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New to the hobby!

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
 
New to the hobby!

Hey everyone! I'm new to this hobby, but i have read up on some stuff! I have a few questions and hope some of you guys could answer them.

How exactly can i test the water while doing the cycle. I've seen everyone say to use the liquid testers, but no one says exactly how.



When they say to change 15-20% of your water every week, how would you go about doing that? Is there any special process to take your water and put it into the tank?


What kind of equipment will I need apart from a tank? I have a luval 204 filter, a cleaning siphon, a thermometer, small "lava rocks" for the inside, stones for the bottom and a cover. I also have an air injector, but I'm not sure what to do with it...



And my main question is what kind of fish can i fit into a 30 gallon tank? I have a very busy life (I am a student at university) so I can't invest ours per day attending to the fish, but i can still look after them!

I'm looking for nice looking colorful fish, any suggestions on which species of fish go well together??


Thanks so much in advance!!
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:39 PM   #2
 
Hey everyone! I'm new to this hobby, but i have read up on some stuff! I have a few questions and hope some of you guys could answer them.

Welcome. I'm new here as well and re-new to the hobby as I was very involved years ago and just getting back into is again recently.

How exactly can i test the water while doing the cycle. I've seen everyone say to use the liquid testers, but no one says exactly how.
Follow the instructions that come with the test kit.("what....did he say read the directions?")


When they say to change 15-20% of your water every week, how would you go about doing that? Is there any special process to take your water and put it into the tank?
Use your gravel siphon and clean the gravel as you remove the water (very important in an established tank). If you do not have a Python or Aqueon type gravel siphon that hooks to the sink, you use bucket(s) both ways.

What kind of equipment will I need apart from a tank? I have a luval 204 filter, a cleaning siphon, a thermometer, small "lava rocks" for the inside, stones for the bottom and a cover. I also have an air injector, but I'm not sure what to do with it...
Sounds like all you're missing is a heater. I assume by 'air injector', you mean air pump, typically hooked to air stone or distribution to oxygenate the water.


And my main question is what kind of fish can i fit into a 30 gallon tank? I have a very busy life (I am a student at university) so I can't invest ours per day attending to the fish, but i can still look after them!
A general rule of thumb is 1" of fish per gallon when fully grown - often the fish you will buy at your LPS will be young and small and assuming they do well, many will grow much larger.
You will only need to feed them daily and check temperature. A weekly water change of about 30 minutes and a monthly water change, glass clean, filter maintenance of about an hour.

I'm looking for nice looking colorful fish, any suggestions on which species of fish go well together??
Really is personal preference. Do some research if you will mix types to ensure they 'play nice' in a community tank. Some fish can be very aggressive towards other fish.

Oh yea, stay in school....don't do drugs! <lol>
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etiennehache (04-06-2011)
Old 04-06-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
 
buy the liquid test kid and follow the instructions.

If you cycle w/o fish dont change the water during the cycle

For regular water changes, get a gravel vac and bucket. (you already have the siphon). For replacing water, just fill the bucket with tap water, dechlorinate the water with a dechlorinator, stress coat or prime are commonly used products for this, try and get the temperature as close to the tanks temperature as possible and pour the water in.

Air injectors are known as air pumps, they are used for decorative purposes usually but also help to keep your water oxygenated for fish. They encourage gas exchange so should not be used with live plants or they will remove CO2 from your water.

What kind of fish you can keep will depend on what kind of water comes out of your tap.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
 
1" per gallon is a terrible rule, some fish are more active than others and will need more room, other fish like plecos produce more waste than most fish and need more water. Its not safe to just go by 1" per gallon.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
 
Thanks for the help!

How much would a typical heater go for? (assuming its good for a 30g tank)

Can I get the dechlorinator at any pet store?

When you say "What kind of water comes out of your tap", do you mean the pH level of the water? If so, I found it to be at 7.8. What sort of fish would thrive in this pH?

Thanks again!!
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
 
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I think u should check out peaceful tropical comminity fish :) as they are soo colourful and get along lol u dont need fish killing each other yet :P
examples would be mollies, platys and guppies of course are pretty popular they are livebearers so that means they have birth to live babies! :) so u might not have to buy fish again cuz its so easy for them to reproduce in a tank :P haha
however tetras like bleeding hearts are really cool just make sure you get 5 min becuase these fish like to be in schools same with pretty much everyone actually ..

just go to the petstore and ask :)
its very important to test your water and know whats in your water the water might be hard or soft dependeing where you live but most fish u find in petstore can live in harder water which is the case with yiou im assuming since ph is 7.8 and its linked to the hardness and alkalinity since 7 is neutral anything above 7 is gonna be harder this means there is more mineral content in the water, just be carful some fish like discus prefer soft water some fish like cardinal tetras like it too to breed that is but will adapt to your tank when it is established :)

I would buy PRIME its more concentrated so more for your money about one capful per 50 gallons so one bottle will treat 2500gallons if u get the big one :) this removes ammonia and detoxifies the nitrates an
d provides a slime coat :) and helps try to balance out your tank unlike most other ones u can get.

change 25% of water per week is a good rule depending on how many fish u have test the water once a week before as well :)

the one inch per gallon rule is not bad for smaller fish obv your not gonna put a 14 inch oscar in a 14 gallon tank there are min requirements for some fish because of their swimming patterens :) an oscar for example should be in a 105 gallon tank min at aldult size ... ANYWAYS lol remember to add only 1 fish per 10 gallons per week since your new at this :) that way your not adding 20 fish at once and killing them all lol. but hey if you have good filtration u can have more fish but for begginers the one inch rule is good so u will never overcrowd with the small fish :)

p.s plecos and goldfish need 2 gallons per inch of fish starting at 20 gallons for goldfish and way bigger than a 55 gallons for a pleco at aldult size.

aslo reserch adding salt to your tank when getting livebeares as they tend to do better in a brackish tank :)
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:24 PM   #7
 
How much would a typical heater go for? (assuming its good for a 30g tank)
Probably about $20.

Can I get the dechlorinator at any pet store? If they have fish supplies they will have it.

When you say "What kind of water comes out of your tap", do you mean the pH level of the water? If so, I found it to be at 7.8. What sort of fish would thrive in this pH? I'll bet you have wet water coming outta yer tab <hehe> Couldn't resist, but like you, not sure what the author was asking.
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etiennehache (04-06-2011)
Old 04-06-2011, 09:28 PM   #8
 
any petstore that carries live fish should have all the basic equipment. heater prices vary depending on brand. For essential equipment like filters, and heaters, its generally better to go for the branded stuff and pay a premium, a bad heater can destroy a tank overnight and bad filters can quickly ruin a good tank.

For water chemistry, you should note not just your PH, but KH and GH as well since varying levels of water hardness are suited for different fish. You should also test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates since those will affect the health of your fish everytime you change your water.

KH is the carbonate hardness of your water, it will affect how much your PH changes. High KH means your PH will be more stable and resistant to change. It makes altering your PH for specific fish very difficult

GH is the general hardness of your water. This is the part that affects fish more. Its the minerals in the water, some fish like high levels of GH and others do not.

Although GH is generally linked with KH, if the water in your tap is run through a softener, like mine, you can end up with high levels of KH and low levels of GH. It's important to know this information, especially at the start of a setup, you can do without these readings later on if you dont do anything to alter those conditions like adding driftwood or peat to your tank/adding calcium, limestone.

Stress coat has additives that help fish recover their slime coat, its especially good for when adding new fish, netting fish for transport, and when the tank is getting over disease. Prime is more effective in that it neutralizes things like ammonia and is more concentrated than stress coat, allowing it to treat more water as aura09 mentions.

the fish profiles on this site has a lot of good information on various fish. Look for fish in your store that you like and then do some research before you purchase. Happier fish usually display better color.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:36 PM   #9
 
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Just a few fish that are good in 7.8 pH... (also, most of these are able to be kept safely with long finned fish that you may want that can be kept at this pH, as all fish I have listed are non-nippers). Be adviced that most of the fish I have listed require a specific sized group to be healthy and happy, you can click on the shadded name to find their profiles.

Zebra Danio
Glass Catfish
Spotted Driftwood Cat
Flame Tetra
Cherry Barb
Glowlight Danio
Platy
Odessa Barb
Rosy Barb
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
 
Thanks for all the help guys!

I just finished setting up my tank last night!! I plan on cycling it for a while and then getting some fish! I have a question though, are you able to keep plans while cycling the tank? Or will it kill them?
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