Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Trish 04-01-2008 10:11 AM

Have an empty tank- what now?
Hi all.

I have a 25 gallon aquarium. It is currently sitting on the ground, waiting for inspiration.
I've been lurking the site for a couple hours, and I know that I have to buy a bunch of stuff, cycle the tank, etc etc.

Where do I start? Is there a guide somewhere on how to place everything within the tank? I'd like to use live plants- at least eventually.

I'm a complete and utter beginner with this. I've had 1 gallon betta tanks before, but have never cycled or anything like that. I work at a pet store so I have have access to the products... at least most of them. I'll probably get the fish (not for a while!) at Big Al's...

Someone, please direct me to the magical place where I can find out how to do this properly! :lol:

herefishy 04-01-2008 12:00 PM

Trish 04-01-2008 12:03 PM

Oh excellent... Somehow I missed that. :?

Is it easier to start with silk plants? Or a mixture of each?

herefishy 04-01-2008 12:18 PM

Doesn't really matter. If you intend to use live plants, initially or down the road, I would suggest using a plant substrate from the start. A product like Eco-Complete for Planted Tanks.

Trish 04-01-2008 12:21 PM

Okay, I'll look for that.

In your opinion, what is/are the best fish to start with? I don't want to get something really complicated... :wink:

okiemavis 04-01-2008 05:12 PM

There are plenty of great fish to start off with. Basically you want to avoid 3 kinds of fish: picky eaters, fish that require very specific water parameters or fish that grow very large/wasteful.

Lots of people start off with live bearers, as most are very easy and inexpensive. Personally, I'm not crazy about them, because then they have lots of babies which I then have to figure out what to do with. Different fish like to hang out in heights of the tank. Some are bottom dwellers, some stay near the top, and some are all over the place. It's nice to get a good mix of fish, so different areas of your tank are occupied. Why don't you look around and see what you like and we'll help you plan around that

Trish 04-02-2008 02:33 PM

Okay, awesome. I'll worry about the kinds of fish after I'm sure everything has cycled properly.

I have another question.
What level should the PH be at once everything has cycled?
What is the best type of ammonia/nitrite and nitrate test kit?

I'm a tad confused about the whole cycling process.. even though I've read all the threads about it! :?

Fishfreak55 04-02-2008 04:25 PM

ok i'm not the most experienced but i know quite a bit. For the fish i suggest looking around the pet store (shouldn't be hard for you since you work there) and see what fish appeal to you eye. Then you can go and research them on the web or i like to go here and get peoples opinions . As for the PH im fairly sure it differs on the type of fish you get. I would go get a Master Test Kit that is usually about 30-40 dollars that i have seen will test up to like 800 times. ok cycling the tank it goes like this. Your tank needs to get bacteria to grow because your fish let out ammonia in the form of waste. The bacteria turns the ammonia into nitrite, then they turn the nitrite into nitrate. The nitrate is more tolerable and makes th e tank less toxic. From there your plants and partial water changes take care of the nitrate. Hope this helps :D Good luck on the fishies...

Flashygrrl 04-02-2008 04:42 PM

Go with API or Red Sea liquid not get strips.

As for ph, generally the easy fish do fine with a range of levels as long as the ph stays stable in the tank. That means no adding chemicals to bring it up or down because that can cause toooo much trouble.

Trish 04-02-2008 05:43 PM

Fishfreak- We don't sell fish... so that makes it kind of difficult! :lol: The closest GOOD fish store is an hour away, so I'm going to have to make several trips. Thanks for the clarification on the cycling! I'm going to see if I can get a plant or something from my friends established tank... just so I can get the cycle started.

Flashygrrl- Sounds good. I'll see what I can find!

THANKS guys... I predict I'll have a million more questions soon!

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