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Old 11-02-2020, 06:07 AM
Location: EULESS
19 posts, read 18,343 times
Reputation: 43


Hello hoping for some answers here.

Late last week I got a 40 gallon tank from the pet store. Was told to set it up, go back in a week with a sample of water for them to test, and then I can buy the fish. Is that normally how it's done?

Now, what area in the house is the best place for the fishtank? I put it in the kitchen, 5 feet away from the oven.

Which fish are more comfortable with people and noise? Which type of fish are less maintenance? How many fish are best to start with? Is it best to get all one gender?

Its just me, my husband and 2 young children.

We have 2 cats so we aren't new to owning pets.

Hopefully some here can help.
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Old 11-02-2020, 11:36 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,550 posts, read 81,117,303 times
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I'm no expert but have had many fish in various aquariums over the years. Currently I have 10 goldfish (about 6-7") in our pond outside, and 7 Neon Tetras in the aquarium.

My comments:

What they suggested is good advice, to make sure there isn't too much chlorine or other chemicals in the water.

Place it where it gets no sun though a window, that will cause more algae. I would put it where you can see it easily, kitchen is OK of not near the stove.

I would start with fish that are cheap, since as a newbie you may lose some. Goldfish require no heater, and live a long time but they produce a lot of waste and the water needs changing more often than small tropicals. Glofish (Tetra, Barbs and others) are very popular now, but due to the genetic modification and inbreeding they tend to have problems.

You need to ask about compatibility, some fish get along better than others. You could do a mix of different tetras or barbs, but not both, the barbs will nip at the tetra fins.

In most cases the pet store person will not know the gender.
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:47 PM
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5 ft away from the oven may not be enough if you are roasting a Turkey
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Old 12-13-2020, 05:25 PM
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Ditto on the cheap fish. Expect losses as you grow in knowledge.

I wouldn't have the tank in the kitchen. Aside from heat variations from appliances, grease travels as well as toxins. If you have an idea to set it on a counter, water weighs 8lbs/gal. Throw in the weight of gravel as well.

Keep in mind that pet stores are in the business of selling pets and supplies. The more, the better. You probably won't hear bad stuff from them. If you are seriously-serious about keeping fish, see if there is an actual fish store close to you. They want to sell fish as well, but will probably be more knowledgeable.

Educate yourself about water. I was a fish nut as a kid, took up the hobby again in middle age, and had a "WTF?" reaction to how hard it seemed to be to keep fish alive. What I didn't realize is that city/town water has changed from decades ago. Once, all you had to do was plop tablets/drops in the water to get rid of chlorine, stir it around, add fish. Now, ammonia is added to water, creating chloramines, which is harder to get rid of. It's actually not that good for people, either, but deadly to fish. I ended up buying a Berkey. Clean water for us, water that I don't have to manipulate chemically to make it safe for fish. I take water straight from the Berkey, put it in the tank, make sure the temperature is correct, throw in fish and we all lively happily in a chemical-free environment.
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Old 12-13-2020, 05:37 PM
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,337 posts, read 60,522,810 times
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As to "buying the fish":

The urge is going to be to buy a whole bunch. Don't. If you do you'll end up losing most if not all of them.

Start small, maybe 3 or 4 Cory cats or a handful of the previously mentioned tetras (although some of them can be finicky). The reason you do this is to set up the nitrogen cycle in the tank.


This one pushes a couple products but overall is easily understood and informative:


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