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New. Need advice, opinions, Comments!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by Aquasteel, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Aquasteel

    Aquasteel AC Members

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    As my newbie intro said, a thread describing the beginning of our first tank.
    I would like you all to be honest in opinion, I learn through constructive critisim and praise. It has worked so far.. I think. :)

    My partner and I have been talking about having a tropical aquarium for a while now, after a spring clean of the house and furniture shuffle, there was a bare corner. It needed to be filled, so decided now was the time.
    We have looked in numerous pet stores for tanks in the past and had what we feel is the right one, in mind.

    We baught it yesterday, reason being its a nice size to fit.
    Here's what we got as advised by the attendant and my limited knowledge:
    Aquael 70x35x40 cm glass tank. I'm not 100% sure but I estimated its roughly 100l or 25g, would that add up correctly?
    With the tank came: A black cover with a feeding flap and a single fluorescent bulb inside, (I don't know what kind of bulb or wattage anything, so suggestions to what it could be or should be would be great)
    Aquael internal filter- Fan2 plus. I know it is 5.2W, i don't think the design is good particularly, I would prefer an external filter. My mother has an old one which she said she will try to get to work and I'm welcome to it then, good or bad idea? I know it's still in excellent condition, and was top quality when bought new. If that falls through will the aquael filter do the job well enough?
    Aquael heater - Comfortzone AQn75? It seems to be heating the water slowly ? It has a dial so you can set temp. What temp is a good temp for a beginner tank (not planning on fancy fish yet) ?
    A stick on black strip thermometer which I think is pretty useless. Best thermometer to use?
    Aquael -ActiBaktol
    Aquael - Vegetal
    A bag of black polished gravel.

    We were then told we needed:
    Tetra - Easy Balance
    More gravel, I chose natural gravel and my partner chose coral sand.

    We also picked up:
    Helicopter ruin
    2 plastic plants ( I want to get potted plants later on if that's possible?).


    Once home and tank positioned I researched a propper method of setting it up. Washed tank, gravel, soaked heater and filter in water unplugged, decorated with what I have so far, half filled tank, installed heater, filter and thermometer. Then filled the rest.
    Plugged everything in and added the ActiBaktol and two drops of Easy Balance. Im not sure if it is, what the shop attendant sold it to us as. (he said it was water conditioner? But it says it's for reducing frequent water changes)
    We filled it with village water.
    Later last night my mother gave us a tub of water from her tank and some cuttings from one of her live plants (I'll look up the name because I dont know). Her aquarium is very established. She said it should help to kick start the cycle? I trust her words because she's a known environmental scientist. However she's mainly in marine settings.

    My vision for the tank is a lost setting, taking inspiration from the tv series. We are completely open to species because we want to really research the most suitable fish before purchase. Any advice or suggestions for decorating? Good fish groups to keep in this tank etc?

    If I have messed up even at the beginning with my tank I'm willing to completely restart or add change things, as it has only been done a day. I just want to learn the correct methods.



    Oh and while the water is still feeling a bit cold my partner put the goldfish in there to try and aid the cycle? Usefull or not?

    Here is a pic of the tank so far

    Look foreward to feedback.
    [​IMG]

     
  2. Star_Rider

    Star_Rider AC Moderators
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    the plants form the established aquarium may harbor enough beneficial bacteria to have jump started the cycle.
    either way you have a source to jump start you aquarium.. I say get some fish you want and ask mom for some media from her filter
    did you get a test kit?


    btw, the tank looks nice so far
     
  3. Aquasteel

    Aquasteel AC Members

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    Thank you is it possible to continually add to the tank after fish are introduced?. Used Media filter is on checklist.
     
  4. stephcps

    stephcps AC Members

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    Looks really nice. I was skeptical...I admit. But it looks really good! I like the seperate areas of the tank. Good job! Also good job waiting to buy fish! You can start slowly adding fish cautiously if you get some cycled media from Mom. Just test your water and make sure all is ok. You can absolutely keep doing things in the tank once you add fish. I think for most people tanks are a constant work of art.....
     
  5. petluvr

    petluvr AC Members

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    The water conditioner is for removing chlorine/chloramine from your water which will kill your fish, follow dosing instructions. So far you are doing wonderfully, as has been said keep an eye on your water parameters with a liquid test kit (ask your mum what type to buy) and you should be good to go. BTW the goldfish will outgrow the tank.
     
  6. cicrush13

    cicrush13 AC Members

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    First off welcome to AC!

    As far as an external vs internal filter are concerned, I personally like the external since I have access to it outside the tank for maintenance.

    The goldfish will definitely help cycle the tank faster.
    I would suggest getting a liquid test kit and record the nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels every 2-3 days for a month.
    Once they all spike and go back to 0 ppm, the tank has cycled.

    As far as fish go, I would not keep the goldfish long term just due to it's size and the amount of waste they produce.

    Are you looking for schoolers?
    Or would you rather see some individuals?

    What temp are you keeping the tank at?

    I hope that this advice helps!
     
  7. Aquasteel

    Aquasteel AC Members

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    Thanks for the advice and nice compliments.
    I went to buy a test kit today and to me they seemed PRICEY!! €50 average? Is this a ripp off? It's a combined kit so tests everything?
    But untill I have the money for one, the guy in the fish shop agreed that if I bring up a sample he will do tests for free? This seems a much better idea than me shelling out on a kit?

    I was also talking about my goldfish with the same guy, he gave me two normal form goldfish to help the tank along. So now we have 3 temporary goldfish and one white cloud mountain minnow. the two he gave us are to be returned when the tank is ready for our tropical fish. Also he gave us a sample of something he described as 100%bacteria which prepares the tank for fish instantly? He said its not on the market yet, he's testing it but it's proving to help a bit anyway. I don't have a name for it, didn't get a chance to read the bottle before he put it away.

    So we bought two small-ish moss balls and some bog wood with moss on it to add. We did this and since a little bit of the coral sand was touched and it seems now some of the sand is suspended, it's bugging me because it's making the water look a tiny bit cloudy. We turned off the filter for an hour to see would it settle. It seemed to, but then turned the filter back on and it has shook up a bit again? So we turned the flow on the filter down. Was this the right thing to do?

    I bought a proper tap water conditioner today ( read the bottle correctly this time ). AP stress coat+, fish and tap water Conditioner. Will I add this now?

    The fish which we're interested in are:
    Cardinal tetra
    Marbled hatchetfish
    Betta
    Guppies (male)
    Kuhli loach
    Mollys or platys
    Zebra Danio or penguin tetra or false rummy nose tetras,

    What would be suitable numbers and groups species for our tank..??


    The temperature our tank is at is 25.5 degrees celcious,
    I will post an updated pic of our tank later on.




    Sent from my iPad using MonsterAquariaNetwork app
     
  8. cicrush13

    cicrush13 AC Members

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    Sweet deal!

    The liquid test kits are always good to have on hand since you never know when you'll need to do a test. Some stores do offer free tests.
    Check online for better pricing, API makes the master kit which has all the tests you'll need in it for a lower price than buying them individually.

    Make sure the gold fish don't eat the white cloud!
    They have done it in the past IME.

    As far as your stock list, I would not get a betta for the tank.
    Their personalities don't mix well with the others.

    Tetras should be in groups of 8+.
    Zebra danios I would avoid if you want a tetra tank, they can be kinda hectic and crazy.
    Be aware that platies and mollies are livebearers and will probably reproduce in your tank. I would suggest platies (or variatus) over mollies since they don't require the extra salt mollies do.

    Things to think about:centerpiece fish - a fish that you will only have 1-2 of in the tank that "make the tank". I would look at rams (gold, blue or bolivian) or apistogramma sp.

    Just some thoughts.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Aquasteel

    Aquasteel AC Members

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    Great advice thanks, We have decided on a tetra tank and your suggestion of blue rams as centre piece, I was not familiar with them so I looked them up, they are just to my taste beautiful fish.


    Cloudyness still is not clearing? I'm going to leave the tank settle for longer maybe??


    Sent from my iPad using MonsterAquariaNetwork app
     
  10. mykidsmylife

    mykidsmylife Princess of Peons

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    Your tank looks great!! I like how you did your substrate. I would never have the patience to maintain it that way! lol. Everyone gave great advice. Your sand should settle down. Watch your filter media that it isn't getting clogged by the sand.
    As for your stock, just wanted to add that the Khuli Loaches would be a nice addition. They do not get overly large, have adorable puppy faces (to me at least) and are entertaining. They will love your sand. :D Only thing is try to get a group of 5+. They thrive on the company of each other.
    Great Job. You seem to have a good grip on it so far!! YAY!!!
     

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