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Old 10-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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New Member, New Tank, and needing advice!

Hey there. I'm a newbie, not only to the forums, but to fish and aquarium care in general. I love animals, and have always loved watching documentaries on national geographic, animal planet, ect.

Do to some recent changes in my life (mainly work!) I've gotten a huge interest in aquatic life.
It all started with a little Betta fish who stole my heart, and within a few weeks I've gotten myself wound up into having a big fish tank that I've lept into without fully educating myself on it. (Which I'm now Kicking myself for.)

Lets start with my tanks:

My little Betta fish is named Kryoh. He is a gorgeous halfmoon betta who has a black head, and the rest of his body basically has peacock colors. Blue, Green, Turquoise, and occasionally a brilliant brownish gold to his tail. He also has a line of white coloration to the bottom of his ventral fin. I adore this fish :3 And it is so much fun watching him swim around in his big tank. (Well, big compared to the little cups they live in, or the 1 gallon bowls often suggested for them.)

His tank is the Aquafin 180 degree view 3.5 gallon tank, with about two and a half inches of a soft gravel on the bottom. He has a beautiful Asian setup (An Asian garden ornament, and bamboo ornament) and some little fake plastic plants and is often swimming about in the middle happily. The tank DID come with a filter. But the current of the filter is too strong for him. So it is currently unplugged, while I figure out if I can put a heater in its place instead. I'm very proud of his tank!

He is fed mostly Tip Fin Color enhancing Betta pellets. Though a few times I have given him Freeze dried bloodworms, and Tropical fish flakes. He mostly inhales his pellets though. And gets normally 3 in the morning and 3-4 at night. I usually pluck any uneaten food out of his tank.

Since I've had him for more than a week, he recieved his first partial water change (as most guides do suggest weekly water changes for bowls.) I did at most, 15% of this changed. And he seems to be pretty content. Hopefully I'm doing okay with him. My mom thinks it's silly that I've gotten so attached to a fish, but he is so cool. He even swims up to see me whenever I sit down next to his tank and watch him.


My next tank is the one that I wish I would have done more research on before getting it. It's been set up the same amount of time as my Betta Tank. (about a week and a half)
I got a great deal, and was able to but the tank and the stand together, and got a huge discount on my entire purchase. I would have waited to get the tank when I had more knowledge, but it was a one weekend deal for me to get the massive discount. So in I rather foolishly dove! >.o

Anyhoo, the tank is a Marineland 37 gallon with LED Day/Night light. I bought an Aqueon AP150 (150 Watt) heater. The Filter is a Penguin Powerfilter 350. I was told that when picking out a filter, you want to have one fitting twice the amount of your tank size. Which is why I chose the penguin 350, which is for tanks up to 70 gallons.
I am hoping this was an appropriate choice.

The tank has a great current! It has all silk decorations, but looks natural with smooth gravel, green and red plants, a small bamboo ornament, a small sized dragon bubbler, an Asian lantern, and a great big wood-looking piece which has many hiding holes and spots for my fish to swim through.
I love the design! And fully intend to do tropical semi-aggressive fish.

However: Being inexperienced, I followed the advice of "when it's been running for a few days, you can slowly start adding hardy fish."

I didn't know about the nitrogen cycle until a day or two after I got my first little fishies. So far everything IS okay (asides from a bit of murky water). But I'm about to go to the store for a water testing kit today.
Right now, I have 3 giant danio's, and two Botia Kubotai's. I had no idea until I brought my little Loaches home, that they aren't the best fish to get at first. (I wish that I would have known before hand) I've been keeping a big eye on them when they come out. So far they appear to be fine. And I hope they continue to be so as well.

They were, at first, being fed sinking shrimp pellets. I discovered to my dismay that these weren't being touched, and were just degrading down into the gravel instead >_< Needless to say, they have now been switched to sinking bottom feeder tablets suitable for loaches. I'm only putting one in at a time for now, since I don't want my water quality getting any worse While the tank is cycling.
The Danio's are being fed a mix of tropical fish flakes, and freeze dried blood worms. At first they were eating quite a bit, but now, I assume from the stress of the tank cycle, they have slowed down eating just a tad. (However they are still very active during morning/nightly feedings. I've just cut down the amount of food to be sure they are eating all of it.)

My main predicament is that I knew nothing about "new Tank Syndrome" or the Nitrogen cycle. I'm concerned about my fish, and want to be sure they are going to make it through okay and unharmed. Certainly not something I will do again without research. Adding more stock to my tank is on hold for at least a month, until I know it is safe to add more fish. (and add them slowly at that.) I've added a bacterial supplement with my fish to help speed the process along, and hopefully help my fish make it through the first cycle.

Yesterday I did a 25% water change, and this morning added the remainder of my bacterial supplement. I Really regret not researching the cycle prior to this, as I did not know the fish got so stressed Here is to a newbie, learning from her mistakes, and trying to prevent herself from making any more.

I'd appreciate any and all feedback if possible. Just please don't bite D: I know I haven't gotten the right door out of the door the first bat >_< But hopefully with the right guidance I can fix this mistake.

Thank you for reading (especially if you made it this far!) I can't wait to explore more into the aquatics world, and as always, learn as much as I can! It's nice to find a community dedicated to helping each other out So I'll be around reading as much as I can!
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargaze View Post
Hey there. I'm a newbie, not only to the forums, but to fish and aquarium care in general. I love animals, and have always loved watching documentaries on national geographic, animal planet, ect.

Do to some recent changes in my life (mainly work!) I've gotten a huge interest in aquatic life.
It all started with a little Betta fish who stole my heart, and within a few weeks I've gotten myself wound up into having a big fish tank that I've lept into without fully educating myself on it. (Which I'm now Kicking myself for.)

Lets start with my tanks:

My little Betta fish is named Kryoh. He is a gorgeous halfmoon betta who has a black head, and the rest of his body basically has peacock colors. Blue, Green, Turquoise, and occasionally a brilliant brownish gold to his tail. He also has a line of white coloration to the bottom of his ventral fin. I adore this fish :3 And it is so much fun watching him swim around in his big tank. (Well, big compared to the little cups they live in, or the 1 gallon bowls often suggested for them.)

His tank is the Aquafin 180 degree view 3.5 gallon tank, with about two and a half inches of a soft gravel on the bottom. He has a beautiful Asian setup (An Asian garden ornament, and bamboo ornament) and some little fake plastic plants and is often swimming about in the middle happily. The tank DID come with a filter. But the current of the filter is too strong for him. So it is currently unplugged, while I figure out if I can put a heater in its place instead. I'm very proud of his tank!
I would HIGHLY recommend putting the filter back on the tank, no bacteria colonies equals no ammonia to nitrites to nitrates conversion.
He is fed mostly Tip Fin Color enhancing Betta pellets. Though a few times I have given him Freeze dried bloodworms, and Tropical fish flakes. He mostly inhales his pellets though. And gets normally 3 in the morning and 3-4 at night. I usually pluck any uneaten food out of his tank.

Since I've had him for more than a week, he recieved his first partial water change (as most guides do suggest weekly water changes for bowls.) I did at most, 15% of this changed. And he seems to be pretty content. Hopefully I'm doing okay with him. My mom thinks it's silly that I've gotten so attached to a fish, but he is so cool. He even swims up to see me whenever I sit down next to his tank and watch him.
In that small of a tank I'd suggest 50% PWC.

My next tank is the one that I wish I would have done more research on before getting it. It's been set up the same amount of time as my Betta Tank. (about a week and a half)
I got a great deal, and was able to but the tank and the stand together, and got a huge discount on my entire purchase. I would have waited to get the tank when I had more knowledge, but it was a one weekend deal for me to get the massive discount. So in I rather foolishly dove! >.o

Anyhoo, the tank is a Marineland 37 gallon with LED Day/Night light. I bought an Aqueon AP150 (150 Watt) heater. The Filter is a Penguin Powerfilter 350. I was told that when picking out a filter, you want to have one fitting twice the amount of your tank size. Which is why I chose the penguin 350, which is for tanks up to 70 gallons.
I am hoping this was an appropriate choice.
That's fine for that tank IMO.
The tank has a great current! It has all silk decorations, but looks natural with smooth gravel, green and red plants, a small bamboo ornament, a small sized dragon bubbler, an Asian lantern, and a great big wood-looking piece which has many hiding holes and spots for my fish to swim through.
I love the design! And fully intend to do tropical semi-aggressive fish.

However: Being inexperienced, I followed the advice of "when it's been running for a few days, you can slowly start adding hardy fish."

I didn't know about the nitrogen cycle until a day or two after I got my first little fishies. So far everything IS okay (asides from a bit of murky water). But I'm about to go to the store for a water testing kit today.
Right now, I have 3 giant danio's, and two Botia Kubotai's. I had no idea until I brought my little Loaches home, that they aren't the best fish to get at first. (I wish that I would have known before hand) I've been keeping a big eye on them when they come out. So far they appear to be fine. And I hope they continue to be so as well.
Is the fish store using strips or a liquid test kit of some sort? I would suggest taking back the fish and doing a fishless cycle or doing some sort of fish-in cycle. Here are two great links:
1.The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
2.I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
They were, at first, being fed sinking shrimp pellets. I discovered to my dismay that these weren't being touched, and were just degrading down into the gravel instead >_< Needless to say, they have now been switched to sinking bottom feeder tablets suitable for loaches. I'm only putting one in at a time for now, since I don't want my water quality getting any worse While the tank is cycling.
The Danio's are being fed a mix of tropical fish flakes, and freeze dried blood worms. At first they were eating quite a bit, but now, I assume from the stress of the tank cycle, they have slowed down eating just a tad. (However they are still very active during morning/nightly feedings. I've just cut down the amount of food to be sure they are eating all of it.)

My main predicament is that I knew nothing about "new Tank Syndrome" or the Nitrogen cycle. I'm concerned about my fish, and want to be sure they are going to make it through okay and unharmed. Certainly not something I will do again without research. Adding more stock to my tank is on hold for at least a month, until I know it is safe to add more fish. (and add them slowly at that.) I've added a bacterial supplement with my fish to help speed the process along, and hopefully help my fish make it through the first cycle.
Those bacteria-in-a-bottle products are a waste of money IMO unless scientifically proven to work. It could take almost two months before your tank is safe to add more fish as fish-in cycles take much longer.
Yesterday I did a 25% water change, and this morning added the remainder of my bacterial supplement. I Really regret not researching the cycle prior to this, as I did not know the fish got so stressed Here is to a newbie, learning from her mistakes, and trying to prevent herself from making any more.

I'd appreciate any and all feedback if possible. Just please don't bite D: I know I haven't gotten the right door out of the door the first bat >_< But hopefully with the right guidance I can fix this mistake.

Thank you for reading (especially if you made it this far!) I can't wait to explore more into the aquatics world, and as always, learn as much as I can! It's nice to find a community dedicated to helping each other out So I'll be around reading as much as I can!
My suggestions are in the bold red. Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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Thank you for the welcome! This seems like a nice community!

I appreciate the suggestions! The filter is still in the water, but as I stated, the current is too strong and stresses my betta fish out because he cant sit in one spot. I'm nor sure if I need to find a smaller, less powerful filter, or what. I did make sure to raise the water level in the tank, which did lower the current much more. But I'm still concerned.

As I do more research, I have no desire to get any more fish until I know its safe. Which types of water tests are better? The strips? or the chemical tests?
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:39 PM   #5
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Hi stargaze, and welcome to AA! I too am a relative newbie, and had to suffer similarly when starting the tank (with fish not in it, thankfully). I read and read everything I could find about fishless cycling, and how to speed it up, etc. What I found was that if you could find someone, even at the fish store, who would give you something from an established, healthy tank, like some gravel, or a piece of an old filter, or a decoration or something, it would be much better for your tank than bottled bacteria. My cycle just limped along until I got 2 tank decorations from an old running tank, and I was cycled within about 5 days, although I waited a couple more days to be sure. But you really need to get an API Master freshwater liquid test kit, so you can do the tests yourself. Don't rely on the lfs, who really want to sell you more fish, and may or may not know what they're doing.

Be sure to read the articles: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...es-154837.html, and get yourself a test kit. You are in for the time of your life. Fishkeeping is addictive, lol.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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Hi there stargaze, and welcome to AA!

We're a pretty friendly bunch here. We all have to learn one way or the other I'm glad you are willing to learn and will research things in the future. Feel free to ask any questions here on the forum. I totally agree with startquest and would get the chemical liquid tests asap. The paper test strips aren't too accurate. Also, be careful of what your LFS tells you. Some folks aren't too educated when it comes to fish and will just try to sell you want you want, rather than tell you what you need. Good luck!
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:04 AM   #7
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Welcome. Good luck! I suggest reading the article bruins put into his comment about fish-in cycling. Its good. Plenty of people do fish-in cycles. Its fine as long as you are very dutiful with your water changes. Most of us started inncorrectly, but its great that you are trying to do what is right for your fish.
A word of advise, we love pictures here. You should put up a shot of your betta!
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:51 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the warm welcome! I can't thank you enough for being so helpful, as I'm very concerned about keeping healthy pets.

I've read a couple guides about getting a fish tank started and the two Bruin's linked were certianally the best! All of the people offline I've talked to have suggested fish-in cycling. I also don't remember my parents ever having things this complicated with their 10 gallon tank back in the mid 90's. They cycled fish-in. Actually, I don't think they even knew what a cycle was. They just bought fish slowly....

It's baffling to me and it's a challenge, perhaps more than I meant to bite off, but I'm open to any and all feedback. Especially from such a nice community as this one. It sounds like many people are given misinformation right off the bat. It must have made things difficult for many members here. No doubt even more so for saltwater aquariums.

My hopes are to get this tank established, and have some healthy populations of:

Tiger Barbs
Albino Tiger Barbs or Green Tigers
Giant Danios
Botia Kubotai
And a rainbow shark.

So far from what I've read and heard, they are all good fish that will coexist with one another. (Despite many people saying the Kubotai are very peaceful fish, I've heard a few owners say they are semi-aggressive to aggressive depending on the conditions. Still looking into this of course!
Are there any other fish that one would suggest to add to a tank such as this? Or is there anything that may go wrong with the species I have picked?

Absoluteangel, you may have made a mistake asking for pictures!

The first image is Kryoh's tank The second is of him. I apologize that it isn't a great shot. But he didn't seem to appreciate my efforts to show him off to the world. :P
Third picture is of my 37 gallon set-up, first day I had it. And before fish were added. Now its a little too mussed up for me to feel proud of showing. But after things get fixed, I'll be happy to show more!

Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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There is an asian lantern in the right corner of this tank. But that was added when I got my fish. So no pictures of that yet.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:27 PM   #9
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I pray this isn't premature? :3

My 37 gallon freshwater tank - YouTube

My 3.5 Gallon Betta Tank - YouTube
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