New Member - still a beginner

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Dec 28, 2011
Central Florida
My son adopted me into the fresh water aquarium when he got the tank for FREE!! Yeah, right. That right thar is funny. Two years later and a few hundred dollars spent, and now I have two tanks (my wife had to have her own). The tank I have detailed in my profile is my tank.

After watching so many small tropical fish come and go, I learned by experience that the Tetras were more durable and have not lost one since the first purchase over a year ago. Now I have 18 of them with 5 different kinds. I recently added two Barbs who seem to get along just fine with the Tetras. And more recently, I added 4 Gouramis.

The whole bunch of them seem to be doing well. The Gold Gourami hides which I learned is not unusual. Because the fish are mostly small in size, I think the tank is big enough for them. I do test for nitrites, nitrates, hardness, pH, ammonia and alkalinity, and all of my parameters are in the safe range comfortably. I do not get much pH variation with the hardness I have.

I removed some stones from the water and will be watching to see if my normal water replacements reduce the hardness a bit, though it does not seem to be a problem and I don't want it too low.

I have some live plants in the tank which seem to have greatly reduced the algae buildup on the walls of the tank. Now cleaning it is much easier and it stays looking good. I vacuum my tank weekly, replacing about 20% of the water. I treat the water when adding it to help remove the Chlorine, etc. I mix tap water with filtered water (Brita). My tank stays in the mid 70s with no heating. I use bubblers across the tank to help keep the oxygen levels up.

I feed my fish frozen food (it comes with 4 varieties) and dry flakes. I give them one half of the little cube in the morning and a small amount of flakes later in the day. I was only feeding them flakes but they never seem to grow so I am hoping to see a change with the new diet.

Well, I guess that is it to get started. I am a die-hard Packers fan/part owner now.

If you have advice based on what I have said, feel free to jump in.

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