Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Fish
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-18-2010, 12:05 PM
 
Location: East Valley, AZ
3,849 posts, read 9,423,988 times
Reputation: 4021

Advertisements

I promise I searched for a thread like this one. There were 18 results, but nothing related...

I want to start an aquarium! But, I am completely clueless when it comes to fish, tanks, filters, food, etc. I need your help!

The varities of fish I can research on my own, so my questions are: where do I start?

I want a small tank, just a few gallons to start. Is something like this OK to start with? Tetra Water Wonders 1.5 Gallon Aquarium Kit - eBay (item 250581856139 end time Feb-21-10 14:20:50 PST)

What kind of filter should I look for? Under gravel, or...??

I'm looking exclusively for fresh water fish, maybe an algae eater and some African dwarf frogs after the fish have settled if that helps determine what type of tank/filter, etc I need.

Thanks for the help!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-18-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: California
10,090 posts, read 42,420,868 times
Reputation: 22175
Hi MA! Seriously, don't waste your money on 1.5 gal tank. You'll want a larger one in no time. Start with at a 3 gal. With the 1....you can only put 2 fish in...why bother? I have a 6 with a Male Betta, 1 huge honkin algae eater who won't quit growing and 2 neon tetras.
You can buy pkg. deals....cheapest is to hit Walmart!

I suggest you do stay with fresh water...Chris has a 100+ salt...and I swear you need to be a chemist to regulate it! Can be very expensive if you screw up!
Look for community fish when you do get to that point...fish that will thrive with others. Get a "nipper" and all your tails will be frayed (or worse)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2010, 12:46 PM
 
Location: East Valley, AZ
3,849 posts, read 9,423,988 times
Reputation: 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGirl1 View Post
Hi MA! Seriously, don't waste your money on 1.5 gal tank. You'll want a larger one in no time. Start with at a 3 gal. With the 1....you can only put 2 fish in...why bother? I have a 6 with a Male Betta, 1 huge honkin algae eater who won't quit growing and 2 neon tetras.
You can buy pkg. deals....cheapest is to hit Walmart!

I suggest you do stay with fresh water...Chris has a 100+ salt...and I swear you need to be a chemist to regulate it! Can be very expensive if you screw up!
Look for community fish when you do get to that point...fish that will thrive with others. Get a "nipper" and all your tails will be frayed (or worse)
So I can just purchase some generic kit I find at Walmart? That's what I was planning on doing, but I wasn't sure what type of filter/food, etc I need.

I've had a few Betta's before (I don't have a very good track record in terms of their life span ), and African dwarf frogs as a kid.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
725 posts, read 3,014,631 times
Reputation: 601
You will first need to decide what kind of fish you want in your tank. A lot of people don't realize that fish GROW and a 1.5 gallon tank is small for any kind of fish, save for maybe a betta.

With a small tank, you should be fine with tropical fish (guppies, mollies --- though they multiply quickly... danios... tetras, etc) in a smaller tank, probably 5-10 gallons. They typically stay their small size.

Coldwater fish like Goldfish (which I have in my tank) can grow to be the size of your fist and larger and I would recommend getting something at least 20 gallons+. I started off with 5 gallons, realized it was too small, moved up to 16 gallons, and then moved up to 46 gallons.

You also have to be careful of what kind of fish you get when you "mix and match" so to speak. There are community fish (which means they are not aggressive) like goldfish, cory catfish, mollies, guppies, etc. Then there are semi-aggressive and there's also aggressive fish (cichlids) which you should never throw in the same tank with community fish. In theory, bettas are never supposed to be in the same tank with another betta, however I have seen them co-exist with other types of fish like tetras. These will all be labeled at Petsmart or PetCo.

As far as algae eaters, if you get a pleco, they have been known to be aggressive toward golfish because of the goldfish' slimey coat (the pleco will attach itself and eat the goldfish), but this is also true for Chinese Algae Eaters. If you truly want a "community" friendly algae eater I would suggest getting an Oto (Otocinclus) which is smaller and looks like an algae eater, and it does the same job.

There are all-in-one type tanks, which I recommend getting. Most of these are made by Marineland I believe. These usually have a filter, filter pad, and bio-wheel. A biowheel helps with the "good" bacteria in the tank. Also, depending on what type of fish you will be getting, and how cold it gets where you are, you might want to invest in a tank heater. This is typically recommended for tropicals and not coldwater fish, but I think it's all propaganda.

When you set up your tank, you will need to let it cycle for 24-48 hours before you can add fish. By "cycling" your tank I mean you need to treat the water with water treatment to get rid of all the harmful chemicals like chlorine, chloramine, etc in tap water.

I could go on, but I'll wait to see if you have anymore questions. If you haven't noticed, my forte is with goldfish
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: California
10,090 posts, read 42,420,868 times
Reputation: 22175
I have the Eclipse 6...Marineland...all in one....but have replaced the filter once for a better model. You can find it cheaper...but here it is on Amazon
Amazon.com: eclipse 6 aquarium

I bought it on-line through WalMart, but I don't see it listed there anymore.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2010, 01:00 PM
 
Location: East Valley, AZ
3,849 posts, read 9,423,988 times
Reputation: 4021
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0nginmyheart View Post
You will first need to decide what kind of fish you want in your tank. A lot of people don't realize that fish GROW and a 1.5 gallon tank is small for any kind of fish, save for maybe a betta.

With a small tank, you should be fine with tropical fish (guppies, mollies --- though they multiply quickly... danios... tetras, etc) in a smaller tank, probably 5-10 gallons. They typically stay their small size.

Coldwater fish like Goldfish (which I have in my tank) can grow to be the size of your fist and larger and I would recommend getting something at least 20 gallons+. I started off with 5 gallons, realized it was too small, moved up to 16 gallons, and then moved up to 46 gallons.

You also have to be careful of what kind of fish you get when you "mix and match" so to speak. There are community fish (which means they are not aggressive) like goldfish, cory catfish, mollies, guppies, etc. Then there are semi-aggressive and there's also aggressive fish (cichlids) which you should never throw in the same tank with community fish. In theory, bettas are never supposed to be in the same tank with another betta, however I have seen them co-exist with other types of fish like tetras. These will all be labeled at Petsmart or PetCo.

As far as algae eaters, if you get a pleco, they have been known to be aggressive toward golfish because of the goldfish' slimey coat (the pleco will attach itself and eat the goldfish), but this is also true for Chinese Algae Eaters. If you truly want a "community" friendly algae eater I would suggest getting an Oto (Otocinclus) which is smaller and looks like an algae eater, and it does the same job.

There are all-in-one type tanks, which I recommend getting. Most of these are made by Marineland I believe. These usually have a filter, filter pad, and bio-wheel. A biowheel helps with the "good" bacteria in the tank. Also, depending on what type of fish you will be getting, and how cold it gets where you are, you might want to invest in a tank heater. This is typically recommended for tropicals and not coldwater fish, but I think it's all propaganda.

When you set up your tank, you will need to let it cycle for 24-48 hours before you can add fish. By "cycling" your tank I mean you need to treat the water with water treatment to get rid of all the harmful chemicals like chlorine, chloramine, etc in tap water.

I could go on, but I'll wait to see if you have anymore questions. If you haven't noticed, my forte is with goldfish
My questions right now are equipment related. As I buy the things I need, I'll come out with the fish questions and definitely be coming to you!

I think I'm a little overwhelmed with how complicated I think having a fish tank is. I just remember my brother having one when I was a kid and all the things he used to do to maintain it. I need to just go to the store and look at one, talk to an associate, and as a lot of questions on here!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2010, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
725 posts, read 3,014,631 times
Reputation: 601
ShelbyGirl, I started off with the Marineland Hex 5 tank, then my ex-bf also had the Marineland Eclipse 12 and has since downgraded to the Eclipse 3. I agree the filters could be stronger. But in my 46g tank I put in a Marineland Penguin filter good for a 76 gallon tank (or something) and it works fine.

Also someone had asked me if goldfish need a tank heater (sorry, I don't know how to reply to their rep comment), but the general answer is no. Goldfish are coldwater fish which means they like colder temperatures more (I would say between 60-65 degrees), while tropical fish should be around 70 degrees... I did have a tank heater anyway, and back at home the tank would get really cold in the mornings so I use it then... I think this also simulates goldfish' natural breeding parameters, which helps them spawn... and in my case, they did
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
725 posts, read 3,014,631 times
Reputation: 601
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAtheBanker View Post
My questions right now are equipment related. As I buy the things I need, I'll come out with the fish questions and definitely be coming to you!

I think I'm a little overwhelmed with how complicated I think having a fish tank is. I just remember my brother having one when I was a kid and all the things he used to do to maintain it. I need to just go to the store and look at one, talk to an associate, and as a lot of questions on here!
Sorry if it sounds a little overwhelming. I'm just trying to help. In my case, I often had to learn the hard way (tank was too small, fish don't get along, filter isn't strong enough, etc). But keeping a freshwater tank has been pretty simple once you get everything set up. Look into getting an all-in-one type tank and that really reduces a lot of the worries
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: NE San Antonio
1,642 posts, read 4,094,021 times
Reputation: 1466
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAtheBanker View Post
I promise I searched for a thread like this one. There were 18 results, but nothing related...

I want to start an aquarium! But, I am completely clueless when it comes to fish, tanks, filters, food, etc. I need your help!

The varities of fish I can research on my own, so my questions are: where do I start?

I want a small tank, just a few gallons to start. Is something like this OK to start with? Tetra Water Wonders 1.5 Gallon Aquarium Kit - eBay (item 250581856139 end time Feb-21-10 14:20:50 PST)

What kind of filter should I look for? Under gravel, or...??

I'm looking exclusively for fresh water fish, maybe an algae eater and some African dwarf frogs after the fish have settled if that helps determine what type of tank/filter, etc I need.

Thanks for the help!
Hi! Here's my 2 cents

But the largest tank you can afford, even a 10 gallon is too small for most people's purposes. A 15-20 gal is a little better, and wide is better than tall.

There are a lot of thoughts on fiter types, but I still prefer the undergravel filter for smaller or non-digging fish.. It works like a natural septic tank, so it will not work at full capacity until about 6 weeks after you add the first fish (start with only a couple, add more after that time). Once the filter has established itself, it requires little maintainence. Use a wide mouth gravel siphon to change about 30% of the water every 2-4 weeks for best results.

When looking for your tank, call around to the pet stores in your area, you may find some cheaper than other. Also check your newspaper/Craigslist, tanks are often something that people have to get rid of in a hurry. Years ago, I got a 125 gal with the works for $100 from a guy who had to move.

Avoid Chinese algae eaters! They are the worst, and they get mean
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2010, 02:34 PM
 
5,064 posts, read 15,900,631 times
Reputation: 3577
I agree that a 1.5 gallon tank isn't large enough, not even for a betta. Most people will agree that bettas need a minimum of 2.5 gallons, a 1.5 isn't ideal but God knows it's better than a bowl. Be sure to research any fish you buy BEFORE you buy-in other words, don't listen to what the pet store will tell you, because most of the time they will give you incorrect information. They just want to sell fish/don't care. For instance, pet stores love to sell plecos, and the common pleco will reach 2' long!! That's feet, not inches! I have an albino bristlenose pleco in my 29 gallon tank, but they only reach 5" in length. Still, he requires a larger tank than what you are looking for. If you get some kind of algae eater, be sure to research first how large they get, and many do best in schools, not alone. Plus, in a new tank especially, you won't have algae, so you would need to supplement their diet with sinking algae wafers, parboiled zucchini; you can research that as well, if you decide on a specific fish. And most Walmarts tend to have sickly, diseased fish. When buying fish, make sure all the fish in the tank look alert and healthy. And if you do get a goldfish, be sure not to get a Comet, as they reach over 12" in length. Plus, goldfish are coldwater fish, so you have to be careful about mixing them with most tropical fish that require warm water. Research, research, research. I gave you a helpful link in a reputation point, hopefully you can find some additional answers to your many questions. I've had fish most of my life (I'm in my 40's) and currently have four fish tanks and a goldfish pond outside. As long as you properly cycle a tank before adding fish (so the tank will have the proper good bacteria necessary for healthy fish), and you choose the right tank, accessories, healthy fish, and do at least weekly partial water changes, you will be off to a good start.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Fish
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top