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Old 11-21-2017, 08:43 PM   #1
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Post General questions about owning a tank

In the 2 months I've had my tank, I've built up many questions, but nobody has answered them. If you can answer any of the following it'd be greatly appreciated. Please include any other tips/facts that may be useful in the future about keeping a fish tank in your response, and I may have follow up questions so prepare to be PM'd.

1. How do I know that my tank is cycled?
2. Are all snails compatible with each other?
3. Is there a way to tell if 2 fish are compatible with each other by just looking at them?
4. What's the optimal temperature for a tank?
5. What's the optimal pH for a tank?
6. Can fish get crowded?
7. How do I tell if a fish is stressed?
8. Does ammonia have to do with stress?
9. Is there a way to prevent fish from breeding?
10. If fish breed and the eggs hatch, what do I do with the babies?
11. Is there a way to tell how many fish I can have in my tank by using the characteristics of the tank?
12. Should I wash my hands before putting my hands in my tank?
13. How do I get rid of unwanted fish without killing them?
14. Which fish are compatible with one another?
15. How do I plant underwater freshwater plants?

Thanks in advance
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I have a 20 gallon long tank with a fluval 50 filter and it is freshwater
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:11 PM   #2
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1. Tank is cycled when you get readings of Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, and Nitrate around 20 ppm or lower (API Master Test Kit to obtain these readings)
2. Not sure on snails, I don't own any
3. I usually go off of a fish compatibility chart you can find online when stocking
4. Temperature is dependent on type of tank and type of fish, Tropical Freshwater I keep my tank at 79-80 Degrees, something like goldfish would be cold water fish
5. PH is dependent on the fish, African Cichlids require harder water at 7.8-8.2, when selecting fish, make sure to check PH but as long as you acclimate the fish to your tank correctly, PH can fluctuate from recommendations with usually no harm at all
8. Ammonia in the water can kill your fish!! A cycled tank with convert Ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate through the Nitrogen cycle. Also when I do a water change, I always use Prime to dose the water. IMO the best on the market
9. Not sure on Breeding, I don't Breed Fish
10. Not Sure on the Breeding Again
11. AqAdvisor.com is awesome!! You put in the tank you have and the filtration, then add the fish you want to have in the tank and it will tell you if you have enough filtration and how much approximate water change you should do weekly. Whatever you do, don't go by the 1 inch of fish per gallon of water rule, it is well over used.
12. Yes, I always wash my hands!!
13. A lot of times, the LPS like Petco will take the fish back. The local Petco near me takes back fish
14. Look up fish compatibility chart, the easiest way to see compatible fish
15. Depends on the plants, I use Sword Plants and Anibuas plants. The Swords I plant under my gravel then use 3 Flourish Tabs around the plant about 4 inches apart. For the Anubias Plants, I have a piece of driftwood in the tank and I actually just used fish line to tie them to the driftwood, they do not need any type of fertilization (they are awesome.) Both plants are super easy to care for and grow in a wide variety of water parameters. I also add Seachem Flourish liquid to the tank once per week
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:28 PM   #3
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Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

That will answer a lot of your questions.
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:43 PM   #4
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2. Assasin snails eat other snails, so not compatible. I like Nerite snails because their eggs won't hatch unless you have brackish water. They lay eggs but they don't hatch.
9. I am new to the hobby but I know that some fish reproduce easier than others. I did not want Platy babies so we bought all males. Has worked out just fine so far.
10. Many fish will eat the eggs or fry before they ever get a chance to grow. I have decided to not take any measures to protect any babies that might happen. We have a few fish varieties that I don't know if we have female or male or both.
14. Plants are dependent on how much you want to put into them. Check out the planted tank section on the website. I wanted low tech because I did not want to do CO2 and we have low light. Figure out what plants you might want and research how they like to grow. I am in the process of switching our tank over to a planted tank from plastic. Wish we had done that from the beginning. I like the Anubis so far the best. I have some tied to driftwood and some just laying on the gravel held down with bigger rocks. Don't be afraid to considering ordering plants on line. I had an order arrive very nicely from Han Aquatics. I am sure there other great online sources as well.

There are lots of youtube videos in regards to plants and fish. Some are more reliable than others.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:05 PM   #5
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Are nerite eggs small and white? I've been noticing small white balls around my fish tank
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noggle View Post
Are nerite eggs small and white? I've been noticing small white balls around my fish tank
Yes they are. When we had one snail, no eggs. We added two more and we started getting the eggs. They never hatch and I just use one of the magnetic algae cleaners to scrap them off. I wish the fish would pick at them but I have not seen them do that.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:17 AM   #7
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A lot of your questions depend upon the species of fish you're looking at. That is where researching individual types is going to come in handy. Years into the hobby and I'm still learning new things, learning about different fish, and still googling while standing in the fish store looking at something new. Don't go in expecting simple or one size fits all answers and you'll be ok welcome to the hobby
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:31 AM   #8
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Fantastic answer Mike. That was the most in depth question I've seen posted. My simplified reply is: Big tank, Fluval filtration, Eheim heater, Small grain gravel or sand substrate, Fluval lighting,
Siphon, 5 gallon bucket, Big weekly water changes, Manzanita or Maylasian driftwood, appropriate size rocks, low light plants, Prime water conditioner, Omega One foods,
Start with small fish with little mouths and no teeth, evolve to big fish with large mouths and teeth, educate yourself on water parameters and fish diseases, Be patient.
I've probably left out some words of wisdom, best I could do at the moment.
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Old 11-22-2017, 02:55 PM   #9
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1 - When your tests have shown detectable ammonia, then nitrites and now nitrates. You can speed this up or skip completely by seeding your filter with media from an established tank.

5 - for the most part a stable pH is better than one you constantly are tweaking and trying to get just right.

6 - yes, you can overstock a tank. For the most part that is a bad thing. One exception being some cichlids.

7 - clamped fins, color changed or looks dull. red around gills, white spots, etc.

9 - selecting fish based on sex will prevent breeding but depending on what you have they may not breed readily in captivity.

10 - remove them to a fry tank or let nature take its course

11 - research each fish and their requirements. aquaplanner as mentioned above is a rough starting point but not entirely accurate all the time.

12 - I don't but apparently I'm the minority. Usually I don't have my hands in the tank though, only a couple times a year when cleaning/moving decor.

13 - craigslist, classifieds section online, etc

14 - see #11

15 - research the plants you want and you will find their requirements. Typically bury the roots in the substrate. Some need a little nub at the base of the plant (rhizome) to be above the substrate though.
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:48 PM   #10
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9. Most fish can't be stopped from breeding. It's natural.
10. Sell the babies online or to your LFS. Or if you have large predator fish feed it to them. (I don't recommend the last option.)
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