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keeping tropical and cold water fish.
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# 1
atrixblue.-MFR-.
Old 07-08-2010, 4:23 PM
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Default keeping tropical and cold water fish.

this doesnt seem to be covered much in mse very often in this board, so im posting here so that aquarium owners new and experienced can add their knowladge base experience and expand this thread for those interested in keeping fish not as a hobby but as pets and appreciate them. feel free to discus on fish keeping problems also.

the biggest problem i faced when keeping a cold water tank was ambient room temprature, i had placed my tank in the quietest and most improtantly coolest and darkest room in the house wich is my living room as i and my family mostly live out in the kitchen/diner area so the living room is only used when the kids are in bed and important visitors arrive. the room "felt" cool with the heating off windows closed and no sunlight in there in these summer months but after problems in controling the water temprature after buying all the kit i descovered my house i simply too warm to keep cold water fish, water temps fluctuated between 17Oc to 21Oc cold water fish dont like these temps its simply too warm for them and thinking of when autumn and winter arrives and the heating is on those temps will rise. i wish i took ambient room temps before i ventured into setting up the tank its things like this books dont tell you to do and i did do research before i ventured into keeping fish.

the next problem i faced was well i bought this poor little fish i cant keep what can i do? simple and easiest thing i did was to return it to the place i bought it, though you wont get a refund but you may get a credit note for you next fish or purchase.

i also made the mistake of buying a small Pets at home 17 litre tank with filter for 29.99 not very mse as gumtree and other sites have bigger second hand tanks with filter and stands for same or a little more money. the problems i had with this tank setup was i could only keep ONE fish in it and then it didnt look very happy and water tests revealed high amonia levels and i mean high levels of the fish killing stuff. dont get me wrong when starting a NEW tank it has to go through what aquarists call a CYCLE where by the filter and tank need to establish good filtering a good bacteria this process takes a long time upto 6 - 8 months before it starts to establish so higher levels of nitrate,nitrite,amonia will be present in a new tank. during this process its down to you to monitor the water condition, i found the smaller your tank is the more need to do regular part water changes of 10-20% every 2-3 days for upto 6-8 weeks then reduce the changes according to your water test results.

all water tests are carried out in pets at home free of charge and no purchase of fish or products are required.

tap water contains traces of chlorine and metals not harmfult to you or me but harmfull to all fish types.

i went out and bought the expensive tapsafe and amonia cleaner stuffs from my local aqurium shop, but a visit to wilkinsons i soon learned that i could save more money by useing their aquarium products like the weekly cleaner and two other products they have. it does the same job and is much cheaper than a named brand. more fool me but my mistake is you knowladge gained is suppose .

i also made a massive mistake in useing aquaruim sand, it looks pretty, but it a massive pain in the A$$ not only when you put the water in the tank it clouds up and stays cloudy for days you move any ornament in the tank and it kicks up sand and clouds up again, not only that when the fish do their dirty in the tank its visible and you cant just get a net and scoop it out like gravel because of what i described above and after so long and its dirty the sand discolours and you get black patches all over the sand surface and also it can clog up a filter media quicker as its being sucked up into it.. stick to the more conventional stuff of gravel that way your tank can cycle without problems.

the dont do's!!!!

put washing up liqiud in the tank i found this out curtesy of my daughter,

dont put glitter in the tank either its hell to try and get out of the filter and ornemants, gravel i discovered this when my other halfs friends little one tipped a whole vile of it in the tank i just set up.

i have more but will leave it there for now. please feel free to add and as i get to grips with my tropical tank ill keep you all posted.



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Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 17-08-2010 at 5:25 PM.
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# 2
gizmodo
Old 07-08-2010, 5:24 PM
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My tip is to buy the biggest possible tank you can fit/afford. Bigger aquariums are easier to keep and there is more room for error.

Anyone thinking of setting up an aquarium for the first time I would recommend fishforums.net It has a wealth of information - loads of stickys in each forum. Also look into cycling your tank - there are two methods to google "cycling with fish" and "fishless cycle".

As for sand, I've had it in my aquarium and loved it. You have to wash it over and over - a hundred times to get rid of all that dust. I never had a problem of it stirring up. I forgot the technicalities but with sand you need to prod it to stop it from compacting...I think it's something to do with stopping the build up of dangerous gases or something.

Another tip for newbies - research your fish. Many are tempted by fish such as male guppies due to their lovely bright colours and then get one or 2 females and then end up with a hundred guppies...not really practical. Also if I can remember rightly you are supposed have a ratio of 3 females to 1 male guppy (to stop the females getting harrassed).
Baby Giz born 6/2/11
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# 3
atrixblue.-MFR-.
Old 07-08-2010, 9:26 PM
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in my tropical aquarium i have a guppies but all male, in my findings the blue guppy is more aggressive fin nipping the other red and yellow guppies. guppies are what you call "livebearers" they give birth to live baby's (fry) in mass. 3 females per 1 male for breading or the female is harrased by more males. male guppies are the more colourfull vibrant fish while the females have allot less colour and slightly smaller. i would recomend guppys as first time tropical fish they are a hardy fish and can survive most water conditions, platies are hardy but a tad more sensitve towards their enviroment. mollies like a more settled tank.

other livebearers are mollies, platies, guppys. they are also a shoaling fish so 4+ fish would make them happy.

fish cycling is exactly that starting a tank with fish in it, a hardy fish, that can survive the changing water conditions.

fishless cycling is starting a tank with no fish and adding good bacteria costing any where between 10.00 a small bottle to 21.00 a medium bottle then letting the bacteria works its way through the filters and gravel or sand and any thing else in the tank for a few weeks before adding fish.

a big tip i could give and cheaper option to cycling is if you have a friend or relative that has a well established tank is to ask them for some of their gravel and or filter if possible, this ensures that the good bacteria in the gravel or filter gets processed into the new tank and will help allong with your cycling process.

there are fish forums out there and good ones like above poster has said, but in mse there seems to be very little here, my aim here is for everyone that uses the site to access the info in one place without being refurred to other sites, i would be greatfull to anyone who can share their knowladge and experience, begginers to ask any questions and share problems. books have the basics other forums have the does and donts, my aim is to have the storys the misshaps the advice and the money saving part all here for everyone to access. so they can be confident in fish keeping.
I make spelling mistakes, its not intentional, its a condition I have please afford people who have these conditions some respect and not single out their posts for correcting mistakes.

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# 4
Mankysteve
Old 07-08-2010, 9:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrixblue.-MFR-. View Post
.

fishless cycling is starting a tank with no fish and adding good bacteria costing any where between 10.00 a small bottle to 21.00 a medium bottle then letting the bacteria works its way through the filters and gravel or sand and any thing else in the tank for a few weeks before adding fish.
Fishless cycling actually is adding a source of ammonia, either though adding some kind of food or pure ammonia(pure ammonia is best).

To start the Ammonia-Nitrite-Nitrate cycle.

To do this get some pure household ammonia avaible from boots and homebase. Add an small amount(I cant remember the exact amount check link below) Wait 24 hours then check ammonia levels. keep checking ammonia levels untill it read Zero, When it reads zero then add more ammonia, keep monitering till the tank can remove ammonia within a few hours.

Then take a nitrite reading, add some ammonia moniter the nitrite level again untill it only takes a few hours for the concentration to drop to zero. One cycled tank

Read this link for a more in depth details.
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...t.php?sid=2491



Those bacteria things are questionable of whether they work or not and a defently not going to work without a soucre of ammonia. It usally take around 4 weeks for a tank to be ready.

During this time you need to moniter the ammoia-nitrite-nitrate levels.

Only add a small number of fish and stocking levels should be built up very slowly.

If you do it right you should never get any raised level of ammonia and health happy fish.


Most common mistake I hear is people washing the filter medium In tap water, use old tank water otherwise you kill off all those bacteria that built up to break down the ammonia.


Water that is added to the tank needs to be frist treated from cholorine it'nt a mjor health problem for the fish but again it kills off the friendly bacteria in the tank



Cycling with fish is very much frown upon by the fishkeeping world. As is keeping fish in small tanks

If you want to know what you can keep in your tank use. Use this. http://www.firsttankguide.net/calculator.php

Buy as big as you can afford smaller water bodies are mcuh more subsetable to changes in room temp and water quality.


Gruppies are !!!!!!s for breading unless you know you can get rid of all the babies dont mix sex, also the good old neon tectra are so inbread nowdays there best avoided. Someing like the cardonal Tectra is a better choice.

Choose your fish based upon swing regions as well. Top swimers, mid and Bottom. Any good fishshop should be able to advise avoid PAH where possible.

Last edited by Mankysteve; 07-08-2010 at 9:59 PM.
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# 5
Froglet
Old 07-08-2010, 9:41 PM
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Actually guppies are NOT hardy fish,they have been weakened by all the inbreeding.

The best place for expert advice,and I have been a member for a long time,is here

http://forum.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/ lots of advice,in articles and from members on all subjects fishy!

And yes it is a fallacy that cold water fish are easier to keep as you have found out.They are messy fish,need a lot of space and grow rapidly.I started off with 2 in a tank many years ago.Somehow friends got to hear that i kept them,offloaded their unwanted ones on to me and by the time i moved into my house from my flat i had 14 in 2 tanks.The race was then on to dig a pond.They outgrew that(well maybe the orfe i bought did!) and i now have 2 large ponds and well over 100 fish!!

So beware, it can be dangerous to have coldwater fish!! Tropicals are much safer,though i love my fish and work hard to keep them healthy.
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# 6
Froglet
Old 07-08-2010, 9:42 PM
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SNAP,Steve !
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# 7
atrixblue.-MFR-.
Old 07-08-2010, 9:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankysteve View Post
Fishless cycling actually is adding a source of ammonia, either though adding some kind of food or pure ammonia.

To start the Ammonia-Nitrite-Nitrate cycle. Those bacteria things are questionable of whether they work or not and a defently not going to work without a soucre of ammonia.

You also need a water test kit as well

Cycling with fish is very much frown upon by teh fishkeeping world. As is keeping fish in small tanks

If you want to know what you can keep in your tank use. Use this. http://www.firsttankguide.net/calculator.php

Buy as big as you can afford smaller water bodies are mcuh more subsetable to changes in room temp and water quality.

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...t.php?sid=2491
yes you are quite right you do need a source of amonia to start the cycle (please people do not pee in you tank thinking you can start off this way )

my guppies have been through the mill. theyve been through washing up liquid because my youngest wanted to turn the tank into a bubble machine, the filter has been off for a couple of days while electrics were done without harming them the heater was turned off by mistake for 24hrs by my daughter and the heater was off when the elekctrics were done. all was ok. i may have had a good solid batch.

these water test kits are expensive vital but expensive, pets at home do water tests free though! and some aqurium shops test at small price, anyone know of any site that you can get these test kits for lower than shop prices?
I make spelling mistakes, its not intentional, its a condition I have please afford people who have these conditions some respect and not single out their posts for correcting mistakes.

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# 8
gizmodo
Old 08-08-2010, 11:35 AM
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Test Kits - this is the one I get:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/API-Freshwat.../dp/B000255NCI
You could probably get cheaper on ebay, or even a barely used one at a good price. I think these are a good starting point then you can replace the bottles as they run out.

For those wanting planted tanks, snail eating fish are a blessing. I researched for ages and got Botia Striata (http://www.loaches.com/species-index/botia-striata), they stay fairly small (10cm max) and eat small snails (you can hear them crunch them ). They are lovely looking fish too and mine have been very very hardy. In fact they were the first fish I got after a fishless cycle (about 5 years ago) and the last fish I own today.
Baby Giz born 6/2/11
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# 9
atrixblue.-MFR-.
Old 08-08-2010, 12:44 PM
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ok so time to update you all on my tropical aquarium!

i have a 2 foot tank currently, tetra tech 1000 filter (was previously installed in 3 foot tank before glitter was emptied in the tank) i swapped my three foot for a 4ft by 2ft tank and today is time to set it up! i have a custom built stand made for it that is just finished, custom made wooden lid that sets it off nicely!

so history of this 4ft tank, it was previously used for meat eating tropical. i have been given the filter with it also so will not be washing that out as its established, and gravel wich ill give a quick soaking before i add to tank. the tank itself needs a clean as its been stood empty for about four weeks and has dirt in it dust mostly,

i'll be useing both my tetra tech 1000 filter and the fluval 4 filter in the tank to make good filtration. i have 9 guppies to add to the tank and 2 bristlenose common pleco's aswell. i also have a air pump with 2 outlets and 2 airstones.
guppies love bubbles they play back and forth all day long in the bubbles challenging eachother to go in the most active parts of the bubbles.

common pleco's are not ideal for a new tank as algea needs to be established in the tank first, i have a next door neighbour that has a tank and to keep the algea down in her tank she gives me her ornaments covered in it for them to clean up for her, i feed them brineshrimp (caution as brineshrimp frozen can alter the water condition in the tank so any left over after a short while should be removed) cucumber wieghted down as it floats, mellon skin, and they love the vacation feeding tablets 2 will polish one of them off in a day! they love to hang round in the bubbles attached to the glass too! and watch out in adult common plecs their dorsal fin is their protective device and swipe from one of those could do damage to your finger hand etc. they like a bit of drift wood (takes ages to sink in a tank but will eventually) or a bit of bog wood that sinks straight away! plecs are terratorial also so dont be suprised if one pleco suppresses the growth of the other if their too close to eacher in a small tank. plecos are most active during the night when the lights are off they are a kind of nocturnal species but will scavenge in the light of day


ok back to the tank, as its rather large one (think the tank was actually custom made) i want to provide hiding spaces for the plecs, i was thinking of putting some half cut ceramic pots in there for them ( will be steralised ofcourse) i have some in the garden that would make a lovly hiding sleeping space, i have two large lavastones one with a hole i drilled into it for them to go inside and out of. some plastic plants, small pebbles, shells.

as soon as i set up will take photos to post here.
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# 10
Froglet
Old 08-08-2010, 2:07 PM
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Just be careful,ceramic when cut could be very sharp.My sucker catfish has his own bought cave ,which is safe from that problem.Sounds like the tank is coming along nicely,they are such a pleasure when you get it right and can enjoy your fish.

The biggest problem with most people is that they are not patient enough to wait before adding fish.
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# 11
katy1987
Old 08-08-2010, 2:38 PM
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so glad to see some decent advice on fishkeeping for a change! not even a mention of a goldfish bowl!

my fancy goldfish are currently waiting for their new, 450 litre home to cycle. spoiled little dears that they are

cannot recommend this website enough: http://thegab.org/forum/

especially good for goldfish, but also betta (siamese fighting fish) info. lots of factsheets on the bar on the left hand side for beginners too.

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Froglet
Old 08-08-2010, 5:29 PM
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Not seen that one before,Katy.It looks good but because it is in America .some of the stuff it recommends is not available here.That is why i prefer Practical Fishkeeping,you can chat to everyone and sometimes you can come across people who are local to you and may have useful,local information,or can even help you out with rehoming fish etc..
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# 13
atrixblue.-MFR-.
Old 08-08-2010, 8:50 PM
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update: disaster struck this afternoon! i was cleaning out the tank in preparation for setting up, it was stood on its tallest side i was slowly lowering it and it slipped from my grasp luckely it didnt fall far but enought to chip and crack the bottom courner of the tank just not my day today.

only the bottom courner is affected by this crack the chip is minor and sealed. the crack is about 2 inches in lengh but i do have a plan to repair it.

i have a rectangle peice of glass about 4 inches in width by a few mills in thickness. i intend to reinforce the inside of the tank with the glass with aquarium glass bond and do the same to the underside and bond the outer edges where the chip is.

in light if this fails i will be able to separate the bottom pane from the tank have a new pane made up and sealed and bonded so the tank is not a complete loss.

at present i put sealer over the crack to stop it widening tested its strengh filled it halfway with water and no leak and crack didnt get any wider or bigger., water emptied and another skin of sealer put over crack.

im gutted but in hindsight the custom made stand is not completed yet and with this misshap the kind fellow who is doing it for me has said that he will fit drawers and shelving in it for me and seal it and stain it now he more time. he is also going to go over the hood seal and stain it same colour for me so all ties in.

a family friend also have a large peice of driftwood i can have.
I make spelling mistakes, its not intentional, its a condition I have please afford people who have these conditions some respect and not single out their posts for correcting mistakes.

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# 14
Froglet
Old 08-08-2010, 9:08 PM
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How annoying,it can happen so easy though can't it? i once leaned too far on a chair whilst reaching into my deep tank and fell forward.In a split second i could see me crashing into the tank,glass and water and fish going everywhere and probably severing a main artery at the same time

I don't to this day know how i managed to avoid hitting the tank,i must have missed by a millimetre. I managed to lean sideways and instead crashed into the wall next to the tank and ended up wrapped around the tippled over chair.I was bruised very badly but better that than the alternative that does not bear thinking about.

have been a damn sight more careful since!
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atrixblue.-MFR-.
Old 08-08-2010, 10:02 PM
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feeling a bit more confident that it is repairable done some research and theres allot worse that been patched up than what ive done.

patch it up and wait a fewdays to dry completely job done. have polystyrine for the underside of the tank so some pressure will be taken out of the base.
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# 16
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Old 09-08-2010, 1:23 PM
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Does anyone have marines? Toying with the idea of setting up a marine tank with some of the hardier fishes, but it all looks so complex in comparison to freshwater. I think its just keeping the salinity level stable that's freaking me out. Not to mention the cost of the equipment and live rock .
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Froglet
Old 09-08-2010, 3:43 PM
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I just don't feel it is fair to have marine fish in a tank,they should be in the wild(mind you i feel like that about a lot of tropicals too,now.)

Yes it can be expensive and harder to get right so the fish and corals don't suffer.But i am sure with the right research,know how and equipment you would be ok.
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Old 09-08-2010, 4:34 PM
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Really its principally for clownfish, and from what I have read they tend not to stray far from their anemone in the wild for safety reasons. In fact most marine fish are actually coral reef fish, not open water fish. I'll be searching high and low for captive bred ones to, there's no way I'm getting wild caught ones. I wouldn't say its morally much different from keeping any fish that would naturally live in a larger body of water. I'm guessing this includes goldfish from the size of them, not to mention many cichlids. I also don't plan on keeping corals, just a couple of fish.
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# 19
no1catman
Old 09-08-2010, 8:58 PM
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When I was much, much younger while living with my parents had a goldfish pond in the back garden. First of all it was 6' x 4', then later became 7' x 5' with a big lily and plenty of pond weed (elodea). There was no thought of pumps or filters!
More recently - decades later, moved to a house that has a 11.5' x 7.5' pond. Added plants and goldfish, together this time with filter & pump. After losing some to a hungry heron, after researching others experience - contacted visited someone only four miles away. An interesting chat, he had many different varieties of fish in a crescent pond only feet from a window - but still had heron visitors!
He generously gave me a black bag full of weed, incl marigolds. Turns out that while the weed gave my fish extra cover for their offspring, there must have been eggs attached, and even small fish!
While it is hard to say, how many of the young fish - now two years old are from my fish, and how many from his, yet one is a puzzle.
And this is the point of the post - it is different to the rest, stockier, and with a much wider mouth. A colleague has suggested it could be a koi/goldfish cross!??
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# 20
Froglet
Old 09-08-2010, 9:24 PM
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Most interesting question and i really don't know the answer.Try asking here

http://forum.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/

is it still it's original colour,ie black? Could be a throw back to the common carp which is where all goldfish originate from.Some goldfish never colour up.If crossed with a koi,well,it could grow rather large!
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