Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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CSGirl 02-17-2009 02:10 PM

New 30 freshwater gallon tank
Hi guys!

I'm excited- this is my first tank. My dad has had tanks my whole life (freshwater, saltwater, reef, seahorses, pretty much everything!). He's giving me his 30 gallon tank.

I've been doing some reading, and I'm planning on doing a fishless cycle. There's only 1 real fish store near me, so I'm planning on going and checking it out, and see if they can give me some gravel to jump-start the cycle.

I know the tank I'm getting has filters, but I don't know the details, so I'm sure I'll be back with more questions there. :)

I'm hoping for some advice as to what to stock the tank with- I want to stick with non-aggressive. I'd like some neon tetras, but I've heard those aren't good to start with right after the cycle finishes- is that true? I've also heard to wait on angelfish. Are guppies okay? Also, are there frogs that could live in that tank with non-aggressives? My husband wants frogs lol.

Also- are there any good resources or does anyone have advice on tank design? I want somethat that'll look nice, but I'm not very creative. ;)

JohnnyD44 02-18-2009 10:53 AM

Welcome to the Forum!

First off, you need to figure out if the filter you getting has been running a tank or if it's been sitting in a box. If it's in a box, it's probably dried out by now and all the beneficial bacteria has dried out and is dead. Also, if your Dad is giving you his 30G does it come with subtrate and decorations? I ask because, both of them hold beneficial bacteria which can speed up your cylcing process(if you need one). If he is handing over an established tank (gravel, decorations and filter media) then you may not need to re-cycle, but if he's just handing over a big piece of square glass.....fishless is the way to go.

Your filter details will also be helpful in being able to pick how many and what type of fish you want to use. More fish = bigger bio load(waste), which you would need a better filter.

There are ton of different ways you can stock your tank, but again, that also depends on what size tank you are running, if it's a basic 30G tank, it's probably (L x W x H) 36" x 12" x 16". That opens up your options more so than a 30G tall. The longer the tank, the more room your fish have to swim around.

- Tetras would do fine in just about any community tank, however they do need to kept to a school of 6 or more.
- Guppies work well too, but they are livebearers, which means you're probably almost guranteed baby guppies.
- As for the angel fish, I believe they may need some more height than 16", I could be wrong, someone on here will be able to help you out on that one. I've never tried to keep angel fish.
- don't know about the frog either

Maybe you can look around at your LFS(Local Fish Store) and pick some fish you would like the people on here will be able to help you with the compatibility.

Many people have different opinions on how to decorate a tank. Some people like a dark background with light colored gravel, some people prefer dark subtrate with a dark background. It's really a personal preference. I personally like a dark blue background with a white/sand colored gravel, with some light colored driftwood. It's all your personal choice.

Hope this gets you started, I'd also wait for some of the experts around here too!

CSGirl 02-18-2009 12:10 PM

Thanks! Unfortunately he'd been using the tank for saltwater, so I assume I can't use any of the gravel/substrate- is that true? And I believe the last setup was a reef tank, so there were anemones and live coral, and not much in the way of decoration.

I *think* the tank is more rectangular- it may be more than 16 inches tall. I'll have it this weekend, and I can check.

A specific angelfish question- the one I had when I was younger (I think it was a similar sized tank) was black and white, and had very long fins- anyone have an idea what it was?

I'm going to go to the lfs this weekend and talk to them- it's the only one nearby (besides Petco or something like that) so hopefully they're good, and have some selection.

JohnnyD44 02-18-2009 12:29 PM

Sounds like you'll need to start fresh, you may even need a new filter....I'm not too sure about that. I don't know how a filter from a saltwater would do in freshwater tank. Some one on here may be able to help you that. I'm leaning towards needing a new filter and subtrate....maybe we both can learn something here!

You're angelfish may be a marble angelfish.....that is a complete stab in the dark as I know nothing about angelfish.

CSGirl 02-19-2009 09:09 AM

Okay, more info. The tank has built in filters, they use replaceable cartridges, and he has a few left. So that's good.

The tank is 20" by 20". Good news angelfish wise, but it that too tall for an African Dwarf frog? That's kinda of a bummer. :(

JohnnyD44 02-19-2009 10:53 AM

20" by 20" by what? that last measurement may be key in telling you what kind of fish you can keep

CSGirl 02-19-2009 11:09 AM


Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 (Post 173290)
20" by 20" by what? that last measurement may be key in telling you what kind of fish you can keep

OoPs. :oops: 20x20x19. It's a biocube, this one, and apparently 29 gallons and not 30.

Tyyrlym 02-19-2009 11:46 AM

If the tank was for salt water then the sand and rock is likely unusable in freshwater. Personally I wouldn't chance it. The filter might be usable though it will likely need some elbow grease to clean it up.

Neons are like most small fish, relatively intolerant of poor water quality. Fancy guppies are actually far less hardy in my opinion. The massive inbreeding that led to their bright colorations hasn't done their constitutions any favors. Personally I wouldn't hesitate to add either of them to a cycled tank. Emphasis on the cycled part. Tossing either of these breeds into an uncycled tank is a great way to embark upon the "Dead fish rotting in my tank" method of cycling.

Be aware that if you get any female guppies they are likely pregnant unless they were kept segregated from the males at the pet shop. They will give birth and then become pregnant again due to their ability to store sperm. So if you buy a female expect babies. If you don't segregate male from female guppies expect a lot of babies. Two or three guppies can turn into twenty or thirty guppies in a hurry. Oh, and don't fool yourself into thinking that "Let nature take its course," is a viable system of post-partum guppy birth control. In nature enough of these little buggers survive to propagate the species. I thought I'd let the other fish deal with the problem and I still got five that reached maturity.

Anyways, 30 gallons is an excellent size tank because it will be fairly stable, easy to maintain, and its large enough that aside from your larger cichlids you can keep pretty much whatever you want in it.

Hmm, a biocube you say? You can probably use the built in filter but someone with more experience with those type of tanks will know better.

CSGirl 02-19-2009 12:50 PM

No, no female guppies. The last big fresh water tank we had was 55 gallon, and we got a breeder tank for the guppy fry, and the angelfish still snacked on most of them. I'd rather not deal with them. (Animals are a great way to teach a kid the basic of sex, right? I had madly propgating guppies, seahorses with the males carrying the babies, and hamsters that chewed through plastic seperators in their burning desire to mate. lol)

It will absolutely be cycled. :) I do not want dead fish! I am going to look more into the bio cube- I didn't realize that's what it was until someone mentioned it and I looked it up.

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