New to aquarium keeping, looking for advice

Rhys19

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Now I know from my posts before you could clearly tell I was very new, anyways

I am currently looking for advice to fish keeping, how to keep params in check, water change advice, med advice, light advice, and more anything is helpful!

I might also talk about questions about fish in my comments or my tank

now the advice I am looking for is advice for my tank which I will post information below:

Tank Size: 30 Gallons
Tank Length: 30"
Height: 16"
Width: 12"

Current Tank params:
PH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0PPM
Nitrites: 0PPM
Nitrates: 20PPM

Current LED Light: Came with an aqueon kit it's only I think white spectrum

Algae Growth: Minimum

Fish currently in tank:
1 Guppy
1 Common Pleco - Going to trade it out for a bristle nose pleco
1 Chinese Algae Eater (Still eats Algae)

Plants I have: 4

Filtration System: Hang on the back filter
Filter Brand: MarineLand Penguin 100 Power Filter, 100 GPH
Filter Media: Aqua-Flo 12" Pond & Aquarium Filter Media, 72" (6 Feet) Long x 1" Thick
Activated Carbon: Marineland Diamond blend media ammonia neutralizing zeolite blend. (Removes toxic ammonia & impurities for sparkling fish-safe water)
Media Cartridge: MarineLand Cartridge Media Refill for Penguin 200/350 Filter

Fish Flakes: Aqueon Tropical Flakes
Fish Sinking Pellets: API Bottom Feeder Pellets with shrimp
Algae Wafers: Hikari Tropical Algae Wafers

Aquarium Test KIT: API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Water softened tap? Yes
Water softened Hose? No
Well or City water? Well
Water heated after or before softener? After

those are my tank specs if I missed anything please let me know!
 

NannaLou

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I’m new too, and you seem to be a lot further forward with your knowledge than I was. I now buy RO water to keep my Betta happy!

My advice would be:
* choose fish that suit the type of water you have (and then you don’t have to keep ‘correcting’ it).
* don’t overstock
* live plants
* regular water changes
* and try and avoid as many chemicals and additives as possible
 

flowman

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Hi @Rhys19 , I'm new to the forum as well, and my first question for you would be "do you have any specific questions for us?" You seem to be well prepared to deal with water quality, etc, but have a very lightly stocked tank...how long has it been running? It seems to have finished cycling, is there a reason you have so few fish? Would you like to add more, and if so, what types of fish are you interested in keeping?
 
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Rhys19

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I’m new too, and you seem to be a lot further forward with your knowledge than I was. I now buy RO water to keep my Betta happy!

My advice would be:
* choose fish that suit the type of water you have (and then you don’t have to keep ‘correcting’ it).
* don’t overstock
* live plants
* regular water changes
* and try and avoid as many chemicals and additives as possible
yeah I've heard about the chemicals and my father had a freshwater tank a long time ago (it was a 60gallon) and he never did Water Changes at all he said all he did was add water when it evaporated but for me, I seem to have to do regular WC's to keep my tank nice and sparkly. I started with live plants because they suck up the fish waste, etc and they help out with the ecosystem, and for overstock, I've never overstocked my tank (Yet) I've got a fish that would get too big for my tank which is the common pleco and I had a clown loach and rainbow sharks but they were small and I knew they would outgrow it and I knew by the time they would've outgrown it I would've already had the 160GAL tank I'm planning on but they died from ich all basically except for 1 guppy 1 pleco and 1 CAE (Chinese Algae Eater).

anyways I did put 1 gourami in there my father said they are hard fish (As in like survive some out of wack params for a little bit) but yeah

When I restarted my 30gal I put a creek minnow in there to just get the cycle started since it was free I wasn't worried if it died.

anyways hopefully you get better ;)

I've learned from my mistakes!
1 be prepared for ich
2 make sure you do normal water tests
and 3 make sure you watch your fish for any odd behavior!
 
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Rhys19

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Hi @Rhys19 , I'm new to the forum as well, and my first question for you would be "do you have any specific questions for us?" You seem to be well prepared to deal with water quality, etc, but have a very lightly stocked tank...how long has it been running? It seems to have finished cycling, is there a reason you have so few fish? Would you like to add more, and if so, what types of fish are you interested in keeping?
I want to have more but I wasn't sure about it that's why I came here for some advice

my main concerns were about what if it isn't fully cycled, etc

anyways The fish I'd love to have is

At least 1 rainbow shark or clown loach I had 2 before my ich outbreak and I redid my tank and they were fine b4 ich

2 I'd like a pleco just because I think they're freaking awesome! and they can help clean the algae off the glass, etc

3. I would love some schooling fish!

also would like to know how much fish I could put in pet stores really doesn't seem to say much. like every fish, I bought when I had my tank cycled the first time is "Oh well your tank is too small, oh if you don't put them in a bigger tank they'll die" and stuff like that they even said that for like 4 guppies...

also, another question would activated carbon remove nutrients from the water for my plants? I keep reading about it online
 

Byron

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I thought much of the questions/issues in post #5 had been answered by several members (certainly not just me), but no matter, we can put the advice here as I doubt we'd be able to find it in the other long threads.

anyways The fish I'd love to have is

At least 1 rainbow shark or clown loach I had 2 before my ich outbreak and I redid my tank and they were fine b4 ich

This tank is not large enough for either of these fish. The rainbow shark grows to 5 inches and needs a 4-foot length tank, and it can have issues with some upper fish. The clown loaches grow to 8-12 inches, need a group of five, and that means a 6-foot tank minimum but preferably 7 or 8 feet in length.

There are loaches suitable here, but not these.

2 I'd like a pleco just because I think they're freaking awesome! and they can help clean the algae off the glass, etc

Some species grow to 3 or 4 inches, they would be OK. Not all are herbivorous, and those that are have specific "algae" tastes.

3. I would love some schooling fish!

This is fairly easy, there are so many species that are shoaling (technically schooling occurs in marine fish, few if any freshwater). You didn't mention the GH in post #1 and this is the single most important parameter. I recall we sort of determined it was in the "soft" range elsewhere (?), correct that if in error as this will determine the shoaling fish options.

also would like to know how much fish I could put in pet stores really doesn't seem to say much. like every fish, I bought when I had my tank cycled the first time is "Oh well your tank is too small, oh if you don't put them in a bigger tank they'll die" and stuff like that they even said that for like 4 guppies...

It is really impossible to answer this question until we have actual species being named. Shoaling fish need a group, and ten will always do better than six. So consider the fish carefully, because 10 of "x" and 10 of "y" might be it, depending what "x" and "y" turn out to be.

also, another question would activated carbon remove nutrients from the water for my plants? I keep reading about it online

Yes, filter carbon will remove plant nutrients. Carbon is not really necessary with plants anyway, and many don't use carbon even without plants.
 
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Rhys19

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I thought much of the questions/issues in post #5 had been answered by several members (certainly not just me), but no matter, we can put the advice here as I doubt we'd be able to find it in the other long threads.



This tank is not large enough for either of these fish. The rainbow shark grows to 5 inches and needs a 4-foot length tank, and it can have issues with some upper fish. The clown loaches grow to 8-12 inches, need a group of five, and that means a 6-foot tank minimum but preferably 7 or 8 feet in length.

There are loaches suitable here, but not these.



Some species grow to 3 or 4 inches, they would be OK. Not all are herbivorous, and those that are have specific "algae" tastes.



This is fairly easy, there are so many species that are shoaling (technically schooling occurs in marine fish, few if any freshwater). You didn't mention the GH in post #1 and this is the single most important parameter. I recall we sort of determined it was in the "soft" range elsewhere (?), correct that if in error as this will determine the shoaling fish options.



It is really impossible to answer this question until we have actual species being named. Shoaling fish need a group, and ten will always do better than six. So consider the fish carefully, because 10 of "x" and 10 of "y" might be it, depending what "x" and "y" turn out to be.



Yes, filter carbon will remove plant nutrients. Carbon is not really necessary with plants anyway, and many don't use carbon even without plants.
Yeah, I knew about the loaches that's why I said I'd love to have them, rainbow sharks are cool too but I guess I'll have to wait out until I get my bigger tank :( anyways as for plecos would a bristle nose be ok? I don't see very much algae on my tank if any at all at this moment in time

as for the filter: I am safe to remove my carbon then right? because I want my plants to be able to have the nutrients they need to survive ;)

Finally, If I overstock a tank how would I know so I could take back fish before my tank gets out of hand?

then I want to know how big should my hospital tank be? Right now I had to pay bills so I could only afford a $19 3 gallon tetra tank from Walmart (That was after buying food, etc)

I know 3 gallons is nowhere near big enough for my bigger fish to "Actually" live in but what about a qt tank for like a week or whatever the recommended QT time is
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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...anyways as for plecos would a bristle nose be ok? I don't see very much algae on my tank if any at all at this moment in time
Bristlenose are great small fish...feed it algae wafers and fresh veg.
as for the filter: I am safe to remove my carbon then right? because I want my plants to be able to have the nutrients they need to survive ;)
Yes,
Finally, If I overstock a tank how would I know so I could take back fish before my tank gets out of hand?
Disease?
Ammonia and nitrite spikes?
Dead fish?
Unhappy fish?
Increased aggression?
Increased hiding?

You should have enough info by now to avoid over-stocking, so don't do it.
Don't aim to pack as many fish as you theoretically can into a tank, content in the belief that it isn't overstocked.
You'll soon run out of wriggle room if things start to go awry and you'll have deaths, all of which can be avoided
then I want to know how big should my hospital tank be? Right now I had to pay bills so I could only afford a $19 3 gallon tetra tank from Walmart (That was after buying food, etc)

I know 3 gallons is nowhere near big enough for my bigger fish to "Actually" live in but what about a qt tank for like a week or whatever the recommended QT time is
A 3 gallon hospital tank is adequate...just don't be tempted to turn it into one of those 'nano' tanks.
 

Byron

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What Bruce is getting at is, in time we should learn to recognize signs of trouble. Tests at the beginning are advised, and they can, if they are consistent and "good," be carried out less as the weeks go by, until you can stop them altogether. As far as stocking goes, compatibility is crucial--and this means not only the obvious aggressi8ve aspect, but every facet of the environment from water parameters to the substrate to wood, rocks, plants, light, filter flow...all of these impact fish and the species must have basically the same requirements for each factor. The activity level of a species tells us how much space they need. And shoaling species need groups, and noty "minimum" six, but more if we care about the fish's needs.
 
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Rhys19

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Bristlenose are great small fish...feed it algae wafers and fresh veg.
Good to know, Will trade mine out hopefully in a few days
Disease?
Ammonia and nitrite spikes?
Dead fish?
Unhappy fish?
Increased aggression?
Increased hiding?
I never planned to overstock was just curious.

A 3 gallon hospital tank is adequate...just don't be tempted to turn it into one of those 'nano' tanks.
so what if I don't put plants or decor in it just gravel and the filter lights, all the essential stuff?
 
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Rhys19

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What Bruce is getting at is, in time we should learn to recognize signs of trouble. Tests at the beginning are advised, and they can, if they are consistent and "good," be carried out less as the weeks go by, until you can stop them altogether. As far as stocking goes, compatibility is crucial--and this means not only the obvious aggressi8ve aspect, but every facet of the environment from water parameters to the substrate to wood, rocks, plants, light, filter flow...all of these impact fish and the species must have basically the same requirements for each factor. The activity level of a species tells us how much space they need. And shoaling species need groups, and noty "minimum" six, but more if we care about the fish's needs.
ah I see, so I guess really it's just about going out and looking at fish you like that's freshwater and looking it up to see what minimum size, grouping them, parameters, water hardness ,etc?
 

flowman

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Wow, this forum is active! I agree with all these replies...if you're worried about whether the tank is cycled (your numbers indicate it's fine) be sure to test a few days after you've removed the carbon, especially that ammonia reducing zeolite blend. If you see ammonia spike then it's not finished cycling--if you have a healthy pop of denitrifying bacteria then you won't generally see ammonia, it will be converted to nitrite and then nitrate. If you don't see an ammonia spike with regular feeding then you can consider adding a school (maybe 6-8) of your favorite fish an inch or less in length. Then track your water quality for a while before adding any more. As said above, which schooling fish you pick should be influenced by the water chemistry you have, or you're going to have to modify your water to suit your fish. Which can certainly be done.
 

Byron

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ah I see, so I guess really it's just about going out and looking at fish you like that's freshwater and looking it up to see what minimum size, grouping them, parameters, water hardness ,etc?

Yes. Research is essential and key. Don't listen to store staff if you see a fish you like; write down the name, scientific name preferable if they will give you that from their invoice [no reason they shouldn't], and look it up on Seriously Fish or ask here on TFF. Then decide if you have space for "x" number, if they have the same environmental needs, are peaceful, etc, etc.
 

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