want to start fish keeping, need advice
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want to start fish keeping, need advice

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want to start fish keeping, need advice
Old 09-09-2009, 04:07 AM   #1
 
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want to start fish keeping, need advice

I need some advice on what types of fish to get. I'm brand new to fish keeping, not counting the couple goldfish and guppies that i had when i was young, parents took care of them. I'd really love to start up a new hobby in this. What I'm thinking is a 10 gallon glass tank on top of a desk, for starters. I can purchase and prepare simple foods, tank heaters, thermometers, water filters, ph testers, tank cleaning tools, and simple water treatments for the water and fish....as a beginner, this is what I'm willing to do. I'm not interested in breeding nor am I interested in having a huge population tank, yet. So I wouldn't like to have a fish that likes to have females around, I think i'll be going all male. I'd like for the fish i have to be as happy and healthy as possible, this is where i need the advice. What should a beginner of my sort start with? I find fish such as male bettas, varieties of goldfish with large fins, colorful fish, black fish, and calico fish all to be attractive to the eye. I don't want too overpopulate my 10 gallon tank, I want the most healthy environment possible for whatever fish I have, but I would like to have at least 2-3 fish. I'd also like for the fish to be a "hardy" fish, since I'm a noob, and I'd like for the lifespan to be 5+ years, the longer the better. I was thinking maybe a single betta male as the focus for the tank, with a few less fancy tankmates, or a few finy goldfish by themselves. What direction should i take? Can i get some advice on what types of fish to get? Any information about plants or fake decorations would be appriciated. However, I assume the care and upkeep on real plants may be a bit too much for me to start with. Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:43 AM   #2
 
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Welcome to Fishforum.com, Blacklabel3!

I see you already have grasped a few things. It's a very good start and quite honestly, as feeble as this seems to be, I am very happy that you are willing to learn a lot of things in the hobby. Not all people have the attitude that you have. It shows that we learn to accept a lot of things and no matter how this hobby may seem simple, there are some things that will become complicated along the way but with patience, we can easily handle them well.

I assume you already are familiar with the nitrogen cycle. That's the first absolute step we must take once we have the desired tank. I would recommend you buy the complete liquid test kit by API. API is the most reliable brand you will find in the hobby. Many hobbyists, beginners and experienced aquarists alike, vouch for its reliability. I suggest you invest in this one as it also lasts you almost a year depending on your frequency of usage. pH is not the only variable that we need to test. We must test three other essentials, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. If you have not yet, please take the time to read this article for nitrogen cycle.
Freshwater Cycling Methods

Secondly, as I have a passion for goldfish myself, I cannot resist taking the time to bear down on ths subject so please bear with me as I point out a few issues why goldfish are not appropriate for the 10g. This may seem overwhelming but I do not intend to discourage you on this if you have your heart set for some goldfish. We can find out a solution there.

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes goldfish do grow quite big and I mean big. Perhaps "big" is such a relative term but honestly, the fancy types such as orandas unsurprisingly can reach 10-12 inches. It's not often something achieved with 8" as the norm but it does go to show how big these fish actually get. My own oranda Summers is at leasy 7" currently and is the biggest monster I have right now. Fancy types need 15g per fish as the general stock guideline for this particular group. This is not limited to orandas only. It will include fantails, ryukins, ranchus, pearlscales and many others. If at all possible, a 55g shall be the minimum especially as you cannot keep the goldfish individually. They are sociable creatures that really need their company in order to thrive. I'd suggest keeping at least 3 as the minimum. A 55g will readily accommodate any fancy types by at least 3-4 in number.

If you hope to keep common goldfish/hibuna, comets or shubunkins, these ones grow much larger at 12-18 inches in size bracket. They also require plenty of space. If you hope to keep at least 3, a 75g shall be the minimum tank size. Allow a space of 20g per fish on this category.

I would not advise combining both the pond and fancy types. Pond types tend to like their water temperature a little colder at 70-74 degrees although the fancier types can do well with 72-76 degrees. Besides this issue, the pond types are feistier and can easily outcompete the fancies for food. The ryukins and fantails may be the exceptions. I do not have issues keeping watonais, shub and comet myself with the ryukins.

Goldfish can live for at least 20 years if provided good care assuming we can avoid a lot of fatal health issues along the way. They tend to be resilent but this does not mean we can keep them in poor water conditions as that will not maintain their good health for some time.

My goldfish tanks are barebottom and I will maintain mine this way. Goldfish do poop a lot which is the primary reason I keep my tanks barebottom besides the powerful filtration system and tremendous maintenance. The gravel previously made maintenance for me much more tedious but that's all over with now. I keep plants in containers. You do have to make sure your goldfish will not eat your plants. They are omnivorous and have a huge appetite for plants. I tried several plants and they get eaten. Within an hour, all they leave is a plant stalk with nothing else. So far, vals and cryptocoryne plants are the only things that survived well. I'm in the process of trying Pistia stratiotes for them.

If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:01 AM   #3
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum! Lupin is the goldfish expert!

If you do decide to start out with a 10 gal tank, that is a great size for a betta and some cory. The bad thing, bettas don't live much longer than 3 years. Do read through the link on freshwater cycling. Knowing how to cycle a tank, is so important if you want to keep your fish happy and healthy.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:31 PM   #4
 
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I glanced over the cycling methods page, I should be able to handle that. I've saved the page and I'll give it a very close look later on tonight.

Well, it sounds like my goldfish idea wouldn't be so hot in a 10g tank. I may not be able to afford a nice large tank, considering all of the supporting equipment I'll have to buy to keep my fish healthy, walmart has a 10g glass tank for 12 dollars, pretty good deal. I'm a full time College student and I can't afford to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on this, I'd love to build up to that in the near future though. I'll check around and see if can find a good deal on a larger tank online or something of the sort, lemme know if you have any good resources for things like that.

If I do end up staying with the 10g tank I'm going to veer away from the goldfish for now, but the betta and the cory sound like a good option. It's too bad the betta don't live longer .

From what I've read, it's better to buy betta fish from breeders and not from pet stores because of the short life span. I'd like to get my betta as young as possible, and I've read that bettas in pet stores could be 1-2 years old. Can someone recommend me a good online breeder to order from? I'll browse the classifieds on this website later on for such things, probably look for a deal on a tank too. I'll probably just purchase my corys from a petstore if I can find some that I like around here, unless that's a bad idea too....??

Lupin and twistersmom, thanks for the help!

Last edited by blacklabel3; 09-09-2009 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:46 PM   #5
 
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Keep an eye out on Craigslist.com for a uesd tank.
Sometimes you can find complete setups for dirt cheap. Only a couple of my tanks where bought new.

Do check here to see if anyone is breeding and selling bettas, Aquabid.com also has lots of bettas for sale.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:18 PM   #6
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklabel3 View Post
I glanced over the cycling methods page, I should be able to handle that. I've saved the page and I'll give it a very close look later on tonight.

Well, it sounds like my goldfish idea wouldn't be so hot in a 10g tank. I may not be able to afford a nice large tank, considering all of the supporting equipment I'll have to buy to keep my fish healthy, walmart has a 10g glass tank for 12 dollars, pretty good deal. I'm a full time College student and I can't afford to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on this, I'd love to build up to that in the near future though. I'll check around and see if can find a good deal on a larger tank online or something of the sort, lemme know if you have any good resources for things like that.

If I do end up staying with the 10g tank I'm going to veer away from the goldfish for now, but the betta and the cory sound like a good option. It's too bad the betta don't live longer .

From what I've read, it's better to buy betta fish from breeders and not from pet stores because of the short life span. I'd like to get my betta as young as possible, and I've read that bettas in pet stores could be 1-2 years old. Can someone recommend me a good online breeder to order from? I'll browse the classifieds on this website later on for such things, probably look for a deal on a tank too. I'll probably just purchase my corys from a petstore if I can find some that I like around here, unless that's a bad idea too....??

Lupin and twistersmom, thanks for the help!
If your interested in keeping bettas I suggest you visit the betta section. There is lots of useful information there.

They bettas you get at pet stores aren't always the best. However you sometimes find them in really good condition. (Most big name pet stores are good, Walmart sometimes is not)

You will be able to keep 3 bettas in your aquarium, divided of course. The dividers are cheap and simple to make using this guide.http://www.fishforum.com/diy-aquariu...ividers-21866/
The mesh sheet can be found at Walmart in the arts and crafts section for $0.89 cents!

Substrate can be sand, and its extremely cheap. At Home Depot it can be about $5 for 50lbs. It provides a nice natural look. Just make sure you wash it plenty of times. Here is another guide. http://www.fishforum.com/freshwater-...utorial-28436/

Many people decorate their betta tanks with fake plants and a terracotta pots, (also very inexpensive). However you can use pretty much anything as long as its safe and non toxic.

Betta's are quite hardy in my opinion, and many illnesses can be treated with aquarium salt.

Your bettas would need a heater and filter as well.

Food can be floating betta bits, hikari bio-gold pellets is another popular one.

If you need anything else just ask. Once again I highly recommended you go to the betta fish part of this forum and read read read!

Trevor
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:40 PM   #7
 
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i noticed you were looking for a fish that would live 5+years and something hardy all in one. my very first fish ever was a 2 tiger oscars. when i got them i was in the same boat as you were anxious and all inot it. well my hobby and passion grew and so did my tank. now keep in mind oscars will get close to a foot long or more when they are full grown, you cant really put much else in the tank with them either, i will say this though i had the two of them in a 10 gallon and the tank cycled with them in it. they wernt completely happy in there and needed atleast a 55 for the two of them. i suggest cichlids as your first fish just stay away from angels as they can be kind of sensitive to water conditions. just google Good Begginer Freshwater fish and it should come up with some pics and the info your looking for. Money
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:40 PM   #8
 
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Breeders are much better. Besides quality guaranteed, you will know their actual age. Some breeders make logs of their age. This makes it easier for you to track their lifespan.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:30 PM   #9
 
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I'm pretty sure that I've decided to go with a 20 gallon tank. I've found a good deal a "starter kit" 20g tank. Includes a cover/light and filter. I'm going to be adding a heater of my own, and i'm going with the sand on the bottom of the tank. I'll also be adding some decorations/hiding of some sort, not sure what yet. I'm going to fill the tank with a single male betta, from a breeder, and I'm going to try to find some corydoras at a local shop.

I've looked over the aquarium cycling, I'm going to be able to handle that just fine. However, that does suck to have to wait soooo long to actually get the fish in there. I'm still going to cycle though.

I may add some swordtails, or maybe anther betta with a divider (if i can figure out a way to let the corys pass underneath it while still keeping the betas divided.) I'm doing a minimum of 1 betta and 5 corys, does anyone think that adding to this would cause too much of a "Bio-load," as i've seen it called, to the 20g aquarium? If it's even close to too much in the tank, I'm going to stick with the original 1 betta, 5 corys.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #10
 
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A 20 gal will make a wonderful home!
I don't think you will be able to divide it for two bettas and still have room for the cory to swim through. Bettas are pretty good at getting around borders.
There are a few fish, that are said to sometimes do well with male bettas, but I will leave that info to other betta keepers, because I have only housed my male bettas with cory, cherry shrimp, and snails.
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