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Did you just get an aquarium as a gift? READ THIS.
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: 2005.12.24(Sat)6:12    Post subject: Did you just get an aquarium as a gift? READ THIS. Reply with quote

My goal with this thread is to prevent the mass rage of questions that occurs especially in January. You see, every year there are hundreds of inexpensive aquarium kits given as Christmas or birthday presents. Typically, these kits are sold at rock bottom prices with equipment that doesn't begin to fit the needs of its inhabitants. Everything is great for 3 or 4 weeks, and then in 9 out of 10 cases hell breaks loose: the water turns cloudy, fish start to die, and the victim begins to post desperate questions trying to know what went wrong. Fish live for a LONG TIME (at least 3-4 years) and I don't want this to happen to you or your fish, so here are 10 emergency and fundamental tips you need to know.

Welcome to the hobby! If you are a helpless victim who has received an aquarium as a gift, please read this list!

1) Goldfish should NOT be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium. Ask us why!

2) Your aquarium has to "cycle". This is the most important thing in fishkeeping. Learn what this means or you will never keep fish alive for long. You need to know this BEFORE you buy your first fish. Read more in this article.

3) If your gift aquarium filter looks like a small box filled with white cotton and it bubbles, you need a different filter. If it sits underwater, suctions cups to the glass, and releases bubbles, you probably need a different filter.

4) If your gift aquarium filter looks like a plastic grid below the gravel with a plastic tower that bubbles, you'll have special limitations and care requirements. Ask us how to deal with under gravel filters (UGF).

5) If your gift aquarium includes ONLY a filter that hangs on the back of your aquarium, then you probably need to modify the filter. Ask us how! The exception is: if your hang on filter has a sponge inside of it, or if it has a gray colored wheel that spins, then you are in good shape! Ask us how and when to clean the sponge and/or wheel!

6) Aquariums under 30 gallons are for SMALL species (5-10 cm adult size). Do not buy a fish because "it only grows to the size of the tank". This is a lie.

7) As a goal, you can have 2-3 different types of fish for every 10 gallons of water. Buy your fish in small groups of 3 to 5 of each type fish.

8) Even after cycling, DO NOT populate your tank immediately using "rules" like 1 inch per gallon. Increase your population slowly, over several weeks.

9) You do NOT feed 3 times daily whatever the fish eat in 5 minutes!!! For the beginner, only feed 1 time per day whatever the fish eat in 2 minutes.

10) When you clean the aquarium, DO NOT take the fish out. DO NOT remove all the water. DO NOT carry your aquarium to the bath tub and wash it. DO NOT use soap, windex, bleach, or other cleaners. Ask us how to properly clean a fish tank!

Hopefully this helps some of you who receive gifts this Christmas. Please post any questions you have here in the "basics" forum as a new topic. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.

PLEASE ask questions BEFORE you add fish to the tank!!!

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Joined: 22 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.12.24(Sat)8:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bravo, Mark! Thanks for helping the newest newbies avoid killing their fish first time out!

Let's keep this bumped to the top of the category for the next week or two!

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)
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Michael L.

Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Location: Nanaimo, B.C, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.12.24(Sat)10:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree! I've been in that situation before. Good job Mark!
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Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: 2005.12.24(Sat)18:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some very good points and suggestions. Thank you for haveing the forsight to bring this all up BEFORE its to late. Very Happy
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Joined: 06 Aug 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.12.24(Sat)18:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, hehe very good list and very thoughtful of you to help introduce the new beginners to the fishworld, Very good '! this ought to help those newbbies and these guidelines are correct if any newbbie is wondering. Very Happy
Get attached, love everything now, then, suffer when it comes to an end, for it will bring great meaning to one's existence. JR
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Jacquie W

Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Location: Bremerton - WA/USA

PostPosted: 2005.12.25(Sun)18:05    Post subject: Sticky? Reply with quote

Perhaps this should be come a sticky-note at the top of this forum? This has too much pertinent & useful info. to get lost in the pages of this forum!
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Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.12.25(Sun)22:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I do qualify as a newbie... I did just get a 30 gallon aquarium for Christmas, although I've been visiting this site and others and planning for this for about four years. My husband has been very patient with my pining and completely surprised me this morning!

I'm not completely new to the hobby, though. I've had tanks before, but I've never had the time and money to dedicate to them that I have now (that's why we waited four years). Currently, we have two very happy, healthy bettas in separate large containers. My parents have a single pleco who will be coming to live with me now that I have a larger place for him to be, and I hope to find a couple of kribs to come live with me as well. I haven't decided on other fish, or if there will be others yet, but those are my plans so far. Next week I'll get some driftwood and rocks, and plan to cycle the tank the fishless way... add a few plants (I'll start slowly on that count) and off I'll go.

It's great to know that there's a helpful, intelligent community here, and I know if I can't find answers to my questions (which are likely to be multiple) on the site I can come here and ask. I hope to avoid making any big mistakes that cost lives.

So, hello everyone! Happy holidays! *waves*

- bluepixie
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New Members

Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Location: vancouver

PostPosted: 2005.12.25(Sun)23:41    Post subject: switching tanks Reply with quote

I've just got a new tank for christmas, a 44 gallon pentagon. I have had a 15 gallon tank for about 4 months with some very happy fish and I was wondering if anyone can suggest a good way to switch tanks while keeping my fish healthy and making use of the bacteria cultures that have developed in my small tank.

any suggestions would be appreciated

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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2005.12.26(Mon)1:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello brarthur,

Congratulations on getting your new tank.

If you're just going to transfer your fish over, all you need to do is set up your new tank the way you want, decorate, fill with fresh, dechlorinated water, start the filter and everything, then put your old filter on the tank as well. Don't clean the old filter. If you plan on using your old gravel, put it on top of the new gravel. Get the temperature right in your new tank, and introduce your fish to the new tank the same way you do when acclimating new fish to your aquarium.

Let both filters run together on the new tank for a month or so before removing it.
Happy fishkeeping!

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menagerie mom

Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPosted: 2005.12.26(Mon)23:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the same situation - have a 20 gallon, and just got a 55 gallon. I will keep the 20 gallon as is, and know to take the filter, a handfull of gravel, and some water from it to put in the new tank. How long should I wait before adding fish, or should I put them in immediately to feed the bacteria? Should I add just a few at a time to let the bacteria growth catch up? I'm anxious to set it up, but I need to research which fish I want. So exciting - the possiblilities! Very Happy
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