My First Tank - suggestions - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 48 Old 11-20-2008, 04:31 PM
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I am new also

I found your picture of your tank very interesting and the comments insightful because I am new to the forum and would like to know more about fish keeping. I also have a 29 gal tank as my first tank but haven't decided on a species to prepare it for. There are too many choices. Has anyone tried archerfish?


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post #12 of 48 Old 11-20-2008, 04:38 PM
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Archers are a brackish species so they can't be kept in a freshwater tank. Here's a good page about their care:

Toxotes jaculatrix, Archer fish Profile, with care, maintenance requirements and breeding information for your tropical fish

As you can see, they get too large to be kept in a 29g tank.

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post #13 of 48 Old 11-20-2008, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info everyone. I got a few danios today and will continue to monitor the water levels. I'll try to go tomorrow and get one of the water test kits batman suggested. How often should I be testing during this first cycle?
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post #14 of 48 Old 11-20-2008, 06:56 PM
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Well, since you're using fish, if it was me, I'd test everyday. You're going to need to do a water change everytime you get large ammonia/nitrite spiked readings if you want to keep your danios alive. Unless you do frequent testing you won't know where you are in the cycle. I tested daily until I got to zero for both readings, and finally saw a nitrate reading. Now I only test twice a week. I'm sure others will have different opinions on how often to test. I'm a little over the top when it comes to testing & being cautious.

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post #15 of 48 Old 11-21-2008, 10:55 AM
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Test daily. Start out with just doing an ammonia test and doing a nitrite test every second or third day. Eventually ammonia will peter off and nitrite will keep going up. At that point only do ammonia every second or third day as well as a nitrate test and keep on the nitrite test daily. Eventually nitrite will go to zero. At this point you just need to do weekly tests for all the parameters.

If during this process you see ammonia or nitrite readings over 0.25 ppm do an immediate 30% water change. Expect to do these changes daily.

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post #16 of 48 Old 11-22-2008, 08:39 AM
Seeings how you already got great advice on the cycle, I'll give you some suggestions on the tank

1) I don't see a thermometer on the tank right now. You really need one, because even if you set your heater to the correct temperature, it is very unlikely that the water will be the correct temp. I have a heater set to 82 to keep the actual water temp. at 78-80.

2) You need plants! If you are a beginner, I would recommend silk ones. They require very little maintenance, look good, and are easy to clean if necessary. And they won't die on you!

3) Fish!!! First off, what is your water like? pH, hardness, etc. You want to choose species of fish that will thrive in the water you have, not try to adjust the water to meet the species. That being said, I am also in the process of setting up a 29 gal. community tank. I am going with pearl gouramis, kuhlii loaches, and rasboras. Everyone here has great ideas, and once we know what your water is like, we can help you set up a great tank.

Have fun!
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post #17 of 48 Old 11-23-2008, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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I do have a thermometer, it's on the side so you can't see it in the picture (it stays at 80degrees). The plants are starting to grow out of the bulbs right now. The package said they should be a few inches tall in 2-3 weeks. I haven't been able to get the master test kit yet, and the 5 in 1 kit I do have doesn't test for ammonia. I'll list the 5 things it does test and the current levels:
Nitrate - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Hardness (GH) - 150ppm
Alkalinity (KH) - 180ppm
pH - 7.8

I have 3 long finned danios - I think it said blue danios at the store. I also have 3 guppys (2 tuxedo and 1 fancy). They seemed to have settled in, the first day they seemed timid, but the last 3 days they've been a lot more lively. I've been feeding them a small amount in the mornings and a larger amount at night. I've got the light timer going 12 on/12 off.

I've been testing every day and it seems nothing (that my test picks up) is changing thus far. I plan on getting one of the master kits this week.

I am also wondering, I saw some CO2 tabs at the store instead of getting a CO2 tank, I'm wondering how many/how big the plants will need to get before I need this, and if anyone recommends these.

Thanks everyone for the help.

Also - can you overfeed the fish? When I feed them it seems like they go crazy eating until it's gone - but I don't want to feed them too much.
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post #18 of 48 Old 11-23-2008, 08:30 PM
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I have a 29 Gallon as well. I really recommend making it a planted aquarium. I actually went to a spring and got all of my plants my self. It is a lot of fun watching the plants grow and they can be very good for your tank. They look way nicer than fake plants too. Make sure if you do decide to go planted that you get a good light. You can get a good light for not a lot of money, a Coralife Aqua light Single Compact fluorescent bulb. This light is great and only cost about 60 bucks. You can find it at
Here is the link.
30" 1x65W Coralife Freshwater Aqualight CF hood, 1x 6700K, -Straight Pin - 53015
Comes with the bulbs. I recommend getting the legs as well. I took the hood off of my tank and just have the lights on its legs. Its cool because I have lily pads and duck weed on the top of my tank so having no lid is nice because it shows off and displays the stuff on the top. is great, they have great support and they ship very fast, and best of all, the prices are unbeatable!!

Have fun with your new tank!!

I have no idea why that posted twice???
I can't figure out how to delete the first one.

Last edited by andulrich4all; 11-23-2008 at 08:34 PM.
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post #19 of 48 Old 11-23-2008, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Here's some pics, the first is the largest danio - the other two are much smaller and this one has quite a stomache - not sure if it might be pregnant? The 2nd is a couple of the guppies, the one in front is a tuxedo, and the one behind is the fancy which you can see the nice colors in the reflection. The 3rd is the bulb with the first growth.
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post #20 of 48 Old 11-23-2008, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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andulrich - do you have any pictures?
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