Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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GuppyColorMaker 12-25-2008 10:52 AM

-smiles big- You'll Never Guess What I Got For Christmas!!
For Christmas, Today, I got The 20 gallon tank! Yes, its true! It's finally In My Possession! However, the side of the tank is shattered, so were taking it back to get a replacement. Any ideas on plants? Heaters? I know you have to cycle it, but how do you do that? Where do I get Test Strips?, and... sadly... my mom is banning more fish.. I am going to add up on my tetras and Guppies, however, to make them more sociable. Here's what the box says about the tank::

Comes With: -Whisper 10-30 Internal Filter with cartridges.
-The Hood w/light ---the lights are this::15watts, T10(<--what does this mean?) and 120volts. how long should I leave it on for the day? I usually turn off the fish lights in the night, so when would i turn it on and off.

I am planning to get a Tetra 10-20 Aquarium Heater also. What should I set that at to keep my tank at a steady 78degrees? Can I have a stick on thermomiter, or do I need one with a string?

My Betta Fish is going into my 1.5 Gallon, and I have a Whisper 1-3gallons in there currently. Is that too strong for a betta fish? What filters would you reccomend? Heaters are going to be purchased, and what would you say about the heaters? What kinds of Heaters do you reccomend, or preferr. I am going to go along with the answers to the first thermomiter and buy two of the same kind that you reccomend.

Thank You for Reading and for Your Patience and Advice.

onefish2fish 12-25-2008 11:33 AM

i recommend a liquid test kit over the strips. API makes a decent one called the the "master test kit" they are about $35-40 in stores but you can order this online for about $20. just as long as you have a ammonia,nitrite and nitrate, pH tests you should be good ( the master kit comes with all of them )

T10 is reffering to lights. i believe T stands for Tubular and 10 is the size.

i recommend a submersible heater, and yes you can put a suction cup thermometer in the tank. about 78-80 is usually the temp for most tropical fish. i prob. wouldnt ever exceed 85

google "fishless cycle" or search for it on here to find how easy it is. really its a matter of "feeding the tank" and having patience.

hope that helps and congrats on the gift.

zachary4311 12-25-2008 06:31 PM

Read my thread on how long it takes for a tank to be ready. It will tell you all you need to know about the fishless cycle.

Thanks hope it helps

Oldman47 12-27-2008 12:14 PM

T numbers are the tube diameter expressed in eighths of an inch. A T-10 is a bit unusual but it would be 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Most common fluorescent tubes are T-12 or T-8. T-5 tubes are starting to appear and become more common recently.
Your question about getting test strips is best answered as: Do not get strips, the testing strips are notorious for being inaccurate, instead get a decent liquid type testing kit like the API freshwater master kit. It is best obtained from internet stores or eBay because the local pet shops tend to think the kit is made of gold.
Plants for such low lighting will be java ferns, anubias or java moss.

GuppyColorMaker 12-27-2008 12:20 PM

Would I be better off iwht fake plants? This is my first large tank ever...

Oldman47 12-27-2008 12:42 PM

It depends on the fish you keep. Some will do better with real plants because they like to browse on the algae that the plants will get. Some, like livebearers, need dense cover for their fry and a nice clump of real java moss is about the best cover you could get them. Others, like cichlids, like to arrange the decor to suit themselves and won't leave any plants where you put them anyways so for them real plants are not a good option.
I tend to have some java moss in all of my livebearer tanks and ad rooted plants to some of the tanks. In other tanks I have silk plants because they look better than the plastic ones. In a bare bottomed tank, all you really can do is leave silk or plastic plants because there is nowhere to plant a real plant.

Tyyrlym 12-29-2008 01:53 PM

Another thing about the liquid test kit, in the long run its cheaper than the strips.

I use all silk plants personally. That's unlikely to change in my main tank because it is extremely low light ~1/3 watt per gallon and 24" deep.

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