New 15 gallon tank... lots of help please - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-05-2007, 04:23 PM
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my fish aren't too finicky either, but they are all living long lives, so I must be doing something right. I prefer to keep my PH where it should be for the fish I seems to make them happier and healthier.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-06-2007, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Reun
Starting up:

Cycling the tank:

When you get everything in the tank how you want it, follow the directions on the cartons of PH buffer and de chlorinator. Fill the tank and start the filter. Now comes the waiting game. Let the tank "Cycle" for a week or two. If you bought a amonia testing kit, test the water every few days, in a few days you will see the ammonia level spike, then it slowly goes down. after the spike, it is ussually safe to start adding fish.
Lots of great advice but I will input this:

In regard to cycling- Read read read! Make sure you understand how to cycle a tank properly. I think that is where most new to the hobby get into trouble. if you do a "fishless" cycle as explained above you will have to add something (fish food, ammonia etc) to get the bacteria to start, otherwise it will start when you add the fish, which is not a "fishless cycle". I am a huge fan of BioSpira. I cycled my tanks, with fish and no deaths, in 1 week.

Get hardy fish. Especially if you are in school and may need to move the tank. You will want fish that can handle the stress. Zebra Danios and Golden white clouds are great examples of hardy fish. Anything in the "minnow family" really. Moving a tank can be a real hassle, so make sure you know what you are getting into regarding size, etc.

Check compatibility-bettas and tetras for the most part do NOT get along. Most tetras are known fin nippers. Golden white clouds (which are very pretty) get along great with bettas and would have a beautiful contrast to a dark betta.

Stay as far away from pH chemicals (and other additives other than dechlorinator and melafix). Get your fish used to the new water slowly, by adding a little bit of tank water at a time to their transportation container (drip acclimation method). Playing with the pH is asking for trouble, I speak from experience on that one.

I love real plants, but unless you the have time to devote to maintaining them, I would go with artificial plants (the material ones look very real as opposed to plastic) and add a few real ones, which absolutely fools the eye. You can't tell when you have both. If you are in school the last thing you want to do is have to trim plants when you should be studying (or partying ).

So that is my input. I hope it was helpful along with everyone else's suggestions. When you get your tank set-up, post a photo so we can see what it looks like!


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-06-2007, 01:07 PM
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imo if you got the time, a big tank shouldnt be a problem. perhaps even easier to maintain..... maybe get a 10 gallon its not to big and not too small perfect for use in school. but i dont think you should move it around much.

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post #14 of 16 Old 04-06-2007, 04:40 PM
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my concern is that he may be refering to moving the tank from dorm to his home over the that case I wouldnt get anything bigger than a 15 gallon, and for the amount of fish he wants a ten gallon will be too small.

I have used Cycle(R) and some other types of bacterial starters, they work ok, but the fish food in the bottom of the tank for a week seems to work as fast and generally is safer.

Keep in mind most betas are VERY hostile, they are bred that way, and most kill large tetras or fish with long fins.

Maintaining the tank is much easier when you have a bottom feeder, and if you have cherry barbs as they pick dropped food off the bottom of the gravel. 3 corys may not be a large school, but I have 2 corys that survived out of a school of 7, and they are happy, normal and healthy. they frolick and play, and if two make good companions 3 should be ok. I have in my 10 gallon a south american bumblebee catfish. excellent bottom feeder and can be kept solo and only grows to 2.5"...however they are very rare at fish stores, so good luck finding one.

Cherry barbs not only rarely poop, making them perfect for smaller tanks, but they clean the substrate and are very fun to watch, thats why my suggested load out of:

3 Bronze or Peppered Corys
1 Male cherry barb(beautifull bright red)
2 Female Cherry barbs(brown in color, easy to tell the differance)
1 Dwarf Gourami(dont get a full size gourami, they grow 4 inches or more!)

makes the most sense to me.

Keep in mind you can also add one of the cherry barbs first, then wait a week and add the other two cherry barbs, then wait another week and add the corys, another week and add the dwarf gourami.

the tank will be cycled then...remember to buy a ammonia test kit! and the start up products like cycle can't hurt! it may take your tank a week or two before you can add the first fish, but by playing the waiting game you will have fewer fish deaths and a healthier tank!
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-06-2007, 04:46 PM
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i have 1 cory remaining out of i think 4 or cherry barbs hardly poop? lol. well igues thats ok. maybe transport the fish in abucket or something while moving your tank....good luck

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post #16 of 16 Old 04-11-2007, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys

thanks for all the help...
im thinking some lemon tetras, then some cories, then a dwarf gourami, then some shrimp or snails.. but itll be a week or two inbetween each addition and ill make sure the tank is cycled. if anyone knows the quickest or easiest way to cycle, let me know
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