Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Noob got a 14g kit, need help setting it up. (

00ej8 08-23-2007 12:48 PM

Noob got a 14g kit, need help setting it up.
So I got a 14 gallon kit at walmart with

fluorescent hood
aquatech 10-15 filter

test strips for ammonia/nitrate/ph/etc
15 pounds of gravel

and I'm ready to set it up and get it started cycling. I want to cycle the tank with some danios in it, keep up with water changes, and when its fully cycled, I'm going to start stocking it up. I know I need at least an air pump and an air stone, is there any other equipment I need?

I was wondering if I should wait to fill the tank up until I get an air pump/airstone?

I would also like to upgrade the filtration later on (I'm already out a good amount of cash), would it hurt to get a biowheel and swap filters in a few months?

Also, do I need to get all my rocks/fake plants BEFORE I fill the tank, or can I put gravel in it, hook everything up, and start running it now to start the cycle?

Mating Slinkys 08-23-2007 01:08 PM

An airstone isn't essential to a tank, it's mostly for looks, as you don't actually get any oxygen transfer from the bubbles, just from the larger water surface area from the ripples it causes. You can get this effect by setting up your filter to be a little waterfall, or just to point at the surface, as long as it disturbs it.

It's genarally easier to set up the decor all in one go, then add the water, as the rocks can often take up a lot of room in the tank and then you'd have too much water in there and it'd overflow. Also you can move stuff around to get the look you want withouh having to splash water around and dig holes in your gravel to put rocks in etc. However, there is no need for the rock in there for the cycle, and if you are willing to put up with the extra hassle then it's not a problem.

And as for swapping filters, as long as you run them both at the same time for a few weeks before you take the old one out to let the new one mature and not re-start your cycle there should be no problems.

I hope that's some use to you! I'm pretty certain it's all good advice, but if i've made a blunder then i'm sure eveeryone else here'll correct me! good luck with the tank, put up some photo's when it's up and running!

jsm11482 08-23-2007 01:10 PM

Hi! You actually most likely do not need an airstone. What type of filter is it? Hang on back I assume. You can start setting up the tank now:

1) Rinse the gravel really well to remove all the dust, then add it to the aquarium carefully.
2) Setup but do not start the heater and filter.
3) Fill with normal-temperature water, and add the correct amount of dechlorinator/conditioner.
4) Start the filter and heater.
5) Let it run for a few hours at least before adding the danios. How many are you thinking of getting? Maybe like 5 or 6?

You can add decorations later if you want. If you are going to grow live plants you can add them now, as well.

00ej8 08-23-2007 02:00 PM

I'd like to add maybe 5 danios around the same time I put in the rocks and plants. I'm not going to use live plants though, I want to focus on keeping the fish healthy first.

I guess I'll go without the airstone, but I will eventually need a pump for vacuuming the gravel, right?

jsm11482 08-23-2007 02:04 PM

You will need a gravel vac (python or other) sooner than later. Let us know how it goes!

00ej8 08-23-2007 02:37 PM

is the gravel vac powered by the air pump or am i mistaken?

Falina 08-23-2007 02:39 PM

You are mistaken.

A gravel vac is a tube like thing that usually costs < 5 and you just sort of pump it up and down to remove dirt from the gravel and it removes water as well. A sort fo 2 in 1 for water changes.

jsm11482 08-23-2007 02:42 PM

The gravel vac I use is fed by gravity so you get it going then just vacuum away with the other end of the hose outside or in the sink, etc.

Mating Slinkys 08-23-2007 07:28 PM

As julie says. gravel vacs are pretty cheap, but in a pinch any piece of hose pipe will do. it's just a siphon, and the suction action pulls the dirt up the pipe into the bucket with the water for a water change.

Bought ones usually have a wider section on the end that allows the gravel to circulate and get cleaned more effectively. Some of the more posh ones have some sort of self starting valve or mechanism so you don't have to suck it to get the water flowing, but on mine it involves shaking the thing vigourously under the water, which alarms my fish, so i still go with the tried and trusted suck and spit method.

One more thing. if you use a bit of pipe rather than the wider ended ones, then be careful as the suction can be quite strong, and you might just suck up a fish, which won't be fun at all, especially if they are too big to fit in the pipe!

00ej8 08-24-2007 07:29 AM

I'm really wishy washy, so I ended up taking the 14 back and using a 20 gallon tank that my dad wanted me to have. I didn't want to take it but he insisted, as it saved me quite a bit of cash.

Now I have to figure out what to stock it with.

I want a school of cories, and probably a group of neon tetras as well. Any suggestions? I want to have at least one large(r) fish, what's an example of something bigger and nice looking that I can put in? I'm wanting a fish that's more of a loner, and who will do well in a tank with cories and tetras.

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