Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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nrajeshkumar 03-15-2008 10:36 PM

Suggestion on setting up an aquarium from the scratch
 
I'm one of those many people who always have a dream of setting up an aquarium from the childhood, finally decided to do that now.. I'm planning to go for a 30 gallon tank. Kindly suggest me what type of a tank should I choose glass or acrylic, what brand and good place to get it for a reasonable price. What are the essential kids should i need to buy. It would be great if you can suggest me brands, models and pricing.

Thanks!
RK

Cody 03-15-2008 11:01 PM

Welcome to Fishforum, first of all. :)

30 gallon, that is a good size. I have one as well.

Glass or Acrylic is really a personal preference. Acrylic is better to see through, stronger than glass, but scratches very easily. Glass is almost impossible to scratch, but it is heavier and not as "pretty." I think Acrylic is fine in a freshwater tank. Brands are all over the place. Try using craigslist.com . It has great deals for many used fish tanks that often come wit everything. It is local, too.

The essential equipment you need to buy is a filter, heater, a stand, light, nessicary food and additives to whatever you have. A good Hang-On-Back (HOB) filter will do good. A good brand is Marineland. They have incredible products. Look into those.

coley 03-15-2008 11:10 PM

Acrylic is lighter, but will scratch easy.

What I prefer:
Glass tank, Aqua Clear filters (over size) and VisiTherm Stealth heaters. You can't go wrong with these brands.

www.bigalsonline.com

nrajeshkumar 03-16-2008 10:13 AM

Is Pet Smart is a good place for buying aquarium & fish ?

marinebiologist21 03-16-2008 11:34 AM

I don't have a PetSmart down in Bermuda, but when I visit Boston I take a stroll through there. Their tanks, products etc. are nice, but as with every LFS, they are limited in information about your fish.
(That's why we are here!)

coley 03-16-2008 11:49 AM

It depends on the store and how they are run. My local Pet Smart has a very nice fish department, but I've heard bad things about some others.

When you have some free time hang out in the fish department for awhile. Watch the fish. Are they alert and healthy looking? Are there dead fish in the tank? Are there employees helping people?

Be careful when taking advice from any fish store employee until you are sure they know what they are talking about. There are a lot of misinformed people out there.

nrajeshkumar 03-16-2008 12:00 PM

I'm not sure whether to buy a acrylic or a glass tank. Kindly suggest me which is the right one. Is that good to buy the tanks which comes along with the accessories like Top Fin, Marineland or to buy them seperately.

coley 03-16-2008 01:04 PM

Like what was said....the tank material is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong answer. I haven't had an acrylic tank so I can't say which is better.

I prefer to buy everything separately. That way I get what I want. I would buy the tank locally and everything else from Big Al's Online.

nrajeshkumar 03-16-2008 08:13 PM

Today I got a 29 gallon Top Fin glass tank with wooden stand, 20 pounds of regular Top Fin gravel, 2 pounds of colour gravel, Top Fin Water conditioner from PetSmart. I'm not sure whats the next step, I read somewhere that new tank need to under go cycle process. Kindly advice me what should be my next course of action.

Thanks..

miagrrl 03-16-2008 10:34 PM

be sure to rinse all gravel and decor. aside from gravel, you will need some plants to provide shelter and make fish feel secure.
if doing a tropical aquarium, most fish will require a heater. this will depend on the type of fish you want.

attach a background to tank BEFORE filling with water (much easier than when it is full)

make sure the tank is where you want it, cause it will weigh roughly 10 pounds per gallon (so when full, about 300 pounds). when its where you want, fill it up and put all your decorations in it.

set up your filter. what kind of filter did you buy? if its an undergravel filter, it needs to be the first thing in the tank. most people end of with an external power filter (hangs on the back). if so, put the cartridge in, and set it up.

now cycling- this is one of the most highly debated topics in the fish keeping community. you need time for your tank to aquire some beneficial bacteria, this takes a few weeks. if you are patient, then you will have a much smoother success and your fish will be healthier. rushing the process will kill your fish. there is a sticky on the forum about cycling methods, choose the one that you want and follow the directions. basically, you need something to start the bacterial process. the ammonia levels will rise over a few days-week, then rapidly fall to zero. at the same time the nitrite level will rise, and then fall to zero. then you are almost done.

once you have zero ammonia and nitrate, you can add a FEW fish at a time, a week or two apart.

so of course, you will need some testing kits. (liquid, not test strips)- for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. if you don't test, you won't know when the cycle is over, and when to add fish!

now the fun part, is planning the fish you want to keep! take some time, find some you like, learn about them prior to buying them. i would not trust petsmart to help you decide what fish to get, they often sell them irresponsibly. their job is to sell you fish, not to help you succeed! they often sell fish too big or in too small a numbers.

oh how exciting! hope this helps!

also, i website that explains the cycling process better than i can:
http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-cycling.html


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