Questions regarding new tank set up and fish choosing, very confused !
I am a newbie, so new that my tank is still un wrapped in the living room. I am in need of some serious help.
So I bought this 10 gallon tank with a lava fern plant from Petsmart, theguy works there told me I have to set up the tank (put in water conditioner, a bit of fish food)and let it run for about 2-3 weeks before I put any fish in there. He also told me I may put the live plant in right away.Well, around where I live there is a small petsupply store, and told me very different story. They said I don't have to wait that long, 3 days to a week is good enough, and they told me the lava fern will not make it in the tank before I get the fish, because there's no nutrients for the plant.
Who should I listen? I am so confused now. Where should I put the tank if I want live plants in the tank, a east facing room or a south facing room?
I am also using the time to deciding onwhat kind of tropical fish I should get. I Can someone give me any advice?
The tank will have black gravel and salt/pepper stone, along with a wood log (the log is boiling in the pot now to get rid of some of the coffee color)
Any advice would be deeply appreciated.
First off welcome to the forum!!
You did the right thing by asking before setting up. I unfortunately did not when I put my first tank up and lost a lot of loved fish.
Actually; I can't believe I'm saying this lol; petsmart was correct. You need to buy a liquid test kit like API or tetra.
Put in the gravel and decor and your plant. Set up your filter complete with media and your heater and light. Fill with conditioned water and plug everything in. Add some fish food and let it run. Test the water daily. You want to get an ammonia spike reading and then that will drop and you will get a nitrite spike and then that will drop finally you'll get a nitrate spike. when that drops and everything is at 0 (especially ammonia and nitrite) your tank is cycled and ready to start SLOWLY adding fish. 1 or 2 at a time a week.
To help you figure out what types of fish go well together and to help avoid overstocking your tank I suggest going to AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor. Many more people will help on here as well. We love answering questions and seeing pics of tanks and inhabitants.
Oh and please research the fish you want heavily first before you buy. Many LFS (local fish stores) are just trying to make a buck.
Ask them questions you know the answers to. If they answer right you can begin to trust them. just a little tip
WOW! This is the first time I have ever seen a place like Petsmart give good advice! Usually I tell people to support their local small business fish stores over chains like petsmart, but in this case, I think you found your self a good guy. Just make sure you always talk to him if possible.
Thanks everybody! I have a little confidence now.
I will set up the tank today and let you guys know how it goes as soon as I get some fishes.
Whoo Hoo!! Good advice given by all including a chain store employee. That's something you don't see every day (re: the store employee).
Good luck, keep us posted, and welcome to the forum.
As for your question regarding the position of the tank for the plants,I presume that your tank has a light in the hood?.
You only need the tank light to provide the light for the plants (the choice of plants you have will be limited to how good your light is).Having a tank in direct sunlight next to a window may give you a bad algae problem.Just put the light on a timer for about 10 hours a day (mine go on at 1.00 in the afternoon until 11.00 in the evening so I get to see my fish in all their glory when I'm home in the evenings).
If you want to go mental with the plants you can get a fert substrate,CO2 system etc.But you can still have a nice planted tank just using liquid ferts/root tabs.
Good luck with the tank!,
hello and welcome.
enjoy setting up. :-D
make sure you wash the gravel really well.
ok Willow now I am a bit worried, I only rinsed the gravel under the tap water for about 7 minutes. Why you need to wash them really well?
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