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Any advice on keeping tropical fish

esims84 Avatar
8y, 4m agoPosted 8 years, 4 months ago
i want to keep tropical fish and was wondering if anyone has any advice.
LIke what type of fish to have, what type of tank to get?

ive seen tanks already set up with fish in on ebay are these are good idea?
esims84 Avatar
8y, 4m agoPosted 8 years, 4 months ago
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#1
fink ya meant to put tropical?! Before the wise cracks :thumbsup:
#2
You need to have your tank set up and running for about a week before you think about putting fish in there.
I've had various sized tanks but have got a 2ft at the mo.
You'll need a filter & heater to go in it.
Good fish to start off with are Guppies & Mollys. They are quite hardy & are not aggresive. A bottom feeder is also good to have - Plecostomus.
#3
its a shame my other half is working as he knows everything about keep all kinds of fish, i know you need alot of stuff to keep tropical fish, and you need to have your tank at a certain temp ect, i also think you have to have it set up for a while before you can add any fish, as for the size of the tank i think this just depends how many fish you want to keep, sorry not much help, maybe try google get some info off there
#4
LaoTzu
fink ya meant to put tropical?! Before the wise cracks :thumbsup:


well spotted :oops:
#5
What size of tank would you be looking at?
#6
http://www.aquarian.com/
This is a good site which might help you.
#7
cassieismydoggie
Good fish to start off with are Guppies & Mollys. They are quite hardy & are not aggresive. A bottom feeder is also good to have - Plecostomus.


Only thing with guppies, though, is they breed like mad! You'll be overrun within no time!
#8
Look up the link below, I have found them very useful. The new magazine should be out in the shops tomorrow I think. Meanwhile have a look at their website and forum( Very useful advice there.)

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/home.php

Have fun.
#9
hodsey77
Only think with guppies, though, is they breed like mad! You'll be overrun within no time!


Put some Danios in the tank and they'll make short work of the offspring :whistling:
#10
raptorcigs
very talkative


huh, what u mean? :?
#11
hodsey77
Only think with guppies, though, is they breed like mad! You'll be overrun within no time!


Mollys breed like mad too but the bigger fish tend to eat the babies unless you put them in a separate tank.
#12
Oh, and be careful if you're putting real plants into your tank. You could get over-run with snails which are hard to get rid of.
#13
Apart from giving them enough to eat, don't forget to provide sufficent drinking water.
#14
Robotochan
What size of tank would you be looking at?


im not too sure, as big as i can afford
#15
Have a read up on how to look after the water as this is the most important part when looking after fish..many fish can and do die because of bad maintenance of the water..I am sure you can find many articles on the web about it :)
#16
Robotochan
Put some Danios in the tank and they'll make short work of the offspring :whistling:


Ooh, I couldn't bear it when they were being born and getting gobbled up! I tried to save all mine, and ended up with 3 tanks full, and still more pregnant females!!

Then, my peppered catfish started laying eggs... had 83 baby ones of those :thumbsup:
#17
esims84
im not too sure, as big as i can afford


How much cash are you looking to spend? :-D

hodsey77
Ooh, I couldn't bear it when they were being born and getting gobbled up! I tried to save all mine, and ended up with 3 tanks full, and still more pregnant females!!

Then, my peppered catfish started laying eggs... had 83 baby ones of those :thumbsup:


My Bronze Corys spawn after every tank clean as they think the cold water is the first rain of the season in the Amazon :? Only had 1 survive till it got to about 1cm in length before it vanished :thinking:
#18
My advice would be to not overcrowd the tank, and go for a few different fish, that swim in different areas:

For example, in my first tank:

I had 2 catfish and a bristle-nosed plek - these tend to stay on the bottom and eat all the food that sinks down (help keep it clean);
I had about 6 neon tetras, and 4 glowlight tetras - they tend to swim about at the top of the tank, looking pretty;
I had 4 tiger barbs, which swim all over, and are quite playful;
A couple of koolie loaches (only see these on rare occasions, so quite exciting when they pop out!) ;-)
I think I may have had a couple of angel fish in there too...
#19
mountain minnows are really tolerant,until you get the hang of the water conditions and temperature.(they survive most tank environments)

btw-clown loaches are the only fish that sleep,so dont worry if they are curled up in the morning!
#20
cassieismydoggie
Oh, and be careful if you're putting real plants into your tank. You could get over-run with snails which are hard to get rid of.


That's really good advice... I had plants in this snail killing treatment for ages, before putting them in my tanks, and I was STILL overrun with literally hundreds of tiny snails...

The real plants look sooo much nicer, but I always ended up with terrible snail infestations when I used them...
#21
Done not too long ago so plenty of advice, info and links to websites here:

http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/161984/tropical-fish/?p=1775880#post1775880

Good luck and enjoy but be patient to start off with and think of your fish when starting cycling your tank initially.

http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/community.html

Let's you create a 'virtual' tank, experiment with what you might like to keep and indicated compatability.
#22
hodsey77
That's really good advice... I had plants in this snail killing treatment for ages, before putting them in my tanks, and I was STILL overrun with literally hundreds of tiny snails...

The real plants look sooo much nicer, but I always ended up with terrible snail infestations when I used them...


Suffering with snails too at the moment that must have come in with new live plants. Thinking
of introducing some loaches to eat them or have to resort to lettuce and pick them out in the morning.
#23
Some things ive learnt over the last 18months of keeping fish...

a) Make sure you have your tank set up for 2 weeks,when you first put in water you start of with ammonia, which gets broken down to nitrite, that level has to be 0 before adding fish. You can buy nutrafin cycle to speed the process up. Fish cycle is the best though. Id leave the tank to mature for 2 weeks to allow this cycle to complete.Then add one or 2 fish, let the levels settle for 2 more weeks before adding more fish. Continue this process until your tank is complete.

I would deffo recommend the water testing kits !! We have a Co2 canister as we have plants as well. You wont need this to start.
If you do go for plants, i recommend live as the oxygen they produce.
Yep snails are a problem but we have NONE in our tank.

My set up is

6 Shrimps
2 opaline Gourami,1 Honey Gourami
4 Zebra Danios, 3 platy,
1 britlenose Catfish
1 Siemese Flying fox
4 Threadfin rainbow
1 siemese fighter


ps Practical fishkeeping site is a fab site!!
#24
well i had some hardy fish in my time.. roughly 2 yrs back.. lol...I would list requriements as
1. Actual Aquarium.. (important, or ull have water everywhere).: Dont go for anything above 2feet at the moment. If you go for something too small then you have to be careful of the water and have hardy fish. The bigger the tank more stable it usally is. But 2 ft should be alright. Make sure you have a cover, with an easy opening to feed the fish.
2. You will need filters, I had Under gravel filter, 2 of them and a Suspended particle filter. Used to run both of them seperately in 8 hr cycles. You will need heating and gravel. Plants are optional. I always had real live plants, didnt ever have any issue with snails though. But try and wash the plants in a bath of potassium before. Real plants also provide food and oxygen (to a certain extent) when you go on holiday. I've had fish survive on plant alone without issues (and they look more colourful for soem reason)
3. Like the OP mentioned start with guppies and mollys. They breed like hell, but I am sure they will eat up hte eggs as fast as well. I don't know if anyone did this, but I used to add 1 fistful of sea salt in the tank. This made the fish extremely hardy and they never got any diseases. You should also get a suckerfish. They keep the tank clean by eating up the muck. Also try and get a siamese fighter fish if you can.. brilliant fish and quite hardy as well.
4. I used to feed my fish live worms. I used to spend like 30 mins everyday handfeeding them live worms, which was the highlight. a great stress buster if people have fish right now. Just hold the worm in ur fingers and feed away. cracking stuff..

Other than that, I really didnt bother with the keep the tank going for 2 weeks thing. I did have the tank up and running overnight, and then added fish in stages. 2 every 4 days, till i had like 6-8 in the tank.

Hope it helps!!

PS hand feeding worms isint recommended when feeding Pirhanas or other very aggressive fish.. dont ask me how I know!!? :)
#25
The reason its important to complete the fish cycle is because if you put fish in when the nitrate hasnt dropped, this can kill the fish. It is worth doing the cycle i believe to ensure correct stable environment for the fish. If you go to a good place to buy your fish, tell them you have just set up your tank and they would not like to sell you fish if the cycle hasnt been done. I now stick with Maidenhead Aquatics as they are very good on giving advice and following procedures on whats best.

Dont get me wrong i know people who have put fish in before completing the cycle and the fish survived. I just dont see the point in being impatient.For the sake of a couple of weeks why risk loosing a fish.( i cried when i lost my first, )

Thats my opinion anyway.

If you need any platys let me know, Mine bonk for Britain!! HAHAHA
#26
whys this under groceries??
#27
You can carry out fishless cycling using ammonia that doesn't hurt any fish becauise there aren't any in attendance. The ammonia simulates fish waste and therefore starts the cycling process. Can also be done just putting food into the tank to rot and start the process.

A good Local Fish Shop (LFS) will test the water for you anyway and refiuse to sell you fish that they feel will suffer.
#28
mummyspam1985
whys this under groceries??


Maybe looking at cod, haddock, mackerel etc!!??

Or for tropical a nice bit of swordfish or marlin?
#29
If you use a copper based treatment, it will kill off all invertaebrates, thus curing your snail problem. I used this with my first marine tank, but it can be harmful to plants etc. Go into your local maidenhead aquatics and ask them (I worked in one for four years) there is usually one person who is extremely up on all this.

Hoe you enjoy fishkeeping, but as someone has already said, the most crucial thing is water quality!
#30
underthestairs;2531073

btw-clown loaches are the only fish that sleep,so dont worry if they are curled up in the morning!


lol, didn't know they slept - always wondered why mine kept 'falling over'!
#31
I started about 3 months ago - so can give you plenty of "noob" advice :)

I looked through literally 20 forums & found the best one to sign up to & ask questions in was:

http://www.tropicalfish.site5.com/tfc/

This is the best (and most active) by far.

You will get a LOT of bad advice, from forums & from fish shops - but you will overcome this by doing a lot of research before hand (such as the earlier advice of just leaving your tank to run for a week - that will do nothing as you need a source of Ammonia in your tank to "grow" the Ammonia eating bacteria to kick off your cycle). You can cycle the tank with fish in it, but it does them a great deal of damage - and they will have greatly shortened life spans.

You need to also look up Fishless cycling (using pure Ammonia to cycle your tank to build up the required bacteria).


Here is the guide I wrote to cycling my tank:


I got my Ammonia from Homebase for £1.99.

Try to get some existing media from a member on here, a friend or a LFS (local fish store) - this will greatly speed up the Cycling process.

You also NEED an API Master test kit (£18 from Ebay) - these are a lot better than the stick tests, and although twice as expensive, you get around 800 tests, while a 20 stick pack will cost you about £10 (and nowhere near as good)

I put about 20 drops of Ammonia in the tank, left an hour, then tested the levels. From this I worked out how much 5ppm was, and put the rest in.

Test the Ammonia daily for a drop in levels (this is good as it means your Ammonia eating bacteria are developing). Keep the level of Ammonia around 5ppm, and you should notice that it drops from 5ppm to 0ppm within 24 hours.

Your Nitrites will also start to appear, and peak at >5ppm, these will take a while to get rid of . As before, keep feeding your tank Ammonia to keep your Ammonia eating bacteria alive.

A basic Nitrogen cycle looks like this.

Ammonia -> Nitrites -> Nitrates

Ammonia is basically fish waste, so when doing a fishless cycle, your mimicking that fish are actually in your tank, but without doing any damage to them & putting them through the nasty cycle time.

The Ammonia eating bacteria will turn the Ammonia to Nitrites, then Nitrite eating bacteria will develop & turn this to Nitrates.

Nitrates are a lot less harmful to your fish than the other two, and this is regulated by performing frequent water changes (keep this level <40ppm).

So in summary....

Feed your tank with some Ammonia (not too much - use a measuring tool or a pipette).

Leave an hour, then test.

Work out how much more you need to put in to get the level to 5ppm (it's around 50 drops for me, in a 70L tank).

Measure this Ammonia each day until you notice a drop, you should then test for Nitrites (as the "missing" ammonia should have been converted to Nitrite).

Top up your Ammonia.

Keep testing these two levels until your Nitrite level peaks (over 5ppm).

When this happens, cut your ammonia levels to around 3ppm, and test both daily until the day arrives when both Ammonia & Nitrite are converted to 0ppm within 24 hours - this means your cycle is complete http://www.tropicalfish.site5.com/ubb/smile.gif

Check your Nitrate levels, if above 40ppm, do a big water change (30-80%), to get these down.

If your not getting fish right away (say both turn to 0ppm on a Tuesday, and you wont get fish til the Saturday), keep adding the 3ppm of Ammonia to your tank until 24 hours before you put your fish in (this keeps all the bacteria alive).

If I've missed anything, I'm sure someone will comment - great bunch of people on here http://www.tropicalfish.site5.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

The good thing about a fishless cycle is that when complete, you can fully stock your tank, as all the bacteria are there from the start - if you only add a couple per week, the bacteria wont get the same amount of Ammonia you have been adding, so will die off to the level where it only needs to cope with 2 fish.

This may cause a "mini cycle" when you add more fish, as your bacteria will need to build up again



Either stay away from livebearers (Mollies, Guppies, Platy's etc) - or get one sex only. They have WAYYYYY too many fry, I was told that most of them would get eaten, but I have 100's of the little fish that I keep having to take to the fish shop !! The problem is that the bacteria cannot keep up with the amount of waste all the fish are producing, so the Nitrite levels rise, killing a load of the fish.....

I got a 70L tank to start out with (with stand, heater & filter), for £40 off Ebay - and I'm looking to go bigger already :)

Any questions, let me know, as it's all still fresh to starting out from new !
#32
Chris - good post.

One thing I would like to add is to make sure you get pure ammonia - no nice additives etc. Apparently you can tell by shaking the bottle - if there are bubbles or a 'head' then it is not pure. The additives could poison your fish when you add them

Chris - Have you given up on fish or just moving on? Noticed post ref giving away/selling fish on another thread.
#33
Good point - the one from Homebase I've mentioned above is perfect (especially for £1.99 lol) - some people will also say make sure it's not "perfumed" - DON'T SNIFF IT !!

Not given up mate, I just had tons of fry that I'm trying to get rid of lol

I am looking to upgrade though, I fancy a BIG tank with "proper" fish in it next ;-)
#34
ChrisUK
Good point - the one from Homebase I've mentioned above is perfect (especially for £1.99 lol) - some people will also say make sure it's not "perfumed" - DON'T SNIFF IT !!

Not given up mate, I just had tons of fry that I'm trying to get rid of lol

I am looking to upgrade though, I fancy a BIG tank with "proper" fish in it next ;-)


Did I post this earlier? That is exactly where I got my ammonia and I sniffed it like a dope - nearly took my bl**ding head off!!

Did I warn you in a previous post maybe?
#35
My Oh does the testing in bed...........
WATER testing im on about!


If u think ammonia smells bad, wait till you smeall the canister!! smells like yeast, its rank!
banned#36
#37
brought my fish tank now, its all set up wiv fish in now.

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