Just got my aquarium up and running

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Clinton McClure, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    Yesterday I decided I needed to relax more and take up a second hobby so I bought a 29 gallon aquarium. After about 3 hours, the stand and aquarium were complete and in place with gravel, decorations, water (treated with dechlorinator) and filter. I have yet to put my heater in because the water's still too warm. I can't wait until the water temp goes down enough to get my fish. (Don't worry, I'm going to do a pH test to make sure I don't burn them when I bring them home.)
    Since this is my first aquarium, I have a question or two I feel sure someone can answer.
    1. I live in Arkansas which has very high humidity coupled with high heat. I am targeting the water temperature to be around 73°F but it is taking forever to cool down. When I filled the tank, I used only cold tap water and it was still 86°F in the tank. So since about 8PM yesterday, I've had my air on with the thermostat set at 68°. So far the water temp has dropped to 75°. During the hot days, how difficult is it to maintain a 70°-75° range with a 29 gallon tank? Also do fluorescent bulbs put off enough heat within a 12-hour period to drastically change water temp?
    2. I really like the Fantail goldfish but I also like a variety of pretty fish which are not agressive. Of all the freshwater fish I've seen, my favorite is the tiger barb. I have heard that these are semi-agressive and will nip at the Fantails. Would these two species be compatible tank-mates (say I start with one Fantail and a school of about 6 tiger barbs, then after the tank cycles, add another Fantail and possibly two Otocinclus)? If not, what would you recommend?
    3. The power filter which came with my tank is an Aqua-Tech 20-40. Will this provide sufficient biological filtration or should I purchase one with a Bio-wheel?
    Thanks in advance for your time and answers! [​IMG]
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I think cooling a tank will take longer than heating one, suggestions is to promote water current via a bubble want (Highly suggest the Rena brand, super quiet!) or a powerhead of some sort.
    The tiger barb can be aggressive to other fish, if there isn't enough of themselves to go around to sort of spread the aggression [​IMG] It can be dicey on fish with flowing tails such as bettas and goldfish. You should check with your LFS and see if they have a return policy, sometimes you'll get tiger barbs that are nippy and others that are ok, but it's really hard to tell. We had a couple long long time ago that were mildly aggressive to others but I don't have any now, I have a 20g with 2 angels and a 10g with some harlequin rasboras and some white cloud mountain minnows and some kuhli loaches (my favorite loach)
    Not really sure about keeing goldfish with regular community fish, do be careful with the aquaload as goldfish/carp tend to be messy fish. Don't know to much about goldfish varieties but I do like a bunch of the Orandas and other types of fancy goldfish I see every now and then.
    About your filter, as long as it recycles the water (you can tell by the rated flow rate) about 3 times or more per hour but doesn't create a tornado, you're fine. Most filters allow you to add extra biomass you need. Two smaller filters is better than one larger filter for redundancy.
    And have you heard of Fishless cycling?
    Congrats on the new tank, a 29 long is a great sized tank for many varieties of fish andbottomdwellers. Enjoy!
    Jay
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    If cooling continues to be a problem you can always add a fan, I run a 29g saltwater, but keep it about 82F, I have to keep 2 large fans in the hood to keep the metal halide bulb cool for one, and keep the water temp down. You'll evaporate a bit more water but it WILL cool the tank, in fact the 2 5" fans I have in my hood tend to cool the tank faster than the heater can heat it back up, so even when my apartment is in the 80's the tank drops a few degrees over the course of a day. They also make chillers that you can use, they're not more than a couple hundred bucks, probably find one used.

    you might look into getting a tap water filter for topping off the tank, and water changes, even better would be a reverse osmosis system. Either one beats having to treat the water, and should remove some of the nutrients in the water that algae loves.

    you might look around, I think that aquatek 20-40 might be made by the same people that make the penguin 170 for example. If that's the case, you can buy the biowheel, support, and bearings to add to it, it MIGHT be cheaper than buying a new filter.
     
  4. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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    1. The lights in our family aquarium are so bright, we dont need to use a heater. If the tempereature rises too much, we just pull the hood off for a while untill it reaches around 78/79. It shouldn't be too hard to maintain the temperature. The aquarium is pretty small so it shouldnt really be much of a problem.
    2. Im not too sure about that. I only know saltwater
    3. Your filter sounds fine.
    BTW, Congrats on your new purchase. Have fun![​IMG]
     
  5. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Supporting Actor

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    I love fish,thats all there is to that.I Have all agressive fish though,with the addition of a pleco. to keep the tank clean.

    As far as keeping the tank cooler,I would suggest getting fish that like warmer waters.Goldfish perfer cold water so that might not work best for you,I would instead try and find somthing from the amazon or africa.You could pick up some very beautiful assorted african cichlids for not alot of money,they should not outgrow the tank(as long as you do not get very many) and the water temp should be just fine for them...I keep my oscar tank close to 80 and they seem to love it.

    One thing to keep in mind,it is a new tank so it will need a good solid week possibly 2 to get good and cycled,I would get a few feeder fish in there now,that will help speed things up some and who knows,they might grow into beautiful fish...my daughter got a $.19 comet and we had it for years,it was almost 1' long before it died.

    I also suggest you do alot of reading,check out desertaquaria.com..and if you have a few minutes be sure to check out the diy area,one of the guys there built a huge tank out of concrete and its really somthing to see.
     
  6. Randy_Sh

    Randy_Sh Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Clinton.

    I also have a 29 gallon tank setup. Recently upsized from a 20 gallon. I am in Richmond VA...get pretty toasty here as well. Because of that, I went the tropical route. Water temp is right around 80-82 degrees.

    I agree with these guys about not mixing the tropicals (barbs) and the goldfish. The goldfihs are messy and tend to thrive in cooler waters. You could certainly go goldfish only, get a few and really let them grow!

    To cycle the tank, I bought 6 zebra danios-very hardy fish and fun to watch. All are still alive and doing well. I have several types of tetras, a pleco to clean-up and a catfish that my wife bought (forget the variety now!).

    In my old 20 gallon, I had a pleco, 2 cory catfish, a dwarf frog, and 6 Buenos Aires Tetras. The tetras were great-but were plant eaters-no live plants. They are all doing well in my friends 150 gallon now.

    Good luck with the tank.
     
  7. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions so far guys! While I was out on errands this morning, I stopped by a pet store and talked to the girl who works there. Her comments matched all of yours pretty well. She suggested to go the community route with an assortment of tropical fish and not add goldfish. She suggested if I want to add goldfish to run a separate talk for only goldfish since they require colder water and are a bit more messy. She also suggested I wait until about Monday to add fish.

    I looked at African cichlids and thought they were very pretty, but they require a pH of about 8 or so I'm told. I think if I did these, I would only have a cichlid tank, since I'd kill off everything else.

    Right now I'm looking at either a barb-only tank (tigers, cherrys, etc...) or a community tank, but I'm leaning towards a barb tank. How would this be for a set-up to begin with:

    3 Tiger Barbs to cycle the tank for about two weeks then add 3 more Tiger Barbs, 3-6 Cherry Barbs, a Rainbow Shark, and 3 Otocinclus. all in moderation so as not to drastically raise pH levels and ammonia. I believe they all take about the same water temp (around 78°) and like a pH of around 7, yes?
     
  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I haven't had much luck with octos, I've killed off about five of them now, and haven't really come to a firm conclusion why. Do remember that those barbs will get big, they look cute as young fish, but will triple in size (or more) when they get older. The Tigers will nip at just about anything.

    I would also recommend fishless cycling. I lost a lot of stock before I learned bout that whole process, and I would also plan on a month or more for a proper cycle, and depending on your filtration, adding as few fish at a time as possible, since even a cycled tank adjusts to its bio load.
     
  9. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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  10. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I've been thinking about re-entering the world of fish.
    (I mean, keep aquariums again)
    Mostly I'd like a tank of platies, guppies, and the like, with a few corydoras, natural plants, etc.
    As a kid, I recall no difficulty getting healthy and vigorous live-bearers, (back in the 1960s) but by the late 1980's when I gave up all aquariums, I was finding it impossible to get such fish. Nearly all the ones in store tanks were hollow bellied, fins folded, pale, etc., if not actually shimmying or covered with ick.
    What happened? Too much inbreeding, over-reliance on expensive medications (I used to hate the way sophisticated antibiotics were being marketed to deal with fish diseases) or just a business full of sharks and temporary store clerks who don't know beans about the fish they are selling?
    Anyone have any advice or comments?
    Clinton, please forgive my piggybacking on your question, but I figured you had lured the fish experts out!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    it hasn't changed john. I'm into saltwater, and my local fish store is disgusting. I can't imagine what kind of livestock loss they have, but I bet 50% or better of their livestock dies before sold. Almost every one of their tanks has a dead fish in it when I go in there. ALso NO warranty on saltwater fish is supplied. It's cheaper for me to mailorder my fish and pay for fedex next day shipping, and I get higher quality livestock.
    I have yet to experience ich in salt or freshwater, no meds for me.
     
  12. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Thanks Philip, its been my guess that there are so many second-hand aquariums for sale, because so many people have the experience of buying a complete set-up, and having all the finny residents dying off within a few weeks. [​IMG]
     
  13. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I've had excellent luck in keeping fish alive in my aquarium, I couldn't kill a fish if I tried. A couple of months ago when I moved there was only one fish in the tank but I know how I would keep him alive so I just dropped him into a glass full of aquarium water fully expecting him to die within a few minutes. Almost a week later he was alive and well, so I just filled the aquarium with tap water and dumped him in fully expecting him to die on contact. He's still alive and well with a whole new tank full of friends now.
     
  14. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Platties and livebearers have been subject to a lot of inbreeding, I mean they do breed like rabbits...
    Fishless cycling is great, I did it when I got my second tank, what is really great about it is that you can seriously speed up your Ammonia spike just by adding store-bought ammonia and add a bunch of it per day. You have no fish to worry about stressing so the ammonia spike can be had in a few days, rather than a week or so if you use fish (and care about your fish you're subjecting to cycling).
    And yes, you can piss in the tank if you so care to but ammonia is cheap so I used it.
    John Watson, sometimes I too would like to re-enter the world of fish too... Goodbye cruel world, I'm going back to the sea from whence we came! [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  15. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Jay H, I bought DVDInternational's Freshwater Aquarium disk, thats as deep as I'll go for now [​IMG]
     
  16. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Bry_DD

    Bry_DD Second Unit

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    If you still dont have fish in you tank I suggest to start with black molly. so you'll start cycling your water. black molly tolerate high ph and chlorine. give them couple days and you can start purchasing diff fish..

    have fun,
    Bry
     
  18. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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    Well fortunately, our Picasso (sp?) trigger survived but we put him in the alternate tank until we can get rid of the hair algae in the bigger one.
     
  19. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    how big is your tank? that's a lot of fish, and triggers get large.
     
  20. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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