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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Cadillac, MI

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    Default Quick Tips for Newbies Part 2

    0 Not allowed!
    Part Two:

    You have finished cycling your tank either by using the fishless cycle or by using fish. Even better, you have planted your tank with live plants and no cycling was necessary at all. There are many sites on the internet regarding planted tanks and below is just one. You will read from this article why cycling in the traditional method is not needed in planted tanks.

    Picking out your fish: Next to not cycling correctly (or at all) picking out stock is the biggest mistake made by us fish keepers.

    Do not over stock your fish tanks. Often you will read that 1 inch per fish per gallon is a general rule. This rule applies to small fish only!! It does not apply to larger fish or fish yet to grow. It does not apply to dominate fish or breeding fish. It does not apply to schooling fish that want room to do so. As an example, I would easily but 30 neon’s or cardinals tetras in my 10-gallon tank but I certainly would not put my 5-inch angelfish in a 5-gallon tank.

    FORGET THIS RULE! Whoever dreamed that rule up was nuts!

    Read up on the fish you are interested in purchasing. Check out the compatibility sites to see if they belong together. Make sure you have the space for them when they grow up. As an example, one of my first fish selections was 3 Bala Sharks. I had a 10 gallon tank and these fish grow to about 8 inches each. Oops

    Another common error is buying pleco’s. These fish grow huge and belong in large tanks only.

    Do not put goldfish in your community tank. They are coldwater fish and do not belong in a warm water tank. If your tap water has a constant high pH, consider going with cichlids so you will not constantly be trying to lower your pH. Raising pH is very easy but lowering it and keeping it low is almost a losing battle and your fish will suffer from the constant fluctuations.

    Fish are adaptable to many levels in pH so try not to mess with changing it in community fish. Most are farm raised and have grown to different pH levels than their cousins in the wild.

    Do not buy fish with the intention of rescuing them. If they are ill or diseased, why bring it home to your other fish? If possible, try to quarantine any new stock in a separate tank for a couple of weeks to make sure it appears disease free. If you have no quarantine tank, check these fish out very well at the store. Make sure you see no white spots, clouded eyes or the fish is swimming strangely. If a fish is swimming strangely, not hanging with the others but hiding in the corner or sitting on the bottom, leave it. Are they dead fish in the tank? Don’t buy any fish from that tank.

    Do not allow any salesperson to cram too many fish in one bag. If they are larger fish, one to a bag. Three or four smaller ones to a bag but no more than that. Too many in one bag causes too much stress for them and depletes the oxygen faster. If you have a cooler, you may want to add the bags in that cooler so they will remain upright for the ride home. Fish can not go long distances in these bags and you should be able to complete your trip within 45 minutes or less.

    Longer trips may require that you add the fish and water directly in the cooler and add a portable air pump. Or have the storekeeper put them in larger bags so there will be more oxygen.

    I personally do not float the bag of fish in my aquarium. I see these bags of fish sitting on the counter at the store and wonder what germs may be there or what has been used to clean the counters. Since I don’t want “whatever” transferred to my tank, I draw some water from my tank to a bucket and float the bag of fish in that bucket and not my tank.

    When it’s time to remove the fish from the bag, I pour the fish and water thru a strainer into this bucket and just transfer the fish from the net to my tank. Do not add the water from the store to your tank! This will also prevent you from possibly adding snails to your tank you may not want.

    Turn your aquarium lights off to prevent further stress for these fish and do not feed them until the following day.

    Do not bore your fish to death with the same old flake food day after day. Most fish appreciate a variety and many like zucchini, romane lettuce, pea's and other vegetable matter. Frozen shrimp, beef heart and blood worms are great treats but they are "treats". If you feed these to your fish, feed a couple times a week after they have had their regular food. They also eat the dried shrimp and blood worms if the frozen are not available in your area.

    Never spray glass cleaners, hair spray, room spray, perfumes or any other sprays around your fish tanks. You can spray a paper towel and wipe the glass in this manner.

    Do not clean anything that goes in your aquarium or is being used for your aquarium in soap. However, you should always wash your hands before and after having them in the aquarium in hot, soapy water.

    Decorations and plastic plants can be scrubbed in a light solution of bleach water, rinsed well and then soaked in de-chlorinated water if they become dirty. Never soap.

    Your fish will reward you with many years of happy fish keeping if you perform regular water changes, feed them properly and keep their tank clean.

    They do their job and we must do ours.

    Last edited by hobbs; 01-27-2007 at 12:13 AM.

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