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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm new to both this forum and keeping fish so I apologise for any stupid comments/questions!

I have just bought a second hand tank, it's 65 litres, 23.5" x 11.5" and 13.5" high. It comes with a 25w heater, under gravel filter, air pump, clear air pipes and a blue air stone.

I was going to buy live plants but have read that they don't mix with under gravel filters. Will artificial plants suffice or should I get a new filter?

Is the other equipment included right or do I need anything else?

I know (think) I need the following:
Substrate (pea gravel for live plants, is sand a good option for artificial plants?)
A thermometer.
Something to make the tap water safe.
Something to add bacteria to the filter.
Food.

Am I missing anything? I haven't even started to think of fish yet, there seems to be a lot of information to take in so I'm trying to do one step at a time and it seems I'll have plenty of time to think about fish while I'm waiting for the water to be ready. Or do I need to decide on fish now? Will the species of fish determine the equipment I need?

Also the fish are for my son's (age 2 and 4), if anyone has any tips on safety that would be appreciated. We are thinking of getting brackets to fix the stand to the wall and safety locks (one's usually used for toilet seats) to fasten the hood. And just to reassure you, I will be caring for the fish, not my toddlers!

The health and welfare of the fish is very important to me and I really want to make sure everything is done right so any additional advice and tips will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance! Amy :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm adding a raw shrimp to my list and liquid testing stuff (unless it would be better to cycle my tank another way? Which is the quickest, safest fishless cycle?)
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm sure you will love it here and learn lots!

There are no stupid questions! Even the most clueless question can lead to valuable knowledge, so please don't hesitate to ask anything that you're wondering about.

Thanks for doing your research and learning a little before you run out and buy fish. I see it a lot where people do it the other way around- run out and buy fish first then try to learn after problems develop. Recipe for disastre!

I would get a new filter and a bigger heater. For filter I like aquaclear (fluval) hang on back filters. I use them in all my tanks and never have problems. For heater I would reccommend at least 50 watts unless you live where it never gets cold. If you live where it gets very, extremely, intolerably cold ( like me) I reccommend 100 watts.
For substrate I say sand is best, only it can't be used with undegravel filters.
Seachem Prime is the best water conditioner on the market in my humble opinion.
I cycle my tanks with fishfood flakes, but there are many ways to cycle.
IMHO no need to decide on fish now, let's just get your tank cycled first .
If you will please test your tap water and post the results that will give us place to start. Ph is particularly important at this stage because good bacteria does not grow well in acidic water. Also test your tank please .
For safety, I would anchor the stand to a wall using short chains and screws. And of course communicate with your children about the danger of playing near (or on!) the fishtank.
I never use plastic plants but if you like them there is no harm. Live plants will help stabilize your water quality as well as beautify your tank and i highly reccommend that you use live plants. My favorites are anacharis, hornwort and anubias.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the reply. So when I go to the shop I should get:

A new filter
50w heater (I live in England so it does get cold)
Gravel
Live plants
Water conditioner
Fish flakes
Thermometer
Testing kit for ph, ammonia and nitrates

Will I be able to begin cycling my tank then or am I missing anything?

Thank again!
 

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hello Amy and warm welcome to you :-D
you can get play sand from toysrus..or smyths toy shop if you
have one near by…if you live near me you can have my spare bag :lol:
i like the fluvial external filters,nice and quiet,easy to fix up.
heaters are cheaper on ebay..i buy mine from the same seller,
if your interested i can tell you who it is.
if you eventually intend to keep corydora catfish then sand will benefit
their care,as rough stone wears down their barbels in the end.
remember if you choose to go with the sand..bare in mind you will need to rinse
then rinse,umm then rinse again…and possibly again:lol: but it's worth it.
 

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i've sent you a message Amy.
xx
 
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Thank you for the reply. So when I go to the shop I should get:

A new filter
50w heater (I live in England so it does get cold)
Gravel
Live plants
Water conditioner
Fish flakes
Thermometer
Testing kit for ph, ammonia and nitrates

Will I be able to begin cycling my tank then or am I missing anything?

Thank again!
You can begin cycling immediatly, yes. Your test kit will include a test for nitrite as well. Notice that there is nirtAte with an A and nitrIte with an i . Spelling is very similar and its easy to confuse when reading.
So.... fill your tank, condition the water, setup the hardware, take a test reading.... and away we go!
Again, thanks for doing this the right way instead of killing fish for no good reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can begin cycling immediatly, yes. Your test kit will include a test for nitrite as well. Notice that there is nirtAte with an A and nitrIte with an i . Spelling is very similar and its easy to confuse when reading.
So.... fill your tank, condition the water, setup the hardware, take a test reading.... and away we go!
Again, thanks for doing this the right way instead of killing fish for no good reason.
Thanks again for the help! I would never buy any animal without lots of research first, their health is very important to me :)
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Hi Amy
I was in the same position as you about 2 weeks ago. Also running fishless cycle using flaked fish food to feed the cycle. The live plant is put in when I set the tank up seem to be doing well and seeing good growth on one in particular. (Sorry can't remember he names).
I tend to test the water every 2 to 3 days at the moment to see how the cycle is going.

Hope you enjoys as much as I am so far.

I am in Northumberland so is also cold
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my husband's friend at work has some pure ammonia he said we can have to cycle our tank so we're gonna try that. Just waiting for the last bits and bob's that I've ordered to arrive, can't wait to get started!
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Hi Amy
I was in the same position as you about 2 weeks ago. Also running fishless cycle using flaked fish food to feed the cycle. The live plant is put in when I set the tank up seem to be doing well and seeing good growth on one in particular. (Sorry can't remember he names).
I tend to test the water every 2 to 3 days at the moment to see how the cycle is going.

Hope you enjoys as much as I am so far.

I am in Northumberland so is also cold
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Thanks Ian, can't wait to get everything started and actually (hopefully) get some fish in there in a few weeks! My kids are really looking forward to getting the fish, although my almost 4 year old is being very patient and understanding about getting the water just right first :)
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If you have a stand and a location, you should fill the tank asap to get a little jumpstart. Your tank won't do that much without an ammonia source, but it won't hurt to let the tank soak for a while as you wait for your other stuff to be delivered. Also it will give you a chance to find out what your starting ph is.
65 litres is about 15- 20 gallons right? I'm alread starting to think about stocking! So exciting when someone starts up a new tank!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you have a stand and a location, you should fill the tank asap to get a little jumpstart. Your tank won't do that much without an ammonia source, but it won't hurt to let the tank soak for a while as you wait for your other stuff to be delivered. Also it will give you a chance to find out what your starting ph is.
65 litres is about 15- 20 gallons right? I'm alread starting to think about stocking! So exciting when someone starts up a new tank!
It's nearly midnight here now but we will fill the tank up in the morning :) I think it's almost 17 US gallons. I'd love to hear any ideas on stocking, have been looking at some pictures of fish with my eldest today, he liked the honey gourami (I like the idea of having a pair so that my boys can name one each, but would also be interested in looking at any other fish that would work well in a pair). Also like the look of Siamese fighting fish but read we could only have one of those. Like the sound of corys and would be nice to have a small school of something. And an algae eater? I'm not expecting to be able to fit in everything I've just mentioned though. I was getting very confused with how many fish we could have, I read 1cm of fish per 2 litres but then read something about fish having different bioloads and I was lost again! It would be great to hear some ideas! (oh and we are sticking with artificial plants for now, not sure if that affects the type of fish we can have).
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It's nearly midnight here now but we will fill the tank up in the morning :) I think it's almost 17 US gallons. I'd love to hear any ideas on stocking, have been looking at some pictures of fish with my eldest today, he liked the honey gourami (I like the idea of having a pair so that my boys can name one each, but would also be interested in looking at any other fish that would work well in a pair). Also like the look of Siamese fighting fish but read we could only have one of those. Like the sound of corys and would be nice to have a small school of something. And an algae eater? I'm not expecting to be able to fit in everything I've just mentioned though. I was getting very confused with how many fish we could have, I read 1cm of fish per 2 litres but then read something about fish having different bioloads and I was lost again! It would be great to hear some ideas! (oh and we are sticking with artificial plants for now, not sure if that affects the type of fish we can have).
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We went to the aquatic centre today and saw some red platy's, they have become the new favourites, we also liked the cardinal tetra and black phantoms. Would there be a possible combination with those? Would like 2 platy's if that is a suitable number? And maybe some shrimp or something like that?
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Cardinal tetras are great, and they might go well with red platies. I can see these two types of fish providing great color and contrast for your tank. I would include lots of broad leaf green plants like echinodorus and anubias to complement the bright colored fish. Platies are great because there are so many varieties to choose. Cardinal tetras are almost as bright as neons, and in my experience are much tougher and more resistant than neon tetras.
As for numbers, it really does depend more on what fish you choose than inches per gallon type equations. Compatibility usualy limits the number and species you can have so best to.choose tankmates carefully.

I love the idea of platies and cardinal tetras. Only thing is both species need to be in groups. Just my opinion but I think your tank IS big enough for a school of 5 cardinals and 3 platies. I think that's the smallest group that is recommended for each species.
Good luck!
 
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