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Old 10-14-2018, 05:16 PM   #1
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Tank rebirth?

So I'm thinking of restarting my 32 gallon tank (freshwater) that's been empty and dry for the past 15 or so years. I forget pretty much everything so I've got a steep curve to restarting here. I'm hoping my Fluval 204 still works after all these years but I can't even find the instructions for it right now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not even sure what kind of fish I want to put in it. I like black neon tetras, lamb chop rasbora, golden white cloud mountain minnows, beta, guppies (sort of), angelfish (zebra, black...), sharks (bala, rainbow and iridescent). I'd like pea puffers but I got them once and had to return them sadly, mean little buggers. Numbers/ combos/ suggestions would be great.

For my Fluval 204 I still have some unused zeo-carb, pre-filter media and biomax from when I had my tank set up before. I tossed all food and water treatments I had as well as plants, they smelled like bad plastic. I have the heater still for the tank, an AquaClear 50 (as long as it works) and rocks for the bottom as well as some other decor.

Again any advice, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I want to get back into this hobbie but also don't want to spend a fortune doing it. Bonus if there is anyone that can suggest good places to get fish in Winnipeg.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:16 PM   #2
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The first thing I would do is fill the tank and check for leaks. Worst case, it may require a reseal. Also, test the HOB and canister filter. I think you can still get seals for the 204; some suggest applying Vaseline to the seal. Mixed feelings about that with rubber and petroleum products. Food grade silicone might be a better choice.
Regarding the fish you are interested in, I would skip the iridescent shark for sure.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:11 AM   #3
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Little iridescents are so cute but I know I couldn't have any. I'm really not sure why they're so readily available in stores, especially big chain stores.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:23 AM   #4
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Welcome!

Great idea to get the ole tank up and going again!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As for why some fish stores stock all the fish a person should NOT keep in a 10-20G aquarium, it is really hard to know why.

There are a bunch of people who list top 10 fish NOT to keep in an aquarium and I know one big box retailer/store has more than half of the fish on the list.

Goldfish Iridescent sharks, Bala sharks, Silver dollar fish, Chinese algae eaters, Dragonfish violet Goby, Redtail Catfish, Common Pleco, Clownknife, Colombian Catfish Eclipse Catfish, Oscar, Gars, Clown Loach .

Not on the list but critters with really specific needs - Fiddler Crabs and Pea Puffers

Please skip all the sharks and catfish mentioned, below is why.

Iridescent sharks are also a food fish called Swai which can get 48 inches/ 4 feet long.

Rainbow and RTS get about 5-6 inches and need a large territory to swim around and I think the smallest tank should be 60G min, more to the 70G size. They can get very aggressive when in small spaces.

Bala Sharks get huge for aquarium fish and are shoaling fish - about a foot long and a couple inches thick body when properly cared for. About 6 of those bad boys per tank minimum, and around 120-150G 6 or 8 foot long tank. They are really monsters.

But there are other fish which are similar looking and better sized for an aquarium.

The types of water parameters for many of the fish you mention liking may not have the same needs or be compatible.

One of the best things to do visit a few lfs and see which fish you like the most and will be the appropriate size when housed in your 32G in adulthood. Watch the videos online and check out how much work it may be for specific fish, for example some fish like live foods or very low pH, Or harder water or softer water, water temp, flow etc.

Then you can build the rest of the tank stock around that fish or group of fish, as well as decor like rocks, DW and Plants which will allow them have a similar environment to their native habitat.

AND you could consider a much larger tank like up to 150G to accommodate bigger fish you might want more than the 32G tank

A good loose "guideline" to play around with is aqadvisor .com . You add tank size, filtration, and then start with fish you want and build a tank. Then it tells you all the ways you have conflicts. It is a little bit conservative for how many fish you can have but pretty close.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:02 PM   #5
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Like Fresh said, fill everything and check for leaks. If it's all good then start your build. I'd cycle your tank first before adding fish but if you decide to cycle it with fish start out with a very light stocking.... 4-5 small fish like guppies, minnows or tetras.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:07 PM   #6
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Any good sources for info on cycling? I've started googling for info but if there's a particularly good source please let me know. Also I got some ammonia, it's colorless and unscented, when I shook it there weren't any sudsy bubbles, the same as if shaking a bottle of water so this should be pure ammonia then right?
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:06 PM   #7
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If there's no other additives then yes. I've never gone the pure ammonia route but I'm going to test it out next time I cycle.

PM Autumnsky for cycling info. I believe she has an attachment that explains it in detail. PM me if you'd like and I'll help you as well.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:54 PM   #8
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There are a few - these are articles in the fresh water section here at Aquarium Advice, other members have done the detailed work of these eternal questions.

Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice

The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice

And linked in my signature the other important information for keeping tanks in general.

Can't get too much good solid information. Harder to remember it all, but since they are linked, you can refer back to them at any time!
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:33 PM   #9
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Regarding the 204, Fluval has the manual for their 04 series here: http://www.hagen.com/pdf/aquatic/Fluval04.pdf

Hope that helps!
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