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Old 11-30-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
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New here! got some questions!

Hello everyone! So glad to see that there's a forum site out there for fish that's similar to my guinea pig one, haha. Anyway, I'm new here and looking at getting some fish. Growing up my dad raised Beta fish and we also had a huge tank with lots of different fish like Bala Sharks, Upside-down Catfish, and some sort of top feeder fish I don't know the name of, and those little zebra fish.

I'm looking at getting some fish, and have been thinking about it for a while. The idea of getting fish was put on the back burner for a while, but recently have decided to have the little guys help me out with my art. (I don't have a tank quite yet, but I don't want anything bigger than a 10 gallon)

The idea I have for an art piece is one to communicate the need for protecting the ocean. The basis of the project is to say that just because we don't live in the ocean, doesn't mean we shouldn't protect it. (25% of New Zealand is protected as a refuge, but less than 1% of the pacific ocean is protected!!!)

I want to create an environment inside of a tank that communicates the ideas I have and the concepts of protecting the environment and having a connection with nature that I've been looking at with my other art, but I need to see if I can even do it. I want to have fish swimming inside a tank with my art construction. I won't be able to do salt water, but I think it will still communicate the idea of protecting the ocean based on the sculptures I would create inside the tank. So....

I need to know what to use? I don't have a kiln, but can I use oven bake clay? what kind? If I can just use some sort of fish safe sealant on anything to put inside, what kind should I get? Where do you get it? Can I afford it on a college student fund? Basically, how can I make this safe for the fish? I don't know exactly what the inside would look like yet because I wanted to see if it was even possible, any help you could provide would be fantastic!

I looked at some fish today and was thinking about using maybe tetra or... well there were these little black and white fish I can't remember the name of but the label said "beginner" so I thought maybe that would be alright. I might be able to even just do 1 beta, but I kind of want a schooling fish.

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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Oops! I probably should have put this in DIY, sorry about that!

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Old 11-30-2012, 03:00 AM   #3
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Hi and welcome to AA
This sounds like a great project. Yes you could maybe start a thread in the D.i.Y section so you may get more answers that way
Not sure what type of clay you can use? But you can buy sealants and glue at a good local fish shop. silicone sealant as used in tank making is very good but expensive,also allot of marine keepers use 'milliput' for 'glueing' rocks together. A marine fishkeeper could answer that one better than me
How are you hoping to portray the need to protect - the aquatic world? Would you look to have it 'polluted' with 'rubbish' {fish friendly of course}or show the natural wonders of plant life and interaction between fish,plants and shrimps? Good luck
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:57 PM   #6
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Hmmm... surely my dad must know of some good fish stores!

I'm sort of thinking along those lines! maybe showing what a healthy thriving reef looks like, and also showing the impact we're having. But, we're also making progress with coral farms and such, so perhaps having a coral farm in between the healthy reef and unhealthy reef. I think I could make sculptures of marine fish that are in danger of becoming extinct, then the tank would give the feeling of being "the ocean" even though I'm using freshwater fish.

I'm super excited about this project, I think It'll really... blow them out of the water.... *wink wink, nudge nudge*

haha sorry for the bad pun.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:07 AM   #7
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Tetras are very resistant fish. They also have long life spans and are easy to take care of. I have several varieties in my 10 gallon and they are all almost 4 years old. I have no idea about what materials would be safe for your sculptures though.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #8
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Great ideas and could the black and white fish you saw be Dalmatian mollies? I would suggest looking on ebay for sealants I noticed some on there the other day!!! Also may get lucky on amazon. I am also clueless on the clay but will now havevto do some research...... spiked my curiosity. I wish you the best of luck. You could also look into platies they are hardy and come in gorgeous colour.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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As a word of caution and as you are new to fish keeping,i suggest that you look into the nitrogen cycle (cycling a fish tank) before you begin. There is also the issue of frequent water changes with such a small tank. Even with small fish, you should not add more than 5 fish to a 10 gallon tank. I have a 135 gallon tank with Discus fish and I only have 8 of them or 1 fish per 15 gallons. Consider colors...the more natural earth tones the better, as certain colors serve to cause stress in fish, which can lead to sickness and death. I have PICs of what I think you are trying to do as far as nature goes. Check out my online album for ideas if you need to. Also look into the PICs of Rivercats...as she has an awesome set up.
Good Luck......Dwayne

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