Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bripex 04-06-2007 09:42 PM

Just got a fish tank...
Hey everyone, I am a senior in high school and for my AP English class I must write a giant paper on a topic of my choice...

So I decided I would do something about properly taking care of fish in an aquarium as I always wanted to have a pretty aquarium to look at in my room and have always had pet fish in the past that have died; and after reading around a bit, I realize why...

Anyways, I bought a small gallon or so tank, and two small little tetras. a black one and an orange one! ^^

well... sadly... after reading about the whole cycling thing and how they probably wont make it, I'm pretty sad, what do you guys recommend I do? any suggestions?

and another thing was feeding... People seem to recommend about whatever they can consume in a few minutes, so does that mean keep adding food for a few minutes? At the moment I give them a small pinch about twice a day, and by small, I mean like... about two of the small little flakes (which I crumble up for them, I'm supposed to do that right? lol)

and wow... they can eat that in seconds!

anyways, thanks for any help/suggestions in advance! :D

St6_Devgru 04-06-2007 10:22 PM

:wave: hey. welcome to Fish Forum. I did my science project on how to take care of fish! wow wat a coincedince. i link you my post of my draft for a little review on how you should do it. dont copy now ahah. so anywayz, a small tank? can you specify wat the actually measure of volume is? we would appreciate that. anyways for a beginner i think a ten gallon would do fine. not to big not to small. two neon tetras. they are actually schoolers which mean they are best kept in schools of 5+. im not one to say because i have one neon tetra in a 20 gallon tank left from a ich epidemic :( <-- my draft

bripex 04-06-2007 11:08 PM

it's 10.5 inches tall x 9 inches wide x 7 inches deep.

should I just go purchase a 10 gallon one and start the whole "cycle" process or whatever?

thanks again in advance guys:D

bripex 04-06-2007 11:09 PM

Oh and, thanks for the welcome and help St6_Devgru :D

Lupin 04-06-2007 11:14 PM

Welcome aboard, Bripex.:wave:

A 15 gallons tank is the minimum size I'd recommend. Changes of water parameters are likely to be minimal compared to anything smaller than 15 gallons. Start cycling and get a test kit, API Freshwater Master test kit. Avoid test strips which are often inaccurate.

bripex 04-06-2007 11:28 PM

Thanks Blue!

And tomorrow imma probably be going up that way, so I guess I'll stop by the fish store! :D

This place is like... a pet store specializing in fish, wish I'm realizing (I think so anyway) to be a GOOD GOOD thing...

Looks like I made a mistake going to wal-mart... :(

Reun 04-06-2007 11:29 PM

small tanks cycle really fast, so in a week the tank will be cycled. did you buy a filter and heater for the tank?

First,you should take the tetras back to the store, they need to be in schools of 6+ fish to be happy.

Second, not many fish can live happily in a 3 gallon. If you purchased a small heater with the tank, you can keep a couple guppys in it. if your tank has no heater, buy a beta, very beautifull fish that do somewhat ok in such a small tank. while betas thrive in water 70+ degrees and the space of a 5 gallon or more, it is safe to keep one at room temperature and in a 3 gallon tank like the one you purchased.

Setting up the tank:

buy some polished or natural river rock and place about .5" to 1" of gravel on the bottom. if you dont have a heater buy the smallest one you can find, because then you can keep guppies, and not only can you keep two or three instead of one beta, they will be happier.

now, put some fish food in there and let it rot for a week with your filter on. after the tank has cycled for a week, use a gravel vacuum(found at anywhere they sell aquarium supplies) and vacuum up the rotten food. remove one gallon of water(a third of the tank),add treated tap water or RO water from a fish store. you can also use filtered water from the store, just make sure you buy some water dechlorinater if you use store bought or tap water.

So, after you get a beta or a few guppies, next its time to maintain the tank.

Every week take out one third of the water and replace it with new water. this helps keep the aquarium healthy.

make sure you have a filter on your little tank. it doesnt matter if the filter holds charcoal, and if it does i wouldnt even use it because the charcoal has to be replaced once a week or it will leak poisons back into the water. fill your filter with sponge material. buy a filter for a 10 gallon aquarium if you havent bought a filter yet. over filtering is better than under filtering. keep in mind a few guppies and a small heater would be better, because betas dont like strong currents and a 10 gallon filter on a 3 gallon tank makes for alot of current,lol.

besides weekly water changes, buy a ammonia or nitrate testing kit and make sure ammonia levels are down. if you can find a heater, guppies would be best. then you can add them one at a time, adding one a week will make sure you tank doesnt have a mini cycle and spike ammonia and nitrate levels.

now, on to feeding. feed some flakes, drop a small portion in the tank once a day, overfeeding in a small tank is disastrous, most fish survive on very small amounts of food. the more they eat, the more they poop. the more they poop the more the nitrate build up, and the worse your tank. i would say for one beta or 3 guppies, a pinch of flakes in you thumb and index finger would be enough once a day. more than that and you are headed for disaster.

hope I helped! the tetras will be much happier back in the store :)

bripex 04-06-2007 11:44 PM

Thanks for the advice Reun.

And umm... does a lightbulb count as a heater..? :S (it puts off quite a bit of heat... iunno if its enough though)

Lupin 04-06-2007 11:52 PM


Originally Posted by bripex
And umm... does a lightbulb count as a heater..? :S (it puts off quite a bit of heat... iunno if its enough though)

No. I was under the impression you are using incandescent lights in which in this case is not suitable.:) Fluorescent lighting is a better way to go. Incandescents are old hat and can give off too much heat.:shake: It's also a wrong bulb for live plants.:)

St6_Devgru 04-07-2007 01:24 AM

i hate my apartment complex. only ! 20 gallon tank geez! im on the botom floor not like its gonna drop on anything.........why! Why! i was eyeing this 55 gallon stand and tank with a really long flouro lite fixation that costs about 300$ wow i can get it but i apartment wont let me :(

well good luck on your tank keep us posted on how it goes

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