Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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katiegirl226 11-07-2013 09:27 AM

New to forum and starting my very first aquarium
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Hello folks! I'm brand new to this hobby! My almost three year old son is fascinated by fish so my husband and I thought it would be fun for him and a great learning tool (son is autistic). I'm excited to start and have been doing research for the last couple weeks. Thought it would be helpful to join a forum and get help from those of you who have been doing this for a while. I hope I've come to the right place.

So far, I've purchase a 20 gallon starter kit (top fin from Petsmart) and set it up. I want to keep community fish (some tetras, danios, a gourami, and some sort of cory cat or algae eater). I hope my tank can accommodate this. I'm going to do a fish cycle of the tank with 2-3 danios (not sure if 2 vs. 3 makes a difference??) I have read about a fishless cycle and that its more humane, but my son keeps looking for the fish so therefore, the danios. I know I will only be able to add fish very slowly after the cycle is done, but that is okay.

Am I on the right track? Do any of you have some good suggestions on how to stock a community tank of 20 gallons? I definitely don't want to overstock it and want easy fish until I am comfortable at maintaining a stable environment. Thanks!

jaysee 11-07-2013 10:19 AM

Welcome to the forum

You did good starting with a 20 since it allows you a lot more options than a 10 which is what many people start with. You can have a really nice community tank with color and movement. Zebra danios are great to start with, though I have to say that the 20 is as small of a tank as I would put them in because of the level of activity. For tetras, the orange flames are very pretty and are a good size match. My petsmart has them so it's likely others do too. Another good option that will be readily available are cherry barbs. Honestly, the barbs are far more active and interesting to watch than tetras are. For the bottom you can get some dwarf Corys. I would get a couple of nerite snails for algae control.

willow 11-07-2013 11:50 AM

hello and warm welcome to you and your family. :wave:

UncleEasy3000 11-07-2013 03:59 PM

Awe he is adorable. I remember when my dad set up the first FW Tank in our house when I was not much older than him.. And so begins the birth of another aquarium enthusiast!

I agree with what jaysee said, a 20 is a great beginner size as it gives you more flexibility with stock options. I see a lot of people newer to the hobby overstocking their tanks, which is probably based on what they see going on at their LFS. A good thing to remember is that survival is always possible, but giving the fish an environment in which they can flourish is what should be the goal.

Good luck with the new setup and I'm sure if you look around on here and ask questions, you will gather a lot of information to help you with your setup and future projects. I have been learning TONS since I started reading threads on this site. I've probably learned more here than I have in the few years I've been keeping FW fish on my own. Super friendly and helpful people from what I can gather too.

rsskylight04 11-09-2013 02:18 AM

Cute kid! Goodluck with your tank, be patient and observant. Most important piece of advice: change 25% of the water (5gal.) Every two weeks to keep nitrates under controll. Always dechlorinate and aerate the water before adding it and make sure it is within a few degrees of your tankwater. Also do not overcrowd your fish. Enjoy your new hobby, I've been keeping fish for over 30 years and it never gets old!

Romad 11-09-2013 08:22 AM

Welcome to the forum :wave:

I love the look of wonder on your boys face. You're on the right track with the cycling and have received some good advice here so far.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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