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Author Topic: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH  (Read 3527 times)
Hanna
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TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« on: December 25, 2010, 07:08:27 PM »

Hello everybody, Hello to all who are new and want to successfully keep fish.

As we face problems with some members keeping their fish healthy, I thought of a few things, I like to put on here:

When you are reading this, you already may have got a fish and a tank or -which is better -you plan to do so.

Planning and being patient are the two most important things to successful fishkeeping.

1. Planning:
Look around in your house / appartment where you intend to set up the tank.
Due to excess algae growth and temerature fluctuations please chose a place away from direct sunlight aircondition, window , but close to a power point.
Before you decide on the fish species you want to keep, make sure you get the proper tank size and it fits into the place you want to set it up.

Done all this? Bought the tank?  Then you are ready for

2.Setting up the tank
assemble the tank stand, place the tank on it.
Put gravel in it, enough to plant some live plants. Arrange the gravel like a slope, high at the back, lower at the front. Plant high plants in the background, smaller ones in the middle and if you like some ground coverage at the front. Pieces of rock or driftwood look very nice too.
Place filters, airstones, heaters, lights ( don't plug them in yet )
Fill the tank with water, best over a saucer so your newly scaped tank won't get destroyed, or with a hose, holding the end towards the glass.
Don't forget to add conditioner and beneficial bacteria, also test the pH. You want to adjust this one to be comfortable for your fish.
Now you can plug in the equipment.

What is conditioner?
It is a liquid to be added to tap water according to instructions to remove chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals, which are highly toxic to fish.

What is beneficial bacteria?
They are important microorganisms to aid in the Nitrogen Cycle. Ammonia is introduced to the tank with fish food and fish waste. The bacterium Nitrosomonas converts Ammonia ( highly toxic to fish ) into Nitrites ( stil very toxic to fish ) and the bacterium Nitrospira converts Nitrite into Nitrate ( in high concentrations toxic, but under 40ppm no danger for fish ) For more info please read up in "Articles" on this site.

To know where you're at in cycling your tank you MUST have a test kit for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH.
We recommend a liquid test, as the strips are not reliable.

It is recommended to do a fishless cycle, here is where patience kicks in.
Add fishfood to your newly set up tank and let the bacteria work. Add it daily as if you'd feed fish. Add bacteria daily for one week. The water will get cloudy. This are the bacteria to find their home.

Test the water every 2nd day.
First Ammonia will show up, Nitrites and Nitrates will be 0 ppm at the start.
After a while Ammonia will drop and Nitrites start to peak, Nitrates will be 0 ppm, your tank is in the middle of cycling.
When Ammonia and Nitrites drop and Nitrates peak your tank is nearly fully cycled.
A fully cycled tank has got Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrites 0ppm and Nitrates shouldn't be higher than 40ppm, ideally arround the 10-20ppm mark

All done? it can take a few weeks... Now you can go and get your darling fish and

3. Introducing your fish
Float the bag for at least 15 min.
Gently open the bag and let some tank water into it, for the fish to adapt to the tank water.
Slowly let the fish out, leave the lights turned off and let the fish adapt to his new home.
Don't be surprized if he hides for the first minutes or hours, depending how stressed he is after the journey.

Here another basic rule:
10 gal per goldfish is minimum ! Better 20 gal for the first goldfish and then add 10 more for every additional goldfish Got a smaller tank? Don't get goldfish, go for small tropical species or a Betta Splendens.

ALSO PLEASE EVERYBODY READ THE "ARTICLES" ON THIS SITE, ESPECIALLY (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

THANKS
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 01:54:20 AM by Hanna » Logged
OrandaLover
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2010, 07:41:08 PM »

Wow, Hanna, this is great! It'll definitely help any beginner aquarists or beginner goldfish keepers (i'm definitely a beginner goldfish keeper!)
and it'll definitely help the more experienced fish peeps too! Karma!
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Hanna
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2010, 07:50:52 PM »

Thanks, OrandaLover... well I started with fishkeeping only in March this year... I wish I had all this info beforehand... would have made things lots easier...so basically I'm a beginner too but I took it all serious what Minde and Nossie, Kat and Andrea told me when I started Wink And I read up a lot on other sites, googled, bought books....
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Mindemae
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2010, 07:52:34 PM »

YAY!  Another sticky please!!! Grin
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Hanna
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2010, 07:54:29 PM »

Thankies, please add if there is some more to add,
everybody feel free to do so Wink
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Andrea
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2010, 05:52:53 AM »

Great information Hanna Smiley People should also remember their tank may go through a mini-cycle once they add the fish and should keep an eye on water quality for that first week, water changes may be necessary Smiley Oh and remember not to add to many fish to a newly cycled tank, one at a time is best.
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Hanna
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 06:01:07 AM »

Yep, very good, missed that one Wink
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April
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2010, 12:16:07 AM »

This is fantastic!!! PLEASE MAKE STICKY  Grin

The one thing that has stuck with me having gone thru these steps of setting up a new appropriately sized tank is PATIENCE. Quite a few of you know how much I was anticipating 'the transfer' (my gosh it could be the title of a movie - it was that exciting for us).  With your continued encouragement and advice, it was worth the wait of almost 4 weeks. Following all the steps and faithfully adding the proper beneficial bacteria with water changes there has been no significant problems other than from the stress of the move itself for the big boy. He is 20% larger in just a month! It was worth every single bit of energy to set up this way!
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Nossie
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2010, 06:30:13 AM »

The reason why it's 20 gallons for the first goldfish is because the measurements of a 10 gallon would be too small for an adult goldfish to be comfortable. So if you have a larger tank for example 50 gallons, you can easily put 5 goldfish there and all of them would still be comfortable and have enough space.

By the way, it takes several hours for a fish to adjust to new water, so adding a cup of tank water into the bag when you've bought a fish and leave it there for half an hour is just a waste of time for all of you. Just stabilize the temperatures and the fish will adjust safely. Leave the tank lights off if possible the first 24 hours, and don't feed.

When it comes to goldfish keeping, you don't need a heater, but they're usually included when buying an aquarium package.
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Hanna
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2010, 06:20:07 PM »

Talking here about a general tank set up, not only for goldies. Therefore the heater. You also need one in case of certain treatments. Or temp fluctuations day/night depending where you live.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 07:13:47 PM by Hanna » Logged
Mindemae
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2010, 06:39:49 PM »

can I just say that most aquatic veterinarians specializing in Goldfish in particular recommend you keep your goldfish water constant and in the 70's F.  Being that goldfish are extremely messy and give off 75% of wastes (ammonia) through their gills, the higher degree water helps the beneficial bacteria growing in your tank and filter media abundant and ready to handle the extra ammonia.  Only 25% of goldfish waste is through excrement.
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Hanna
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2010, 06:54:52 PM »

Thank you Minde for supporting the heater issue.

Yes, I have a heater going in winter here, as days are about 20-25 cels but nights are freezing.
The heater set at a certain temp will keep it stable.

Karma for you.
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Mindemae
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2010, 07:06:54 PM »

well, I use to think you didn't need one either and I never kept one for my pond fish, but when I started collecting the fancier types, especially the orandas, well they just did better with a heater in their tank and so now everyone has a heater!! Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2010, 09:27:38 PM »

Wonderful post Hanna, I second the motion for a sticky! Very informative and helpful....karmahhhhh!

Just one thing I would add: When introducing a fish I personally never add water directly from the bag to the tank for fear of introducing disease....but perhaps that's just me.  Wink
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Mindemae
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2010, 09:49:48 PM »

I agree and I hate nets!  Nets are just stressful and abrasive!!  Can take the scales right off a fish that is stressed and struggles.  Just add a few drops of water condtioner to your hands and scoop up the fish with your hands right out of the bag!  Works much better! Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2010, 10:45:55 AM »

I got a heater with my tank, but I haven't installed it yet since the temp has stayed on 25 degrees Celsius the whole time and doesn't seem to fluctuate Smiley However, I am glad I have it, in case I'd ever need it.

I didn't know you meant general fish-keeping, but in that case, maybe it could be good to add that most fish need 2 liters/1cm fish body or 1 gallon/inch Smiley

I'd like to add that I am not using nets for any of my fish, I have a net just for having it, but it's too small to be "safe" for me. So I use it only to catch dead leaves when I don't want to get my hands wet Grin It also feels safer catching the fish with a wet hand than the net which could scratch off their slime coat when they struggle. (At least when it comes to goldfish Smiley)

It's a really good base article! For people that are interested Smiley They can always ask/find more detailed info if they'll need it while researching the type of fish they want Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2010, 06:07:39 PM »

The only purpose I use my net for is rearranging the gravel and plants. It's important to note when using your hands to hold the fish to keep your hands clean (as Minde said) and to keep a firm but not squeezing grip. I've had a fish jump out of my hands before but fortunately they landed in the tank!  Cheesy
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Hanna
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2010, 09:44:50 PM »

Thanks Nossie Wink
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Andrea
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2010, 12:59:05 AM »

Nossie: Do you have good heating in your house? How does your tank always stay at 25 degrees??

I also use a net to catch dead leaves or left over food, when I have to catch my fish I catch them in a small measuring cup.
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Nossie
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2010, 09:40:47 AM »

Hanna: Np! Wink

Andrea:Well, our apartment is pretty small, and.. it does seem that we have good heating! Grin It's pretty warm in here even if the old windows could use some... repairs?

Not to mention that my tank is really big, so it would take very, very long for the temperature to change since water is really bad at leading warmth/cold Smiley
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Summer Time
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2011, 11:04:36 AM »

This is a great post!  I have a question that I don't think was covered, during the fishless cycling, should I be doing water changes?
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Kathy55
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2011, 06:41:48 PM »

 ???I have a common goldfish approximatley 2 yrs old, grandson won at fair... anyway doing well have small 3.5 gal tank with filter, has grown almost doubled in size, healthy , but has lost all it's gold coloring and is now all white is this normal? If not what happened and can I get the gold color back?
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Summer Time
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2011, 08:56:35 PM »

You should start a new topic, and if you search this forum using the SEARCH button, you will find many posts related to size of tank.

To answer your questions, one goldfish should have a minimum of a 20 gallon tank, as they can grow very large.

As for color, goldfish will lose their color if they don't get enough light. 

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Nossie
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2011, 04:13:14 AM »

They would also lose their pigments if they're fed an inaccurate diet.
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Summer Time
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2011, 07:44:36 AM »

This is a question I posted earlier but I think it got missed. Should I do any water changes during fishless cycling of a new tank?
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Andrea
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2011, 09:41:07 PM »

I did one, not sure if it is necessary.
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Nossie
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2011, 03:19:17 PM »

The bacteria will need oxygen, so changing the water is always a good idea Tongue Besides, it feels a bit like that would get the tank used to your maintenance somehow, doesn't it? Cheesy
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Summer Time
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2011, 05:46:44 PM »

I guess the bacteria would get used to my water changing style   Smiley

Since I wasn't sure, I didn't do any during the fishless cycling and it worked out very well.  But my tank cycled very quickly.

Maybe if you're starting a new tank from scratch, it would be more important to do water changes.
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Nossie
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Re: TANK REQIREMENTS AND WHAT TO DO BEFORE ADDING FISH
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2011, 09:36:44 AM »

Maybe, maybe. I added a few of my fish to the tank after about 3 days, and then I changed a small amount of the water every now and then according to the tests.
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graciegrace
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Oh no I should have read this a few days ago!
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2011, 08:23:16 PM »

oh darn, I should have read this before!  Now I have a 12 gallon with 4 fancy goldfish in a brand new fish tank day 4.  The water was slightly cloudy today and my poor fish were listless.  I made a 25% water change and they seem better.  Now that I've gotten myself in this mess, can anyone give me any advice on how I can help my poor fish survive the next few weeks?  I've added Stress Zyme which the pet  store told me I could do so I can add fish right away.  The directions say to add once a week but should I add more?  And what about the water change?  Help!
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