New member & first timer
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New member & first timer

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New member & first timer
Old 05-02-2011, 01:44 AM   #1
 
New member & first timer

Hello all!

I am a 20 year old college student.
This is my first time being here on this forum, and my first time owning a freshwater tank. I've been reading all these forums and I wanted to try it out as a hobby. Interested in doing this and I'm excited to get started.
This being my first time, I am starting out with a 10 gallon tank (freshwater).
The tank is being set up currently. Gravel, filter, heater, conditioning the water.
No real plants (wanted to get it, but this is going to be my 'test run' before buying real ones w/ substrate)
I also have not purchased fish yet, but i will in a couple of days after the set up is complete.
I was thinking of starting out with platy and pleco, and MAYBE neon tetras.

Any suggestions on what else to do...and for the fish? Would be GREATLY appreciated... I'm just ready to get this going lol so I can be more comfortable handling it.
Going to get a pH test kit tomorrow.

I will post pictures of the progress of my tank setup, etc when I can.

THANKS!
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:06 AM   #2
 
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:15 AM   #3
 
Hello,

I am quite new to tropical fish keeping too. There is so much to learn. Pleco would be one of the last to put in in a more mature tanks as they are quite sensitive to water parameters and they need a good supply of algea to eat they tend not to eat the wafers till they settle in so you will pro
bably be looking at at least a 6 month min set up first. The neons are not very hardy as first fist ether. Platy would be a good choice in my opinion though. The plants would be a good idea to start with so you can get the tank right before you get the fish. With live plants I would suggest a substrate suitable as a medium to grow in under the gravel too. Once the water has
cycled ( fishless) the most info i can find suggests food or ammonia them the fish. If you decide to do it with fish def get a the hardiest ones you can find not neons or pleco they def won't be happy.
Hope this helps. Nice to meet you.
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Last edited by Mgray; 05-02-2011 at 03:19 AM..
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:55 AM   #4
 
Welcome! Glad you found this forum. I would actually get live plants, as you can actually stock fish right away if you have enough plants. The true question though is how many live plants you need....but once you start, you can't get enough. A couple of good intro plants: Anacharis are extremely efficient ammonia eaters, and plus they grow really fast. Anubis plants look very nice, and don't require that much maintenance as well. Finally, java ferns are nice as they don't need to be buried in substrate. Actually, all 3 plant species I mentioned prefer not to be buried, so you can actually have them floating around, or anchor them/tie them down to driftwood or rocks. The anacharis CAN be buried so its a bit more neat and organized, but its not needed.

I would get the API liquid master test kit, as this will be one of your most important tools in keeping your aquarium and fish healthy. Testing ammonia and nitrite levels are super important, as both are toxic to your fish if present in any way. Nitrates aren't as bad, but you don't want them to go overboard in your tank. pH levels are also important, as certain fish have certain tolerances from acidic to basic levels.

If you don't want to add fish right away, and want to establish your tank's bacterial colonies first, I would use the fish-less cycle. This cycle is basically growing bacteria that'll eat the ammonia and nitrite, which is really important as this gets rid of those toxins. How it goes is ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate. It takes a while, 4-6 weeks, but there are ways. To help speed up the process, I would get some pure ammonia *can be bought at ace hardware, the janitorial strength* some tetra safestart *petsmarts SHOULD start to carry this in stock now* or sea chem stability. Some people have their opinions on those 2 products, some saying it works wonders, other saying its a waste of money. However, general consensus is if you have it on hand, it won't hurt to use. You would dose your tank with pure ammonia, around 1-1.5 mL *I'm currently cycling my 12 gallon, so if you want to see pictures and my log, you can check out those threads* However, this is where the API liquid test kit comes into play. When dosing, you want to make sure you dose between 3-5 ppm worth of ammonia, so depending on your tank, even 1 mL can be too much. 3-4 ppm is actually the magic number.

I think this covers the basics, and if you have anymore questions, just let us know! Here are the links to the threads

[http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...me-line-69144/

and here's my setup.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...-gallon-68677/
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad you found us and joined.

In addition to what has already been mentioned, I would ask about your water parameters (tap water). Hardness and pH are important [you can find this out from the water supply folks]. This may determine fish that will be best, as some have preferences for health.

Also, some tap water contains ammonia, nitrite and/or nitrate, so it is good to know this beforehand in order to deal with it.

I certainly agree on having live plants from day one. We can go more into that later.

Byron.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:19 PM   #6
 
Thanks everyone and nice to meet you all!

I bought the API master test kit, which test for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I did the first test of the water today (after water was conditioned last night). I have not adjusted anything.

Temp is 78 degrees
pH comes out to 7.6+ (which is a bit high I assume)
Ammonia .25 ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 0ppm

Is there a way i could lower the pH level? Would this affect the fish/plant.

Tomorrow I will be purchasing substrate and Anacharis plant. driftwood also. so, once I get them I will do the tank set up again and do the test kit again with the substrate, plants, and wood in?

Once everything is stable I will get platy and danios as my first fish!
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:44 PM   #7
 
here's a picture of my first tank setup so far.

10 gal with gravel only.

50w heater and aqueon quiet flow power filtration.
20"hood with fluorescent bulb.

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Old 05-02-2011, 06:08 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
I bought the API master test kit, which test for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I did the first test of the water today (after water was conditioned last night). I have not adjusted anything.

Temp is 78 degrees
pH comes out to 7.6+ (which is a bit high I assume)
Ammonia .25 ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 0ppm
Good test kit, very reliable. This is the tank water readings, and as i see ammonia, presumably it is in the tap water. You should test just the tap water on its own for ammonia to confirm. Not really an issue, there are ways to handle this that i can explain if it is in the tap water.

Quote:
Is there a way i could lower the pH level? Would this affect the fish/plant.
Adjusting pH is not that easy, nor is it usually necessary. While some fish do need certain water parameters, others are adaptable within a general range. Livebearers (like the platy mentioned) require hard basic water, which you seem to have. Danio would be fine in this too, except for other reasons i'll come to. So adjustment is not recommended. I won't bog this down with science behind hardness/pH since I think you're fine as is.

Quote:
Tomorrow I will be purchasing substrate and Anacharis plant. driftwood also. so, once I get them I will do the tank set up again and do the test kit again with the substrate, plants, and wood in?
You won't need retesting until you have a fish. Once there is a fish in the tank, you will want to monitor ammonia daily, then nitrite. This is the cycling phase, and you can find more info here in this "sticky":
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

Quote:
Once everything is stable I will get Platy and danios as my first fish!
Danio are active swimming fish, and must be kept in groups. A 10g is going to limit this, and I would not recommend danio. You can read more about this in our profiles, of for example the Zebra Danio, one of the most common danio available. Click on the shaded name to see the fish's profile; all the profiles are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. We have many fish included, and info on tank size, numbers, water requirements, compatibility are included for each.

Libebearers will work, esp in your basic water. Platy, molly, guppy, swordtail. Though the space limits too many. And remember, if you have male and female you will very quickly have fry, hundreds, and many will easily survive.

Byron.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:42 PM   #9
 
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Come on I thought someone would say something! A pelaco in a 10 gal. tank dosn't scream NO to you they get big and even a small one would be uncomfurtable and they have HUGE bio loads so they would need a HUGE filter. And welcome to TFK.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:29 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guppie luver View Post
Come on I thought someone would say something! A pelaco in a 10 gal. tank dosn't scream NO to you they get big and even a small one would be uncomfurtable and they have HUGE bio loads so they would need a HUGE filter. And welcome to TFK.
Quite right. I'm afraid I made an assumption--always risky--that we were down to platy and danio now.

Byron.
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