Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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burtandurny101 02-09-2010 12:31 AM

New to fish, any feed back?
So i recently set up a small, 10 gallon tank for my dad, i have got a 20 gallon tank that i will eventually set up but for now i want to keep it smaller. I have a simple carbon/sponge side mounted filer and about an inch or two of a mixed gravel, mostly pebbles about a half inch around, and some finer betta tank esk gravel.

I aqquired a few live aquatic plants from my science teacher at school, i dont know they names of the species nor can i find one that resembles either of them on the web. I plan to load a few photos of my tank, hopefully some close ups of the plants. i also have a random house plant i found planted in a vase full of tap witer and gravel, i planted it in the bottom and tilted towards the light. it seems to be taking off, starting new growth almost immediately, the roots are getting bigger eveyday. One of the aquatic plants has thick oval leaves coming from a sort of floating bulb and root sytem that does not bury in the gravel at all. the other plant looks like long green pasta noodles, though not quite are circular, with 5 skiny leaving coming off radially about every inch or 2. again i am planning on loading pics.

Right now i have three goldfish in there as more of gunea pigs untill i decide what type of fish would best go in there. the temperature as abotu 67 degrees, and the ph is just a hari below 7. Does anybody have any ideas as to what fish would go well in this tank. 10 gallon or a 20? Although i know its prolly best to set up the 20 off the bat, i am curious as to what i can pull of in the 10.

jeaninel 02-09-2010 12:48 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum.

How about some White Cloud Mountain Minnows? White Cloud Mountain minnow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
They are a cool water fish so would be well suited to your tank since you don't have a heater. They stay small...under 2". You could probably do a school of 6 or so.

Is the tank cycled? Do you have a test kit to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates?

burtandurny101 02-09-2010 01:21 AM

those are cool looking fish, but they dont really have me cause thay are soo small. I think goldfish would be better for me still. I dont know What you mean exactly by cycled....... i ran it with plants and no fish for about a week, is that cycled or not? and i dont have a ammonia test kit. i have test srips for a hot taop, ph, alkalinity, and monopreusalfate. but i dont think i am gonne be looking for the last one, no non chlorine pool chemical for my fish tank.

With so few fish, plants and a rated 20 gallon filter/pump will ammonia and nitrate ever be an issue? (on the lines that i keep the filter clean)

even though i dont have an in tank heater in my aquarium the water temp is fairly worm because it is in the room with all my reptiles, each with their own heating. needless to say the room is always at least 70 or 80 degrees. What kinds of algae eating fish can i keep in this tank? small plecos species? big snails? (dont think the small ones are too interesting)

Austin 02-09-2010 03:31 AM

That isn't really long enough for it to be cycled I think. It really depends what you did. But if all you did was add water and the plants and let it run for a week it probably is not done.

I actually don't know how exactly to cycle a fish tank since when I set mine up I was younger and I didn't think about it (and ended up with a lot of dead fish!) but it eventually got cycled... And my other tank I've stemmed off of water/gravel/filter material from my established tanks already so no clue how to cycle a tank w/o any material from an established tank or anything like that... buttt look on google for some fishless cycling guides. As someone asked above if you had a nitrate/nitrite/ammonia tester I believe you will need that for cycling.

Fishless cycling is the more humane thing to do... what I unintentionally did when I was younger and didn't know about cycling and set up my tanks, was basically cycling with fish... and gave me lots of dead fish... so I reccommend researching fishless cycling so you don't have to harm any fish or stress them. :(

You can get goldfish, but goldfish get BIG so you will only be able to keep 1. Many people wouldn't recommend keeping goldfish in a tank smaller than 20 gallons.... some bright, pretty fish that are good for beginners would be many of the livebearers... and if you enjoy having baby fishies. (: Platies, Mollies, and guppies are beautiful fish, don't get too big, and are hardier than a lot of other fish. You could probably keep 3-4 of them in your 10 gallon tank and they'll be happy. :)

With a first fish tank it is hard to keep to a small amount of fish (because you just keep wanting to get more xD), but if you over crowd your tank your fish are going to be unhappy and continuously die...

Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ammonia will be an issue even with a 20 gallon filter in an uncycled tank if you add fish. You see, it takes weeks for a good bacteria colony to establish itself in your fish tank. This bacteria breaks down Ammonia into Nitrite into Nitrate (i think...)(Nitrates being the least toxic to your fish)If you don't have these good bacteria established in your fish tank, your fish waste (ammonia) will spike since the bacteria won't be there to change it into less harmful chemicals.

And nitrate can still be an issue with a cycled tank! Even if you have a filter which can handle 2x the ammount of water. If you don't do regular partial water changes the nitrates will build up in your tank and become poisonous to your fish! Water changes are very important, don't rely on your filter to keep your tank clean, it can't do it by itself!

70-80 degrees will be an ideal temperature for most tropical fish. Check your potential fish's stats online to see what temperatures they like.

iamntbatman 02-09-2010 03:59 AM

Even fancy species of goldfish, which stay a bit smaller than other types, will get as big around as a softball plus fins or bigger. A ten gallon tank simply will not work for goldfish long-term.

In an unheated tank, there really aren't many options for you as most fish species available are tropical and would require a heater in the tank. The white clouds already mentioned are nice fish. The Vietnamese variety are particularly stunning. If you got a heater, we would be able to recommend a lot more fish to you.

Since you cannot keep goldfish in your tank long-term, I would suggest returning them as soon as you can. Next you'll want to do a fishless aquarium cycle (which may well already be underway due to the goldfish being in the tank). There are plenty of guides available on this forum (for example, here). A good liquid test kit is really your best friend when cycling a tank as it will tell you how far along the cycle is and ultimately, when it is complete.

Once that's done, it's really just a matter of knowing your other water parameters (pH, hardness and temperature) and we can give you all kinds of ideas for fish!

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