Complete beginners

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Complete beginners

Postby looby » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi folks,

My 12 year old daughter would like a tropical tank in her room. She only has room for a small tank and we have been looking at the Juwel Korall 60 Tropical, as it has lots of the essential equipment included and as she is saving up for it herself it is the most affordable we have found.

I've seen lots of conflicting advice on which breeds and the amount recommended for the size of tank and seem to be getting more and more confused. She's come up with a list of fish she likes, but we want to make sure her final choice are compatible and that we add them in the right order and in the right balance of numbers. I would appreciate any advice on the below species and also which plants we should use.

cardinal tetra
albino glowlight
endler guppies
endlers livebearer
turquoise danio
clown loach
bronze catfish
small angel fish

Any other advice on what we should buy would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
looby
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Re: Complete beginners

Postby Carylnz » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:12 am

Hi and welcome. Good to hear of a child saving up for their own aquarium. That Juwel looks nice.
Most of her selection would be suitable except for the clown loach and angelfish. Both those need much larger aquariums.
The tetras and danios like to be in a group so you would want at least 6 of any of those species.
As far as I know (and we do not have them here) endler guppies and live bearers are the same fish as guppies are live bearers. The thing you have to remember is that they will be producing fry every 4 - 6 weeks and will over-run the tank. If you do decide on them, get 1 male to every 2 or more females or the males will harass the females endlessly. They will anyway but with more females to spread the aggression it is much better.
Have you read about cycling a tank? Have a good read here for information. You can cycle with fish or without but personally I think it is easier to do with fish. If done correctly it causes no harm to the fish either.
I suggest she starts with the danios (turquoise danios are also known as pearl danios) as they are hardiest. If she leaves out the endlers, she could stock the tank with the danios, glowlights, cardinals then catfish - in that order.
I would get 6 of each (built up over time of course, not added all at once) and that would fill the tank
To cycle with fish you would start with 3 danios then wait one month. If all is well you then add 3 more and wait one month. Do the same with the glowlights, cardinal, then catfish. This way the good bacteria builds up in the filter to match the fish load. I know it takes time but this way you have time to observe how the tank is doing and correct problems. It also gives time for the tank to start maturing and the catfish will do much better in a tank that is at least 6 months old.

Other suggestions;
Live plants are better than fake
Darker gravel is better than light. Fish will show their colours more against a dark substrate, especially the cardinals
When she first sets up the tank, add the equipment, fill with water, then leave for several days to check the heater is set to the correct temperature and the temperature remains stable (24 - 27C)
A test kit would be handy as she can check the water quality herself. Tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate will tell her how the cycle is going. I find this helpful
Do not believe everything a shop assistant tells you. There are some good ones out there but there are also many who do not know what they are talking about and try to sell you unnecessary chemicals and additives. You should only need dechlorinator if your water supply has chlorine added to it.
Patience is a virtue in fish keeping :wink:

Good luck and feel free to ask as many questions as you like, no matter if you think they may be "stupid" :wink:
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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Re: Complete beginners

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:58 am

By bronze catfish are you referring to bronze corydoras?

I agree with everything Carylnz has said so far but instead of endlers you could go for normal guppies and choose all males so that you don't have them breeding. Guppies are a weak fish in general though as they are bred to look like they do.

I'd consider 1 Bristlenose catfish or 2-3 Otto catfish for keeping algae off the glass and ornaments. These can be added when the tank is mature.
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Re: Complete beginners

Postby looby » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:27 pm

Thank you for your help, that's great. We're going to look at this second hand one tomorrow which is a little larger:

1 year old Aquastar 100 Litre tropical aquarium from MP Eheim. It is supplied with high quality equipment the meets the highest safety standards.
This complete set-up comprises of:
80cm x 35cm x 40cm aquarium (approx)
Glass thickness 6mm.
Hood with quality light unit and lift-up feeding flap
Aquarium heater
Filter
Thermometers
Fish net (new)
Gravels [used and unused (extra) ]
Ornamental natural slates and sandstones.
Two fishes - 1 Jewel Cichlid and 1 Tilapia Buttikoferi (both medium size) along with the tank.

As it has 2 fish in there already, what affect will these 2 existing fish have on her choices and your existing advice?

Also what is the best way for us to get them home with the least amount of distress to the fish (it's about an hours drive)? If she does buy it I will be back to ask about plant choices too as I see they differ depending on the lighting.

thanks once again for your help
looby
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Re: Complete beginners

Postby looby » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:14 pm

Well we went ahead and bought the tank, once we have rehomed the fish, does the fact that she has a larger tank mean there are other species that she can consider....e.g. is 100 litres big enough for her to have clown loaches?

Also if anyone has any recommendations of where to buy around Glasgow area, that would be really helpful.
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Re: Complete beginners

Postby Timshill » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:15 pm

I use M&R Dogfish the most on Paisley rd West, I am a complete newcomer to this as well and find the guys in M&R very helpful. There are 3 other shops on PRW also, not used them very much myself, but id say Coral Reef Aquariums at the Kinning Park end of PRW has the biggest variety of fish.
I also sometimes goto Supreme Aquatics on Butterbiggins rd (Just off Cathcart rd) in Govanhill and Aqua Parade on Alexandria Parade at Haghill just next to the park
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Re: Complete beginners

Postby Carylnz » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:46 am

Clown loaches really should not be in tank shorter than 1.2m (4ft). They are much happier in groups and groups need more space.
They are very touchy when it comes to water conditions and are prone to getting white spot at the drop of a hat.
As a scaleless fish, they are also sensitive to any medications used so treatment has to be used at lower doses so will be prolonged.
They should also go in a tank that has matured (ie at least 6 months old)
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