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Old 06-25-2003, 01:14 PM   #1
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Newbie Need Help

Hi, I just purchased an aquarium set from a local person which includes a 10 gallon tank,Hood with light, stand,Whisper filter, Heater, rock (mostly black with various colors thrown in the mix), fake grass, and sunken ship. The lady told me that everything is in good working condition and that they just took it down a week ago when their last fish died. I get the tank tomorrow and have several questions since I am new to this. First, how should I clean the tank, and how often later on? The tank has the colorful mix on the floor. Second, what is cycling? I would like to try to get everything set up so that hopefully, I can put in the first fishies in next week. Another question is what kinds of fish should I put in the tank? I want the aquarium to look cool and colorful... so it would also be great to see what mix people have put in their 10 gal tank. I will read up more on this subject also. Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:44 PM   #2
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Hey there and welcome to aquarium advice!

First of all, I had a whisper filter and it didn't filter much of anything. I, as well as many people on AA, have a penguin 125 biofilter. It works wonders.

I don't clean anything in my aquarium with soap, a very light bleach mixture is what I usually use. and I mean light. Make sure to rinse it off REALLY well.

I'm new to owning a fish tank, and I ended up with new tank syndrome. too many fish too soon. I lost most of mine and all the levels are finally going down.

There are tons of more people on AA that know a ton more then I do, but I recommend doing what I didn't. Run the tank until you buy fish next week, but make sure you get your water tested before you add anything. And don't add too many fish too soon. Get one or two.

Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2003, 08:39 AM   #3
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thanks. are a couple of neon tetras good starter fish? And, I was just wondering if I can just use water from my tap? or brita filtered water? or does it have to be store purchased? thanks again.
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:29 AM   #4
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Neons are not good starter fish. They die easily. Read the article on "fishless cycling"...it's in the articles link on the home page. You'll need test kits for ammonia, nitrite, pH, and maybe hardness. Whether you can use your tap water depends on it's hardness and pH...also on what kind of fish you want to keep. For example...neons prefer soft, acidic water although they can adapt to med-hard water with a neutral pH. If your tap water is very hard and alkaline, neons aren't going to do well in it unless you make adjustments. Take some time to decide what kind of fish you want to keep and then research them to see what their water requirements are and whether they are compatible with each other.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:21 PM   #5
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Yes, definitely read up on fishless cycling, or you can cycle with fish using a hardy type like zebra danios. You will also need a test for nitrAtes, since the presence of nitrate indicates the end of the cycle, and then you do partial water changes thereafter to keep the nitrate level under 40ppm. This will be your guide to how often you will need to "clean" your tank. In a nutshell, fish waste produces ammonia, which is consumed by a particular kind of bacteria and THEY produce nitrIte, which is in turn consumed by another type of bacteria, and THEY produce nitrAte. It takes a while (weeks) to grow these different kinds of bacteria, which reside in your filter and on the tank surfaces. Some fish do not tolerate this process well, so get hardy types. Once your cycle is complete, then you get the kind of fish you like that can go in a 10-gal (very limited!). Test your tap water and purchse fish from a store that is on your same municipal water system, and chances are their water will match yours, and the fish will remain happy in your tank.

Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:33 PM   #6
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thanks. the girl at the local pet/fish store showed me the different types of hardy fish that can be used...
just curious, my tank came with lighting that sits on top of the tank, but the tank is not fully covered, is it often that fish jump out?

Thanks again, crossing my fingers and hoping my aquarium will be a success
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Old 06-26-2003, 03:55 PM   #7
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Thanks again, crossing my fingers and hoping my aquarium will be a success
I'd buy a couple beginners books, or go to the library and check out a few. No offense, but none of us here can give you all the info you need before starting a new tank. Research, and getting down the basics is HUGE! It's obvious you really need to do your research before putting a single drop of water in that tank. We've all been there, mde mistakes, and still make mistakes! However, knowledge is the key to avoiding as many mistakes as possible.

Crossing fingers really don't help!
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Old 06-26-2003, 04:28 PM   #8
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I doubt you will get any carpet surfing fish, I have seen few FW ones do it.
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Old 06-30-2003, 12:28 AM   #9
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Yeah, seriously, I have been doing the fish gig for probably three and a half or four months now and am still learning volumes. There are so many things I took for granted about aquarium fish. It turns out to be a great hobby. I had the most help with beginner books, asking advice at pet shops and stores, and by the looks of things, will learn a lot more since joining this forum.
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