Experience with Freshwater Tanks? - Talk Parrots Forums

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Experience with Freshwater Tanks?

So, I've wanted a saltwater tank but it seems to be a very, very difficult thing to do, especially for a beginner. I would love a freshwater tank in the next few months. I joined another forum a while back that is aquarium related so I could ask some questions there. I thought I'd ask here, too, just in case any of you have experience with fish that I don't know about!

So I feel next to clueless on how to begin. I was given advice on the other forum to begin by choosing a tank size and working from there, or by choosing some stock and working from there. I would like a large tank, but not obnoxiously huge! I was thinking 55gal or 75gal. Perhaps smaller? I don't really know, haha. I wanted to start by looking at fish and plants though, more than size.

At first I didn't really know when it came to fish. I just wanted something pretty! After a little while of browsing, I've concluded that a possibility to start with are Blue Cobra Guppies (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...51&pcatid=1051). That lead me to Blue Gouramis as one of the reviews said their Blue Cobra Guppies and Blue Gouramis got along great. (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...973&pcatid=973). I also like these Black Veil Angels (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...987&pcatid=987) which, if I'm not mistaken, would get along fine with the other two species I have selected. What do you think?

Any other help would be great! I'm not sure if any of you have any experience with this, I'm hoping somebody has some! Thanks in advance!




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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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Abby, salt water is easy but the bigger the tank the better, it becomes it's own self-maintaining ecosystem. What gets hard is coral, and it is a lot more expensive.

I'm really more partial to freshwater planted tanks than salt water, but then you have to prune the plants regularly - it's essentially an underwater garden.

I personally wouldn't get the guppies - go for tetras or other tropicals. Avoid anything that live births I have a 10g and had a pair of guppies and they were spawning 20-40 fry every month and it just got ridiculous - the other fish would eat the fry, but it got so bad I lost a gourami to over eating them and so the guppies, and their babies, went to the pet shop lol.

I like gouramis, I had iffy luck with the dwarfs, but I have a pair of paradise blue gouramis who have done wonderfully. I had them, a mystery snail, 2 corey cats, and a betta in my 10g. My 10g got broken down as many of those fish died (they were all between 2-4 years old, so they did great) and now I just have the 5g with one of the gouramis, the betta, and the snails.

I highly recommend mystery snails - they do a great job of eating any algae growing on decorations, plants, glass, etc. They will also eat any dropped or missed food, and you can have more than one. They come in some pretty colors too - I have a pearl white and a dark blue, almost black. I had a golden inca, but he was evil and ate 4 glowfish and a gourami Apparently, if starved in pet shop tanks, they will learn to hunt. Moral of the story? Never buy the last lonely snail no matter how bad you feel for it

I have always been partial to long, not deep, tanks. Cleaning is easier, because you can reach the bottom, and you can do more with decorations. I like natural, planted tanks, but you can do so much with it. Decide if you want gravel or sand - gravel is a little easier to clean, but sand is best to plant in and is better on fish, especially if you get a fish that likes to bury under the substrate.

One of my favorite fish, which I had for many years, is spiny eels. They are small, they have adorable hook noses, are pretty easy to keep (you have to make sure they are eating - most will eat flakes, you can supplement with dried shrimp) and are a fun addition. I had a standard and a golden. http://www.aquariumfish.net/images_0...01b_medium.jpg

Hmm... that's all I can think of right now! Oh! One last thing - spend the money on a good filter, it will be your best investment and best friend



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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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I am not sure how experienced you could say I am, but I have had freshwater fishtank for a long time. I am not sure how big my tank is. It might be around 40 or 50 gallons I dont know. We actually have two tanks.

You have to be careful selecting fish though. Some fish are agressive and other arent. There are also tropical community fish and so on. I have some dwarf gouramis in one tank, and when you feed them they make a lot of little sucking noises. Its kinda funny. If you stick your finger in a little they nibble on it. Which doesnt hurt me, but I dont know what it would do if I was another fish.

So I am not saying thats not a good selection. I am just warning you to be careful when picking fish because of their pesonality and care requirement. I hope Ive helped. Good luck!



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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 10:06 AM


 
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As stated above a good filter is crucial... I recommend aqua clears...I LOVE them .. I kept multiple tanks for over 40 years since I was about 7-8 years old... I recently sold all of my tanks to make room for my birds...lol. Prime is the best water conditioner in my opinion and even tho it is more expensive than others it really is cheaper as you use less of it. Make sure your fish are compatible not only in temperament , but also in water requirements, temp etc. No matter what you are told in the store you need to cycle your tank before adding fish... easiest way to do that is to get used filter material from a healthy established tank... just google aquarium cycling, do not use the product cycle... it does not work to establish a cycle. When cleaning your filter do NOT toss the material and replace... just rinse well in the water that you are removing from the tank and then replace it , if you throw out your filter material you will throw away all the benificial bacteria you need to keep you fish healthy... if you can afford it a liquid water test kit is a very good investment... if you have any ?? just ask... good luck!
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 10:20 AM
 
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ABby here is a like to a reef tank I had for like 10 years. It got to a point where all I did was a 5 gallon water change a week.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2004/10/aquarium



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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!!
Jenny, I'm really hooked on those Blue Cobra Guppies... They look really cool, and I'm happy I found a review that stated their BC Guppies and Blue Gouramis got along, and they both seem like nice, easy/peaceful fish, at least together they would be good. Is there anyway to avoid them making babies so much lol?




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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 10:51 AM


 
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You can avoid babies by getting all males.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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^ that lol. That's really the only way to avoid babies



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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 01:32 PM



 
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I have a tropical freshwater aquarium. My filter is super good and keeps the water really clear at all times. I do recommend getting a really good filter. My tank isn't the biggest but it would probably easily hold the fish you have. I currently have 5 zebra danios, 1 sail-fin plec, 1 really big rainbow shark, 5 high-fin platys, 1 koi angel and 3 black lace angels.

I can't really help much, because I'm awful at giving advice about something I'm not entirely sure about. The place I go to for help and get my fish from is literally next door to the falconry center so I can pop in after work. Here's a link to the species of fish that are suitable. It tells you all about the temperament, water temp etc etc so you know what to mix

http://www.waterdecor.co.uk/nf_tropicalfish.htm
the store is really good and I'm sure if you emailed them they could help you out, if it wasn't for those guys I dunno where I'd be with my fish

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 01:39 PM


 
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Guppies are one of my favorite fish, but keep in mind guppies are more sensitive than some other fish. So don't be surprised if they just drop dead all of a sudden. If you have good stock, its not as likely to happen. I've bred a lot of guppies in my time. I've had the blue Gouramis too. There a lot of fun to watch.

One of the most important things is don't have an under gravel filter. waste and debris collects under there and seep into the rocks and then poisons the water and will kill all your fish. so never, ever have these. And replace your rocks periodically anyway.

Get a good filter. You can also purchase a gravel filter to clean the rocks when they need it.
Setup the aquarium 24 to 48 hours before you add any fish. Use a good chemical remover, and anti-stress liquid.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!!
I hear a lot about cycling, which is surely something I'll need to learn about.




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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 01:46 PM


 
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Cycling is the process in which you build up your beneficial bacteria... you can use fish to cycle ( not recommended as it is very hard on the fish and you may loose them) , you can use fish food or a piece of food grade shrimp with nothing added ( again in my opinion not recommended as it takes a long time and SMELLS bad...lol) you can use pure ammonia which from what I understand is fairly hard to get... it has to be pure with nothing added or it can poison the tank. you can also use products that claim to add the bacteria into the water , but in my opinion these do not work well... and finally you can add used filter material from a healthy established tank... in my opinion this is the best way to cycle a tank... it is fast and easy. Cycling is a slow process that can take 6-8 weeks to do from scratch. When you start a tank you have no waste products and no bacteria to break them down... when you add fish ( or a dead shrimp or pure ammonia ) you start the cycle. The fish poo... which breaks down into ammonia which is very toxic to the fish ... the special bacteria in the water feed on and break down the ammonia and turn it into nitrites which also happen to be very toxic to fish. Then another special kind of bacteria feed on and break down the nitrites into nitrates... nitrates are toxic in large amounts and you remove them by doing weekly water changes of about 25% a week on your tank. During this time it is good to use a gravel vacuum and clean the gravel of fish waste. With the water that you have removed from the tank you rinse out your filter pads and then place the pads back in the filter and this way you do not kill your beneficial bacteria. You then discard the water you have removed from the tank ( water your house or garden plants with it) and replace with fresh water of the same temperature making sure to use declorinator ( prime is the best in my opinion ) If you have a water test kit ( API liquid test kit is the best in my opinion) the water should be tested BEFORE you do your water change... ammonia should read 0 , nitrites should read 0 and nitrates should read under 20ppm. Cycling your tank properly is one of the most important ways to keep your fish healthy , happy and alive!! Quarantining new fish is also a very important habit to get into as 1 unhealthy fish can wipe out your entire tank of fish easily... good luck and I hope you enjoy your fish as much as I used to
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 05:07 PM


 
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It's up to you if you want to do cycling. All I can say is I never do cycling, I don't believe it's necessary. The person who taught me didn't either.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 05:50 PM


 
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Originally Posted by ShannonH1984 View Post
It's up to you if you want to do cycling. All I can say is I never do cycling, I don't believe it's necessary. The person who taught me didn't either.
Your tank cycles whether you do it on purpose or not... your just cycling with fish... I mean no disrespect but I kept aquariums ( sometimes up to 9 or 10 at a time ) for over 40 years and yes cycling is very important.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 06:05 PM


 
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I guess I should have said I never pre-cycle a tank.

I just think it's a personal choice, I'm not saying people shouldn't do it, I'm just saying that I've never done it, because I don't feel it's necessary, and I've never had any problems. If it works for you I think that's great.

I setup my aquarium for 24- 48 hours, add fish. When I change the filter I rinse it with tap water. If the tank gets dirty, I change the water. That's how I've always done it with great sucess.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 06:22 PM


 
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i have a 22 gal tank and a 5 gal tank i also have 3 small ones set up with a male beta in each they can not be together. tetras are great for beginners and there is a lot of different varieties. angel fish are community fish but are for more advanced i have had several and at the time i was a beginner they died. mollies a great to i have gold fish in my big tank and mollies and tetras in the other tank. when you get your tank make sure you wash everything with water no soap set it up and leave it set up and pump running for 24 hrs before you add fish
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonH1984 View Post
When I change the filter I rinse it with tap water. If the tank gets dirty, I change the water. That's how I've always done it with great sucess.
Same here

At first to owning fish some forums say do this and do that and put stuff in the tanks and to be honest i have lost a lot of fish doing that

Now since i don't do all that my fish have last longer and i have had no problems at all


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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 01:50 PM


 
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I do agree some people tell you to add a lot of junk to your water and it is almost all unneeded, all you need is a good dechlorinator. One that removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals as well as detoxifying any ammonia and or nitrites present is very good, but not all do that. I guess what works for you is the best way to go, as the saying goes... if it ain't broke... don't fix it!
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 08:12 PM
 
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This is what I do best if there is anything I can help you with let me know.
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This is what I do best if there is anything I can help you with let me know.
Wow what beautiful tanks... I absolutly LOVE them... I never woulda gotten rid of my tanks except I wanted a green cheek and had no more room... and I enjoy the birds so much more as far as interaction wit them goes and my hubby didn't really care for the tanks.. altho it was my choice to sell them.
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