Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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cMc 11-07-2008 11:21 AM

How long do I have?
Hi: I have a 46 gallon freshwater aquarium with one fish - a pristella teta. She was 7 years old and died last night. I know I've got to get more fish to keep the filter healthy, but I want to completely redo the aquarium with large rocks, etc. and get new fish that like that environment. My question is, how long do I have to do the research and buy the supplies before the filter starts going bad? It's due for a vacuuming now, and I guess the leftover food would help keep the filter okay for a day or two, no?

Also, I would like to add a lot of colorful fish, both large and small, but they need to get along and have different territories (top, bottom, mid tank)? I like the cichlids, but I understand that you have to very careful in your choice of those. Maybe some schooling fish too? I have no clue. My setup is a 46 gallon with the large Emperor filter that hangs on the back, and a uv sterilizer. Standard light for daytime and a moonlight for nightime.

Any help would be appreciated on what fish I should choose and how quickly I should get them in there to protect the filter would be appreciated. Thank, Cheryl:roll:

fish_4_all 11-07-2008 12:01 PM

Keep adding small amounts of food to keep the filter and surfaces healthy with the bacteria and you will be fine. As long as you keep an ammonia producing agent in the tank it will keep the bacteria alive. Remember to add fish slowly so that you don't have an ammonia spike.

cMc 11-07-2008 12:12 PM

Thank you. Now I can relax and do some research on which fish are compatible, and buy the supplies for the new setup. :-)

Amphitrite 11-07-2008 12:40 PM

Sorry to hear about your tetra, and best of luck with your new setup. Any ideas as to any of the type of fish you fancy getting in the future?

cMc 11-07-2008 01:15 PM

I haven't set my mind on any specific type of fish yet, but I do want some colorful ones. I saw a blood parrot once and thought I'd get one when Cochise passed away, but then I learned how controversial they are so that's out. I'm really open to anything as long as they're colorful and are happy with each other.

I made a bad choice with my first fish. One had babies and the neon tetras ate them. As time went on I was left with just Cochise. I've come to the conclusion that I need ALOT of fish, so when that happens I'll have so many I probably won't even notice. LOL It's just nature I know, but it broke my heart to see the little ones gulped up.

Any ideas?

iamntbatman 11-07-2008 01:47 PM

There are so many different types of fish, it's really impossible to give you ideas. I recommend looking at a list of different types of fish to get an idea of ones you'd like to have. Then, you could ask us here which ones would be appropriate for your tank and we can give you some feedback. Here are some good pages which give info on all sorts of fish:

Freshwater Fish: Freshwater Tropical Fish Species for Tropical Fish Tanks (Different categories of fish are listed on the right hand side)
Tropical Fish Profiles, covering the care and upkeep of many aquarium tropical freshwater fish
Aqualand Pets Plus (fish are listed on the right hand side)

Before you go looking, here's some general info on the types of fish:
African Rift Lake Cichlids: These aggressive fish come from the rift lakes of eastern Africa and have very particular water chemistry requirements (although they are mostly hardy fish). They are best kept with only other fish from these lakes.
American cichlids: Some of these can grow very big, aggressive, and predatory and thus aren't good community residents and many grow too large for your tank. There are some smaller species that would work, though.
Dwarf cichlids: most dwarf cichlids are less aggressive than the bigger cichlids and many can usually be safely kept in a community tank (although they can be aggressive towards one another)
Barbs: most barbs are schooling fish. Some get very large, and many can be fin-nippers so caution must be exercised when putting them in community tanks.
Tetras: tetras are usually schooling fish. Most are peaceful but some can be nippy. They usually stay fairly small.
Loaches: many loaches are schooling fish, but many also grow fairly large and some can be aggressive. There are several that would work well in your tank, though.
Plecos: many of these get very large, but there are several types that stay small enough for your tank.
Cory catfish: there are many species, but all of them are schooling bottom feeders that are good community fish
Livebearers: guppies, mollies, platies, swordtails and others - all of these fish breed like crazy so you'll need other fish to control the fry population. You could also keep only males to avoid the breeding issue. Not schooling fish so smaller numbers can be kept.
Danios: peaceful schooling fish.
Rasboras: similar to danios
Rainbows: active schooling fish, these can sometimes get fairly large but there are many that would work in your tank.
Anabantids: includes bettas and gouramis, among others - many of these fish are aggressive with their own species but can be good community residents. You'll want to avoid nippy fish if you're keeping anabantids.

Then, of course, there are all kinds of oddball fish that don't fit into these categories, so have a look at them, too!

Kim 11-07-2008 01:52 PM

You can just use some PURE ammonia instead of fish food. It makes a LOT less mess, so it will be easier for you when you get the tank ready for more fish :-D.

cMc 11-09-2008 11:21 AM

Well, problem solved! The night after I posted my question, in walks my 12 year old granddaughter with two huge bags of fish. They were the most colorful fish I've ever seen. Green, orange and red. In the other bag there was this huge, black, strange-looking fish. Turns out the colored ones are glow fish, and the black is a ghost-knife fish. My ex-daughter-in-law had talked with a fish guy she knew, explained my setup and he told her that, with the moon light, the glow fish would be awesome. Boy is he right! They are absolutely gorgeous, playful and friendly. I read up on them and supposedly they injected the eggs with a gene from a jellyfish to give them their color. They soak in the light in the daytime, then glow at night like little Christmas lights when the moon light is turned on!

The big black fish is really shy. His face looks like a seal, and his fins run the length of his body, on the bottom. Then the tail is like a striped stick. Strangest thing I've even seen. Had to do some research on him for sure. He likes bloodworms. Bought some frozen bloodworms and he loved them. Got him a huge castle to hide in, as well as a couple of other hiding places. He doesn't come out at all when the daylight light is on, but as soon as I turn the moon light on and the bubbles full force, out he comes to eat. He is an electrified fish. He can give you a jolt if you're not careful. I don't know if he does it with his tail or what. That hasn't happened to me yet but I'm sure it will eventually. I don't care - I love the little guy! (Could be a girl though...don't know... LOL)

Supposedly, I can expect a lot of babies with the glow fish. I'll have to put something in there for them to hide in. Don't know if Mr. Ghost (black fish) will eat them or not. Anyway, thank you so very much for your suggestions and advice. If you know about these fish, I would love to hear advice on caring for them too. I'll try to get a picture posted, but I'll have to figure out how first.

Thanks, Cheryl

SolaceTiger 11-09-2008 12:26 PM

Pictures? :D

cMc 11-10-2008 12:31 AM

Pictures :-D

Originally Posted by SolaceTiger (Post 151338)
Pictures? :D

Here is a link to some pictures of the glow fish. I couldn't get a clear picture of the orange and green ones though.

I'm reading more and more about Mr. Black and now I'm worried. He may eat my glow fish. I really don't want to give him up though...:cry:

Image of Yellow Glow Fish - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Image of Red Glow Fish - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Image of Whole tank - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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