Community Tank Beginning Tips - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 01-04-2013, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
New Member
Community Tank Beginning Tips

Hello! I'm new here and found this through the betta site. :) I've only had bettas in the past, and I've finally gotten a community tank!

So since I'm new to this community tank thing, I was wondering if I could get any tips. I've had my tall 30 gallon for a few months now. I'm currently at 3 large danios, 3 zebra danios, and 1 platy. His platy friend died due to a temperature decrease when I was gone for a few days and I'm hoping to get one or two to replace him tomorrow, actually. I keep the tank around 78. No undergravel filter, but I do have a filter, of course. I try to do water changes once a week. And I vacuum out some of the gravel, depending on where I can reach without moving around the decorations.

I do have a few questions, though, and would love some tips.

So, since I'm used to bettas, I know that I have to change a certain percentage of water based on size, filtration, and plants. I'm sure it's probably listed somewhere on this site, but since I'm already asking a few questions, I might as well add it on here. Am I changing this often enough? And how much should I change? I usually do about 1/3, to make math easy because then that's only about 10 gallons. And like I said before, I do it around once a week and vacuum the gravel a little.

Approximately how many more fish can I add? Can I get examples of basic fish I can find at a petstore that I could add? I'm hoping to add a little more color and I'm not sure which fish will be the best combination at a cheap price. Keep in mind I'm new at this so I would prefer fish that are a little more hardy. I know fish prefer different levels (although the danios are great at covering them all, providing me much great entertainment) and have different temperaments and needs, but this is kind of overwhelming figuring this out. So if anyone can provide me with some ideas of what I should add that fits these parameters I would appreciate it. :)

The filter is probably the most confusing. My dad put it together for me (he's had fish since he was a kid, but he doesn't know specifics as he has learned these things based on experience) and I'm kind of curious and lost here. Bear with me and my lack of terminology. There's the netty type of thing in there and behind that is a bag full of some sort of rocky thing. (If you could please tell me what they're called! It's hard to Google search for a name based on that. Haha.) How often do I need to clean and change those? I know my dad mentioned something about when it overfills on the other side of the filter. Mine only has the one waterfall going so I can't go by that.

Finally: the zebra danios give me a mini heart attack every time I clean my tank! All of the danios do, actually, including the large ones. They aren't shy at all; in fact, they're very curious every time I clean. And nip at the bubbles that form along my arm from the bubbler. And it's scary, mostly for the zebras as they're so small. I'm always scared I won't be able to see one and will vacuum it up, especially since I take the hood off while I'm cleaning and so don't have a light shining on it. Plus it gets cloudier, of course. Am I just paranoid? Or do you have any tips on how I can make sure I don't suck up any of the poor fishies?

Thanks! :)
geek9110 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to geek9110 For This Useful Post:
LadyKeiva (01-05-2013)
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 01-04-2013, 10:23 AM
1077's Avatar
Danio's and Platy's prefer cooler rather than warmer water and 75 degree's would suit both.
Tank is a bit small for the large danio's if they are what's called "Giant danio's".(need 55 gal in my view)
If they are all zebra or leopard Danio's, then tank size is about right.
Can get four or five female platy's for one male, and be prepared for numerous baby's .
Just have to watch that no fish are near the vaccum while using it in gravel.
would each week change a little more water until i was at 50 percent water changes each week.
Would feed the fishes no more than I actually SEE them eat in a minute or two.
Some floating plant's will help water quality ,and provide baby fishes with places to hide.
Pennywort,water sprite are easy plant's that will grow with minimum lighting.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
1077 is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 01-04-2013, 01:26 PM
Byron's Avatar
I concur. And I would consider increasing the present danio but only if they are the smaller species, such as the Zebra Danio. And, we have fish profiles, with data on the fish needs and numbers, tank size, etc. Click the shaded name, or go under the second heading from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page and search by "danio" and similar.

As for the filter, "media" is the term we use for the stuff inside. You likely have a foam or sponge-type pad, which should be rinsed at every water change. And the white "rock" material is biological media on which bacteria colonize. It can be rinsed weekly too. It never really needs replacing. The pad will last too, but should be replaced if it begins to fall apart.

And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad to have you join us.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
Byron is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 01-05-2013, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Water is at about 76 degrees.

Sounds like all I can do is watch for the fishies when I vacuum. It's what I've been doing, really. I still get really nervous every time!

Already feed them that much.

They are giant danios, unfortunately. :( Even worse for them: my aquarium is hexagonal, so it's wide at one point but then skinny in others, and tall. I have nowhere to put them, so they kind of have to stay. They seem happy, though, as they're my most active fish, along with the zebras, and all the fish seem to get along well together. Danios are fun. :) So I have three large danios and three zebras.

I've heard about the platies having babies. I'm not sure how to tell male apart from female and I doubt the people at the store know either. I've looked up pictures and descriptions on how to identify sex, but when it comes to actually looking at the fish and comparing I get confused.

I actually did get a couple more platies shortly after I posted this, so I have no idea if I'll potentially have babies in my tank soon. I don't currently have any floating plants, let alone live ones, but I have a large amount of fake plants in the gravel and a large bell in the middle that they can hide in. I'm not sure if there's even a pet shop around here that sells live plants. I'm usually stuck buying fish and fish supplies at places like Walmart or online.

Work my way up to 50% changes. I can do that. Can I do small changes a few days a week where it'll equal out to about 50%? That's like 15 gallons of water. 10ish was already a full bucket. Water changes are already a pain between the curious fish and the aquarium being tall while I'm very short.

Thanks for the profiles. They helped me learn more about the fish I have. :)

Thanks for the filter advice! I've been checking and cleaning them occasionally, and have never replaced them. I haven't been cleaning them regularly, though, so now I can start doing that.

Sounds like I just have to change a couple of things and I'm good. :)

geek9110 is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 01-06-2013, 12:02 PM
Byron's Avatar
Will the store take back the Giant Danio? These are going to have problems in so small (to them) a tank. As it notes in the profile, they are active swimmingh fish and there is not sufficient space here for fish that attain 5-6 inches. This causes fish to develop improperly internally, leading to all sorts of trouble. The Zebra Danio will be OK with more of them, another 5 would make a nice group of 8.

On the water changes, a larger once-weekly change is deemed more beneficial than smaller changes more frequently, ironically. Get yourself a Python apparatus; I like the one that Aqueon makes. They attach to the tap (you need a tap with threads, like for a garden hose). Makes water changes a breeze. But if this is not possible, more frequent changes will still help.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
Byron is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 01-07-2013, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
New Member
I doubt it. I have............. Walmart fish. Even though they have a ridiculously long fish return policy (90 days), it's still past that time. They might even be better off with me than Walmart. :O I have noticed that they've gotten much bigger since I got them.

I'll have to look around to see if I can find someone who has a larger aquarium. My dad does, but his 55 gallon is goldfish and his 100 gallon is already overfilled with cichlids. He's actually looking around for people to take in some of those, or at least do a trade. Maybe we'll manage to find someone who will trade me. I love them so much, though, so it's sad I have to find them a new home. :(

That's fine. I can do the large changes. I'm young and mostly healthy! It'll just be a pain in the butt. I checked out what you told me about and that's AWESOME. It would make life so much easier! I currently DREAD water changes. I think I'll buy one when I manage to get a decent income (i.e. a job). Poor college student here.

Thanks for all your help!
geek9110 is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
beginning of my tank mullinsd2 Saltwater Journals 138 07-19-2009 02:04 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome