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Author Topic: New tank for newbie  (Read 928 times)
Fishy Jeff
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New tank for newbie
« on: September 04, 2011, 11:41:34 PM »

  Since I put in my goldfish pond my girlfriend has wanted an aquarium of her own.

  I'm thinking of a kit of some kind. Any recommendations for brands and setups? Or at least what to stay away from...  What about the curved fronts. I think she can fit in a 29, which seems to be on the bottom end of useful for something more than bettas!

  I'd like to get this started in a week and then let the tank cycle before adding fish. I don't see this being a goldfish tank due to it's small  size, unless there are some small slow goldfish that would be suitable. My limited experience has been in ponds and I  see that the commons and the like need some room to stretch out their fins. As I understand it, 29 gallons is only enough room for two goldfish and what kind of a party could two goldfish have on their own? Now 3 or 4 fish seems like a more social setup.

  I was at a Walmart today and there was a guy holding a 1.5 gallon tank looking to buy a shubunkin. I had to disabuse him of that notion even temporarily!

  Fishy Jeff



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Dragonii
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 12:04:58 AM »

Usually the "kits" are all low end stuff. You would do better piecing together your own set up. May cost a few dollars more, but it will be cheaper in the long run. You will eventual realize that the filter they give you is junk and you will have to buy a new one, then the heater, then the light and so on.
As for tank brands, Aqueon and Marineland are common and both good quality. Oceanic is top of the line. Just buy something from a trustworthy source.
Filters... 30 gallons and under, hang on power filters are fine. 30 gallons and larger, canister filters.
Hang on power filter brands, I have always liked Aqua Clear and this is why. If you buy a refillable media bag you will only have to buy carbon in bulk containers. Most other filters now require that you buy their refills and that can cost a lot in the long run.
They have huge sponges that act as bio filters. Just remember to always clean it in old tank water as tap water will kill the bacteria.
Canister filters... dollar for dollar... get Aquatop. You can find them on Amazon cheap. I have one and it works well. Plus they have UV sterilizers.  Smiley
Most canisters are pretty good, just avoid the Fluval 5 series (205, 305, 495), they have too much water bypass in their design.

Heater, go submersible. Those cheap hang on heaters never last.

The only "kits" that I would recommend would be Marineland kits like these. Marineland is pretty good quality and they use bio-wheel filters.
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Nossie
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 01:10:23 AM »

...and on the other hand, there are many people here who don't like the bio-whee filters that Dragonii recommended at all Wink
It's simply up to you! But I do agree with him/her (sorry, don't know which!) by all means!
When I bought my tank, I supposedly got a free filter with it... now this filter is something I hanged on my 10 gallon for a couple of weeks, and it could barely handle that Grin For some reason it said it should be for 300 liters and up?! It was small as a pencil case!!
I figured that out from the start though, so I quickly got two stronger filters for the tank the very same day I saw this one...

I'd go for a 30 gallon, you could fit 3 fancy goldfish (fantails, ryukins, pearl scales or moors) into a 29 gallon too, that's just 1 gallon less than ideal and as long as she'd be keeping up the weekly 50% water changes, and letting the tank cycle properly + introducing one fish at a time with a few weeks in between, it should be just fine imo Smiley It's a pretty good starter size! Not too small, and not a monster, either Wink
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Fishy Jeff
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 11:13:27 AM »

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...

The only "kits" that I would recommend would be Marineland kits like these. Marineland is pretty good quality and they use bio-wheel filters.
fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=22735&cmpid=03csegb&ref=3312&subref=AA&CAWELAID=974139954




We stopped at Petsmart last night and looked at a 29 Marineland, so that is good. The salesgirl had a much lower opinion of the the Aqueon. It (the Marineland) advertised day/night lighting. I'm not sure if Marineland makes more than one line of 29 tanks.

I'm confused about the water changes. How do you change out 10 gallons of water or so every week? I have some memory of a friend changing water in her 8' long tank. Had a hose running to the sink. How does this work with chlorine/chloramine treatment and temperature differences? I can not see her with 15 1 gallon jugs. My rough understanding is that the water changes are to reduce nitrates and the filter takes care of ammonia and nitrites.

I would think with goldfish the water changes would be less critical, but more often and larger than with tropical as goldfish are more tolerant of temperature and PH, but produce more waste.

I like Nossie's idea of 3 fancy goldfish, but it may be cichlids or something easy like tetras.

Fishy Jeff
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Nossie
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 12:36:25 PM »

I'd say live bearers are better novice fish Smiley They're very hardy, and it's always fun if they go and make some children Wink Those that grow up can always be brought to the pet shop Smiley Gouramis are good, friendly fish too and usually strong and hardy. They come in many gorgeous varieties and colors, but it's always good to do some research on the gouramis since some are hostile and territorial, and should only be kept as a pair (boy and girl) or just single Smiley

When it comes to goldfish, the water changes can be even more crucial than with tropical fish considering the amount of waste goldfish produce! The ideal would be changing out roughly 50% twice a week, no matter the size of the system Grin But the more useful and practical way is to change 50% or more every week, depending of course on how fast the nitrates build up Smiley (The more you change, and the more often, the less the water quality changes so the fish won't be shocked, on the contrary to common belief.)

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Dragonii
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 06:08:49 PM »

As Nossie said, water changes are even more critical with goldfish, as is biological filtration.
Goldfish are the only fish that do not have a stomach, and therefore they eat more often. Smaller amounts, but more often. They also have a high metabolism and people tend to feed them too much... this all leads to... water changes!
Invest in a water change system. it will make your life easier.
[image]


Yes Nossie, some people don't like bio wheels. Most of them don't know how to use them or don't understand them. lol
I saw it all the time working in the pet shops. "the wheel got all nasty so I cleaned it and my fish died", "the wheel turned nice and smooth when I first got it but it is jumpy now"... I have used them before and they are a brilliant design. They house so much bacteria in such a small place and do very well with oxygenating the water as well. My two complaints about them, they are noisy and they evaporate water quicker.

My chosen method of filtration is canister filters. Quite, efficient, out of sight...
I have two on my 150 in my living room and my laptop makes more noise than my tank does.

And by the way Nossie... it's him.
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Dragonii
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 06:24:26 PM »

Oh, and as for Aqeuon vs Marineland... let's see how much your Petco salesperson really knows.

Marineland is considered to be pretty good quality, but the Cadillac of aquarium brands is Oceanic.

Aqueon used to called All Glass, until they got bought by Oceanic that is.
Oceanic still makes the higher quality tanks labeled as "Oceanic" but there is nothing wrong with Aqueon. What causes the big difference in price is the fact that high end tanks use a clearer glass, it has less of a blue hue to it. But I have a 150 Aqueon and the glass is perfectly clear as far as I can see. You would need scientific light meters to tell a difference.
And by the way, Perfecto tanks are actually owned by Marineland. Same thing, one is slightly higher quality than the other.

Here is their website if you want to check it out.
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Fishy Jeff
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 08:17:48 PM »

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As Nossie said, water changes are even more critical with goldfish, as is biological filtration.
Goldfish are the only fish that do not have a stomach, and therefore they eat more often. Smaller amounts, but more often. They also have a high metabolism and people tend to feed them too much... this all leads to... water changes!
Invest in a water change system. it will make your life easier.<snip>


Thanks, I did not know that.

The no stomach part isn't just for goldfish:

Fish stomachs may be classified into four general configurations. These include (a) a straight stomach with an enlarged lumen, as in Esox, (b) a U-shaped stomach with enlarged lumen as in Salmo, Coregonus, Clupea, (c) a stomach shaped like a Y on its side, i.e., the stem of the Y forms a caudally-directed caecum, as in Alosa, Anguilla, the true cods, and ocean perch, and (d) the absence of a stomach as in cyprinids, gobidids, cyprinodonts gobies, blennies, scarids and many others, some families of which only one genus lacks a stomach.

fao.org/docrep/X5738E/x5738e02.htm

The particular advantage of any configuration seems to rest primarily with the stomach having a shape convenient for containing food in the shape in which it is ingested. Fish which eat mud or other small particles more or less continuously have need for only a small stomach, if any at all. The Y-shaped stomach, at the other extreme, seems particularly suited for holding large prey and can readily stretch posteriorly as needed with little disturbance to the attachments of mesenteries or other organs. Regardless of configuration, all stomachs probably function similarly by producing hydrochloric acid and the enzyme, pepsin.

Which fits in with what you were saying.

I find goldfish fascinating,  the goldfish social structure and the shoaling in particular. I don't think my girlfriend cares about that!

I'm "down" with the bio-wheel and the water changer though. I think we'll get the tank next weekend... Thanks.

Fishy Jeff
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Fishy Jeff
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 08:38:35 PM »

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I'd say live bearers are better novice fish Smiley They're very hardy, and it's always fun if they go and make some children Wink Those that grow up can always be brought to the pet shop Smiley Gouramis are good, friendly fish too and usually strong and hardy. They come in many gorgeous varieties and colors, but it's always good to do some research on the gouramis since some are hostile and territorial, and should only be kept as a pair (boy and girl) or just single Smiley
<snip>


OK. I like this. But as you say I see some, if not a lot, of research is in order. It  looks like some gouramis are much more aggressive than others.

What is with gravel? As near as I can tell it's a crap catcher. Can I put down some slate or something else or nothing, and call it a day?

Years ago, I had the usual assortment of neons and mollies and probably an angel fish. She had a betta. So, you can see we are not well prepared!

I'm crazy about the pond, and so are my neighbors and friends. It's been raining, so I'm looking forward to having it full.  A couple days ago one of the cats went down for a drink and all the fish came over to look her over. Goldfish are inquisitive. I think they must be amazed that something can live outside the water.

Fishy Jeff
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Dragonii
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 10:03:48 PM »

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I'd say live bearers are better novice fish Smiley They're very hardy, and it's always fun if they go and make some children Wink Those that grow up can always be brought to the pet shop Smiley Gouramis are good, friendly fish too and usually strong and hardy. They come in many gorgeous varieties and colors, but it's always good to do some research on the gouramis since some are hostile and territorial, and should only be kept as a pair (boy and girl) or just single Smiley
<snip>


OK. I like this. But as you say I see some, if not a lot, of research is in order. It  looks like some gouramis are much more aggressive than others.

What is with gravel? As near as I can tell it's a crap catcher. Can I put down some slate or something else or nothing, and call it a day?

Years ago, I had the usual assortment of neons and mollies and probably an angel fish. She had a betta. So, you can see we are not well prepared!

I'm crazy about the pond, and so are my neighbors and friends. It's been raining, so I'm looking forward to having it full.  A couple days ago one of the cats went down for a drink and all the fish came over to look her over. Goldfish are inquisitive. I think they must be amazed that something can live outside the water.

Fishy Jeff

Slate may not a good idea, stuff will get under it and you won't be able to get it out easily. Gravel does catch stuff, but it is easy to vacuum. I usually get the cheap stuff at home depot and just clean it good. For most of my tanks I use sand, not too sure how well sand would work for goldfish though.
I have swimming pool filter sand in my cichlid tank. They like to dig in it. You have to make sure that the filter intakes aren't too close to it or they will suck some in and tear up the impellers.

Best bet for goldfish, pea gravel from Home Depot.
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Nossie
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2011, 01:56:21 AM »

Dragonii: I had a feeling you'd be a guy! Grin

In any case, Goldfish should not be housed with sand, it would get stuck in their digestive tract and "tear up the impellers" Wink
So pea gravel, yes. It's easy in general to keep gravel clean, so go for some normal size one if you're not going for goldfish Smiley
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Dragonii
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 08:08:36 AM »

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Dragonii: I had a feeling you'd be a guy! Grin

In any case, Goldfish should not be housed with sand, it would get stuck in their digestive tract and "tear up the impellers" Wink
So pea gravel, yes. It's easy in general to keep gravel clean, so go for some normal size one if you're not going for goldfish Smiley

[/quote
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Dragonii: I had a feeling you'd be a guy! Grin

In any case, Goldfish should not be housed with sand, it would get stuck in their digestive tract and "tear up the impellers" Wink
So pea gravel, yes. It's easy in general to keep gravel clean, so go for some normal size one if you're not going for goldfish Smiley


You had a feeling, I wonder why.

It's a shame that sand and goldfish don't mix. I love sand. So easy to clean and so natural looking.
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Nossie
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 01:57:30 PM »

True... sand makes such a special and beachy look Smiley
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fantailer
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2011, 03:48:34 PM »

Goldie Beach
Warning: please don't eat the sand!   Cheesy
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Ron H
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Re: New tank for newbie
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 06:52:26 AM »

fantailer has cracked me up again, I am PMSL ...  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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