Yeah, you have to break in a skimmer, so might as well do it as soon as you start. They look complicated, but in all reality are pretty simple devices. If you do come across problems, just post on this forum. About fish death, IT WILL HAPPEN!!!!! Especially starting out. Don't let it discourage you though, not at all!!!!! going to that, while you cycle your tank, go and buy a small bottle of Smart Start! I swear by this stuff!!! It will automatically get the good bacteria you need for your aquarium. It's a great kick start!!! Going back to fish death: before you put any fish in, make sure it cycles, then test the water at you local fish store(LFS
), next make sure the fish you pick is healthy: no ICH!! Also, make sure you ask the people to feed him, and make sure he eats, before buying. Not eating can be a sign of bad health. don't just go and buy a fish just so you can get started, being new, you might not be able to nurse a fish to proper health. And when I first started I would test the water twice a week. most people change their water once a month about 20%. I did and still do it once a week. About 10%. Sounds excessive, but this is where logic kicks in. Do you really want your fish to be swimming in month old water, basically using the water to its limits??? I don't. make sure you only top off in between water changes with RO
water. Never ever use tap!!!! I know I just posted a lot, but take it in, write the steps down, keep your patience, and you will have happy healthy fish. And I think I may have had 6 fish total die, all from rookie mistakes. A lot of people will go though hundreds and thousands of fish before they get it right. Sorry for the long post. And again: Smart Start!!!!