Want to get get a "fish tank" - Starter Help
I have a book shelf in my office that is used for random junk and would like clean it up and put in a freshwater tank with some colorful fish if possible and stock it as best I can. The shelf itself can easily fit 25x15x10 tank. With some math I can see that is ~16 gallon tank. Here are my questions.
Is that a small/medium tank?
Approx how many fish can I fit comfortably in this?
What all is involved in this "cycling" of the tank? What fish should I use for this? Do I get fish I want to keep in there forever? From what I have found it appears to be a 4 week cycle. There is extra cleaning and I need to recycle 10-15% of the water on a cycle or something.
Do I need/want a filtration system or air pump and how do they work?
Are there many types of food and do I need to consider what types of fish I get so I can use only one type to feed?
Live plants or fakes? Safe to have little ships and other items in there as well? When do I add those? What other items do I need to have in the tank? How deep do I make the pebbles on the bottom? Special type of pebbles?
I am reading on a couple sites but looking for some help from bf.c OT.
What say you guys? Looking for some guidance on a basic tank with as much "cool" stuff as I can have that the fishes will be happy
Also planning on stopping off at a local specialty store and see what they say about it as well. Would like to have some information before I go.
Also I see a lot of people seem to have 1 or 2 "algae eaters". Any particular catfish or small bottom feeder I need to put in?
Also if need be I can go to a slightly larger tank and maybe into the 20 something gallon tank. Wouldn't be the end of the world.
Re: Want to get get a "fish tank" - Starter Help
I'll just put my answers in the quote in bold.
Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions!
Thanks. After talking with a fellow BMW friend(bf.c OT) I think my main plan of attack is as follows.
5 Peppered Cory's
4 Oto Catfish
After it has stabilized with those fish I plan on trying some ghost shrimp and see if they get nipped at. Worst case my friend says they become a tasty snack and that is that.
Sorry I copy and pasted from bimmerforums.com where there are some serious fish tank guys :)
That sound like a good plan of attack? Debating on fishlike cycle or using the Danios and leaving them in the tank.
Sounds good to me. Ghost shrimp will probably work with that stocking list, depending on what gourami you choose. The shrimp are too big for the neons and probably even the cories to eat. I would recommend waiting until the aquarium is well established with some good algae growth before adding the Otos, though.
I was going to wait to add the shrimp as well.
I was thinking Flame Dwarf for the Gourami. That would work with the shrimp and others. Or recommended one for my stocking list?
I would wait however long it takes to get some good algae growth. In my experience, Otos are difficult to feed on any prepared foods and seem to only eat algae and vegetables like romaine lettuce and spinach. They're also very sensitive to water quality so it would be good to wait until the aquarium has been running smoothly with stable water parameters for a good while (I would say a month or two) after the last of your other fish are added.
Thanks for the tip.
Anyone help me with basic setup and needs to run live plants? Pros and Cons?
Live plants have a huge range of care requirements. I suggest you either look up the species you like and find out what care they need, or find a level of care you're willing to give the plants and then find plants suitable for what you can offer. For example, some plants survive (and even thrive) better in low-light conditions. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some plants need huge amounts of full-spectrum lighting in order to live, let alone grow. Some plants can get by with no special substrates or fertilizers, while others are nearly impossible without them. The substrates, fertilizers and especially the lighting for high-demand plants can end up costing quite a bit of money.
Aside from the cost, other "cons" of having live plants would be that they might get destroyed. Improper care but also your fish can destroy your plants. Certain fish are herbivorous and will eat many types of aquatic plants. Other fish, like many of the cichlids, will uproot plants or shred the leaves.
There are a lot of pros, though. The plants look great. They provide a natural environment for your fish that can make the fish feel more secure. Plants use fish waste as fertilizer and can help control your nitrate levels. Live plants compete with algae for nutrients and can therefore keep your algae levels down. Plants help oxygenate the water. Plants provide more surfaces for beneficial bacteria to grow on. If you plan on breeding your fish, some live plants are great for providing hiding places and food sources for fry.
Some of the easier to maintain live plants include hornwort, cabomba, java fern, java moss, some of the crypts and anubias.
Thanks for the quick run down!
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