Newbie Aquarium Tips Please! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-21-2008, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie Aquarium Tips Please!

Really grateful for some advice on a few areas please. Just bought a coldwater aquarium, positioned and supported correctly, washed out and installed gravel and a couple of ornaments (rinsed thoroughly too).

I've filled the tank with water directly from the tap and added the necessary amount of water conditioner. I've fitted the filter as directed and now as far as I know the tank is ready for our first fish in around 7 days. The store I am buying from kindly provide a service to test the quality of the water on the day I go for my fish.

My queries are, I want the very best for my fish can anyone see anything that I have missed or may also be interested in? I saw a whole range of products at the shop that just seemed to make it complicated, weekly water conditioner, stress coat etc does anyone reccomend any of these ongoing ttreatments?

Lastly, my filter is fitted as standard with 2 foam pads but also provided with 2 additional filters, one polyester and one carbon. I've read about what these filters do but I'm not sure when they are to be used exactly? Are either necessary at the start of the aquarium settling, or wait to use them at times of heavy medication or maintenance?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-21-2008, 04:50 AM
willow's Avatar
hello and warm welcome to you. :)
wow!! new tank,fantastic. :)
now then,without a sorce of amonia to start your cycle,
your tank is not,and will not be ready for fish. :( sorry.
the local pet store will say to you "yeah your water is fine"
you'll pick your fish and within a couple of days they will become i'll
and could die.
so now don't panic,all you need to do is follow this advise
and we'll have you up and running with fish in no time,
the time in which your tank needs to build up the bacteria in the filter
gives you time to look up the fish you want,even looking at them at the shop.write down the ones you really like the look of and want
then come back and run the list by the folks here,and we'll beable to
let you know if they are the right mix for your tank and water conditions.
and buy yourself your own test kit!! it's an aquarists right arm.
you get to know what your quarium water is doing,without having to check at the shop. we tend to use API most of us here,not the test strips,
they seem not to be as reliable.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-21-2008, 06:26 AM
1077's Avatar
congrats on the new tank. Willow is right ,a test kit such as API freshwater master kit is needed. The tests that use strips are not that accurate. You have added the water and conditioner( one that removes ammonia, chlorine, and chloramines. you have the filter and heater running too? Good! Let the tank run for ten days without fish. after 10 days purchase four or five SMALL fish such as pristella, or blood fin tetras. You can always take them back or keep them after the tank has matured or cycled. These small fish will not cause spikes in ammonia, or nitrites for you will be feeding them once a day sparingly.after these fish have been in the tank for ten days, go purchase a couple(two) more SMALL fish maybe a platy or two. Again you are adding small fish that will not contribute to spikes in ammonia or nitrites. Leave these fish in the tank for ten days and then go purchase maybe a couple corys ( you can add more later.) Leave these fish in the tank for a week . again you will have been feeding SPARINGLY and the fish are small so no spikjes in ammonia or nitrites will cause harm and you have been allowing the tank to mature slowly while enjoying fish as well. At the end of this week change out roughly 10 percent of the water with cnew dechlorinated new water. After this WEEKLY water changes of 20 to 25 percent will be needed to ensure the health of your fish. you do NOT want to change the filter during the process I described as this will be where most of the GOOD bacteria needed for breaking down the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates is found. Once you begin the WEEKLY water changes you can remove the filter material and swish it around in the old aquarium water you take out at water changes and put it back in. DON"T clean anything in the aquarium with tap water unless that water has been treated with dechlorinator. DON"T add cycle this, stress that, or PH up or down All you need is DECHLORINATOR and try to make the new water close to the temp of the tank when you do water changes. A gentleman on another website offered this method of maturing a tank and I can not accept the credit but if you follow this method ,your tank will mature naturally AND you can be slowly enjoying fish as well. I have used this method numerous times and it works. Good luck and let us know how things are progressing. :)

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-21-2008, 07:37 AM
Flashygrrl's Avatar
Here's a link to all you really ever wanted to know about the tank "cycle"...and then some :) Enjoy!!!

This is the song that never ends...
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-21-2008, 03:44 PM
Go fishless :D . By that I mean do a fishless aquarium cycle. It seems as if you really care about your fish, and the easiest way to start a tank without any casualties is a fishless cycle. I would recommend that you google "fishless aquarium cycle" and read up about it. I did it for the first time and got a complete cycle (no problems then or later) in 10 days. Be aware that it can take considerably longer though. If you are confused, feel free to ask and I will explain it to you. As for the filter, I would use the polyester pad (this is a place for benificial bacteria to grow) but don't use the carbon. You want the tank to cycle, and the carbon will remove the ammonia that is essential to the cycle. Also, if you go fishless, then you won't have any "cycling" fish that you have to rehome or work into your stocking plan. Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to ask!
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-21-2008, 11:52 PM
iamntbatman's Avatar
You said it's a coldwater tank - what sorts of fish are you planning on having? And how big is the tank?

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