New to the hobby, need major advice on first tank and fish.
I have liked fish my entire life but never had the time to dedicate myself to an aquarium of any size. I had many other pets (Dogs, cats etc..) and with school and work extra time was non equidistant.
Life has changed recently and I have a lot more time to dedicate myself to keeping an aquarium and looking after fish.
Before I jump into anything large, I wanted to gain experience with a smaller tank, around 5-10G.
So, I came here to ask the knowledgeable members of this forum about a few things.
What fish are good for a beginner and experience and what do you suggest. Essentially, if you had to create a 5-10G tank for a beginner what would you put in it, from plants to heaters and fish.
Any help would be great.
Welcome to the forum! :D
Although starting out with a very small tank sounds like the easiest option, it may be better to begin with something a little larger. Water parameters change very quickly in a 5-10 gallon aquarium, which means a lot more attention must be paid to keeping it clean & stable. Starting with 10-20 gallons might make your first tank easier to keep and it gives you plenty more options when choosing fish.
I recommend Penguin and AquaClear filters. They're a bit more expensive than Whispers & Topfin, but well worth the extra money. Same for heaters - better to buy a good one than find all your fish frozen or roasted one morning. Marineland & Ebo Jager are good brands. Starting off with good equiptment is cheaper than buying junk and having to upgrade later...
As far as fish go, it depends on tank size and personal preference. Here's a couple that I recommend.
5 gal: Betta (male or female), Dwarf puffers (freshwater), small livebearers (Endlers or guppies... platies possible, but that'd be a stretch), African dwarf frogs, zebra danios
10 gal: Corys, small tetras (neons, cardinals, black phantom, glowlights), Killies, Platy, and any listed for 5 gallons.
There are more options out there, those are just some that I've enjoyed keeping. Always research any fish you're interested in -- never buy fish based on what the guy at the petstore tells you. Some of those people know what they're talking about, but if you're at a place like Petco or Petsmart, you won't always get good advice.
Whatever type of fish & size tank you choose, don't overlook cycling. A fishless cycle is best.
Are you planning on keeping live plants?
I was wondering, with a 10-15g tank, should I only keep a single fish? What would be a good combinations of fish to keep in a 10-15g (cold water or tropical it does not matter).
I was thinking about a betta, and have researched them quite a bit, but I was thinking maybe more then one species of fish might be better.
Well first off..welcome to the forum!
What type of fish do you like? Is there anything that you've had your eye on? Are you looking for an active tank? Something mellow? Tell us what you like and we can build from there
Don't get me wrong, I like bettas, but I wouldn't recommend them unless you are going to be content with ONLY having a betta, or having a betta and bottom-feeders. They can become aggressive towards other fish with bright colors or long fins, and can become picked on by small schooling fish. That being said, you could easily keep a betta and a small shoal of pygmy cories (which are cute and fun to look at) in a ten gallon tank.
If I were you here is what I would do: Don't even think about buying the tank new. Look on craigslist and get a good deal on the biggest tank you can afford (a 29 gallon would be great and so would a 20). Then look on ebay and get a good deal on a hang on the back filter by aquaclear. Also get a good heater on ebay. The tank may already come with this stuff in which case you are set.
Then look at some fish online, look for small community fish. See which ones you like and which ones will work for your water and what their needs are. Most fish will work for your water if it is not either extremely hard, extremely acidic, or extremely alkaline. Then post a list on here about the fish you want, that way you can get our input.
Here is the advice I will give you that I wish I had listened to, it holds true for almost every hobby: Buy the best stuff you can afford the first time around.
Good luck and report back!
Here is what I am going to do so far.
1. But a 10 gallon tank, with heater, pump silk plants (real eventually) and everything else needed.
2. In terms of fish I was thinking 2 Mystery snails, 1 African Dwarf Frog, 1 Betta fish.
I was wondering, if I could put more fish in, or is it to crowded. If I can, what fish would you guys recommend that won't piss off the betta.
I don't think it's overcrowded... you could add a couple more frogs, or maybe some fish. My bettas always got along well with corys & platies. But both of those need to be kept in groups, which could quickly fill the tank. I think you could ad a trio of either platies or corys along with the betta & frog, depending on how often you'll be doing water changes. But since it's your first tank, it wouldn't be a bad idea to leave it with just the betta & frog(s).
I personally think Bettas should be kept in a specie-only or singley with amphibians or inverts. Small Bottom-feeders should work. As mentioned, I would get 3-4 Cories.
You need to keep the temperature at at least 76 degrees for the Betta. Water needs to be hard with a high pH for the snail too.
unless you are really hooked on getting a betta - there are several really small species of freshwater fish that you can actually keep in a 10 gallon that i would suggest. i keep a small school of 6 harlequinn rasboras in a 10 gallon with 1 male cherry barb and three pygmy cories, and it makes for an interesting tank. the harlequinns school really tightly, and they are pretty active. they are really peaceful and get along with just about anythig. they might even get along with a betta.
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