Critique my tanks?
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Critique my tanks?

This is a discussion on Critique my tanks? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I want to make sure I am doing everything okay. I've had tanks before, but I have always listened to the pet stores sometimes ...

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:17 AM   #1
 
Critique my tanks?

I want to make sure I am doing everything okay. I've had tanks before, but I have always listened to the pet stores sometimes horrible advice.

Tank 1: 30 gallons, 300 watt heater, Penguin Bio Wheel filter, two fake plants, little piece of driftwood and a cave type ornament. Temp is 78 degrees. It houses two cichlids. One Jewel and one that im not sure of, it was at petsmart and labelled "assorted cichlids". I plan to add a couple more cichlids in the future. Theres also an algae eater in there. I want to add more plants/rocks/decor what do you suggest?




Tank 2: 20 gallons, two fake plants (will be adding more stuff in a couple days), 200 watt heater, Marina slim power filter and houses 4 priscilla tetras and 1 bala shark. Will add more fish in the future and tank temp is 78 degrees




Heres both tanks


Tank 3- 5.5 gallons. Has an air pump/air stone, 50 watt heater, Top Fin filter, skull decoration, small bridge thing and 2 plants. Houses 2 rock shrimp, two dalmatian mollies, 2 platys and a pleco. Temp is 78 degrees.


Tank 4- 2.5 gallon, has 25 watt heater kept at 74 degrees, has whisper 1-3 gallon filter, plant, small rock and leaf hammock. Houses one male betta.


Please let me know if I should add or take away anything or improve something. I want my fish to live the best life possible
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
 
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Hey Homer ,
Your tanks look good man congrates , But I did see a few things I think you should know or atleast look into .
1.- The chichlid tank , Make sure of the exact species you have before you add any more to it . If you have african they wont tolerate any south americans or vise versa . And be sure that when you do add that you also add more rock caves for the others to claim as territory or you will have trouble over land issues with them , as they will kill each other fighting over the only home .
2.- The bala shark , He /she is a great fish but will get big if you take proper care of it . That fish likes a lil bit better diet than just flake food . You might want to look into a good dehydrated or froozen type for it . Also its a shoaling fish it really needs some pals or it wont do right , it may turn on your other fish in the tank or become ''depressed'' it will suffer health issues without a group in one way or another .

I hope this helps ... I do like the tanks though . I'd add live plants to them but thats just me ,. As the plants will help you with water qual and decor . As well as food for the fishes , bala for one will happily munch as well as the mollys on just about anything you grow lol so no pricey stuff but petsmart has a buncha lil starter plants you can add that are way cheap
God bless and good luck with the new tanks an fishes / family members
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:11 AM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie1881 View Post
Hey Homer ,
Your tanks look good man congrates , But I did see a few things I think you should know or atleast look into .
1.- The chichlid tank , Make sure of the exact species you have before you add any more to it . If you have african they wont tolerate any south americans or vise versa . And be sure that when you do add that you also add more rock caves for the others to claim as territory or you will have trouble over land issues with them , as they will kill each other fighting over the only home .
2.- The bala shark , He /she is a great fish but will get big if you take proper care of it . That fish likes a lil bit better diet than just flake food . You might want to look into a good dehydrated or froozen type for it . Also its a shoaling fish it really needs some pals or it wont do right , it may turn on your other fish in the tank or become ''depressed'' it will suffer health issues without a group in one way or another .

I hope this helps ... I do like the tanks though . I'd add live plants to them but thats just me ,. As the plants will help you with water qual and decor . As well as food for the fishes , bala for one will happily munch as well as the mollys on just about anything you grow lol so no pricey stuff but petsmart has a buncha lil starter plants you can add that are way cheap
God bless and good luck with the new tanks an fishes / family members
Can I add live plants to a tank that uses graval as a substrate? As for the cichlids, will they be okay to wait until I get paid before I add more caves in there for them?
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
 
Also, I checked into the cichlids I have and the ones im getting and all are African
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
 
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Hey Homer. My advice would be to put backs on the tanks. I like the photo ones you can get at the LFS but some people paint the backs of their tanks, some tape on construction paper or black garbage bags. Whatever you do, it hides all the wires and offsets the colors of your fish.
Yes you can definitely plant in gravel. You will need to check the bulbs in your light fixtures to make sure they are correct. Also fertilizer will be needed too but the results are amazing. And the fish truly love live plants over plastic. Be prepared to get snails in your tanks also but they are not that bad.

Now lastly is the Bala. I'm sorry but this fish needs a 6 foot tank minimum. That is a 120 gallon. I have kept 2 for many years in a 90 gallon which is only 48 inches and they run out of space real fast!! They are big swimmers. Please think about him as he grows... he needs buddies in a huge tank.

Thank you for sharing pictures of your tanks!! It is nice to see tanks that are not heavily overstocked!!
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charlie1881 (01-03-2013)
Old 01-03-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

I will leave comment on the "cichlid" tank for those with more experience, other than to say that if you are intending rift lake cichlids (the lighter fish is one of these) they need special care. Hard water, lots of rocks for caves, etc. Do you know your tap water GH (general hardness) and pH?

To the 20g, I agree the Bala Shark should be returned, this is going to be problematic. And then increase the Pristella Tetra to a few more. And some plants--and yes, they will manage in gravel.

We have fish and plant profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. When names are the same in posts as in the profile, they shade, as you saw those above did for the fish. Click the shaded names for that fish's profile. And there are several plant profiles you can browse.

Byron.
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charlie1881 (01-03-2013)
Old 01-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
 
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Hey Homer ,

Good job on checkin out your chics origin that will help . Also I forgot to mention , plants will ''soften'' your water so take care to keep a sharp eye on this as Byron pointed out one of your fish is a '' hard '' water fish and will not do well in '' soft'' water conditions.
Everyone agrees about the bala shark , the clerk or associate should have told you what we all did but as they are only concerned with sells and not care this happens alot . You can however take him back and trade for more tetras for the tank perhaps. Just a thought.
I like what Miss JB said to , it is good to see tanks that dont resemble feeder tanks at the local pet store . Your fish like room to swim and yours have it . Your doin a good job . The only advice I have for you is research your fish yourself before you buy one dont trust the person seeling it to you . I have made this mistake in the past and learned the hard way , dont follow my path .
As for gravel plants I had gravel for awhile ferns do well in it , el-nino , especially . as well as any lilly and they are great plants go from bottom to top and they flower on the top and most fish love them to eat mine do anyway lol cant get a flower due to it . You can get the bulbs at any pet store and most wal-marts have them as well . But be ready they may take awhile to grow from a bulb I have had some take well over a month to even sprout at all . But when they do its worth the wait
Hope this helps bud ,
God bless
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
 
Okay to answer questions. The PH of my water is 7.6. As for the Bala shark, the pet store clerk told me it would be fine in a 20 gallon O.o so I guess I will need to find him another home. Wanna know whats sad? The bala shark spent the first few weeks of his time here in a 5.5 gallon which the pet store clerk said was well over enough space. Wow...I will find him another home since they will not take the fish back due to the "possible issues it may create in their tanks" as they are all run on the same filtration system.

As for plants, what kind of bulbs do I need? I have I think florescent right now they are the long tubes lights. As for the backs on the tanks, the 30 gallon with the cichlids has a black backing on it, when I get paid I was planning to go get one for the other tanks as well.

For the tetras do I need to stick with the same type of tetra or can I get another type to add so they have company? As for the cichlids, I think I may only add 2 more 3 more at the max. I am debating adding air stones to the bigger tanks, is this really needed? I worry because I already have 6 plugs into a power bar and I dont know if I like the idea of having to use an additional power bar off the top outlet (which is connected to the same outlet the one power bar is)
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
As for the Bala shark, the pet store clerk told me it would be fine in a 20 gallon O.o so I guess I will need to find him another home. Wanna know whats sad? The bala shark spent the first few weeks of his time here in a 5.5 gallon which the pet store clerk said was well over enough space. Wow...I will find him another home since they will not take the fish back due to the "possible issues it may create in their tanks" as they are all run on the same filtration system.
It is very unfortunate that some fish stores have so little interest in their fish that rather than find out about them they just want to sell them. [I understand their reason for not taking them back, this is common, but they should do more to ensure customers know about the fish before selling them.] This fish attains 14-16 inches if it lives to grow properly, and that can't fit in a 20g tank.

BTW, we have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Names used identically in posts shade as a link, so click on Bala Shark for the profile info.

Quote:
As for plants, what kind of bulbs do I need? I have I think florescent right now they are the long tubes lights. As for the backs on the tanks, the 30 gallon with the cichlids has a black backing on it, when I get paid I was planning to go get one for the other tanks as well.
What does it say on one end of the fluorescent tube? Give us all the data.

Quote:
For the tetras do I need to stick with the same type of tetra or can I get another type to add so they have company? As for the cichlids, I think I may only add 2 more 3 more at the max.
Cichlids first, depends upon the fish. This is a whole topic of its own. Rift lake cichlids (you have one now) are one thing, Central American are another, and South American are yet another. Each of these has differeing needs for space, water, tankmates.

Tetra are shoaling fish, so a very quick lesson on this. Shoaling fish live in large groups, and they need a group of that species for several reasons. Security usually, sometimes a "pecking" order, social interaction, play... whatever the reasons, the larger the group the healtheir the fish. Six is usually considered minimum, but more is always better. But this takes up tank space, so think ahead before you buy the species, so you can provide what it needs to be healthy. You can mix species (usually, there are some exceptions) but each species needs a decent sized group.

Quote:
I am debating adding air stones to the bigger tanks, is this really needed? I worry because I already have 6 plugs into a power bar and I dont know if I like the idea of having to use an additional power bar off the top outlet (which is connected to the same outlet the one power bar is)
No, you don't need airstones. Unless you overstock the tank and/or neglect regular partial water changes (every week).
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
It is very unfortunate that some fish stores have so little interest in their fish that rather than find out about them they just want to sell them. [I understand their reason for not taking them back, this is common, but they should do more to ensure customers know about the fish before selling them.] This fish attains 14-16 inches if it lives to grow properly, and that can't fit in a 20g tank.

BTW, we have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Names used identically in posts shade as a link, so click on Bala Shark for the profile info.



What does it say on one end of the fluorescent tube? Give us all the data.



Cichlids first, depends upon the fish. This is a whole topic of its own. Rift lake cichlids (you have one now) are one thing, Central American are another, and South American are yet another. Each of these has differeing needs for space, water, tankmates.

Tetra are shoaling fish, so a very quick lesson on this. Shoaling fish live in large groups, and they need a group of that species for several reasons. Security usually, sometimes a "pecking" order, social interaction, play... whatever the reasons, the larger the group the healtheir the fish. Six is usually considered minimum, but more is always better. But this takes up tank space, so think ahead before you buy the species, so you can provide what it needs to be healthy. You can mix species (usually, there are some exceptions) but each species needs a decent sized group.



No, you don't need airstones. Unless you overstock the tank and/or neglect regular partial water changes (every week).
The tubes on the light fixture say "Eclipse F18T8 Natural daylight"

The cichlids I was looking to add were

- Blood Dragon
- Hap Ali
- Albino Hap Ali
- Bi Colour 500
- Otterpoint

What ones/combo of these can I add to the existing cichlids? I was hoping to get 2-3 more in there.

As for the tetras, if I grab 2 more of the ones I got in there, what other fish can I add to it? I do not want to over crowd
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