Which fish should I choose???

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Lebe

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Hi all,
My son asked for fish for his birthday (he is 3yrs old) and loves aquariums. and I thought that's a great idea, until I realised just how confusing it all is.
I have done some research and we have decided on a SuperFish start 70 Aquarium kit. (due to space and weight of the tank etc.)
He isn't fussy about what fish, he just likes different colours and movement, and he also wants snails and shrimps, so maybe something that wont eat the shrimp?

We are thinking of guppies and tetras and some bottom feeders.
The staff at the aquarium have been really helpful, and suggested maybe a focal fish as well, but obviously we are limited to 60L tank

So the question is - What fish would you put together. I am a beginner so the easier the better.
Sand over gravel for the shrimp and bottom feeders?
Do i need live plants or can I get fake coral (mainly for the bright colours) for the fish/shrimps to hide in?

Thanks
 
First thing to do is check the water hardness in your area (you can find this on your water company's website). If you have soft water, go for fish that live in soft water and vice versa. People on here can help with some choices. You could try some easy growing live plants alongside some fake ones if you're unsure. Live plants will make life easier long term as they absorb some of the waste in the tank.
 
Welcome to the forum! I'll try my best to make everything as simple as possible.

If you haven't already, your first step is to read all about cycling here: https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycle-your-tank-a-complete-guide-for-beginners.475055/
A rough explanation is that cycling is the process that builds up all the good bacteria. You want to make sure you do this otherwise there will be no bacteria to eat the waste in the tank and it will build up and kill your fish. That article explains each type of cycling and how to do it. This process may take 2 weeks to a month so remind your son that he will have to be patient.

First thing to do is check the water hardness in your area (you can find this on your water company's website). If you have soft water, go for fish that live in soft water and vice versa. People on here can help with some choices.
Oh also before you add fish as Lcc86 said make sure to check. It would make a big difference. You should also get a basic aquarium test kit for your basic aquarium needs. It'll save you in the long run should a problem arise.

Now onto your questions:
Fish species: For a beginner I would recommend some species of livebearer(guppies or endlers). They're quite hardy and breed so quickly that you might have to sell some of the fry. A small school of tetras would work too, such as neon tetras, and these won't bother your shrimp as much should you get them. For bottom-dwellers you will have to wait a little more to add them, but some beginner fish would probably be a small school(6) of small corydoras.

Shrimp: there are three commonly found species of shrimp in the hobby: neocaridina shrimp, caridina shrimp, and amano shrimp. Neocaridina are the type you would want to get. They're simple, pretty, breed quickly, and as long as your tank has enough biofilm(algae and various gunk growing on the walls) they're pretty low maintenance. Just make sure your water isn't too soft or low ph though otherwise they might literally disintegrate.

For the substrate if you want corydoras you'll want sand. You can buy pretty much any sand as it's not very fancy, but this is required for corys as their natural behaviour is to dig around and they'll damage their barbels on anything rough like gravel.

On this forum we all like plants as they make our lives so much easier. They'll help take some load off the filter so we would recommend. If you get shrimp getting a couple moss clumps is a must.

Sorry for making it so long I wish you luck
 
Real plant master race reporting in.

It's my biased opinion that you should get 6-8 real plants (ranging from moss/carpet, to mid plants to background). Throw in some floaters like salvinia and you could find yourself instantly ready for a low bioload like 6 neon tetras or 10 red cherry shrimp instead of making your three year old wait for a month. Add more fish after a couple of weeks and with any luck you won't even see any ammonia/nitrates/nitrites on your tests as the high plant volume takes care of the low waste amounts.

It is however your right to ruin it all by overfeeding. Hard not to in the excitement!
 
Also clean the roots off a house plant and stick it in. You may already have these natural filters on your windowsill :cool::cool:
20240129_181333.jpg
 
I noticed you are north west based same as me. You have Maidenhead Aquatics in Ashton which has a large selection of livebearers (guppies etc) which is a good choice. If you want advice not only from this forum try and see if you can make your way to Stockport. Abyss Aquatics is my go-to for a lot of things now. They may be a bit more on the expensive side but they have a vast team of fishkeepers who can help. Also, they have a huge plant selection which I always get something from 😁

https://www.abyssaquatics.co.uk/ - Their website

- Tour video is a few years old now.
 
Well, a lot has already been said by my fellow members. So, as the water parameters and the tank cycle. For a better biological balance, some real plants would be advisable instead of fake plants. Most livebearers need hard water. But if it's moderate soft, livebearers such as platies, swordtails and short finned guppies will do well in there. Large finned guppies won't do well in moderate soft water for their fins will tear which won't benefit the guppy. So, large finned guppies are better off in hard water. Those tetras you've mentioned will do fine in soft water.
 
Thank you all for your help and advice.
I will set the tank up with some plants and sand.

Can I ask why I have to wait longer for the Cory's? And how do I know when i can add them?
 
Thank you all for your help and advice.
I will set the tank up with some plants and sand.

Can I ask why I have to wait longer for the Cory's? And how do I know when i can add them?
My first thought on that is that they would benefit from an established tank with some biofilm, algae and general gunk build up.
 
Thank you all for your help and advice.
I will set the tank up with some plants and sand.

Can I ask why I have to wait longer for the Cory's? And how do I know when i can add them?
The cories are a little more sensitive than the other fish and probably shouldn't be added first. They would also benefit from the algae and biofilm that build up over the cycling period. You'll also need some sinking food for them specifically otherwise they will starve from the topwater fish eating the food before it reaches the bottom.
 
A friend has offered me a green killing machine, said it keeps the tank clean amd clears the algae, is that not a good idea? Do I need the algae for the Cory's?
 
A friend has offered me a green killing machine, said it keeps the tank clean amd clears the algae, is that not a good idea? Do I need the algae for the Cory's?
A little algae here and there isn't a problem. I'm not sure what machine your friend is talking about but excess algae is usually caused by too much of something (light, nutrients etc) so it would always be preferable to treat the cause rather than just the symptoms if you did find yourself in a situation where you have an algae outbreak.

Edit - also another vote for cories here, I love the different varieties and they're peaceful little guys. I also recommend pygmy cories as they hang out all over the tank and are really characterful! But then I would say that as my tank is 90% cories lol.
 
A friend has offered me a green killing machine, said it keeps the tank clean amd clears the algae, is that not a good idea? Do I need the algae for the Cory's?
A little algae here and there isn't a problem. I'm not sure what machine your friend is talking about but excess algae is usually caused by too much of something (light, nutrients etc) so it would always be preferable to treat the cause rather than just the symptoms if you did find yourself in a situation where you have an algae outbreak.

Edit - also another vote for cories here, I love the different varieties and they're peaceful little guys. I also recommend pygmy cories as they hang out all over the tank and are really characterful! But then I would say that as my tank is 90% cories lol.
Sounds great, how big is your tank, amd what do you have in it?
 
A friend has offered me a green killing machine, said it keeps the tank clean amd clears the algae, is that not a good idea? Do I need the algae for the Cory's?
What is this machine exactly? The corys don't eat algae but biofilm would help them out.
 

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