Newbie, First Tank, Need Advice:-)

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gtigaz

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well ive set up the tank just gotta wait now until the water is ok for the fish, id put up some pictures but im sure everyone has seen an empty tank before haha plus ive no idea how to put them on anyway lol, we put a plastic plant in weighted it down with the sand butit just keeps finding its way to the top, what do people use to weight them down, also what bright coloured fish can i get for tropical like orange yellows reds etc

cheers
gaz
 

gregswimm

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There are a lot of replies (which I'm not going to bother reading lol srry).

If I were you I would keep freshwater fish successfully(this is the key here) for a year before taking the step to salt.

I wouldn't bother cleaning anything with chemicals other than vinegar to remove water spots/calcified pumps etc.  An old toothbrush is your friend.  I also wouldn't worry about any left over salt, you are going to change a significant amount of water anyway before fish go in.  You would also need a LOT of salt for it to be a problem.

You are going to want to cycle your tank (grow nitrifiying bacteria in your filter to convert amines to nitrates), there are some good resources posted on this.  Either way you are going to have a tank full of 'pet water' for no less than a month before you can add fish.
 
The substrate you choose should largely depend on what you want to keep.  No one substrate is 'better' than the next (regarding fish not plants).

Decorating and lighting the tank should depend on (again) what you want to keep.  (start with guppies, you can't go wrong).
 
What you want to keep should depend on 1) your tank size, 2) diet of selected fish, 3) territory needs, and 4) natural distribution of wild species 5) tempriment.  Don't go mixing your oscars with your tropheus; this would violate numbers 2, 4 without needing to know anything about your tank (your oscars would loose here even though they are 2x the size of tropheus).  There are more but I cannot think of them at the moment.  May be a bit beyond you now, just read more.  Wetwebmedia is a good resource.  Also once you stop asking 'why?', you are in trouble.
 

Mamashack

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Good advice gregswimm altho I'd suggest platies are a bit hardier than guppies to start with, but then I would if you look at my signature! lol
What size tank is it, Gaz?
 

SamLovesCorys

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In terms of orange, red, and yellow fish,  Honey Gouramis spring to mind, as do Platies as has been said. Just google search those two and see if you like the look of them, they'd be compatible together... I'll try and think of more!


Cherry barbs, Rummynose Tetras, Coolie loaches
 
How big is your tank again?


Ram Cichlid, Apistogramma (Kind of), Neon and Cardinal Tetras are a bit red, although a bit too fragile for a new tank. 
 

SamLovesCorys

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I might get burned for this, but if you're finding fishless cycling really hard to understand, I don't think fish-in cycling is such bad news if done very VERY carefully. I did it because I was so confused about cycling and lost no fish during the cycling period, or any time soon afterwards. Just add fish very slowly, 2 or 3 at a time, and you should be ok. 
 
IMO.


PS. By 2-3 I mean per week
 

Joshwainwright

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SamLovesCorys said:
I might get burned for this, but if you're finding fishless cycling really hard to understand, I don't think fish-in cycling is such bad news if done very VERY carefully.
If you take the time to almost constantly monitor the ammonia level and do really regular water changes, there can be nothing wrong with it. Most people (including myself) wouldn't keep up with the water changes though and only test the ammonia say once a day.
 

Mamashack

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I agree with Josh - if folks don't have the patience to do fishless cycling, they aren't likely to do the number of water tests and changes required i.e.2-3 times a day (maybe more).
Adding fish at the rate of 2-3 per week is extremely ambitious if not foolhardy as it can take several weeks to cycle with fish-in (because of all the water changes needed to prevent ammonia & nitrIte poisoning) as opposed to 2-4 weeks doing fishless depending on whether you've got mature filter media to hand. If you have then you are lucky and almost ready to go. If not I strongly recommend doing fishless cycling first.
Personally I don't think it's fair to treat fish as a disposable commodity that can be replaced if they succumb to toxic levels of ammonia and nitrIte at this stage.
I appreciate Sam is giving his personal opinion and I have to respect that and some people have got away with fish-in cycling, but if you want healthy, long-living fish Gaz, I'd advise you to be patient and try the fishless cycling route.
 

gregswimm

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The only difference between fishless cycling and fish-in cycling is you are providing the ammonia instead of the fish.

Adding fish 2-3 per week would be too fast imo.  2-3 per month sounds more reasonable.
 

gregswimm

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Stocking should always be done slowly.  The exception being highly territorial fish which should all be added at the same time.
 

cpwebsite

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If your careful, and regularly check your levels and make sure that the bacteria are always getting fed then you'll be fine. But when you don't, thinks won't work and you could get troubles. Best of luck though and I recommend sticking with a fish less cycling.
 

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