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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I am a senior in high school and for my AP English class I must write a giant paper on a topic of my choice...

So I decided I would do something about properly taking care of fish in an aquarium as I always wanted to have a pretty aquarium to look at in my room and have always had pet fish in the past that have died; and after reading around a bit, I realize why...

Anyways, I bought a small gallon or so tank, and two small little tetras. a black one and an orange one! ^^

well... sadly... after reading about the whole cycling thing and how they probably wont make it, I'm pretty sad, what do you guys recommend I do? any suggestions?

and another thing was feeding... People seem to recommend about whatever they can consume in a few minutes, so does that mean keep adding food for a few minutes? At the moment I give them a small pinch about twice a day, and by small, I mean like... about two of the small little flakes (which I crumble up for them, I'm supposed to do that right? lol)

and wow... they can eat that in seconds!

anyways, thanks for any help/suggestions in advance! :D
 

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:wave: hey. welcome to Fish Forum. I did my science project on how to take care of fish! wow wat a coincedince. i link you my post of my draft for a little review on how you should do it. dont copy now ahah. so anywayz, a small tank? can you specify wat the actually measure of volume is? we would appreciate that. anyways for a beginner i think a ten gallon would do fine. not to big not to small. two neon tetras. they are actually schoolers which mean they are best kept in schools of 5+. im not one to say because i have one neon tetra in a 20 gallon tank left from a ich epidemic :( http://fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2852&highlight= <-- my draft
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it's 10.5 inches tall x 9 inches wide x 7 inches deep.

should I just go purchase a 10 gallon one and start the whole "cycle" process or whatever?

thanks again in advance guys:D
 

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Welcome aboard, Bripex.:wave:

A 15 gallons tank is the minimum size I'd recommend. Changes of water parameters are likely to be minimal compared to anything smaller than 15 gallons. Start cycling and get a test kit, API Freshwater Master test kit. Avoid test strips which are often inaccurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Blue!

And tomorrow imma probably be going up that way, so I guess I'll stop by the fish store! :D

This place is like... a pet store specializing in fish, wish I'm realizing (I think so anyway) to be a GOOD GOOD thing...

Looks like I made a mistake going to wal-mart... :(
 

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small tanks cycle really fast, so in a week the tank will be cycled. did you buy a filter and heater for the tank?

First,you should take the tetras back to the store, they need to be in schools of 6+ fish to be happy.

Second, not many fish can live happily in a 3 gallon. If you purchased a small heater with the tank, you can keep a couple guppys in it. if your tank has no heater, buy a beta, very beautifull fish that do somewhat ok in such a small tank. while betas thrive in water 70+ degrees and the space of a 5 gallon or more, it is safe to keep one at room temperature and in a 3 gallon tank like the one you purchased.

Setting up the tank:

buy some polished or natural river rock and place about .5" to 1" of gravel on the bottom. if you dont have a heater buy the smallest one you can find, because then you can keep guppies, and not only can you keep two or three instead of one beta, they will be happier.

now, put some fish food in there and let it rot for a week with your filter on. after the tank has cycled for a week, use a gravel vacuum(found at anywhere they sell aquarium supplies) and vacuum up the rotten food. remove one gallon of water(a third of the tank),add treated tap water or RO water from a fish store. you can also use filtered water from the store, just make sure you buy some water dechlorinater if you use store bought or tap water.

So, after you get a beta or a few guppies, next its time to maintain the tank.

Every week take out one third of the water and replace it with new water. this helps keep the aquarium healthy.

make sure you have a filter on your little tank. it doesnt matter if the filter holds charcoal, and if it does i wouldnt even use it because the charcoal has to be replaced once a week or it will leak poisons back into the water. fill your filter with sponge material. buy a filter for a 10 gallon aquarium if you havent bought a filter yet. over filtering is better than under filtering. keep in mind a few guppies and a small heater would be better, because betas dont like strong currents and a 10 gallon filter on a 3 gallon tank makes for alot of current,lol.

besides weekly water changes, buy a ammonia or nitrate testing kit and make sure ammonia levels are down. if you can find a heater, guppies would be best. then you can add them one at a time, adding one a week will make sure you tank doesnt have a mini cycle and spike ammonia and nitrate levels.

now, on to feeding. feed some flakes, drop a small portion in the tank once a day, overfeeding in a small tank is disastrous, most fish survive on very small amounts of food. the more they eat, the more they poop. the more they poop the more the nitrate build up, and the worse your tank. i would say for one beta or 3 guppies, a pinch of flakes in you thumb and index finger would be enough once a day. more than that and you are headed for disaster.

hope I helped! the tetras will be much happier back in the store :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice Reun.

And umm... does a lightbulb count as a heater..? :S (it puts off quite a bit of heat... iunno if its enough though)
 

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bripex said:
And umm... does a lightbulb count as a heater..? :S (it puts off quite a bit of heat... iunno if its enough though)
No. I was under the impression you are using incandescent lights in which in this case is not suitable.:) Fluorescent lighting is a better way to go. Incandescents are old hat and can give off too much heat.:shake: It's also a wrong bulb for live plants.:)
 

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i hate my apartment complex. only ! 20 gallon tank geez! im on the botom floor not like its gonna drop on anything.........why! Why! i was eyeing this 55 gallon stand and tank with a really long flouro lite fixation that costs about 300$ wow i can get it but i cant...my apartment wont let me :(

well good luck on your tank keep us posted on how it goes
 

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honestly...if you have the money, just buy a 10 gallon tank, buy a heater, filter for a 20 gallon tank, substrate(river rock) and some decor of your choice...then you can get a nice school of tetras...little tanks are ALOT more trouble than a 10 or larger.
 

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id go for a 20 gallon long tank. they are a perfect size for on top of a dresser i think. i get compliments on mine a lot.

for the filter... id recommend getting a filter that is rated at a larger amount than what your aquarium holds... ie - for a 20 gallon tank get a 35 gallon filter. this is because from what ive read, most filters are over rated.

as for a heater ..... i just picked up one today for $18 that is rated at 30G for my 29G tank. it is a marineland stealth visitherm unit. it is one of the most accurate heaters on the market from what ive read.

for decor.... make sure tif you get a 'ground' fish, that you have a place for them to hide.... by 'ground' fish i mean... cories, plecos, or sharks. add some plants for the fish to play around in

lighting.... i picked up a fluorescent light fixture at fredmeyers and added the bulb and it sits on the lid to my tank which i cut out of plexi-glass myself. that was a cheap alternative to buying an expensive lid. i have done this to both my 20 and 29 gallon tanks.

now i no i will catch heat for promoting Petsmart, but i am yet to have troubles with them:
if you have a Petsmart in town. they will honor anything you print off there website generally. that is how i got my heater for so cheap. it was priced at $32 in store and $18 online. so you will be able to get some better deals on equipment if you go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thx again everyone for the responses!

I stopped by a local fishy store today and talked to them about it... but the guy I was speaking with seemed to reccomend that I use fish in my cycle... his reasoning was that I would learn more from it and all based on how the fish reacts and what not, iunno really... but I dont really want to put a bunch of little fishies through that kind of horrible experience... I personally would not enjoy someone locking me in a room full of deadly chemicals...

anywho, he said he can give me:

-10 gallon tank (should I try for the 15? or is 10 fine?)
-Filter (if it's not rated for a larger tank, should I try to get a bigger one?)
-chemical stuff (erm... you know, all that stuff, cant think of it right now... kinda tired ^^)

and more... but I cant think of it all! sorry! lol...

he said all I would need is gravel, decorations, food, and fish...

umm, I think thats all I have to say for now. Let me know what you all think!

Thanks again everyone, hope to hear from you soon.
 

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If you can do it, get the 15 or a 20. Just more tings you can do with them. As for cycling, tank size has nothing to do with it unfortunately. I have had a 10 gallon cycle in 2 weeks and I have had one take 8 weeks. Both were seeded and fed the same way with the same fish. This was before I knew about fishless cycling. My first fishless cycle in a 10 gallon took 6 weeks using fish flakes and pellets to feed the tank and I put a lot in.

The LFS person would recommend to cycle with fish, they will make more money off of you when you have to come back and buy more fish because the ones you just got have died. Here is link to properly cycling a tank. http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=3738
Should help you cycle your tank anyway you decide to do it. If you cycle with fish you will have a lot more water changes to do. Fishless is a lot easier and testing can be done 2-3 times a week instead of daily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Alright, I'll try for the bigger tank then.

And I read your guide to fishless cycling earlier and I was wondering if one of the methods is faster than the others..?

If possible, I'd like to get the process done as soon as possible...

Also, at the place I went too; They had the fish laid out all organized and all, and it all the "aggresive" type fish (well, maybe not "all") had the gravel in their tanks all moved around and such, can this be bad in any way? just wondering, haha..

anyways, thanks again guys.
 

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Fastest way is to add seasoned gravel, seasoned filter media, seasoned ornaments and lots more seasoned gravel. I can not recommend things like Biospira because unless your LFS that you get it from takes the best care of it you could be wasting your money. Tank could cycle in 2 weeks that way but I wound never accept reading of 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites after 1 week as cycled.
 
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