Hello! I am new here

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Hello! I am new here

Postby angel » 2011-01-23 20:47

Just started my aquarium beginning this month. Looking for a place to get info as I go along since this is the first time I have ever had fish.
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Re: Hello! I am new here

Postby KittyKat » 2011-01-27 10:36

Hi and welcome! It is always good seeing people seek information..

The first thing to consider is the nitrogen cycle: the conversion of toxic ammonia to slightly less toxic nitrite to non-toxic nitrate. In aquaria, this is commonly referred to as a "cycle". The filter is the place where the bacteria responsible for this live. When you get a new filter, it is empty of bacteria and they must be grown.. there are a number of ways to do this:
  • Fish-less cycling: when the filter is cycled by adding ammonia to the aquarium in quantities of below 5ppm for 4-6 weeks while the bacteria grow. At the end of this type of cycle, the full stock can be added in one go. This is considered to be the best method.
  • Fish-in cycling: this is where live fish are used as a source of ammonia. Because ammonia is very toxic, this method requires that continuous waterchanges are performed on the tank to keep ammonia below 0.5ppm or the fish will be harmed (and could even die). Usually, this method requires daily waterchanges of at least 50%.
  • Silent cycle: this is a more complex method which is not recommended for beginners, it involves heavily planting the tank and slow stocking.
Apart from cycling, or to aid cycling, a filter may be "seeded". This means that media (sponges, etc) are taken from a mature set-up and added to a new filter.
Unfortunately, most retailers are either not aware of cycling and how it works, or consciously choose to ignore it in order to make a higher profit. If the cycle is ignored, it is common for the fish to keep continuously dieing for the first few months.

Next is the stocking: again, it is common for beginners to receive bad advice from retailers, so the most important rule here is to do your own research and double check everything you are told. When stocking, you have to take into consideration the sort of environment and water parameters the fish prefer, whether they are schooling, live in pairs or on their own, aggression levels, adult size, diet.. just to name a few! One of the best ways to stock is to pick your favorite fish out of all which are suitable for the tank, and then work around it.

Some of the basic equipment all new fishkeepers should have includes liquid water tests (for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and hardness), dechlorinator/dechloraminator, two or more different sized nets, bucket/hose for waterchanges, medication against fin rot/fungus and whitespot, timer for lights..

It is very important to perform regular maintenance on your aquarium, so that your fish remain healthy. This generally consists of 10-20% waterchange with dechlorinated and dechloraminated water, washing the filter media in old tank water (which you remove during waterchanges), vacuuming of the substrate (sand/gravel) with a syphon. It is very important to keep the water quality good as it is the most common cause for problems.

Feeding should be limited as overfeeding can cause problems. For example, once or twice per day, as much as the fish can consume in 30-60 seconds is good, with one day per week without any food.

The best way for me to advise you, angel, is if you tell me a bit more about your set up..
Kat
stock list | main display tank | 60 litre cycle log (aka, guide for beginners) | Flickr
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Re: Hello! I am new here

Postby valemont » 2018-06-13 02:45

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