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Old 05-01-2012, 12:48 AM   #1
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Need help

Hello, i am new to this site.

Well straight to the point, i know some things about fishes, but not a lot and will be spending some time doing research to improve the life of the fishes my fiancee and her family bought.

The current set up her family pushed upon me is 5 zebra danios, 3 otos (algae eater), 3 black skirt tetras (1 is long fin for some odd reason), and some sort of plant.

The tank I had set up was a temporary housing for an Angel fish my sister had in her 50 Gal that was getting his fins nipped. She liked the angel fish, when i got home i found tetras, and next week some more fish, and what is above is what im stuck with.

Since she wants to keep the angel fish i resealed a 30 gal tank for him, just need some advice about plants for otos, how to keep them alive and mistakes to look out for. I treat the angel fish here and there to ghost shrimp when theres some small enough for him (have 3, 1" shrimp now, he only likes them young apparently)...

I was wondering if i could put play sand or pool filtration sand and caves constructed of pvc and siliconed gravel, and if so what type of silicone. Been reading threads for about a week or two now and i just thought i should come out and ask for advice. I do partial water Changes when i can (every week or two, when im not stuck at school).

Also is there any types of rocks i can put into my tank, Petstore prices are killing me, 10$+ for a 1.5W"x2L"x4"h decor and 13$ for 5 pounds of gravel is just insane.

Also on a side note, the 30 Gallon is not set up yet, but i am going to cycle the tank for a week-2 weeks with a 30 Gallon filter, with sand if i can.... So many questions, i feel like i rambled on enough, Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno
Hello, i am new to this site.

Well straight to the point, i know some things about fishes, but not a lot and will be spending some time doing research to improve the life of the fishes my fiancee and her family bought.

The current set up her family pushed upon me is 5 zebra danios, 3 otos (algae eater), 3 black skirt tetras (1 is long fin for some odd reason), and some sort of plant.

The tank I had set up was a temporary housing for an Angel fish my sister had in her 50 Gal that was getting his fins nipped. She liked the angel fish, when i got home i found tetras, and next week some more fish, and what is above is what im stuck with.

Since she wants to keep the angel fish i resealed a 30 gal tank for him, just need some advice about plants for otos, how to keep them alive and mistakes to look out for. I treat the angel fish here and there to ghost shrimp when theres some small enough for him (have 3, 1" shrimp now, he only likes them young apparently)...

I was wondering if i could put play sand or pool filtration sand and caves constructed of pvc and siliconed gravel, and if so what type of silicone. Been reading threads for about a week or two now and i just thought i should come out and ask for advice. I do partial water Changes when i can (every week or two, when im not stuck at school).

Also is there any types of rocks i can put into my tank, Petstore prices are killing me, 10$+ for a 1.5W"x2L"x4"h decor and 13$ for 5 pounds of gravel is just insane.

Also on a side note, the 30 Gallon is not set up yet, but i am going to cycle the tank for a week-2 weeks with a 30 Gallon filter, with sand if i can.... So many questions, i feel like i rambled on enough, Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
welcome to AA!
Its ok to use play sand in your tank, I have natural play sand in mine (bought it at Walmart for 3.48 a bag, any sand you get though should be rinsed off before putting it in the tank. answering your questions on decor, there are allot of us on here that use natural decor in our tanks. There are ways to making driftwood/rocks safe for your tank. What kind of look are you going for in your decor? The silicon should be 100% silicon, read the label to make sure there are not any added chemicals
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno
just need some advice about plants for otos, how to keep them alive and mistakes to look out for.
The Otocinclus (oto) needs temperatures 68-73 degrees Fahrenheit (20-23 Celsius). The ph and hardness ratings are not that important because its a hardy fish. The tank should be well planted with lots of hiding places. They are a catfish with a sucker mouth so they live on algae and other vegetation
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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Thanks.

I'm looking to make some sort of rock stack for the tetras/ catfish to hide/play in. I wasn't planning on so many fish, but I was at school and found them in the tank when I got home.
On another note: I have grown to like the ghost shrimp since they get along so well with the angel,tetras and otos. They do an excellent job at getting the left over food the tetras drag to the bottom.... I noticed they dug a hole in the corner by the plant, would it be ok to make them some sort of cave out of pvc? (They are always in the dark)

--about the sand, can someone tell me how to do the vinegar test? 2:1 say if it fizzes it is aquarium safe, but some say if it doesn't it is. Found a couple different answers kinda puzzled.

*I don't know anything about plants,its the first plant I have, its a live plant and the otos seem to love it, so I don't want to get rid of it,is there a way to keep it alive? Most reviews I read about petstore ferlizers for aquarium plants are terrible and come highly un -recommend

Once again thanks for the help.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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Play sand or pool filter sand are both safe for your tank, but as said before it needs to be rinsed thoroughly. Pour into a 5 gal. bucket, stick your garden hose in there and turn it on fairly low. You'll see some kinda float around and eventually run out the top of the bucket. Drain some of the water off and start over. Do this until no more floats. As for the vinegar test, if it fizzes don't use it. The fizzing is caused by the vinegar reacting with what's in the rock.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno
I'm looking to make some sort of rock stack for the tetras/ catfish to hide/play in. I wasn't planning on so many fish, but I was at school and found them in the tank when I got home.
On another note: I have grown to like the ghost shrimp since they get along so well with the angel,tetras and otos. They do an excellent job at getting the left over food the tetras drag to the bottom.... I noticed they dug a hole in the corner by the plant, would it be ok to make them some sort of cave out of pvc? (They are always in the dark)
try this website it may help you
http://aquarium.shuru.com/printerfriendly.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno
--about the sand, can someone tell me how to do the vinegar test? 2:1 say if it fizzes it is aquarium safe, but some say if it doesn't it is. Found a couple different answers kinda puzzled.
If it fizzes or foams, don't use it, as it contains calcium deposits
What to avoid are rocks that are highly calcareous – meaning they have a large amount of calcium. Calcareous rocks and gravel will alter the hardness and pH of your water.
Rocks to Avoid include: Limestone, Marble, Geodes, Dolomite, Shells or crushed coral
Safer Rocks Include: Granite, Quartz, Slate, Lava Rock, Onyx, Sandstone (should always test before using)
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:28 AM   #7
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Sometimes if you get lucky you can find rocks that can serve as a little cave.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:08 AM   #8
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Here's mine that I found in the creek in Missouri


Attachment 92297
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:14 AM   #9
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Guess I'm going to a creek
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno
Guess I'm going to a creek
My driftwood is from the creek as well, it took almost a week after I boiled it before I could add it into my tank, looks great and is 100% cheaper than buying it from a store. You just have to make sure that's its clean properly before introducing it into the tank
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:32 PM   #11
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How so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly_koi View Post
My driftwood is from the creek as well, it took almost a week after I boiled it before I could add it into my tank, looks great and is 100% cheaper than buying it from a store. You just have to make sure that's its clean properly before introducing it into the tank

I have read boiling it with and without salt, do you know which it is?

Also would i have to boil everything i put into my tank? I was reading a DIY on slates, (i have some laying around) but the process to how they were cleaned wasnt mentioned in the threat.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno

I have read boiling it with and without salt, do you know which it is?

Also would i have to boil everything i put into my tank? I was reading a DIY on slates, (i have some laying around) but the process to how they were cleaned wasnt mentioned in the threat.
I recommend that anything not made for fish tanks (driftwood, rocks etc.) Should be boiled to make sure there are not any bacteria in them that would harm your tank. I didn't use salt with boiling my rocks and have not had a problem. With driftwood, I boiled it and then soaked it a bucket of warm water for almost a week, changing the water every so often to make sure all of the tannins are out of the wood
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:56 PM   #13
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I believe that slate can be cleaned the same way, if its too large to boil but it in a large bucket and soak it for about a week or so
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by butterfly_koi View Post
welcome to AA!
Its ok to use play sand in your tank, I have natural play sand in mine (bought it at Walmart for 3.48 a bag, any sand you get though should be rinsed off before putting it in the tank. answering your questions on decor, there are allot of us on here that use natural decor in our tanks. There are ways to making driftwood/rocks safe for your tank. What kind of look are you going for in your decor? The silicon should be 100% silicon, read the label to make sure there are not any added chemicals

I like this idea I found on here:

New aquarium layout :: SLATE

I was thinking of something more or less along the lines of that with sand along the bottom, and a white or black background with some other little homemade pvc caves.

Thanks for the silicone help, so the same silicone i used to reseal the tank would be alright suppose?
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:10 PM   #15
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly_koi View Post
I recommend that anything not made for fish tanks (driftwood, rocks etc.) Should be boiled to make sure there are not any bacteria in them that would harm your tank. I didn't use salt with boiling my rocks and have not had a problem. With driftwood, I boiled it and then soaked it a bucket of warm water for almost a week, changing the water every so often to make sure all of the tannins are out of the wood
So both slate and driftwood have the same procedure?.. I had read to put an airstone in on the bottom, but i suppose thats just a prefference.

And would the "moss growing" with rocks/pots with water in light be ok for the otos? havent read a thread confirming it, but i was suggested in one along with vegies. I feed mine zucchini, fiancee boils them and dips in cold water (forgot the term).. Just trying to give them a good chance at life since the Petstore just sold her the fish, and her just picking what "looked pretty"
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno

I like this idea I found on here:

New aquarium layout :: SLATE

I was thinking of something more or less along the lines of that with sand along the bottom, and a white or black background with some other little homemade pvc caves.

Thanks for the silicone help, so the same silicone i used to reseal the tank would be alright suppose?
If its 100% silicone. Cool idea with the slate, when you start out take pictures and post them on the DIY thread, that way if you run into any problems there are plenty of people willing to help. When I upgrade my tank its going to look kinda like this


Attachment 92342
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno

So both slate and driftwood have the same procedure?.. I had read to put an airstone in on the bottom, but i suppose thats just a prefference.

And would the "moss growing" with rocks/pots with water in light be ok for the otos? havent read a thread confirming it, but i was suggested in one along with vegies. I feed mine zucchini, fiancee boils them and dips in cold water (forgot the term).. Just trying to give them a good chance at life since the Petstore just sold her the fish, and her just picking what "looked pretty"
It can be the same procedure with both, I've heard of people baking them in the oven though never tried it myself. The moss should be fine with the oto
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:24 PM   #18
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Thank you, is there any rocks that i should avoid into placing in? I am going to call up my brother-inlaw and get some of the slate he has laying around so i can hopefully have it done by the time the new set up is done cycling.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno
the Petstore just sold her the fish, and her just picking what "looked pretty"
I did that too when I first started out, my lfs sold me 4 fantails, a koi, and a comet. BIG mistake! Told me they would be ok in my 29 gallon. Looking back on it now I'm surprised my fish even lived. We all go through our trial and errors that's how we learn
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemeno
Thank you, is there any rocks that i should avoid into placing in? I am going to call up my brother-inlaw and get some of the slate he has laying around so i can hopefully have it done by the time the new set up is done cycling.
Avoid Limestone, Marble, Geodes, Dolomite, Shells or crushed coral

http://www.fishtanktutor.com/which-a...your-fish-tank
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