Aquarists unite: fish are friends, and food

SyKicK

Molten Core Raider
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Those look fucking amazing. My tank is a desert compared to yours, but I just started mine Friday. How long have you been growing those plants?
I have had the one 55gal for almost 8 years now I think. I think all tanks as they are right now are about 3-4 years old as far as the plants go. I'm always getting bored and moving plants around, or taking them out and giving them to local fish people (Calgary)

I did have 10 tanks in the house which included a salt water 30gal tank. I also have a 5gl betta tank at work.
 

SyKicK

Molten Core Raider
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3d 6h 24m
Damn. I just have 2 goldfish in a 10 gallon tank with a couple of plastic plants and a fake Spongebob pineapple house.

What is maintenance like on these bigger set ups? Goldfish are apparently very dirty fish, I think I need a bigger tank.
My maintenance isn't too bad, I do a bare minimum of 20% water change every two weeks. Usually I end up doing between 20-50% each week if I have time. I find it oddly relaxing, I have a couple beers and listen to music while I do it. I can get through all tanks in about a hour and a half.

Goldfish can be very dirty, and you almost always need a bigger tank for them. A lot of people go bare bottom with goldfish so it's easier to clean the tank.


Also nothing wrong with plastic plants, I also have the Pineapple house. It used to be in the work betta tank. I actually keep thinking about doing a 120+gallon tank in the living room with just rocks, wood, and fake plants, super low maintenance.
 
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I haven't done a water change on my tank in nearly three years. Just top offs. It's almost 6 years old, majority of the fish are 4+ years old. Should probably do an 80%+ swap for new years.... I also neglect to clean out my canister but once every 6 mo. Need to drop in a tray of nothing but carbon to do a nice water polishing, and trade out a tray with some refreshed Purigen.
 

Aamry

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So I bought 4 Tetras for my tank, to kinda break it in and get used to having to feed a living animal again. All the resources I find online are "feed them enough that they can eat it all within 3 minutes, 3 times a day" which is super vague.

Any help? like, teaspoons per oz of fish or something?
 
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SyKicK

Molten Core Raider
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3d 6h 24m
I haven't done a water change on my tank in nearly three years. Just top offs. It's almost 6 years old, majority of the fish are 4+ years old. Should probably do an 80%+ swap for new years.... I also neglect to clean out my canister but once every 6 mo. Need to drop in a tray of nothing but carbon to do a nice water polishing, and trade out a tray with some refreshed Purigen.

If you haven't done a water change in that long which I actually can't believe your fish haven't died yet =P. I would just do a 20% change anything more might actually be too big of a shock for the fish.

Carbon I never use as it's only good for about two weeks before it releases everything back into the water. Purigen I love tho! Everyone should use that stuff. It's so good and you can just regenerate it over and over again.
 

SyKicK

Molten Core Raider
26
13
3d 6h 24m
So I bought 4 Tetras for my tank, to kinda break it in and get used to having to feed a living animal again. All the resources I find online are "feed them enough that they can eat it all within 3 minutes, 3 times a day" which is super vague.

Any help? like, teaspoons per oz of fish or something?

Just put in a small pinch between your fingers and see how fast they eat it. You are better to do a couple small feedings rather then one big one. I actually only feed my fish every other day. My work betta doesn't get fed on the weekend.
 

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So I bought 4 Tetras for my tank, to kinda break it in and get used to having to feed a living animal again. All the resources I find online are "feed them enough that they can eat it all within 3 minutes, 3 times a day" which is super vague.

Any help? like, teaspoons per oz of fish or something?
3 times a day is way too often. Fish require very little in the way of food, especially 4 tiny tetras. A small pinch of food about once a day.
 

Aamry

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3 times a day is way too often. Fish require very little in the way of food, especially 4 tiny tetras. A small pinch of food about once a day.
Thanks for the info. I was worried I was starving them, now I'm probably overfeeding them lol.
 

BrutulTM

Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun.
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What is maintenance like on these bigger set ups? Goldfish are apparently very dirty fish, I think I need a bigger tank.

Bigger tanks are easier to maintain than smaller ones because they are more stable. A weekly partial water change is all you need to do and let's be honest, if you do it monthly that will probably be fine.
 
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Aamry

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20190102_172123.jpg
20190102_172150.jpg


My new tank, with daylights and blue lights.

I now have 6 tetra, 2 barbs, and 2 catfish. The catfish are mainly to clean up any food the others dont grab before it hits the gravel.
 
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Hateyou

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Going to get my 4 yr old a betta. Have a decently reviewed cheap tank and food picked out on amazon. Anything else I need to get, be aware of?

I have zero fish owning experience but have always liked the idea.

I’ve came very close many times to getting an aquarium. Have done lots of research in the past on getting started but last time I looked was years ago. Never pulled the trigger because I always balked at adding another chore to my life, cleaning the tank all the time seemed like it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.
 

Zaara

undead fetishist
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You're going to want to get some sort of heating device. Unless you're living in a place that's in the 80s, the water is going to be too cold for a betta and it will behave exactly how you see them in the store. They sell really cheap heating discs that raise the water temperature around 10 degrees from room ambient, but otherwise try looking into an appropriately-sized heater for whatever tank you got.

Bettas are intensely hardy fish that will survive (at least a while) in whatever water you drop them in, but yeah. There's something of a learning curve in keeping a fish properly. You're only supposed to add fish, or fish that you want to keep, in a fully 'cycled' tank. That refers to the nitrogen cycle, which is a big chemical reaction that eventually ends up with a sort of stasis in your tank, where there's enough bacteria and invisible crawlies in your tank to process all the toxic material your fish produces. That said this is a betta for a 4 year old, so no reason to get complicated. We had a betta survive in an unheated, unlit fish bowl using nothing but tap water for around 6 months.

Number 1 for betta: Do not let your kid have access to the food supply, and DO NOT feed it more than a few pellets a day. Betta are a fish that will eat until they die, and bloat is an awful way to go.
 

Zaara

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Came back because people were asking questions about set-ups and I had some thoughts.

1: If you're starting out new, don't do the seemingly rational thing of getting a small or nano tank. Five gallon tanks are nice and compact, but they can be a nightmare to maintain, especially if you're going the route of natural substrate and living plants. Things like hair algae and invasive snails can piggyback from the fish store to your tank and wreak havoc on your water parameters. Also, nano tanks are only good (read: adequate) for a very limited list of fish. Bettas and guppies are fine, and so are tiny schools of things like endlers and dwarf tetras/rasboras, but anything else will not be happy in such a tiny space. Overstocking a tank this size can kill your entire stock in a real hurry. Keep in mind that all-in-one set-ups have less available water space than advertised- a 5g tall tank only has 4 gallons of actual swimming space.

2: Ten, fifteen, or twenty gallons is a good start. It takes up more space but there's a glut of appropriately sized heaters and filters on the market. The filter is the most important part of keeping your fish alive, so don't skimp out. Rim-top filters (the ones that have the waterfall outlet) are adequate enough for a tank of that size, and will introduce enough aeration and flow into the tank that you don't have to worry about buying airstones and shit like that. Again, there are limits to what kind of fish you can put in a tank that size- no cichlids, no oscars, and only a limited number of corydoras/catfish. I don't know much about the keeping of cold-water fish but I'm pretty sure twenty gallons is considered the absolute minimum for goldfish.

3: Goldfish are absolutely not tropical fish, and are best kept in minimalistic tanks with no plants. They'll tear up anything else and got a bad habit of ripping their fins on rocks or any sharp decorations you put in their tank. They cannot be in a heated community tank with other fish.

4: (And this is the number 1 barrier to people jumping into fish keeping), you got to be patient with a new tank. Filling it up with rocks and water then dropping fish in will almost always end with those fish dying from ammonia/nitrite poisoning. If possible, you want to introduce enough living shit into the tank to kick start the nitrogen cycle and have it go quickly. If you've got a friend that keeps fish, ask for some of their tank substrate, or plants, or pieces of driftwood that have already been sitting in an aquarium for a while. Take the gunky sponges from another tank's filter and, after a quick rinse, drop them into the new tank. Those things are teeming with critters that will populate your tank and filter and make it so that all the toxic nitrates/nitrites produced by your fish are processed. An explanation of the cycle and tank processing is here.

5: Read about every fish you want to buy, before you buy it. Every chain petstore you go into provides extremely limited information about the fish they're trying to sell you, and they do that for a reason. Oscars are cute and small as babies, but they are capable of growing up to 11'' in their first year and will end up eating all those other cute baby fish you bought to be his friends. The siamese algae eater you buy to control algae in your tank is going to grow from a half inch to five or six inches, and need a whole lot more swimming space than a ten gallon can provide. The chump trying to sell you a pleco 'to clean the tank' isn't telling you that plecos don't eat fish poop and that some plecos can grow to be a foot and a half long. A lot of fish will only thrive if they're purchased as a group or school. Every fish has their species profile, and you should give a shit about putting them up in a tank that can give them what they need in terms of space and swimming habits.
 

OhSeven

Mediocre Negro
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Well, this thread has got me. I'm, most likely, going to restart a monster tank/pond again later this year, if it all goes to plan it'll be around 10,000 gallons. It's going in my garage since it's heated. I'm thinking about taking the lazy way out and getting a big above ground pool. Anyone have any suggestions on brands, I'd like something with a really tough liner so I don't have to keep it bare bottomed.
 

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Above ground pool is an interesting idea for a pond. Though I would say it doesn't matter which brand you get, you'll likely need to reinforce the sides somehow if you wanted any kind of substrate. Even 6" of sand across your standard sized above ground pool is going to put significant extra weight against the pillars and lining. A wooden barrier around the pool that you can fill with sand or dirt to absorb some of the weight would be a good idea.

If you put nothing but fish in it, the filtration system will still need massive upgrades to handle your fish population. Humans put off a lot of urea that binds to chlorine, but chlorine is going to kill fish, so a nitrogen cycle filtration system will be necessary. Standard pool filters are designed for blocking objects from fucking up the pump, not actually filtering the water of chemical biproducts. Fortunately the filtration that comes with these kits are fairly universal or standard sizes, so you could introduce a trashcan filter into the system with a ton of bio balls or whatever live bacteria medium you prefer.

Plan ahead of time for having a purge and fill for water changes. Run lines to and from your water mains. Or have a 20g trashcan that fills with tap that airs off the chlorine or that you add dechlorinator to, that you can pull from to fill the tank. Purge release should go to another container for use later, or distributed to your lawn (fish water is amaaaaazing for plant and grass growth), or to a drain.
 

OhSeven

Mediocre Negro
<Moderation Tools>
1,212
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That's my main concern, how much strain the substrate is going to put on the pool itself.

I'm not overly concerned with the pond/tank logistics. The indoor pond, that I posted about here, that the crazy ex destroyed was right around 4000 gallons. I can't imagine much is going to change aside from the scope from 4k to 10k gallons.
 

BrutulTM

Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun.
8,691
3,760
16d 9h 57m
Came back because people were asking questions about set-ups and I had some thoughts.

1: If you're starting out new, don't do the seemingly rational thing of getting a small or nano tank. Five gallon tanks are nice and compact, but they can be a nightmare to maintain, especially if you're going the route of natural substrate and living plants. Things like hair algae and invasive snails can piggyback from the fish store to your tank and wreak havoc on your water parameters. Also, nano tanks are only good (read: adequate) for a very limited list of fish. Bettas and guppies are fine, and so are tiny schools of things like endlers and dwarf tetras/rasboras, but anything else will not be happy in such a tiny space. Overstocking a tank this size can kill your entire stock in a real hurry. Keep in mind that all-in-one set-ups have less available water space than advertised- a 5g tall tank only has 4 gallons of actual swimming space.

2: Ten, fifteen, or twenty gallons is a good start. It takes up more space but there's a glut of appropriately sized heaters and filters on the market. The filter is the most important part of keeping your fish alive, so don't skimp out. Rim-top filters (the ones that have the waterfall outlet) are adequate enough for a tank of that size, and will introduce enough aeration and flow into the tank that you don't have to worry about buying airstones and shit like that. Again, there are limits to what kind of fish you can put in a tank that size- no cichlids, no oscars, and only a limited number of corydoras/catfish. I don't know much about the keeping of cold-water fish but I'm pretty sure twenty gallons is considered the absolute minimum for goldfish.

3: Goldfish are absolutely not tropical fish, and are best kept in minimalistic tanks with no plants. They'll tear up anything else and got a bad habit of ripping their fins on rocks or any sharp decorations you put in their tank. They cannot be in a heated community tank with other fish.

4: (And this is the number 1 barrier to people jumping into fish keeping), you got to be patient with a new tank. Filling it up with rocks and water then dropping fish in will almost always end with those fish dying from ammonia/nitrite poisoning. If possible, you want to introduce enough living shit into the tank to kick start the nitrogen cycle and have it go quickly. If you've got a friend that keeps fish, ask for some of their tank substrate, or plants, or pieces of driftwood that have already been sitting in an aquarium for a while. Take the gunky sponges from another tank's filter and, after a quick rinse, drop them into the new tank. Those things are teeming with critters that will populate your tank and filter and make it so that all the toxic nitrates/nitrites produced by your fish are processed. An explanation of the cycle and tank processing is here.

5: Read about every fish you want to buy, before you buy it. Every chain petstore you go into provides extremely limited information about the fish they're trying to sell you, and they do that for a reason. Oscars are cute and small as babies, but they are capable of growing up to 11'' in their first year and will end up eating all those other cute baby fish you bought to be his friends. The siamese algae eater you buy to control algae in your tank is going to grow from a half inch to five or six inches, and need a whole lot more swimming space than a ten gallon can provide. The chump trying to sell you a pleco 'to clean the tank' isn't telling you that plecos don't eat fish poop and that some plecos can grow to be a foot and a half long. A lot of fish will only thrive if they're purchased as a group or school. Every fish has their species profile, and you should give a shit about putting them up in a tank that can give them what they need in terms of space and swimming habits.

^^ This is all good advice. I would just add, don't believe anything that anyone at PetSmart or one of it's clones tells you about fish and until you know the guy at the Local Fish Store, don't believe anything he tells you either. Do your own research online. There is a shitload of good info and message boards and it's really not rocket science, but I have heard employees telling newbies things at fish stores that just guarantees that they will fail so many times it's unbelievable.
 

Hateyou

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So I’ve got my betta tank, a little heater, food.

What do I do about water? Dump some bottled water in it, get it to temp and just let it sit for a few days? Do I need to add anything to it?

I know when we get the fish that were supposed to keep the water he’s in/used to, I’m guessing we just dump that old stuff in with the water that’s been sitting in the tank?
 

Aamry

Molten Core Raider
1,166
539
8d 13h 35m
So I’ve got my betta tank, a little heater, food.

What do I do about water? Dump some bottled water in it, get it to temp and just let it sit for a few days? Do I need to add anything to it?

I know when we get the fish that were supposed to keep the water he’s in/used to, I’m guessing we just dump that old stuff in with the water that’s been sitting in the tank?
As far as transitioning a fish, I let the bag sit in the tank for about 15-20 minutes so the temperature acclimates, then just dump it in, water and all. The amount you get in the bag (tupperware for bettas) is negligible for most tanks.

Bettas are pretty hardy, it's how they live so long in still water plastic container at the pet stores. I kept one alive in an unheated 1/2 gallon tank in college for over a year, just changed his water occasionally. I'd get some water conditioner to remove any chlorines, and just use tap then let it sit for like 3 days, or for like 8 bucks you can buy 2.5 gallons of "aquarium ready" water from PetCo or similar.
 
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