Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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joe1992w 04-18-2010 04:42 PM

Newbie question! Will my tank be sufficiently aerated?
This is my very first post on these forums and i need help!
my title says at all but i'll repeat just incase you missed it :)
Is there enough surface disturbtion for a suffice amount of aeration to occur?
Okay to give you guys an idea it's a 100 litre tank, 3 foot wide and 12 inches deep.
It was filled 2 days ago and still needs gravel + plants and fish of course.
i was told my a LFS that if i used a filter with a spray bar i would get sufficient aeration, but i thought i'd better check with people who have nothing to gain out of me :)
The 1st pic is the whole set up, 2nd the right hand side from the top (you can see filter and one jet breaking waters surface), 3rd left hand side from top, 4th shows the filter in situ up close and at the surface you can see the top jet just causing some disruption to the surface, and the last is my attempt to show you the jet above the water surface

The shots from above are trying to show the ripples in the surface and if you can notice on 2 of the pictures i'm showing on of the jets leaving the water surface to actually break the surface of the water, any help is greatly appreciated as i don't want a mass of dead fish when i finally add them.

Byron 04-18-2010 05:26 PM

Hi and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping.

Surface disturbance does not have to be much to provide plenty of gas exchange (carbon dioxide [CO2] leaves the water, oxygen enters the water). Filtration should be based upon the fish that will be in the aquarium. Some require more water movement, some prefer little if any. A successful community aquarium is one in which all the fish have pretty much the same needs.

For example, a tank of gourami and rasbora should have very minimal water movement because these fish come from slow streams and still ponds and swamps; by contrast, fish from fast flowing rivers will need more oxygen and water movement. These two opposites do not do well together in the same tank, unless it is large enough that you can provide what each type of fish requires.

The advantage of a canister filter with a spray bar is that you can adjust the surface disturbance from nothing to quite a bit just by turning the line of holes down the wall or across the tank or anywhere in between.

You don't mention plants, but if there are to be plants that also has an impact on water movement and surface disturbance, since both can drive off much needed CO2.

I can go into more specifics once we know about the fish and if there will be live plants.


iamntbatman 04-18-2010 10:47 PM

Welcome to TFK!

I think a spray bar would probably provide sufficient aeration in most application and possibly too much for certain types of tanks.

I would be more concerned about the stand you have your tank on. I noticed that the ends of the tank overhang the stand, which will cause stress and could result in leaks or even catastrophic tank failure. I would suggest either using or building a stand designed to hold the tank or, if the stand you have now is sturdy enough to hold a 100 liter tank (which is quite heavy!), adding a wider piece of wood across the top so that the tank is supported all around the edge.

joe1992w 04-19-2010 09:21 AM

Thank you for the replies, i also had concerns about the over hang but the LFS showed me there display tanks and most if not all had large overhangs with no problems but i will try and find a soloution. also i am looking at keeping peacefull livebearing fish to start with as i am new to aquatics and need easy fish to care for to start with. could you (the experts here) recommed some live bearing fish that are easy to keep and will work well together in a community tank. thanks again, i was really worried about the aeration situation.

joe1992w 04-19-2010 11:02 AM

Sorry for double post but i couldn't find an edit option and realised i hadn't metioned plants. I plan on adding a few living aquarium plants, hopefully ones that require very little special care and attention and my tank will not be heavily planted as i imagine they contribute heavily to dirty water. any suggestions on low maintanance plants would also be much appreciated. i'm at day 3 or cycling and my water is now slightly cloudy. i am using fish flakes as an ammonia source and would like to know if cloudy water is abnormal?
also i have added bottled bottled bacteria in the form of "King British - Safe water" and used a de-chlorinator and detoxifier in the form of "King British - Safe Guard" will the bacteria shorten the cycling period? and is there anything else i could do to potentially decreas the time i have to wait before i add fish?
I have my heater on as i have read that nitrifying bacteria grow at their maximum rate at around 25 degrees C.
Thanks for any help or advice you can offer

Byron 04-19-2010 01:40 PM

I hadn't noticed the tank/stand issue, glad iamntbatman spotted it. That is dangerous. The easy solution is a sheet of plywood, 3/4 inch thick, that will fully support the tank with no such overhangs. The plywood can sit on the stand furniture. That will also protect the furniture from getting grooves in it from the weight of the water; the plywood will absorb the weight.

I don't know that I would class livebearers as particularly easy for beginning aquarists:-). If you have male/female, they will reproduce like mad. And some (thinking of mollies) are not good "new tank" fish. However, we can expand on this, and suggest suitable plants; but first, do you know your tap water parameters (hardness and pH)? This will make it easier if you select fish suited to the water. More on this too when we know the numbers. A pH test kit is useful as this is something most of us check regularly. Hardness is not so necessary, as once you know the tap water hardness we will know the pH buffering capacity and hardness is not likely to change in the aquarium depending upon what it is out of the tap. Your fish store may do hardness test; if so, ask them for the specific numbers, and for GH (General hardness) and KH (Carbonate hardness). Alternatively, some water companies will have this information.

When setting up a new tank, you should have the filter and heater set as you intend for fish. Temp at 25C (that's 77F) is fine for a community of livebearers or most tropicals, which ever way you go. The bacterial supplement should quicken the cycling, it is presumably live bacteria, though I don't know the brand you mention. [I take it you are in the UK?] Have a read of iamntbatman's article on cycling at the head of this section, here's the direct link:

Aside from using a biological supplement, the nitrifying bacteria cycle takes time to establish, anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks depending upon various things. Do you have an ammonia and nitrite test kit? The linked article explains this.

One comment on plants, they keep the water clean, they don't contribute to dirty water. Plants do a tremendous job of filtration. Many planted tank aquarists do not use filters, leaving it to the plants. Some of this is explained in my articles on a low-tech planted aquarium, at the head of the Aquarium Plants section; here's a link to the first of four articles there:
You might want to read through those to get a feel for how easy planted tanks can be.


joe1992w 04-19-2010 01:52 PM

Unfortunately i do not have any testing kits what so ever as the guy at my LFS where i have bought everything so far recommended a "Fishless" cycle using a small pinch of flakes once a day as an ammonia source and to wait 4 weeks aprox. and to take a small sample of water and they would do a complete test for everything so they can tell if my tank is ready.
Although as i have been reading it is becoming more obvious that i should have bought the test kits myself so i could keep logs and watch for the ammonia and nitrate spikes as well as the ph and hardness test you have recomended.
As for now i cannot supply any data as i simply do not have the means to test. also i will be keen to get the overhang problem fixed as i too have had concerns.

Also my water has turned cloudy today, not overly so but enough that it is noticeable is this abnormal for a newly cycling tank?

Thanks again for your reply


Readings from my water company, may help you help me :)

Byron 04-19-2010 02:01 PM

If you can get a good test kit, I would recommend it. It is easier to do this at home daily, as then you will be certain of the ammonia and nitrite spikes. API make a good one that many of us recommend; there is a combo that includes pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate which in my view are the essential tests. I never use my hardness kit any longer, once I found out the tap water and the tank water. pH I do check regularly. And nitrates are important until the tank is biologically established, then less so.

Cloudiness is probably related to the cycling. The ammonia and nitrite tests would help to determine this.

Keep on with the flakes as they (correctly) recommended. There has to be a continual daily source of ammonia. The bacteria will appear to handle the ammonia that is available, but if the ammonia lessens or stops, the bacteria will die off quickly (several hours). Then you would be starting over again. Once the tank is cycled, adding a fish or two will ensure constant ammonia.


joe1992w 04-19-2010 02:10 PM

Thanks for all the help and advice it's very much appreciated. i don't know if you noticed my edit of my least post that gave a link to the values of my tap water in my area but you didn't mention it and i was hoping you could give me some more advice if it's needed that directly relates to my tap water. thanks alot

joe1992w 04-19-2010 02:23 PM

also when i say a pich of fish flakes i mean i take 2-3 average sized flakes and crush them into a fine powder and add evenly to the surface of my tank is this enough,okay or too much flake?

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