Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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robbo87 01-03-2010 09:04 AM

new tank advice please
 
Ok, so im just in the process of cleaning out a 20 litre tank which has been used in the past for a goldfish but that didnt go to well... so im moving onto tropical in the hope that the smaller fish will be much more suited to this tank? i plan to get some neon tetras or something similar in size.

so im just in the process of cleaning the tank out and cleaning the gravel, ive also been given an old filter of a friend as the one that came with this tank i feel is useless.

now im just not sure of how to cycle the tank best... im planning on adding clean tap water, adding some tetra aquasafe to dechlorinate it, and its here where im not to sure...

ive just been to my lfs and picked up an adequate heater (25w is ok for 20 litres right?) and also got a small plant and some tetra safe start. is the safe start worth using? as some people say it works great and will do just as good a job as a normal cycle using ammonia etc, and other people are telling me its a waste of time?

also once the tank is set up and i eventually get it set up with the right test results and have fish in it, how often should i be doing water changes? i dont want to overkill the waterchanges and do more harm than good?

thanks for reading..and any advice

regards
martin

Angel079 01-03-2010 09:37 AM

Hello & Welcome to the forum,

for those thinking in gallon its a 5g :-)

Yes its a smart choice to house something very small in there not goldfish. Different fish have different needs on size of tank as well as softness or hardness of water. For example your Neon's will thrive on water that's soft. If you're unsure what water you have, you can take a sample to your fish sore. Or you can buy yourself a test kit which you'd also later on need during cycling the tank and/ or maintenance. A well sorted liquid test kit (such as offered by API) should incl pH, Hardness, NO2, NO3, Ammonia.

You're cleaning it with water only I guess, no chemicals?
Assuming you will not have this tank placed in a icy cold basement room, yes this heater will be working for you.

I honestly can not help you on the Safe Start, while Tetra does make very good products, I pers always cycled my tanks fish less, fed the tanks daily with flaks...nothing added.

Once you have everything set up the way you like, I strongly recommend reading over this real quick before you go out buying fish http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/
Once a tank is established its desirable to do a water exchange once a week at around 30-40% of the volume of your tank. Any fresh water from you tap should be treated with Conditioner before adding to the tank to remove metals and ammonia etc from your tap water.

Hope this helps for the moment, otherwise come back with a list of more questions please :-)

robbo87 01-03-2010 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angel079 (Post 298897)
Hello & Welcome to the forum,

for those thinking in gallon its a 5g :-)

Yes its a smart choice to house something very small in there not goldfish. Different fish have different needs on size of tank as well as softness or hardness of water. For example your Neon's will thrive on water that's soft. If you're unsure what water you have, you can take a sample to your fish sore. Or you can buy yourself a test kit which you'd also later on need during cycling the tank and/ or maintenance. A well sorted liquid test kit (such as offered by API) should incl pH, Hardness, NO2, NO3, Ammonia.

You're cleaning it with water only I guess, no chemicals?
Assuming you will not have this tank placed in a icy cold basement room, yes this heater will be working for you.

I honestly can not help you on the Safe Start, while Tetra does make very good products, I pers always cycled my tanks fish less, fed the tanks daily with flaks...nothing added.

Once you have everything set up the way you like, I strongly recommend reading over this real quick before you go out buying fish http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/
Once a tank is established its desirable to do a water exchange once a week at around 30-40% of the volume of your tank. Any fresh water from you tap should be treated with Conditioner before adding to the tank to remove metals and ammonia etc from your tap water.

Hope this helps for the moment, otherwise come back with a list of more questions please :-)


thanks thats a great help, and yeah ive just cleaned the tank and only used water and a soft sponge to just wipe it and ive cleaned all the gravel and im just about to put that back in.

so i guess if i put the heater and filter in now and get them turned on along with putting the plant in and treat the water using some conditioner (i have tetra aquasafe...) i should be ok for now? im not planning on getting any fish for a week yet so i dont want to put the safestart stuff in to early although i cant see how it can do any harm?

Angel079 01-03-2010 10:11 AM

Yup you got it all sorted :-) You don't even need us here I think lol
Just put it all together, hook everything up the way you like it and done. I use Tetra Aquasafe as well (have for many many yrs).

So you wanna cycle with fish? Just be warned Tetra's are VERY sensitive fish and the peaks of Ammonia and Nitrate that you will encounter while cycling this tank may easily result on them dieing on you that's why I do fishless cycles). The more it is important IMO that you'd get a liquid test kit, so you can test your tank water every day for the first few weeks, so if anything rises you can do a water exchange immediately.

robbo87 01-03-2010 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angel079 (Post 298914)
Yup you got it all sorted :-) You don't even need us here I think lol
Just put it all together, hook everything up the way you like it and done. I use Tetra Aquasafe as well (have for many many yrs).

So you wanna cycle with fish? Just be warned Tetra's are VERY sensitive fish and the peaks of Ammonia and Nitrate that you will encounter while cycling this tank may easily result on them dieing on you that's why I do fishless cycles). The more it is important IMO that you'd get a liquid test kit, so you can test your tank water every day for the first few weeks, so if anything rises you can do a water exchange immediately.

well i was hoping to get the leves to an acceptable level by using the safe start but im not sure as to whats the best course of action.. im not hell bent on getting neon tetras straight away anyway...

someone said that danios are a bit of a hardier fish so maybe a better choice? so maybe one or 2 of them, and if they make it which im hoping they would maybe also add 2 or 3 neons to see how things develop?

robbo87 01-03-2010 11:24 AM

Oh and as for the test kit, i currently have an api ammonia kit which is a water test kit, but my other results come from strips, but i have just ordered an api master test kit off ebay so hopefully this will give better results, just a case of waiting for it to arrive.

Angel079 01-03-2010 11:54 AM

Danios are harder fish in comparison to Neon Tetra, that is true. That said they're also incredible active swimmers and being a 5g there's really not a lot room for them to be active.

Yes absolutely, the Liquid kit will bring you accurate results, while as the strips are not only inacurate, but by the time they actually show you NO's & Ammonia on the stips, its often too late for the fish, so that will be a incredible help to you.
When you tank is set up, feed it as if there were fish in it with flakes every day, few flakes, that will feed Ammonia & NO's and help get your tank cycled w/out fish. This process can take anywhere from few days to 2-3 weeks, in my tanks its usually around 8-10 days from start till I see NO's & Ammnia rise & fall.

stephanieleah 01-03-2010 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robbo87 (Post 298907)
thanks thats a great help, and yeah ive just cleaned the tank and only used water and a soft sponge to just wipe it and ive cleaned all the gravel and im just about to put that back in.

so i guess if i put the heater and filter in now and get them turned on along with putting the plant in and treat the water using some conditioner (i have tetra aquasafe...) i should be ok for now? im not planning on getting any fish for a week yet so i dont want to put the safestart stuff in to early although i cant see how it can do any harm?

My 2 cents: Safe Start: I have used it, it worked well for me but in a 29 gallon tank (ammonia takes a lot longer to become detectable in a large tank, I think even with Safe Start you'll need to do frequent (daily or every other day) water changes. Ammonia needs to build up to be able to feed the beneficial bacteria and that will come in two phases as you read in the cycling article. I would probably wait to add any fish sensitive like neons. And yes, danios are long-distance swimmers. So a 5 gallon would be too small for their liking. It's like restricting Tiger Woods to a miniature golf course.

If you want to cycle fishless (this will be less stressful for you and the fish) add some fish food daily, add Safe Start so the filter builds up with bb, and check the water daily with liquid test kit. Once the ammonia and nitrites are at zero, go for the fish, making sure to do weekly water changes. This shouldn't take more than a week i think. And do a good size water change before adding the fish.

I have been considering neons myself for my 10 gallon, by the way. I'll be watching your threads to see how yours do (if you decide to get them!)

p.s. welcome to the forum!

robbo87 01-03-2010 12:17 PM

Thanks for the welcome :-)

think ill stay away from danio's then!
i do have some fish flakes handy so i can put some in now, should i wait a to let any ammonia this may cause build up before i add the safe start?

i was also considering possibly a betta.. but i dont want to get one of these and end up being unable to get a couple of neons along side it eventually incase of them being eaten or anything? lol

on another note, the heater is now set up and running, and set to heat the water to around 26c ,it is a 25w heater,,, but im worried cos im in a pretty cold room at the moment... so thinking maybe i would of been better with a 50w heater.. how long should it take before the water reaches the right temp?

Angel079 01-03-2010 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanieleah (Post 298978)
It's like restricting Tiger Woods to a miniature golf course.

:lol: that is the neatest way I ever heard someone explain this...I gotta remember this one, NICE :-)

@Robbo The way I understand safe start: You add it now, keep feeding your tank daily as if you had fish, test the waters (ammonia no's) and once they rise & fall again, your safe to stock.
No the betta wouldn't eat your Neon's....but if Neon's is what you really want, just wait, give the tank time to cycle and then buy your Neons. Once your heater reaches the desired temp it'll only kick on to reheat quick, you'll do fine. When you then do water exchanges laer on just judge the tap water that you need to replace tank water with by hand and have it in the bucket for refill warmish rather then using ice cold water (better on the fish to replace with more or less same temp).


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