Fish tank newbie.

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  • Fish tank newbie.
  • dandax1990
    Member

    So I set this up yesterday, mainly because my nephew will love it and secondly because I got it offered for free.

    It’s 130 litres and wanting tropical fish in there but I’m a complete newbie so any of you guys able to give any advice?

    The water hasn’t been treated because I’m waiting for a new filter pump to arrive so was going to wait until then.

    So as it stands, what do I need to do? Water treatment wise etc.

    And can anyone recommend what fish to put in? It’s 36″ x 18″ x 12″

    jamiep
    Member

    PLEASE, DO NOT PUT ANY FISH IN YET!

    Google ‘cycling a fish tank’, which involves building up the good bacteria that turn harmful ammonia (from the fish waste) into harmful nitrite into not harmful nitrite. You will need an ‘API test kit’ to check the levels of these. Cycling a new tank WILL take 4 maybe even 6 weeks. Don’t add any fish until then.

    The water also needs de-chlorinating, sometimes referred to a treating the water. ‘Seachem Prime’ is much more cost effective than any other product.

    jamiep
    Member

    corydoras are my favourite fish. Good community fish that are entertaining to watch

    dandax1990
    Member

    Sorry, forgot to add that I wasn’t going to add any fish until it’s ready >.<

    I got a few bottles of treatment with the tank, all Tetra products. Aqua Safe, Safe Start which says it reduces dangerous ammonia and nitrate and Easy balance which says it stabalizes pH and KH

    jamiep
    Member

    Hate to say it but Safe Start type products are a temporary quick-fix to be used in emergences only when there are sudden spikes but shouldn’t really be used to cycle. You need a test kit and time to cycle

    dan1980
    Member

    jamiep wrote:

    corydoras are my favourite fish. Good community fish that are entertaining to watch

    I’ll second that, I had a school of pigmy corydoras, and they were one of the best fish I kept, sadly, they are happiest with a sandy substrate, and it appears the OP has a gravel base, which will harm their delicate barbels, so I wouldn’t recommend them.

    OP: You need to get a test kit, and establish what type of water you have, as certain fish will cope best with particular pHs of water. Living in the High Peak, I was blessed with very acidic water, so was able to keep south american dwarf cichlids (A breeding pair of Apistogramma cacatuoides amongst others) , which are brilliant little fish, colourful and full of character, but not suitable for more neutral water.

    Once you’ve cycled your tank, with a spot of ammonia, and have established the pH, people will be able to help you out with ideal fish.

    mogrim
    Member

    To help the cycling you could put a few smaller fish in there, it’s big enough that once up to temperature and settled it won’t be a problem.

    I’d go for something simple to start with, zebra fish, guppies, mollies…

    dan1980
    Member

    To help the cycling you could put a few smaller fish in there

    Please don’t it’s stressful for the fish, and is causes unnecessary suffering when it can all be done beforehand.

    Fish keeping is all about looking after the water, and that shouldn’t start by torturing a few fish to get things going.

    blob
    Member

    Agreed get something hardy like 3 zebra danios to help with cycling the tank.

    Fish like tetras that are easy to keep will provide movement and colour, Angelfish can also be pretty good. But the best thing to do is find your local aquarist shop, ideally not pets at home etc and ask them for advice. They will also test your water for you.

    Edit – the fish should only be added once your water readings are OK but it won’t take long to get it OK – as I said speak to your local shop and take some of your water.

    dan1980
    Member

    Agreed get something hardy like 3 zebra danios to help with cycling the tank.

    Danios are shoaling fish and should be kept as a minimum as a group of 6, preferably 8 or more. Keeping them in smaller numbers will cause them to hide and be very stressed out, causing illness etc.

    Alternatively, the tank could be fishlessly cycled, and a good sized shoal could be added at once

    project
    Member

    Most important thing to remember once full of water its really heavy so cant be moved when full, also make sure whatever base you have for it is strong enough for the tank.

    Heard of a person who decided to move tank full of water, it fell off the stand depositing gallons of water all over the carpet on the first floor, fused all the home electrics, and caused serious damage to a ceiling /carpets on both floors.

    and all the fish died, poor things.

    dandax1990
    Member

    Cheers for the replies guys. I don’t want to add any fish until it’s set up properly.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    If you can get some water from a friend’s established tank, or set up your new filter in an existing tank for a good while to get some bacteria growing in it, that will help with getting things going. I’ve never used any kind of test kit or anything for what its worth, and never had any problems. Just don’t rush into it.

    I really like white cloud mountain minnows, they are very active top of the water fish and robust, and look like they are wearing lipstick. If the gravel you have is smooth I don’t think it will harm the cory’s barbels, though they do like rummaging around in sand.

    I’d try and get some real plants in there too, they take in a lot of nutrients and make it all a bit nicer.

    dandax1990
    Member

    Just ordered an API test kit as recommended to on a fish keeping forum.

    dandax1990
    Member

    bigjim, the plan is to use this tank to get to grips with everything and when me and my partner get our own house I’m thinking of a nice big tank, like 5ft. Gonna give real plants a try then. I really like the idea of real plants.

    Those Minnows look ace.

    Crell
    Member

    These are good when you’re starting out. V simple instructions to follow.

    Just because it’s a fish tank doesn’t mean you have to stick to fish.

    Get some shrimp when you’ve done cycling. Wood Shrimp are a good species and can get pretty large (mine are around 9 cm)

    dandax1990
    Member

    Just ordered one Crell and also been looking into Shrimp too.

    Been told they’ll help with keeping the gravel clean?

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