Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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AO2JZ 09-14-2010 06:45 PM

Another "FREE FISH" story, TANK SET UP HELP - 29 tall
First off I want to establish my self (my first post :D). I want to appoligise first off because my posts are always so lengthy due to attention to detail (I would like to think thats what it is :P). I'm an avid keeper of herps (dragons, and geckos more specificly) and always put the health of my animals above anything else. I have had fish in the past; I would have been a child or teenager (whats the differance) so I was not the primary keeper of the tank. Ive been thinking about getting a fishtank for a while now so it has been a point of interest, the circumstances just forced my hand to act a bit faster than I wanted. Ok, maby I didnt have to act buy Im sure everyone here can agree with me that these things can happen from time to time.

Over the weekend my wife took our son to her grandpa's surprise birthday party. Short story, the centerpieces for the party had feeder goldfish in it and Jordan (my son) ended up with 3 of them, all maby 2 1/2inches long (what ever the typical feeder fish size is). When I got home from work that night (I didnt go with them) I found some fishl in a tank, or, um... cube, that was a gallon or less in size. Me being the over accomplisher that I am, decided that this wasnt a good home for one fish nevermind 3, so the next day I sent the wife off to the storage facility to find a spare tank. I met her at the pet store after work, she got there before me as was already talking to our local pet guy Chris about the filter we had for the 20gallon tank she got out of storage (we have known Chris for a while: crickets, superworms, ect. Needless to say that fish are his thing and he was super excited to hear what we were there for). After talking to him for a while, we walked out to the wifes car to find that our 20 gallon was actually a 10 gallon. Well, Im not gonna lie I was a little dissappointed to find that thing sitting in her back seat, Chris said something positive, I'm not even sure what to be honest, I just wanted a tank bigger than 10 gallons so ofcourse the gears started spinning. He had some "tank kits" set up out side infront of his store that werent very apealing to me, bowed front glass 20gallon acrylic, 20gallon long, ect. We walked inside and he had a tank sitting on the ground by his desk that he offered to me. It was used and dirty (me cleaning it was part of the deal), Im assuming someone traded it in, hood tank and all. We checked the filter pump, air pump, light ballast: worked, it came with a cleaning siphon, magnetic alge cleaner, net, all the stuff that I needed, minus bio wheel that is comming later this week (he ordered it and threw it in for free) minus heater all for $50 . I ended up spending $100 when it was all said and done (rocks, fake plants, heater ect.) but he gave me a deal on all that stuff too so it was well worth it.

Its a 29 gallon tall Eclipse. I got it cleaned and set up (filled and decorated), the only thing that I noticed was that the pump likes to sit crooked in the hood causing some extra loud noise from vibration. Apparentlly this happens with all of the eclipse style pumps?... problem solved yesterday with 2 suction cups attached to the pump pickup to hold it straight, fits much better and is a lot quieter. Im still wondering if its a little too loud though, it DOES pump fine... do these things get louder and fail (bad internals) or do they just quit pumping? Should I order one now so when this one fails I have another? I pulled out the impeller and it seems ok, again not an expert, lol. The thing could be fine but im just not used to the noise.

There wernt any fish in the tank for the first day and a half, when I came home from lunch yesterday (today is the 3rd day it has been set up) I found that she had already put the fish into the tank. I was going to wait, but... oh well. Im assuming that these things (again feeder gold fish) should be just fine in there while the tank makes its first cycle; something I'm admiting that I knew nothing about untill I found you guys a day ago. I have drained and replaced a gallon or two the last couple of nights as I heard that helps with, umm... somthing, while cycling with fish in the tank... lol, OMG, I know. Im planning on buying a liquid test kit for the water so I can check the levels properly.


I would like to put live plants into the tank as well. I read some of the suggestions in other posts and think that it would be somthing that, if anything else would cut down on the noise from the airpump. Should I wait untill after the first cycle? Obviously adding plants would effect the cycle, would it be in a negitave way (remember there are already fish in the tank)? I've also found that, not suprisingly, feeder gold fish arnt really mentioned when stocking a tank, lol. My son is already attached (he will be 4yrs in a month), and is very proud of his new fish. I want to start thinking about stocking but Im not sure where to start. HOW BIG will these feeder gold fish get? I want to have a harmonious tank without fish eating other fish. Ive heard to use tetras, angel fish, ect. but I figure eventually somthing will be overgrown and eat somthing else right (angel fish)?!? Lastly, because this is a tall tank, I would like some diversity... bottom feeders (I would rather not have any catfish), maby wandering school of somthing (more mid depth) and then somthing that preferred the top of the tank. Possible?

THANKS in advance, Ill be checking back later and adding pics!


Romad 09-14-2010 08:30 PM

Hello Aaron

Welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of helpful people here :)

When you say "tall" tank - do you mean a hexagon shaped tank? Can you list the dimensions?

I think a good starting point is to get your tapwater tested for ph and hardness (bring a sample to Chris).
That will give you an idea of which fish to start thinking about. For instance, I just moved to a new home that has 6.2 ph out of the tap but I moved a bunch of fish with me that do better in 7.0 plus ph which means I have to keep a bit of crushed coral in the filter or in rock form to keep them happy.

Check out the tropical fish profiles at the top of the page (second from left in the blue bar) for ideas as well.

We're here to help so ask away.....

badxgillen 09-14-2010 11:45 PM

uh oh
i hate to be the bearer of bad news but the gold fish get rather large in the long run and deficate rather frequintly making a higher tole on the bio far as plants adding them during cycling is great...helping in nuttient uptake...just remenmber that the gold fish can have a taste for soft leaved ones......ADIOS.....

Inga 09-15-2010 05:18 AM

Sounds like you got a nice deal on a starter tank for your new family members. Gotta love the Goldfish Center pieces. That is how my nephew ended up with his tank as well. Sadly, the goldfish didn't make it. Apparently some other kids had poured soda in the bowls. That is why my nephews took them, they wanted to save them but it was too late. Since they had the tank already, they got some other smaller fish. Goldfish can get HUGE. Would love to see some pictures. :) Oh and WELCOME to the forum.

redchigh 09-15-2010 10:40 AM

One fair warning- goldfish don't do well with ANY other fish... If you keep goldfish, you're stuck with only goldfish...

Also, since goldfish like lower temperatures (room temperature) you're limited on plants, plus you have to keep in mind goldfish love salad...

Java Fern, Anubias, and Bolbitis heudelotii do well, they are all tied to rocks or wood.
You can also use hornwort or frogbit as a floating plant...

Any of those plants might get eaten, but they will survive a while before the goldfish realises he's hungry enough.

Also, some more bad news, common goldfish get pretty big... They do make a lot of waste on top of that, so most people day you need a minimum of 15-20 gallons PER FISH.

Your best bet is to take your kid to a pet store, and let him look at all the fish... He might find something he likes more. :)

AO2JZ 09-15-2010 12:21 PM

Sorry I didnt post pics yesterday, we ended up losing power and it didnt come on until after midnight. Hmmm.... Maby a gold fish only tank? I wanted a bit of diversity in the tank. I might be mistaken but I don't think theses are the regular kind of gold fish. They look more like guppys or minnows, (im sure its just wish full thinking). They are straighter than they are round. Pics at the end will help. The tank is not a hexagon, dimensions of the tank are: 24"w*24"h*12"d. I did ask about my water, Im on a well with soffened water so Chris said that I shouldnt have to worry about that. As far as the plants go, I do have apair of florescent bulbs in there. I read that 6500 is the right color range so I will pick one up as well. For what ever reason the previous owner added a starter&blacklight for the other bulb, It works so its fine by me, kinda looks cool too. I already appreciate all the help. What should I do with these gold fish if we determine that they are going to get to big? dont fish generally grow to their environment? I would hate to take them back to Chris just for them to end up in the feeder tank again. Oh yah, amidst the darkness lastnight (no power) my wife brought another one home... older and smaller than the rest but super fast. This one was kept in a fish bowl. Not to sound ignorant but why isnt he super big yet? Nicoles sister got him from her wedding centerpiece almost a year ago... Im off to the plant store!!!

Following is one of the fish... he is about 2 1/2"

sik80 09-15-2010 12:40 PM

Vital info on cycling the tank here:

Have you considered rehoming the goldfish? You could start a tropical community and would have a lot more options for stocking the tank with a interesting variety of species

AO2JZ 09-16-2010 10:02 AM


Originally Posted by sik80 (Post 471924)
Vital info on cycling the tank here:

Have you considered rehoming the goldfish? You could start a tropical community and would have a lot more options for stocking the tank with a interesting variety of species

I actually read that section on cycling the tank before I joined the forum, very helpfull. I have decided that Im going to rehome the goldfish into a 20gallon tank. I cant imagine that they would get to huge in that thing... no one ever answered about the "growing to the size of the tank comment I made". If they out grow that, maby Ill put in a pond, lol. That sounds like somthing I would do. That leads into the next bit... my tank stays around 82*f day round (dragons are in the same room and they like 125+ basking area). That alone made me consider moving the gold fish due to the fact that they are coldwater fish. Leaves me to this question....

What should I put in the tank?

30gallon 24"x24", I never made it to the plant store, but I am planning on planting the tank now, it stays a constant 82*.

kaythenewbie 09-16-2010 10:24 AM

Just want to add that your tank is beautiful! Very pretty. Check out some of the tropical fish profiles (top left of the page) to see lots of fish options for your tank. I'm sure that many others will give you lots of suggestions too. A good way to start is to take your son to a pet store and see if there are any fish your family likes and then build a community tank around that. Or you could check the pH and hardness of your water (always a good way to start) and look for fish that do well within your water's limits. (Most of the fish at pet stores can adapt to other water conditions). Welcome to the forum and have fun!

Inga 09-17-2010 01:35 PM

As far as fish growing to the size of the tank, my understanding is this... Fish continue to grow and if the tank is too small their internal organs can grow deformed. This can severely limit the leg th of life of the fish not to mention over all health. I wish pet stores would quit selling Goldfish and Goldfish bowls because really, they are cruel and people don't know it. They trust pet stores to teach them what is right, not just what is profitable to the store. Guess that is our mistake.

I can't wait to see your tank once you plant it. You have to of course get the kind of fish you want but the species that popped into my head when you asked was the Guppy. They are very very colorful (the males) and they like the warm water. Have you had your water tested to find out where you are in your cycle process and how hard or soft your water is exactly? If you do chose Guppies make sure you purchase males only or you might have more Guppies then you can shake a stick at. My understanding is they breed like it is going out of style. Also, the males are more colorful and a half dozen or more Guppies in your 20 gallon tank might be really nice. Then you could add some Cory's or something for the bottom. Here is the Guppy Profile

There are so many choices and I don't want to limit you. Read through some of the other fish profiles and keep in mind your water parameters and temperature in your tank. You want happy healthy fish, obviously.

I was gifted a half dozen Guppies and at first wasn't real happy about it. I bought a separate tank for them and I have to admit, I enjoy watching them. They are absolutely beautiful fish and if you like color... you will have that. I have red ones, yellow ones and blue. I also have a bluish one with darker blue tail with yellow spots and one with a yellow and Grey tail. They are so colorful and fairly active without being hyper.

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