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I've been thinking about getting a fish tank. I know it's a lot of maintenance and requires cleaning at least 2-3 times a month. I'm fine with that. I know I want a relatively small tank (20-25 gallons) with smaller/medium sized fish. And that's about all I know. Where should I start...lol :)
 

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easiest thing to do is goto petco or petsmart and get one of the kits, b/c its end up being cheaper. doesnt have to be one of the complicated ones. about a year ago i got a 20 gallon tank, came with top, light, filter, heater...all the basics
get some gravel and some fish and youre set
 

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Superinc_V6 said:
?Tropical = High maintenance = More$$
or
?Fresh water = Low Maintenance = Less$$


next step would be the tank and pump/filter


not really that hard , just read a book on taking care of them should be fine.
Definately fresh water.
 

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the bigger the tank, the easier it is to maintain.....less water changes

when you do change the water, change only 25% of it. I do water changes about once every 3 weeks.


when you do set up the tank, get a filter bigger than what you need. Trust me


Get a couple of plecos to keep algae growth down

when you first set up the tank, get it ready, and put water in. let it run for 2-3 weeks before you get fish. You are gonna want to get fish immediately, but resist the urge....it takes time.



start with cheap fish, but not anything similar to goldfish....they are very dirty and hard to keep clean, but they are definitely hardy fish. Ask for recommendations from the pet store, see what they have had success with.
go cheap at first, establish the tank, then 2-3 mos later get more.

start off with 4 of the same fish.....next week add 2 plecos.....2-3 mos later, add a few more.
 

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^^Very good advice from Papi. Pretty much explained it all.

If you still live in yonkers, go to Petco in Central Ave and look for this skinny black guy who works at aquarium dept. He looks a little "slow", but he's very knowledgeable when it comes to fish/fish tanks.
 

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I have had tanks for 9 years now....started with a 10 gal....

my ultimate goal....when I get my house next year...a 200 gal son of a biooooooooooooootch
 

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Sassn, you rock bro! Thanks for the advice. I'm probably going to set it up before the end of the month. My boy's parents have a huge tank built into their wall. It has coral and everything. It's off the hook!

Jumper, i know exactly where that place is. i pass it all the time.
 

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sad memories... I had an arrowanda when I was younger. When we bought him he was 5 inches. One day I came home and found him in a puddle of water on the floor, all 13 inches. He committed suicide, he flopped out of the tank. He did it once before and we put a weight on the lid, but I guess he just couldn't bare the cruel, cruel world any more.
 

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ive been an aquarium enthusiast for years now, but when i rejoined the army, i gave my 90 gallon aquarium and about $1500 in fish and accessories to my buddy for x-mas.
for your first fish to cycle your tank - consider black skirt tetras.


very hardy, very clean and they look decent and are decently priced, about 1.99 or so. ive always used them or convicts for cycling my aquariums, keep in mind though that convicts are mean and territorial and can/will kill your long term fish once your tank is cycled - unless you get fish that are meaner than they are. :)

for filtration, go with nothing other than Aqua Clear. they are easily one of the BEST filters you can go with. i would also suggest that you check out this site for the best offers for just about everything you might need, from food to filters to gravel or aquariums themselves. http://www.bigalsonline.com/
without a doubt, the best online store for aquarium needs.
 

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mistahbruin said:
sad memories... I had an arrowanda when I was younger. When we bought him he was 5 inches. One day I came home and found him in a puddle of water on the floor, all 13 inches. He committed suicide, he flopped out of the tank. He did it once before and we put a weight on the lid, but I guess he just couldn't bare the cruel, cruel world any more.
HAHA, same shit happened here. My mother and I were in the kitchen getting ready to leave the house and we heard this thumping upstairs, we thought it was the cat, then we turned and the cat was sleeping on the bar stool. We looked at each other then both ran up the stairs into the library. Our 15" Oscar was flopping on the floor. He jumped out of the tank. He didn't die though, but we ended up buying some heavy duty velcro and velcro'd the hood and hood door down. He never got out again.

He was a mean mother ****er though, used to bite me all the time when I'd be syphoning his tank. He had a pleco companion that was about 17" long. If you put anything in his tank, he'd either eat it (ie. the goldfish feeders we'd give him weekly) or break it (3 heaters, 4 thermoters, and about 30 filter tubes). We got smart with the heaters and bought undergravel ones because he couldn't manage to damage the wiring.
 

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Ah, convicts.. I have very fond memory of those suckers. A friend gave me few of his convict offsprings and I never knew they were so much fun to have! (60 gallon tank)

After they grew up a little, they ripped the mollies I had there (mollies were little bigger than convicts) and killed off all the other beauties I had there (guppies, tetras, etc). Only thing that survived was a very large pleco. I got little pissed so I bought an 2 inch oscar, thinking oscar will nuke them all once it get big enough. Well, that oscar had NO CHANCE. Few days later, it was ripped to little pieces.

So I got a bigger one (4 inches) just to see how that one will do. Well, that oscar did get big (it grew to about 10 inches) but surprise!! Convicts dodged around in the tank like they owned the place, and they even feed off of feeder goldies (one's that you can buy for $2 for a dozen) that was meant for the Oscar.

They are a true survivor. Only reason they perished was because I had to go to college and my parents were never good at taking care of the tank.
 

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lol, i used to buy con's by the dozen to cycle my tanks. i had 6 tanks going at one point. i used to transfer my large fish into the newly cycled tanks and they would wipe out the convicts. any con that lived more than a couple days found a home in my hospital tank! lol.

 

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Go with an undergravel filter as your main filter and if you don't go any larger than a 30 gallon that should be all you need. If you go larger and you want to heavily populate your tank, you may need to add an external filter to help with the added waste levels. For an external filter you can use either the hanging type (most common) or the cannister type. I'm sure you've seen the hanging type that just hang on the back of the tank and move water through a cartridge. A cannister type will be a cannister mounted on top of a motor with two long tubes that will run into the tank. They are easier to hide and filter much better than a hanging filter. They also move much more water than a hanging filter but they are also more expensive.
If you do go with a hanging filter in addition to an undergravel filter, buy one with at least 2 seperate cartridges. When you clean the filter only change one of the cartridges that way you have plenty of aerobic bacteria still in the filter to continue the cleaning and the older filter will 'seed' the new filter with bacteria.
The waste cycle in an aquarium goes like this:
Fish produce ammonia as a waste product which is turned into nitrites by aerobic bacteria. The nitrites are then turned into nitrates by a different aerobic bacteria. Nitrates in even moderate levels are very toxic to fish.
There are only two ways to remove nitrates from your water - easiest is to do a water change, the second is to have anaerobic bacteria remove it.
But to accomplish this you must have a filter with media that operates in the absence of oxygen (usually a cannister type or a wet/dry filter system). That enables the anaerobic bacteria to grow and do its thing.

Just get an undergravel filter and a gravel vacuum and use that when you do your water changes. A gravelvacuum is a syphon hose with a very large, rigid end on it. When you start your syphon just push the large end into the gravel and then pull it up above the rest of the gravel. The gravel will swirl around and then fall back to the bottom of the tank and the waste in the gravel will get sucked out with the water that is being pulled out of the tank. You'll be amazed how much junk comes out of the gravel.
Change 25% every 3 to 4 weeks (like Papi said) and make sure you put something in the water to get rid of the chlorine and chloramines.
Aquatronics makes some great stuff but it is usually hard to find. Most common stuff the Petco type stores carry is the stuff made by Novaqua which I never really liked as much as the Aquatronics products.
The Novaqua will do the job but the Aquatronics was always a little better.

Setup your system and treat the water and let it run for at least 4 days without fish. Do not fill the tank with water that has gone through a water softener as they add a lot of salt to the water and your fish won't live long in water with the extra salinity.

For a smaller tank (30 or smaller) add 2 or 3 small fish and watch to make sure that they do OK for at least 3 weeks before you even think of adding more fish. You want to give the tank time to grow the bacteria needed to filter the water. When you do add fish do it slowly. Only add 1 or 2 at a time with 2 to 3 weeks in between.

Make sure the fish will all get along together. Don't add cichlids with mollies and platties and expect the cichlids to leave them alone. Most cichlids (esp. Africans) are very territorial and will beat up most less agressive fish.

Plecostomus can be a great fish to help keep the tank clean and they generally don't bother other fish even when they are much larger than the others.

BTW I used to be a manager at a fish store and I did aquarium service for doctor's offices, restaurants and private residences for over 6 years.
I used to have 6 tanks at home and I've had and serviced everything from fresh water to salt water in just about every variation you can think of.
I still have a 50 gallon plexiglass tank with a built in wet/dry filter but it is not setup right now. The stand is still being used to hold up my DLP TV because I can't find a TV stand that I like that isn't $600. :p As soon as I get a TV stand I'm going to setup my tank again and go with fresh water instead of the reef tank I had before.
And don't even think of going salt water unless you have at least a 60 gallon tank. An experienced salt water person can get away with a 30 gallon but you really have to watch your chemical levels since things can change in a hurry in a smaller environment.

Fresh water is definitely cheaper but if your fish get sick you really have to pay attention to the meds you use as some meds can kill certain varieties of fish while curing others.

If you need anything esle just ask in this thread or shoot me a pm.

Hope this helped.
 

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I had a goldfish-type fish once...
in a year, went from 3 inches to 9 inches....I called him Fat Ass. Outgrew a 20 gal tank in a HURRY.


I would say get live plants, but after a while when you learn how to maintain the tank too. They keep the water cleaner.

Once a month, I will cover my tank, turn off the lights, and cover it with a blanket to not let any light in for about 36-48 hours. This kills any excess algae that may be in the water.

Another thing. Paypal me $50.
 

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Don't listen to any of these bums!!!
Go here
http://home.insightbb.com/~kristin.dill/index.html
for everything you need to know!
LOL, Actually, that was my daughter's 2006 grand champion 4-H website project for Tippecanoe county, now in competition at the Indiana State fair.

I agree with what has been said about goldfish - kids like em, they're cute and cheap, but with 2 of them (2" long) and two small platys in a 20 gallon tank with 2 filters, I still do a partial water change every week. Plus they eventually get huge, which means sell them/give them away/buy huge tank/dig a pond is in your future.

Speaking of water changing, I got something like this
http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524441776868&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302030062&ASSORTMENT<>ast_id=2534374302023693&bmUID=1155297658188&itemNo=10&Nao=0&In=Fish&N=2030062&Ne=2
and it makes it a snap, unless you like trudging thru the house with buckets of stanky fish water.
 
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