New tank ideas! Any help would be great :)
I have just bought a 85L fish tank and i'm in the process of deciding fish, plants and cycling method. My ultimate plan is to have a heavily planted fish tank with some rocks and sand/gravel mix. I would also like a tank full of small - medium community style fish. Fish such as Tiger Barbs, Neon tetras, Rasboras, Plecos, Corys etc. I have had experience with fish tanks before but was more hit and miss when I was younger, this time I am looking to do things properly for a happy, healthy and good looking aquarium.
A few points I have thought about:
- Sand or Gravel, Which would both the plants and fish prefer?
- I'm from Australia, so some plants and fish may not be available.
- Lighting, nutrients and fish to keep the plants healthy?
Will appreciate any feedback and look forward to gaining knowledge and eventually being able to help other people out much like myself :)
Sounds like it's going to be a fun tank to put together. If it were my tank and i wanted it peaceful, i would skip the tiger barbs(notorious fin nippers and harrassers). My advice would be to look at a bunch of planted aquarium pictures and start to see what you like, then check parameters to make sure everything is compatible such as the fish you want to keep. Plants are the same way and prefer certain types of water. The best thing to do is get a test kit and test the p.h. of local water, this will help you decide what kinds of fish and plants you need, which in turn will let you decide the best substrate to use. Good luck. Lots of people on here know a lot more than me, but that's where i would start.
to begin with I want to tell you that the cycling method of adding frozen shrimp to the aquarium is the easiest! just add a couple of normal-sized shrimpos to your aquarium and your set!! just make sure you measure you parameters with a liquid master test kit! Aquarium Pharmaceudicals makes one thats the one most of us use here. Just get one of those at the store or online and monitor your parameters until everything is ready Im going to post something at the bottom to help you out. I would add small gravel( about 3 to four millimeter sized pebles) prefibly a dark color so your plants, decorations and fish strike out! I read most people like to add the dark substrate because it makes everything look good and yeah it really does! I myself do not have dark gravel and I can imagine having it and it would look very nice. The kind of plants you should stick to are ones that require fertilizer. Dont get any egeria densas because they can desolve very quickly went your adding fertilizer. The fertilizer that is most recommended here in this site is Seachem's Comprehensive for the planted aquarium but ofcourse they sell lots of kinds at the locals stores. I use all the Seachem product and my plants grow and look very pretty! its not hard to keep plants just give them the right conditions and your set! I add the fertilizer every saturday after a 50% water change. I have 9 plants, A Large-Leaf Amazon sword, some Java Ferns, a Red flame sword, two Cryptocorynes(very pretty and easy to care for), some Rotala Rotundifolias, some kind of alternantheras and they are all beautiful plants you should look into those because in my opinion they all grow very fast and are very attractive! Use a 6700K daylight fluorencent light thats the best kelvin rating to grow plants just make sure that the light is atleast 1 watt per gallon. Do a schedule of turning the light on and off. I usually turn the lights on at 9AM and turn them off at like 8:30PM. I will post another link to help you with the plants down at the pottom!!!
Also be very careful with any snails that come with the plants! I had 5 little snails come in with some of my plants and in about a month I got a baby boom that resulted in like 500 sails!!
Im not sure what fish you should get because you have to really search their profiles and requirements and look at the ones you like and stuff some are really high maintenance and are very hard to keep. I only have Danio Glowfish right now and I love them they are very pretty and active! the thing about some fish is that some are not active at all and its hard to tell when their sick and stuff so yeah I would recommend getting active fish for all levels of the aquarium. Also stay away from aggressive fish that will kill you other more peaceful fish just keep doing search on the ones you want.
ALSO be very very careful with the kinds of decorations and rocks that you buy. If you have decorations that have narrow little places and holes that the fish can get into they can go in there and they can get stuck and die. One of my fish(Rosie) she was my favorite fish and she got stuck in a small hole that I never thought she would go into...so yeah be very careful and take precaution with the decor you choose!!!
Another thing is get air stones for oxygen flow in your tank it helps the fish breathe better. I have a little powerhead that points to the corner of the aquarium in an upper angle and the waterflow goes to the top and hits the frame making a little waterfall effect that helps with the oxygen flow too! I would recommend a filter made by Marineland because those have BIO-wheels and have a very clever design that just makes to filter more efficient than most. Other good brands are available but I would not recommend the Aqueon brand because its just not that great for making filters..
Just make sure you do more intensive research on the fish that you want to buy and see their requirement theres a tab on the top of this page that shows many fish profiles and it gives some of information about what that particular fish might need.
Im glad that you joined our community there are many people here with years of experience and are readily available to answer any questions that you might need! there are also very friendly and kind!!
If you have any questions definitely ask anything at all that you might have in mind just ask it could make a big difference to the health and well-being of your little fishie friends!!!!
I hope you like it here and my friend again welcome to the tropical fish keeping forums!!!!:wave:
P.S dont forget to check out these links they will help you tons!!!
A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle
Thanks for the info guys! Just wondering what should come in a test kit? And once I test my water how can I find plants that would suit?
I will be getting my tank dropped off to me today :). I haven't yet got any plants.. Should I cycle the tank with plants from the start or is it ok to add them in a couple weeks time? Also with the adding the frozen shrimp, do I just drop them in at the start and then leave them and use them rather than adding some fish food every day? Also once my tank is cycled and ready for fish, roughly how man would be suitable for the tank? I don't quite understand the method usually used.
Thanks alot for the feedback, Ryan :-)
The test kit comes with little bottles to test the pH(1.0 to 7.0) the high pH(7.0 to 10.0) ammonia test, nitrite test and nitrate testing. I heard that sometimes the kit comes with different things sometimes like a bottle test to measure hardness but Im not entirely sure. Your pH is what determines the kind of fish and plants that you should get because if you try to change the pH from your tap water your aquarium will be unstable in the future and your fish will get sick you kno? once you test your pH see what plants you like and you can check out your local store for plants and see which you like in the store sometimes the labels say what their pH ranges in. Some people have told me that its better to get the plants online and that they save alot of money by doing so the sites are aquariumplants.com or sweetaquatics.com.
they ship them in plastic bags and people tell me that they come in very good condition most of the time I havent tried it but when I do Ill let you know and tell you how it went.
when you arrange everything in your tank add your plants and everything you know and put the shrimpos in a mesh bag or a piece of a panty hose material sock so there isnt so much of a mess and start everything(your filter, heater, termometer etc.) and let everything run until your aquarium is cycled. Just test the water every saturday and monitor how the readings are going and once your nitrites and ammonia hit zero for two days and your nitrAtes hit high around 80 your ready to add your fish. Before adding the fish do like a 60% water change or until your nitrates get low to about 20 or lower(sometimes people think that the beneficial bacteria is in the water but its not its only in the filter, substrate,decor, etc.) and take out the shrimpos. Remember that nitrates are toxic if the levels are above 20 and the ammonia and nitrites are toxic when they are above 0. When they are just keep doing partial water changes until everything is back to normal.
fish food will leave a huge mess for you to clean up thats why the easiest method to cycle is the frozen shrimp.
just make sure you add only about 3 fish at a time when the aquarium is cycled. If they are large fish just add a couple at a time so they dont drown they beneficial bacteria with the overload of waste. if you add too many fish your fish will drown the bacteria and the ammonia and nitrites will make your fish ill and they probably will die..
if your wondering about anything else in particular let us know we just want you to be fully informed and we also want your fish to be healthy and happy:)
Tested the tap water that I will be using in my tank:
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrate - nil / 5ppm
Nitrite - nil
Does this look to be right? If so will these results help me in picking out fish and plants?
Thanks again for all the info, Ryan
Because I live in a small town they only had 3 separate tests for Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia. But I visited a friend and they had a pH test, tested the tap water and it's roughly 7.2. Any suggestions for fish and plants? All preferably easy-moderate care.
Currently putting the tank together. Plants are so difficult to put in properly! Also my tanks lights continue to flick on and off even when left for a while, could I be in for new fluro lights?
Just wanted to add my 2 cents here on my opinions...
Regarding substrate...I dont think you can go wrong with sand. I have gravel in my tanks, and kick myself every day for not thinking it through and getting sand.
As far as filters...I have the marineland biowheel...I hate it. I have talked to a few others who have it and hate it too. They dont have a high enough flow (gph) on them for the tanks they are suppose to filter, which causes cloudiness and ineffective filtration.
As far as plants...I am a newbie with them, however both of my tanks have at least 3 live plants in them (one has four). I dont use any plant food for them, or do anything special at all for them and they are doing fine. They are all one type of plant, no idea what it is, and then I have one mondo grass plant in my larger tank that is awesome looking.
As far as what fish to add to a planted tank...not only should you consider size, aggression, and water parameters, but also what fish wont eat or dig up your live plants. I had an albino rainbow shark that thought her sole purpose was to dig up every plant in the tank. And I have a betta now that likes to uproot my tiny moneywarts I have in addition to my other live plants. You can also pick fish that adore and find all the plants useful...as an example dwarf puffers or dwarf gourami LOVE lots of live plants (however they each have their own specific care requirements and limitations on tankmates and such).
Welcome to TFK!!!
start with Cryptocorynes they are very pretty plants and very easy to care for too! java ferns are ease too!
Im not sure whats up with your light it could be a fuse but Im not sure if it keeps happening return it and get a different one wether its the hood or the light it could be one or the other..
and about the Marineland filter just choose the one you like some work great others not so great but I love mine and some people dont like them like lascolinascichlids. Get a filter that has 10 more gallons of capacity (like if your tank is 20 gallons get a 30 gallon filter) Im not an expert on the subject but I have had to return other filters because the were not doing their job and this one worked so just know that sometimes products differ with their quality and if the one you choose malfuctions go out and get a different one there are many to choose from.
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