Just barely got a new fish tank! 16 gallon bow front aquarium.. could use advice!
Hi, so, I just barely got a new aquarium! It is a 16 bow front aquarium. The only thing is it is missing a strip light apparently. Is it terribly bad if it does not have a strip light? What could I use instead of buying a $40.00 strip light? I will get one if I do need one but I was just curious. Does it have to be a specific strip light for a bow front aquarium?
Also, what are some starter fish you would recommend? I have never had fish in my life but I went to PetsMart and asked a ton of questions and I guess I know the basics. You need to have the water chlorinated first and then set everything up in the fish tank, the heater, the filter and put the rocks in and stuff. Then, you need to let it run for 48 hours before you put fish in. Then you put 3 fish in, and then 3 more fish in every 2 weeks? How many fish can I have in a sixteen gallon fish tank if I want to put in some Molly fish and maybe some other schooling fish? I am excited for my new fish tank but worried I will kill them all so any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Welcome to the forum! I took the liberty of doing a * cut & paste* of the information that helped me learn about cycling a tank. After reading if you have further questions (I did!) ask away :-)
"Cycling a tank is the process of culturing colonies of beneficial bacteria in your tank. Fish waste (urine and feces), decaying plant and animal tissue and decaying fish food all create ammonia in your tank. Ammonia is highly toxic to fish and can kill them even at low concentrations. In order for your fish to survive in a fish tank, they can't be exposed to ammonia. Luckily, there is a type of bacteria that converts the harmful ammonia into another chemical called nitrite. As ammonia is introduced to your tank (either by adding fish or another ammonia source) these bacteria multiply. Eventually, there are enough of them to completely convert any ammonia that is introduced to the tank into nitrite. Unfortunately, nitrite is just as toxic to your fish as ammonia, if not moreso. However, there is a second type of bacteria that converts this nitrite into nitrate, a chemical that is only harmful to fish in very large concentrations. As the first type of bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite, the second type of bacteria begins to grow in number. After more time, there are enough of these bacteria present to convert all of your nitrite into nitrate. After both types of bacteria are established, your tank is "cycled." At this point, you should never have detectable levels of ammonia or nitrite in your tank and you only need to do water changes to keep the nitrate levels in check.
There are two ways to cycle a tank, fishless and with fish. When cycling with fish, the fish you add act as the ammonia source during the cycle. However, because the ammonia and nitrite that are produced during the cycle are toxic, you need to do water changes frequently when cycling with fish to keep them alive. The second way is to cycle without fish and use some other ammonia source, such as pure ammonia, fish food or even an uncooked shrimp. This is the preferred method as it allows you to stock the tank as you please (instead of with the fish you cycled with) and also doesn't subject any fish to ammonia or nitrite poisoning.
The best way to monitor the progress of the cycle is to get a good liquid test kit like the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It contains tests for pH as well as ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Testing the water lets you know exactly how far along the cycle is and when it's over, and therefore when it's safe to add fish.
Since the bacteria that you grow during the cycle aren't waterborne (they live on surfaces in the aquarium like the gravel, decor and especially the filter media) you can transfer some of these items over to a cycling aquarium from an established tank to help speed up your cycle."
covered the cycle very nicley there :)
the only thing i would like to add is Welcome :)
and if there is any chance that you know anyone with an aquarium,ask them if they would
be willing to share some filter media with you.
just wanted to clarrify, you want to DE-chlorinate the water of chlorine and chloramines.
mollies,guppies and swordtails are all livebearers and reproduce like jack rabbits. they wont really school but will more or less swim all over the tank.
WOW!!!! NEVER EVER ASK PETSTORE PEOPLE FOR ADVICE!!! WAIT ATLEAST one week before adding fish. don't ask them what kinds of fish go in a 16 gallon either cuz they once reccomended a 2 foot pleco 4 my 5 gallon!!! only add 2 fish at a time unless they are small schooling fish. I would go with 3 ottos, 4 guppies, ten ghost shrimp, 1 mystery snail, 5 zebra danios IF you have real plants in your tank. if not than you are severly limiting to number of fish ou can have an the tank. Oh, and wait about 3 months before you get the ottos cuz they need a well established tank!!!!!
Don't you have to wait until the tank is fully cycled to start adding fish?
first off drama is right, cycling a tank come first. your right about "petstore people" to a certain extent. Not all "petstore people" dont know what they are doing but when it comes down to it they are all sales people trying to make sales.
As you contradicted yourself about ottos you are right, they are sensitive fish and need algae present in a tank to graze on.
Guppies are good begginer fish but if you get males/females plan on having babbies.
So, I guess I am confused about cycling. I put tap water in the tank and then what? Sorry, I've never ever had a fish tank before so I don't know all the fancy wording. I understand how they need the bacteria I think. Sorry, thanks for helping me! :)
Invest in two buckets that will only be used for your aquarium, or just one if you want, I use on that has litre marks on the side, my bucket is 15 L.(3 gallons)
DEchlorinate your water and fill your tank only20% full. Rinse your grave or whatever you're using l (aka substrate) really well and put in your tank gently. Add your decorations. Fill your tank completely( or just half and then here you can add live plants if you want). You can use a plate to break up the stream of water so don't damage or move anything around.
When you tank is full, make sure you got good spots to place your heater and your filter and your hose for your air pump. Heaters usually need like and hour to calibrate with the temperature of the water BEFORE it is plugged in so read your manuals. Make sure you've got your filtration all together by reading the manual , NEVER turn a filter on without water in it.
For they cycling, either use fish food, uncooked shrimp , or live fish like danio's to be your source of ammonia in your tank. (ammonia = bad and harmful)
The ammonia will soon be converted to nitrite (nitrite = bad and harmful)
The nitrite will soon be converted to nitRATE. (nitrate = not so bad and not so harmful)
And invest in a good test kit to test your water parameters. The API Master test kit is the one that is usually reccommended.
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