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Which Tank To Buy?
March 22, 2011
4:40 pm
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ender2811
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Hey there fish people!!!

I'm a complete beginner so I was wondering what some of you more experienced kids think is a good first aquarium set. I'm looking for something in the 150-200 L range so if there is a specific model you guys think would be good I would appreciate the input. Or if you could at least point me in the direction of a good manufacturer, that would also be great.
Would a Juwel Rio 180 or a Wawe Design 100 be something you would spend your money on???
Which of the two? Something else altogether? /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" />
Like I said I'm just getting my feet wet, so any wisdom you could send my way would be much appreciated. /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

Thanks in advance guys.

March 22, 2011
7:06 pm
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Bluedave
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The Juwel Rio 180 is a decent tank, owned a few Juwels over the years and had no issues.

Just remember that no matter which tank you choose you will need to cycle it before adding fish.

March 23, 2011
7:44 pm
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Eyrie
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I'll second that.

A systemised tank with everything included (filter, heater, lights) is generally cheaper than mixing and matching, especially if you're just starting out.

Once the tank is cycled, which fish appeal to you?

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March 24, 2011
8:50 am
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ender2811
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Don't worry. I've done my homework on cycling the tank /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> and I'm not putting anything in until its safe. That said, I'm gonna have some specific questions about cycling for sure when the time comes.
So what you're saying is RIO 180 does the job, right???

As for the fish Eyrie, was thinking Black Ruby Barbs or Emperor Tetras. I'm maybe a little closer to the Emperors. Just saw them a couple of days ago in a shop and even with sub-par lighting they looked great. A shoal of about 12. And a group of Corys, 6 or 7 of them. Also would try to get some undemanding plants in there.
Thoughts???

March 24, 2011
12:50 pm
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Bluedave
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Yep, the Rio 180 does a decent job, good size tank for starting out.

You could get 50" of fish in there as long as you maintain regular water changes. So your shoal of 12 emperor tetras will take up 24" and your cory's probably 15" (depending on which type). That leaves you enough room for another shoal of small tetra like fish or perhaps a couple of 4-5" specimen fish.

Have a look in the knowledge base for suitable companions.

You get a decent amount of light with the new juwel tanks (alas it wasn't always so!) so plant wise you should be able to grow most plants except for some really demanding ones.

Here's some ideas to get you going:

Background - Hygrophilia, limnophilia, Echinodorus Bleheri (amazon swords), Microsorum pteropus (Java fern), Vallisenaria, Bacopa

Mid ground - anubias (larger varieities), Echinodorus cordifolius, Didiplis diandra, Cryptocoryne beckettii

Fore ground - Anubias (smaller varieties), Sagitaria subulata, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Eleocharis parvula

Ask any questions you like when your ready.

March 24, 2011
11:02 pm
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ender2811
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Thanks a lot Dave.

The plant recommendations are great, that's sort of the the list I came up with too, except for the Didiplis and Lilaeopsis. Thought I read they were in the "advanced" column. Anyway it's great to get some ideas from someone who actually has experience in the matter.

I thought about trying for some Ottos when the tank is mature enough, but maybe not. The whole 1 or 2 out of 3 dying is kind of a turn off. Also don't know if the tetras would pester them???

If you read this please feel free to make some suggestions on the specimens you mentioned too. Anyone else off course. I've been focusing my research, if you can call it that, on beginner fish so if its not a small, shoaling species I probably don't know it. Didn't even think of it really but now you mentioned it it could be fun to have something of a centerpiece in the tank.

Hope to hear from you soon.

March 26, 2011
5:21 pm
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Bluedave
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You could go for a "shoal" of about 5 oto's after 3 or 4 months of the tank being set up - the tetra's won't bother with them. Buy them from a trusted LFS and make sure you don't buy them directly after delivery - wait a couple of weeks and pick the ones that look healthiest (and nice and fat without a hollow belly) - I very rarley lost oto's by doing this.

How about a pair of Rams or apistogramma agassizi as a colourful centre piece? They don't grow too big and you could still go for your shoal of oto's?

March 26, 2011
10:02 pm
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ender2811
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Yea, did a bunch of reading on aclimatization of oto's. If I decide to get them will put in the effort to keep them alive, dark bag, food for the trip home, drip method... I would probably wait till I can get a quarantine tank set up. Plan on doing it anyway. No rush.
As for the cichlids, leaning towards the Agassizis. Both are great looking fish though. Actually I'm reading around while I'm writing this and the Ram keeps looking better and better. Is it really a 2 inch max fish?
While I have your attention I have a question about w hardness. My tapwater is usually around the 10-12dH mark, but dependant on the rainfall it can jump to arround 15-16. Damn mountains melting and stuff /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" /> /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" /> /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" /> Would that be prohibitively high for the fish we've talked about in your oppinion???
If it is I'll have to rethink the whole thing cause I'm pretty sure I wont be able to afford an RO system any time soon.

March 27, 2011
7:44 am
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Bluedave
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You are doing your homework aren't you! Good to see.

The water hardness is on the high side for the fish we spoke about, they are both soft water fish. However, a lot of tank bred Rams are kept in higher water hardness than their wild cousins, I kept some tank bred Czech Rams in Dartford water which is very similar to your water and they were fine. I would say they can grow to 3"ish.

I've only ever kept Apisto's in soft water and imagine you'd struggle with them, although again, i'm not sure about tank bred?

I'm pretty certain most oto's are wild caught (or though I could be wrong on that!) and they would struggle with that water hardness as well.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! I'm sure a few people on here can help you out with some suggestions of suitable fish for that water hardness though.

Just noticed your in Croatia. I had probably my best family holiday in Opatija in 1993. Only us on the beach! Lol

March 27, 2011
10:14 pm
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ender2811
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Course I'm doing my homework. It might just be me but I find that with hobbies like fishkeeping half the fun is in the research. I mean if you don't get any pleasure out of reading and learning new stuff chances are this isn't a hobby for you. You've also probably met a ton of people with the same story. Bought tank, put fish in, fish died, put tank in basement. But as I said it might just be my uber inner nerd.
So lets talk RO systems. I'm guessing you use one. If not, no harm in asking. Is it a system thats hooked up directly to your home plumbing or one of the small kits you get at your LFS? Are those worth it? Which make/model?
As always thanks for the help. And no worries, you didn't give me any bad news. I mean it was bad it just wasn't news. Sort of figured what your reply was gonna be, but still worth checking with someone who knows for sure.

P.S. Glad you had a good time in Croatia. I bet you were alone on the beach. You and your family probably made up about 70% of our tourist income in those days /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />. If you ever make plans to visit again may i suggest you venture a bit more south. One of the central Dalmatia islands maybe. Thats my neck of the woods. Hvar is deff a place you shouldn't miss. The natural beauty is unparalleled in the meditarenian and really really good red wine. I mean the stuff is really really good /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

March 28, 2011
7:17 am
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Matt
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Mmm you have Aphanius fasciatus in Croatia right?

Regarding Apistogramma - ornamental strains of A. borelli or A. cacatuoides usually do ok in slightly harder water so maybe try to find one of those species?

Cake or death?
March 28, 2011
9:37 am
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ender2811
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QUOTE (Matt @ Mar 28 2011, 09:00 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mmm you have Aphanius fasciatus in Croatia right?

Regarding Apistogramma - ornamental strains of A. borelli or A. cacatuoides usually do ok in slightly harder water so maybe try to find one of those species?

Checked out your suggestions Matt. The Umbrella looks like something worth exploring (would tank-breds eat dry food??? guessing yes but the profile doesn't say).
The Cockatoo seems like it would still be borderline comfortable in my water at best. That seems to be the case with most species, so thats why I asked about the RO system.
As for the Aphanius I'm not sure if you were asking if we had them in the wild or if they were commercially bred. Most LFSs dont bother with breeding, and they get their livestock from central european countries (Check republic, Poland...) or Asia so I would say no, its not something you would generally find on sale. I could ask arround if you're interrested.
Were you suggesting it as something for my tank /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> /unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> Cause from the profile it doesn't seem at all suitable for a beginner community tank and thats what I'm aiming for. I'm a capital B beginner so... /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />
Thanks for the info.

March 28, 2011
12:22 pm
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Bluedave
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The smaller systems are worth it - I have one that produces 50gal a day (although not in use at the minute - my water is much softer now I've moved up north!).

Check out the RO-man website. Decent gear alsorts of shapes and sizes (and prices).

RO is expensive (especially if your on a water meter) as you are completely stripping everything from the water (good and bad) so you need to add some of the good stuff back in the form of mineral salts. They also use a hell of a lot of watder something like 4-5 parts untreated water for every 1 part of treated water.

Much better idea to keep fish that are ok in your water. The plus side is it's another gadget to play with and you can keep pretty much what you want as well as protecting your fish from anything that the water companies decide to add to their water. Matt's suggestions look good.

I agree, think we are all uber nerds on here - research and reading are whats it's all about.

I think Matt is just obsessed with Aphanius........

I bet Croatia is very different now - would love to go back at some point and take you up on your suggestions. My Dad was attached to the UN when we went and for some reason I can't remember wasn't allowed to come home for his R&R so he booked somewhere as far away from the fighting as possible and we went over to see him!

March 28, 2011
3:29 pm
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ender2811
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Took a look at the site Dave. Some of the units look usefull. I would probably mix up tap and RO, so that would save some cash in terms of adding salts into the mix. A 100 pounds for the unit itself isn't something that would break the bank necessarily. Not at all actually. The problem is the 25% efficiency, water isn't free + the 2x or 3x overhead I would have to pay if someone actually sold them over hear, and they don't. Got some Italian stuff mostly at the LFS. Call me crazy but good engineers isn't the first thing comes to mind when I think Italy /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> . Except cars and bikes. An RO is not going to be an immediate invesment me thinks.
So let me back up a bit. As far as my original idea for the tank goes, a hardy species of cory still goes. I could switch the emperor tetras for something a bit more tollerant (although the owner of my LFS assures me hes had them for 20+ years and in perfect health) like the silvertip or black widow, scratch the ottos for the time being, and the Ram or Umbrella could work if they were tank bred and they would be. Whadaya think???
And I would also have to find some hardewater plants that could go in. As always I have a question /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" />. I found this book on the web. Its called The Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by a guy named Peter Hill....something. Cant remember the name and I'm visiting my folks so I cant check for sure for a couple of days. Do you have any idea what book I'm talking about and is it any good? I ask because it looks pretty comprehensive and its my main source of info on plants so if its not good I have to keep looking.
And deff come visit again, you Brits have been avoiding us for a couple of years now and we don't like it one bit. /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> And you had your revenge for us kicking you out of the Euros so I really don't see what the problem is.

March 28, 2011
5:47 pm
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Eyrie
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Is this the book? If so, then I think it's a good basic reference.

If the emperor tetras are locally bred then they'll be fine in your water.

PS: It was only the English that you knocked out. Less said about the Scottish football team the better!

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March 28, 2011
6:18 pm
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ender2811
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Yep, thats it, I'mean thats the author but its not MINI its

Thumbnail - click to view full image

. So I'm on the right track at least. Thanks.

My bad, I meant the english. Wouldn't dream of mentioning the scotish team sir /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> .Tough group, wouldnt want to face Spain right now. Scary.
That said the way my team plays right now wouldn't want to face the Faroe Islands either /mad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":mad:" border="0" alt="mad.gif" />

March 28, 2011
6:42 pm
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Bluedave
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I have that book, it's excellent, especially for beginners, has everything you need to know.

Sounds like you've got your chioce of fish sorted! You just need to get the tank up and running and post some pictures.

As for the football, I'm just waiting until friday so I can book my tickets for the FA cup semi final at Wembley.

March 28, 2011
7:01 pm
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ender2811
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Yep, looks like it. Will post other threads if need arises. Thanks for all the help. You're the best.

I bet you're waiting. Wembley + two of the best teams in the world, can't even imagine what that would be like.
Who do you think takes it, Stoke or Bolton? /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" /> /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

March 28, 2011
7:37 pm
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Bluedave
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roflmao

March 29, 2011
7:29 am
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Matt
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LOL - and Dave's right about the Aphanius I was asking about wild populations not suggesting them for you. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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