Best fish to start

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Best fish to start

Postby New_fish_owner » Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:33 pm

Hi

I've been researching now for some time, the best tank to get, location and cycling etc, so now I'm comfortable that I know what to do when I unpack it all. But now I want to start researching the fish I can put in my tank. It will be a 80 x 35 x 45 tank (approx 110 LT) and I know there are limits to stock etc but I'm finding it difficult to find a definitive group of suitable fish that I like the look of.

What would be really helpful would be something like an ideal 'shopping list' from experts, something I can go to a store and know what I'm asking for any understand why. Criteria only is to include a bottom dwelling fish, and a few brightly patterned fish of medium size or ones that may be considered 'pretty' like the angelfish. I'd like some guidance so that I don't mix the wrong breeds and end up with fish fighting. A break down of ideal male and female numbers would also be helpful as well as some guidance as to which should be introduced first, and which can be bought later and won't have much issue going into a tank already 'owned' by others. I will start off with the recommended ones and add as appropriate.

help and advice will be greatly appreciated since there are so many too choose from.

Thanks!! :!:
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Re: Best fish to start

Postby Rockfish » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:29 pm

Hi,

There are so many possibilities as you said, and some of the choice has to be personal preference of course, but I think it makes sense with a mixed community tank to go for either peaceful and serene or lively and boisterous. Fish don't fit neatly into either category of course, but as a general guide you don't want lively active swimmers with fish that are too timid, otherwise they may become stressed and will be out-competed for food.

If you would like some bottom dwellers, then you could work from that. Corydoras catfish make ideal bottom feeders for community tanks, and if you chose them then I would choose fish such as peaceful tetras (neons, glowlights, cardinals, red phantoms, lemon tetras, etc) and the smaller more timid barbs and rasboras such as Pentazona barbs, Cherry barbs, Harlequins, etc, maybe some otocinclus catfish. Smaller gouramies such as honey or dwarf gouramies should be ok with this mix, as would smaller rainbowfish species.

If you went for loaches as the bottom feeders instead, then they might be better suited to combine with some of the livelier barbs such as tigers, rosy barbs or black ruby barbs and perhaps Siamese Algae Eaters.
Sean


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Re: Best fish to start

Postby Carylnz » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:01 am

Have a think first about what you want from your aquarium - a peaceful scene with slow moving fish gliding serenely or a more active lot of fish that are always on the move, zipping here and there?
Also, are you thinking of planted or bare rock (like in Africans, although the tank is a bit small for them).

Many start off with 1 fish from that species, 2 from another, and yet more from yet a third etc. In my opinion this does not look as good as a larger group of 1 species (I am not including having bottom feeders in there as well). Fish in a larger group colour up more and act more naturally - and swim more as a group, giving a more cohesive look to the whole set-up.
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Re: Best fish to start

Postby MartinC » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:39 pm

Hi
I must admit I started off the same way, spent ages looking for a tank, reasonable size and price and fitted in with my wives decor scheme. Had cold water fish in the past with gravel substrate so I wanted sand this time. Knew I wanted some bogwood and spent ages trying to find some tiny terracotta plant pots. Plants were a spur of the moment buy, but they seem to be thriving. They left me with another, a huge infestation of snails, by the time I was ready for fish there must have been 200+. that led to my first fish purchase, Zebra loaches, three of them cleared them in 3 days!

my second fish took more thought but after browsing A-Z Aquatics in Crewe (highly recommended, good selection of healthy fish and knowledgable staff), taking pictures of the fish we liked along with there names and then researching them online at home. We decided on tiger barbs followed a few weeks later by some red Harlequin Rasboras and Harlequin rasboras.

A little bit of luck and a lot of research along with the help and advice from here have lead to quite a nice set up with happy, healthy fish.

So take your time, enjoy the research and eventually will find what is perfect for you, as long as the fish are happy and healthy and you like the way things look then it will give you lots of pleasure knowing it was all your own work and totally unique.
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
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Re: Best fish to start

Postby New_fish_owner » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:13 pm

Thanks a lot. Some useful things to think about....my tank cycling doesn't appear to be going in alignment with the books though.

I've not added any fish as I think the ammonia level is too high. I've had the tank coming up to two weeks now. I've got mopani wood and bogwood, Java fern which I put in yesterday and a few other species of plant, and some decor. I've got an air stone and everything else seems set up correctly.

I tested the water on Thursday last week and there was no ammonia reading, now knowing there wasn't likely to be anything to help the filter mature I went and bought some "pure ammonia" and added a small amount to bring it up to a measurable amount, I've then added more filter start every two days to the filter media and had hoped that in 5 days I would see the ammonia levels drop but doesn't appear to be and can't really work out why. Any suggestions?

Also the PH reading is at 8 which is still too high but again not sure how to bring it down. I did do a 10% water change yesterday and treated the water with the solution to rid of chlorine and chloramine. I haven't seen a change in the reading.

Would anyone suggest using an ammonia remover or will that just not get the bacteria in the filter going?? And perhaps should I use more api solution to bring the ph level down or would that be pointless and harmful?

I don't want to buy any fish until the ammonia is lower but I realise that having the hardy ones might help kick start the filters more...I have one or two hitchhiker small snails surviving happily.

Help?!
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Re: Best fish to start

Postby Carylnz » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:34 am

Having never done a fishless cycle I can't comment on that but I will say it seems to me you have started by adding chemicals and now thinking of adding more chemicals to counteract the originals!
Ammonia doesn't so much remove it as render it harmless so it will still show up on your tests so you will have no idea what the cycle is doing.
What is the pH of your tap water? I understand some areas of the UK have a high pH from the tap.
It is better to keep fish that will tolerate the pH rather than attempt to change it as this will cause fluctuations in the pH which is worse for the fish.
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Re: Best fish to start

Postby MartinC » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:41 pm

I did a fish less cycle and I thought I was never going to get to a point where I could add fish. Testing the water everyday, adding ammonia, changing water when nitrates or nitrites got too high, it seemed never-ending. After 42 days I was finally ready to add fish, I don't think I would have coped without the help and support of this site. (you know who you are and thanks again)
I keep thorough records of what I do to the tank and any test results and it helps to show patterns of how things are progressing.
pH out my tap is 7.2 but on standing for 24 hours it climbs to 8.2, but the fish are all happy as the lfs has similar water supply.
I was keen to add chemicals at first to obtain quick results but found out that all I need is water conditioner for water to be added to tank and now fertilisers for the plants.
All I did while cycling was a water change if Nitrite or Nitrate rose and each evening added ammonia to bring levels up to 3ppm.
Stick with it and eventually you will have water fit for your first fish.
125l Fluval Rio
7 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Loaches
4 Red Harlequin Rasboras
5 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Otocinclus
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Re: Best fish to start

Postby Rockfish » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:49 pm

Firstly, I wouldn't try to alter the pH - adding more chemicals at this stage will only complicate things. pH will often fall a bit naturally as the tank matures and the wood you've added may also have a gradual pH-lowering effect. I would also avoid the use of an ammonia remover, as again it will only complicate things.

You didn't mention which brand of filter start you are using but some are definitely better than others. Better still is 'dirt' from a mature filter - sometimes a local shop might be willing to give you some of the muck squeezed from a mature filter sponge into a fish bag. The plants you've added can help seed some bacteria as well as directly using some ammonia themselves. So the tank may start to cycle on its own.

What sort of ammonia level are you actually measuring? A high level of ammonia (several ppm) can actually inhibit the filter bacteria. If it's excessive and remains that way for several days, then it's best to do a significant water change to dilute it. Either way, you don't want to add any fish while there is still an ammonia reading.
Sean


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Re: Best fish to start

Postby edwardgledson » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:38 am

10 best fresh water aquarium fish for beginners,
Cold Water Freshwater Aquarium
1. Gold Fish
2. Bloodfin Tetras
3. White Cloud

Heated Freshwater Aquarium Fish
1. Danios
2. Black Molly
3. Black Skirt Tetra
4. Platies
5. Swordtails
6. Betta
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