have in your 2 1.2 would be enough to seed a 29 or 30 gallon but it would give it a bit of a jump start.

    Keep asking questions - there's always someone here willing to help
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, nerites & mystery snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: Blood Parrots, severum, Jurupari, EBJD, congos, kribs, clown pleco, snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by wgoldfarb View Post
    Hi everyone

    In spite of having had an interest for a long time, I admit that I finally got started with an aquarium for the wrong reasons and the wrong way. About 6 weeks ago my son showed up home from school with bag of 4 small (about 1 to 1.5 inches) orange fish. The kids had created an ecosystem during the year with many fish in a large tank at school, but when summer came the teacher needed all these fish to go home with the kids.


    I know we live in different cultures but even so... are you going to let a school teacher just dump animals into your lap? I'd kick up such a stink that said teacher would have to do some serious explaining
    I have not yet settled on how to stock the tank, but I am looking at good "beginner" fish such as white cloud mountain minnows, leopard danios, and zebra danios. I know these fish do better in groups, so I know I will probably have to add about 4 or 5 of whichever ones I choose.
    That's hardly a group. 6 really is minimal.
    So, now that all that background is out of the way, here are my questions:

    - given the tank size and types of small subtropical fish I am thinking of having, should i consider plants? I know the advantages (more oxygen, and help with algae control) but I know they also require more care. For a beginner like me and a subtropical temperature tank, does the added oxygen and algae control justify the additional care needed? Or should I just go with plastic for now? I am trying to decide this now because it will affect the type of lighting I get.
    Depends on the species of fish you go for. With minnows I wouldn't go for anything really delicate. Then again, growing simple plants like eloda is dead easy. I'm a big fan of real plants (as you can see from my tank) because they improve water quality and are constantly different to look at.
    - I am finding a lot of "kits" with 29 gallon tanks. Some come with LED lights, others with fluorescent or incandescent lights. I know that fluorescent is preferable to incandescent because of less heat and better spectrum if I decide to add plants, but i have been unable to find anything about LEDs. Are LEDs suitable for tanks with plants? Are they better than fluorescents? Are they good with tanks with no plants?
    On a tank with no plant any light is only there to see the fish so anything is fine. Plant growing can be done with led but not any led. I think I'd avoid that. Look for something with a twin T5 or even T5ho tube lighting.

    - In terms of filtration, the kits I am seeing come with one of the following: Tetra whisper hang-on-back systems (which i know well because it is what I now have), Aqueon QuietFlow Power Filter, or marineland biowheel filter. One advantage of the Tetra is that I could take media from my current filter to "seed" the new tank with bacteria to accelerate cycling. I confess I don't quiet understand how the biowheel works. Seems very complicated, and something else that can break. Is it worth it, given my skill level and type of fish I am going to keep? Any feedback? Or all these comparable and I can just any one?
    Can't help you on the hang on systems. For a tank this size I'd seriously consider grabbing one of these http://r.ebay.com/DymSSV That eheim 2213 will handle a 30g easily. It's easy to maintain and it just works. Dump whatever is in your current tetra filter in there and you're seeded.
    - Or, am I better off NOT getting a kit and buying an altogether different filter system?

    i know there are lots of questions... i apologize. I have been reading a lot over the past few weeks and feel somewhat overwhelmed by all the information, and I am trying to do this right the first time around! If you can shed some light on at least one of my many questions it will be greatly appreciated!
    Few tips.

    Get the 29g if you can
    break up the tank using wood and plants. Fatheads can be territorial, this will help
    keep it temperate using asian barbs for example or whiteclouds
    don't fall for the idiocy that you need an algae eater
    don't overthink
    you got decent common sense and the ability to do research, that's half the battle already won, trust in that.

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you everyone for the helpful replies. You have helped confirm that 29 gallon is a good place to start. After reading all these posts and doing lots more research, I have also decided to try canister filtration as suggested by talldutchie. I will use my current HOB filter as an added filter, at least initially, to help seed the new tank with bacteria. I will also take some of the old filter's media and put it in the canister to do the same thing.

    Given all your feedback I think i will try my hand at a small number of easy-to-keep, low-light plants. Perhaps some combination of Anubias nana, Java moss, and maybe some strategically placed Java Fern or American water weed to hide the filter hoses.

    I am still in the fence between something like a T5 and LEDs. I like the idea of a LED in principle... . I have looked at some options of hoods with LEDs, but they all seem like they are not suitable for plants (for example I looked at this hood from Marineland). Given that I am going to use low-light plants, would that be adequate? If not, Strider, could you please point me out to some appropriate LED lighting? A drawback with LEDs is that the good LED lamps I have found online do not seem to come as part of a hood, whereas for fluorescents this is easy to find. I'd be interested in learning more about your setup in terms of using LEDs with some type of hood.

    Thanks fishmomie for the link to fishless cycling. seems a good way to avoid putting added stress on these fish, which have already been exposed to enough!

    Thanks again for all the feedback... I still have some reading and learning to do, but I feel as if I now have at least a basic understanding of what i need. This forum is most definitely feeding the "bug" :-)
    Last edited by wgoldfarb; 07-10-2013 at 01:42 PM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,752

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 and gift - mommy1 Thanks for the rep - Cliff Thanks for the rep, have a cool one on me, Cheers - Cliff Thanks and a new fish for the tank - glarior 
    Thanks for the gorgeous slide show! - fishmommie Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff It's a Sudbury Saturday Night, Cheers - Cliff Hockey finals can not be watched without a hockey pop or two - Cliff Thanks for the rep :) - Greentoads41 
    Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Merry Christmas! - steeler1 Merry Christmas - Cliff May you be living as high as the holiday hog this coming year! - Trillianne Happy New Year - mommy1 
    Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Have a Birthday fish!! - steeler1 Here you go sir, I just wish it had been a good game. - steeler1 Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I had that LED canopy on my 29 gallon and the plants you have listed, "Anubias nana, Java moss, and maybe some strategically placed Java Fern." All did well in that tank along with some sword plants.
    If the tank is deeper then your 29 gallon that light just wont get down to the bottom. I know as a duel set-up came with my 55 gallon. The same plants that did well in the 29 gallon just never really grew again. The swords did the worst no matter what I tried. That LED is fairly in-expensive, comes with a canopy, and has both day and night (blue) LED's which you can switch manually.
    The LED I have on my current 55 gallon reef tank cost me an arm and half a leg and didn't come with a canopy. But I really like this one, Maxspect R420R 16,000 3 panel.
    I use glass inserts to cover the tank( to keep the fish and water in).

    Edit; ps. I am in no way saying to buy a top end LED for your tank. The R420R would be over kill and way too expensive at this point in your current 29 gallon tank needs. Now maybe in a while when you get into a reef tank?
    Last edited by Strider199; 07-10-2013 at 06:32 PM.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  9. #9

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you... again! And yes... I suspect that within 2 days of having this tank up an running, i will be asking myself "ok, what's next?"

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Elgin, Illinois USA
    Posts
    3,129

    Awards Showcase

    Happy New Year - jeffs99dime Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 just because. - 1Sarah Happy Drink Like a Viking Friday! - KevinVA Happy Easter! - Slaphppy7 
    My turn to buy - fishmommie It's EOTW Beer Time, so here's a Cafe Latte that looks like champagne in a bucket! - KevinVA Congrats on the cycles! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the Rep and the gift :) - steeler58 Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass 
    T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 Thx4 - pRED For your new tetra's :) - steeler58 pizza for all.  I finished my book today!!! - fishmommie Good job on your amazing tanks! - SeaLady 
    thank you for all the helpful information - showmebutterfly new fish! - RiversGirl I like your signature - aquariumlover10 Happy AC anniversary - SeaLady Happy 2 Year Anniversary! - Slaphppy7 
    Cesarean Sections - Headaches - Hospice Care - Multiple Myeloma - gronlaura 

    Cool Welcome!


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by wgoldfarb View Post
    Thank you... again! And yes... I suspect that within 2 days of having this tank up an running, i will be asking myself "ok, what's next?"

    welcomewave.gif to the AC! This is the place to be for great advice from friendly and knowledgeable fishkeepers.

    You have done great research. To start, get the largest tank you can house/afford. A 29 gal is a good first tank, but if you can do a bit larger, a 40 gal breeder or even a 55 gal is very nice. Believe it or not, for a beginner, the larger the tank, the easier it is to maintain a healthy environment for the fish.

    If you're using hang-on-back filters, I recommend AquaClear. You should have double your tank size for your filters (a 29 gal should have a minimum of 60 gal of filtration). I have 2 AC110s on my 75 gal - great filtration and very easy to maintain. And if possible, buy your equipment online - you will save big $$$. Some good online vendors:

    www.thatpetplace.com
    www.drsfostersmith.com
    www.petmountain.com
    www.kensfish.com
    www.bigalspets.com

    Good luck!
    My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
    My 75 gal - Gold Pristella Tetras, Scissortail Rasboras, Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, Longfin Leopard & Zebra Danios, Bristlenose Pleco
    My Dual 29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Amano Shrimp, Black Neon Tetras

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •