I'm new to the aquarium life, and am looking for suggestions.
Hey, well I'm pretty new at maintaing an aquarium. I have a new 10g tank, housing four Zebra Danio. I hear they are easy to take care of for beginners, as myself :-). I suppose what I am asking is that can anyone give me any suggestions on what I need to be doing to keep the water healthy for my fish. I've done some reading but don't really know what to get to maintain and test. Also any other suggestions for a beginner would be nice.
Please and thank you for your time!
Well, honestly it would probably be better to know what you are getting into BEFORE getting into it, but since you're here now, I would suggest you take a look at the stickies. There is TONS of information, enough to keep you reading all evening.
Scroll down about halfway and check out the section on Starting and Maintaining Freshwater Aquarium
Not trying to push you off, just that anything that someone could tell you here has already been written in great detail within those topics. Read those and post back if you have questions. Great people here and lots of experience to draw upon.
Most pet stores that sell fish will test a water sample for free. If there is anything wrong, they will tell you how to correct it.
It's best to have your own test kits though because for one, the ones at a lot of LFS are the strips and those are famously inaccurate. Second, we all know how reliable advise from most LFS is :roll:. And third, what do you do if you depend on the store to test your water and you have a tank emergency and the store is closed and you have fish in distress or dying?
The test kits are relatively cheap and just good to have.
Awesome, thank you for the links!
The test kit is pretty important especially at the beginning while cycling your tank. You'll want to be testing the water constantly to see where you're at in the cycle and you probably don't want to go to the pet store every day.
Welcome to TFK and good luck with your new tank adventure.
The test kit in my opinion is a must. Even the old pros use it. Another helpful tip to go along with the test kit is to keep track of your results. I use a spreadsheet and write down the results every time I test. That way if something goes wrong I can go back and pinpoint exactly when it happened.
Another hint is to keep up on the water changes. Almost all of this hobby is being good at doing regular water changes.
Welcome to the hobby and the forum. Feel free to ask anything to us. Remember: there are not stupid questions, just stupid answers.
4 things - good fish, good water, good food, good maintenance.
Good fish: Make sure you select good, healthy fish. Do your homework to select species that will live together well. Pay attention to schooling fish so that you'll have enough of them to be happy. Don't buy fish that grow large for a small tank and don't start out with too many fish at once or crowd the tank later!
Good water: Test kits can be good, but I don't have one. I use a seachem ammonia monitor. Select a good filter and learn about filtration, media and bio-filtration. I believe that good filtration has nothing to do with water flow even though the common myth is you need powerful filters to move a lot of water. Good filtration is slower moving water through fine filtration media.
Tank water is quickly polluted by fish, fish waste, extra food and plant waste. "The solution to polution is dilution" - that means weekly water changes - every week, no excuses. A Python or Aqueon gizmo can make this easy, but for a small tank, a siphon and a bucket may be fine. I use a gravel siphon inserted into a garden hose and out the door to the yard. For the refill, I got a $6 garden hose adapter for the faucet and indexed the hot/cold faucets to give me the approximate correct temperature. Make sure to use a water conditioner to neutralize chlorine.
Good Food: Many spend hundreds on tanks, lights, heaters...then feed lower grade cereal foods. Check the labels and select a quality prepared food and consider treats of frozen foods like brine shrimp, blood worms, etc.
Good Maintenance: The weekly water change is perhaps the biggest best thing you can do to keep fish strong, healthy and growing. Do it religiously. When you do the change, it you don't have live plants, you can use a gravel siphon to also clean the gravel some.
Next is filter maintenance. This you probably won't need to do every week, typically more like once a month. If your water is crystal clear and the return flow from the filter is good, leave it alone. If not, it's time to clean and replace media as needed.
I've only scratched the surface of some of the important things. Like many things, you need to read, learn, experiment and understand. Much of it is just common sense and since you're here, we can help. :-)
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