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sandersj89

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I have been keeping gold fish/cold water fish for years in a 10gal (UK) double hexagon tank and have been thinking for a while about converting to tropical fish for more colour. (This thought is also instigated by the large Ghost Carp I have in the tank steadily beating up the minnows and gold fish then eating them, shame as I have owned him for about 4 years but he has grown to about 5” long and is just too big now!)

The tank one of those double hexagon tanks that are connected by 2 tubes that the fish can swim through. The sides are about 18 inches high and each hexagon is about a foot across.

The set up for cold water was:

Under gravel filter in each hexagon.
Power head pump in each hexagon drawing water through the gravel
Hood over each side with integral florescent lighting.
Live plants and one piece of sunken wood.

The tank has been running in excess of 10 years with cold fish and is currently sighted very near a north facing window so it does get some natural light though no direct sun light.

I run the lights from dusk until bed time. No lighting during the rest of the day.

I have a reasonable understanding of the need to cycle the tank, though in the past have not used the wide variety of test kits out there, I guess cold water is easier to care for.

I have spoken to a couple of local fish shops in Sussex but I would like your input as this seems a great forum to get good answers. My questions so far are:

Is my tank suitable for tropical fresh water?

Are tropical fish harder to care for?

Is the type of care similar to gold fish/cold water or more intense?

How critical is the heating of the tank?

Will I need to heat both hexagons in insure an even temperature?

Is lighting more important?

What are the best fish to start with?

Are under gravel filters powered by power heads enough filtration?

Do I need to do anything different for the gravel filters, at present I simply have a layer of gravel over the filter plate.

What tips can you give me?

What are the time periods from water filling to stocking if I do a fish less cycle or a fish cycle?

At present I have removed the cold water fish, removed the plants and gravel and washed them all. The tank was refilled at the weekend and the live plants put back in situ and I have rigged up a heater. By rotating the top of one of the power heads I have created a flow of water from one tank to the other and back again and the temperature in both sides is almost exactly the same, maybe 1 degree variation.

The water has been treated with AquaSafe and I am leaving things to settle for a while. I will get the water tested this weekend at my local fish shop and decided with your and their help the next step.

Is there anything I need to be doing in the interim to make sure the cycle works out OK?

The plan is to do a small community tank.

Thanks

Jerry
 

William

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Is my tank suitable for tropical fresh water? Its not perfect but it'll work

Are tropical fish harder to care for? No. Common myth if you do everything right it'll be a piece of cake :)

Is the type of care similar to gold fish/cold water or more intense? Similar

How critical is the heating of the tank? Extremely, they are tropical for a reason!

Will I need to heat both hexagons in insure an even temperature? Ideally yes.

Is lighting more important? No, only if you want plants and to see your fish well.

What are the best fish to start with? how longs a piece of string :p most tetras, livebearers.

Are under gravel filters powered by power heads enough filtration? not if you plant on only using one heater. If you get two heaters it should be enough.

Do I need to do anything different for the gravel filters, at present I simply have a layer of gravel over the filter plate? Not too clued up on undergravel filters I'll leave this for someone else

What tips can you give me? Buy a bigger rectangular tank in an ideal world
:thumbs: and watch out because you'll want MORE fish more fish!! :p


What are the time periods from water filling to stocking if I do a fish less cycle or a fish cycle? Fish cycle you add about 1-2 small fish in such a small tank immediately then wait about 3-4 weeks for the tank to cycle. Fishless no fish for 2-3 weeks then you can add all your fish at once

Hope this is of some use
William

Try this article: http://fish.orbust.net/cycling.html for more information on cycling.
 

semper fi

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you may want to reconsider the undergravel filter when you decide what fish you want to house int his set up. the africans are notorious gravel diggers. the plates of the undergravel filter become exposed and lose their effectiveness. also you may find that with the undergravel filters you have a problem with the nitrite and ammonia levels. when i had them in my first tank the levels were never seroed out. someone suggested taking out the ugf's. when i broke down the tqank and removed the ugf's you could not beleive the amount of debris and gook under it. smelled really bad also. now i do not have the problem with the levels in the tank. always zero out.

maggie
 
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sandersj89

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OK, so if all goes well this weekend I could be placing a couple of Platys in the tank. (I am very much looking forward to this as is my 5 year old who is missing his fishy friends since I broke the tank down at the weekend. My 1 year old is missing them whizzing around the tank but is kept entertained my the bubbles from the power heads!)

The next question is feeding. I know I can’t use the gold fish pellets I have used in the past, Tetra Gold I think they are called. Looking at various sources it seems flakes of some sort are required. How often do you feed and how much. With the gold fish I tended to feed once a day, and just enough to ensure all the pellets were consumed in about 3 to 5 minutes. I also gave them a break once a week and did not feed them at all for 24 hours.

Thanks

Jerry
 

cichlidmaster

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That schedule would be fine.

I always find it better to feed twice a day though. Take the amount you would feed at the one feeding and break it up into two feedings.

You can also supplement their diet with frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Keep in mind...in a tank this small becareful not to over feed. a small pinch of flake at each feeding should do nicely.

I like the idea of fasting the fish for a day. I do this quite regularly with no ill effects on the fish. It does help to clean out their digestive tracts.

HTH

CM
 

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