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Anyone Have A Fish Tank? Experiences...?  
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3553 posts, RR: 15
Posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1495 times:

Hello all. I have decided to get back into the aquarium hobby. The last time I was active in it was about 6 years ago. After reading up on proper maintainance, fish care, and the biology of the tank I'm going to give it another go.

I have a 29 gallon tank that I've been cleaning out for the past few days and I am finally ready to fill it tomorrow. I went by the pet store today and talked with them about what kind of fish I want.

I purchaced a new bio filter and heater, both rated for a 50 gallon tank, so I'm good with that. I also picked up a pump, some air stones, and a chemical test kit. I might get some live plans in the future once I'm established.

Hopefully I will have fish this time next week and a cycled tank in a month.

So, if you're into this hobby what set up do you have and what have your experiences been? I've been told not to expect much for the first few weeks as the tank clouds over while cycling.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1491 times:

My latest for a small fish tank was providing it with live plants. The change was amazing. The water stays a lot clearer than my previous fish tanks.

Now this is not recommended, but some snails hitched a ride on the plants I purchased. They can be a drag because they reproduce so quickly. But I remove them constantly and they keep the algae down to almost nothing.


User currently offlineYeahitsK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1478 times:

I've had a 29 gallon for 8 years now, it's a good size. I will shortly be starting a 24 gallon "nanocube" reef aquarium as I'm up for new challenges.
It sounds like you've got a good start there, patience is definitely a virtue in this hobby. Make sure you cycle your tank properly and expect losses starting out!
Test your tapwater to make sure you know what is in it if you will be using it. This is good to know for several reasons, the first being you will know how you need to treat it to accommodate life. You may need additives to dechlorinate it, buffer it to an appropriate pH, or recognize what sort of things are in it. For example, if you have a lot of phosphate in it this is basically food for algae and you can expect massive outbreaks. There are products to treat this before adding it to the aquarium. This becomes especially important if you want to keep plants healthy, you need to provide not only the right temperature, but the right pH and water hardness. Also, if you want to put plants in there, now is an ideal time to start using a quality plant substrate such as fluorite. These not only provide a good foundation for roots, but also some nutrients and will help buffer the water to the right pH for plants. My 29 is kind of "blah" and I am going to switch over to a planted setup once a few of my fish die (they are ravenous plant eaters).
My tank has done really well with monthly 25% water changes, I actually still have fish happily swimming that were original to the tank when I started it in 1998. Oh- and never overfeed! I usually put a small pinch in every other day.


User currently offlineZChannel From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1468 times:

I had a 29 gallon tank for many years. I had a couple of piranha (which I found out was illegal to own in my state. The statute of limitations has expired, thank God. I do not have to live like a fugitive any longer). Neat fish, I might add...

The tank needed cleaning about once a week (the Piranha were very dirty), but they were VERY hearty fish and required little care besides that. I don't know how owning more sensitive fish would impact the day to day care of a tank but I imagine it would. I would change my tank's water every month or so and then the fish would lie at the bottom as if they were dead. But I think that you will find having a tank is very cool once you get it set up. It can be relaxing and very enjoyable....



ZChannel: Member FDIC
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3553 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1452 times:

I have a question:

I've set up my tank and am ready to add my first fish(es) in the next few days. I've read about 5 different websites and talked to a few different people about how to handle adding fish.

Some say to add one or two hearty fish and wait until the tank cycles (30 or so days). Others say to add 5-6 hearty fish and do the same. Still, some say don't even add fish to cycle, instead I should get some gravel, a filter, or water from an established tank and add it to my tank. Who is correct?.

While the tank is going through changes, how often should I test the water? What about water changes? How often should I do that and what percentage should I do? Some say 10% water changes every few days during cycling, while others say do one 25% change midway through.


User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 45
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1447 times:

If there's one thing I learned about having pet fish, it's this:

Make sure you have some anti-ICK medication handy... just in case. Otherwise you get to watch your fish rot in front of your eyes.


redngold



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineYeahitsK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1431 times:

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 4):

I've set up my tank and am ready to add my first fish(es) in the next few days. I've read about 5 different websites and talked to a few different people about how to handle adding fish.

Some say to add one or two hearty fish and wait until the tank cycles (30 or so days). Others say to add 5-6 hearty fish and do the same. Still, some say don't even add fish to cycle, instead I should get some gravel, a filter, or water from an established tank and add it to my tank. Who is correct?.

"Cycling" refers to completion of the nitrogen cycle- fish produce ammonia, which is broken down by a certain type of bacteria to nitrite, which is then broken down by a different type of bacteria to nitrate. Without fish in the tank secreting nitrogenous waste, there won't be anything to cycle, so yes you have to add fish to cycle. Nitrate is a little harder to get rid of (plants will help) and this is the reason for water changes. Fish can tolerate it at relatively higher concentrations than the other wastes. The whole idea with the cycling is to allow enough time for the colonies of bacteria capable of breaking down your fishes waste to establish themself. As you test your water, you will first see an ammonia spike, then a nitrite spike, and once these both read 0 ppm you will know that you are done with the cycle. I'd add 4-5 small hardy fish, test every other day, and you should be cycled in a week or two. Have patience and fun.
Edit- I forgot one of your questions- as I said in my first post I have had a lot of success with montly 25% water changes.

[Edited 2006-04-05 04:50:22]

User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3553 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1423 times:

Quoting YeahitsK (Reply 6):

Great. Thanks for the advice. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, by the way, what temperature did you set your tank to? I have mine at around 79-80.


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