New to hobby and trying to set up 15 gallon tank
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New to hobby and trying to set up 15 gallon tank

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New to hobby and trying to set up 15 gallon tank
Old 02-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
 
Exclamation New to hobby and trying to set up 15 gallon tank

Hi all-
I got a betta the other day at my nieces urging-bought a one gallon to put him in initially-then next day up to a 2.5 gallon- today I wi;; be picking up a 15 gallon - to cycle I hope. Reading Amys thread has been very helpful in what to do. More questions tho-
Im gettin an Aqueon 15column tank(think tall and skinny) Given what I have learned here- I think I will keep my betta seperate in his 2.5 for now.
- Do I establish the plants from the get go?
-If I toss in a few pellets to decay is that enough to get the tank cycling?
-Should I add heater right away- or can it wait til I am ready to stock he tank?
So many questions and so little patient-LOL

Maybe this hobby will teach me how to be patient- you never know-

Also- how much do you think a 15 gallon tank will weigh(filled).
I need to make sure I have furniture to spport it.

Thanks,
Debbie
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #2
 
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First off, Debbie, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, and to the hobby.

Second, I moved your post out of the other thread, to start its own thread. This is better, as more will see it and be able to offer advice.

To your questions, starting with plants. Yes, plant the tank from the first. If you have fast growing plants, and floating plants fall into this category, you will virtually eliminate "cycling" issues. Plants need nitrogen, and they get it from ammonium. The ammonia produced by fish and bacteria is grabbed by the plants and changed into ammonium for their nitrogen.

When you get the new tank, set it up with your substrate, filter and heater, add water (with dechlorinator of course), and add the plants. I usually fill the tank maybe 3/4 full to plant it, then top it up. It's good to run it overnight to make sure there are no leaks, filter is OK, and heater is properly set. Next day, if all is well, you can add a few fish. As mentioned above, the plants make this safe.

I would leave the Betta in the 2.5 as mixing him in with other fish is not always successful. A 15g is not a lot of room, but there are a number of small fish available that will create a beautiful aquarium. We have fish and plant profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Some fish have specific water requirements with respect to hardness and pH, so knowing your tap water parameters is a good place to start. Hardness you can find out from the water supply folks. For pH you should;ld have a test kit and this is one thing for which regular testing is advisable. Many of us recommend the API liquid test kits.

Feel free to ask questions. And yes, one does need patience. This hobby works with nature, and nature cannot be rushed.

Byron.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
 
Thanks for the response and for moving this to a new thread/post Byron- I will see what plants are available- I'm not sure how many to plant- suggestions?
also- I love neon tetras so will look for compatibles for them-going back to the old thread to see what floating plants by name are- thanks again!
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debit202 View Post
Thanks for the response and for moving this to a new thread/post Byron- I will see what plants are available- I'm not sure how many to plant- suggestions?
also- I love neon tetras so will look for compatibles for them-going back to the old thread to see what floating plants by name are- thanks again!
Many plants are suitable, make sure there is one floating; several are in our profiles. Not only is this ideal for water stability, but all tetra love a roof over their heads. Should also look into the light, this is important.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
 
Thanks Byron- will look into- so far I have written down (for plants) water sprite (floating) Brazilian pennywort(planted I think) and horn wort.
Is three enough?
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:47 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debit202 View Post
Thanks Byron- will look into- so far I have written down (for plants) water sprite (floating) Brazilian pennywort(planted I think) and horn wort.
Is three enough?
Those are all fast growing, so good on that aspect. I like to have some substrate-rooted plants that do not get out of hand so fast, as stem plants do (regular trimming needed, etc). In a 15g, some pygmy chain sword would work well, also dwarf sword. Corkscrew Vallisneria esp if your water is basic and medium hard or harder. Crypts can provide some colour variety, as there are small reddish/brownish species, though crypts can be fussy. Any of these will provide some stability plant-wise.

Byron.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
 
Thanks again Byron what I ended up with is going to be for the beta tank- I got a moss ball and a peacock fern. I couldn't find any of the aforementioned plants. the guy that helped me to hight at petco-told me do have alot of aquatic stores(like local fish stores) he said thet]y have a way better selection thsn sny of thr big chain stores. Also holding of on the larger tank for a month or 2- I want to find the right tank- is tall and skinny like 15 column ok for fish or do they need more vertical space-
I'm going to try to check out one of the local stores this weekend. At petco the guy gave me a baby snail (about 1/5 inch or smaller) SO CUTE! to help clean the tank.Hpe spike is nice to him!
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
 
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Hi! I see Byron is helping you, and you lucked out with that! He is very knowledgable! But I thought I'd help ya out for now, since he might not be back on until tomorrow.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news... but the Peacock Fern is not a true aquatic species and will slowly die if left submerged. So since it is doomed, its not going to grow well enough to help grab up the ammonia. If you're able to return the fern, I think that is the way to go.

While you're there returning it, or when you get to a LFS (local fish store), you'll want to pick up an API Master Kit (like Byron suggested) with which to test your water parameters. Until you get that, I would be doing daily 50% water changes with a good water conditioner! Its also good to feed sparingly for right now. Are you already doing daily water changes? Do you have a filter on the tank? Do you have a heater?

If you think that it might take you a while to find some good plants, there's something (in addition to 50% water changes) you can do in the meantime to help out your little guy- Do you know anyone that has a HEALTHY tank (no diseases, excellent maintenance, NOT from a fish store) from which you could borrow a handful of substrate or a used filter cartridge? If so, adding this to your aquarium will introduce some beneficial bacteria that will jumpstart your cycle and help make the water healthier for your fish while you're getting it planted. To do this, you literally take the "seed" from one tank, keep it wet in water from the tank, and put it right into yours. The seed has to stay wet with tank water, can't touch tap water, and has to be transferred as quickly as you can. If you can't get plants right away, this will help!

As far as a 15g column... this shape will be limiting for you. The more surface area a tank has in relation to volume, the more fish you can put in it because the water has more room for oxygen exchange. Fish also have space needs due to activity level of a species, or territorial issues. For example, the stocking level for a 20g tank would be the exact same as the stocking for a 25g tank because the surfaces area is the same, they're just different heights. As a general rule, its almost always better to chose the tank with the largest surface area possible.

You're on the right track coming here! There are many very helpful people here. Pretty much all of us will tell you- don't listen to anyone from a pet store. We're here to help, and we're not trying to turn a profit. We just want to help you and your fishies!
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:05 AM   #9
 
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I concur. Surface area is always more important than volume. Now, there are some possible exceptions, but in general you will have a more interesting display with a longer rather than taller tank. Most of our common fish are shoaling fish and a group with swimming space is more natural. Always buy the largest tank you can afford and have space for; there are several advantages to this.
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