Pictus Catfish - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-09-2011, 01:57 AM
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When first starting out things can seem to be a little bit overwhleming. But you are doing your research first which is going to help down the road. I would first find out what your local water is before deciding if you need to mix with bottled water. Most fish if tank raised are able to do well in range of hardness and ph. Some are a little more sensitive, especially if wild caught.

Doing a planted aquarium is easier than it may seem, a basic setup will work well with a T8 fixture over the tank. The big thing is making sure that you have the right bulb. If you have not come across it yet in the plants section of the forum there is a four part series on doing a natural planted aquarium which will explain more. It really all comes down to having a balance between lights and nutrients, and picking plants that are suited. There is a selection of different low light and moderate light plants that would work well.

Another article that would be good to read is one that covers bacteria in the aquarium and will help to explain the cycling process, which when starting out may seem like a mystery here is the link http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...91/#post757735

One other thing which I would recommend in investing in is a test kit for checking your water parameters. The one which I would highly recommend and many members here use is API master test kit. It has everything that you will need for checking for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. It also has the test for checking you ph. This is a liquid test kit, which is more realiable and accurate than the strip tests that are sold, and it is a better value for your money.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-09-2011, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Was just about to ask which test kit i should buy thank you for that, i was so worried when i seen i needed to test for like 4 different things haha, well right now i'm reading about the water deal, gunna try to figure out about our tap tomorrow, i was looking at 2 plants amazon sword and anacharis plant, there cheap and seem to be easy for starters or so i have read on a few sites, the kit i am looking into is Top Fin® Aquarium Starter Kit - 37 Gallon - Aquariums - Fish - PetSmart i'm not sure if it comes with right bulb and if i should replace any of the parts it comes with or not, so i'll throw the link out there for people who know more then me, i really only have about 180$ to spend this weekend so i'll have to wait on fish and stuff which i have to any way to wait on the cycle
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-09-2011, 02:27 AM
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Both plants should be good. I have swords in my tank, which was pretty much my first tank that I set up and went planted with it also. As for the bulb you will probably need to replace it, most of the bulbs that come in the kits are not very good, and with some of them they give off a purplish glow which some people like, but definilty not my preference. You will want a bulb that is around 6500 K, you may be able to find one at your local hardware store that will fit the fixture, you will want to find one that says either daylight or full spectrum. There are also bulbs that you can get at the store Hagen Life-Glo 2, ZooMed Ultra Sunlight a few.

Hope this helps Really need to get myself to bed, had promised myself would turn in early tonight due to a cold I am fighting, but as usual it is after 2 in the morning and I am still up. Let us know when you find out about your water. Also any questions that you may have just ask. One other thing thought of which did not mention, although will see in the plant series is with doing plants you will want to get a good fertilizer to add. Most use Fluorish Comprehensive, which works very well.
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-09-2011, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Well thank you very much for all your help i will let yall know as soon as i find out about our water, and i'm gunna be reading up more tonight!
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-09-2011, 02:17 PM
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Another couple of catfish ideas that haven't been tossed out are the Raphael Catfish and the Bumblebee catfish. I would add that both of these guys are skittish and tend to hide as much as possible. When I had them they would tend to come out of hiding only at feeding time. My large Syn does the same thing but due to his size I can always find him in the tank. Both of the aforementioned cats should be good for your tank. I had them between my 10 and 29 gallon tanks before I upgraded and went another direction.

20 Gallon Planted Guppy tank. Amazon Sword, Dwarf Hairgrass, Cardinalis.
55 Gallon -1 BN Pleco, 1 High Fin Syndontis, 1 Oto, ~18 Kenyi Cichlids
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-09-2011, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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so i went to my local store for the first time today, there extremely high on prices comepared to petsmart a 20gallon kit is 164$ which is more then the 37 gallon kit at petsmart for 149$ so i belive i am gunna stay away from this shop they had alot of fish but were priced way to high for me to afford
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-10-2011, 12:24 PM
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Decide on the tank, set it up swith filter, heater. Find out your tap water parameters (contact the local water supply folks, many have a website with data posted), you want to know hardness and pH. That will tell you what sorts of fish will work. Adjusting water hardness is possible but not exactly easy and can cause a lot of problems that harm the fish. We can go into this more once we know the tap water parameters and what fish you are thinking of. Someone referred you to the profiles, they each have paramters for the fish species, along with info on compatibility, tank sizes, etc.

A good rule to follow is never buy a fish that will not be suited at maturity (full adult size) to the tank you now have. Plans for larger tanks often do not materialize, and the fish suffers because of it. Fish also need adequate growing space all their lives, otherwise internal development can be affected and other health problems occur.

And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad you joined us.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-10-2011, 02:46 PM
Welcome to the boards. You will find many helpful, knowledgeable people here very willing to answer any question. I'm glad that you are doing all your research before you buy and are learning too. I just want to echo what's been said about the test kits.. the API Master kit is expensive at first but very worth it. It will last you a long time and provide very accurate results if the instructions are followed. (Did they ever fix the error in the shaking time for the nitrate ( or was in nitrite) reagent? It said 30 seconds but it needed to be 2 mins?) And it's cheaper than losing a tank full of fish.

One of the hardest things in this hobby is resisting impulse buying. I know it's hard when you see a really pretty fish, only to bring it home and find out that its incompatible.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that your local water department should have the parameters of the water they provide listed, and if they don't you can always call them and inquire. Your test kit will tell you many of the readings you will need though. It is also much easier to buy fish that are suited to your tap water rather than having to buy bottled water. As soon as you start messing around with pH and stuff like that the harder it is to maintain. Make things easier for yourself where you can.

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post #19 of 20 Old 09-10-2011, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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well i called about the water deal and no one could give me a straight answer, and funny thing today we got a letter saying our water may not be safe to drink for long periods of time so i'm guessing our tap water is out of the question cause of this, dunno if it would apply to the fish aswell but i figured i'd let yall know
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-12-2011, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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well i got my tank set up, and planted i got a big bag of plants from my local shop for 2.99$ so i could try out a few, i think they look nice, i bought 2 filter and pump settups but one seems to be good enough for now,
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