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Starting up a freshwater tank and need advice

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Nicola Main, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Nicola Main

    Nicola Main Fish Fanatic

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    Hi everyone! I'm getting a fish tank for my birthday at the end of March and would like to keep some freshwater species maybe a mix of 2 or 3 kinds? Thinking maybe a group of 5 or more danios, 5 or more tetras or platies and 2 or 3 little Corydoras. I don't want goldfish. I will be putting my tank on a heavy chest of drawers and the measurements are 70cm length, 35cm height, and 30cm depth. Can't be any larger. I have seen one I like on Argos which is 54 litre (12 gallons) and includes some food, heater, water conditioner etc would this be a good make to get? https://www.argos.co.uk/product/883...132rLdxJtVDJUwoHxHwF5pCu6GlBGWiIaAgWyEALw_wcB
    I will also check up at the store to see what they have as this is where I will be getting my fish too (Fishkeeper Scotland at Dobbies Garden Centre). Have been looking up online as I really want to get this right and don't want to screw it up and have the fish die. I'm a bit confused with the amount of cycles you have to do and what's the best way to do it. I have seen a freshwater tester kit on Amazon that I was thinking of buying so I can do all my tests etc is this worth getting? https://www.amazon.co.uk/API-Aquari...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EJQ43W9R3HCNJRRQVHBP Is it better to put in live plants or fake ones? I think that'll do for just now I have so many questions but any help you can give me would be great thanks!

     
  2. essjay

    essjay Member

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    Hi Nicola,

    The tank is fine, though small. You would need to buy small fish - that's small adult size not small in the shop - that are not very active. Unfortunately this rules out danios which may be small but need at least 90 cm swimming room as they are incredibly fast swimmers.

    Living in Scotland you probably have very soft water, you can check that out on your water company's website. This gives you are wide choice of fish. But not platies I'm afraid as they need hard water. There are many tetras that need soft water and a tank of 60 cm length. Go to Dobies and make a note of the fish you like, then post them on here.

    The test kit in the link is the one a lot of us use. One tip - nitrate bottle #2 says to shake the bottle before use and then the test tube. This shaking is important. Shake the bottle even more than it says :)


    Cycling is the process of growing two colonies of bacteria; the first 'eats' the ammonia excreted by the fish, the second 'eats' the nitrite made by the first bacteria. The method written up on here http://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/ is the best one to follow.
    The alternative is to put live plants in the tank. Plants use ammonia as fertiliser so if there are a lot of well growing plants you do not need to cycle the tank, just get fish a few at a time over several weeks. Floating plants are particularly good for this.


    Ask as many questions as you need - we will help you set the tank up and choose fish suitable for your tank :)
     
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  3. Nicola Main

    Nicola Main Fish Fanatic

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    Hi essjay and thanks for the reply! Yes please keep me right! I know I definitely want a small group of Corys I went up to Dobbies on Wednesday to have a nosey at what they had available and saw a few different kinds and fell in love with them! They were only about an inch or inch and a half in length. Would like some sort of schooling fish so maybe neon tetras or something would be better?
     
  4. essjay

    essjay Member

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    If you want cories you need to have sand on the bottom of the tank rather than gravel. There are three species of dwarf cory which would be suitable - pygmy, habrosus and hastatus cories, though only pygmies are common in shops. You would need at least 10 of these.
    A shoal of neons would be suitable - but look round and see if there's something else that catches your eye. At least 6 with more being better.

    Don't forget the fish in shops are babies or juveniles which still have a lot of growing to do.
     
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  5. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    I'll throw in on this one...

    I saw your initial welcome thread where you mentioned wanting danios, they would be a poor choice in such a small tank.



    In my opinion, small tanks like these are the perfect showcase for the micro-fish in the hobby that often would get lost in a bigger tank. I think that you might want to look into the Trigonostigma species... espei, hengeli and heteromorpha.

    Commonly they are called rasboras (lambchop, hengel's, and harlequin - in that order).
    That order is also from smallest to largest. They are a great schooling variety, offer a stunning splash of color and are very hardy little fish. The lambchop (espei) grow to about an inch and a quarter in length.. the heteromorpha up to about 2 inches - that's their adult size...

    Add in some plants for them to swim amongst and you have yourself an amazing display.


    Of course, all this is dependent on your water parameters from your tap - though, they have a wide range of tolerance, unlike some of the other more finicky fish in the hobby.
     
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  6. essjay

    essjay Member

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    Just in case some parts of Scotland don't have very soft water, could you look at your water company's website and see if they give your hardness. We need a number and the unit (there are half a dozen different units they could use).

    Edit:
    If your water provider is Scottish Water have a look at this table https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/-/m...Water-Quality/WaterHardnessData2017.pdf?la=en
    You need the number in the German degrees column.
     
    #6 essjay, Feb 9, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  7. Nicola Main

    Nicola Main Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you so much! I have decided I will see if my store has Black Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras and Salt and Pepper Corys. I will of course do water tests and PH tests before I definitely get fish. Sorting out the tank and doing cycles is my first priority. Will keep you updated x
     
  8. Byron

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    Are the measurements in post #1 the actual tank measurements? That would equate to a 20 US gallon tank (75 liter), which is different from the 54 liters also mentioned. The salt and pepper cory, which I assume is Corydoras habrosus, is OK in either, but the harlequin rasbora would not be suitable to a 54 liter but could manage in a 20 gallon. You need decent sized groups of any of these.
     
  9. essjay

    essjay Member

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    The quoted dimensions probably include the lid since the link says that is "overall size"
     
  10. Nicola Main

    Nicola Main Fish Fanatic

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    Hi the measurements on the photo of the tank box say 60x30x30 but in the description it says 62x 37x33 so not 100% sure which is correct. I'm sure Tetra is an American company? ????
     
  11. Nicola Main

    Nicola Main Fish Fanatic

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    Just checked the table and my area is Clatto East and the number on the German column is 2.05
     
  12. Nicola Main

    Nicola Main Fish Fanatic

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  13. Byron

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    This is even better, you will have more options. And the GH in post #11 is very soft water, so fish options are many.

    You mentioned a dresser earlier...the top may not be strong enough to support the tank without some give (I don't mean the supports, just the top itself) so it would be wise to place a sheet of plywood or particle board, say 2 cm thick, under the tank. This will ensure the bottom frame remains straight and level, with no sags. I am assuming the supports from the floor up will hold this of course, but they are two different things.
     
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  14. Lajos_Detari

    Lajos_Detari Fish Fanatic

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    Hi Nicola,
    Your table height is a slightly low for best viewing.
    If possible, get a table that is at least 70cm(height) for best viewing.
    Make sure your table is strong enough to support your table.
    You can give a rough estimation of your tank's weight - 1 liter = 1 kg.
    If your tank is 75cm(length) x 35cm (depth) x 35cm (height) = 91.8 liter (approximate).
    So, your tank water weight is about 92kg excluding the gravel/sand, accessories, tank glass, etc. I am giving an approximation only. The total of everything will be about 100kg.
    So, make sure your table is strong/ sturdy enough to support the weight.

    Also, avoid Neon Tetras as they are not so hardy. Black Neon Tetras are more hardy.

    All the best
     
  15. Nicola Main

    Nicola Main Fish Fanatic

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    Hi there. Here's the chest of drawers the tank is going on. My bedroom is part of an extension to the house and up a spiral staircase so there are sloping ceilings on each side. I can still get a good size tank though. Enough for my needs anyway. I've decided I would like black neon tetras (8-10?), harlequin rasboras (8-10) and 4-6 salt and pepper corys. I also like Emperor Tetras which is a possibility too. Would this be OK?
     

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    #15 Nicola Main, Feb 10, 2019
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