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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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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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