Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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howellm21 07-28-2006 01:07 PM

Starting a new 150 gallon fish tank
 
Hi All,

I just purchased a 150-gallon tank from a person who lives a few houses down from me. That tank has not been used in 10 years. This person was going to set up the tank then came to the realizations they could not afford to get it up and running. The tank has a stand, pumps, overhead lights, heater, new gravel and several other things. The tank has been filled and tested for leaks

At this point I a smart enough to know I was in over my head, needed good help setting this beast up and go with a fresh water fish. I have hired someone to set the tank up for me. The told me it would take 3 to 4 weeks before we can put fish in the tank but I would need to answer three questions in-between then. Those questions were:

1) How much was I willing to spend
2) What theme do I want for the tank
3) What type of fish do I want (big fish, salt water look a likes)

To start where can I find pictures of fish tanks? I have young kids so a child theme would be nice.

Thanks

Big M

Cichlid lover 07-28-2006 02:30 PM

well if you want salt water look alikes, then you are definitely going to have to go with cichlids, they range in color a ton though since there are a few thousand species, but tell me the colors you want and I can tell you what species to go with

also cichlids can be quite expensive at local fish stores, plus they usually have bad quality cichlids, so always buy from a breeder or an internet site, I can also tell you where to go after you tell me what species you want

Rachel 07-31-2006 09:07 AM

Is waiting 3-4 weeks before adding fish normal? Can't you just treat tap water with an angent and put fish in the same day or a few days later?

dasmall1 07-31-2006 07:29 PM

It is normal to wait before adding fish. Your aquarium is a mini eco-system. You need to wait for beneficial bacteria to grow in your tank before it can handle fish.

Cichlid lover 08-01-2006 03:10 PM

There are products you can buy to speed up the process, but they are rather expensive. Though, you dont want to not put any fish in, because then there is no Ammonia to start the cycling process. You will need just a few fish, maybe like 6 goldfish, around 3 inches in length to cycle a tank of that size, also what type of filtration do you have

Nick 08-02-2006 12:08 PM

The tank NEEDS to be cycled. Every tank does or you will just waiste your time and money putting fish in and just watching them die. Its a deathtrap waiting to happen. If you are planning on doing a fishless cycle than you need a source of ammonia. Hardware stores sell them, the product ' boots ' has a pure ammonia source. The ammonia in there will help get the cycle started...

But if you want the easier route, there is cycling the tank with some fish. I would not put in goldfish. You are doing a tropical set up and Goldfish DO NOT belong in tropical tanks. Some good hardy fish for cycling a tank are some zebra danios. They are very very hardy. Some platy's are also good too. Get a few of those and watch the water stats. The tank should be around 75-80 degrees.

The point of a cycle is to get bacteria in there, making bacteria colonies. The bacteria than eats the ammonia which than turns into nitrite. Which than turns into nitrate, which is a less harmful thing. Nitrates in a tank are good from 20ppm and under.

Oh i wouldnt recomend doing some cichlids, they are harder and more spendy.
You say you have kids and you would like it to be childish sort of?
I would go with some colored gravel than. Depending on what your kids like, blue usually suits well. Than some good ornaments that your kids will like. Live plants also look very good, and they help keeping the nitrate down a little bit.

I hope this all helps

Nick

ktreffin 08-02-2006 02:18 PM

Great info Nick.....I would like to throw my 2 cents in also. Becareful about the ammonia that you add to the tank if you do a fishless cycle. I found "clear" ammonia at my local grocery store, however after reading the ingredients I found it contained ammonia hydroxide (which is what you want) but also a surfactant. Moral of the story is to read the ingredients and make sure it contains nothing but straight ammonia hydroxide.

Also, when you go to the fish store to buy a fish to begin the cycling process, make sure to ask them for a small bit of gravel from one of their cycled tanks. You can take this gravel home, pour it into an old pantyhose (my wife keeps yelling at me because all of her pantyhose seem to be mysteriously missing a foot) and then add it to your tank. This will help to "jumpstart" the cycling process, and give you a good source of the bacteria needed resulting in a faster cycling process. Good luck. Hope this helps.

Ken

Nick 08-02-2006 02:33 PM

Yep hope we helped

howellm21 08-02-2006 02:48 PM

Thanks
 
I checked out the Cichlid's web page and that is what I am looking for. I seems like I need to go with a rock type tank set up. I meet with my set up person and he said for what I want I am looking to drop at least $1000 (wow). I am looking for some red, blue, orange or bright color fish. I was told the local fish stores will not have good quality Cichlids. Please let me know where to get some.

Thaks

Big M


Quote:

Originally Posted by Cichlid lover
well if you want salt water look alikes, then you are definitely going to have to go with cichlids, they range in color a ton though since there are a few thousand species, but tell me the colors you want and I can tell you what species to go with

also cichlids can be quite expensive at local fish stores, plus they usually have bad quality cichlids, so always buy from a breeder or an internet site, I can also tell you where to go after you tell me what species you want


ktreffin 08-02-2006 03:09 PM

I certainly don't want to discourage you. But if you think you are in over your head now, do you really want to take on something like chiclids. Please don't get me wrong, I don't want to offend anyone by saying chiclids may not be the way to go, but maybe you should start off with something a little more forgiving.

I hope Chiclid Lover will chime in......... but I would rather have you spend your money on some colorful hardy tropical species instead of starting off with a species of fish that might not be so understanding (in regards to water quality, temperment, etc).

I hope I don't get flamed by the chiclid lovers, but I really do think you should reconsider and look at some other options...


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