A couple of questions.. noob here!
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A couple of questions.. noob here!

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A couple of questions.. noob here!
Old 02-16-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
 
A couple of questions.. noob here!

Hello everyone, I signed up today because I am considering getting some fish! I had two betta fish in the past but I am sad to admit that I didn't know too much about them, and they weren't kept in the biggest tank.. nothing too small but defiantly could have been bigger, and warmer!

I am currently looking at a 30 gallon tank for sale on craigs list right up the road from me, im hoping for an email back as it was listed a month ago but there are others around here, just a bit further away.
and i'd also like to get a 5 gal or so tank for a betta.

I am nervous about the cycling in the beginning, i dont want to add the fish too soon, and i dont want to add too many at one time, or too fast.

also, when adding a betta fish to its new tank, if it comes in the plastic containers, how do you acclimate it to your water? I saw pictures of the bags people just put them in the tank, but what about the containers?

when cleaning a tank (the partial cleaning) how do you get rid of a certain percent of the water, and how do you add the water back in? do you just pour new water into the tank? and also what about in between cleanings I plan on getting bottom feeders a few months after i get the tank set up and fish in there, but before (and after) i get them, is there an easy way to keep the bottom clean.

I know tanks need cleaned and i know there are people who do it often and people who do it every once in awhile. I am hoping to get my tank to where i dont need to be cleaning it every week, i think thats what im afraid of when getting into fish. I dont want to be cleaning their tanks every week, or even every other week really... id like to get it to the point where i can let it go for a little while and it will still be clean. any suggestions on how i can make that happen?

id appreciate any advice too since i am such a noob its always great to have advice!
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:22 PM   #2
 
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For acclimation, in my experience, float the bag for at least 15 minutes to even out the temperature. The grab a small cup and gradually pour into the bag a cup of tank water every 3-5 minutes for another 30 minutes to an hour. Works for me.

You need a gravel vacuum cleaner. It is available in petstores and designed to vacuum your substrate for food leftovers and other debris. Are you going to use bucket method or get yourself a Python from the shop? You may want to use Prime dechlorinator to bind chlorine, chloramine and other heavy metals while still detoxifying the traces of ammonia (more toxic at higher pH) and nitrite.

For bucket method, pour the dechlorinator into the bucket of new water. The old water is siphoned off and thrown to the garden or drainage. When you're done removing a portion of the water, grab the new water from the tap. Dechlorinators will work instantaneously so you can simply pour the new water to the tank after a few seconds.

Since I keep goldfish and pleco, I prefer to keep my tanks barebottom. Vacuuming gravel with heavy poop machines is a pain for me. I have work, social life and everything else to deal with that long periods of maintenance is not possible for me anymore ever since I graduated college.

Unfortunately for you, weekly cleaning is a MUST, otherwise, your fish will become more vulnerable to health issues as the accumulation of organic matter can quickly pollute the water. It does not have to be a total tank cleanover. Simply vacuum the bottom and change a portion of the water. Not that hard to do.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:22 PM   #3
 
also, i would like to get a live plant for my tank (or tanks) i was looking at the java fern since i am new to them and it is supposed to be the easiest/hardiest.

when cleaning a tank and fulll cleaning a tank with plants how do you go about doing that without harming the plants?

and how do you guys add decorations? im assuming you do it while cleaning and the fish arent in the tank, but do you do anything to them before putting them in there? has anyone added decor while fish are in the tank?
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainybutterfly View Post
also, i would like to get a live plant for my tank (or tanks) i was looking at the java fern since i am new to them and it is supposed to be the easiest/hardiest.
Low lighting:
Cryptocoryne
Java moss
Java ferns
Anubias

Moderate lighting:
Nymphaea lotus
Egeria densa
Vallisnerias
Hornworts
Duckweeds

Quote:
when cleaning a tank and fulll cleaning a tank with plants how do you go about doing that without harming the plants?
You don't really vacuum the bottom much when there are plants around. They do not like being disturbed too much. You do need to make sure though there is gentle circulation around the base and substrate stirred perhaps on fortnight basis to keep the substrate from tightening too much as anaerobic pockets can trigger a release in hydrogen sulfide which can sicken and kill your fish.

Quote:
and how do you guys add decorations? im assuming you do it while cleaning and the fish arent in the tank, but do you do anything to them before putting them in there? has anyone added decor while fish are in the tank?
No hollow decorations, firstly. They are absolutely the worst things to have as they promote dead pockets which can again trigger hydrogen sulfide gas.

I've added decors with or without the fish. I didn't always feel satisfied with the aquascaping so the decors were constantly moved around just to satisfy myself with how the tanks should look.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
 
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Talking

Hi there!!! welcome to the forums!!!!




If your going to cycle the tank do a fishless cycle with frozen shrimp its the easiest way to cycle! just add one inch of shrimp per 20 gallons! dont forget to measure the water parameters with a liquid master test kit! do not get the test strips because they are really inaccurate! cycling the tank with frozen shrimp takes about 3 to 5 weeks. You really have to patient! after your done cycling get 3 fish and add three more every two weeks!

and yeah unfortunately you do have to keep up with maintanence because its really important!!!!

if you have any other questions definitely ask alot of people here have keeped fish since the 70s and they know what they are doing! remember anything that you might have in mind just ask it can make a big difference to the health and well-being of your little fishies!!!!

take care!!! Im glad that you joined our community and again welcome to the tropical fish keeping forums!!!!!!
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:12 PM   #6
 
how do you know when the cycle is complete and it is ok to add fish?

So far id really like some Glo Fish, and Glass Cats for the bigger tank, and im sure after 2 months or so id get a bottom feeder of some sort.. probably a Corydoras? would you guys recommend anything to go with these fish? or recommend against keeping them together?

I found 2 5 gallon tanks on craigs list in my area for only $20 so i might get one (or both) and set them up for bettas. would adding any bottom feeders to the betta tank help out any? (after a month or two of course)

also, i was thinking about at least getting that java fern (at least for the bigger tank if not the bettas also).. i read somewhere ( i dont remember where at and i read it quick so i could have read it wrong) but they said if yoju have live plants you want to be careful with filters because itll take out too much and kill the plants? im assuming if you have one live plant and a filter i should be ok though? I suck with plants too so i only wnat to get one to make sure i can keep it alive too.

if you have live plants, how and can you do 100% water changes?
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:18 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainybutterfly View Post
how do you know when the cycle is complete and it is ok to add fish?

So far id really like some Glo Fish, and Glass Cats for the bigger tank, and im sure after 2 months or so id get a bottom feeder of some sort.. probably a Corydoras? would you guys recommend anything to go with these fish? or recommend against keeping them together?

Glass cats should be kept in a group of at least 5-6 as they tend to pine away if kept less than that.

Corydoras should be fine. There are many species that fit perfectly in a 30g.


Quote:
I found 2 5 gallon tanks on craigs list in my area for only $20 so i might get one (or both) and set them up for bettas. would adding any bottom feeders to the betta tank help out any? (after a month or two of course)
A 5g isn't enough for a lot of fish. Keep the betta by itself and possibly some colored ramshorn snails if you can find them. Ramshorns are often available in brown so you'll be lucky if you find blue, red and even yellow.

Quote:
also, i was thinking about at least getting that java fern (at least for the bigger tank if not the bettas also).. i read somewhere ( i dont remember where at and i read it quick so i could have read it wrong) but they said if yoju have live plants you want to be careful with filters because itll take out too much and kill the plants? im assuming if you have one live plant and a filter i should be ok though? I suck with plants too so i only wnat to get one to make sure i can keep it alive too.

if you have live plants, how and can you do 100% water changes?
I wouldn't worry too much about filters and plants together. You can't do 100% water changes in a planted setup. Replace a small portion of water, preferably 20-30%. Depends how it can manage to keep ammonia and nitrite in check if your tank is sparsely planted.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:25 PM   #8
 
in the 5G i was only planning on having the Betta and something that stays on the bottom.. how about a mystery snail? would it do ok with a betta?
for the bigger tank id get a Cory or something similar.
I was planning on getting groups of fish for whatever ones i got since most of them like to be in schools anyway.

im thinking cherry barbs too. I see they are hardy which is good for me. I dont intend on killing anything but this will be my first actual aquarium with a filter/heater/etc. so im nervous!

I actually found a couple on Craigs that are still set up and actually COME with the fish. Maybe I would be better off doing that and that way everything is set up already! i just dont care for the fish that come with the one and the girl is supposed to tell me exactly whats in hers when she gets home from work and can send me a better email
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:31 PM   #9
 
This may also be a very stupid question, but its one that just popped into my head.

I found a girl with a 10 gallon and 6 fish for sale in my area. a 10 gallon would be fine for me, but i would like a 30 eventually. :start stupid question: when cycling the new bigger tank, would I be able to add water from the 10 g that already has the fish living in it? would that work at all/speed up the process. How would that work? would I just take a little bit at a time? or put it all into the bigger tank and add new water until its cycled and full?

I have no idea if this works or if i can do this, or if its even a good idea, but it was just a random thought running through my mind!
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:31 PM   #10
 
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I have negative experience combining bettas and apple snails together. They love to rip out the eyestalks and antennaes.
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