Hi from Gloucestershire UK

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Yah that makes sense.
I have a lot of biofilm built up so I need a "clean up crew" lol. That's just my excuse, biofilm doesn't HAVE to be cleaned but I know that shrimps and snails like that stuff... They'll also eat up all the leftover food!

The tank I have now is also my second set up. I took this thing VERY slowly at first. Very good on your part to do the same.
It can take a bit to learn the nitrogen cycle and stuff. As well as setting the ecosystem up for the fish. It's a lot of work
Yes it deffo a lot of work, I thought we were there.. little did I know :) not planning to get any fish for another 4 weeks yet so hopefully it’ll go swimmingly
Howdy, neighbour! *waves from Brizzle*

While the tale about the oranda is very sad, it's great to see that you want to learn from this and make sure to make it a good home for whatever fish you get in the future!

I'm not the greatest at cycling, but live plants can help a lot with getting a tank ready for fish. Love that you've used live plants! Only trouble is that most of the ones you have are pretty slow growing. Good beginner plants, but they don't grow fast enough to suck up ammonia the way a bunch of elodea/hornwort/guppy grass/water wisteria would. If you could get your hands on a couple of bunches of one of those, it would help things along and improve water quality once the fish are in there.
Warnings for beginners, especially when shopping for kids - I'm sure you've learned by now that goldfish of any sort not suite for a small tank like this.

I'd also recommend avoiding the livebearers. Guppies/platies/mollies/swordtails. The later two get too large for this size tank, and if you have females of any livebearing species, you're very quickly overwhelmed with fry that you won't be able to manage in a 13g, and means a lot of hassle in growing them out and rehoming them/finding a store to take them too. Male only guppy tanks can work, but pet store guppies tend to be sickly and carry disease often, and even under the best of circumstances, you're only likely to get a year or two before they pass, if you're lucky. So easily setting up a kid for heartbreak.

A warning about bettas/Siamese fighting fish too. Beautiful fish, suited to this size tank, more forgiving when it comes to water conditions and very popular with kids... but they're also not a very long-lived fish, and I'd say sick bettas make up a huge, disproportionate amount of the "Help! My fish is sick!" posts that we get here. If you decide you want a betta, try to get one with short fins, since they're much less likely to sustain fin damage that leads to infections, and not quite as overbred and interbred (yet) as their long-finned kin. Also worth seeking out a breeder via ebay or similar rather than a store and paying a bit more, rather than picking up an import from the store or certain ebay sellers.

Have you or your child had any ideas on what sort of stocking you'd like?
Hello hope brizzle is sunny today 👋🏻 I’ve been looking at plants online and various forums, tricky to know what to go for so thank you for your suggestions there.
The fish store suggested maybe three rainbow fish (electric blue face) for the dash of colour and some long tailed white clouds upto 6 then the tank would be full.
We’re sticking with temperate water so most of the suggested fish above won’t do well,
I’d love torpedo Barb but again they’ll grow too big. and I can’t just have a pair.
I’ve also thought about a betta but I don’t think my skill level is good enough for one.
Happy to see how we go with the small ones and hopefully give them a good home and a great chance to live happy.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Yes it deffo a lot of work, I thought we were there.. little did I know :) not planning to get any fish for another 4 weeks yet so hopefully it’ll go swimmingly

Hello hope brizzle is sunny today 👋🏻 I’ve been looking at plants online and various forums, tricky to know what to go for so thank you for your suggestions there.
The fish store suggested maybe three rainbow fish (electric blue face) for the dash of colour and some long tailed white clouds upto 6 then the tank would be full.
We’re sticking with temperate water so most of the suggested fish above won’t do well,
I’d love torpedo Barb but again they’ll grow too big. and I can’t just have a pair.
I’ve also thought about a betta but I don’t think my skill level is good enough for one.
Happy to see how we go with the small ones and hopefully give them a good home and a great chance to live happy.

Ah. Rule number one - never, ever trust fish store advice - and especially never trust that fish store, because that's not good advice.

Don't give in to impulse buying at the store, or trusting what they say - sadly, many will say anything to make a sale, and not worry if it'll work out long term. They don't want to stand in the store and patiently teach about the cycle, they want to make a sale and move on, potentially sell you products and more fish when things do go wrong. Other times they just don't know the answers, and don't want to admit they don't know, so they blag it. There are some great and super knowledgeable stores and employees out there (if you're ever near Bristol, check out The Fish Store in Bedminster, that's one of the great ones!) but never rely on their advice. Always do your own research. Seriously Fish is a reliable site that will give the most crucial and accurate info on most any species you see, so if you're tempted at the store, go for a coffee break and google the fish on that site first. See if it would work in that tank size, in your water, with whatever other fish you have.

Not sure what species of rainbowfish he's referring to when he said electric blue face, but they all need groups of six or more, and proper rainbow fish get too large for that size tank too. Psuedomugli could work in that size tank (and I have some and love them!) since they're a tiny nano fish, but also need a group of six or more, are tiny, fast and prone to jumping out, and short lived. Fun if you can breed them and keep the population going, but that's not super easy for a beginner since eggs need to be separated and fry raised for that to work.

White cloud mountain minnows are temperate and good for beginners, but might be a bit boring for a kid, see if he likes them from watching a video maybe?

Ohh, consider adding a snail too! Kids tend to love em, and there are some really interesting coloured apple snails, or shaped nerite snails.
You don't need a high skill level for a betta. They would need a heater, but a 50W heater for that tank size wouldn't be expensive. They're not super hard to keep, if you do a little research first, and avoid the really overbred, really long finned ones.
 
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Ah. Rule number one - never, ever trust fish store advice - and especially never trust that fish store, because that's not good advice.

Don't give in to impulse buying at the store, or trusting what they say - sadly, many will say anything to make a sale, and not worry if it'll work out long term. They don't want to stand in the store and patiently teach about the cycle, they want to make a sale and move on, potentially sell you products and more fish when things do go wrong. Other times they just don't know the answers, and don't want to admit they don't know, so they blag it. There are some great and super knowledgeable stores and employees out there (if you're ever near Bristol, check out The Fish Store in Bedminster, that's one of the great ones!) but never rely on their advice. Always do your own research. Seriously Fish is a reliable site that will give the most crucial and accurate info on most any species you see, so if you're tempted at the store, go for a coffee break and google the fish on that site first. See if it would work in that tank size, in your water, with whatever other fish you have.

Not sure what species of rainbowfish he's referring to when he said electric blue face, but they all need groups of six or more, and proper rainbow fish get too large for that size tank too. Psuedomugli could work in that size tank (and I have some and love them!) since they're a tiny nano fish, but also need a group of six or more, are tiny, fast and prone to jumping out, and short lived. Fun if you can breed them and keep the population going, but that's not super easy for a beginner since eggs need to be separated and fry raised for that to work.

White cloud mountain minnows are temperate and good for beginners, but might be a bit boring for a kid, see if he likes them from watching a video maybe?

Ohh, consider adding a snail too! Kids tend to love em, and there are some really interesting coloured apple snails, or shaped nerite snails.
You don't need a high skill level for a betta. They would need a heater, but a 50W heater for that tank size wouldn't be expensive. They're not super hard to keep, if you do a little research first, and avoid the really overbred, really long finned ones.
I have found fish store advice to be very hit and miss in the past. The one that sold us the fish tank and goldfish seemed quite happy to do so and we had to fish in cycle :( poor guy! Managed to keep him for 18 months though.
Two days ago they said follow the instructions on the bag to release the shrimp 😨 found out later they need longer than suggested and also need very gradual water additions from the tank..

I did think a bit of colour would be better rather than the cloud minnows as they are very boring, esp for a partially sited 7 year old.
One store local to us has some Enders & they’re amazingly colourful not sure of their parameters though and they may not be there in four weeks time.
I love the ones you suggested, never seen them before 😊 the yellow ones esp. (see pic) not sure about them being short lived though as my son was pretty gutted about the gf.

I do have a heater in the cupboard that came with the tank, it’s got no housing now though as it was supposed to go in the same unit as the filter but I swapped it out for a fluval u2 and never used the heater.. so it could be a possibility in the future maybe when electric prices go back down :)
 

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Rocky998

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I have found fish store advice to be very hit and miss in the past. The one that sold us the fish tank and goldfish seemed quite happy to do so and we had to fish in cycle :( poor guy! Managed to keep him for 18 months though.
Two days ago they said follow the instructions on the bag to release the shrimp 😨 found out later they need longer than suggested and also need very gradual water additions from the tank..

I did think a bit of colour would be better rather than the cloud minnows as they are very boring, esp for a partially sited 7 year old.
One store local to us has some Enders & they’re amazingly colourful not sure of their parameters though and they may not be there in four weeks time.
I love the ones you suggested, never seen them before 😊 the yellow ones esp. (see pic) not sure about them being short lived though as my son was pretty gutted about the gf.

I do have a heater in the cupboard that came with the tank, it’s got no housing now though as it was supposed to go in the same unit as the filter but I swapped it out for a fluval u2 and never used the heater.. so it could be a possibility in the future maybe when electric prices go back down :)
They kinda resemble the Pseudomugils species a bit
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I have found fish store advice to be very hit and miss in the past. The one that sold us the fish tank and goldfish seemed quite happy to do so and we had to fish in cycle :( poor guy! Managed to keep him for 18 months though.
Two days ago they said follow the instructions on the bag to release the shrimp 😨 found out later they need longer than suggested and also need very gradual water additions from the tank..

I did think a bit of colour would be better rather than the cloud minnows as they are very boring, esp for a partially sited 7 year old.
One store local to us has some Enders & they’re amazingly colourful not sure of their parameters though and they may not be there in four weeks time.
I love the ones you suggested, never seen them before 😊 the yellow ones esp. (see pic) not sure about them being short lived though as my son was pretty gutted about the gf.

I do have a heater in the cupboard that came with the tank, it’s got no housing now though as it was supposed to go in the same unit as the filter but I swapped it out for a fluval u2 and never used the heater.. so it could be a possibility in the future maybe when electric prices go back down :)

If your water is hard, then (male only) Endlers would be a great choice for this size tank! Similar "not super long lived" problem as guppies, but if you explain that to him, and also because you could easily have a dozen in there, not always such a big deal, and a huge variety of colours to choose from! With a dozen of them, it's not quite so hard to lose one as is is when you have a single, large, named fish. Also able to handle lower temps in the winter, so you probably won't need the heater so long as the room temp stays reasonable.

ETA: Even if those Endlers are out of stock once you're ready to buy, they're commonly sold everywhere, so a very easy fish to get hold of. If you want a lot of colour, and male only to prevent the livebearer overstocking problem (and males are more colourful anyway) then you'd want to get a few from different places anyway, to get a variety of colours.
 
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If your water is hard, then (male only) Endlers would be a great choice for this size tank! Similar "not super long lived" problem as guppies, but if you explain that to him, and also because you could easily have a dozen in there, not always such a big deal, and a huge variety of colours to choose from! With a dozen of them, it's not quite so hard to lose one as is is when you have a single, large, named fish. Also able to handle lower temps in the winter, so you probably won't need the heater so long as the room temp stays reasonable.

ETA: Even if those Endlers are out of stock once you're ready to buy, they're commonly sold everywhere, so a very easy fish to get hold of. If you want a lot of colour, and male only to prevent the livebearer overstocking problem (and males are more colourful anyway) then you'd want to get a few from different places anyway, to get a variety of colours.
Thank you. Such great advice 🙌
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Thank you. Such great advice 🙌
If you can find out the GH and pH of your water, which should be somewhere on your water supplier's website, people can give more tailored suggestions. Hard water suits Endler's Livebearers (and pseudomugli's) but if you have soft water, there's an even larger variety of small, softwater "nano" fish that would work wonderfully in a 13g and provide lots of colour and activity. :)
 

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Hey, welcome!!!
Love the tank, and I'm sorry to hear about the oranda 😔.
The shrimp eat biofilm, and with a new tank there is not much of it; so something you can do is to give them boiled sliced cucumber about 0.5cm thick (not that it is to important) just have in mind its always a good idea to remove any uneaten food 24H after it was placed in, boil it for 1-3 minutes, cool it off, and then put it in the tank. You can do this once or twice a week just to give them a little boost, and then you could get some more 😊.
Since they have almost no bio load that shouldn't be a problem.
Well anyway, happy fish keeping!!!!
 
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Hey, welcome!!!
Love the tank, and I'm sorry to hear about the oranda 😔.
The shrimp eat biofilm, and with a new tank there is not much of it; so something you can do is to give them boiled sliced cucumber about 0.5cm thick (not that it is to important) just have in mind its always a good idea to remove any uneaten food 24H after it was placed in, boil it for 1-3 minutes, cool it off, and then put it in the tank. You can do this once or twice a week just to give them a little boost, and then you could get some more 😊.
Since they have almost no bio load that shouldn't be a problem.
Well anyway, happy fish keeping!!!!
Hi!
Thanks for the sympathy, we do miss our beautiful oranda.
The lady at the store gave me some small catfish pellets to give them once or twice a week, Putting in some cucumber is apparently a good way to get the bladder snails out though too. I have far too many of those.
Do they eat the algae that looks like green cotton? Got some of that :)
 
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If you can find out the GH and pH of your water, which should be somewhere on your water supplier's website, people can give more tailored suggestions. Hard water suits Endler's Livebearers (and pseudomugli's) but if you have soft water, there's an even larger variety of small, softwater "nano" fish that would work wonderfully in a 13g and provide lots of colour and activity. :)
Hello 👋🏻 I did have some of those 5 in one test strips, I can’t find my note book though so can’t tell you what the GH is.. I’m thinking 8 but that could be another test result for all I can remember!
I’ve done both the normal and high ph tests and it’s at the top end of one 7.6 and the bottom end of the high at 7.4 so not exactly sure.. I may be reading it wrong 😑
 
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Hello 👋🏻 I did have some of those 5 in one test strips, I can’t find my note book though so can’t tell you what the GH is.. I’m thinking 8 but that could be another test result for all I can remember!
I’ve done both the normal and high ph tests and it’s at the top end of one 7.6 and the bottom end of the high at 7.4 so not exactly sure.. I may be reading it wrong 😑
Found my results from the first week of testing.
API test strip was GH 180 KH 180 and PH 7
The Tetra test strip was GH 8d KH 10d and PH 7.2
 

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I know that API strips only measure up to 180 ppm and anything above that still reads as 180 ppm. How high do the Tetra strips read?

The easiest way to check your hardness is to look on your water company's website. If you can't find it, tell us the name of your water company and we'll see if we can find the right page on their site.
 
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I know that API strips only measure up to 180 ppm and anything above that still reads as 180 ppm. How high do the Tetra strips read?

The easiest way to check your hardness is to look on your water company's website. If you can't find it, tell us the name of your water company and we'll see if we can find the right page on their site.
Hi essay
The tetra go up to 16d for GH
I’m with Severn Trent for the water :)
 

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