Aquarium questions - Page 4 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #31 of 41 Old 02-06-2009, 10:17 AM
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Go to a fish store and write down the names of any fish you see you like. It gives a good starting point for people to recommend stocking for your tank.

Once your tank is cycled adding fish is relatively easy. First off don't add too many to begin with. Start with a few fish and then wait a week. Monitor the water quality during this time. If you don't get any ammonia or nitrite spikes go ahead and add a few more a week later. Keep on monitoring and adding until your tank is stocked. This is not quarantining. I highly recommend that you quarantine new additions to a tank to prevent the introduction of disease or parasites. You'd need a second tank, can be a simple one though with a sponge filter, terra cotta pots for decor things like that. And you put new fish in there for two to four weeks to observe them and make sure they are healthy before adding them to your aquarium. Needless to say it takes a lot longer to stock an aquarium this way. It's up to you but I highly recommend quarantining.

For individual fish my preferred method is to use my aquarium bucket. I put the new fish in there in the bag water. I wrap a towel around the bucket to keep it warm and another over it to keep out the light. I add about 1/4 cup of my tank water to the bucket ever ten minutes or so and keep this up until I triple the amount of water in the bucket or more. At that point I net the fish out of the bucket and put them in the tank. Don't pour the water in, you don't want aquarium store water in your tank, dump it out.

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post #32 of 41 Old 02-07-2009, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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So I have my 20 gallon tank and went and got an air pump/bubble wall thing today as well as gravel. I'm all set to go to start cycling except the local petsmart is out of stock on the AP Test Kits and also i can't find anywhere that has a good selection of plants let alone java ferns which i'd like to put in my tank.
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post #33 of 41 Old 02-08-2009, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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I finally got a hold of the AP Master Test kit as well as a python from my petsmart. They even price matched bigalsonline so i got both for a little under half the price they were selling them for. I also found a driftwood decor at walmart today that wasn't bad looking and wasn't extremely expensive considering my small budget. All i'm missing is some live plants before i start my tank. Should i get the live plants before or after my cycle? also will 1 quart of ace hardware pure ammonia be enough for the whole process?
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post #34 of 41 Old 02-09-2009, 09:33 AM
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More than enough by a long shot.

You don't have to have plants before you start cycling. There's really no impact one way or another on the cycle with them. They can be added later not problems.

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post #35 of 41 Old 02-09-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thank you. Also, the only real pet stores around me are petsmart and petco, both of which don't seem to have a good selection of plants. I wanted to get java ferns since they're low maintenance/light (all i have is a 15 watt flourescent) but none of the stores really carry them or they look on the verge of death. Petco doesn't even have real names on their plants they all say "Tropical fern or Tropical ribbon" At petco the "ribbon" plant looks like it's in good shape so i was thinking about getting a couple of those, but first i'd like to know if anyone knows what that is and how it would do in my tank.

Oh and also my dad pointed something out as i started to set my tank up last night. We use a water softener in my house, so should i get my water from the hose instead? or will it be ok from my sinks?

Last edited by Guber; 02-09-2009 at 02:34 PM.
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post #36 of 41 Old 02-09-2009, 10:23 PM
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Do some research on plants before buying them. Many of them sold at Petco arent true aquatic plants. They dont actually live in aquariums, they just die slowly. I can't say for sure, but its likely the "tropical fern" or "tropical ribbon" can be bought growing in pots at your local garden store, probably at a lower price. If you don't mind replacing them every couple of months, they will look good for a while. Most true aquatic plants will die quickly if not provided good water conditions. Java Ferns are among the hardiest and one "on the verge of death" will come back if given conditions it can live in.
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post #37 of 41 Old 02-09-2009, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guber View Post

Oh and also my dad pointed something out as i started to set my tank up last night. We use a water softener in my house, so should i get my water from the hose instead? or will it be ok from my sinks?
From the little I've read I wouldn't use water from the softener but from the hose instead.
"Typical home water softeners soften water using a technique known as ion exchange. They remove calcium and magnesium ions by replacing them with sodium ions. Fish that prefer soft water don't like sodium either, and for them such water softeners don't help at all."

Have you decided which fish you'll be keeping?

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post #38 of 41 Old 02-10-2009, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Well I'd really like to get my self a red tailed shark. My girlfriend wants a black molly she can call her own and my aunt wants a dalmation molly she could call her own in the tank. Aside from those, i'd like some nice colorful tank mates but im unsure of which. What are some good stock for my 20 gallon? and do you guys think those ones i mentioned will be ok in it?
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post #39 of 41 Old 02-10-2009, 02:51 AM
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i wouldnt do the red tail shark but the mollies would be a nice addition and a school of neon tetras is always colorful.
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post #40 of 41 Old 02-10-2009, 07:26 AM
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I usually say that 30 gallons is the bare minimum for a red tailed shark. You have to remember that RTBS get to about 6" when fully grown and unlike plecos they are not content to just sit in one place all day long.

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