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fish for cycling?

This is a discussion on fish for cycling? within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> thanks for the reply, it turns out i have an 15 gallon not a 10 but still to small for the angelfish i guess. ...

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:04 AM   #11
 
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thanks for the reply, it turns out i have an 15 gallon not a 10 but still to small for the angelfish i guess. i'm stuck with him however.
i've complete;y revised my stocking plan however, i'm going to make it a corydoras species tank :)
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:13 AM   #12
 
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oops forgot to mention tank is bare bottom...
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:16 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by dorabaker View Post
oops forgot to mention tank is bare bottom...
My recommendation is to add a substrate, especially with bottom fish. Small grain smooth gravel will be your best choice under the circumstances. Dark colour or natural, nothing bright or multi-coloured; the fish have to live on it. There are a couple reasons for a substrate.

A host of bacteria live down there, and they are very good. Plants need it for roots, and the fish you are contemplating like plants. The gravel will also keep cleaner than bare bottom unless you are prepared to siphon it off at least once every day. Considering the benefits of a substrate, I would not choose this route.

Corys love sifting through the substrate, it is their prime natural activity. Fish provided what nature intended for them will be happier fish, and that means less stress which means better health.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:37 PM   #14
 
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i do see your point about the substrate, although i find it much easier to maintain tanks without one. at some stage i would like to maybe put a sand substrate in but not yet...the tank's only just started up. maybe once its matured a bit. sand would be ok wouldn't it? i've always used sandpit sand in the past and washed it very thoroughly. just one question though, how do you siphon a sand substrate without sucking up the sand? gravel is even worse IMO because it can block the siphon tube. even though it does look nice.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:41 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by dorabaker View Post
i do see your point about the substrate, although i find it much easier to maintain tanks without one. at some stage i would like to maybe put a sand substrate in but not yet...the tank's only just started up. maybe once its matured a bit. sand would be ok wouldn't it? i've always used sandpit sand in the past and washed it very thoroughly. just one question though, how do you siphon a sand substrate without sucking up the sand? gravel is even worse IMO because it can block the siphon tube. even though it does look nice.
Something is at odds here, let's sort it out.

First, a bare-bottom tank is more difficult to maintain and takes more work to do so. Breeders use it because it is "easy" to maintain near-sterile conditions [some would argue how "good" this actually is, but...we're not considering breeding here], but this is certainly not "natural" for any fish. As I mentioned, there is a host of good bacteria needed in a natural healthy aquarium, and they have to live somewhere and the substrate is one of the best places.

Second, sand is not "easier" to keep clean. It readily compacts, which gravel also does but far less often unless you neglect regular maintenance or something is wrong. Some plants need a deeper substrate, and sand over 1.5 to 2 inches depth is ripe for compaction. You can't siphon it, you have to "stir" it or run a fork/rake through it, etc. Malaysian livebearing snails help as they burrow through the substrate eating minute particles of this and that. Sand is workable and looks fine, but it has its own set of issues.

Gravel also has issues, but they are easier to handle. What sort of siphon did you use that it sucked up the gravel? The best implement is one of those water changers that have a large-diameter tube (about 2 inches across I think) for maybe 8-10 inches, attached to a smaller-diameter tube (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch across) and the wide end is inserted into he gravel to stir it up; the suction is just sufficient to pull up the gravel, which tumbles around and falls back, but the detritus is sucked out. You can get larger versions called "Python" that attach to a faucet like a garden hose; for larger tanks these are essential to avoid hauling buckets and buckets of water.

Byron.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:56 PM   #16
 
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i just have a piece of plastic tubing about 1 cm in diameter (i think). i know, i'm a terrible fishkeeper i used to have a piece of tubing the same diameter as used for air pumps and that was terrible for gravel - at least the larger one doesn't get blocked.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:35 AM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by dorabaker View Post
i just have a piece of plastic tubing about 1 cm in diameter (i think). i know, i'm a terrible fishkeeper i used to have a piece of tubing the same diameter as used for air pumps and that was terrible for gravel - at least the larger one doesn't get blocked.

A terrible fish keeper is someone that is unwilling to learn and practice new ways. That is not you. You are here to learn and that is a far cry better then many people. Hopefully you will take the information you gain here and put it into practice. Gravel is pretty inexpensive. For a tank your size, one large bag should do it. I have found it for as low as $10.00 a bag. The siphon's I have seen around that same price. I think if you just get one or two things at a time, in no time at all, you will have an awesome fish tank and very healthy, happy fish. I think Patience is the key to successful fish keeping. I have been reminded a few times of this myself.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:39 AM   #18
 
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thankyou inga :) the price doesn't sound too bad. i will have to accumulate things slowly though (and that includes fish!)
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:41 PM   #19
 
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thankyou inga :) the price doesn't sound too bad. i will have to accumulate things slowly though (and that includes fish!)
Gravel is least expensive if you can buy it in bulk. Some fish stores carry bulk gravel, usually the "natural" colour sort of buff/brown which is fine, some also have darker gravel (like the one in my 90g flooded Amazon forest tank). You buy these by the pound and they will be half or less the cost of packaged gravel, and just as good if not better. Years ago I had packaged black gravel lose the colour and became blue, very disconcerting. Just make sure you get inert gravel, not calcareous gravel like coral or dolomite or that made for cichlids as these will raise hardness and pH.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:01 PM   #20
 
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Gravel is least expensive if you can buy it in bulk. Some fish stores carry bulk gravel, usually the "natural" colour sort of buff/brown which is fine, some also have darker gravel (like the one in my 90g flooded Amazon forest tank). You buy these by the pound and they will be half or less the cost of packaged gravel, and just as good if not better. Years ago I had packaged black gravel lose the colour and became blue, very disconcerting. .

Hm, yeah that would bother me quite a bit. God only knows what chemicals your fish had to deal with when the black stuff came off the gravel. I purposely searched out a natural colored gravel. I was going to go with black but I really liked the look of the natural beige.

dorabaker, There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing it one thing at a time. Heck, that is 1/2 the fun. You get to have Christmas more often with new presents. lol First gravel, then a siphon. Just put a couple of dollars away each payday and soon you will have everything you need. Maybe even a larger tank, who knows. Do you ever check craigslist or anything like that? I see tanks on there all the time. I have seen 30 gallon tanks as low as $15.00 with the filter. Keep your eyes peeled you might be able to get a really good deal. Get a larger tank, then you might be able to have some of those other fish you were thinking about.

My goal is a 150 gallon tank but that is a ways off. I ran out of money with this tank. ha ha
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