LOGIN

RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube
GLOSSARY       

SEARCHGLOSSARY

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PROFILESEARCH

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





 

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS Related Topics sp_TopicIcon
Hello!
March 9, 2015
2:23 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hello Everyone,

I'm a complete novice and looking for some help.  Yesterday I purchased a Biorb Flow 30 Litre aquarium and a RENA Smart Heater (range 20c - 34c).

I would like to end up with an interesting mini ecosystem (including some invertebrates) with some colour.  I am totally open to ideas on species as their welfare is paramount and I'm more concerned that any species I get will thrive in the space.

I have NO facilities to deal with offspring so I suspect this may have a baring on the species and gender mix you advise :).

Having read a few fish keeping websites I am slightly concerned that I may have bought an aquarium that is too small for a beginner (this was mentioned on a few 'Top 5 mistakes beginners make' lists).

Everything is still in it's original packaging so it wouldn't be a big hassle to change the tank if that's what is best.  

Just a question about cycling; the staff at the shop told me that I only needed to cycle for one week before adding fish whereas some posts I've read say let it cycle for at least a month.  What would you recommend?

Also, what other basic equipment will I need before I get my critters? The biorb includes a pump, filter, LED light, ceramic pebbles and water treatment sachet.

Many thanks

Gaina

March 9, 2015
6:52 pm
Avatar
knutschi
Member
Forum Posts: 20
Member Since:
October 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Welcome!

Yes that would totally be my advice. Exchange that tank for one which at least can hold 120l. If you can go for 180-240l. Much of the other advice will depend on were you live and what is available to you? There are places you can use the water straight from the tap but in many places you have to pretreat it somehow.

 

Tbh we are not a beginners forum here. I would recommend to get advice at one of the larger ornamental fish forums of your country.

March 10, 2015
12:05 am
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you for your reply. I shall keep reading here as I'm sure I'll grow into it as I get my confidence. :-)

March 10, 2015
1:55 am
Avatar
Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
Community Helper
Forum Posts: 1253
Member Since:
March 15, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

While a larger tank is always better and increases your stock options, my first tank was a ten gallon. You have lots of options, just keep them small. Cherry shrimp are colorful and easy to keep. Have a look at the dwarf rasboras, cories, smaller tetras and danios just to name a few. As mentioned it depends on what you have available. I wish people would add their location to the profile :).

And don't listen to that shop! Any shop that tells "you only need to cycle for a week" is not to be trusted. Cycling is a process that is finished when it's finished. I would count on 3-4 weeks. Have fun,and good luck!

Read this,

http://www.seriouslyfish.com/c.....-aquarium/

March 10, 2015
1:13 pm
Avatar
oaken
Veteran
Forum Posts: 629
Member Since:
September 15, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I think 30 litres is okay to start with. Buy easy plants that don't have high light requirements and go slow. I think it's wise especially for beginners to let the aquarium cycle for a longer time than a week. Aim for about a month as previously mentioned. So before you add any fish, buy plants, buy fertiliser for your plants (this is important especially in the beginning since your tank won't have any nutrients available for them) but go easy on the dosage. Then wait a couple of weeks until you see that your plants have began to settle and grow. By then you should be able to add your first fish, but start with just a few and go easy on the feeding in the beginning. 

 

Good luck!

March 16, 2015
1:10 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

20150314_110115.jpgImage Enlarger

 

I went back to the shop when it was quieter and got some great advice. I have exchanged the original tank for a Super Fish Aqua 65 (65 litre) tank and the guy at the shop talked me through everything I'd need.  Upshot is I came home with everything I need for setup and maintenance plus plants for £20 less than the original tank alone!

As you can see from the photo, the tank looks a bit bare at the moment but I am going to add a back ground and lots more plants soon.

The only issue I'm having is with the filter that came in the starter kit.  It's an Aqua-Internal filter 200 and it's *noisy*.  I don't mind the sound of the water (I find that rather relaxing) but the sound of the motor inside the filter has played havoc with my sleep (the tank is in my bedroom) and I really need something quieter!  Also it says this particular filter is for tank sizes 10-200 litres and though I've managed to slow the flow of water I really don't want to give my poor little fishies concussion when I get them! :-P

I have been looking for quieter filters and came across the Stingray and saw it getting good reviews on Amazon so I wondered what you all thought of it?

March 24, 2015
1:44 am
Avatar
knutschi
Member
Forum Posts: 20
Member Since:
October 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hello again!

 

Unfortunately I don't have time to write extensively. So here are some things I noticed and would do differently:

 

Use sand (of natural color) as substrate. By using gravel you limit your options in which fish you can keep.

 

Your tank is empty. You need many, many more plants, including plants which will reach the surface. In the beginning use plants which are rather fast growing. Before planting them into your tank you need to remove all pots, substrate, clamps etc. from the plants or they will not grow very well.

 

Do you know about cycling? Cycling a planted tank is different and not as simple. High ammonia will also kill your plants.

 

Do you know about your water parameters, hardness & pH?

 

I don't know about your filters. Try to disassemble and reassemble your filter, make sure there is no air within and position it and all cable in a way that there is minimum contact to the tank and especially the cover/lid. This might reduce noise a lot.

Concerning noise I have been quite happy with the Eheim Pickup 2012 (to large for ur tank, but there are smaller ones in this series) and the Fluval U1 (clogs rather quickly and therefore has to be cleaned often).

Hope this helps a little.

March 24, 2015
8:33 am
Avatar
Barb Man
Member
Forum Posts: 134
Member Since:
March 21, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yeah looks good. Most of us forget what it was like to start out because we have been doing this for longer than we actually remember.

Yes sand is better but sometimes harder to grow plants in. You probably won't specialize in a type of fish like all of us. I have microgeophagus ramirezi, 6 ruby tetra, 2 otocinclus, and some feeders for my big bass. That's a little bit of a jumble. You might just want some cories and tetra. I have always wanted some boraras species and this is going to be a planted tank I read and they do well with plants I think.

Tell us what you think you want and we will try to help with stuff you don't know like compatibility and water chemistry and how many you should get. There really is so much to do in 65 liters which is a little more than 15 gallons here. You can have a betta some white clouds which are little minnows or even some gobies which can be really cool.

Really look everything up and ask questions if you can't figure it out. The answers are out there you just have to look for them

Oh no not this guy again
March 30, 2015
10:00 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks for your replies everyone - I'm sorry I took so long to get back to you as I haven't figured out how to 'watch' a topic yet and be notified of replies :).

As you can see by the photograph, my aquarium is looking much more 'up together'.

I am doing the necessary water tests at intervals recommended by the booklet that came with my test kit and I am starting to understand what everything means. The last ammonia test I did on the 26th was 0ppm.

I have bought some great books which tell me what kind of substrate, temperature and PH each species prefers.  I'm not going to rush the selection process, I figure time spent now will set me up for greater success when I actually come to getting my fish.  I want a peaceful community tank and so far the species I'm looking at are:

 

Black Skirted Tetra

Harlequin Rasbora

Golden Barbs

Danio

If I just end up keeping one species and learning everything there is to know about it for now I'm perfectly happy with that. :)

With regards to the filter, the guy at the shop said it would be fine to put it under the water (which I didn't know by looking at the placement instructions on the box!).  I tried that and the noise is better but still rather loud.

He showed me a fluval filter and I've been reading the reviews of the U2.  One person who is a light sleeper and has his tank in the bedroom like me said it was so quiet he had to put his ear right up to the tank to check it was running, which makes me think that'll suite me fine. :)

 

Many thanks for your help, I'm sure I'll be back to ask more questions soon! ;)

20150326_120318.jpgImage Enlarger

March 30, 2015
10:13 pm
Avatar
knutschi
Member
Forum Posts: 20
Member Since:
October 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You need to take the plants out of those pots.

March 30, 2015
10:56 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

knutschi said
You need to take the plants out of those pots.

Is that because they'll become pot bound like other plants? I'm feeding them regularly so will they be ok in the substrate I have?

March 31, 2015
8:16 am
Avatar
Barb Man
Member
Forum Posts: 134
Member Since:
March 21, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yeah the pits just hold the gel that companies put on the roots. The plants have roots just like other plants. I trim my roots when I move plants so that they grow into the substrate better. No offense to the first three but they are pretty common for me at least. Danios is a big group of fishes and some would be small for your aquarium. Some tetra look like the best I would say because of all the swords and maybe some otocinclus would do good. I've only ever had emperors and only for a short time but too big for you and currently I have rubys. They are my favorite I wish I could have like 100.

I would get silver tips but I honestly don't know if they would fit. Can't wait to see what you decide to get

Oh no not this guy again
March 31, 2015
6:46 pm
Avatar
Byron Hosking
Veteran
Forum Posts: 151
Member Since:
November 3, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have a few comments on your fish list.  First on the plants, I agree to remove the pots and most of the "rock wool" around the roots.  I find that if you hold the pot under the tank water, you can very gently squeeze it with your hand and then release and the pot easily slips off.  Then carefully pull apart the white rock wool, trying not to damage the roots.  Another member suggested trimming the roots, but I have found the roots are often very minimal in these plants, so I don't at this stage.  Form a depression in the sand, place the plant down it it, and backfill the sand.  If you plant deep enough, you can lightly pull the plant up a bit to ensure the crown is not buried (this can rot plants like swords).

You will need some plant fertilizer to get these going.  And sword plants (Echinodorus species) are heavy feeders.  A substrate fertilizer such as Seachem's Flourish Tabs will make quite a difference; one next to each sword plant, replaced every three months.  For a comprensive liquid that will feed all the plants, Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is good, or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti.  You use very little; follow the directions.

Now to the fish.  This is a 65 litre aquarium, which seems to be roughly a 20 gallon high for those of us in NA, so this is not a lot of space.  Some fish are active swimmers (all danio and barbs for example), while some are more sedate and less active (most rasbora as an example).  While you can combine such fish, space limits this.  Of the fish you list, the rasbora would be ideal choices for this planted tank.  The Harlequin Rasbora, Trigonostigma heteromorpha, is very sedate, and will spend its time about mid-tank and relatively inactive.  A group of 7 to 9 is best.  There are two other closely-related species that I actually prefer, but that's up to you.  My favourite is the "Copper" Harlequin, Trigonostigma hangeli, and there is also T. espei, all are in the knowledge base here on SF.  The latter will likely be wild caught, so pay attention to water parameters.

And speaking of water, what are the parameters for your source water (presumably tap water)?  The GH and KH are most important, the pH (which is related to these) a bit less so.  Your local water authority may have a website with this data posted, or you can ask them.

To the other listed fish...the Black Skirt Tetra Gymnocorymbus ternetzi I would forget in this small a tank.  This fish is not exactly small as it matures (can reach 6 cm), and it is more active and also can fin nip sedate fish depending upon the environment and other fish.  Golden Barb I will assume is Barbodes semifasciolatus and at 7+ cm and being active should have more space.  And by the way, these are all what we term shoaling fish, meaning they require a group.  Numbers can vary, but there is no doubt that the more there are with such species, the better they will be, so don't under-populate the species you select.

Danio can be many fish as someone else mentioned, but they are active and if you start with the rasbora I would stay with more sedate fish.  With the rasbora, some of the smaller gourami will work, and there are many other rasbora and several characins (tetra, pencilfish, hatchetfish) that might be worth considering.  Some species have issues, but if you find any check the profiles here or ask us.

Substrate-level fish are nice to include, and you could look at any of the Corydoras catfish, the Rineloricaria parva whiptail, maybe one of the dwarf loach species.

Hope this is of some assistance.  Don't hesitate to ask questions here, there's a load of experience among our members.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
April 1, 2015
5:27 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you, that's a great help!  I shall see if I can find out what the water parameters are iny area. Thanks for the advice on the fish, I shall ammend my 'wish list' accordingly.

April 4, 2015
8:59 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
  1. Today I liberated the plants from their pots and swapped the supefish filter for the Fluval U2 and it is indeed practically silent!  I managed to get the charcoal pellets and some of the foam from the previous filter into the new one so some of the good  bacteria is in there.  I'm about 4 weeks into my cycling phase so do you think my estimation of another 3 weeks is about right (water tests permitting of course)?
April 5, 2015
11:46 pm
Avatar
Byron Hosking
Veteran
Forum Posts: 151
Member Since:
November 3, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

"Cycling" a new aquarium can take from a couple to several weeks, depending upon several unique factors.  As you have live plants, and have used some existing filter media, you shouldn't need to do any formal cycling.  Are you adding ammonia?

Remember to start feeding the plants, they need nutrients to get established.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA Vancouver, BC Canada
April 12, 2015
2:43 am
Avatar
Barb Man
Member
Forum Posts: 134
Member Since:
March 21, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

How is the tank coming? Has the fish list been solidified? If not you can look for a color you want or an area you want to mimic and pick fish from there.

red; cherry barbs, ember tetra, ruby tetra

blue; microgeophagus ramirezi, guppy (lots of color forms, basically any color)

green; microdevario kubotai, green neon tetra

orange; Boraras (they're really small and sometimes red) guppy, endler's livebearer, bosmani rainbowfish

yellow; blue eyes and Celebes rainbowfish

These are just off the top of my head if you know what color I could help better

North America has some cool darters that are blue and/or red and shiners come in some different colors. Probably not NA though cause they arent tropical. Maybe a dwarf sunfish but they eat live only I've heard but they are from the Everglades and are low end tropical

south America Cory cats and plecos along with dwarf cichlids like apistogramma and mikrogeophagus. Charcidium are like loaches. Tetra and poecilia.

africa I'm not really sure about because most are wild caught and rarely exported. Some barbs like African fire barb or butterfly barbs I think.

Asia has loaches betta barbs rasbora Boraras and the easiest fish to breed in my opinion white mountain minnows and they can even go non tropical if you ever went to a non heated tank. I breed some in a non heated ten gallon multiple times. They eat the fry but I had plants so some survived

Hopefully that helps, good luck

Oh no not this guy again
April 14, 2015
7:43 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hello Everyone,

 

The tank is coming along nicely (and I love the new filter, I only know it’s running because the plants move! Haha).

 

Byron – I’m not adding ammonia and have been feeding my plants as per the instructions from the day I got them J

 

Barb Man – thank you so much for those suggestions, there are fish on that list I hadn’t even heard of! I am going to start with Harlequin Rasbora and try to build a community of fish that would naturally occur in the same area.

 

Only one fly in the ointment, today I was cleaning the glass with my new magnetic cleaner and didn’t notice there was a single grain of substrate in the part of the cleaner that goes on the outside until it was too late and I have a lovely scratch on my tank! AGH! Fortunately my Dad works next door to a glazing company that may be able to help me with a solution. I’ll attach a photo of the scratch to this post. I have tried jeweller’s rouge as suggested by numerous websites but the scratch is too deep.

 

I haven’t been able to get a full report on my water values yet but I have the latest results from my water tests I’m doing at home:

 

PH – 7.6

Hi PH – 8.2

Ammonia – 0 PPM

Nitrate – 0 PPM

Nitrite – 5 PPM

 

I will have had the tank 6 weeks next week so I will take some water to my local fish shop and get them to test it for an official result.2015-04-14+17.00.28.pngImage Enlarger

April 14, 2015
9:23 pm
Avatar
george
Member
Forum Posts: 79
Member Since:
January 9, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Your pH looks quite high to me. A lot of fish species, such as harlequin rasboras, prefer neutral to soft pH. 

If you don't mind having dark-colours water (which I find quite nice and natural looking actually), you could try popping a few dried Indian almond (catalpa) leaves or other safe leaves (http://www.seriouslyfish.com/a.....-are-brown). You could also try using peat pellets such as Eheim's TORFpellets in your filter. That's what I did. It got the pH down to 5 - 5.5.

As I said, community fish usually prefer, soft acidic conditions. Many of them are tank bred and more adaptable, but they definitely will feel better in their natural water conditions and might even breed.

April 15, 2015
3:03 pm
Avatar
Gaina
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
March 8, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

george said
Your pH looks quite high to me. A lot of fish species, such as harlequin rasboras, prefer neutral to soft pH. 
If you don't mind having dark-colours water (which I find quite nice and natural looking actually), you could try popping a few dried Indian almond (catalpa) leaves or other safe leaves (http://www.seriouslyfish.com/a.....-are-brown). You could also try using peat pellets such as Eheim's TORFpellets in your filter. That's what I did. It got the pH down to 5 - 5.5.
As I said, community fish usually prefer, soft acidic conditions. Many of them are tank bred and more adaptable, but they definitely will feel better in their natural water conditions and might even breed.

Thanks for your advice George, I don't mind what colour the water is as long as it's healthy and my fish are happy :).  I actually quite like the look of a 'weak tea' tank, it looks so natural.  Would I have to reconsider my planting options?

I finally managed to get a water quality report but there are so many numbers and parameters it's a bit baffling! Can you tell me the particular ones I should be looking at?

RE PH: I am doing two separate tests for High and Normal PH ranges and I'm wondering if that's wrong - should I just do the normal one unless it goes off that scale, in which case I'd do the High PH test?

Forum Timezone: Europe/Paris

Most Users Ever Online: 246

Currently Online:
1 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Devices in use: Desktop (1)

Top Posters:

Stefan: 1567

Plaamoo: 1253

mikev: 1134

Malti: 1099

Mark Duffill: 1012

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 0

Members: 30292

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 4

Forums: 10

Topics: 4596

Posts: 36616

Newest Members: fitzkneemd, mike76, Harvey, adennett, Brawny

Administrators: dunc: 1323, Matt: 8239