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Journey into keeping fish

Discussion in 'New Aquarium Advice' started by MrCoolxx, May 31, 2018.

  1. MrCoolxx

    MrCoolxx PetForums Newbie

    May 31, 2018
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    Not bought a tank yet was thinking of goldfish but after reading post on here regarding sizes of tanks required. I'm losing faith in the idea. What size of tank would I need to keep Betts Fish ? And how many could I keep ?
  2. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

    Sep 22, 2012
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    It's great that you're researching first! Yes, goldfish are big waste producers and can grow to over a foot in length, so they need big tanks.

    A betta can be kept in a relatively small tank compared to most fish, but you should still get a minimum tank size of 25-30L for one. You should never keep more than one male betta per tank as they'll fight. Some people successfully mix them with other peaceful fish such as corys, but it can be a bit hit and miss, so generally the advice is to keep just one betta on its own. A group of females can be kept in a larger community tank, however.

    If you want more than one fish, consider getting a tank of between 60 and 100L. You can then keep a wide variety of small tropical. Platys, for example, are a great alternative to goldfish, and can be mixed with many other tropical species.

    Do let us know what you decide! :)
    Picklelily, magpie and kittih like this.
  3. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Jan 19, 2014
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    I echo @NaomiM 's post and think it is great that you are researching first. Goldfish are big messy fish and even fancies need a large tank. If you want to start of with something smaller that s a sensible move. Always remember though that getting the biggest tank you can afford and have space for is a good idea as larger water volumes are easier to keep stable than smaller ones.

    I am not experienced in Betta fish so will leave others to give advice on those. Tropicals are easy to keep and there is a huge range to chose from. The addition of a heater doesn't make fishkeeping any more complicated than cold water fish and the costs of the heater are minimal inside a normally heated house.

    These days there is a huge variety of small fish species such as endlers, micro rasboras etc, In a 60l tank you could set up a lovely community tank with some groups of these smaller inhabitants and perhaps some smaller shrimp like cherry shrimp. In a larger tank say 90 to 100 l you could chose some of the more standard sized tropicals. Cherry barbs, corydorus, some of the more peaceful smaller tetra species and a couple of centre piece fish like small cichlids would work well.

    The first thing to do is to work out you water parameters, get a test kit (liquid ones are more accurate and something like the api master test kit is a good investment) and measure the water that comes out of your tap after it has been sitting for 30 mins or so. You need to be looking at pH and water hardness. Most bread and butter ie commonly sold fish species in pet shops are acclimatised to local water conditions but it is still a good idea to buy fish that are happiest in your water conditions as they will thrive and maybe even breed and their colours will be stronger.

    Next look at what size of tank you have and water your filter capacity is ie how much water the filter can turn over. Some tanks come with tiny filters so although in principle they may look like they could house lots of fish they in fact can support very little. A bigger filter is always better than a smaller one. I use two external tetra tec filters on my 200l tank. It is overkill really but the additional filter capacity gives me peace of mind that the bacteria can grow if necessary. You don't need to use external filters but you do need to be mindful of how many fish the filter you get could support. Ones with lots of space for filter media are always best.

    Once you know how much space you have and what water conditions you can start looking at fish. If you decide to go for a tropical community set up then it is generally advisable to get fish that will swim in the bottom, middle and top layers of the tank. That way you will have groups of fish giving interest in all areas and they wont compete for space/territory. Look at the position of the mouth to give an idea of preferred position. Downward pointing means bottom dweller, forward pointing mid level and upward pointing in the upper layer.

    Check how big the fish will grow and whether they like to be in shoals of their own kind. Those that like to shoal generally like to be with a minimum of 6 though corydorus are fine as a 4. Some fish will not tolerate others of the same species or species with similar colouration or body shape. Others can get very territorial as they age or if they breed. Some species do best with a specific male to female ratio (generally fewer males to females) as the males will hassle the females when in breeding condition. Also some fish eat others or will nip long flowing tails so consider that when you mix them.

    Once you have researched the above, have a look at a good quality fish shop (we can probably suggest places if you let us know your rough area). Many maidenhead aquatics stores are good but there are also some independents that have good reputations. See what takes your fancy. make a list and then research whether the species would get on together.

    Whilst you are research fish that is the best time to be doing your fishless cycle. Research he nitrogen cycle in aquariums and how to fishless cycle with ammonia. We can provide links if you need them. The fishless cycle should take 4 to 6 weeks. Once cycled it is possible to add the fish in larger group as the filter will be able to support the fish load of a full tank. Add the fish in the order that the quieter least territorial ones go in first and the most territorial ones go in last.

    Once last thing - breeding. Some fish breed like rabbits. Livebearers like platies and guppies are very prolific. The females also store sperm from one mating so you can get multiple births over a period of several months. I had three females produce a total of 90 babies that survived to adulthood over a period of 5 months all from sperm they had received at the pet shop before I bought them. If you have males and females you will definitely get fry. It is lovely at first but you can soon be overrun and no one wants them. So with platies and guppies it is best to stick with males. Endlers are more sought after and much smaller so mixing sexes isn't a problem.

    Good luck and have fun planning your tank. Be warned fish keeping is addictive - you will soon be suffering from MTS.... (multi tank syndrome) :)
    Picklelily, magpie and NaomiM like this.
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