Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jeffk 01-29-2014 06:10 AM

Hi All
 
Greetings from a not-so-sunny Australian summer...

So, never having kept a fish in my life, I suddenly got this crazy idea that I'd give it a go. A friend of a friend swapped $50 of my hard earned cash for a tank and a pile of extras that I'm sorting through. I've done a solid week of reading but there's a lot of contradictory stuff so I'm hoping I'm in the right place for some advice on putting all this together in some sort of sensible way.

Right now I have a 48"x13x17 tank which I tested and seems watertight so that's a start. Next up is cleaning it and I'm tossing up the best way to do that. A highly diluted bleach solution and a lot of rinsing, maybe?

It also came with an under-gravel filter that I think I won't use but happy to be convinced otherwise as the second filter in the pile is an Aqua One 103F which I don't see being up to handling that size tank. I'm on a tight budget so I want to recycle as much as I can. Not to mention that recycling old stuff is, to me at least, more fun than buying new - aquariums or otherwise.

I plan to only use fake plants, and I have large container full of plastic ones that I'm hoping I can clean and recycle. Again not sure the best approach to cleaning those.

As to the fish... At this point I think I'd rather have many smaller fish than a few bigger ones but I'm still thinking that through.

Anyway, that's me in a nutshell (or maybe a novel). Looking forward to participating in the forums.

Cheers,
Jeff K
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Romad 01-29-2014 07:01 AM

Hello Jeff :wave:

Welcome to the forum. You can use a bleach solution to clean everything including the plastic plants but be sure to rinse a LOT and then I'd also rinse with conditioned water a few times at the end.

A good water conditioner is Seachem Prime. It removes chlorine and chloramines from tap water and also helps during fish in cycling (if that's the way you go).

You've got a pretty good size tank for a few large schools of colorful fish. You'll want to test the hardenss and ph of your tap water and see which fish will do well in your paramaters before deciding. Do you have a good local fish store?

willow 01-29-2014 11:29 AM

hello and warm welcome.
look forward to seeing the tank and what you do with it
if you're able to post pictures. :-D

jeffk 01-29-2014 02:45 PM

Thanks for the welcome!

Quote:

A good water conditioner is Seachem Prime
Amongst the stuff I got are bottles of Seachem Prime, Seachem Stability, and test solutions for PH & ammonia, along with some PH reduction stuff. I'll add a water hardness test kit to the long list of things I still need to get :-)

I'm still exploring local fish stores. Hopefully there'll be a good one nearby but none I've visited so far have given me a great impression. Plenty of options for buying what I need but good advice seems rather thin on the ground...

I'll start a log for the tank later today in the hope that some sensible people may look in and stop me making stupid mistakes ('cause I'm really good at those).

Cheers
Jeff K

Romad 01-29-2014 02:57 PM

Ha ha :) We're here to help. It's worth traveling (in my humble opinion) to find the best livestock if you don't have breeders or good local providers. After all, you should only have to go there a few different times while you're getting you tank established and populated.

You can bring them a sample of your tap water and ask them to test it initially but you'll want to get a kit to test often, especially during cycling. Not so frequently after that.

Otherwise, supplies are easy to get in the local places or online. And you've got a ton of people here with years of experience for everything else :)

LaurenKK 01-30-2014 12:01 AM

Welcome
 
You sure came at the right time :) You haven't bunged anything up yet :-)

I have little to no experience, but came here for ideas and help, and it sure was the right move. Glad you joined us.

The first thing that came to my mind was to check the manufacture dates on all the bottles you just inherited. If it's been a while since your friend maintained the tank, the solutions may not be able to perform as advertised.

From the (ridiculous amount of) reading that I've done here in the last week, I would highly recommend a fish OUT cycling of your new tank. Not that I have experience with a tank your size, but there are ways and I've seen a few posts recently by folks who were beyond anxious that they have fish in the water and ammonia/nitrite spikes. It's kind of hard to read through those journeys.

I've been very happy with my API brand freshwater master test kit as well as the API gH/kH combo test. They were cheaper for me at Amazon.com than at my local pet shop.

Good luck, and looking forward to pictures of your progress.

jeffk 01-30-2014 01:22 AM

Thanks. I'm done cleaning the tank so now it's time to bring it inside... Which will be a whole new adventure as any wife acceptable spots seem to be places that are more or less out of sight. And if I'm going to be maintaining the tank, I want those fish to front and centre and in pride of place. I sense a weekend of negotiation coming up.

Then, if I can use the filters that came with it, I'll be almost ready to go. If not I'll have to hold off a couple of weeks until I can afford a replacement.

This is definitely going to be a test of my patience :-)

willow 01-31-2014 08:34 AM

ahhhhhh grass hopper you have much to learn……
have you enticed wifey with her very own beautifully aqua sculpted tank
of her own making that would be very much more outstandingly
beautiful than yours ? :brow: :mrgreen:
picture it now….
perhaps a hexagonal tank…beautiful black moon sand….plant of beautiful wifeys
choice….decorations…and outstanding male Betta he'll be attentive and
begging for interaction…….ahhhhhhhhhhhh i like this idea myself !!!!

jeffk 01-31-2014 03:44 PM

Ha! Clearly you have never met my wife... A practical woman (ex-farm girl & nurse) who would greatly prefer her fish on a plate with appropriate vegetables. On a positive note, she does feel it will entertain the cats.

The real issue is finding a spot for a tank that large. I sold her the idea of a tank half that size so now there is much frowning in my general direction as I talk about moving furniture to make room. Four foot is the size I really wanted though.

I'll start a new thread about the tank in the beginners forum but right now it's a struggle finding a suitable spot for it in the house. And it's not just the wife factor. Reading up on the ins and outs of finding a spot for the tank, it seems there isn't a square inch of our home that doesn't fail the tank friendliness test in some way...

willow 01-31-2014 03:47 PM

she's still lovely :-D
look forward to new thread…see ya there :-D


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