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Old 08-12-2009, 04:24 PM   #1
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Past and Future Fishkeeper

Hi, everyone. Glad to have found AA.com and am looking forward to chatting with you.

I had a couple of small aquariums (7 gals. and then 10 gals.) when I was a girl in the early 70s. Didn't have all the necessary resources to keep fish and plants healthy, and eventually lost interest--and livestock.

My hubby and I live in Southern California. He is a veterinarian and supports my desire to add fish to our menagerie. We have an aging Sheltie and two cats, all of which are rescues. I'm considering a 40 gal. freshwater tank and am trying to learn all I can before "diving" back in (sorry!) to the hobby. So in that spirit, I'd appreciate your input on some things:

1) Would it be OK to place the aquarium upstairs by a window under the following conditions:
--The window is kept closed except on balmy spring afternoons and summer nights, and then we open it a few inches.
--There are semisheer fabric blinds on the window. The blinds would be kept down, and the blinds' panes would be louvered so that they are perpedicular to the sill. This would admit some light to the shadowy room but the light would be filtered by the semisheer fabric of, and surrounding, the panes.
--The tank would have a blue or black background taped to the back wall.
--The tank would be moderately to heavily planted and would have a glass canopy and light strip(s).
--The pets would not disturb the tank.
--The house was built in 2001, so it is up to code and the floors are sturdy. I'm not very concerned about the tank tipping over in an earthquake. Should I be? In the 70s, my 10 gallon tank sat on top of my dresser and it survived a fairly strong shaker. But then again, my parents had a one-story house.

2) I own and have read "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freshwater Aquariums" (although I certainly don't feel like an idiot!) and "500 Ways to be a Better Fishkeeper." I'm currently reading "Setting Up a Tropical Aquarium Week-by-Week." Need to learn more about fish, plants, aquascaping, and maintenance. What would you recommend?

Thanks for sharing your insights. Best regards!

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Old 08-12-2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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welcome to AA.

You may want to repost your question in the General Discussion part of the freshwater or saltwater forums. I think those areas get more viewership. It sounds like you need a sturdy stand, but I have none to recommend as my largest tank is on a repurposed TV stand
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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Welcome to AA... ive heard of people attaching the stand to the wall with braces for kids, pets, and earthquakes... might be something you would want to think about, it would be horrible to have 40 gallons of water and a bunch of dead fish in the floor

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Old 08-21-2009, 12:56 AM   #6
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Welcome to AA.

1 yes it should be fine
2 put down the book and start reading the stickies. read fishless cycling and ask any questions you might have.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:56 AM   #7
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Welcome aboard.

Might want to ask someone more seasoned than I am but usually an aquarium by a window is a recipe for algae soup. But with the backgrounds tapped on and the conditions you say it might be alright.

I have learned a lot from the folks here. The first step in becoming wise is knowing that there is always a lot more to learn... and I am at the point where I have a little bit of knowledge and I am dangerous .

My first tank I lucked out and knew nothing about cycling the tank. My second I got impatient on and am now paying the price. I am now cycling a tank for my daughter (so when I go out for a visit I can have it ready for fish).

First off do like MGamer said and read up on cycling the tank. And second go out and buy a liquid test kit for the water. Most of us have the API Master Test Kit. Seems to be the best bang for the buck and the most widely available kit.

Make sure not to use ammonia with surfacants in it when you cycle. I looked all over the only place I was able to get any was an Ace hardware store.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:49 PM   #8
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Hi, guys, and thanks for all the helpful advice. It's great to know you're out there--ready, willing, and able to share your experiences.

MGamer, you'll be glad to know I'm reading the stickies. Would you mind if I read some more books before I asked questions? ;-D

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Old 08-22-2009, 12:35 AM   #9
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Welcome to AA! Learn about the fishless cycle, look around at fish and see what catches your eye and start asking questions about them (i.e. what is compatable), then biggest and most important.........HAVE FUN!!!!

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