Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Need help on a setup and fish! (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/need-help-setup-fish-25900/)

Stevennn 07-12-2009 06:04 PM

Need help on a setup and fish!
 
Hey guys,

I recently decided that I want to purchase a freshwater aquarium to put in my room. I had one when I was much younger, but I only had the usual gold fish in it. But now I want to get something sort of official and I need help on just about everything. I want to buy an acrylic tank (20-40 gallons?) and stock it with nice scenery and colorful fish. I've been looking at different species, and have found interest in the following:

Freshwater sharks
Cichlids
Freshwater Angel Fish
Minnows
GouramiFancy Guppies
Platies
Swordtails
Tetras
American Flagfish(just an oddball)

By no means am I intending to get some of every species I listed, but I would like your opinion and favorites on the ones I listed. Remember, I want a nice mix of colors in the aquarium yet I need all the fishes in the aquarium to get along. So... Ideas?

--Steven

JohnnyD44 07-13-2009 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stevennn (Post 214168)
Hey guys,

I recently decided that I want to purchase a freshwater aquarium to put in my room. I had one when I was much younger, but I only had the usual gold fish in it. But now I want to get something sort of official and I need help on just about everything. I want to buy an acrylic tank (20-40 gallons?) and stock it with nice scenery and colorful fish. I've been looking at different species, and have found interest in the following:

Freshwater sharks
Cichlids
Freshwater Angel Fish
Minnows
GouramiFancy Guppies
Platies
Swordtails
Tetras
American Flagfish(just an oddball)

By no means am I intending to get some of every species I listed, but I would like your opinion and favorites on the ones I listed. Remember, I want a nice mix of colors in the aquarium yet I need all the fishes in the aquarium to get along. So... Ideas?

--Steven

hey Steve, hello and welcome to the forum

there are many different kind of fish that fall into the categories that you listed here....i'm not familiar with all of them, but most...so here goes, remember other members will be along to add more than I probably can.

sharks - sharks can be territorial by nature...they usually need a big footprint of a tank, as some can grow quite large....usually they should be added last when setting up a tank....if you add them first, they will think the entire bottom of the tank is their habitat and any fish that come along later (catfish, small plecos) will have problems as a bottom dweller because the shark will have claimed everything as his kingdom, they also enjoy rocks and espically caves to hang out in.

Angel Fish - I do not have much experience with these kind of fish, general knowledge is that they need a taller tank that a wider one to swim around in....they also do not do well with fish who are fin nippers, as angel fish have big, beautiful tails

Guppies, Swordtails and Platies - i grouped all these together because they all fall into the "livebearer" group, which means they reproduce, and the fry come in quite large bunches. If you decide to go with some of these fish, your LFS(local fish store) should have them sexed already to avoid babies, but if you decide not to sex them, most LFS will take your fry off your hands once they are born and healthy. Guppies fall into the same as angel fish with the tail aspect, they fancy colorful tail is an attraction to fin nippers

Tetras - Tetras are popular fish which in many different breeds, color, sizes and personalities. Most tetras enjoy being in a shaol of atleast 6. If you do not keep them in a group, they become scared easily which causes stress to the fish and will usually turn out to a pre-mature death. I currently have 18 tetras in my tank....6 diamond, and 6 bleeding heart tetras and 6 blood fins.....the flood fins are fin nippers and enjoy chasing eachother around, a fish like these are not ones I would put with a angel or a guppie.

Like i said, I don't know exact aspects of all the fish, but thats the best of my knowledge, and I'm at work so i can't type out much more! 8) I'm sure someone else will be along to add more informaiton and maybe correct something I messed up.

SinCrisis 07-13-2009 09:17 AM

For one, the sharks will eventually grow to the point where they will need a 55 gallon tank to survive. Chiclids will eat any fish that fits into its mouth and chiclids grow quite large. Angel fisha re also chiclids but are less agressive and can usually fit into a community tank. Livebearers as mentioned above will breed unless you buy single sex only. For these you will need to star the tank understocked for growing room for the fry. Also your filter intake will need to be sponged to prevent fish fry from getting sucked in. Tetras are one of the most commonly kept fish for beginners. They ahve a huge variety, but most will be more comfortable in a shoal (6 fish min).

Chiclids are by far the biggest and have the largest assortment of colors. However there are lots of chiclids to choose from. IF you want a community tank, many get blue rams which grow up to 4 inches, quite small, and are relativly peaceful community fish that can be kept with various other species. To figure out how many fish you can get, you will need a tank size and filter strength before anyone can give you proper stocking suggestions.

However, if you are serious about the tank, it would be wise to get it sooner and let it cycle while you decide on the fish. If you do not know what cycling is, there are various threads in the forum about it and you can google fishless cycle. This process takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks sometimes more.

Good luck!

1077 07-13-2009 12:48 PM

I would first purchase a test kit to determine what my tapwater indicated for ph after setting for twelve to twenty four hours. This would go a long way towards helping me decide what fish would be comfortable in the water easily available. Test kit will also be needed for allowing the tank to mature or (cycle) by indicating what levels of ammonia,nitrites,and ultimately nitrAtes are present.
If my water was soft or acidic, I would look at fish that do well in that water. If my water was hard ,alkaline,I would look at livebearers,or some of the cichlids that prefer such conditions. Cichlids could not be very large but 40 gal breeder tank would I think house some of the smaller cichlids. Platies and swordtails do well in hard water with pH values of 7.4 to 8.0 and would look nice. A couple flagfish would also work and help keep the platy and swordtail population in check. I would resist the urge to try any of the pH up or down products in an attempt to change the pH to suit the fish but rather ,,I would look for fish that will do well with the water most easily available(tap) to me. Hope some of this helps.

Stevennn 07-14-2009 12:03 PM

Thanks for all your answers to my questions...

I'm having trouble deciding on tanks though. I have two in mind that I'm looking at. One is a 40 gal. Jr. Exec Kit, which comes with everything I need (Filter, lighting, cover, water treatment, etc) for $230. The other choice was a tank online from PETCO. It would be a 46 gallon bow shaped aquarium w/glass top and lighting (always thought bow shaped looked better than regular rectangular ones) for $260. However, if I purchased the one from PETCO I would also need to purchase a filter. I am skeptic about the 40 gal tank though because it comes with everything and is cheaper, so I might "get what I pay for". Any suggestions on those two?

And if you side with the 46 gal. bow shaped tank, please provide your opinion on what filter I should use for it.

--Steven

JohnnyD44 07-14-2009 02:25 PM

i'm partial to bowfronts, my dad has one and I think they are pretty cool looking

one thing to keep in mind....you will probably kick yourself for not going with a bigger tank, i have a 55G and wish it were a 75.....so if you like bowfronts, added to the extra tank size, might be something you should consider too as a double positive

as far as having to buy a filter....keep in mind that the filter which comes with the 40G tank is not going to be a top-of-the-line filter and will probably only power up to a 40G tank....you will probably want to buy a better and more powerful filter for the 40G anyways......keep in mind the more powerful the filter, the heavier fish stock you can consider.

either tank you get....I would reccommend a Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel filter....you could use just a Penguin 350 for either tank and it will be more filtration that you need, emperors are popular choices too.....always want to overfilter your tank. makes life easier.

my two cents.....go with teh bowfront 46G and pick up a biowheel 350!

Stevennn 07-14-2009 04:44 PM

Thanks, that sounds good to me!

And thanks to everyone else who took time to post.

JohnnyD44 07-14-2009 06:41 PM

you're quite welcome....as as one of our senion members Aunt Kymmie says......we accept payment in the form of pictures!

good luck

SinCrisis 07-14-2009 08:25 PM

if budget permits, definitly go for the 46 at petco. However, note that although bowfronts look nice, they also distort the image of your tank. As for the filter, johnny is right, i know lots fo people who buy kits and end up switching out most of the equiptment or switch out equipment cuz they don't trust it. If you stock your own equipment, you can pick and choose more reliable brands like the marineland filters which are very nice. Also, the 46 gallon bowfront for 260, i got a 46 gallon bowfront from petsmart with stand for a little under 200. Unless your getting a custom addition, i think 260 may be a bit much.


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