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New to the hobby! Help with decisions.

Discussion in 'Welcome: Introduce Yourself & Learn More About TFF' started by dexsting, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. dexsting

    dexsting New Member

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    Was thinking X-Ray tetras or Silver Tips. Hadn't decided yet. Looking online it looks like they'd also be good around 78F, right?

    Is there a good list somewhere I can use as a checklist of what I need to get? Like vaccuum pump-thing for cleaning/water changes (any recomendations?). 5 gallon bucket right? Fish net, heater, filter.

     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I would not recommend Silvertip Tetra here; they are a bit active for the gourami, and they have been known to fin nip slower fish sometimes. The X-Ray presumably are Pristella Tetras, species Pristella maxillaris; perhaps a bit active for this set-up, but not overly so. However, this brings me to another factor in deciding fish, and that is the level in the water column where a species tends to remain.

    Gourami are upper level fish, at or near the surface, above mid tank generally. Loaches obviously are substrate-level. Pristella also tend to be upper level, and they are not especially colourful so they sort of blend in with the gourami. I like the Pristella, I have had it a couple times, so nothing against it. But if you want to add a bit more colour, and in the mid to lower level to balance out, in the tetras something like Rosy Tetra, Roberti (Ornate) Tetra, Red Phantom Tetra would be nice. Here's data:
    http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/hyphessobrycon-rosaceus/
    http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/hyphessobrycon-bentosi/
    http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/hyphessobrycon-sweglesi/

    As for equipment, a water changer is needed. A couple buckets (2-3 gallon) used ONLY for aquarium/fish [any soap or chemical substance in a bucket of water can be very difficult if not impossible to remove, so buy clean buckets and use them for nothing but fish things]. Water is heavy, each gallon weighs about 10 pounds, and I find a 2-3 gallon is as large as I ever want to be hauling around. Fish nets, different sizes; I have a very small one (about 2 inches width) which is handy for netting out floating plant leaves or similar, and a 4-inch width and a 6-inch width, or something like those. Filter obviously, and heater. Water conditioner...I use and highly recommend API's Tap Water Conditioner; it may seem expensive by comparison but it is very highly concentrated so you use very little...one drop dechlorinates 1 gallon. A medicinal-type eye dropper is useful to measure out drop by drop. A test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate; the API Master Combo has these four; liquid test kits as opposed to strip tests are more reliable.
     
  3. dexsting

    dexsting New Member

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    So unfortunately my size requirement ended up having to get the 20 gallon instead of the 29. But on the upside, I found an absolutely perfect spot for it. (It's the 23.75" x 12.62" x 19.75").

    I got about 2 inches average of black sand substrate; a couple rocks and a couple pieces of driftwood. Probably will want another larger piece of driftwood though. Super excited!

    Had 1 quick question. I have the filter which came with the tank kit - Aqueon QuietFlow E Internal Power Filters. Does the filter have to be dead center on the back of the tank? Or can it be off to a side...basically so one side has more current than the other and also the asthetic of it. Or does it need to be middle to work properly? Also, is it ok to fully submerge the filter so the water is waterfalling into the tank? Just curious.

    Thanks!
     
  4. dexsting

    dexsting New Member

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    Oh another thing for down the road so I know I'm doing it right. Is it best to have 2 buckets for water changes? Get one full and sit to get to room temperature and then do the vaccuming into a different bucket? How long does 2-4 gallons siphoning usually last? I just want to make sure I do it right especially as it'll be slightly more challenging because I have sand.
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    It is always better to have the filter flow enter the tank from one end. This provides a current down the length of the tank which replicates a stream, and it provides a better circulation. Fish will tend to face into the current, so keep this in mind when deciding left or right side for the filter (hanging onto the back wall, but at either the left or right end).

    There is no reason to let water sit in buckets. Use the water changer to siphon out 50-60% of the tank volume (taking it roughly half way down) and dump this water; you can rinse the filter media in this water, at least for thee beginning to preserve bacteria, but once the tank is established this is not necessary. [You can use this water to water plants, house or garden.]

    To refill the tank, adjust the temperature at the tap with hot/cold, then fill the bucket; as you begin filling the bucket at the faucet add the required number of drops of conditioner for that bucket volume only. Once the bucket is full, you can then add this water to the tank. You want to pour it very gently to avoid creating a strong current that can make a mess of the sand and plants. I use a plastic pitcher (the sort meant for juice, having a spout but no lid) to dip into the bucket and then slowly pour into the tank. I also pour it through my left hand which further lessens the flow.
     
  6. dexsting

    dexsting New Member

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    SADNESS!!! Argh, I'm so sorry you went through all this to help me, but maybe in a few years if we get a new house that has a place for it, I'll use this advice. But woe is me. My boss and head of the department both said the aquarium would be fine, but now after I had it set-up (luckily no fish yet) someone got a bee in their bonnet and consulted HR and there's a corporate "no live animals" policy which would include fish. Sigh; now I'm stuck with $250 worth of set-up stuff and I'm going to have to take it down and try to sell it (Pet store has a no-return policy).

    I wanted to thank you for your help and just let you know so you didn't think I suddenly lost interest or didn't post what the aquarium looks like.
     
  7. dexsting

    dexsting New Member

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    So I'm probably going to keep it as a planted tank without fish. Here's my start. [​IMG]
     

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