Resident Aquarium Nerd
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
My favorite filter is the Hagen AquaClear. You can add different kinds of filter media (carbon, phosphate removers, filter floss, etc.) which makes it very effective. It's also pretty inexpensive. The BioWheel filters are pretty good but don't last as long--the wheel can stop turning.
For tropical fish, you'll need a heater and thermometer so you can keep the temperature in the mid to high 70's. However, another option is a coldwater community tank. There aren't as many fish to choose from, but you won't need a heater. For a tank like that, I'd get white cloud minnows. They are small, active schooling fish that come in a few varieties and are very hardy (and cheap--I've gotten them for less than a dollar). Rosy red minnows (often sold as feeders, like goldfish) are also cheap (I get them for ten cents) and easy to care for.
Some other coldwater fish (or fish that can tolerate cool temperatures) that are commonly sold are bloodfin tetras (a school of just those would be gorgeous), rosy barbs, guppies, weather loaches, and zebra danios.
"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."
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