My first aquarium, any suggestions on my community?? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-05-2011, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Question My first aquarium, any suggestions on my community??

Hello everyone.
I have an Aqueon 15 gallon Columm aquarium kit with the Quirtflow 10 power filter and a tetra 100w heater keeping my water around 78 degrees. I also have two live plants with driftwood and two other decorations. Ive had this aquarium for a little over two months now and have slowly built up a small community that includes 1 red fin shark, a small school of 4 bloodfin tetra, 3 lyretail guppy, 3 silver hatchetfish, and a clean-up crew of 3 ghost shrimp. I've done two monthly water changes of 25% of my water and have used a gravel vacuum to clean bottom of tank. Also have moved around driftwood and all decorations (haven't moved plants) each water change in hopes to avoid territory issues All fish seem to be getting along and everyone seems healthy.

The tank looks a little empty to me but was wondering if adding just a few silver tip tetras would be overcrowding the rest of the fish. I've tried to account for 1 gallon per little guy in the tank.

Please send any suggestions or concerns about my set-up as well as any advice to adding a few more tetra. Again keep in mind this is my first tank and just want to make sure I'm doin everything properly to keep a happy healthy environment. Thanks everyone.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-05-2011, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that I have also changed filter element inside my filter at each water change.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-05-2011, 01:28 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us. You will find lots of friendly aquarists here, many with considerable experience and some fairly new.

I am not familiar with that specific filter, but generally speaking the filter media does not need to be "replaced" but just rinsed to keep it clean so the water continues to easily flow through it. At the water change, siphon out some tank water into a pail and use this to rinse the media. Tap water will kill the nitrifying bacteria that attach to the media.

A partial water change should be done every week. The volume can vary depending upon the aquarium's biology. This is a 15g and you have a fair number of fish--you may think it looks "a little empty" but small fish will grow quickly if they are healthy and in a suitable environment, and the tank must always take this into account. The mature size of any fish should always be considered when selecting them, and only if you now have what they will need then should you acquire the fish. This is the safest way to ensure you will be able to provide a good environment. So I would recommend changing approximately 1/3 to 1/2 the water volume weekly. Use a good conditioner. This will provide stable water conditions long-term.

Now to the fish. The shark is going to be trouble. Presumably this is either the Red Tailed Shark or the Rainbow Shark; the latter attains 6 inches and the former 5 inches, and both require a 4-foot tank at minimum. We have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, and if the name is used in posts the same it will shade and you can click on the shaded name to see that fish's profile. Please have a read, the info there will explain the dangers. I would seriously recommend returning this fish. In such a small (to the fish) environment, it will likely become even more aggressive as it matures, and other members can tell you how one of these can kill the other fish.

The tetra and hatchetfish are shoaling fish. They live in large groups and must be kept in a group in the aquarium. There are many factors in this, but suffice it to say that without a sufficient group they will be stressed and this can cause ill health and aggression, even in otherwise peaceful fish. These species are also in our profiles. Click on Bloodfin Tetra and Silver Hatchetfish to read about their needs and numbers for the group.

The guppy might get nipped by the bloodfin; as noted in the profile, this species is prone to fin nipping, and the colour fins of a guppy might be too tempting.

Increasing the tetra and hatchetfish numbers is needed, and removing the shark. This will complete the 15g.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-05-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron. I appreciate all the info I learned a lot more after reading your reply. It was very helpful and informative!!
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