Completely new, need advice on everything.
Hi there! I'm new to the forum and new to keeping an aquarium. My boyfriend and I are planning on starting one up but we want to make sure we know what we are doing first.
The first thing is tank size. I wanted to get fish a long time ago and I thought I remembered reading that you want to size the tank based on the number/size of the fish you are getting. I don't remember anything more specific. Right now we want to get a couple of Moor goldfish, a few of something small like some globefish and a corydora. How big of a tank would we need for all of this? We were thinking of going a little bigger than needed so we could add to it later. Also will all of these fish get along with one another?
Second, what else is needed besides the tank? I know a filter is needed. What about lights and things? I guess I need a starter kit type of list. I'm sure I will have more questions soon but that's it for now. I'm going to go read up more on these things. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Most of us unfortunately buy our first fish tank and then after we have the usual initial problems and dead fish go looking for help. It is great that you are doing things properly, and finding out beforehand.:-D
To your ideas. Goldfish (Moors are "goldfish" per say) do not mix with tropical fish. Temperature is the main thing, but there are other issues. So your first decision will have to be whether you want a room temperature goldfish aquarium or a tropical fish aquarium. Either will need the correct type of filter [this varies too], and a light for observation and perhaps live plants; tropicals will likely require a heater unless you are in a year-round warm climate.
Tank size as you have mentioned is dependent upon the fish you want to keep. I will say that goldfish need larger tanks than most realize; they produce a lot of waste and water quality can very quickly deteriorate. The larger the tank, the more stable will be the water, this holds for tropicals too. And most of us think we will have a tank with this and that, but before long we wish we had space for more fish. So once you've decided on goldfish/tropicals, then consider the largest tank you have space for and can afford.
I'll end by pointing you to our fish and plant profiles, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. Most of the commonly-available tropical fish are included, categorized according to family or order. Clicking on the heading of each section will give you a synopsis of that family, and then the species are listed below the heading. If the common or scientific name is used in a post exactly as it appears in the profile, it will shade and you can click that to see that fish's profile, as Goldfish, Corydoras aeneus, etc.
As far as the fish, you can use the fish profiles which are located on the second tab from the left at the top of the page. Once we know your water parameters we will be able to recommend some fish for you. This means you will need to get a kit to test your water. Almost everyone on here recommends the API Freshwater Master test kit. It is one of the most important tools you will use throughout this hobby.
If you plan on keeping goldfish, then your required equipment will be a little different from those of us that keep tropical fish. Goldfish are cold water fish so you will not need a heater. As I mentioned earlier, goldfish produce a ton of waste, so it is recommended to go with a large filter. Try to find one with a gph of about 10x your tank size. A canister filter would be your best option if you get a tank larger than 55 gallons. Most likely you will not be able to keep plants because the goldfish will uproot them all the time. This means you can stick with the light that comes with your light/hood combo.
So to make things easier for you, here is a check list of all the basic things you will need: 1) The largest tank you can afford 2) A filter that has a gph of 10x your tank volume 3) A light/hood combo, it can be the cheapest one you find because you will not need it for anything more than viewing your fish 4) A stand for the tank if it is larger than 20 gallons. You can make your own or buy one from the store.
Welcome again, I'll also add the bigger the aquarium the easier it is to maintain say a 10 g tank if you miss a water change your water quality will go bad quickly you will not have that problem with a 55g tank. Also if you have a space where you want to put the tank if you give us the size we can tell you what tank will fit. I think a 55g tank would be a wonderful start I do realize that maybe a bit big.
Me and bigfish were typing at the same time.
After quickly checking out the corydora and globefish, neither of them will be compatible with the golfish. This is because they require different water temperatures. The goldfish require cold water (60-70 degrees) and the globefish and corydora required warmer water (75-80 degrees). Like I said before, once you are able to provide us with your water parameters, we will be able to better help you decide on the fish.
Sorry if I repeated anything, it looks like all of us were typing at the same time :)
Thanks for the responses everyone! I will go through everything more carefully after I get back from work. One quick question: I have seen different info in different places on temps for the goldfish. A lot of them have said they are fine up to 75 degrees... Does anyone know if this is one of those things that people get wrong or it depends on who you ask?
if a fish is kept at the high end of the temp range it can handle, it will not live as long. the higher heat increases the fish's metabolism and thus reduces it's lifespan.
Basically with goldfish, thats all you're going to be able to put in the tank.If you do get a 55 you should be able to do 2 Moor's and thats it.
As others have mentioned it is encouraged to get the largest tank you can. A bigger tank is actually easier to take care of because you dont have to worry so much about ammonia spikes. Kendra answered the question about temperatures and why you cant mix goldfish with tropical fish.
To further comment on stocking options we do need to know your parameters of your tap water, such as PH, hardness, and if theres any ammonia, nitrites or Nitrates in it. Also if your city/town/whatever adds chlorine and/or chloramine. You should be able to get the PH and hardness from your citys website. As to the ammonia, nitrites and Nitrates you can bring it into the pet store and they will prolly do it for free, but make sure to get exact numbers not a general statement like it's fine. You could buy your own kit as well. You're going to need it anyhow for when you buy fish. API master test kit is a popular choice and it costs about $30-40 depending on where you live.
After some discussion about water temps and tank sizes we decided to hold off on the Goldfish for now. Maybe one day when we have more room for a second tank we'll get some.
As far as the water goes I will have to pick up a kit to test it. Thanks to everyone who suggested API master test kit. I will check that out. I tried to look up the water hardness and whatnot on the county's website and I found a table with info on it but I'm not sure what any of it means or if it would be helpful. I can post the table if anyone thinks it would be helpful.
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