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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
Fertile Myrtle
 
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Getting Started

I'm setting up one, maybe 2, 10 gallon tanks. All I have are the actual aquariums and some gravel. What else do I need and what brands, etc are best?

I had a tank with Oscars some years ago but wasn't very good at keeping them alive. I do, however, like them a lot and I'm fond of Gourami's also.

What fish are best to start with? TIA

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 12:14 AM
 
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I don't know personally what fish are best to set a tank up with, but I've known tetras to be one of the most popular fish we sell.

Neon tetras and painted tetras seem to be the fastest to sell. Neons are nice because they're smaller, schooling kind of fish that you can have a few in your tank. I was always told the rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon.

I know cichlids can be very pretty fish, but also very aggressive. Goldfish tend to be a dirtier fish.

I hope you decide on what fish to get!!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-10-2004, 12:45 AM
 
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I absolutely love oscars and have always wanted some. I haven't gotten them yet, which is weird because I'm such a fish fanatic.

Anyway, a 10 gallon tank is definitely too small for them because they get huge (as I'm sure you know already ) A 10 gallon is nice for a community tank of small tropical fish. Livebearers such as guppies, platies, and mollies and very hardy and good for beginners. You can add some cory catfish (peaceful bottom feeders) and even little aquatic frogs.

Goldfish are easy too, but they can grow really large as well. I would start with the livebearers. If you get guppies, platies, and mollies, try to get all of one sex unless you want hundreds of babies. They breed like crazy! You can also do tetras like Karen suggested, but they are a little more sensitive to PH and water conditions. I have never had good luck with gouramis. I had three dwarf gouramis in the past and they all died within a couple of months. I think my PH was off or my water was too hard.

To start off, you should get a filter, heater, thermometer, a water test kit, and water conditioner (which you probably have for your betta). Some fish are really sensitive to the PH and hardness of the water, so you should test your water and adjust it if necessary, depending on what kind of fish you get. Start off with very few fish at first, so the tank can cycle. You should test for ammonia while its cycling to make sure it doesn't get out of control. If it gets too high, there are things you can buy to bring it down. Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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No goldfish here, lol, I know how messy they are.

Thanks for the suggestions, can guppies, platies, and mollies all be in a tank together?

As far as testing the water, I do have a water conditioner for the betta, but it says it's for bettas, do I need a different one or should this one work?

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mom to three wonderful kids (9, 5.10, 4),
2 dogs, 3 hermit crabs and 2 bettas

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christi

Thanks for the suggestions, can guppies, platies, and mollies all be in a tank together?
That's what I have in my tank. Plus a swordtail and a plecastumus (sp) They all get along very well.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

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mom to three wonderful kids (9, 5.10, 4),
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 12:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christi
I'm setting up one, maybe 2, 10 gallon tanks. All I have are the actual aquariums and some gravel. What else do I need and what brands, etc are best?
I would also recommend getting:

* Hood (to contain your fish and keep them inside the tank)

* Lighting (flourescent is recommended, especially if you have live plants)

* Filtration System (filter & pump)

I would recommend the Eclipse 1 hood by Marineland, which comes with a built-in flourescent light, bio-filter & pump. I just ordered one from Petco for a total of $58.84 (includes sales tax - free shipping and $10 off or 15% off coupons can be found during checkout - expires soon though)

* Thermometer (as low as $1-3 from most Pet chain stores). You should always keep an eye out on the water temperature. Different fish require different temps. to survive. You'll want to study about the fish before buying it and determine whether it's suitable for a community tank, not only compatibility-wise, but also on the temp. factor, care & maintenance.

* Heater (depending on your climate - keep an eye out on the thermometer to determine whether you need a heater)

* Water Conditioner (removes contaminants to fish from tap water) Some people don't use conditioners with a filtered tank, but I always do, just as a precautionary measure.

* Water Test Kit (or you can take a sample of your water to a pet store and they'll usually test it for free). PetsMart has an all-in-one test kit for $9.99, if you buy it online.

* Siphon & 2 Buckets (for doing 20% bi-monthly water changes)

* Algae Scrubber (for cleaning the inside walls of the tank)

* Plants (artificial or live)

* Decoration (caves are great, as most fish need a place to hide and a way to block light). Your decorations should really depend on which fish you get. Some require specific types of deco, so it's always best to study about the fish before buying it and make sure you can accommodate it.

* Net (in the event you need to move your fish from the tank)

Also, it's always good to have a small "sick tank" available. If one of your fish is sick, it can be transferred to the sick tank until it's well enough to move back to the community tank. This will avoid the sick fish from contaminating your community tank if it's sickness is discovered in time.

As far as fish, are you wanting to move your new Betta fish to one of the 10 gal. community tanks? If so, although you are limited on choices, there are quite a few playmates that are consided to be compatible with a male Betta.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 05:51 PM
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The fish you listed such as the guppies, platies, and mollies out of those i think although don't quote me on this that the platies (as i'm positive guppies and mollys aren't suitable) are the only fish that would survive a cycle of the tank thats if you are cycling with fish? For a 10 gallon after cycling i would suggest maybe a small group of tetra (any of the varities) and maybe some cories and a drawf gourami would be nice as a show fish!

Kirsty


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Can someone give me more info on cycling?

Wife to an amazing man,
mom to three wonderful kids (9, 5.10, 4),
2 dogs, 3 hermit crabs and 2 bettas

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 01:04 PM
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Cycling is basically the process your tank goes through in the first few months of its life, fish produce waste like any creature but unlike other creatures they swim round in there own poo, and in turn fish waste turns into ammonia and then into nitrite and then finally into nitrate all with the help of beneficial bacteria. When a tank is new theres no bacteria in there at all till a source is added such as an artifical form or fish producing wastage. There are two types of cycling theres the fishless cycle where you add household ammonia each day till the tank has cycled, and the ammonia and nitrite readings are at 0 and the nitrate is at a resonable level for your tank then you can add fish. Then theres cycling with fish, where you get very hardy fish that hopefully will survive being kept in there own waste and effectively being poisoned and they will cycle your tank for you but in the mean time you will need to check your levels daily with the appropriate testing kits and also do 20%/50% water changes when necessary. Or theres the other method where to start your cycle off you add live plants or some gravel from an established tank as they introduce the beneficial bacteria you need and start your cycle off and then as in the other two methods wait for the tank to cycle. Theres lots or pros and cons to each method its down to the individual! Hope this rambling has been some help to you

Kirsty


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2004, 03:34 PM
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My mom has Angel fish, gouramis, silver dollars, guppies, a sword tail, a couple of bottom feeders (can't remember the name), one of those rock sucker things (can't remember the name! ) and a male betta all in a 55 gallon tank and they all get along just fine!

A side note: My mom has a 150 gal tank with 2 Oscars in it and they are way bigger than the size of my hands. They are by far one of the more dirty fish. Their tank needs to be vaccumed and water changed about two times a week!


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 01:25 AM
 
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Excellent post, Amethystbelle! I personally prefer the plant method - moving plants from an established tank, including some gravel and a couple of pieces of deco that already bears bacteria, because it saddens me to put starter fish in the tank and make them suffer like that. I'm currently trying to speed up the cycling process on Rusty's new tank, because I'm going out of town for 10-11 days, and don't want to have to bother anyone in having to babysit him. So, in addition to adding the other things to my new tank, I'm also placing food in there, as if I were feeding "imaginary" fish, so that the food can rot and produce ammonia, and I'm also leaving the flourescent light on between 6-7 hours a day, and doing 20-25% weekly water changes via siphoning the gravel during the cycling process. I'm taking a sample of my water to my local pet store this Sunday, and am anxious to find out if these additional techniques are speeding up the cycling process. I'll post the results if anyone is interested.

Also, there's a product on the market by Marineland called Bio-Spira. From the research I've done, all but 1 out of 30 people claim it works. Its purpose is to cycle a tank within a week, and within 24 hours, you can put your fish in the tank after you've added the product to the water. I have another thread here, asking about other's experiences with Bio-Spira, as I haven't personally used it and would like to know about more people's success rate. Greybird2 posted, and stated that she uses Cycle (which basically serves the same purpose as Bio-Spira) for her Cichlid tank, and she feels that it's a good product.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 12:00 PM
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Thanks on the subject of the product "cycle" i've heard good and bad things about it although a lot of my fish keeping buddies don't rate it as say it doesn't replace the tank cycling properly on its own. When i got my first tank i used live plants and that set the cycle off for me and i also added fish food as well and then i used a product called bactozym which like cycle is supposed to help introduce beneficial bacteria into the tank! I think the best thing to do when your starting out is read as much as you can and join a really good forum be it one like this or one dedicated to fish as theres always someone to help you if you are really stuck

Kirsty


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 01:58 PM
 
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Thanks, Amethystbelle. I'll see if I can find Bactozym at my local pet store. How much quicker, on average, would you say the product speeds up the cycling process?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 03:08 PM
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Its by tetra and i think you can get it over there, it says on the back of the packet that it has a unique two way action to remove harmful waste and speed up the development of beneficial filter bacteria and reduces new tank syndrome! My tank cycled within 4 weeks from start to finish not sure if the bactozym had anything to do with that or it just cycled on its own but worth a try as is cycle as it won't harm the tank can only help!

Kirsty


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