New member needs help! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-27-2010, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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I am a new fish owner and I just got a tank for christmas. Here are my details about it. 1.5 gallons, air pump mechanical filter, LED Light on top, 6 ghost shrimp, 4 small tetras? and a snail. I need to know what temperature the tank should be kept at, and should I always leave the filter running? also how often should I feed them and clean the tank. Thanks so much in advance!

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post #2 of 5 Old 12-27-2010, 11:13 PM
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I can't answer all of your questions, but I can fro some :) Welcome to the hobby by the way! It is truly a rewarding one. For sure you will want your filter on all the time, temperature I am unsure of. For cleaning I myself do a 30% water change once a week, and have heard of many others having success with that amount of maintenance, but each tank will need specific things so feel it out. Just a helpful hint, never change your water more than 50%, as you'll lose a lot of beneficial bacteria.

Hope I started you on the right track. Enjoy and Good Luck :)

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-28-2010, 05:44 AM
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Hi Jake, welcome to the forum.

Can you post a picture of your fish so that we can help you identify their type? Different fish have different preferences for temperature. Or, have a look through the different types of tetra in the Tropical Fish Profiles, second tab from the left at the top of the forum and see if you can find your fish there. Somewhere around 22-24C might be ok, but definitely try to find out what sort of fish you've got to see what their preferred temperature is.

Have a read of this:

1.5 gallons is very small and not really big enough for the fish you've got. It will be hard to keep the ammonia levels low enough for the fish's requirements. You'll need to do water changes every day. Do you have some dechlorinator? You need to use that every time you change some water. Your aim is to keep the ammonia levels low by changing the water. Is there any chance you could get a bigger tank?

As for feeding, only feed once a day, the tiniest little bit of food, just a flake or less. If the fish gobble it all up straight away, you can give them a tiny bit more.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-28-2010, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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I couldnt find my exact tetras but they are a silvery/clear color and they have a sort of white and black striped fin on top of them.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-28-2010, 11:44 AM
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I'd suggest you get atleast a 10Gallon tank. You can find a complete tank setup at petsmart for just under $40 i believe which includes heaters/filter and all that. It's a good deal because a tank and filter alone costs well over $40. But you may be talking about black neon tetra's maybe? Tetras should be kept in groups of atleast 5 but i guess 4 can manage for now. But you'll need to cycle your tank before they can live happily in there. Cycling is the growth of bacteria in oyur tank that will take care of ammonia and nitrite levels that are harmful to your fish, which will ultimately create nitrate, which CAN be harmful if it reaches high levels. If you want to keep fish in your tank while it cycles, i think you should get some danios, because they are very strong and hardy. I do not think the tetras would be able to go through the cycling process so you should try to relocate them with a friend or somewhere where the levels aren't gonna go high. Or do water changes frequently until your tank is cycled. but a 10 gallon tank is perfect for 6 shrimp, tetras, and a snail. And possibly some other fish (if you get danios, you can keep them there too). My 10 gallon has 7 neon tetras, 4 kuhli loaches, and a male guppy. It used to have 6 White cloud minnows, minus the loaches, but i removed them because they desire a colder water temperature.

To cycle.. with fish..
Setup your tank, add dechlorinated water and add heater/filter and let it run for,, lets say 30 mins, then SLOWLY introduce your fish (Danios, minnows. STRONG HARDY FISH ONLY AT THIS STAGE). To do so, just float them in a bag in the tank water for about 15 mins then get a cup full of the tank water and put it in their bag. This is important because the water parameters are different and so you need to adjust them slowly to new water. Another 15 mins later, add another cup full. If they seem fine, release them into the tank (do not put the water from there bag [fish store water] into the tank). They will produce ammonia. Soon after, there will be nitrites which is a sign of bacterial growth that consumes ammonia, making your tank safer. Soon after that, you will get nitrates, which is also a sign of bacterial growth which consumes nitrites. The process usually takes 4-6 weeks, but when i was in a rush to cycle my tank, i just bought Tetra Safe Start and my tank was fully cycled within 1 day. Beware, some people have NOT had success with that product, i did though.

Another note.. danios, minnows, tetras, etc. need to be kept in schools of atleast 5 to feel secure and happy. Some people may say that I am wrong about having so many fish in my tank, but i had well over 12 fish in my 10G tank for over 6 months, all fish healthy and no signs of aggression. The minnows and tetras actually schooled together happily:O So you can get 1-2 more of your tetras, and then keep the fish that cycle your tank (it's your preference, i used White clouds mountain minnows. They prefer colder waters than tetras though, that's why i removed them from my tank) So you still have room to add a couple more fish if you go with a 10G. or better yet, a 15G, or a 20G, etc(:

Sorry this is so long. This is all i know from my 7 months in the hobby. haha Goodluck!

Last edited by mjbn; 12-28-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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