Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

This repository is for research only. New discussions take place in our current Tropical Fish Forum.

Archivarium 2004
Repository of our 2003/2004 Topics
 
  HelpHelp   Search BoardSearch Board   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Check your private messagesCheck your private messages   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister 
Hello! help!
 Forum Index > Freshwater Basics  Search Board
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Fome
Regulars


Joined: 21 Nov 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.21(Sun)4:07    Post subject: Hello! help! Reply with quote

Hi everyone. I think it goes without stating that I'm new but I'll say it anyways. Lately, I've been getting the itch to start an aquarium, I've had one (10g) a few years ago but I'm looking for a bigger project and I'd like to do it right the first time around.

I'll be getting a 20-30g tank (haven't decided yet) and all of the starting equipment will probably be free, with christmas coming up and all. Price is still a factor, I just want equipment that will do the job, doesn't need to be the best. So my first question is, what should I ask for?

My second question involves maintenance and cost. I'd like them to be as low as possible of course, particularly since I'm a beginner. I would love some vibrant schooling fish, nothing exotic or expensive. I'd also love a lot of plants in there, I've seen some beautiful tanks in this forum. I'm thinking about white or natural gravel, maybe even sand and I'd like some grassy, covering plants and then some filler plants in the background. So what are your recommendations on species of both fish and plants?

But here's my predicament: I'm moving into an apartment next year and that's where I'd like to keep my tank but the problem is there are periods where I'll be gone. I have an entire month off school during christmas break, a week off during thanksgiving, another week for spring break and then 3 months for summer. I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to transport everything back and forth (I plan on bringing it back to my parents house during summer, possibly even christmas, it's only an hour and a half drive home) but I was wondering if you guys had similar situations and how you dealt with them?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Puresouthern
Regulars


Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Location: Central Florida

PostPosted: 2004.11.21(Sun)7:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fome, if maintenance and cost is a factor, for plants definatlely go low lighting take a look at www.plantgeek.net They have a really nice gallery on plants and it will list low light plants. Lighting for low lights is about 1.5. For fertilization your cheapest way to go would probably be PMDD at www.gregwatson.com There is another route for some of the dosing such as fleet enemas for phospates and such. I don't think at that wattage of lights and size tank you need co2 but someone will jump in here if you do. If you do a DIY Co2 system is easy and rather cheap

As for machinery, I've had good luck with the Whispers you get at walmart. You'll here a lot of debate about that, but they are inexpensive and get the job done. You can also get a 30g kit at walmart, but I would upgrade the filter to it. The kit pretty much comes with everything, except a heater. You'll have to upgrade your lights if you want to grow plants(putting 2 25watt aquarium bulbs in it should be fin). I'm not sure what filter it comes with but I would definatley put a 30-60 whisper in it to give you some over filtration. As for a heater, you need 5 watts per gallon, so you need a 150 watt heater. And this where I recommend you don't scrimp. Go to a fish store and get a good one. I have not had good luck with the walmart ones.

I have white and dark gravel in 2 separate tanks. I actually like the dark better and someone said it shows off the fish better (I don't have a comment on that.) Walmart also sells a very nice gravel that looks like small little riverrock for 10bucks for a 20lb bag.

Also whatever you do don't scrimp on the fish either. Buy those at a reputable LFS store and don't be afraid to ask questions like do they quarantine etc. don't buy fish at walmart!!! JMHO.

Also further advice to a fishless cycle. You'll feel better about it in the end. Good luck!!!
_________________
You must have dreams or life loses its focus, its passion, its very meaning.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Fome
Regulars


Joined: 21 Nov 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.21(Sun)7:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the reply, I'll definitely check wal-mart out soon. But I know what you mean about buying fish from a LFS instead of wal-mart, they have multiple dead fish floating in there every day it seems.

I just read all the articles in the article section, wow, there's a lot you need to know. I'm still confused on a few things.

1.) If you have a grass type ground cover, how do you siphon water? Am I under the misconception that you have to siphon the waste from your gravel? *confused* hopefully you understand what I'm asking.

2.) How do you do a fishless cycle? I have no objections to taking time to properly set my tank up, I'm just still a bit confused. Do you put in everything except plants and fish and then add ammonia to start the bacteria goin? or do you put your plants in and then do it? I think I read too much information in too short of a time and now I'm mixed up. A step-by-step guide to starting a planted aquarium would be wonderful if any of you could find the time.

Forgive me for my general stupidity, I just want to do this right. Hopefully if it works out I can post some pictures! thanks in advance.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Puresouthern
Regulars


Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Location: Central Florida

PostPosted: 2004.11.21(Sun)8:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fome wrote:
Thank you very much for the reply, I'll definitely check wal-mart out soon. But I know what you mean about buying fish from a LFS instead of wal-mart, they have multiple dead fish floating in there every day it seems.

I just read all the articles in the article section, wow, there's a lot you need to know. I'm still confused on a few things.

1.) If you have a grass type ground cover, how do you siphon water? Am I under the misconception that you have to siphon the waste from your gravel? *confused* hopefully you understand what I'm asking.

2.) How do you do a fishless cycle? I have no objections to taking time to properly set my tank up, I'm just still a bit confused. Do you put in everything except plants and fish and then add ammonia to start the bacteria goin? or do you put your plants in and then do it? I think I read too much information in too short of a time and now I'm mixed up. A step-by-step guide to starting a planted aquarium would be wonderful if any of you could find the time.

Forgive me for my general stupidity, I just want to do this right. Hopefully if it works out I can post some pictures! thanks in advance.



I understand what your talking about but my substrate is only partially planted though. So I still vaccuum, I just do it around it. I think the people that are heavily planted ( and you don't have to be) just likely vacuum around so as to get any dead plant matter. I don't think they go into the substrate anymore, but I'm sure if they do someone will pipe in.


Fishless cylcling, put your plants in, they will be fine. Then start your fishless cycle which will probably take 2-4 weeks. There is one thing I recommend you get for your tank. I have one on both of mine and it is a wonderful thing to have and that is a Seachem Ammonia Alert, they are 10bucks you hang them inside your tank and it keeps watch on your ammonia and alerts you to problems in between your testing.

Good luck again.
_________________
You must have dreams or life loses its focus, its passion, its very meaning.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Fome
Regulars


Joined: 21 Nov 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.21(Sun)14:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for your reply. Few more questions. Where do you get the ammonia for fishless cycling and how much do you use? Also, in a planted tank do you use slime coat, declorifying solutions for your fish?

Heh, I sorta have a new plan since I probably won't be able to get my 30g up and running until the beginning of next year. Crying or Very sad I currently have two betas, one which lives in a vase, another in a small little 2 gallon tank. It's all I could do to satisfy my fish bug in a college dorm room. They both seem happy, being a beautiful vibrant red and being quite active but I heard recently that you can and should heat their water. So I've decided that I'll buy a new small tank, maybe bigger than the 2g and experiment with planting and such.

One of my betas is extremely active and even jumps and bites your finger if you put it near his water so I'm not quite sure if I should put him with other fish. What fish would go well with a beta and how many in such a closed area? thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fome
Regulars


Joined: 21 Nov 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.21(Sun)17:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another quick question, do you need oxygen pumped into your tank if you are using real plants and CO2?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Puresouthern
Regulars


Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Location: Central Florida

PostPosted: 2004.11.21(Sun)18:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fome wrote:
Another quick question, do you need oxygen pumped into your tank if you are using real plants and CO2?



No co2 and oxygen pump together. If you even need co2 with the low light plants.

Ammonia you can get from teh grocery. Make sure its teh clear one not perfumes etc. I'm not sure on the amount theres an article here that says that. I can't remember I think its like a teaspoon every so often as your watching for the spikes. Its in the articles section, so follow that instead of my poor memory.

I wish I could help you on the beta thing but I don't have any. I know you can't put males together and shouldnt put a male and female together but thats the extent of my knowledge sorry Smile
_________________
You must have dreams or life loses its focus, its passion, its very meaning.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Clare
Regulars


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

PostPosted: 2004.11.22(Mon)5:13    Post subject: Plants Reply with quote

Hi!

If you are going to get anything as a present for Christmas, try and get your lighting and/or filtration - that way you can get more than what you would be able to afford on your own. Since you want a planted tank, I would say invest in decent lighting, try and up to mid-level (not high-watt) as that simply gets you a wider variety of really nice plants - there are some awesome ones over in the gallery.

Just my 2c! Smile
_________________
"Nothing is written."
-Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
 Forum Index > Freshwater Basics All times are GMT - 6 Hours Search Board
Jump to:  
  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2008 phpBB Group

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L