Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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tfoso90 08-12-2009 04:31 AM

*First Aquarium*
Hi Everyone,

I have been researching on this for a few months now, an still have a couple of unanswered questions. I would like to get cleared up before I setup my Aquarium. First of all I will tell you where I am at the moment:-

I purchased a 35L (9 Gal) BiUbe Pure, Heater pack, white pebble sculpture to cover the bubble tube, white Feng Shui pebbles to go on top of the ceramic media and 2 large easy plants. All from the reef-one store.

I know how to setup the tank, treat the water and know not to add fish for 48 hours. Once the 48 hours has past I understand that only adding 1 fish at a time is important because the tank needs to cycle, only add one fish per month until I have reached the stock limit. Which I believe to be 12 small tropical fish and 4 cleaners.

Is this right, do I need correcting on any of this?

Here are my unanswered questions:
  1. The pet shop suggested for this size tank I get 12 small fish and 4 cleaners, I would like some cherry shrimp in the tank and maybe a snail but don’t these need real plants, and also what would there be to “clean” in the BiUbe... does algae still grow?

  2. Everyone has said add one fish at a time because if you add more than one the ammonia level will be to high etc. But I also read that neon tetras like to be in groups or they get lonely. Would it be ok to add 2-4 neon tetras into the tank first or is that way to much?

  3. The fish and cleaners I would like in the tank when its fully complete are as follows:

    4 x Neon Tetra
    4 x Purple Emperor Tetra
    2 x Black Sailfin Molly
    1 x RainbowShark
    1 x BleedingHeartTetra

    1 x Cherry Fire Shrimp
    1 x Bumble Bee Shrimp
    1 x Freshwater Clam
    1 x Zebra Snail

    I have done some research on what fish can live together peacefully and came up with them, I also wanted a good variety so the tank looks colourful etc. Am I right in thinking those listed could live together, and the amount of 12 small tropical fish and 4 cleaners are right?

  4. In my local pet store they don't have the fish I want, I spoke to some one from AquaticLifeDirect they do mail order fish, the person from the site assured me that everything is fine, all the fish arrive safe unharmed and stress free. Has anyone ever ordered online before... How did it go?

I think that is about it, any help would be greatly appreciated!

I will be taking a few pictures during setup and once the first fish are in, I will post them on here so everyone can see how I got on with it, and hopefully this could help anyone else in the future setting theirs up.

Thanks a lot.


borneosucker 08-12-2009 05:56 AM

I will help answer some of the question....

1. yes algae do grow even in the cleanest aquarium in the world, it's a matter of how you control it :)

3. the fishes you intend to keep seems fine to me. consider getting otocinclus as they are good cleaners (for certain type of algae) and suitable for small tanks.

4. I have ordered red cherry shrimp online before, but of course not from that company. And my shrimps arrived save and sound :)

I save the cycling info for the I have to admit, I don't actually practice tank cycling, so I've very limited info to share with you on that topic.

Cheers and happy fish keeping :)

tfoso90 08-12-2009 06:19 AM


Thanks for your reply!

Where did your order your red cherry shrimp from?


borneosucker 08-12-2009 06:23 AM

I'm from Malaysia, and I odered from fellow hobbyist from my country :)
it took approx 1 day to arrive.

tfoso90 08-12-2009 07:03 AM

Thanks again,

Could anyone advise me further?

borneosucker 08-12-2009 07:06 AM

welcome :)

1077 08-12-2009 08:53 AM

Before I purchased any fish, I would purchase a test kit such as API freshwater master kit. This will allow you to determine what the Ph of your water is which will ultimately dictate what fish you should keep. The test kit will also allow you to test for ammonia,nitrites,and nitrAtes so that you will know when or if these levels become a problem. In a nine gal tank that has cycled,, I would put no more than six or eight small fish such as neon tetras,pristella tetras,blood fin tetras,white cloud minnows, sparkling gouramis, or all male fancy guppies. Again this all depends on what the pH of your water is. Perhaps fish store would test it for you if you brought them a sample.
Some of the fish you list require somewhat different Water . Mollies for example need hard alkaline water to do well in the long term and the neons would do poorly in hard water. The shark simply wouldn't have enough room to cruise the bottom as they like to do and may become aggresive and territorial. Shrimps would be good fit but sometimes do poorly in new tanks and it may be best to wait a while perhaps. All of the tetras do best in groups of at least six but six fish at once would cause problems with ammonia in such a small enviornment. If you decide to cycle with fish,, I would start with no more than two of the small tetras mentioned. I would feed these two small fish a tiny amount of food (a pinch)once every other day and I would change two gal of water from the tank anytime ammonia levels rose above.25 this is where test kit comes in handy.
If you begin with thw two small fish, and feed as described a TINY amount every other day for three weeks ,,then you could add some shrimp or perhaps another two small fish while feeding the fish every other day for another three weeks. I would at this time begin weekly water changes of approx two gal from the tank using dechlorinator for the new water I added to the tank and taking care that the new water was not too cold or too hot. I would test my water anytime that fish acted strange or differently and perform water change if necessary, If you begin with no more than two small fish, and monitor your water with test kit to ensure that ammonia levels remain below .25 ,and you feed very tiny amount as described, you will have few problems. If you begin with too many fish,too large of fish,or inappropriate fish for your water (ie Ph),, you will have problems which will result in sick and or dead fish. If you know someone else who has an aquarium and they will give you some of the filter material from their tank,, you could add this material to your filter and speed up the maturing or cycling process. The material should however, remain wet when transferring it to your tank and it should be kept wet in aquarium water or dechlorinated water. some gravel from an existing aquarium approx,, one half cup. and placed in a section of nylon would also help speed the process. Simply place the stocking containing the gravel and a small rock to hold it down,, into the gravel in your tank and leave it ,as well as the filter material, in your tank for three weeks.
There is another method to cycle the tank which is much easier and doesn't require daily testing or dosing with chemicals.
You simply take a couple small ,raw,uncooked shrimp and place them in nylon with a small rock and toss it in the aquarium.leave it until NitrAtes appear on your test kit. Then remove the shrimp and toss it away(won't be much left) .then perform 50 percent water change with dechlorinator for the new water and you could add three or four small fish. wait a week, and then you could add another three and so on .I hope some of this has helped you.

tfoso90 08-12-2009 09:52 AM

thanks very much for your post its helped alot.


tfoso90 08-12-2009 10:23 AM

If I was to use the shrimp for cycling, how long does this normally take?

I am looking at the best and easiest methods for cycling my new tank. I want to try and get it done this weekend.



Byron 08-12-2009 10:25 AM

I'm adding my agreement to what 1077 has told you, completely.

On the specific fish, to be successful a community aquarium must have fish that all prefer basically the same water parameters (temperature, pH, hardness, salinity if brackish)and have behaviours that are compatible. Mixing fish with different preferences for water will cause some of them to be stressed, and that leads to health problems, more frequent disease, and sometimes fish loss because eventually they just can't struggle on. Decide what sort of community you want and make sure the fish are comparable in requirements and behaviour--and size of course, you only have 9 gallons.

Good luck.


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