Hi and welcome to the forum
What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?
What is the GH
(general hardness), KH
(carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm
, dGH, or something else).
Depending on what the GH
of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep.
Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH
below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0.
Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH
around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0.
If you have very hard water (GH
above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids, or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH
and keep fishes from softer water.
Big cichlids like Oscars, Jack Dempseys and parrot cichlids will move substrate and ornaments around and destroy most plants in the tank.
If you keep big cichlids or fish with long fins, you need to remove the sharp/ rough ornaments from the aquarium to reduce the chance of the fish being injured by them.
The safest ornaments for Bettas are live plants.
Peace lilies die when kept underwater.
You need a picture on the back to help the fish feel more secure. You can buy aquarium backings from any pet shop or online. You can also use coloured card or a plastic bin liner. Just tape them to the outside on the back of the tank.
Your sponge filters should be closer to the bottom of the tank, and I would move it away from the power filter. Most HOB
(hang on back) style power filters can have an extension tube put on the intake so it sits closer to the bottom. You should try to find an extension so the filter picks up gunk from near the bottom (or at least half way down).
If you only have one heater in the tank, it should be in the middle or near a filter outlet so the water circulates around it and warms the tank more evenly. You can also insulate the base, back and sides with 1-2 inch thick polystyrene foam sheets and they will help insulate the tank and reduce power consumption, while helping the heater keep the tank at a more even temperature. Coverglass on top of the tank will also help with this. Coverglass should be 4, 5 or 6mm thick so it doesn't chip or crack as much. The thinner glass commonly sold in pet shops is 2 or 3mm thick and regularly breaks.
You can tie the driftwood to a couple of rocks to help it stay down but it's a waiting game and some driftwood sinks quickly but other wood will keep floating for months or even years before it sinks. If it still floats when you get the fish, you should remove the put and put it in a bucket of water until it sinks, then put it back in the tank. This will stop the wood floating around the aquarium and potentially squashing fish between the wood and the glass.