I'm hoping to start a smallish aquarium soon & have rather too many questions!
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I'm hoping to start a smallish aquarium soon & have rather too many questions!

This is a discussion on I'm hoping to start a smallish aquarium soon & have rather too many questions! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I'm Kat. /waves My first question is what size tank would you recommend for a beginner? I've managed to find what looks like a ...

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I'm hoping to start a smallish aquarium soon & have rather too many questions!
Old 08-24-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
 
Arrow I'm hoping to start a smallish aquarium soon & have rather too many questions!

I'm Kat. /waves

My first question is what size tank would you recommend for a beginner?
I've managed to find what looks like a nice, 30 litre tank which comes with a heater, halogen light & a filter -but it's quite cheap. Here's the link if you'd like a look:
30 Litre Aquarium Black by Ciano Aquariums (Available In Store Only) | Pets at Home

Secondly, what else do I really need? I'd like to keep the tank as low maintenance as possible while still maintaining a good environment for the fish, but I'm also on a budget, especially until I figure out whether I want to continue fish keeping long term.

And finally for the moment: what kinds of fish should I be looking at? I'd like to have a variety of different fish && hopefully some colourful ones - would anyone be able to recommend a good combination of fish? Guppies sound good but idk if 30 litres is too small for them.

Last edited by lostperspective; 08-24-2010 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
 
=/ Anyone?
I hope I didn't come across as rude or anything like that - I guess researching fish tanks is probably not the best use of the middle of the night.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:06 PM   #3
 
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First let me say Welcome to the forum! Glad to have another newbie to the hobby. This is a fantastic forum with many very knowledgeable fish keepers. I learn something new here each day.

Now, as far as aquariums go, that one would definitely limit you as to what type of fish you could get. Floor space so to speak is something that many fish require. Swimming room. Having a tank that is tall Vs. long will limit the type of fish you have. That might not be a bad thing, as there are so many different kinds of fish. Some folks will decide on a fish they like first and then get the tank best suited for the fish. Others will buy the aquarium and then determine who can be housed in it.

There are other things that will determine which fish are right for you. One of those things being, the chemical make up of your water source. Some fish like hard water, others soft etc... Seems difficult at first but there are amazing people here, much more knowledgeable then I that will be more then willing to talk you through each step. It is easier then it seems at first with just a little forethought.

For my opinion, I would recommend a nice 30 gallon long tank for a beginner aquarium. This will offer you many different choices for fish as well as plants. It is a nice size that doesn't take up too much space but still enough to be a focal point in your room and fun to watch.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:15 PM   #4
 
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Hello Kat,

Welcome to the forum. The first thing you should understand is the importance of cycling your new tank. It does take some time but will save you lots of aggravation and/or fish deaths. Here is the link (sticky) from the forum for establishing your cycle.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

As for your tank size, you probably don't want to keep any livebearing fish in a tank of that size (namely guppies) because they multiply like crazy and then you'll be like the rest of us with multiple tanks LOL. You could probably do well with a small school of cardinal/neon tetras or get a really stunning male betta (one only) as a showpiece fish.

And you need a really good water conditioner like Seachem Prime for your water changes. Other than that, a siphon for cleaning and water changes and a thermometer and some silk plants and you're off to a good start.

Good luck with your setup and don't be afraid to ask questions.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
 
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Crap! Sorry just re-read what you wrote. You already got the tank, didn't you? Guess it is getting late for my old eyes. I skimmed and I thought you were asking what would be a good size for a beginner. Romad has it right. Cycle tank before adding any fish at all. You can skip the cycle to some degree if you add several live plants. The plants basically eat the toxins in the tank making it safer to add a few hardy fish right away.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:23 PM   #6
 
Thank you!

^-^ I've been lurking here for a while and cycling your tank seems to be a recurring theme! I think I pretty much understand the process, but I don't actually have any idea how long it will take? & am I going to need some kind of kit to test the water?

No tank yet! I'm just having a look on the internet. :)
My main limitation is I'd really like to be able to fit the aquarium on my desk - it has some shelves I can reorganise to fit the fish tank hopefully! The base of it is 27cm by 52cm and I can adjust it so the height is anything up to a meter. Otherwise I'd have to mess around finding a stand & the ones I've seen so far seem to cost almost as much as the aquarium!
I know the water here is pretty hard - we've also got a water softener though which softens most of our water.. I don't know if it's best to use water which has or hasn't been softened? It's one of the ones you add salts to I think so probably not..?
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:27 PM   #7
 
Oh wait, roughly 4-8 weeks. =)
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:38 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostperspective View Post
Oh wait, roughly 4-8 weeks. =)

It took mine 8 weeks to cycle but I did the fishless cycle and my boyfriend helped me along (not) by cleaning the tank. I was running back and forth with water samples to the fish store each week, only to have my ammonia levels still out of control.

At the 6 and 7 week mark my ammonia was off the charts and I had no nitrites so me and the store owner were scratching our heads. It was then that my bf piped up with "I don't understand either, I cleaned it with Windex (ammonia based cleaner) inside and out before I gave it to you" Obviously a HUGE no-no!

Groan......

So I could have saved myself a lot of running if I had a proper test kit and a bf who knew anything about ammonia and/or fish.

So patience will pay out in the long run. Just thought you might enjoy how NOT to do it :)
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
 
xD Oops.
At least you didn't put the fish in first?

I wonder how many horror stories I'm going to collect before I get this tank up and running..
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostperspective View Post
xD Oops.
At least you didn't put the fish in first?

I wonder how many horror stories I'm going to collect before I get this tank up and running..
No fish in until it was cycled.
You'll be fine.... we're here to help
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