Suggestions please

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Suggestions please

Postby Superman » Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:43 am

Right, I've not bought anything just yet. I'm thinking of getting a 125 litre tank. I had a chat with my local pet shop earlier today and he kinda gave me an idea of what to be looking for etc. I bought from them "Aquarium Fish" book by Dick Mills but there's so many different types of fishes in there!!

I'm wanting to get a tropical tank not marine as I understand they're more complicated and being new don't want to kill the poor little things.

So, I've seen some catfish and like the look of the angle fish too but also would like some to shoal around the place too. The fella in the shop said something about keeping fish in their own group type of fish (sorry can't remember the word he used).

What I'm asking for is someone really to outline what type of fish, substrate, plants and anything else I should be looking for to be able to get myself off the ground to get used to having an aquarium and then take it from there.

Ta in advance!
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Re: Suggestions please

Postby David » Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:58 am

Hi,

A 125l is a good tank size to start with!

Do you know the dimensions?

What you need for the tank...

Hood(light optional)
Test kits(most important***)
dechlorinator
filter
heater
substrate
plants(live or fake)
ornament's


***

You need test kits to measure ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph.
Get liquid ones like API mini master kit as they are more accurate than test strips and don't test for the ammonia with is one of the most lethal thing to fish.
First you will need to cycle a tank, here are a few links...

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/cycling.htm

http://www.tropicaltankforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=11030

For fish we need to work out the dimensions!
Angelfish would ideally need a 18" high tank.


If the tank is high, how about a S american theme with angels for the centre pice fish, a shoal of hatchet fish for the top, some tetras for the middle(like cardinals), a shoal of corys for the bottom and perhaps an algae eater like bristle nose plec(try not to get common plec as they can reach 20")?

Have alook through this for some fish types...

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/Fishindx/a-z_comm.htm

Which ones do you like and we can say if they're suitable.

HTH

David
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Postby Angel Fish » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:01 am

The first thing you need to do is write a shopping list of all the things you need to maintain a healthy, happy tank - you'll be surprised at how much you actually need to begin with :shock:

The next thing is to find out the pH, GH and KH of your tap water (the test kits should be on your shopping list) - then you can work out which fish would be suitable for your water conditions.

Once you get your tank you should cycle it - preferably by using the fishless method (less stress, damage and death to fish).

We'll help you through each stage if you need us too........it's what we're here for :D
All the advice I give is based on my own personal 30 years of experience.
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Postby Superman » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:04 am

The tank I'm thinking of getting is a "Jewel Rio 125", although it says it's 123 cm high that will be with the stand. It's 81cm wide and 36cm deep if that helps.

Ok, I'll have a look into what you posted.
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Postby Superman » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:16 am

Ah here we go...

Measuresments are 81 x 36 x 50 cm
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Postby David » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:17 am

So yeah thats 18" which will allow room for an angel!

But, you have around 36" of fish grown a full size.

So if your set on angel fish i would count that as 12" each angel. :?
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Postby Superman » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:28 am

The fella said I should allow 1 cm of fish length per litre of water in the aquarium. So that's 125cm right?
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Postby krekra » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:35 am

I like Davids idea....but I am biased...I have a 45 gallon tank with an angel, cardinals, and cory :lol:

I think one of the things maybe your LFS was saying is that it is often a nice idea to stick to fish from the same natural enviroment. Sort of an theme tank. But as Angel fish said some of your choices are limited by your tap water conditions.

The substrate you get also depends on the type of plants you are interested. I am fond of live plants but that opens an entirely new level to tank keeping. Planted tanks can get very high tech indead. If you want a planted tank I would reccomend the eco-complete. Its nice and natural looking with a dark color that will help show off your fishes colors. It is also a nice substrate for growing plants in. if you are going for fake plants then any smooth gravel or sand substrate is fine. The larger the stone size the more junk filters down to the bottom so stick with the smaller gravel sizes.

The fella said I should allow 1 cm of fish length per litre of water in the aquarium. So that's 125cm right?


well its not that easy. I tend to measure fish in inches but I am on the left side of the pond and we tend to do that. Those calculations are just guidelines and based on fish at their full size, and fish of a small size.

On a side note, I just want to add here that there are all sorts of different opinion on stocking levels and how to count fish inches.

We count fish as their exact inch from tip of nose to end of body not including the tail. This is for small slim bodied fish at their full adult size.

When you are looking at thinker bodied fish, or very messy or larger fish you have to count them as more inches then they are. We sort of extrapolate for their metabolic size.

A tank that is mildly overstocked with small fish will do ok if it has lots of filtration and lots of water changes.

A tank that is overstocked with oversized fish is a real problem as the fish will produce hormones that will stunt what ever is in the tank including itself.

So when start making suggestions on stocking it may seem like we are being overly cautious but there is a good scientific reason. Also it is easier to add fish later then to take them out if there is a problem. :D

are you overwhelmed yet??? :lol:
Karena

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Postby David » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:35 am

Superman wrote:The fella said I should allow 1 cm of fish length per litre of water in the aquarium. So that's 125cm right?


I don't find that method to reliable.

The reason i work it out by surface area is to like measure the space oxygen and gas exchange etc can happen. And also to give swimming space!

Lets say you have a 100 litre tank. But it's a collum tank and has a very small surface area, not really fair to add 20 cardinal tetras is it?

In your tank you should think about 90cm of fish counted at full size at a maximum!
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Postby Angel Fish » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:36 am

It doesn't really work like that I'm afraid :? You need to take into consideration the body mass of individual species and not just their length.

I'm no good at the calculations, I'm sure David can explain all that better than I can :wink:
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Postby krekra » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:46 am

How about now......are you overwhelmed now??/ :lol: :lol:
Cheers

K
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Postby Angel Fish » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:51 am

Wow, three replies in less than a minute! How's that for service?! :wink:
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Postby Superman » Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:05 am

Ok, yes a bit lost.

I get the bit about cycling the water before adding the fish. How long does that usually take or can it vary depending on equipment and the water i use. It it best to put some frozen prawns in (?!) or just use fish food?

Its all this business about how much fish inches you can have!

So the LFS (guess that's Local Fish Supplier/Store) guide wasn't the best?

So thats the surface area equation then? Is that just the bit on the top of the tank that is open to the air or that plus the bit that touches the glass?

David, you said 90cm of fish, so will work along those lines.
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Postby David » Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:23 am

A fishless cycle can vary.
But on average 3 weeks to 5 weeks but occasionally can take more.

Your lfs (yes, local fish supplier) will probably try and sell "cycle" which will cycle your tank and you can add fish straight away but do NOT buy that stuff, next to useless!
But if your in America a thing called bio spira which is kept refrigerated works a bit and will speed things up but you will still need to add ammonia!
I think prawns are slightly better as they give of more ammonia.
Heres a guide i wrote out a while ago on cycling, not as good as the others but may help...

http://www.canadianfishforums.com/articles/basicscycling.htm

The surface equation using inches is length X width(depth) =A A divided by 12.
Using cm, length X width(Depth) = A A divided be 30.

HTH

David

PS, any question at all, just ask, we wont bite(but beware angel fish, she used to be a were wolf :wink: )
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Postby Superman » Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:28 am

Wow 3 to 5 weeks. You need to be around to test the water each day? As I'm off to Spain for a week's holiday at the start of July. If I need to be in to check it every day I won't get my tank until I get back.
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