Hey! New Here And Ready To Talk Fish

KatFishies

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Hi!
 
I just joined this fun forum. I am not a complete new person to fish as I have worked with fish a lot in my life. However I wouldn't call myself a professional. Anyways, I am excited to get back into the hobby at my new place. 
 
I am working on trying to get a 20 gallon tank (the one I purchased is chipped and makes me a little worried to use!) so I can get going. I also have not had too much luck with finding a stand. They are either too expensive or bowed when purchased. Definitely frustrating.
 
I was wondering anyone's thoughts on tetras. I am interested in neons, cardinals, black neons...tetras are awesome. It's been a very long time since I have had neons and when I did they didn't seem to be very hardy fish. Anyone like to share their experiences with any of these fish? It's very difficult to get cardinal tetras where I am.  What other fish go well with these fish? I heard tiger barbs can be pretty nasty sometimes. How many of which types of tetras would you recommend?
 
Thanks and I'm excited to be part of this forum!
 

Ninjouzata

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welcomeani.gif
to TFF! Hope you enjoy it here.
 
I havn't had any issues with my neons so I think they'd be worth another shot.
 
Is your water hard or soft? What are the dimensions of the tank? Have you read THIS?
 
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KatFishies

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Thank you for the welcome! Well that's reassuring about your neons. Maybe I just had a bad batch the last time I tried. My water is very hard where I live, but when I had them before my water wasn't nearly as hard. I'm afraid the hardness of my water will really limit the type of fish I can have.
 
Since I can't afford the whole setup for live plants like the CO2 and such I am planning on going fake. Not nearly as awesome but less of a hit to my wallet if you know what I mean.
 
The dimensions of my tank are 24" L x 12" W x 16.5" H. This tank has a chip but the one I am getting will be likely this size as well.  And funny you should mention the link. I just happened upon it about 15 minutes ago. Great source! Thank you. In the past I would use goldfish to cycle since I liked having them after as pets anyways but this time I am going to avoid the live fish method. What's your experience with the Quick Start stuff at pet stores? Like if I added it but still let it cycle for a few weeks would that work ok too?
 

Wansui

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Welcome to TFF. You can have live plants without Co2. Aquariums without the use of Co2 a considered low tech. Hardy low to medium light plants are fine, as long as they have sufficiant lighting and nutrients. Plants really do benifit an aquarium, in terms of making a more natural environment for the fish, aswell as supplying oxygen to them. The "Quick start" stuff will not cycle the aquarium on its own. You see, quick start supposedly contains "live nitrifying bacteria" which convert ammonia into nitrites then nitrates. You'll still need to feed the bacteria with ammonia, as there will not be enough to support a full bio load of fish. The effectivenes of quickstart is debatable, I would personally avoid it. Please make sure your tank is cycled before any fish are intoduced, fo the welfair of the fish.
 
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KatFishies

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Don't worry I will definitely make sure my aquarium is cycled before any fish are added. It's a long wait when done right but worth it! I will have to look into the plants that don't require CO2. Any suggestions? I know they sell plants at Petco/Petsmart but it seems like none of them are fully aquatic plants. Can plants be kept without the special gravel? I used the plant gravel in a tank once and it was just an absolute mess to deal with. But maybe it was the cichlids. Who knows. Maybe I will look into some real plants though. 
 

Ninjouzata

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You don't need special substrate :) I use plain sand in all of my tanks.
 
Some plants that should work for you are anubias, java fern, bolbitis (this and the previous two should be attached to rock or driftwood), anacharis/elodea (plant in substrate or float), cryptocorynes, amazon sword, vallisneria, certain aponogetons, watersprite (plant in substrate or float), banana plants, dwarf water lettuce (floating), hornwort (also floating). There are some I'm probably not thinking of.
 
You might try looking online for plants as petsmart/petco seems to have a limited selection and is a bit overpriced. I quite like bamaplants.com :)
 
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KatFishies

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Thank you for all the plant suggestions! I will go look them up right now :) Java fern I have heard of before. That's a relief they don't need special substrate. When I got my tank they gave me all of their natural gravel. Would that not work for plants? 
 

Ninjouzata

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Gravel is fine for plants! I just know some people think you can't put plants in sand for some reason so thought I'd mention that it's what I use in my tanks.
 
As for some fishies I am drawing a blank right now except for livebearers like guppies and platies. Mollies & swordtails will get too big for the tank.
 
Perhaps smaller rainbows like spotted blue eyes (pseudomugil gertrudae)? -- I'm not sure if these like hard water the way the bigger rainbows do or not.
 
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KatFishies

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Yeah guppies I have always had a lot of luck with, as in they have always been healthy and gave me tons of babies. Yeah swords get huge and mollies I am not a huge fan of their huge bellies haha. Heard they need salt in their water too. Oh wow the spotted blue eyes are gorgeous fish! 
 
How would long-fin danios do with tetras? Do they get pretty big? They don't seem to be fin nippers or very territorial from my experience.

Nevermind, looks like danios get to be pretty big. They always start so tiny at the pet stores haha.
 

Ninjouzata

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Not all danios get big, such as celestial pearl danios. HERE is more info on those. They're quite lovely!
 
The ones like zebra danios though are best off in 3-4ft tanks due to their high activity levels. They are also more temperate than tropical.
 
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KatFishies

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Wow those are pretty fish too. Good to know about the zebras. They definitely look like active fish.
 

the_lock_man

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Generally speaking, most "softwater" fish are OK in hardwater - but not vice versa. There are a few exceptions to this, but that's a general rule of thumb. My display tank is about 27gallons, I have shoals of Panda Cories, Cherry Barbs, Cardinal Tetra and Pentazona Barbs. All of these are softwater fish, yet my water has a very high pH of 7.8 and a very high KH (carbonate hardness).
 
You mentioned you liked tiger barbs, you could consider pentazona barbs, they are very similar looking, but without the psychopathic behaviour.
 
Neon tetras have a reputation of being difficult in immature tanks (by which I mean less than 6 months to a year), cardinals are larger and more colourful, and don't have that reputation. You could also look at mosquito rasboras, which are tiny little things, very colourful, and very peaceful.
 
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KatFishies

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the_lock_man said:
Generally speaking, most "softwater" fish are OK in hardwater - but not vice versa. There are a few exceptions to this, but that's a general rule of thumb. My display tank is about 27gallons, I have shoals of Panda Cories, Cherry Barbs, Cardinal Tetra and Pentazona Barbs. All of these are softwater fish, yet my water has a very high pH of 7.8 and a very high KH (carbonate hardness).
 
You mentioned you liked tiger barbs, you could consider pentazona barbs, they are very similar looking, but without the psychopathic behaviour.
 
Neon tetras have a reputation of being difficult in immature tanks (by which I mean less than 6 months to a year), cardinals are larger and more colourful, and don't have that reputation. You could also look at mosquito rasboras, which are tiny little things, very colourful, and very peaceful.
 
Oh well that is definitely reassuring. Are black neon tetras known for being hardy as well? If I do cardinals I have to buy them online which I'm hesitant to do since shipping is always an extra $30. Do you know of any good online places to get fish? I love those mosquito rasboras. I would have to buy those online as well but I really like them. I will look into it.
 

Ninjouzata

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Aquabid, thewetspot, liveaquaria are good onlines places for fish. :)
 

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