Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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DanaJ 01-01-2007 09:41 AM

Please help with suggestions and recommendations
I'm very new to the whole aquarium thing, but am fascinated by it. I've decided to try out this adventure with a new 29 gallon set up. The plan is to set it up today so it can run for a bit before adding any fish, giving me time to do more research and ideas on the what to add. I'm basing it on compatibility and stocking levels.
I've been doing a lot of research as far as starting up, and came across this forum. Seems like just what I need! I've learned so much so far, but I'm just beginning so I need all the help I can get.
I understand that you should let your tank run at least 48 hours before adding anything. I've heard varying time frames though. Some say upwards of a week. Which do you think is best and why? I don't want to rush things and cause problems, so I'm willing to hear suggestions and ideas!
I also heard you should start with a few hardy fish, then gradually work your way up as your tank stabilizes. What would be the best recommendations?
I am confused and need some straightening out! This probably sounds so dumb, but I need to clear up any confusion I have. What is the difference between cories, loaches, and plecos? Can they be put together? Should they be paired up in any way? Do they get along with most fish?

It's a 29 gallon freshwater. I don't really like goldfish, so I'm hoping for a more "exotic" tropical type theme. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you.

DanaJ 01-01-2007 03:39 PM

Thanks crazie eddie!
We got it set up today, and it looks pretty nice for now. The aquarium kit came with some dechlorination treatment for a 29 gallon, so we added that.

As far as plecos, cories, and loaches, I was confusing them with the term algea eaters. I was always fascinated with watching them(plecos?).

I figure I still have a decent amount of time to do more research on what fish and bottom feeders I'll want to add. The pet store near me will order anything I want, if they don't have it i the store, so I'll definately be doing my homework and go from there!

I'm attaching a pic of the tank right after it was set up.
This seems like a silly question, but no reason not to ask. Is the water high enough? How high should the water line be?

Lauri 01-01-2007 03:47 PM

Your water line should be halfway up or almost to the top of the black band around the top of the tank. :) Your set-up looks nice, very cute

DanaJ 01-01-2007 04:30 PM

Thanks Lauri! I really appreciate all the suggestions, information and answers so far:)

DanaJ 01-01-2007 04:38 PM

I'm going to raise the water line. Funny you mentioned the water noise, with it being at that level. I was starting to think this is going to drive me crazy. It sounds like the toilet is running! Even from upstairs.
Thanks for the links eddie. I'm not sure what the initial treatment was, as it was just one dose. I'll look into the Prime.
That's a really beautiful pleco! I can see why it is one of your favorites.
I'll check out the links and go from there.
I'm sure I'll have more questions and concerns as I continue to learn and explore this new area!

tophat665 01-01-2007 05:14 PM

Loaches and plecos and cories, oh my...

OK, there are really two types of cories (on a marco scale), regular and small. Regular cories get about 3" long, prefer to be in a shoal of 4 or more, and stick pretty cloase to the bottom. These are your bronze, peppered, albino, emerald, panda, skunk, leopard, and so on and so on. Then there are the small cories, Pygmy and Dwarf (C. pygmaeus and C. hasbrous respectively). They get about 1" long, prefer a school of 10 or more, and come off the tank floor a bit more often.

Plecos: Couple of types of plecos: too big, ornamental, algae eaters, twig, and Ottos. Eddie mentioned that Common get too big. So do sailfins (gibbiceps - gibbies they're called sometimes). These guys will eat algae off the glass, but will rapidly get a foot long or more, and start trashing your tank just in getting around. They also poop. A lot. Eddie is into the ornamentals. They are beautiful to look at, sometimes hard to keep, and expensive. Some of them get big, some not so much. They tend not to be particular good at cleaning the tank. They also poop a lot. I've got a clown pleco as my ornamental. The Algae Eaters: Bristlenose, Bulldog (or Rubbernose or Rubberlip), and Pitbull. These guys are pure hell on algae and they stay relatively small. In a 29, one Bristlenose or bulldog, or two pitbulls will keep your glass clean as a whistle (most of the time.) Twig: Farlowellas - Beautiful, stately fish, like a cross betweem a sturgeon and a buggy whip. Some will get as long as your arm, and they're persnickety about water conditions. Not for a 29. Finally Ottos: Otocinclus. Tiny plecos, about 1 1/2". They sometimes die for no apparent reason. Like to be in a school of 5 or so. Put them in a tank that is starting to get algae, and they will stop it in their tracks.

Loaches - Loaches are related to barbs. They clean the bottom of the tank like cories. They also, most of them, eat snails. Some of them, the ones that the fish store will try to sell you, either get far too big (clown loaches) or get really nasty (skunk loaches). Yoyo , Angelicus, Striped, Kuhli, and Dwarf Chain loaches are all good in a 29 gallon. Again, they like to be in groups of at least 3, preferably 5 to 7 and in odd numbers. Check for more than you ever wanted to know about them.

musho3210 01-01-2007 05:33 PM

Nice tank, what filter is it, some filter companies are known to be really bad in housing bacteria that will help your cycling. If you have money to spare it is also good to have 2 filters so one can be a back up. Since HOB's are good for begginers, i would suggest you getting one with a bio-wheel or separate filtration containers, one which you never need to throw away or clean since that is where your bacteria will live. Are you going to have a tank with live plants? If you are make sure your lighting is adequate.

DanaJ 01-01-2007 05:53 PM

tophat665- thanks for that info! I had no idea there were bulldog and pitbull algae eaters. Pretty neat considering! I'll definately look into them and see what would work out best. I like the suggestion of 1 bristlenose or bulldog and 2 pit bull to keep the tank clean!
I don't think I'm too interested in the loaches, but information on them never hurts.
Thanks musho3210, I'll look into getting a spare filter.
I'm not sure about live plants right now. Probably not for awhile. I'm still pretty inundated with info on the actual fish, so I might spare the live plant education for later;)

My fiance's coworker(who has a 35 gallon tank, I think) mentioned an under gravel filter (?) Are they good generally or should they be used for specific tanks etc? Pros and Cons?

What does HOB stand for? :oops:
BTW, I did add water up to the suggested line. Nice and quiet now:)

Lupin 01-01-2007 06:01 PM


Originally Posted by DanaJ
My fiance's coworker(who has a 35 gallon tank, I think) mentioned an under gravel filter (?) Are they good generally or should they be used for specific tanks etc? Pros and Cons?

UG filters are considered old-fashioned nowadays. If you want plants, UG filters are not recommended as they cause too much disturbance on the plant roots which can upset the plants.
If your substrate is sand, UGFs will clog easily. There is a tendency for UGFs to create anaerobic(or dead) spots which can harm your fish as dead spots simply release toxic substances.
Cleaning is often done by an almost strip-down of the tank.

I have no idea how reverse-flow undergravel filter actually works but here is the link about it unless some members here provide lots of information about it.:) I've never gone to this matter yet.:)

musho3210 01-01-2007 06:26 PM

HOB stands for Hang On Back filters. Also undergravel filters are only put before everything else. Since you already set up the tank i wouldnt recomend an undergravel filter. Plants are great filters too. They eat up small amounts of ammonia and nitrite. They also eat up a lot of nitrates. But they are hard to maintain and the exspensive lighting system makes up for the exspensive filter

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