starting a beginner tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-09-2013, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Question starting a beginner tank

Hello !!

My mom and I want to get some tropical fish. I only kept goldfish when I was younger, so this is new to me, but my mom has kept guppies and tetras before.

Personally I love bettas, and was looking at getting one, with some neon tetras and coyrdoras. But my mom really likes guppies, mollies, damios etc. and so do I, so I am willing to scrap getting a betta. What sort of fish are good for beginners ? and what sort of tank is a good size (I know that is a very vague question. depends on the amount of fish we want etc. and most of the fish we have chosen mentioned are community. here is a rough list of what we would like -

Danios (zebra or leopard)
Mollies
Swordtail
Tetra (neon or cardinals)
Corydora
Guppies

Those are the major fish we would really like to have. are they all compatible with similar environment setting ? what is the minimum community ratio per fish ? I know those are quite a lot of fish, so I assume the tank would need to be fairly big, otherwise keeping them in a small tank would be cruel. if I had to narrow it down even more I would have to say Guppies, Danios and Tetras are on the top of our *must have* list.

So what are people's opinions or suggestions ?
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-09-2013, 08:53 AM
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if you want my honest opinion…get a nice big tank…if you can accommodate
a really big like 4ft act go for it..the bigger the volume of water the more
forgiving toxins can sometimes be,
there are bargains to be had…crags list…ebay….sometimes you can get
the whole set up for a very good price.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-09-2013, 11:17 AM
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Danios, which like a school of 5 or more, will determine the tank size. They are active swimmers and want to roam. Check the fish profiles here: Freshwater Fish Profiles

Danio: Cyprinid Species

Tetra: Characid Species

Guppy: Livebearer Species

Welcome, both, to the forum.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-09-2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela001 View Post
Hello !!

My mom and I want to get some tropical fish. I only kept goldfish when I was younger, so this is new to me, but my mom has kept guppies and tetras before.

Personally I love bettas, and was looking at getting one, with some neon tetras and coyrdoras. But my mom really likes guppies, mollies, damios etc. and so do I, so I am willing to scrap getting a betta. What sort of fish are good for beginners ? and what sort of tank is a good size (I know that is a very vague question. depends on the amount of fish we want etc. and most of the fish we have chosen mentioned are community. here is a rough list of what we would like -

Danios (zebra or leopard)
Mollies
Swordtail
Tetra (neon or cardinals)
Corydora
Guppies

Those are the major fish we would really like to have. are they all compatible with similar environment setting ? what is the minimum community ratio per fish ? I know those are quite a lot of fish, so I assume the tank would need to be fairly big, otherwise keeping them in a small tank would be cruel. if I had to narrow it down even more I would have to say Guppies, Danios and Tetras are on the top of our *must have* list.

So what are people's opinions or suggestions ?
You forgot platties.

I agree you should get the biggest tank you and mom can afford.

Click on the link in my signature for "my" way of starting a tank.


best tank ever!!!
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maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-10-2013, 10:05 PM
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What kind of tetras are you interested in? There are many difference species.

I also agree with getting the largest tank you can accommodate. 55 gallons are a great size to work with.

Make sure to read up on cycling a tank before you begin, to brush up your knowledge! :)

Welcome to the forum!
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-11-2013, 01:22 AM
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Well everyone agrees get the largest tank, no bigger than a 55gal to start, that you can. Keep in mind it is floor space not hieght that matters.

All the fish you listed can go together. I would strongly suggest you check out Celestrial Danios before making a final decision. They put the rest of the danios to shame. Avoid Giant Danios as they can get nippy. A 30L-55gal can hold a good size danio shoal of 10-12 fish. Their bioload, poop factor, is low so no worries.

The livebearers, guppys, mollys and swords can all hybridize. I'd go with guppys and swords to cut down on the likelyhood. You could also go with all males of each type. Can I suggest getting some Endlers Livebearers and swords or mollys? The Endlers likely can't hybridize with the swords or mollys nearly as well as guppys. I can also tell you that a group of 6-10 Endler males would look awsome with some nice contrasting swords. Just a side note, swords and mollys can get up to 4 (+) inches and male mollys can be sort of aggressive. The swords, mollys and platys for that matter all have moderate bioloads-Mollys are the worst due to the veggie content of their food.

As for tetras, Neons or Cardinals look very nice, but the size of your other fish would lend itself to Cardinals over Neons for durability sake. Either way a shoal of 8-12 or larger is not pushing the limit and the bioload is low. I would also suggest you check out Penguin Tetras and Harlaquin Rasboras. Two shoals of 6-8 each looks very nice. Lemon Tetras, Penguins, Glowlights, Head and Tail Light and Black Neons are others I would look at. Stay away from Serpeas, Black, White and Skirted Tetras as they are fin nippers.

For your bottom dwellers, nothing beats cory cats. Do yourself a big favor, don't go with regular Aenues Corys, go for Pandas, Julis, Paleatus or something different. In a 55gal, two shoals numbering 6 of different corys would look nice and is doable. If you plan on adding plants, like java moss, then you could also get some Red Cherry or Blue shrimp for the bottom along with the corys. The other fish will eat most of the baby shrimp, but a few will survive to keep the group going. Depending on the aquascaping, stuff on the bottom, you could get a pair of CPO Dwarf Crayfish. They are too small to really bother the corys once full grown.

Last but not least, there is no reason not to try a betta. I have bettas in with every single fish mentioned except the danios and that is because I don't have any danios now. You could also go with pigmy gouramis such as Licorice or Croking Gouramis. They are very colorful and won't cause problems. I'd avoid the regular and dwarf gouramis due to the potential for aggression. If you are compelled to get a full size gourami get one male Pearl Gourami.

Keep posting up and good luck. If you have questions post up or you can P.M. me.
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