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Old 06-18-2004, 04:29 AM   #1
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My First Tank....help appreciated.

Hi!

I've been researching aquariums for a long time now and finally made my purchase today! Budget and size constraints kinda held me back but I ended up getting an Oceanic Systems 30 gal cube, 21 inches by 19 inches foot print ( i think, its about that, maybe a little bigger), a penguin 170, a 150 watt heater, and 40 pounds of Tahitian Black Sand (couldn't resist, to many good memories ) My problem is probably more of an information overload issue. I have done too much research if thats possible lol and I dont know whose advice to follow.

I just found your forum tonight and had wished I woulda found it eariler, anyways, I thought I would ask your oppionion on a few things cause Im rather confused after talking with so many different people that said their way was "the right way."

I guess just give me your input on where I should start, I have the tank set up, declorinated and running for about 12 hours so far. No fish or decor yet because I really had my heart set on real plants, yet my tank came with a 19 watt light /sigh.

whew that was a long one...TIA for any input and thanks for having me on your forums
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Old 06-18-2004, 04:34 AM   #2
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oh yea and any ideas on fish would be appreciated, I tend to go for the flashy ones like brightly colored cichlids although I know they should probably be a later addition or if I ever "redo" my tank.

What do you guys think about this guy? I think he would look great roaming the black sands

http://liveaquaria.com/product/prod_...21&pCatId=1641
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Old 06-18-2004, 04:58 AM   #3
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those freshwater crayfish are really cool..although i've heard they tend to kill off any smaller fish...and would probably own the bottom of the tank which would limit ur bottom dweller possibilities. If you like flashy, colourful, active...try looking up Rainbow fish.
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:08 AM   #4
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Welcome to Aquarium Advice!!!

Are you going to do a fishless cycle or a cycle with fish?

Also, I have always gone by picking out one main fish that I really want and then I get the rest of the fish based on their compatability to the main fish.

If this is your first tank, I would start out with fake plants (which is what I did) and then upgrade your lighting later to accomodate live plants.

I would also highly recommend purchasing your own test kits for at least ph, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:38 AM   #5
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30 gallon is a little small for most cichlid setups, although there's a few things you can do. Cichlids can be picky fish and should probably really be reserved for your second tank or another project later.

I'd consider two or three species that school together and fill that sucker up. I also agree with lmw80 concerning your own kit and fake plants. You want to take things one step at a time. Plants are cool, but the fish need to come first. You can swap them out later with ease.

I would avoid the crayfish, as they produce a lot of ammonia and will kill/eat any fish small/slow enough to be caught.

My suggestion would be something such as.. Oh.. 3-4 tiger barbs (There's many natural varieties.. normal, green, and albino. Green is my favorite.), maybe 5-6 serpai tetras (These guys are red, also called red minor tetras), and then maybe 6-8 neon tetras (Blue/red/silver, but mainly blue). Then you can have red green and blue :P Tiger Barbs are very active, the serpais a little less so, and the neons in third place. All 3 species are compatible. You could possibly fit 3 cories in too for bottom feeders. I should note that I consider tiger barbs very hearty and a good starter fish, with serpais being a little less so, and neons in last again. The barbs are most territorial though. You should either add them in the order of barbs, serpai's, neons, or serpai's, neons, barbs. I've seen my barbs chase new neon's, but never killed or hurt. any.

You could also consider an albino tank. My father in law did this recently with a 20 long I gave him. He got 3 albino tiger barbs, an albino rainbow shark, and 3 small rainbow fish. The tank has white gravel and works very well. Another commonly available albino fish are bronze/aeneus cories (corydoras), which would work as a bottom feeder.
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Old 06-18-2004, 11:26 AM   #6
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If you want chiclids really badly you could always try some type of ram (blue, or I can't remember the rest) they're very pretty, however they don't swim around all that much.
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I also have a couple other tanks w/o fish as right now I do not have the room/time and there is a chance of moving in the "near" future so I don't want to get more fish for them. I'm downsizing for the moment.
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:17 PM   #7
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What about kriblets? I know nothing about them except that they are a small species of cichlid. I know someone that has 2 in a ten gallon...don't know if that is ok or not, but I figured I'd throw it out there.
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:31 PM   #8
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There are some cichlids that are easy to keep, but I really consider them moderate to expert fish. This is something that has plagued me for a long time with the 8 malawi cichlids I have. I had no research or anything and just did the old 'newbie' fish keeper thing of grabbing a bunch from the "assorted" tank. Things have mostly worked out but there were plenty of deaths and fighting and injuries.

30 gallon would look good with 4-5 electric yellow labs though. They're a fairly calm species.
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Old 06-18-2004, 01:48 PM   #9
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First off, buy yourself a python or build one yourself. It's worth the money.

As far as fish, if you are looking at anything agressive or even semi agressive you need to be prepared for them to possibly kill each other. It happens, even if you do all your research. If you aren't prepared for that then you better go with a community tank.

A 30 gallon cube isn't exactly the perfect tank for a cichlid setup but it can be done. As long as you research it well and know what you are getting into I think you could probably do a cichlid setup. It's the people that just go in and pick 8 assorted african cichlids or put an Oscar, convict, firemouth and red devil in a 10 gallon who have the problems. If it's planned out, it can be done.

Real plants are difficult, for any beginner no matter how much research you do. I would recommend fake at least to begin with.
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Old 06-18-2004, 01:49 PM   #10
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First off, buy yourself a python or build one yourself. It's worth the money.

As far as fish, if you are looking at anything agressive or even semi agressive you need to be prepared for them to possibly kill each other. It happens, even if you do all your research. If you aren't prepared for that then you better go with a community tank.

A 30 gallon cube isn't exactly the perfect tank for a cichlid setup but it can be done. As long as you research it well and know what you are getting into I think you could probably do a cichlid setup. It's the people that just go in and pick 8 assorted african cichlids or put an Oscar, convict, firemouth and red devil in a 10 gallon who have the problems. If it's planned out, it can be done.

Real plants are difficult, for any beginner no matter how much research you do. I would recommend fake at least to begin with.
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Old 06-18-2004, 04:02 PM   #11
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wow, thanks for all the help and sugesstions, I think I've got more, and better, info here in one post than in the last 3 weeks! (the lady at the fish store tried to sell me a bunch of fish WITH my tank, I asked about cycling and she gave me a blank stare...sheesh. lol.

You've given me a lot to chew on, I think I might hold off on the cichlids and go for a community tank to start off, then later down the line I will shoot for them and possibly some plants. Hey, that way it gives me something to work towards

So general consensus is no towards the crayfish? I thought those guys looked to cool, anything like that which wouldn't go after little fish?

thanks again!
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Old 06-18-2004, 05:46 PM   #12
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[center:aa738c7011] Welcome to AA, tahoe916! [/center:aa738c7011]
Crayfish are really best left to themselves. Trying adding various shrimp like anamo or cherry.
I love cichlids and currently have 4 tanks with them. There's the 80 gal Mbuna tank, the 20 gal brichardi tank (they bred for me--gee thanks ), 10 gal shellie tank and my 50 gal community tank has rams and Apistogrammas among the "traditional" community fish. There are ways to bring cichlids into your life without getting into the nasties, or the really big tanks. If you do a peaceful community tank, save room for a few rams, such as the Bolivian or Germans. Keep in mind that if you do go for the larger cichlids in the future, they will excavate, which makes keeping a planted tank a challenge.
I love my fake plants. I have all sorts of sizes in my 50 gal and the fish hide in them and use them for shelter. Some fake plants are better than others.
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