Flippin New guy
Heyy, I'm going to start up my first aquarium when I move into my new place a month from now. I've been reading up on everything I need to do to get prepared and came across this website, some of the member seems very informed on this stuff, so figured I'd join to get some tips and what not!
I plan on getting a 20 gallon with a package deal of a heater filter with biowheel and plants. Then I plan on letting my aquarium sit for a few weeks, seeing if I can't get some of the aquarium gravel from the local pet store that already has gravel with the good stuff on it, and adding a little ammonia each day to get that good 'ole nitrogen cycle going, then I was going to start adding fish. I really want to get a rainbow shark in there or a red tailed shark, but I thought it might be better to get my other fish in there first. That's pretty much where I'm at right now, deciding what fish would be compatible with either one Rainbow or one Red tailed shark.
welcome from a fellow noob :-P
sounds like you have a good plan...i love sharks but i held off this time around. keep us posted.
http://yoursmiles.org/csmile/preved/c0139.gif Welcome! Glad you decided to join!
Great to see you are planning ahead / researching! :-) I would love to own one of those sharks one day. I don't have any experience with them, but from everything I have read, I think a 20 gallon might be a bit small for a RTS or RS, unless you are planning on upgrading in the near future.
It is a really exciting time setting up an aquarium, just remember to take things slowly and be patient...it sounds like you will do great! ;-)
Hi nonvolitilelife. Welcome to TFK!!
Wonderful to hear you have a plan! A couple of things tho.... Do not take any gravel from the LFS as it can easily have disease in it. Not likely they will give you any anyway. You are better off not using that! It takes 6-8 weeks to cycle a tank thru the "Cycle" so plan on 2 months. I love that you are getting a filter with a bio-wheel which is never replaced and is where the good bacteria will reside once established. have you read this...? There is a sticky post and tried to find it for you... hope this is it>>>http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
Please invest in a API LIQUID testing kit with your new tank set up and get familiar with it. It should include Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, PH, and water hardness...and record your readings too... you can even log your info in here at TFK. on the aquarium tab, once you have entered all the details of your tank, there is a link at the bottom I think where you can enter your parameter and history of your maintenance. neat feature I stumbled upon. An alternate to that get a little calander book (keep it near your tank) and write what you have done on what day... it is hard to remember what day last week, last month did i buy that fish, or change that water, or when did the last one die.....
Red tailed black sharks...... I have one in a 75 gal. It is not more than 3 inches long but already I can see moments of aggression. Do not ever keep more than one shark of any kind in a tank. Do not consider Bala's as they grow to over a foot long and need more than a 90Gal. I had 3 in a 90G and it really was too small, they love to swim fast.
Do your research. Go to the LFS lots, Pick out what you think you would like... go home and research that fish. If it is not suitable...why? Go back to the LFS and do it again. Pick out something else... go do the research.
If you take your time, you will be successful and minimize the new fish deaths that the rest of us have already experienced. Good luck... we look forward to pictures of your new tank set up!!
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
I second Jackiebabie on the gravel issues, and the shark. A 20g is much too small for one of these. Have a read of our profile, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page takes you to the profile section, or you can click on the name when it appears shaded, example: Red Tailed Shark.
Welcome to the forum! This is a great place to get sound advice. Be careful not to fall for the petstore pressures. They will often lead you in the wrong direction, telling you that certain fish will be fine but in truth, they won't. I agree with the others who said, research, research, research.
I have a Rainbow shark and for the most part, he gets along with the others in the tank. I have an empty log he lives in and he is VERY protective of his log. He will chase others on occasion away from his log but he has never hurt anyone else. They all swim happily around the log and don't seem nervous at all. The tank he is in is 4 feet long and he has plenty of room. 20 gallon is really NOT even close to large enough. I hope to get a 200 gallon tank some day and if I do, he will move into that tank.
I noticed you said you would be getting plants with your tank. If they are live plants and you get enough of them, you can add a few hardy fish right away. The plants help to keep the water safe during the cycle process. When I say few I mean 2-3 and hardy fish, not something real delicate. As long as you keep up with your water changes and use a good water conditioner like Prime, you should be all set. :) Can't wait to see what you decide on.
Thank you for the advice, yeah 20 gallon is too small after I did research. 29 gallon is even possibly too small, so I might invest in a 55 gallon in order to get what I want. I do want some plants, I'm doing some research to decide between live or fake plants...as for the hardy fish I'm thinking of using Tiger Barb. I hear they can be dangerous to other fish, that they need to live in schools of 7 or more, and that they are very hardy. I looked at the water conditions necessary for Rainbow shark and Tiger barb and they're compatible at about 78 degrees, 7 pH, and 10 dGH water hardness.
I've pretty much been doing the go to the local pet store pick a fish and research it for the past month. I've also been going to multiple pet stores to get a lot of various opinions. Some people have stupid ideas that no one else agrees with, other people have really good ideas, I'm trying to find the overlap between "experts."
I have read the stickys thoroughly and I think I'm going to cycle my tank the fish-less way, find some chemical ammonia to add to the tank once a day to get it all going.
But ANYWAYS, I won't have a tank for another month to two months but if you have patience I'll gladly post my tank on here :) Appreciate all the advice
It's a good plan. The research ahead of time will save you tons of money and heartache in the future. I find that the larger tank also seems to be less work. I think you will be happy with a 55 gallon. If you like the Rainbow shark it is a must over the 20 gallon. I will tell you that as beautiful as my Rainbow shark is, he hides 95% of the time. It always feels like a little gift when he blesses me with a sighting of him. ha ha
I had Tiger Barbs in there as well. I had 11 and they kept to their group, didn't pick on anyone else. They are very active fish and yes, hardy. It is their activity level that drives other fish nuts I think. ha ha
Think about the fish you want in there long term. Don't make the mistake many newbies make in getting fish to start with and then change their mind and have to figure out what to do with the first batch. Also think of swimming levels when you are looking into fish. To have a pleasing to the eye aquarium, you will want top swimmers, middle swimmers and bottom swimmers.
Your Rainbow will rule the bottom but you might think of some Corie's as well. At least a group of 3-5 of them.
Barbs will take up the middle and even top (at least mine did) and they make for an active looking tank.
I cannot speak highly enough of live plants. For one thing, they look 100 times nicer then fake, they benefit the water quality and they are much much easier then one realizes to deal with. Which plants one choses also depends on water quality, temperature and which fish you chose. Can't wait to see your new tank. Good luck and don't be a stranger here. There is so much knowledge on this board and they are willing to share info. :)
Welcome to TFK
Looks like you've already received great advice here so I'll just say hello for now :wave:
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