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Top comments that mention products on r/Aquariums:

u/MooseTheWizard · 6 pointsr/Aquariums

Too small for a bristlenose, and you want 6 neons (this tank is too small for them as well). I don't know much about kuhli loaches, but this is probably a tight fit for them too.

This is also a very, very heavy stocking for a 13.7 gallon aquarium. As this is your first tank, I highly suggest going for a small stock and getting a feel for it - solving problems with a low bioload is much easier, and will give you much needed practice for when things occur down the road.

I would recommend that you get solely a male betta for now. Your decor choice is good, and I applaud you for going with sand over gravel. It's much better, objectively.

If you can find them at your local fish store (LFS), pick up some Malaysian trumpet snails (MTS). They'll aerate the substrate and cycle waste into the sand, as well as eat uneaten food and decaying plant matter.

In terms of filtration, you could probably get away with an air pump and a sponge. If you have a fair chunk of money to dedicate to this aquarium, my filter of choice for tanks under 15 gallons is the ZooMed 501. If that is outside of your budget, an AquaClear 20 would be great. I would have the outflow disperse over your driftwood to avoid churning up your sand. If you need creative ideas, feel free to post here again and we can help you figure something out. The primary advantage of the canister is that it is dead silent, and comes with a spray bar which greatly helps to disperse the flow (bettas do not appreciate lots of flow in their environment).

I would do your damnedest to keep the tank out of sunlight, as this will contribute to rampant algae problems. It should have a dedicated light. You can purchase a clamp light and 6500K CFL bulb from home depot for about $15 total. Very wise investment, and this allows you to grow plants!

You need to keep the tank (for a Betta) at 78-80F. If your ambient temperature is not this, you will require a heater. My personal favourite heater for small aquariums are manufactured by Hydor. Aim for 50W for the set up. Here is a link to one.

There is a very good link regarding cycling in the sidebar. It can be found here.

While I do not know your water's composition, I would still recommend treating it with SeaChem Prime. This helps out with some heavy metals as well. While I am not sure if it will benefit you, it is fairly cheap and you'll get a ton of uses out of it for the cost. Hopefully someone with a similar water source to yours will chime in, as I myself am on municipal supply and must dechlorinate my water.

Earlier when I mentioned lighting, I mentioned plants. These are a great addition to your aquarium and your fish will appreciate them. For beginner plants, I would recommend looking into Anubias and Java Fern. They do not grow in substrate, but rather on decor and can be fastened to your driftwood with zip ties or string. They absorb nutrients from the water column, helping to clean your tank while providing refuge for your fish. I would also recommend a floating plant, as it will dim the lights and provide your betta with cover. Frogbit is great, and very cheap in my experience. It grows very well. None of these plants require you to do ANYTHING extra aside from get that light I mentioned. There are fancier alternatives, but they are not necessary for this set up with the above plants. I highly recommend setting your lights up on a timer and keeping them on for 8 hours a day. If you notice algae, reduce light.

I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions feel free to let me know. Really great of you to come and ask for advice BEFORE purchasing an animal, kudos to you.

Be sure to check out /r/bettafish and /r/plantedtank. Within you'll find lots of guides and extremely knowledgeable people. I would highly recommend reading the majority of links from the side bar in those two subreddits, as well as this one. There's a trove of information at your disposal. Here's a link to /r/Aquariums' wiki.

Finally, here's a care sheet specifically about Bettas!

Hopefully that wasn't too long winded for you. Best of luck in the hobby.

u/deejaywhy · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Equipment: IMO aquaclears are the best HOB filter. Canister filters are a little more expensive and can be a little more difficult than HOBs at first as far as cleaning and setting up. However, they are superior to HOBs in most ways. Eheim and fluval make great canisters, then sunsun have been hit or miss from what I've heard.

I suggest getting two heaters, one on each side of the tank. That way if one fails your fish won't be fried or frozen.

Substrate: pool filter sand is easy and cheap, it can grow plants fine if you use root tabs. You can try the walstad method, which involves putting down a layer of organic potting soil then capping it with sand. It is cheap and very effective for growing plants if done right. The downfall is that it can be messy and its very very hard to rescape. Other options are plant substrates. Eco complete and flourite are two decent substrates for growing plants, moderately priced too. If you have extra money to spend then you can use some type of aquasoil. ADA, Mr. Aqua, ST are all high quality plant substrates, but again pricey.

Lighting: Finnex makes great LEDs for growing plants, a little expensive, but they are very good. For 20" height, the planted+ or original Fugeray should be fine without CO2 and not promote too much algae.

Plants: For plants, you probably won't be able to carpet dwarf baby tears without a strong LED and pressurized CO2. You can do a dwarf hair grass carpet, but it might go slowly without investing in a good light. aquaswap is a great place to buy plants. Butteredscrimp puts out a monthly sale and can help you assemble a plant package. I can vouch for him as being reliable. Just have to give him a price range, some details about your tank such as lighting and size, and some plants you like!

Decorations: Driftwood is a great way to fill space and make your tank feel a little more natural. Spider wood and manzanita are my favorite. Check your LFS to see if they have any pieces you like first. If not, there are several good places you can get driftwood online. Driftwood will release tannins (won't harm fish) into your tank when placed in water and might take a while to sink depending on the piece. I suggest putting it in while your tank is cycling.

You can also go with rocks/stones. They should be scrubbed under hot water before going into the tank. Some rocks can break down and affect your water chemistry. To test if they will you can do the vinegar test. Take the rock and add a few drops of vinegar or a stronger acid. If it fizzles or bubbles then it should not be placed in the tank because it can raise the pH of the water.

Fish: For shrimp amano shrimp are great, they eat hair algae and scavenge leftovers. They won't breed in freshwater though. Red cherry shrimp come in different grades (all very attractive) and are a relatively easy shrimp to keep, they will breed like crazy if provided an adequate environment The babies will be small and can/will be eaten by most fish.

For snails, nerite snails are regarded as some of the best algae eaters, won't reproduce in freshwater, and they are very cool looking. But female snails will leave unattractive, hard to remove, white eggs everywhere. You need a metal blade to scrape them off. u/gastropoid is your go to for snail info.

For a schooling fish you can go big or small. some of my favorite bigger schooling fish include congo tetras and bosemani rainbowfish. There are lots of other good sized rainbowfish if you decide to go that direction. Some popular small schooling fish include harlequin rasboras, neon tetras, cardinal tetras, and rummy nose tetras. Other tetras and rasboras will work too! Some rasboras are tiny though, maxing out at about 1 inch so those are a little less compatible usually. Barbs are another good schooling fish, but they can be nippy and semi-aggressive. Otocinclus are a schooling fish, but they are algae eaters and can be a little sensitive when brought into a new tank.

Fish I would avoid are common plecos, they get massive. And chinese/siamese algae eaters. They are fantastic algae eaters as juveniles, but they become aggressive when they grow up.

final thoughts: if you're going planted, look into EI dosing and root tabs, it will help plants thrive. You said you have experience with freshwater tanks so I assume you know about the nitrogen cycle and fishless cycling. If you don't there is a site under the helpful links tab at the top of the page. Look through the other links there too! great information. Visit plantedtank for more plant info, inspiration, and guides.

Good luck!

u/sushisexandbraids · 2 pointsr/Aquariums
  1. 30 gallon is a good start! it'll be easy to keep parameters steady. Decoration wise, nope! my strategy is to put taller plants in the back, medium more forward, then shortest in the front. decorations i use the rule of thirds (it's a photography thing but helps with placement).

  2. It really, really depends on the species. Do research on species you might be interested in, and then head to AQAdvisor to get an idea of what stocking could work. Do not rely solely on AQAdvisor. It's meant to give you a general idea of what might work. Always do research on top of using AQAdvisor or another program

  3. If you want fake plants, go for silk. This way, they are soft and won't hurt your fish. However, real plants can be very easy to take care of. There are numerous species that don't require a bunch of "special stuff" (i.e. high light, CO2, etc) that will basically grow with little to no help from you! Anubias, Crypts, Wisteria, etc. are very easy plants to grow. Stick them in your substrate and watch em go!

  4. Personal preference for sure. I like sand because I keep Kuhli Loaches, and they like sand better than rocks/gravel. it's much easier on their bodies and doesn't harm them. They also love to dig into the sand! I suggest that once you figure out what fish you want, then you use that information to decide sand or gravel. I will say gravel is easier to clean.

  5. You should look into the FAQ in the community info. Here's a link to what cycling is, how to start a new tank, etc.

  6. The tank will naturally evaporate water. This is normal. I have to add water to my 10 gallon once a week, sometimes more. nothing wrong with that! Before adding water, apply Prime and you're all set. You should do weekly water changes, and the amount of water you change out depends on how strong your filter is and how stocked your tank is, as well as what your tank is stocked with. Usually, people take out about 10-20% of the old water in the tank, and put in the same amount of new, "clean" and dechlorinated water.

  7. Here's a small list
    -Neon Tetras
    -Cloud Minnows
    -Cardinal Tetras
    -Harlequin Rasboras
    -Neon Rainbowfish
    -Cory's (look further into which species would be best for your sized tank

  8. Honestly, their filters are okay. But not my favorite. They're kind of unreliable and don't filter as well as I'd like them to. Personally, I'd recommend either Fluval AquaClear or MarineLand Penguin

    As i said before, definitely look into the subreddit info, and check out the wiki. it has a lot of helpful information that will help a lot! PM me if you have any other questions.
u/karasuyukito · 6 pointsr/Aquariums

Craigslist is your friend.

So is making a lot of the things yourself. (diy!)

For a start, here's a good site for making your own stand.

Discus are not really a good starter aquarist fish..... They need pristine water conditions and a very exact pH. I don't entirely recommend that particular fish for you at this time. But if you do decide on them, good luck. They are a lot of hard work, but can be a very rewarding fish.

Seriously, if you have the skills, make your own filter. It's possible, and fucktons cheaper than anything you're going to get new. Your best bet for filters would be to make/buy a canister filter or to make a sump for your tank. Protip for sumps: Build your tank stand around the design of your sump. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache in the long run.

I can tell you, for buying a brand new 75 gallon tank and everything that I needed for it, was over 1200$. And that wasn't even with super awesome filters, which is what you're going to need. (Although I love the ones I have, they just wouldn't cut it for Discus.) So yes, you're going to want to seriously craigslist for the things you want, or make them yourself. You'll get the most bang for your buck that way, I promise. So yes, realistically and for what you want, you're going to need to buy used and make everything else yourself. Especially with your budget, and the fact that you just can't get the Discus fish themselves cheaply. If you make everything, they could potentially be the most expensive part of your setup.

Please switch to chemical testings for your water parameters. The test strips are not nearly as accurate, and you'll want to know exactly what's up with your water if you really want those Discus. For the most part, this is the best kit you can get. You'll thank me in the long run.

For 4 Discus and friends, you're going to need AT LEAST a 55 gallon aquarium, and even then, I think that's too small. I've never actually had them though, but be warned. It will be a large tank.

If you want to plant the tank (Do Discus tear up plants? That one I don't know.) you're going to want to go with the Walstad Method. You'll get the best plant growth, for the least amount of work. And the cheapest. AND you might even be able to skip out entirely on CO2 dosing. If you do want to CO2 dose, there are a billion ways to make a reactor thingy from scratch, and could potentially cost you less than 10$. The only problem with those though, is unless you built one into the system, you don't entirely have a way to perfectly and minutely adjust your control, and you don't want to blow out your tank. CO2 reactors are also not cheap, but if you want to buy one, this is apparently one of the best you can get.

You could always start collecting and building all the pieces your going to need, but since you're moving so soon (and because you're going to want to completely cycle your tank before fish, seriously, picky Discus) you most likely better off waiting until after you move to set it up. Like I said though, might as well start making and collecting the pieces for it now.

Hopefully, I think I've covered all your questions. If not, feel free to ask. :)

u/Crimzonlogic · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Yeah, unfortunately a setup like that was doomed to end in a fish death. I got a similar setup as my first tank from poor pet store advice, too. Mine was a betta instead of a molly, but it was still bad for the fish. We got had for a quick sale. Sorry about your molly. :(

First thing's first, if you want to create a healthy aquarium you must read up on cycling aquariums. Just putting a fish in a new tank and leaving it will cause ammonia to build up from waste and uneaten food and that will kill the fish sooner or later, usually sooner. This is undoubtedly what killed the molly. A mature, cycled filter will process ammonia pretty quickly, making it safe for a fish to thrive in an aquarium. All a cycle really is is letting a colony of nitrifying bacteria develop in your filter. There is a list of links on the right side of this subreddit with info on stuff about aquariums, specifically look at "helpful links". In there is an explanation of cycling and other stuff that's good to know. One more really important note is that even in a cycled tank, you must regularly change a portion of the tank's water with clean new water. A quarter per week is good for a lightly stocked tank. 50% weekly is better. The cycled filter will take care of ammonia/nitrite, but it won't do anything for nitrate and dissolved solids. Water changes help keep nitrate and dissolved organic junk from building up too much. Clean water is essential for keeping fish and other animals healthy, and dirty water won't cut it.

You said you want an undemanding pet, though at first, getting an aquarium going can be complicated and may take time. Cycling a tank can take several weeks to a couple of months, depending on how you do it or other factors. It usually takes about a month. If you don't have enough time to dedicate a bit of each day to testing the water and setting things up during a cycling process, then you may want to wait a bit to set up a proper tank. However, once a tank is cycled and you've gotten a hang of water changes, a simple aquarium setup shouldn't consume much of your time to maintain: It's usually a weekly water test and water change and daily feedings.

I recommend buying a master test kit to do water tests with. It's pretty accurate, more so than the little dip test strips, and cheaper than those in the long run, too. During a cycle you'll see ammonia and nitrite read very high at certain points, but a fully cycled tank should always read zero ppm ammonia, zero ppm nitrite, and less than 20 ppm nitrate. As for ph, the most important thing is that it remains stable and doesn't fluctuate a lot. If it reads 7.6 the first time you test, for example, you want it to keep testing for 7.6 every time you check it. If it fluctuates more than .2, then it might not be stable. Most common fish will be fine in a stable ph between 7 and 8.5 and livebearers like mollies especially do well in the higher end. Tetras prefer the lower end of that. If you use city tap water, then your ph will likely be somewhere around 7 or 8.

That 2.5 gallon won't really cut it for any fish. For mollies in particular I'd say a 20 gallon tank is a good minimum tank size, and a 20 gallon long is better than a standard 20 high. Mollies are supposed to be brackish fish(about halfway between salt and freshwater) but can live in freshwater tanks, so that's why the store owner was giving mixed info on that. They are pretty hardy as far as fish go, but they aren't invincible and still need properly cycled tanks. They also need aquarium heaters, unless you live in a tropical area and the ambient temperature in the tank consistently stays about 78 degrees. Whatever fish you get, an aquarium heater is almost definitely required. The majority of fish in the hobby will be tropical and need a consistent warm temperature, usually about 78 degrees F. A 100 watt heater would be enough for a 20 gallon, and they usually aren't that expensive. If you live in a warmer climate like California for example and you don't turn your house into a refrigerator with ac, you could get away with a 50 watt heater which will be a bit cheaper. Get an adjustable heater rather than a preset one. That way you can tweak the temp up or down a little if needed.

Mollies also are better off kept in "harder" water, meaning water that has more minerals in it. If you use tap water for your tank, then it will probably be good for mollies. You can buy test kits to find out what your water hardness is, and if it tests toward the higher end of the scale then it's good. Many other common freshwater fish in the hobby actually prefer softer water than mollies, however.

Mollies are livebearers that will breed rapidly and without any special conditions. A female will give birth to a bunch of babies about once a month if healthy. You could get a tank that has way too many fish quickly if you let them breed unchecked. Females are also often pregnant in the store since they are usually kept alongside males, so I would recommend getting several males and no females. If you do get a mix with females, you want at least twice as many females as males since the male livebearers typically harass the females relentlessly and can stress them to death. Having more females means the male's attention is divided and not always focused on one female.

If you can't do a big enough tank for mollies, a five gallon or ten gallon would be perfect for a betta. Bettas are hardy so long as they are in a tank that is cycled and heated, and they will usually pay lots of attention to you once they realize you are the one who feeds them. In either a five or ten gallon you could also keep an aquatic snail with the betta. In a ten gallon you could keep a school of pygmy cories with him, too. In a ten gallon tank, a honey gourami could be swapped with the betta as a single fish of interest. Platies are a similar species to mollies and a few males might be good in a well-decorated ten gallon, though they have a bit less personality than mollies in my opinion.

The stringy poop you mentioned could have been from internal parasites, internal infection, or constipation. There's no easy way to tell for sure. It's a sign something is wrong with the fish, that's for sure.

TL;DR having a healthy aquarium can be a big hassle to figure out at first, but it will be worth it if you get the hang of it and see your fish thriving.

Sorry for typing a full memoir, I just got home from work and I'm too restless to sleep but too tired to get up from my computer.

I spent so long typing this that other people managed to get in relatively long posts before me. Why did I type this much? lol

u/BabyCowboyAkir · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

i have a 150w in my 46 gallon and it barley keeps up, have to have it cranked to max (86 i think) to keep the tank at 78) I'm going to move up to a 200 soon, or probably just adding a second heater.

price difference is negligible between 150 and 200 for the most part.

I use this instead of the python adapter, half cost, same thing, add a $1 hose clamp if you want but you may not need it, the pressure doesn't get to high out of inside faucets honestly. You don't need the hook in all likelihood, I do my changes solo without the hook just fine.

If you want to save even more money, you can DIY the whole thing for cheaper as well, just search around on the youtube channel of a guy called king of DIY

Don't spend $26 on test strips, strips suck, spend $22 on the api liquid test kit, it will last longer anyway

the bacteria quick start is real hit or miss, all brands, so don't put too much faith in it, you'll still spend weeks cycling probably. remember to get a source of ammonia ($3 for a bottle, get pure stuff, without anything added, if you shake it and there are lasting bubbles, its not what you need)

plants get expensive FAST, so 150 for plants, decorations, fish is gonna be tough. Pool filter sand is great easy substrate though, so is black diamond blasting media if you prefer black, both are probably in the $10 range for enough to cover your tank to the proper depth. driftwood and nice rocks can add up fast.

/r/PlantedTank has a weekly giveaway thread but its not too filled ever, r/aquaswap can get you some good deals on plants too. is aquarium ebay and can get you some good deals too.

I just looked back up and saw you didn't actually say plants, but plants are cool and help your tank stay stable and healthy, you'll probably want some eventually. But you will probably want a better light for live plants as well. That can be down the road I guess.

If you are buying from petsmart, know that they will pricematch their own website, the instore prices are outrageous. Online has to at least compete with other places though, so have the products pulled up online on your phone when you check out. petsmart also has an app, make an account and play their dumb little treat game. Right now if you beat it on hard its 20% off a single item, which is great for your tank stand combo. Easy and medium gives you a 10 and a 15% off as well. Its a simple enough concept, but beating it on hard can suck, I definitely get the feeling it just lets you win after a while though (10ish tries, quit for a day and try again and you'll get it quick)

For stocking it, a couple dwarf gouramis if some kind, honey or powder blue or whatever you like. maybe a schooling fish like cardinal or neon tetras. mollys or platys are colorful and will breed, corys for the bottom. a nerite snail, play around on and see what you can safely stock together and the basic requirements. Dont take it as gospel, just a good baseline and jumping off point for more research.

u/robotsongs · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

I would highly suggest you stay away from the integrated kit approach and buy components. As someone currently trying to overcome an Eclipse system, the burdens far outweigh the benefit of integrations and ease. There's more than enough on getting adequate components here, and I would be happy to help you out with the decision, as would others.

Seeing as how you (thankfully) seem to like to take your time and do this right, I offer you some suggestions:

  • Whatever tank you want. They're not going to have the greatest selection at Petsmart, but if you find something you like, get it. There's other places online that will ship the tank, but this is probably your best bet to get locally. Though the LFS isn't stocked very well, they might have a number of respectable tanks. Make this decision count-- you will be stuck with it for a long long time, and the ability for your tank to grow with your tools/abilities is crucial.

  • Just pony up the money and get an Eheim Classic. For a 20G, you'll probably want to get this one. If you're getting anything larger than a desktop tank (and, BTW, that's a pretty good one), you'll need a real filter. This may seem excessive, but the dainty POS filters that come in kits ALWAYS wind up biting you in the ass. There are people here that are still using the same Eheim Classic that they purchased 15 years ago. It's a standard for a reason-- it's effective and reliable. Pay for it once and you'll never have to buy another unless you really move up in size. If you really don't want to go that expensive, the best bet is to stick with an Aquaclear filter. For the price, these things do a bang-up job!

  • Just don't skimp on a heater. This will do you well, and it's not too expensive. You don't want your fish either roasting to death or accidentally freezing in the middle of winter. Hagen is a good brand to go to here.

  • LED lights these days are great, and have hit a point where the ROI is seen far earlier than previously, and I'm talking about a year. When you get fluorescent tube fixtures, you use more power and have to replace the lights at least every year, and some replace them every 6mo. It depends on how much light you need, but again, I feel you need to recognize that you will grow with this tank, and buying a lighting system now that is cheaper but unable to grow plants will wind up costing you way more in the long run than just getting an LED fixture for 60% more that will last you years and require very little money after the initial purchase. For a first-time tank, I'd suggest a Marineland Singlebright if you really never envision yourself growing plants (which is half the fun in a tank these days), or a Marineland Doublebright if you'd like to grow plants and want an easy, cheaper option now. Know that those two fixtures are the lower end of the LED lighting bars, and you would do well with something like an Ecoxotic Stunner, where you can start with a fixture or two and then add on to the circuit later when you want more light for more plants. Also note the size of all of these fixtures have to be in line with the size of your tank-- there's no universal size.

  • Note, also, that if your LFS sucks in the stock department, and Petco irks you as much as a lot of people here, there's many places where you can order fish and plants online. I haven't heard any horror stories with the big guys, so maybe check them out. Unfortunately, my LFS's are great, so I've never had to resort to these means. I've heard good things about aquabid, and really, you should join and see what you can find either locally or on the buy/sell/trade forum. Also, joining a local aquatic org can open you up to a ton of CHEAP possibilities.

    Good luck. There's lot to research and plan, as well as to spend on, but getting a good setup is so rewarding and relaxing, that it pays back in spades.
u/OrionFish · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

I’m sorry to say the above comments are right. Common goldfish get over 1 foot in length and are incredibly messy fish. They really belong in a pond, but you could theoretically keep one in 75 gallon (but a 90 gallon is the same footprint with a little more height, offering more water and therefore easier to keep clean). Really, they should have a tank that is at least 6 foot long and 18 inches wide, but a 75 (4 feet and 18 inches wide) would be the bare minimum. Anything narrower and the fish will have trouble turning around as goldfish get over 12-14 inches long if they are healthy. They will stay smaller if their growth is stunted, but this is extremely unhealthy for them and results in a much shorter lifespan. With a 75 or 90 gallon, be prepared to do 30-50% waterchanges every week (which should be pretty easy with a system like the python. You won’t need a heater, but you will need a great filter. I recommend a canister filter, but if that is out of your price range two of these or better yet two of these will work well. Goldfish are plant eaters so you won’t have to worry about plants, so you can get whatever light you like/what’s cheapest. Big tanks are expensive, but you can often find them used along with the stands (which saves a ton of money). You can also get a 75 gallon half off from Petco during the dollar-per-gallon sale, and then build your own stand (tons of plans online). For substrate, I would buy pool filter sand (very cheap and great for goldfish, it can’t get stuck in their mouths like gravel and it looks awesome, it’s easy to keep clean too). There are a lot of ways to cut costs, especially with a goldfish tank that doesn’t need a filter or fancy light. Feel free to ask any questions, and please do some research on the nitrogen cycle (introduction ) it’s the most important thing you can possibly learn as a new fishkeeper! You will need a test kit too, to test your water. Don’t bother with test strips as they are very inaccurate, go ahead and get this. If you want to cycle the tank quickly and without a hassle, this is the only one that really works. Welcome to the wonderful world of fishkeeping! Best of luck with your pet! Goldfish are lots of fun.

Edit: petsmart has a 75 gallon tank with stand, lid, and light for half off today for Black Friday (at $249 a screaming deal for a brand new tank!!) if you are interested.

u/Oucid · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Let me give you a pro money saving tip - Dont even bother with the carbon filters. Its a money making scheme for business because it pulls out organics for a couple weeks them stops working which means you ‘have to replace it every month’ when in reality the only thing you need in your filter is 1. sponge/foam 2. filter floss and 3. bio media, like ceramic media i.e. fluval’s biomax. Sponge and floss provide mechanical filtration, bio media provides a big space for bacteria to live on, more surface area for it to live on and colonize on. Carbon is only good for pulling medications out of the water. Skip that step at least, save yourself a couple bucks lol, plus each time youd remove the cartridge you would be throwing away beneficial bacteria that does the work carbon is supposed to do anyway. And the bacteria does it for free, no need to keep buying it every 6-8 weeks right?

For maintenance I recommend doing this:

15-25% water change two times a week - the reason I recommend two times is because in a 2.5 gallon tank the ammonia will build up much faster than lets say a 10 gallon tank, so this means toxic ammonia spikes are more common in smaller tanks. To combat spikes, doing partial water changes more frequently will help the tank process the ammonia easier. Use a gravel vacuum for this, you could probably just vacuum the gravel one time a week and then just use it to get the water out the other water change day. Scrub the sides with a scrubber wouldnt hurt once a week if theres algae.

Once a month, to clean the filter just take out the inserts (so like sponge or floss, or cartridge if you use that - which you can cut the carbon out to save the bacteria) and swish/squeeze them in old tank water during a water change to get the visible gunk off. This way you can avoid rinsing them in tap, as that could kill the bacteria offsetting your nitrogen cycle, and you dont have to replace it completely (which would also offset the cycle).

When you do water changes, unplug the heater and filter. Heaters are supposed to be fully submerged when they are on, and they can even explode if they arent in water while on. Having the filter off just makes it easier to see and stuff as well. Leave the fish in during water changes, taking them out of the tank can stress them out. Make sure the new dechlorinated water is only 1-2 degrees off at most from the tank water.

This is a good maintenance routine for AFTER the tank is cycled, for now you should be doing daily water changes to make sure there is no ammonia in the tank, the beneficial bacteria hasnt established a stable colony so your tank wont be processing ammonia into nitrites (also toxic) and then those into nitrates (less toxic, but should be removed weekly with water changes)

I recommend using Seachem Prime for your dechlorinater, this stuff detoxes ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours which would be great between water changes while the tank cycles. It only takes 2 drops per gallon, I got my 1.7 ounce for $5 USD, a small 1.7 ounce bottle treats 500 gallons total. So youll have it forever basically.

For test kits, the API master test kit tests pH (which you just want to be stable, the number doesnt matter too much as long as its not too low <6 or too high 8+), and then it tests the important stuff like ammonia, nitrites and nitrate.


API Freshwater Master Test Kit 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water master Test Kit

Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner - Chemical Remover and Detoxifier 100 ml

Northfin Food Betta Bits 1Mm...

This is the best quality pellet I’ve found, here’s why:

  • Nutritious, includes whole ingredients
  • ⁠No fillers, hormones, or artificial pigments
  • Packed with proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals
  • Floating pellets, roughly 1mm (they float for a bit then drop, my bettas chase them down)
  • Easily digestible to promote optimal nutrient absorption

    (This stuff is advertised by seller, but if you read the labels its all good)

    Helpful other supplies:

    Seachem Stability Fish Tank Stabilizer - For Freshwater and Marine Aquariums 500 ml

    (Bacteria in a bottle, it can help speed up the cycling process so you wont have to do daily water changes as long, though it wont immediately finish the cycle)

    A good How-To-Gravel-Vac video:

    PS! So sorry I just threw all this info at you! You can just use it as a sort of guideline to look back on if you dont retain everything first read lol, I sure wouldnt at least. But I think this gives you all the necessary information you need to have a happy healthy fish!
u/_The_Editor_ · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

20g is a nice size to start with.

Ok, seeing as you've come out and stated you have very little knowledge I'm going to list the absolute necessities. Apologies if you already have these covered, but it's better to be over cautious!

  • Filter - Absolutely 100% required, this is only second in importance to the water IMO. The Aquaclear 50 would suit you well. However there are many other suitable alternatives, of which you may already have one.

  • Heater - Ok maybe it's necessity depends on the stock you want to keep, but I'm guessing you'll go tropical purely since most people do. A 50-100W heater should be powerful enough to maintain tropical temps.

    I'd encourage plants. They give the tank a natural look, as well as giving the fish places to hide and relax. Happy fish are the best fun to watch, so it's worth making sure they're comfortable!

    There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of stocking options you could go with. Try using this website to try out different options. It's not the absolute gospel, but a very good indicator.

    As for general advice, read, learn, and live the Fishless Cycle. It explains why cycling is necessary, and how to do it.

    Good luck, and post pics as you go along :)
u/goldfish_poop · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I too suffer from the living in an apartment and trying to keep fish problem, so I feel your pain! Aside from the second tank setup for your other 2 goldies, I highly recommend getting a Python, I didn't even know they existed until I saw one on this subreddit and it blew me away. Before I was doing water changes the same way, except I was using a five gallon bucket from home depot. After you remove water from your tank, dose your tank with Prime (the entire volume of the tank, so however much it says for 30 gallons) and then just add the water back in the way you normally would. I'm not sure if there is a much faster way to do it unfortunately. I know it's a pain, but the water changes are worth it in the long run. Try to change at least 50% once a week, but you can spread it out if you want (think ~25% twice a week). The Aqueon version of the Python is a little bit less expensive, and I'm sure it works about the same. Also in terms of tanks, Petco has a dollar per gallon sale going on right now, but I think it ends today. They usually do them about once every few months, and occasionally Petsmart will do one as well, that's a great way to get cheap tanks.

And you're welcome! Starting out it's overwhelming how much information it seems like you have to process, but it does get easier! I'm still learning things all the time, this subreddit has been a great help as well. Feel free to PM me if you ever have other questions, I'll do my best to help. And in the meantime, if you have any additional questions about goldfish care, Solid Gold Aquatics is a really great resource on youtube, and she has a blog as well. She has a lot of really informative videos on everything from cycling tanks to feeding your fish, her channel has been immensely helpful to me. Good luck!

u/MilkPudding · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Bettas can get along with a variety of community fish. Whether an individual betta does is up to the fish--they do have different personalities so while one betta may be mellow and be perfectly fine with tankmates, another may not take too kindly to other fish in his space.

There are a few things you can do to maximize your chances of success in keeping betta with tankmates.

One is to not pick any fish to go in with the betta that are very brightly coloured and/or have long, flowing fins, because the betta is likely to mistake this other fish as another male betta.

The other is to introduce the other fish first; if when putting the betta into his new home, the other fish are already there, he's more likely to just accept their existence, whereas if you try to add new fish to HIS tank once he's already settled in, he'll see them as intruders.

A good bet with bettas are corydoras catfish, in a 10g you could do dwarf or pygmy corydoras which are the smallest species. Since they're bottom-level fish, they won't really intrude much on the betta's space because most bettas are middle to top level fish. One thing to note is that if you get corys you'll also want to do sand substrate, since gravel can damage their barbels.

So here is a list of potential gear, there are a couple of options on some categories:

10 Gallon Standard Tank $10 in-store at Petco (Dollar per Gallon ends the 19th BTW)

AquaClear Hang On Back Filter $28 This is a little pricey, but it's probably the best hang on back filter on the market. It's more powerful than the other ones I've listed. Part of why it's so great is because it's very customizable, you can put your own filter media in if you want (the stuff it comes with is not bad though). Also it's really easy to clean which is a plus.

Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter $14 A lot of people don't like internal filters because it's a bit messier to clean since it's fully submerged; personally I don't mind cleaning it and also because it's totally underwater I find it a lot quieter that most filters which might be a good thing if you're keeping it in your bedroom. I'd suggest not using the little cartridge it comes with and stuffing it with your own biomedia and filter floss, but it's powerful and compact.

Tetra Whisper in Tank Filter $11 This is the only filter here I don't personally own, but I believe a lot of people on /r/bettafish use this one and like it.

Glass Canopy $20 Not necessary, but I think they look nicer than a bulky plastic hood. I do suggest some kind of covering for your tank since bettas are known to jump. It could be something as simple as a big sheet of plastic canvas cut to fit, which is a couple dollars.

So technically the above gear, assuming you buy the most inexpensive filter option, comes to $41 pretax. A little over the $39.99 all in one kit you originally wanted, but you are getting twice the gallonage, and also higher-quality gear--glass tank instead of plastic, and a semi-decent filter. And again, you could go a lot cheaper on the lid if you were so inclined and either save your money or put it towards a more expensive filter.

You'll also need a heater for a betta. I think a lot of fishkeepers have their favourite brands for this kind of thing, Hydor Theo is mine, self-regulating glass heaters are way better than the plastic pad kind without regulators because it turns itself on and off automatically as needed. Also, I would recommend ALWAYS getting a heater that can be adjusted to whatever temperature you need. Treating certain illnesses require you to turn up or down the temperature so that's an invaluable feature IMO. Also the knob on this model (unlike a lot of brands I've tried) is really easy to turn so that's kind of a bonus when your hands are all wet.

u/KataKataBijaksana · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Like they said, depends on what you're looking for.

With a 10 gallon, you could try something like

1 Betta (males are prettier)
10 ember tetras
A couple mystery snails

You could use plastic plants as well. The cycle is always important, but with these fish, it's less important. If you make a mistake, ember tetras, a betta, and snails will likely survive.

Things you'll need: 10 gallon tank, a filter (hang on back filters are generally the cheapest and easiest for beginners), a heater, water dechlorinater (water conditioner). DO NOT BUY FISH YET

When you hear "cycle your tank", people mean that you need to have to correct concentrations of bacteria in your tank. There are 3 biproducts of these bacteria, but we'll just say that the bacteria is the biproduct for simplification. Those 3 bacteria are


Ammonia is toxic to fish, even in small amounts. By the time your tank is "cycled" Ammonia should be at 0 ppm (parts per million), but as you begin your cycle, it will be much higher. Ammonia is created from fish poop and uneaten food.

Nitrite is also toxic to fish, but less toxic than Ammonia. A cycled tank also has 0 Nitrite in it. Nitrite eats the Ammonia, effectively converting it to more Nitrite.

Nitrate is only toxic to fish in amounts greater than ~35 ppm. Nitrate eats Nitrite, converting it to more nitrate. When you change the water in a tank, you're just removing the nitrate before it hits concentrations that become toxic to the fish.

You might be wondering how you can tell how concentrated these substances are. There are water test kits for sale. They seem a bit pricey to a beginner, but they're worth it.

There are instructions on how to test your water inside the kit.

So on to the how to cycle your tank section.

To cycle a tank (dont buy your fish until it's cycled, but have everything you need like a filter and heater running in the tank), you need to somehow get Ammonia into the tank so that your Nitrite can have food so that your nitrate can have food. You should drop a pinch of fish food into the tank every day and let it rot at the bottom. That'll make Ammonia. Once there's a consistent supply of Ammonia in the tank, your Nitrite will start to eat it and start reproducing, lowering the Ammonia to 0, and raising your Nitrite. As Nitrite builds up, Nitrate will come into the tank to start eating the Nitrite, and start to reproduce. Normally the process takes at least a month. You'll drop a pinch of food in every single day for that month, and as long as your filter is running, the bacteria should grow. Make sure that any water you ever put in your tank (including the first time you fill it up) has been treated with water dechlorinator. Chlorine kills the bacteria you want to have in your tank, as well as the fish.

Some people say you should change 20% of the water every 7 days while cycling. I would personally test the water, and if the Ammonia or Nitrite is over 2 ppm, change 30%. You should test the water at least once a week to make sure that Ammonia or Nitrite isn't so high that it has taken over the cycle. If either of those get too high, they take up all of the room and there isn't enough space for the others to grow. If your Ammonia or Nitrite is above 4ppm, you should change 50% of the water so that some of the bacteria starves and makes room for the others.

Once your tank is cycled, your Ammonia and Nitrite should be 0 (or extremely close to 0), and your nitrate should be 20-40ppm. After that, it's safe to add fish. With the fish I mentioned earlier, it's probably safe to add them all in at once, but with fish with a bigger bio load (fish that eat and poop more) you have to add them over time, but ember tetras don't eat or poop a ton, and a betta won't either. So just cycling the tank should make it stable enough to handle the fish.

I think I've explained it all, but if I forgot something, someone could chip in.

Honestly there are a lot of very opinionated people in the hobby that tell you that you HAVE to do it a certain way (which fish work, how much filtration you need, what substrate is best) but I've found the best way to learn is trial and error. Everyone in the hobby makes mistakes, each fish has a unique personality, and it's a ton of fun. There are general guidelines on what works and what doesn't, but sometimes what people say on here just isn't correct. So don't get discouraged, be patient, be ready to make mistakes (but do your best to not make them), and study up on the fish you want! The bigger the tank, the easier it is to keep the fish happy, but if you have any questions I'd be happy to help!

u/NeuroCartographer · 7 pointsr/Aquariums

That is most likely a snowball pleco, which are nice little guys that are pretty hardy, good omnivores, and get to be about 4-6 inches. There are quite a few babies like this currently available in my LFSs, and I have a few that have done quite well in a community tank.

I agree with the other commenters that you are getting an ammonia/nitrite/nitrate spike from the addition of new fish. I recommend Seachem products to help (not affiliated, just long-time freshwater and saltwater tank hobbyist). First, use Seachem Prime as a water conditioner to help - after doing a water change. Your tank will need to do a mini-cycle to recalibrate the bacterial load for the addition of new fish. You will likely need to do frequent water changes until the cycle ends. Test with something like API master test kit to track the rise and fall of ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. Ammonia and nitrite spikes kill fish very quickly, while high nitrates shorten the lifespans of the fish by more slowly harming their organs (regular water changes help keep nitrates down long term). Add a bubbler to the tank to help with the stress by making sure there's not additional stress from low O2. For the fin rot, clean water can cure it. You likely will need to treat the fish as well with something stronger. Seachem makes paraguard, which I use all the time for quarantine and mildly ill fish. You can add an antibiotic like Seachem kanaplex to ParaGuard or treat separately with kanaplex to help with fin rot. Both medications work by being added to the water (rather than feeding to the fish). The best thing about Seachem products is that they affect the pH much less than any other products I have tried. Note the additional oxygen is usually necessary when treating with medications. Seachem Stress Guard can also help transition fish to a new tank. All these products are available on Amazon and usually are at Petco/Petsmart/LFS.

For future fish additions, I recommend 1) adding only 1-2 fish at a time to limit the cycling problem and 2) QUARANTINE your new fish, so you can treat any diseases they may have before adding them to your community tank. Even a small tank with just a bubbler can work as a quarantine for a small fish for a couple weeks, and can be a literal lifesaver for your other fish.

Also - there are a lot of great online communities for different types of fish that you can check out to learn more about these things. For plecos, start with this one. :) Good luck with your new guy!

u/Gredival · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I recommend checking out Craigslist if you are interested in a bigger tank and are only put off by the price. Lots of people sell second hand stuff for cheap. I was looking earlier today and saw seventy gallon set up with a stand, filter, and lighting for under a hundred in the Inland Empire.

If you are going small with first use equipment, a 3g is suitable for a single Betta and a non fish companion such as a larger snail or a couple of smaller shrimp (Ghost Shrimp are common and work well, but Cherry Shrimp are prettier if you can find them). I use this tank for a Betta, a large snail, and half a dozen ghost shrimp. The design is quite nice and the included air pump, filter, and lighting is sufficient for a small Betta tank, though you still need to buy gravel and decorations.

You mentioned frogs in your initial post -- African Dwarf Frogs are compatible with a Betta tank, but it can be a pain to feed them because their vision is terrible and a Betta is likely to try eat their food before they find it. If you don't mind that, they are pretty neat.

Bettas are aggressive to their own so you can only keep one per community except for female sorority tanks with 4 or more females. Unfortunately the females have the shorter fins and are less attractive generally. Also you have to avoid placing any fish that a Betta can mistake for a rival in the tank (i.e. fish with bright colors or flowing fins). So it's usually best to stay with non dangerous invertebrate like shrimp and snails in small Betta tanks. If you go for a larger set-up where there is more room, you can get fish like Neon Tetras who may provoke a Betta but can easily run away with enough room (a properly equipped 10g can hold a Betta and a small school of six Neons if you are diligent with weekly maintenance). Proving ample cover in the tank is also useful.

If you stay with going small, a Betta is likely hardy enough to deal with the initial cycle of your tank if want to start right away, just make sure you are diligent with partial water changes every three days while you do the first cycle (I stress it would be safer to do a fishless cycle). These fish are able to put up with being trapped in the small cups at Petco and Petsmart after all, not that they should have to. I would recommend you leave it at just the Betta at first to keep the cycle easier - the toxins from cycling will affect small shrimp and snails faster than it will affect the Betta.

I live in SoCal and my water stays at 74 to 76 without heating (windows closed at night) which is fine for a Betta, so I don't think you need a heater unless it gets very cold in your area at night.

Fake plants are fine, but go for silk versus plastic if you can. It's usually not an issue but plastic can tear up a Betta's fins because they are so ornate. Real plants help with water quality though and usually look prettier. Simple plants like Anarcharis or Amazon Swords should be under $5 at Petco or Petsmart.

Creating bubbles requires an air pump at the very least. You can get one sufficient for up to a 10g for only $7-$10 at Petsmart or Amazon. Creating multiple smaller (prettier) bubbles will require fitting the end of the tubing with an air stone or other bubble accessory (a bubble wand creates a backdrop curtain of bubbles against a wall of the tank for instance). However, Bettas flowing fins make it hard for them to deal with lots of current in the water so if you get a smaller tank you will want to have the bubble output isolated to one area so there's room for the Betta to get away. The same problem exists with filters; in smaller tanks the output can be too strong for a Betta and you may have to construct a "baffle" to break the impact of the filter's current.

One option that works well for small Betta tanks is to use a sponge filter. Sponge filters are powered by the movement of water from your air pump; rising bubbles force water to move and that draws surrounding water through the sponge to replace the rising water. The sponge will mechanically filter your water, and the bacteria for the nitrogen cycle will colonize the sponge to do the biological filtration. Cheap sponge filters go for under five dollars on Amazon, like this one, and they can fulfill your bubbling and filtration at the same time.

u/mooninitetwo · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Unfortunately people at pet stores are often more interested in selling you stuff than whether or not your fish lives :( Even though people think of goldfish as a beginner pet, they're actually much more work. They produce a ton of waste, can get quite big (8 inches or more), and can live more than a decade.

You can do one of two things to keep them alive - rehome them/return them, or get a much larger tank (40 gallons or more, so like ...150 liters? I think?) and a very high powered filter.

In the setup you have now they could very well survive for a few years, but they won't be thriving. That tank looks quite nice and could totally be used for other fish - a single betta would be perfect for that tank, or possibly some white cloud minnows (not sure on them though).

Continuing water changes will possibly keep him alive for now. Do you have access to a Freshwater Master Test Kit? If you can get one of these and test the ammonia every day it will help. If the ammonia gets above .25 ppm, switch out 20-30% of the water with treated water until it is lower. Eventually the good bacteria in the filter and gravel will build up and help control the ammonia so you will only need to do partial water changes a few times a month. This process is called the Nitrogen Cycle and it will take 3-6 weeks to complete. Whatever you decide to do with your fish, cycling is the #1 priority in a new tank. That test kit will allow you to determine what stage of the cycle you're in. Here's a link with a cute little graph.

The plant looks like cabomba, but I'm not 100% sure. But I think goldfish like to eat plants? I've only kept them with plastic plants. Either way, cool plant.

So it's up to you if you think you should rehome/return them, get a big tank, or see how long they last in that one. They're very cute fish! Hope Dennis feels better soon!

u/xAnhLe · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Before I answer your questions, I want you to know that getting more advanced meaning spending a lot more money and time. A lot us learn by making mistakes, and that's how I started, by making a lot of mistakes.

I don't know what level of planting you want to do. It can be as easy as adding a few amazon swords into your tank right now, or as difficult as buying new light, CO2 equipment, fertilizers, etc.

If you want to save a lot of money from mistakes then here is what you should do:

  • Buy a new tank. preferably a big one like a 75G at least since you'll probably want a lot of fish and some of those fish will need a good size tank. I think 75G minimum is the perfect size for beginner as oppose to 55G because of the width. It gives you comfort zone for a lot of fish. Look for it on craiglist first, and be patient. Of course you can get bigger tank if you want

  • You'll need substrates. I personally like Eco-Complete. $22.99 on Amazon. You can also have a layer of sand on top. I use pool filter sand. Something like this

  • You'll need light. 7000k Light is great for plants. LEDs will save you tons of money in the long run. Personally recommend Finnex. They simply have the best LEDs out there. There is a used one on Ebay for very cheap. link I don't know how much I can trust them, I personally would buy a new one if I have the money.

  • You'll need plants. If you live close by Miami, I can give you a few good places to go to. If not your LFS can provide you with these. There is also a seller on Ebay called FishRUs who has some very good plants. You can start with amazon swords, anubias, or whatever plants you want. You'll make mistakes and kill plants, but that's what we humans do. Just make sure you utilize google.

  • You'll need fertilizers. Don't waste your money on Seachem. Read this page Fertilizer can be purchased here

  • You'll need a CO2 system. Aquatek Mini for 87.99 + CO2 tank $26.59. Then go to a local paintball shop and refill your CO2 bottle for $3-4.

  • Water change. You can use Aqueon Water Changer $27.99 you can also buy the 50FT version if you need. You won't regret this buy, trust me.

  • You'll need a filter. Sunsun Canister Pro Kit $97.99 Probably the best canister out there for this price. You can go FX5 if you have the money.

  • Purigen filter media ~$20

  • API Test Kit $22.99

  • There are a wide variety of cichlid. I don't know what you like, but I personally LOVE South America cichlids. These fish are also compatible with your gouramis. You can get a few rams, and 4 angelfish to begin. Discus are beautiful, but don't try it until you feel comfortable with the basics and do enough research. Along with those, you can also get some tetras and corys catfish.
u/sarahkazz · 8 pointsr/Aquariums

Hey there!

Since space is a concern, I'd highly recommend starting with a fish who prefers to live alone. The humble betta fish is very hardy.

You could get away with a three gallon tank, but your fish would be much happier in something with 5 gallons. The 5 gallon cube tanks do not take up much space and would be perfect! There's actually some concern within the hobby that bowls may stress fish out because of the shape, so it's not just a size thing.

I would not count on an external radiator to keep your fish comfortable. a 25-50 watt heater isn't terribly expensive and would do a much better job of keeping it consistent. Fish are cold-blooded animals, and sudden swings in temperature that we might not even notice because our bodies regulate our temperature internally could be lethal to your finned friend.

So. I'd recommend starting with a 5 gallon aquarium This one is a little pricy but it comes with a light and a filter, so all you'd need is the heater and whatever you want to decorate the tank with. You will also need a good water conditioner. I like Seachem Prime.

Look up the nitrogen cycle. I would highly recommend cycling your tank before the fish goes in. If you do fish-out cycling, you could realistically get it done in about a month, especially if you use a substrate like Eco Earth.

Lastly, give your fish friend some places to hide. And plants! Easy live plants to keep are anubias and swords, and they will help keep your water tidy in between changes.

u/oliviac30 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Hmm odd that the water fizzed up. Did you rinse out the tank and rinse off the carbon and decorations before putting them in? The fact that you can smell chlorine is probably a good indicator you are best of to switch to a different water conditioner. (I like Seachem Prime.) Betta's like a low flow filter so just keep an eye on the filter or even switch to a sponge filter, or filter with a sponge over the intake, etc. Remeber to test your tap water too! I will link some products I have used or similar to those I have used in the past and had success with. (It may be a good idea to compare prices at your LFS store to Amazon, as I know my local Petsmart/Petco charges a fortune for a lot of aquarium items without much selection.)

API Freshwater Test Kit (Amazon wow $19.99 right now!) or at your LFS -Don't buy the test strips.

SeaChem Prime ($4-$13 depending on size from Amazon or at your LFS. I swear by Prime.)

A thermometer is a good idea to make sure your heater does not create a major issue. I do not use this exact one but figured I would add it to the list with a link ($2)

Here I will just attach a link for a sponge filter I use in a 10 gallon (~$12). You will need some airline hosing and an air pump (tetra air pump works) if you get it, though I think it may be a little big for a 4 gallon. Also, an aquaclear is by far my favorite HOB filter if you go that route. Hopefully, your filter will workout!
Tetra Air pump (~$7)
Aquaclear 20 (110V ~$25): This may be a little big for your 4 gallon, not sure as I have the Aquaclear 50 on my 30 gallon but I will add it along just in case.

Airline Tubing (a few dollars, great to have)

Household Ammonia without surfactant (to do your fishless cycle) see link

If you decide to go with silk aquarium plants, they have few fun options online. I would also suggest really plants as they will help reduce nitrates in the future. Some good low-tech plants would be anubias, or java fern (and some others). These can be tied to a rock or driftwood as don't need to be placed in the gravel/sand/soil itself. (A small clip-on LED for an aquarium should work
if you go this route.)

I would provide food options, but r/bettafish has done a great job!

Here are a few they have mentioned:

Ocean Nutrition Atison's Betta Food (~12)

New Life Spectrum Betta Formula (~$10)

Hikari Betta Bio-Gold (~$13)

You should be able to find frozen daphnia, and frozen brine shrimp at Petco/Petsmart, and live brine shrimp at your LFS.

Will add on later! Happy cycling and keep us posted!

u/mollymalone222 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

These are all budget friendly:

I don't know what you are using now, but I had Nicrews on my 10s, and I thought the same thing re lighting, so I went for this Full Spectrum, but I have to be honest, I think it's a little dim for anything other than floating plants. It was $29. I'd skip it. This one is on my 29, the 24 inch one. And as that's a deeper tank, it is actually pretty good. But, I believe the plants in here are easy low light, Java Ferns, some Vals, some Sag, some Pogostemon 'octopus' stellatus.

Of all the lights this one actually to me seems the brightest, even though the one I have is the little 11 inch one, perfect for my little 2.5 gallons, almost too bright. While I don't have the larger one of this brand, I think I'd recommend it for the plants, it's only $20 on Amazon. My plants grow gangbusters with it.

If not, the Nicrew would probably be fine if you don't have floating plants that block light. It's like $18.

If, however, you decide to spend more, I have a Current, which for me is High Light lol! I think it's 26 inches. But, I got it for free, and I think they are like $100 give or take.

u/waleedwale1 · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

I also started my first saltwater tank a few weeks ago and I'm 14. Now I went for a nano and it went just fine. First you need to learn about cycling. This is probably the most important thing. Ammonia and nitrite are extremely toxic to fish. There are bacteria colonies that make these into nitrates, the nitrates are only harmful in large quantities. Fish waster produces ammonia, which is transformed into nitrites by bacteria which is transformed into nitrates by bacteria. When you setup your tank, you need to throw a deli shrimp inside to produce ammonia. Then, with testkit you will test the water until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitirites and less then 20 ppm of nitrates. Nitrates are removed through water changes. You will need ocean salt, RO/DI water, a heater, a hydrometer, a test kit, sand, live rock, a powerhead, and a filter. First you clean up the tank. Then you add sand that has been rinsed. Mix your saltwater and fill the tank about halfway. For a 20 gallon, I would purchase around 30 pounds of live rock. Place the rock in the position you like. The live rock is probably the most important thing in the tank. It houses the bacteria that keeps your fish from dying. This should be done within 2 hours. When satisfied with the placement, fill the tank up. Let it run for a day with the heater, filter and powerhead on. Check for leaks. Also, when making saltwater test it with the hydrometer do the specific gravity is between 1.021 and 1.026. Most fish prefer 1.024. The next day drop in the shrimp ad start testing. It will take around 3 weeks until your tank is ready for fish sometimes longer. The cycling process cannot be rushed. Any fish placed in earlier will DIE. Now, you wait. Also pH can be an issue. Use a marine buffer to take care of this. Algae is a bitch in saltwater and you will need a good cleanup crew. Go to and look at their recommendations and go from there. What do you plan on stocking? Use to see if you will be okay. Don't buy any products that claim to provide bacteria and shorten the cycle. They don't work and result in dead fish. When you get your fish, use the drip acclimation method for 2 hours before placing them in your tank.
Here's some supplies you will need
Inside the filter, remove the carbon and add this,
Also, put pieces of live rock inside the filter.
Use saltwater when doing a water change and use reverse osmosis or distilled water to replace water that has evaporated every 2-3 days. Draw a small line at where the water should be so you know how much to add.
When measuring salinity, hold the hydrometer and tap it a few times to get rid of bubbles which can affect the results. A refractometer is more accurate but more expensive.
This is a pretty good buffer.
You will need around 25-30 pounds of Sand which you can get at your local fish store as well as the live rock.
These are some good heaters

Order a few of these for accurate temp measurement

This is a good high quality fish food and there is a lot of it for a good price

For a background I like all black backgrounds so I got this for my tank

I wouldn't suggest doing corals because they are pretty hard and sensitive.

As for lighting, this is pretty good
But I don't know your tank dimensions. Someone else could probably offer better advice on lighting and what powerhead to get. Powerheads are also necessary.

Try to get a glass canopy for your tank. They are pretty useful.

Here's some pictures of my tank, I also did a planted 30 gallon last year when I was 13.

My freshwater tank

u/Moatilliatta_ · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

There's debate about whether test strips or liquid test kits are better. Most recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit (liquid tests are usually more accurate, and probably more economical than buying test strips, but it's hard to properly clean the test tubes). Test strips work just as well (Cory from Aquarium Co-Op uses strips; they're quicker, easier to use, and don't require cleaning test tubes).

So, uh, like, if you didn't test your water, um, how did you cycle your tank? >:[ Seems like everything turned out OK in the end, though. Fish-in cycling just isn't very popular in this subreddit. Or maybe you took your water to a LFS (also not a very popular practice here).

Your vet friend does indeed sound like an awesome person, which is why I think it's shitty to rely on him to take your pets when you move away. Having a vet pet-sitter is great. Having a vet you can schlep all your unwanted pets onto is great - for you, not for him. The right thing to do would be to not get pets you can't care for, IMO.

I'm a nano-fish gal, myself. Currently obsessed with pseudomugil rainbowfish at the moment (I have several pseudomugil gertrudae, and I'm planning to get some pseudomugil luminatus in the coming months. I currently keep 1 female plakat betta (unfortunately I recently lost her beautiful mate to dropsy), 2 powder blue dwarf gouramis, 12 spotted blue eyed rainbowfish (pseudomugil gertrudae), 1 bamboo shrimp, 12 amano shrimp, 12 blue velvet shrimp, and 8 blue dream shrimp in a heavily planted 60 gallon community tank. I'm intentionally very understocked as a way to ensure my feesh have lots of space, and used plants, rock caves, and driftwood to ensure they had lots of hiding spaces for when territorial disputes occurred (bettas and gouramis can both be territorial/aggressive). Keeping smaller species allows me to get more fish (hehe), and I just generally like the look of a big jungle tank with appropriately sized smaller fish darting through it.

u/how_fedorable · 7 pointsr/Aquariums

I agree with the other comments that guppies do better in a larger tank, but until y ou can get one, the 20L will be a vast improvement over the 3L tank. so to answer your questions:

  1. Go out and get some waterconditioner (like seachem prime) this will neutralize the chlorine and chloramine in the water. It also helps with ammonia, but so does nutrafin.

  2. Yes! but not before you added the waterconditioner! The bacteria in the filter are very beneficial, and don't like chlorine and chloramine.

  3. Take a moment to read about cycling, it's a vital first step in setting up an aquarium. TL:DR: Fish produce ammonia, which is toxic. Some bacteria can convert ammonia into nitrite, which is slightly less bad. Other bacteria then convert the nitrite into nitrate, a much less harmful compound. These bacteria live on the substrate, decorations, and most importantly, in the filter. New aquaria do not have enough of thee bacteria, so we need to give the tank some time to establish healthy bacterial colonies. The process by which we do that is called cycling.

    Ideally, you do the cycling step before adding fish. Though in your case it's better to add the fish and do what we call a fish-in cycle. You can read a guide here. Nutrafin can help with that, but the most important thing is that you test the water with a good test kit (like this one) often and do waterchanges do keep the ammonia and nitrite levels low.

    Always use waterconditioner when you do a waterchange! And don't add more fish until the tank is fully cycled. Welcome to the hobby :)
u/dmacintyres · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Well, the first thing we'll need to know is how much space do you have? Are you looking to fill an empty space on your night stand or are you looking to have a separate aquarium stand?

Next, we need to look at what your intent is. Are you looking to keep a few shrimp or are you trying to breed them? The breeding will happen whether you want it to or not, and without fish in there to eat all your baby shrimp you'll have a large population fairly quickly.

Once we've determined these things we can look at a few other things that might affect some minor aspects of your setup but for the sake of time we'll assume you're starting with a 10 gallon (which is a bit on the small side for a low maintenance aquarium) with an [Aquaclear 20] ( and you're doing a shrimp-only, planted tank.

We'll begin with plants: Live plants are better for shrimp and generally look better! [Here] ( are some good plants for shrimp tanks. Most of these can easily be found at any pet store.

Substrate is highly dependent on what you personally prefer. Some, like me, prefer [mineralized topsoil] ( with a sand or gravel top layer. This is so that you don't have to dose your rooted plants with fertilizer but they'll keep their bright colors and good growth rate. Others simply put down the sand or gravel of their choice and put root tablets into the substrate so that the rooted plants get their nutrients. The disadvantage of this is that you have to replace the tablets every so often and still sometimes end up needing to fertilize.

For conditioner, the only thing you will likely need is [dechlorinator] ( This simply takes the chlorine out of tap water so that it won't hurt your shrimp.

The [API Freshwater Master test kit] ( is the most widely used kit on Reddit from what I've seen.

You shouldn't need to add any minerals, but your water hardness should be slightly acidic for the best results in terms of color and health.

You can find these links in the sidebar as well, but [this] ( is a beginner's guide to tropical fish keeping, [Aqadvisor] ( is a website that can calculate how fully stocked your tank is based on the size of your tank and filtering capabilities, and [here] ( is a guide to understanding lighting.

Finally, [this] ( is a helpful guide on red cherry shrimp overall. You NEED to wait for your tank to be [fully cycled] ( to add shrimp, but not to add any plants which means you can go ahead and plant any plants you want while it's cycling and they can get established while you wait. If you go with the tank size and filter I used as the example, you will easily be able to house 50+ shrimp according to Aqadvisor. For your plants, I recommend going low-tech, which means using plants that don't require a lot of lighting and not using any CO2.

u/partotheplan · 1 pointr/Aquariums

GloFish can be pretty neat. There's a couple different kinds of species. Do you know which your thinking of getting? Both the Danios and Tetras come in a bunch of colors but the Tiger Barbs only come in green.

Whichever way you go, I'd recommend at least a 10 gallon. GloFish school and having a bit more room to swim around makes good sense. Plus the light show's better.

Couple things for lighting. One, they'll only glow under certain light types. Aim for a blue actinic light. A distributor recommended that for max pop of the fluorescence. I've also read that black lights can actually sunburn the fish. Don't know how much truth there is to that though. Also as much as you'll want to have that light on all the time, try not to over do it. Algae loves light and too much can make your tank look gross.

All GloFish need decently warm water, so you'll probably need to look into a heater. I'd also steer away from live plants on your first go. Not because of algae but just because you don't want to overwhelm yourself with stuff to worry about.

For maintenance and set up, buy an API testing kit. Learn how to check all the levels for your tank before getting fish and then do it regularly. A lot of beginner missteps can be corrected if you catch them and knowing how to check will save you headaches. Keep up on your water changes. It can seem like a hassle at first, but stay on it. You and your fish will be happier for it.

Good Luck!

u/Virginia_Trek · 2 pointsr/Aquariums there is a lot wrong here. I'll try to make it simple as to not overload you with information, and if you have further questions, please let me know and I'll expand.

  1. Check the seals and assure that the tank is not leaking or going to leak. A tank in this shape is high risk. Bubbles in the silicon joints are a bad sign. Actual leaks are a worse sign.

  2. The tank needs to be cleaned. The filter, filter material (DO NOT THROW OUT! RINSE AND SQUEEZE IN BUCKET OF TANK WATER NOT TAP WATER), hood, and probably under the substrate should be cleaned. The walls should be scrubbed of algae and grime. If you do not wish to totally empty the tank and clean by hand, i recommend scrubbing the glass with a clean sponge or aquarium cleaning brush. I recommend soaking the filter parts in tap water and cleaning with a sponge. As for the substrate (the gravel), you will need a siphon/aquarium vacuum to get under it. There is bound to be loads of fish poo and particulates. The hood can be cleaned with wet paper towels or sponges.

  3. A series of water changes should be performed. It is tempting to do a huge one, but depending on how bad the tank is, a series of 10-20% changes may be the safest route. You will need to buy a test kit (i recommend the API kit) to check the parameters. The levels you absolutely need to know: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph.

    I've never kept an oscar before, but i believe ~7.2-7.6 ph is optimal. For all fish, 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and probably 0-30ppm nitrates are good numbers. Eventually these will be stable and you will only need to do probably one 25% change weekly. This takes about 10-30 minutes depending on your tools and proximity to a water source.

    I would say this is a 75g, but honestly, i suck at guessing. Dimensions would clear it right up. The two plecos will eventually outgrow it, and may have already. They will need most likely a 120g+ tank. The oscar should be happy here. Absolutely do not pay someone to clean and maintain the tank. It is a lot of work up front, but it will be so much cheaper and easier for you. I have 3 tanks (2.5g, 20g, and 75g) and i spend maybe 40 minutes a week total. I spend 20 minutes a week on my 75 and it is mostly water changes.


    In addition, the plecos probably need driftwood or something equivalent to suck on to. Currently the atat is the only thing they have in the tank and that is not making them happy.

    Things you must buy bare minimum to ensure livable water quality:

  4. Water parameter testing kit. I strongly recommend the API master test kit

  5. SeaChem Prime is by a long shot the best water conditioner. Removes chlorine, and temporarily detoxifies ammonia and nitrites for up to 48hrs.

  6. Siphon for cleaning and removing water for changes. Most will work, but you need a fairly large one for a tank this size. This one will be fine.
u/ss___throwaway · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

I can't say much because you didn't specify what your parents are against and what you've done so far to try to convince them.

But from my experience (had to convince my parents too) collect as much information as possible and show it to them in a calm, non confrontational/emotional manner.

Info such as:

  • Basic fish info: the nitrogen cycle & what the good bacteria does, stunting growth consequences

  • Basic goldfish info: how long they live, how big they get, videos of happy & clean goldfish tanks such as Solid Gold on youtube

  • Get an API liquid water test kit and and test the water. Have numbers to back you up!

  • Tank size - do what purple_potato said. There are still a LOT of sites with misinformation that come up on the first pages of google so be careful! They might counter with that.

  • Tank weight - How old is your house? What floor do you live in? Can the floor hold the weight of the aquarium? (75 gallons is about 850 lb with water. If you have fancy goldfish you won't need that big of a tank but if they're comets 75 is a good size, but realistically you won't be allowed to get a 75)

  • Make a budget sheet. List all the expenses for the tank, filtration, heater (depending on where you live), air stone (if needed), water conditioner, siphon, food.

    How much money do you have? Be prepared to use your own money. Look around on craigslist/letitgo/etc for good tank deals. If you're short on money and can't find any good deals, consider using storage bins or other alternatives.

    Keeping it very clean, visually pleasing (eg live plants), and quiet (eg noise from the spray bar and air stones) also helps.

    Who's going to keep up with water changes and care? How old are you? Do you plan to move out soon? Since goldfish tanks are huge, water changes can quickly become a drag (unless you have money for a python or a similar setup) .

    Alternatively, find someone that will take the goldfish and get a betta or other suitable fish for a 10 gal. Happy fish and your parents still get to "care" for a fish!
u/timeywimeystuff1701 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I have this one. It was $30, but I think it was worth it. It makes my life so much easier (although, it is much easier to use with two people rather than one, one at the sink to turn the water on/off, one at the tank to make sure the fish don't get hurt). I wouldn't necessarily call it a cheap piece of plastic, because it seems pretty well made, and I think it will last me a long time. I don't really know of any way to make a system like this yourself, but if you find one, I'd love to hear about it! Also, for what it's worth, I've only had a tank for about six months, so I'm fairly new at this. Someone more knowledgable than I am might have better advice for you. Good luck!

u/necropaw · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Alright...time to start typing out this monster.

Ive been reading guides and stuff, but i have a terrible memory when reading things, and theres some stuff i want to double check, etc.

Im looking to set up my old 29 gal tank from when i was a kid (its been empty for 10+ years). My goal is to do a planted tank with primarily tetras and shrimp...maybe a pleco and perhaps another type of schooling fish.

I probably wont be able to start cycling for ~2 weeks or so, though by the time i buy stuff on amazon, etc thats probably a decent timetable.

This light was suggested to me by another user. Should be sufficient for growing plants in a low tech system, right?

Ive seen various numbers for how 'oversized' a filter should be. Right now im kinda looking at these two (1) (2). Any comments on brand? It looks like i can get either one in bigger/smaller sizes. 400gph seems like it might be a bit overkill...but is 250 too low?

Ive read that often the agitation in the surface water by the filter is enough to provide sufficient gasses to the plants/ you think that ill be true in a low tech tank? Would an aerator help? I dont think i'll mind having bubbles coming up in the background if it will, but am i overthinking this?

I wish i had saved more links on substrate and sand and all. Any recommendations for substrate for plants? Would probably like black stuff. I think this is the one i had read about being good?

Thinking about doing a bit of gravel in the tank, but i'd also like to do some sand. Maybe something like 2/3 sand (maybe a couple different types?) and then the rest gravel? Thoughts/concerns?

I thought i had read somewhere that people often use blasting sand (rinsed well)....anyone have comments on that? I could probably get some for cheap from work, though im not sure i want dark sand...

Best place to get a larger piece of driftwood? Ive looked around online a bit and have seen a ton of different sites and whatever, but was wondering if anyone had a suggestion for where to go. Im probably going to want one big piece, and then i can get smaller pieces from wherever.

I assume when im doing water changes and stuff im going to want to bypass our water softener? Our water is supposed to be pretty hard, do i want to maybe mix softened with unsoftened? (ive seen a lot of stuff about adding minerals to pure RO water, but havent seen much on softeners)

Im sure ill think of more, but this should at least be a good start...

Edit: Best place to get rocks and stuff? I'd like a couple for a natural look, im just not sure where to get them. I could get some red granite around here, but im not sure how that'd work, and it seems like it'd be really heavy...?

u/bannik1 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Cherry and blue dream are the same species and will interbreed.

I would recommend picking one or the other.

When they interbreed, you won't get purple, instead you'll get some poorly colored blues, some poorly colored reds and a lot of "plain" which are basically mostly clear with some light brown.

Also neocardinas like lower temperatures, if you're looking to build a colony you should avoid tropical fish since they prefer warmer temps. If you're keeping shrimp a heater isn't really necessary.

I agree to wait for the $1 per gallon sale, it really is difficult to beat.

Over the last few years I've had 6 20g's going at the same time with slightly different set-ups from sponge filters to HOB to canister. I experimented with all methods, hi-tech, low-tech, waldstadt.

The most important thing you can do is think about what your end goal is. You'll make mistakes at first, everyone does. But if you plan ahead you can minimize how costly they will be.

If I were to recommend a set-up to a beginner.

  • $20 aquarium PetCo $1 per gallon sale

  • $35 AquaClear HOB filter
  • $8 SunSun powerhead
  • $90 LED + full spectrum. As far as lighting goes, I've never been let down by Current USA, but I've never tried this model.
  • $40 Substrate I recommend aquasoil
  • $80-$150 for hardscaping. I would recommend Seiryu, Manten, or Ohko stones. You'll want 20-30 lbs and the cost ranges from $3 per lb to $6 per lb.
  • $10-$25 for plants. For starting off I'd recommend something easy and fast growing like hygro pinnatifida, cabomba caroliniana, dwarf hairgrass, and rotala indica.
  • $10 initial livestock. Get everything set-up and planted. Then buy 5 white cloud minnows to cycle your tank for the first month. These guys love the same parameters as your soon to be purchased shrimp.
  • $5 second livestock purchase, get 2 otolincus catfish. By this point your tank should be cycled and some algae may be growing, otos will clean that up in no time.
  • Now you buy your shrimp. You can get decent quality fire red cherry shrimp for ~$3-4 each, or blue dreams for $5-7 each. You'll want to start off with 10. Be good with your 20% water changes every week and soon they will be molting afterwards. Soon you'll get babies, after your first batch is born, buy another 10 to improve the gene pool a bit.
u/SillyCamper · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

First, welcome, I hope you enjoy this subreddit we have. The first thing to know is the nitrogen cycle. You MUST understand this like the back of your hand before getting a fish, otherwise the fish wont be happy, or it might die. Figure out what your tap water is, in terms of pH, and other things in the water. To test this water you will need a test kit. A really high quality and highly recommended one is this. You can also use test strips but I dont know any good ones. Secondly, the smaller aquarium you have, the harder it is to maintain stable parameters. Stable parameters means happy fish. A good small starter aquarium is a 10 gallon for $10 at petco. With a filter, light, HEATER <---(All of these are needed), it should be around $30-$40. Remember, this is a pet, take care of it. Yes, you can buy fish online, I would do some research and see if there are of good quality. Another thing to be aware of is maintenance. Maintenance includes water changes and overall health of the aquarium. Do some research to make sure you have a cycled aquarium (cycling refers to the nitrogen cycle, that needs to be monitored). Aquarium fish cannot live from just straight tap water, which means you need a water dechlorinator such as this. In summary, to keep a fish alive and healthy/happy you need: heater, proper size aquarium, filter, light,water dechlorinator, and basic knowledge of the nitrogen cycle.

u/PowerfulPotatoPunch · 6 pointsr/Aquariums

Repeating and adding on to what's already been said, neither would do well in that "tank". It's too small for any fish to live comfortably and doesn't allow for many if the things needed for fish to thrive. Because you're asking a question like this you must be new to fish keeping, which isn't a bad thing. As far as the tank goes, I would try and return it if possible. Like /u/_ataraxia said, goldfish need 30-40 gallons, minimum. To better display the reason why, here is a comparason of the goldfish you buy at the store to a full grown adult. Bettas also need larger, 2.5 gallons is the semi-agreed upon minimum for bettas. I put "semi" there because many argue that 5 or 10 gallons should be the minimum.

If you want to get some fish for you daughter and care for them in a humane way I'd invest in a 10 gallon tank. 10s are small enough to be affordable for beginners and allow for more than one fish to be kept in the tank. /u/kamikazeX already mentioned that petco has a $1 per gallon sale on now which you should really take advantage of if you want to commit to this. Personally, I think a 20 gallon long tank would be much better and would only cost about $10-15 more to set up and will make your life easier. Believe it or not bigger is better and the bigger the tank the less maintenance you have to do. For things you should research a small list would be:

  • The nitrogen cycle and how to cycle a tank without fish, you may want to add fish right away but that would likely kill them due to ammonia poisoning

  • What fish can fit in your tank

  • Please, please, pleeeaaaaaaaaase research an individual fish before buying it. All too often people buy baby common plecos aka "sucker fish" when they're little, without knowing that they get massive

    As far as what I'd recommend buying to get started is:

  • 20 Gallon long or 10 galon (up to you, but the 20 is easier to care for)

  • Aquaclear 50 (if you wanted to go with the 20) or an Aquaclear 30 (for a 10 gallon)

  • Black sand (the colorful gravel may be appealing, but the paint can wear off). I say black because with the darker substrate fish show more natural colors and look better.

  • Fake or real plants and some rocks or caves (personally I think that the more natural the better, and live plants help manage nitrates)

  • Decent lights
  • Small heater or an appropriate size

    There may be similar products for lower prices, but with aquariums you always want to buy nice, not twice. When/if you get a proper tank and it is time to add fish go to trhe store and find the ones you like, write down what they are and leave. Don't buy them, leave. Go home and do your research so you know how to care for what you're getting and that it will do well in your tank. The last time I bought fish I had done a week of research on what I was buying.
u/Puckfan21 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Haha I was confused for a second. When you want to make a post make sure you are into the text box for the thread and not someone's comments. You will be more noticed.

Butttt Lets see what I can help you with...

  1. Larger the tank, easier it is to maintain water chemistry. Generally you want to do a water change weekly. I sometimes get lazy and will wait longer between water changes. When it comes to filters you want them to be larger than your aquarium. So, 75g tank you'll want something rated larger than that. You should not have to dismantle anything. I use I use this for all of my water changes.

    Also to this point I noticed you want a lot of different fish. Be careful. A lot of schooling fish like to be in groups of 6+ and some fish have anger issues. Using this stocking website will give you a good idea of how many fish you can have and if they work well with others.

    And then plants! Live plants are great to have. Make sure you look into them. Some get their nutrients from the soil while others get them directly from the water.

  2. This hobby can be expensive. Without Black Friday my current set up would cost over $1,000 and that's not including lights. Since you are looking for a 75g tank make sure to keep an eye out for dollar gallon sales at petsmart. They happen every few months. You'll also want to make sure you have a sturdy enough stand for it also. When it comes to fish, just take a peek at petsmart website. Must of their fish are $3 to $10. If your town has a Local Fish Store (LFS) you may be able to find better deals. For plants, keep your eye on /r/AquaSwap for deals. I personally have had great success with /u/butteredscrimp. If you give them details on your tank and how much you are looking to spend, they will put together a package for you.

  3. On the side bar there are a bunch of helpful links you can look through. Besides the ones I posted above some other ones are: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Tank, Fishless Cycling.

    Currently at 2365 characters and probably my longest reddit post. It is a lot of information and if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask!
u/boogiemanspud · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Before you get ANY fish, please read about cycling a tank. It's pretty dang easy to do and saves your fish a lot of suffering and/or death. There are links under the green FAQ bar above.

Edit: If you are in the U.S. I would recommend going to Petco for the dollar a gallon sale. 6 gallons will work for one betta and some shrimp/snails, but if you can fit it into your budget, a 20, or even a 30 would be much better in the long run.

You will need a heater. I got a sunsun brand for a 75 gallon for $13 on amazon. For a heater, you wan't 3-5 watts per gallon. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but it's a good guideline. 6 gallon would be 18-30 watt, 20 would be 60-125 watt, 30 would be 90-150 watt.

You will also need a filter. If you want a canister style is a good bet. For a HOB (hang on back) is a great (and VERY VERY quiet) filter. I've not personally used that size of sunsun, but I have 2 of the aquaclear, and they are amazing little filters. If it were me, I think I would get the aquaclear. You can rinse the foam in tank water (like in a bucket) and reuse it for probably several years.

You will need a light hood to view your fish (and keep it from jumping out!)

ANOTHER EDIT: The 6 gallon would also be a good quarantine tank for new fish (prevent disease) or new plants (to make sure no snails hatch out).

u/mymamaalwayssaid · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I'm going to make this list assuming that you have Amazon in your area and that either you or someone you know has Amazon Prime. If not, then think of this as more of a template that you can tweak using what you have available to you:

  • Tank: Finnex Rimless - This isn't a prefab as much as it is just a blank slate. 7.5 gallons is ample room for a nice little shrimp colony, the tank itself is quite attractive and Finnex is one of my more favored brands for LEDs.

  • Filtration: Depending on your personal preference, I tried/like both the Tom Mini Filter and Deep Blue Biomaxx Nano. They're both quiet, gentle and have few moving parts for easy maintenance and cleaning. It just depends on whether you like submersible or HOB style filters, though if using the Biomaxx I'd suggest wrapping the intake with coarse filter pads or a sponge.

  • Substrate: Eco-Complete - You'll probably be able to grow just about any plant you desire in this stuff, it's dirt cheap compared to other brands and is just as easy to use as plain old normal gravel. One bag should be all you need.

    Hopefully you have Amazon Prime available to you where you are, and if so none of this requires any shipping charge. If you do at most this will cost you $115.79, leaving you lots of money to spend on shrimp and plants! Hope this was helpful to you, best of luck!
u/PJsAreComfy · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Cycling a tank involves the Nitrogen Cycle which builds beneficial bacteria colonies that keep your aquarium in balance. The bacteria is what converts toxins (fish poop, leftover food, ammonia from tap water, etc.) into relatively harmless nitrates, which you remove with partial water changes; without it, ammonia builds in the tank and can poison fish. Read about it before you start anything and plan 3-5 weeks to cycle your tank before adding fish. It's a crucial step to ensure the fish live.

[Here's an article on plant dips.]( I do three days in alum (trying to minimize snails and ich) but potassium permanganate is a more popular choice.

I have tons of red cherry shrimp and they're a great cleanup crew but you shouldn't put them in a new tank. They do better in a mature, stable tank that's accumulated biofilm. What kind of shrimp or fish you get will depend on your tank and water parameters as they need different things - high or low pH, hard or soft water, big and/or long tanks, etc. You'll understand your water better throughout the weeks you're cycling and that will help you select fish and invertebrates suited to your specific local water chemistry.

It all seems very complicated in the beginning but the cycling process itself is easy. I found it much harder to select fish and plants, read about fish diseases and decide whether to prophylactically treat new fish (e.g. PraziPro for parasites), choose my substrate, design my tank, etc.

Start by selecting and getting a tank, a filter, a heater (if needed), pure household ammonia, and a test kit. Get the cycle started (very little happens the first week or two) and spend the next few weeks researching and planning what you want to add.

u/CoronaTim · 6 pointsr/Aquariums

This is a great tank! From what I can see he has vibrant colors and healthy fins. If Caboose is 10 months old; his current living conditions are maintained, he will live to the full potential of his life span which is 4 to 5 years. Make sure he has enough space at the top of the tank to surface and "breathe", which is important to prevent infections in his labyrinth organ (an organ evolved for absorbing CO2 and oxygen from the air.)


I like the idea of more plants, if I may give some suggestions? Floating plants in my experience are very good for Betta fish and really most fish in general! It allows me to 'filter' out the light so it isn't shining directly into the tank which may become too intense and stress fish out. Salvinia or 'water moss' is a personal favorite, I also like duckweed, and water lettuce. However you have to be careful because plants like these, especially duckweed, will grow really fast and has to be trimmed a lot.


Useful links to you I have on hand;


Cheap API testing kits

Expensive API testing kit (I highly recommend this one)








u/framauro13 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Instead of test strips, you might look into getting an API Master Testkit. It will give much more accurate readings, and will last longer, saving you money in the long run. Test strips can vary in accuracy depending on how much they're exposed to air. The first few from a fresh bottle tend to work well, but I've always noticed nitrates and pH getting harder to read the further I get into a bottle. A liquid test kit like the one API makes will give you more accurate readings.

Also, as hoodwin70 said, you can't rush cycling. It took about 5 weeks in my 29G, and around 4 weeks in my 5G Betta tank. The best I've ever done was 2 weeks in a Betta tank using filter media and substrate from an existing tank. Just make sure if you use bottled ammonia to start the cycle that it is clear ammonia and has no additives. The general idea for fishless cycling is that by adding ammonia, you help build up the necessary bacteria colonies that will convert the ammonia into less harmful forms, mainly nitrates, which you can then remove from the tank through water changes. Most fish can tolerate higher nitrate readings than they can nitrites or ammonia.

The quick and dirty run down is this: add ammonia to the tank (via bottle or decaying fish food), and wait for nitrites to show up (about a week or less). Once nitrites show up, the first colony is becoming established. At this point, if ammonia reads 0, add more to keep feeding the cycle. You should start to see nitrates after a while. This part usually takes the longest: waiting for nitrites to go away, and can take weeks. Keep feeding small amounts of ammonia to keep the cycle going, and when nitrites and ammonia read 0, you're done. Do a large water change to get the nitrates low (under 10ppm) and you should be good to add fish. Ideally, you'll never read ammonia and nitrites, only nitrates. You'll probably want to do a water change whenever they read around 20ppm (that's when I do mine). The link in the sidebar will have more detail, but that's the gist of how I usually do it.

As for the driftwood, to help with leaching, it's a good idea to boil it a few times before putting it in the tank. That'll get a lot of the junk out of it and reduce how much is leached into the tank. Although some people prefer that yellow color since it's not really harmful to the fish.

Good luck!

EDIT: Link to the testkit.

u/Camallanus · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I've never used the NICREW dimmable ones, but it does seem nice. I've always used this one because it's worked well for me so far on my tanks including my 20g long. Your 29g would be taller, so you might actually be fine on max power for it:

The one thing I would caution with the 24/7 is it may start growing algae. My Vivagrow 24/7 grew algae in 24/7 mode on my 20g long. It took a couple weeks, but I was definitely getting algae growth on my lid. There might have been algae growth in the tank too, but I have a cleanup crew that takes care of that so I never saw it. I moved it to my 29g hoping that my floaters would absorb enough nutrients to not make algae an issue and so far it's been great. I only have floating plants in the 29g though, so I'm not sure how well it would do with other plants.

u/[deleted] · 7 pointsr/Aquariums

Ok so you have a lot to learn but you came to the right place rather than just throwing fish in. Thank you! Here is a kind of TL;DR that should cover the basics and if you have any questions just ask me.

  • Read This link
  • Buy This liquid water test kit, its a similar price to the strips, will last longer and tests for more
  • Buy an ammonia source. I would personally recommend picking up pure ammonia because it is the most accurate, least messy and overall most hands off. ACE makes a pure ammonia thats perfect but any unscented, and uncolored, ammonia that doesn't foam when shook would work fine. You can pick it up at most hardware stores.
    *Now to the actual cycling part. Add 3-5ppm of ammonia to your tank. Here is a great calculator
  • Every two days (or less) check your ammonia levels. If it's less than 3ppm (but > 0) redose your ammonia back to around 4-5 ppm
  • If your ammonia is at 0 ppm after dosing back to 3-5 ppm 2 days ago check your nitrite levels. If they are also 0 ppm then check your nitrate levels.
  • If your nitrate levels are less than 15ppm then just add fish. If your levels are greater than 30 ppm do a 50-60% water change then add fish.
    *This will take 1-2 months so be patient. You can try to use the bacteria supplements but for the most part they are as effective as the medicine you get to make your male parts bigger.
u/doozer_12 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I am on my phone, and it keeps deleting stuff, so I am going to have to reply in sections and hope that I don't have too many typos.

Did you test for nitrites? If ammonia and nitrites spike, but your nitrates are down, then you might be going into a mini cycle. You shouldn't since you kept your gravel etc, but I have heard that changing the carbon sometimes does that to a small tank after a move because so much bacteria builds up on the cartridge bag. Rinsing the other parts of the filter might do it too.

You should absolutely be monitoring your ammonia as that is usually the most dangerous spike that you can have. A properly cycled tank should have no ammonia, or very low levels of it. Ammonia can spike because of issues with the tap water, a mini cycle, or a dirty tank. It helps to test your tap water every now and then, but you should get in the habit of testing the water in the tank about once a week. More often if your numbers are high. Signs of an ammonia spike can be stressed, sick, or dying fish. Gasping, not swiming properly, hiding, etc. Test strips don't have the best reputaion around here, and I recrecommend a regular test kit. I will look for a link to the API test kit after I post this. I am afraid that doing it now will make me loose everything that I have written (thanks phone).

You should also be using a water conditioner every time you add water to the tank. Prime and Aquaclear are two easy to find brands. Stresscoat is another. If you can't get to a LFS then you can probably find Aquaclear at a grocery store, Target, or Walmart. I would do this ASAP. Edit#4: You mentioned that the tap water and the tank water (pre move I think) had similar parameters. The water conditioner is still important because tap water parameters can fluctuate, some conditioners like Prime or Stress Coat help build the slime coat, and some help with the tanks water cycle. I am going to let the Purigen website explain that to you though, because they do a far better job of it than I can:

It sounds to me like you might be over feeding. Even if that hasn't caused a major spike in your ammonia yet, it will. I feed every other day. Some people recommend feeding daily, except for skipping a day once a week. Never feed more fish flakes than your fish can eat in a few minutes. You can always give them more if they finish that quickly, and it is a big pain to have to vacuum out the extra food if you over feed. Wafers are a bit different. If the algae eater is coming out at night, then feed him before bed and remove what is left the next day.

If your algae eater is acting more comfortably at night then he is probably just adjusting to the move. Most of them prefer the dark anyways. He could also be acting weird because of ammonia or because the water needs to be treated with a water conditioner.

Your Rosy Barbs sound like they need 2 friends. They might have been cool with each other before, but a move like this (even though it is still their tank) can trigger an attitude change. You should really try to get them once you have verified that the ammonia and nitrites in the tank are low, and you have added a water conditioner.

I will post more in edits, but I want to post this now in case my phone acts up.

Edit: The test kit that I mentioned:

Edit #2 I highley recommend investing in something like this for gravel vacuuming and partial water changes: It's fast, easy, and efficient. I ordered a long one and it hooks up straight to my sink. If your substrate is sand then you might want to stick to a turkey baster and snails though.

Edit #3: I mentioned that you really ought to add 2 Rosy Barbs, but I forgot to mention that you can find them already at the size you need if you are willing to make phone calls or possibly go to a few different LFS. The tiger barbs that I rescued were almost fully grown, and my LFS was able to find them tank mates that were similarly sized. They don't have to be exactly the same size, as long as they are close. If your fish are 2.5 inches and you can find a few at 2 inches or close you will probably be ok. It's the young ones that are under an inch that I would stay away from. I would wait on the other barbs until you resolve the bullying with the Rosy barbs.

Edit #5 (see 4 way above): What is the tank's temperature right now?

I will look at this again in the morning, when I am on my computer. My phone hasn't been cooperating. I am sorry if I missed something. Let me know if I did or if you need clarification on something. You are welcome to pm me too.

u/FlyingPinkMonkey · 1 pointr/Aquariums

The conditioner is good for treating tap water. I have never used the stress zyme, but it seems alright for establishing some good bacteria. For fertilizers you can just buy some seachem flourish : and excel . Also be prepared to buy some root tabs if you are getting heavy root feeding plants like amazon swords and jungle val, they will appreciate the extra nutrients . Another option for fertilizers is to make your own with dry fertilizers. This method is much cheaper than buying the expensive commercial ones, so you can look that up and try it out if you want.

For the water testing kit, it is purely optional IMO but highly recommended. They are useful during cycling to check water parameters so you can confirm your tank is indeed 100% cycled. They are also useful for weekly/monthly tank check ups to see if anything is fouling your water (which can potentially kill your plants and fish!). You can either buy the testing strips or the liquid test kit. Both are pretty expensive, but you'll get the most bang for your buck with the liquid test kit-

u/FruitBatFanatic · 1 pointr/Aquariums

This is a link for the best testing kit in my experience.

Sorry, it’s really long and I don’t know how to shorten it. :P

As suggested, read up on the nitrogen cycle, as that’ll help a lot. When you test your water, you’re primarily testing for three things, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. Ammonia and Nitrite are toxic at any levels, whereas goldfish can handle Nitrate at about 20ppm before seeing negative effects. As your tank cycles, your ammonia and nitrite will go down, and your nitrate will go up (this process can take a few weeks). The only way to get rid of nitrates is to do water changes. This is why I’ve suggested you do them very regularly right now, water changes will take out ammonia and nitrite, lower nitrate. It’s the best way to help your fish right now.

As far as feeding, goldfish only need to be fed once a day, and as your tank is very small, you should stick to this. More food = more poop = dirtier water. Once you upgrade your tank, you could feed them twice a day if you wanted.

I saw you had asked below how big goldfish can get. Double tailed goldfish (goldfish who look like they have a split down the top of their tail), which I believe are the kind that you have, can get to be about 8 inches long. They can also live for over 10 years if they’re cared for properly!

Someone below suggested adding salt to your aquarium and since you’re new I’m going to explain that briefly. Aquarium (not table) salt can be great for aquariums. It can help build up a slime coat on your goldfish, which can keep them healthy and help them heal from injuries. But it’s important to note that salt does not dissolve. It’s recommended to add no more than 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons, which means you can add a maximum of 4 tablespoons. You cannot add more salt to your aquarium until you do a water change - and at that point, you can only add the amount you take out. So, if you add 4 tablespoons of salt today, and then do a 50% water change tomorrow, you can only add 2 tablespoons of salt after your water change.

So, in summary, important steps for you to take now are:

  1. Read up on the nitrogen cycle and get a test kit.

  2. Test your water daily and do the appropriate water changes.

  3. Upgrade your tank and filters ASAP (again, cheap plastic bins are a great low-cost option.)

    This is very, very important because nearly every illness a fish can get is due to poor water quality. If you want healthy fish, you need healthy water.
u/Urbanscuba · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

>Due to size constraints I think a 3 gallon aquarium is as high as I can go.

If the footprint is the problem look into a tall aquarium with a little more volume. The one I linked comes with filtration/lighting built in (as will most nano tanks that size) and all you need is a small heater for the back.

As for what to put into it, for your experience I would recommend shrimp as others have. They're fun to watch, rather hardy, and you'll get good feedback on water quality/quality of care based on their behavior. Once you get them to breed you can consider them well cared for.

Getting a low light plant or two will help you a lot in the long run in terms of water quality, plastic obviously are 0 care but they don't fulfill the plant's natural role in the ecosystem.

So yeah, buy an all in one nano tank and stock it with some hardy shrimp. The good looking shrimp are a bit more expensive, ghost shrimp are several for a dollar and good for learning. Get a low light plant.

If at all possible, find a local pet store and go ask the clerk questions, they'll help you find good plants. If you get a 5g you might be able to swing 3-5 neon tetra, but I'd recommend shrimp for your second (first earnest) try.

u/BatFace · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I'm going to suggest you get a liquid test kit, this one is good and lasts a long long time. Make sure you read the helpful link on the nitrogen cycle, 90% of the time if something is wrong with a fish it's because the cycle is messed up.

You need to test for ammonia it is very toxic, and you need to do massive water changes to get the nitrate down. I'd test everyday and make sure you keep nitrates below 20 at least, though for healing below 5 is best. For the ammonia test, of you cant get a test kit take a water sample to a local fish store and have them test and give you a number for what it is. If you are having ammonia in the tank you will need to do daily water changes until your cycle stabilizes.

It's most likely due to nitrates and maybe ammonia, but just in case, does he/she look bloated? You may be feeding too much, a fish's stomach is only about as big as one of their eyes. It won't hurt for you to fast him/her for 3 days and then feed a shelled steamed pea just in case she/he is constipated. You should have a day every week that you fast him/her and a day that you feed peas, fancies are very prone to swim bladder issues and this will help prevent any. Another way to help prevent swim bladder issues is to feed a sinking pellet and not flakes or floating pellets, as they end up sucking in air with the food.

Good luck, and I hope your fish gets better, she/he is gorgeous.

u/BluexXxDemonz · 1 pointr/Aquariums


I currently use the Fluval E100 heater on my 20gal tank and I've loved it so far. It has a very clear digital display that shines red if the water is, if I remember correctly, 2 degrees hotter than what you set the heater to and blue if the water is 2 degrees colder than one you set it to, and green if it's just right. It also lets you control the temperature to the half degree, which I find to be a nice bonus. The heater is a little bulky looking because of the cage that hides the heater, so keep that in mind. Also, I would recommend getting a cheap little mercury thermometer to stick on the glass. Maybe it's just me, but I don't always trust technology to work as it does 100% of the time so I use that as a check to make sure my heater is displaying accurately.


Here is a good video on different filters that are common for aquariums and how to modify them to be better than they are out of the box (for cheap)


I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to when you say cleaners, so I'll toss in a few different things. First off, a dechlorinator is a must for any aquarium, as tap water often includes chlorine which is harmful to fish. For this, many people, myself included use Seachem Prime. This should be used with all water changes.

Algae can be beneficial to a tank in a few different ways, but it can also be unsightly. If you decide that you want to remove algae from the glass in your tank, I would recommend the magfloat cleaner. If uses magnets to stick on both sides of the tank so that you don't have to put your hands in the water to remove algae if you don't want to.

Hope this helps a bit!

u/LicianDragon · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Get an API master test kit ($25 on Amazon) and start tracking your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Test daily till you have 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite. Nitrate should be at or below 10ppm, 20ppm if the tank is heavily planted. To help your fish survive, get a bottle of bacteria cultures specific for aiding in tank cycling.

Can you provide pictures so we can verify your fish species?

Angelfish like lots of hiding places and can be aggressive. Keep an eye on your mollies. If your angels are leaving them alone, then get at least 2 more females, preferably another 6 (should be 2 females to every male). You will have more fry than you know what to do with but your angels will most likely eat them.

Water changes are usually done weekly at 20% or monthly at 40-50% depending on the type of setup you have. Low-tech planted tanks can go many months without water changes. After your tank has cycled it's best to do routine water changes to keep your nitrates down.

I also recommend feeding them only once a day. Fish will always act like they're completely starved and the more you feed, the more waste they produce meaning more ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

It's great you're asking for help and giving your fish better care! Keep us updated with the progress!

u/entology · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

The one I was referring to comes with a little valve in the line and an adapter to connect it to your sink. I'll find a link when I'm at a pc.
edit: Here's the link

Little fish could go up it, but just be careful. It doesn't create a huge suction or anything.

As far as plants, both Java fern and pretty much any species of Anubias would be easy to care for and help out your tank. Anubias is a slow grower which means it won't use up a ton of nutrients (nitrate, etc) but Java fern should pull a little more out. There are also floating plants you can look into that work well. Honestly for this stuff /r/plantedtank is a great resource

u/argonaut93 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Yeah, but this is probably the only way to reduce the amount of the stuff especially since you're not sure what it is. You should take a closer look anyway and figure out if it look organic or more like dust.

It all depends on what the sponge looks like. It needs to be a shape that will make a good seal around your intake. You can use a zip tie or a clamp of some sort if you need to. And you will know it needs to be unclogged when you return flow rate goes down. I'm sure if you google DIY pre filter you'll find a lot of stuff. Filter floss is very flexible and probably easier to work with than a sponge. If I had to do it again I would probably try filter floss and a clamp to seal it.

You can also get a fluval pre filter from petco/petsmart for like $4. Probably the easiest solution if it fits around your intake.

u/Never_Again34 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Ah, I'm not the most experienced person who could be advising you, but i can help with the basics!
First, it is recommended that you add some sort of "cap' to the soil, this meaning that you put some gravel or sand of some sort over the soil. Without the cap, you would have a very muddy bottom of the tank, and you wouldn't be able to see through the water very well. As for what type of soil to use, to be completely safe, nothing with added fertilizers, I've heard people use Miracle Grow organic gardening soil before.

As for the driftwood, if you wanted to break a branch off of something to put into the tank, it would most likely float, and depending on the size, it could take from a few weeks, to a year or more (There are ways of making it sink though). If found already waterlogged, and wasn't near a source of salt water, then it would be quicker.
If you find a piece you like , boil it for a while if small enough, or let it sit in the bath in hot water for a few days. Don't forget to change the water in the tub regularly to remove the tannis ( otherwise it would leak from the log, and turn your whole tank brownish). As for removing any gnarly bacteria, or parasites, i would imagine that you would simply have to let it dry out for a while before putting it in the tank, of course if you boiled it, there wouldn't be a need for that.

As for cycling, you should go get yourself a test kit if you don't already. I'd recomend an
Api Freshwater Master Test Kit You will know when you are done with cycling, when you have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and from 0-10 Nitrates. During this time, you may get some algae blooms or other things that may make you think that your tank is hypothetically falling apart, these are all part of cycling.

For lighting, maybe 3-4.5 Watts of lighting per gallon, but it really depends on what you want to grow in the tank, and how deep it is.

Hope this helps, I haven't done much research into Chiclids, sorry!

Edit: Almost forgot, it may be beneficial to diffuse Co2 into the water, either by a rather large DIY system, or a rather expensive professional system. If you are interested I can further explain a DIY setup

u/Zevyn · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Pick up an API Master Test Kit from Amazon. You'll pay around $35 if you buy it from a pet store, so Amazon is a good deal. You really only need to worry about ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH with easy tropical fish and the master kit has all of those. The rest doesn't matter all that much in my opinion for a beginner housing relatively hardy tropical fish, so don't sweat them.

I test during a cycle and then again only after I add new stock, often skipping PH since it's been 7.6 tap and tank since the dawn of time in my house. I don't test the water other than that, but I change 40% or so of my tanks water every weekend.

If you properly acclimate fish, then the PH shouldn't matter so long as you keep it stable in your tank thereafter. Fish can adapt to the new value easily. By drip acclimating or just adding a cup of your tank water every 5 minutes or so you're slowly changing the PH value over time so you don't shock them.

Since it appears you are not doing a fishless cycle with an external source of ammonia, you should probably get the fish in there sooner than later. The water won't be safe for them, so you're going to want to change out 5 gallons of water a day and treat it with your water conditioner, which will make the water safe for about 24 hours. The guppies will provide a food source for the bacteria that will grow in reaction to the ammonia source, eventually completing the nitrogen cycle. After it cycles around 4-6 weeks, then you can start changing water out once a week or so and slowly add more stock. If you don't want to do all those water changes, then you should consider doing a fishless cycle, which has some benefits: it requires less work and the bacteria levels for your biological filter will be boosted where you can add all of the fish you want at one time, rather than a couple of them every week or two.

u/pwndepot · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Buy a small filter sponge. These ones are easy to mod. In some areas they've been repackaged with the Fluval branding. You should be able to get them or something similar at any LFS. Cut a small hole and secure it over the filter out take, or get one that already comes that way. Should help reduce flow and maybe give him some respite. It will also provide a little bio filtration.

Definitely should check parameters too. His scales and eye look pretty unhappy. It's hard to tell but he may be harboring a bacterial infection. If you test high in nutrients that could corroborate that hypothesis. Water changes never hurt. 10% every day will only help secure ideal conditions, and isn't that demanding in a 5g. Might even want to do a little aquarium salt to help boost gills and slime coat.

And I would get those plastic plants out of there. Bettas like to lounge on stuff, and if hes trying to lounge on those and the flow is knocking him around, that could be part of the problem. Silk or live plants will be much more gentle.

u/Philosophile42 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Get a sponge filter like this:

Get some gravel and maybe some plants like anacharis. Fill the tank, dechlorinate the water. Let the tank run for a week with nothing in it. Add some food when you start this. Dont fill the tank to the top, leave about an inch or an inch and a half at the top (for the mystery snail). (Read about cycling your tank).

Red cherry shrimp eat mostly biofilm and algae. So if you feed lightly, they'll clean up the tank. Mystery snails eat veggies so a blanched zucchini or spinach is definitely good for them. They need a lot of calcium so spinach and dark greens are recommended.

Change 10-20% of your water volume each week. Vacuum the gravel to remove poop. Dechlorinate before you add the water. If you put anacharis in there, prune them monthly. Throw away bottoms of the plants, as tops are where they actively grow. You can keep them in the gravel or floating. It doesnt matter. Monthly take your sponge filter out, and squeeze it out in the water you took out of your tank before you throw it away. Dont rinse it in tap.

If you want you can add some wood like oak or cholla wood into the tank. Make sure you soak the wood in a bucket for a good long time, maybe weeks, until it sinks and the water stops turning brown. Boiling can help it along faster. Wood will help bacteria grow and give the shrimp more food.

u/Hobanobaclypse · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Going by the fact you tagged yourself as a noob I'll put in a bit more detail!

So fishless cycle wise (as opposed to fish-in cycling), you're going to want to get a source of ammonia to kickstart the bacteria reproduction off. Like you mentioned you can use fish food, but I tend to find this unreliable and people regularly ask questions related to the use of this because it's much less efficient than simply adding pure ammonia in. Pure ammonia is the best option because you can dose the exact amount each time, it's available instantly rather than having to wait for degradation of organic matter to occur etc., if you do the route of pure ammonia dosing then get household ammonia which has no other ingredients other than ammonia and water. There's a simple 'shake' test which is as it sounds, if you shake the bottle and there are no bubbles after a second or so then it's likely it doesn't contain any detergent chemicals.

You'll also need to invest in a freshwater test kit,, API is very well received here for their 'Master' liquid test kit. Test strips simply aren't accurate enough to rely on. Also a dechlorinator such as seachem prime, this is so your tap water isn't going to contain any additives that will kill off bacteria/harm your fish, seachem prime is a good choice because it's very cost efficient and also claims to detoxify the ammonia/nitrites, not sure if this claim is 100% proven but the cost effectiveness is why I use it.

For the cycle you need to have your filter set up properly, you say yours has a sponge and carbon, but really you want as much surface area for the bacteria to live on, so if there's space it would be worthwhile adding in some bio media such as ceramic bio rings into the filter after the sponge. A thing to note here is from now on don't wash your sponge in tap water, when cleaning your filter just keep some of the water you drained out of your tank in a bowl and rinse the sponge in the bowl by squeezing it to get the muck off, bacteria will be killed off by using untreated tap water. Also to note, the carbon isn't too useful for anything other than removing medication from the water so it won't add too much benefit during this process.

Now onto the cycle itself, you want to start off by dosing your water to about 2.0ppm ammonia, this is the optimal level for bacteria growth, and now wait! It'll take some time before this level starts to go down, so I'd recommend not testing for at least 2-3 days because otherwise you'll just get your hopes up as nothing will change. After about 2 weeks the ammonia level should go down, and you'll begin seeing nitrites, then another 2 weeks and you'll see the nitrites go down, voila your cycle is finished. During the second stage of the cycle where nitrites are being processed you'll want to keep dosing your tank to 2.0ppm ammonia to keep the bacteria fed. At the end of the cycle do a large water change and you're ready to go.

As a note, I did try and use some of the bottled bacteria like Tetra SafeStart, API Quick Start, but had no luck with any of them, I would avoid them and just do the normal process to avoid any unnecessary purchases.

Hope some of that information helps :) having been through this process I think I covered all the issues I faced.

u/jynnjynn · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

> This weekend me and my SO are getting a 50g

That is great.
Definitely do look up fish-in cycling, as you'll need to do it for the 50,

If you do know anyone who already has an established tank, getting some used filter media from them will greatly help in getting yours established. (make sure to keep it wet with tank water from their tank during transport so the bacteria don't die)

If you don't have a test kit, consider picking one of those up as well. The API master test kit is great, has everything you'll need, is more accurate, and will last way longer than the strips, making it more economical in the long run. The strips are less hassle to use, however.

Id recommend seachem prime as your water conditioner if you'll be fish-in cycling as it has additives that help neutralize ammonia.

Standard 10g is 13" high, 20" long, and 11" deep.
5.5g is 11"high, 17"long, 9"deep
that may help you positively identify it.

u/Jo0ples · 1 pointr/Aquariums

No I have the fluval one that came with it, the pump isn't loud for me personally but it's in my kitchen so the noise doesn't bug me.

The filter output is really strong yeah, but I bought some of these: and it's baffled the flow of the two nozzles perfectly when I aim them upwards and a little bit above the water line. There's still a little bit of flow, but my betta can swim around very happily now with no issues :) Hope this helped you!

u/jackalnight · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Not really, thats a water conditioner, like seachem prime, it removes metal other stuff from tap water. If your going to buy a water conditioner, most reccomend seachem prime as do I, but other brands like api and tetra work fine too.

What you maybe thinking about is concentrate bacteria, like this popular tetra safe start plus while cycling water may take long and is great for the bacteria to grow, with this you can put the right amount in the tank, wait few hours and throw fishes in, but keep in check for water changes and keep a close eye on ammonia, ph, nitrite, nitrate and the other good stuff

don't reccomend guppies in a 10g, tetras can go with shrimp(tetras might eat them) and rams should be fine. I dont think you space to put both species

u/reishka · 9 pointsr/Aquariums

Without some frequent water changes, expect a lot of those fish to die. Get yourself a water testing kit ASAP (like this one) and monitor the heck out of those water parameters. Those that do a fish-in cycle usually only do so with 2 - 3 fish. It can take a month or more for a tank to fully cycle, and in that time you will have ammonia spikes, nitrate spikes, and nitrite spikes -- all of which are harmful to fish and must be managed apropriately (generally, with water changes). Having live plants will work in your favor, but it will not erase all the effects of cycling a tank. The shrimp may or may not survive.

You also seem to have some high-maintenance plants in your tank (such as the dwarf hairgrass). Unless you have high enough light, fertilizer, and possibly CO2 (it may grow without, but I doubt it will thrive), this plant will most likely die. You also may want to rethink your DIY filter -- Bubbling items are not usually recommended in an aquarium with live plants since it helps disperse CO2 instead of letting the plants use it.

Make sure you have a good water conditioner on hand, as well.

Before you continue any further with aquariums and fish-keeping as a hobby, I definitely recommend you visit the "Helpful Links" section of the sidebar and read most of the things there; the e-book, the guide to aquariums, fishless tank cycling (even though you're cycling with fish, it will educate you about what your tank is going through), lighting guide, and stocking levels are a good place to start.

u/DasKnocker · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Your best bet would to be use something like this sponge filter as it not only will prevent inadvertent fish chumming, but will also act as a second media for beneficial bacteria to grow.

If that is either too much of an eyesore or it inhibits your flow too much, use a mesh screen like this to prevent Khuli sushi.

Also, sorry for your loss, Khulis are sweeties! Try Zebra Botia (Loaches) as well, they're great for small tanks and click extremely loudly when excited!

u/willy_p52 · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

It's not bad, but I would HIGHLY recommend that you get a larger aquarium, at least five gallons. For example. It is even on sale and comes with an overflow filter. A larger tank ensures that the betta will have enough space to swim and help you to maintain the tank as a larger volume of water is more forgiving in terms of water parameters. Also I would get different plants, this is because the ones that you listed are plastic and plastic plants will often have sharp edges that could damage the long fins of a betta. Instead get silk plants as they won't damage the fins. Also with the gravel you are getting, it is a very small amount, so either get more bags of it or go to your lfs, petco, petsmart or even walmart and see for yourself. Also the water conditioner you are planning to get is only 50mL which is really small, you might as well get a medium sized bottle instead of having to buy multiple small ones, save some $$. But otherwise everything is good.
Also, since this is your first aquarium, please do lots of research(if you already have then great). Especially look into "how to cycle your aquarium"
Sorry for writing so much lol.

u/mofftarkin33 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Remember, you will have to do regular water changes as maintenance (I do 20% every other week). The cheapest and most economical way in the long run is:

  1. Purchase a Reverse Osmosis kit from ebay. These are the best prices I've found recently.

  2. Purchase salt. You can go with the cheaper grade if you're doing a FOWLR since you're not concerned with trace elements.

  3. Mix it up at home. You will want to use an aerator to keep oxygen levels up to promote good mixing.

    I recommend against purchasing from the fish store, or taking it from the ocean.

    Have fun! You're starting a really nice hobby :)
u/Themehmeh · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I really like these filters

for a 30 gallon tank you'd want one capable of up to 50 gallons or so.

Theyre great because of the three separate cartridges- Also, ignore the packaging, you can reuse the sponge and the ceramic rings indefinitely unless a terrible awful disease breaks out. So this filter saves you money too!!

Edit: Puffers are usually too big/aggressive/brackish to include in a tank like this. Unless you had mollies/platys which have a high salt tolerance. Cories have zero salt tolerance tough.

Some of my favorite community fish are Galaxy Rasbora or Celestial Pearl Danio (same fish) I also like Badis. Theyre anabantids(sp) like the Betta.

I'd also highly recommend live plants. they really make you look good. has total and trace substrate pellet fertilizer which Is pretty good at keeping them well fed.

u/intangiblemango · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Fishkeeping can be really high effort or really low effort, depending on the animals you choose, the tank size you choose, the filter size you choose, and how much cash you're willing to shell out.

I have several tanks, and my largest tank is definitely the easiest to maintain (my Python does all the heavy lifting for me). My smallest, my ten-gallon, is definitely the most energy (gotta keep that sand clean, goddamn it), but even that one isn't more than maybe 15 minutes every couple days.

My recommendation to keep everything low-energy: pick easy creatures to care for and do not overstock. Get a GOOD filter, with way more filtration than you need. If you're starting out with the right stocking and equipment, everything else will be easier. AqAdvisor is a good resource for a beginner who is trying to figure out stocking stuff. Aquarium Wiki also has good info on stocking a 10-gallon.

u/Xvidiagames · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

guessing you meant 24 hour? I can tell you right now that that wont be long enough sadly, I can also tell you that 90% of the time any chain pet store like petco or petsmart will have no idea about proper fish care. There is no offical time you need to wait but you need to wait untill your amonia and nitrite spike and then come back down after some water changes to have completed a fishless cycle. This is a good link here

Since you did not have a proper fishless cycle (dont worry I did the same thing when I started out) your going to need to do daily water changes of about 25% i would say, and get a water conditioner. I like Prime alot. and lastly and honestly, dont get to attached to these guys, they might not make it. But I wish you the best of luck, if you have more questions just ask:)

u/Xinophial · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Otocinclus Catfish are small algae eating armored catfish that get about 2 inches long. They are shy, peaceful fish that eat algae. You can compare them to a dwarf pleco pretty much.
There is no need to QT plants and I'm not sure what you mean by which way the stems will grow out from. The only thing I can think of is that you're asking which way you should plant the seeds? Plants always grow towards the light, so you should have no problems there. I would recommend starting with plants that are already grown though. This way, even if you have low lighting, they'll be a decent size and you won't have to wait ages for them to grow.

I see you have new questions! Here we go:

  • Aqueon Versa top lids will fit pretty much any tank. If you get a standard 10g you can order this and it will work fine for you. As for lighting, I use this. It grows my plants ridiculously fast and also has blue lights for nighttime use. It as adjustable "feet" so it's guaranteed to fit your aquarium.
  • I would suggest a Aquaclear 20 or Marineland Filter for your tank. Aquaclear is pretty much the best thing ever. If you're worried about flow, there is a slide option on the top that will reduce the amount of water coming out. You can set it to whatever you like.
  • Tannins are a compound found in plants, this will not hurt your fish at all. However, if not removed, the tannins will color your water yellow. I haven't seen pre-soaked driftwood in petsmart/petco. You can try ordering it online and simply boiling it or soaking for a few weeks to get the tannins out.
  • I make bullet points by clicking the bullets option above the comment box, this may be a feature of reddit RES though. You can make bullets simply by typing * and putting a space behind it.
u/littleChubs · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Parameters basically refer to the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in the tank. These are usually measured in ppm, which is "parts per million." It's just a concentration unit. Ideally, your ammonia and nitrate would be at 0 ppm, and nitrate should be managed at low levels via water changes. You can buy test kits at the fish store, and the prices will vary based on the kits.

I like this one because you can cover all your bases with one purchase, and the tests are pretty accurate.

When I first started keeping fish, it was one of those free goldfish giveaways in the dorms, and I had the poor thing in a tiny critter keeper with gravel. It only lasted a week. The next year, I got another free fish and that lasted a year. Since then, I've been clawing my way to more success, but without knowing the "parameters" of your tank, it can be really hard to know how to tackle problems.

Best of luck in your fishkeeping. We all know how frustrating it is starting out, so don't feel too bad. I'm sure there are lots of people here willing to help :)

u/imthatpeep100 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I think you did okay, but I personally just rinse a tank with diluted bleach, thoroughly rinse then air dry the tank upside down in a dry place for over 24 hours. This ensures all the bleach has fully evaporated before I use it. If it had calcium build up, I'd use vinegar, baking soda and pillow stuffing to scrub it off (harder stains I usually get a paint scraper to get off and get the smaller stains with my homemade cleaner).

Aquaclear filter:

I love these filters. They're beginner friendly, decent price and adjustable flow-- my betta loves his. I recommend just using pillow stuffing (ensure it's not the kind that is fire proof since that has harmful chemicals). Give it monthly, harsh shakes in old filter water to get junk out and put it back in the filter to keep nitrates down in your filter (of course along with weekly water changes). I picked up the pillow stuffing trick from a guy in the hobby for over 40 years. I've been using pillow stuffing for a few months and it's been going great so far :D

u/EienShinwa · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Welcome back to the tank hobby!

Well water is actually something a lot of hobbyists are jealous of because they tend to have less additives compared to tap water. Depending on whether you're going to do freshwater or saltwater, you're going to want a master test kit for testing the water for chlorine, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, etc. If you want a more convenient method, the Tetra 6 in 1 Freshwater Test Strips are a more faster way to test your water, but it is not as accurate as the master kits. You'll also want a GH & KH Test Kit to see what kind of fish will thrive the most in your water. A TDS Meter can also help test the "Total Dissolved Solids" in your water which is important if you're going to do saltwater or neocaridina or caridina shrimp. Good luck man and welcome back!

u/cosalich · 4 pointsr/Aquariums
  1. What are the dimensions of the tank? You can tell the volume from that.
  2. Styrofoam goes under the tank, not in it. It's also completely unnecessary if you have a rim on the tank.
  3. There's not really an 'unsafe' amount of rock. Water is also extremely heavy and the tank holds that, so any reasonable amount should be just fine as well.
  4. The best filter for a beginner on a tank that size is hands down an Aqua Clear 50, in my opinion. It will run quietly as long as you keep the water level nice and full.
  5. Don't buy fish store brand lights if you want plants. Invest a little bit of money in something from Finnex (planted series) that will last forever and are designed from the ground up to grow aquarium plants.
  6. Night mode is just low-light blue LEDs most of the time. It's essentially simulated moonlight. I personally do not use any lighting at night. The Finnex Planted 24/7 has a built in, automatic night mode.
  7. Yes, 8-10 hours is pretty normal. Less light means less algae, and yes your lighting needs will depend on hardscape and plant choices.
u/Kaleb_epic · 1 pointr/Aquariums

No problem, it was my planned set up until my betta moved in. :c

I'd recommend something more like an aquaclear and a sponge on the end. Or if you really like canisters and have the money to spend I'm in love with these. Just put in whatever media you like (it comes with the basics of ceramic rings, sponge, and carbon) and then you secure one of these to the intake. Just make sure to get the pre filter sponge in person, it's cheaper at petco I believe.

If none of those I'd suggest a sponge filter. It's easier to keep baby shrimp alive and not getting sucked into the filter than an in tank filter. Especially if some are occasionally getting nabbed.

u/iwrestledasharkonce · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Welcome to fishkeeping! A betta is a fantastic introduction!

/r/bettafish has some great betta-specific resources. Since you'll be getting the fish immediately, read this document on a fish-in cycle. You'll want to get a test kit, this is the favorite but most pet stores that offer fish will also test your water for free.

What is he in currently? If the tank is appropriately sized (2.5 gallons or up) with a filter and all, it may not NEED cycling as it may already BE cycled. Just make sure your stepdad keeps the filter and gravel wet and moves the tank promptly.

I noticed the Marineland Portrait was going for $10 off on Amazon today, if you are in the market for a tank. :)

u/gundam2017 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Can i offer some advice?

  1. Ditch the strips. They are wildly inaccurate. Get this instead

  2. You want to aim for double the gallons in filtration. Try either 2 HOB filters or 1 larger one like a marineland 350

  3. Im not seeing substrate. Please dont get puke colored rock. Get a $8 50 lb bag of black blasting media instead. Your fish will thank you.

  4. I dont see decorations. I highly recommend driftwood and live plants. They arent too expensive and will help the health of the tank

  5. Fish. Get a small pleco like a gold nugget, bristlenose, or snowball. Cories would love that tank with sand. 1 large school of fish like cherry barbs (like 15)
u/gmasterdialectician · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

research "fish-in cycling", as this is what you are now doing. i'd advise picking up a decent water testing kit ASAP. until you have a testing kit to guide you, i would do DAILY 50% water changes to ensure safe water parameters. when you're able to go out and pick up a kit, you could also buy a couple low light plants like java fern or anubias to help just a little with water conditions and to give your fish some soft cover during the stress of fish-in cycling. keep feeding to a minimum, as any extra will only contribute to ammonia by 1) not being eaten and rotting in your substrate, or 2) being eaten and making extra poop. also, finding an appropriate pellet food would help your water quality greatly. flakes dissolve the second they hit the water and can contribute to bad water quality more then people might expect, especially if there is overfeeding (which is very easy to do and a common beginner mistake)... a gravel vacuum would also be a good buy and make it a lot easier to keep your gravel clean.

it sounds like you care about your fish, and if you're committed to learning about fish-in cycling and staying on top of water quality, your fish should be ok. i would wait until your tank cycles to add more fish, and even then i would only increase stocking levels incrementally. aqadvisor is a great resource for figuring out how much bioload your setup can handle. if you stick with the hobby, you'll find that good ole clean water will fix just about anything. you're getting a crash course in this now unfortunately, but you'll come out of this with tons of knowledge that 99% of people who get fish at the petstore never bother to care about. your future fish will thank you!

u/MegaMeatSlapper85 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Yes, I just stick the vacuum down about a half inch or so and then lift it back out if I notice an accumulation of detritus anywhere. Very rarely does much sand get taken up by it. I use this guy and it's made water changes and fills a real breeze on a larger tank.

As for the grungry sand, I suppose everyone has there own ways they prefer for keeping things clean. What works well for me is the high water flow from my filter which helps a lot with keeping the detritus stay suspended in the water column to get filtered out. The CAE does the rest at stirring it all up. He has definitely helped a lot with tank cleanliness, though no one else here seems to like them. Overall, it works pretty well in my tank. Good luck and can't wait to see how it turns out!

u/Iboughta75g4myBetta · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Unfortunately, test strips are notoriously inaccurate and everybody (serious fish keepers) STRONGLY RECOMMEND using the API liquid Master Test Kit:
API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit
It really is the only reliable way to make SURE your water parameters are on point. Are you able to get one? It's well worth the price... I think u get something like 600 tests out of it. I have 7 betta/community tanks running and use nothing but this test kit. It never lets me down and I always KNOW the readings are accurate so my fishies are safe🤗.

Did u inspect your heater for any leaks or cracks? Sometimes they "break" and sort of shock the shit out fish and that can certainly be deadly after awhile. I've read about that happening and even tho people put their hand in the tanks, they didn't feel it...but the fish did☹️.

u/wrayworks · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

For starters, my thought is that your tank is not fully cycled. Check the sidebar on the right for more information.

Basically, a colony of beneficial bacteria exist in every healthy aquarium - they process fish waste (ammonia - toxic to fish) into nitrites (still toxic to fish) and ultimately into nitrates (not toxic in "normal" levels).

If you tank was not fully cycled, and it likely wasn't after just a few days, adding such a large number of fish at once will possibly cause ammonia poisoning. If you look at your fish - are their gills red/irritated?

A basic test kit will give you numbers for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. I like this kit - stay away from test strips. Ideally, you want ammonia and nitrites to be at zero. Up to maybe 30ppm is acceptable for nitrates.

Nitrates are not removed from the water by the bacteria, and they do not evaporate. The main purpose of weekly or bi-weekly water changes (depending on bio load) is to remove some of the nitrates and "water down" the concentration with fresh, clean water.

Basically, you added way too many fish at once to a too-new tank, and incompatible fish to boot. Now, I don't think anyone can blame you for that, as you were given inadequate or poor information at your store. However, you're at a good resource here at /r/aquariums! The sidebar has great info and links about stocking levels as well. Good luck!

u/ntsp00 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Just went through my box of fish goods. Probably the best things (which I coincidentally got off Amazon) are random airline accessories. One-way valves, random connectors, suction cups, and a pack of check valves have all proven useful. It's great having extra pieces for whenever you need one. I built a drip acclimation line that I saw for sale somewhere with these parts, I have two DIY sponge + K1 filters that I needed one-way valves for to regulate the airflow, etc. Just so many uses :)

Some other good purchases:

Seachem Purigen

Bubble Counter - for DIY CO2 or DIY in-tank brine shrimp hatchery

Yeast - for DIY CO2

Metal Faucet Adapter - for gravel vacuum that attaches to your sink

Pre-filter Sponge Pack

u/MelloYelloMarshmello · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Oh dear. Is this your first big fish tank? Or first fish tank?

I would highly recommend getting a Python Water changer. It is a little pricy but it is worth the cost.

Other things you will probably need with your python for doing water changes/filling the tank.

- Some 5 gallon buckets from home depot (Great for all sorts of things, they just come in handy in the hobby, a must-have) Very cheap

- A Digital thermometer for water to help temperature match to your tank before adding the water.

- A fish saver cover for your python water changer to help you save fish when you're doing a water change.

u/thedan667 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

My Ammonia and Nitrites spiked. After some help from you all my fish couldn't be happier. I got a second filter The AC50. I am leaving the old filter running in the tank for 6+ weeks to help grow good bacteria. I currently dont have another tank so I will leave both filter running, that and with 25% water changes every other day for a week plus Prime and Stability the fish should be quite happy.

  • Slow water changes rate down to weekly.
  • Next plan is to get some plants and a better lighting.
  • Maybe start my plants in a second 10g tank, then move a few over to my big tank.
  • My SO isnt too happy about my plan to spend more money on my fish tank but I enjoy it. so will see :D

    Thank you guys so much for all your help.
u/Rufi0h · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I just recently purchased a 125 gallon tank and am slowly building up all the stuff to get it set up. I am looking at filters now and was looking for advice. I plan on planting it pretty heavily and stocking it with some big fish like black knife ghost fish, some catfish, and arrowana (knowing i will upgrade the size of the tank) I was looking at possibly doing an aquaclear. The 110 seems like its slightly too small for my tank which brings me to my question. would it be better to use 2 aquaclear 70 or 3 aquaclear 50 to make up for the size? are there some nice canister that would look and function better than multiple aquaclears? Thanks.

u/CubbieBlue66 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

First-timer in over his head here. Could use an assist with setup. The ultimate goal is setting up something my (soon-to-be) 2 year old daughter will enjoy watching.

Planning on purchasing:

Tank & Stand: Aqueon 45G tank ensemble - $250

Light: LED - Included with tank

Filter: MarineLand Penguin 200 Power Wheel - $21

Heater: Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater 150W - $18

Python: Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System - $40, 24 inch adapter - $10, [hook] ( - $20, and this adapter for my non-threaded faucet - $12

Conditioner: [API Water Conditioner] ( - $7

Bacteria: [API Quick Start] ( - $4

Test Kits: [API 5-in-1 Test Strips] ( - $26

That takes me up to $408. That leaves me about $100-150 in the budget my wife gave me to get decorations and the fish themselves. (It was supposed to be $500, but we always go slightly over budget)

Any recommendations on large and colorful fish that could attract and keep a toddler's attention? Preferably peaceful.

Any other recommended tweaks to the build? I haven't purchased anything yet, so I'm willing to completely scrap this and start over if somebody has a better idea of how to use the money.

u/spacequiztime · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

Do you have a hang on back filter? Depending on the model, you can throw some different materials into it.
Buy the huge sheet of filter pads for mechanical filtration. Give it a gentle squeeze in a bucket of aquarium water about once a month.
Poly-fiber can also be used for it. They sell it at Wal Mart for pretty cheap. You'd have to replace it every two weeks or so.

For biological filtration, pick up some ceramic rings. Cleaning is the same as the filter pads. You'd only really have to replace them if they were breaking down.

You can use Seachem Purigen if you want something for chemical filtration. I don't have any experience with this, but it get great reviews.

Activated carbon isn't really needed in the filter unless you need to remove medication. Purigen would clear up any discolorations just as well and can be recharged.

u/funtactics · 1 pointr/Aquariums

To piggyback off of Betta fish, besides the tank you can get your filter, heater, and light for pretty cheap.
Here's what I have:

Air pump

Altogether it might not be the cheapest items, but they work fantastic for me and my Betta and shrimp tank. Plus it costs less to get good filters and supplies first than it is to buy a beginner set and upgrade everything over time like I did.

this is what it all looks like in my tank.

u/menmoth50 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

If you are unsure about your ammonia levels, I would not add fish. Retest, and make sure you follow the instructions on the test kit to the letter. If you are still unsure, but suspect it is zero, you can force an ammonia spike with this stuff, then retest and track your levels with an easier to read ammonia color. Good luck, and I hope your tank is cycled and ready!

u/ErroneousFunk · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

I was intimidated by the line from the sink thing for years, and lugged 5 gallon buckets back and forth every week. I finally paid something like $40 for one of the large tubes that hooks up to your sink, and my life has been much better since -- as have my fish. Honestly, just get one of these (or something like it) right now: You can save yourself a world of pain down the road -- I really wish I had done it sooner.

Brief exposure to chlorine while things are mixing up isn't going to hurt your fish. With all of the chemicals, I swirl them a few mls at a time in a pint glass full of tank water (I keep a "fish glass" next to the aquarium) then dribble that concentrated solution around the tank while I mix it in. My biggest concern is making sure the fish don't get a facefull of algae eliminator or something that could actually cause pain/damage them.

The water temperature is a little tricker. You can run back and forth between the sink and the tank and do water temperature comparisons before you actually flip the switch and send the water over. After it's flipped, I hold one hand under the "new" water coming out and another at the opposite end of the tank, and make any fine-tune changes I need to then.

u/InquisitiveLion · 1 pointr/Aquariums

There are these but I would recommend two for a tank, and they do take up real estate in your tank...

Also, this one is pretty good, but I don't know how dirty your fish are going to be. I took out the stones at the bottom and put in some ceramic media from aquaclear and that seems to work very well for what I need.

u/MiniMoose12 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Then it was likely just widely different water parameters. Anyways if you want to seed ammonia I recommend this 6$ thing off amazon. . Yeah it's a smallish container compared to what you can buy in stores, but finding straight ammonia is pretty hard. (Alot of them have soap and crap in them). This stuff works pretty good for seeding it. Im currently cycling two 10g with it right now.

Also throwing fish in to seed ammonia is being impatient lol. You're risking fish for the benefit of not having to wait 3-6 weeks.

u/darkice · 1 pointr/Aquariums

My only suggestion is use a very simple air powered sponge filter, they are just a couple bucks, your aquarium will be crystal clear and very happy.

those are the best biological filters for the buck and micro setups work awesome with them, here is an example from amazon

u/fs2d · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

NiCrew LED lights are also down ~$15 today - they are awesome adjustable budget LED lights that do an exceptional job at growing lo-tech/mid-tech plants.

They're pretty well made for being dirt cheap - we use them on 3 of our 5 tanks.

If I had my way, we'd use them on all of 'em.

Check it

edit: Oh, and also, I forgot - if you're growing hi-tech stuff and/or doing reef stuff and need an awesome ~6500K light, the Current USA Plus LED rack is also on Prime Day special for $20 off: Click

u/jickeydo · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

I'm not entirely sure what a snail cycle is, but let's go over a few things.

First, throw your test strips away and buy a liquid test kit. The most common one is the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. You can purchase from Amazon at the link provided. This is the most important part of what I'm going to tell you. Get it and test your water. You have no way of knowing what stage of the nitrogen cycle you're in (I'm guessing you're definitely not cycled) without knowing actual numbers. While the API kit has it's own shortcomings, it's so far ahead of your test strips that it's not even in the same class.

Second, filtration is a topic that can get very deep (no pun intended.) Suffice it to say, you absolutely do not need carbon in your filter. Marineland has a nice little moneymaking filter in their biowheel line. Carbon is meant to remove chemicals and smell in a tank. You really shouldn't have either. The only time I would ever recommend carbon is if you've been medicating your tank, and then only long enough to scrub the water of the chemicals. Besides, carbon becomes inert in a filter cartridge after a surprisingly short amount of time (less than a month.) Once that happens you have black powdered nothing in your tank - it serves no purpose other than to make Marineland more money.

Continuing on the Marineland topic...the biowheel does provide a nice surface for beneficial bacteria. The constant aeration makes it really good for growing and holding on to BB. There are two things to know about the biowheel, though - first, you need to establish the BB on the biowheel. Given the state of your tank I wouldn't be positive that there are any BB on your biowheel. Second, please don't rely on the biowheel to keep BB available for your to any owner of them (myself included) and you'll find that after some time your biowheel will slow down and eventually stop spinning. This is for two reasons that I've found - the biowheel gets full of water, making it heavier to turn. Also, the spraybars providing the water to power the wheel get gunked up, which reduces water flow. That lack of water flow can't keep up with the biowheel in new condition, much less when it gets full of water. You have to clean the spraybars out frequently.

Now - on to the cartridge. The Marineland Rite-Size filter cartridges supposedly provide mechanical and chemical filtration. They do this by taking mechanical media and putting activated charcoal in it. It's like a pouch of sorts - you can rip it down the sides and the charcoal will pour out. You can put it back in sans charcoal and it's just a typical poly filter pad. Here's a hint - you can buy regular poly filter pads at a considerably lower price than Marineland sells their filter cartridges for and you'll have the option to pick what you put in. I don't think the 150 has the case that holds the cartridge like the larger ones do (I have a 400, it has room for 4 and they're all in a little cage/case thing.) But the filter pad media will just slide in there anyway...but what you should know is the you should very rarely change our your mechanical filter media - only until it just dissolves into nothing should it be replaced. When it gets dirty you should rinse it out in a bowl/bucket of tank water - washing it in anything else will kill the plentiful BB that are living in it.

The fact of the matter is, BB will build up on literally everything in your tank over time and this won't be quite as important. But with a new tank with a BB colony that is just being established, you don't want to kill/remove any of them if at all possible. When too much is removed it stops being self-supporting and will all die. At that point you have to begin the nitrogen cycle all over again. Side note - your filter doesn't "trap" ammonia - it grows BB that take that ammonia and convert it to nitrites and then to nitrates...the nitrogen cycle!

So - to answer your original question - your DG might be sick due to an uncycled tank or your DG might be sick because, well, that's kinda what DG do. They are one of the least healthy fish out there and are prone to disease. Even pristine water conditions can't save them sometimes - they are especially susceptible to dwarf gourami indovirus, which is 100% fatal. I don't know if your gourami are afflicted with it, just letting you know. At any rate, the only thing you can do at this point is to do a 50% water change, get a test kit as soon as possible, and test your water daily until you are sure it's cycled. It'll take a daily commitment, but it's worth it. Hopefully your gourami will make it.

Also - don't use melafix or primafix. You'll accomplish the same thing by putting a 5 dollar bill in your tank - you'll be rid of 5 bucks and your tank won't be any better than it was. Water changes are the best medicine.

u/floodingthestreets · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I use these sponge filters. For a good level of filtration, about one per 20 gallons will do the job. But if you want to over filter, 4 is a good number for a 55 gallon.

I stack the filters two to three high (into filter "towers") depending on the height of the tank, so they use up less floor space. But what's really going to make a difference is the strength behind your air pumps. If you're using two separate pumps, I'd recommend they each be rated for a 50 gallon tank for a total rating of 100 gallons. Personally, I love the Tetra Whisper100 air pumps and use one Whisper100 per 4 sponge filters (or per two filter "towers").

u/Zeratas · 1 pointr/Aquariums

My fiance and I are looking to get a small tank for a table-top(big table attached to wall) placement in our kitchen.

We're not looking for anything larger than this. It'd go up against one of the walls.

Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon w/ Hidden Filter

How is this one in terms of quality and ease of care?

What sort of fish/aquatic animals should we expect to be able to safely care for in that kind of tank size?

Whoever lives there will be named...SHARKBAIT-OOO HAHA

u/Wolkii · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Had the same tank a few years ago and the filter it comes with is realy shit...
I have choosen this one and was realy happy with it! Good power and easy to clean or to stock with other materials.
AquaClear 20 Power Filter
My dad also has one of these for his tank, also happy with it.

Edit: and this one is nearly noisless i found.

u/rhytz · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Not sure if you tried to include a picture. I don't think bio enhancer will really help you. Your best bet will be to follow the fishless cycling routine and wait for your good bacteria to naturally establish itself. If you don't have an actual water test kit, I recommend getting one (fishing keeping can get expensive fast).

Actually, I remember using gravel like yours in a betta tank and it was awful with tiny rock specks floating everywhere. It was so annoying. I think sand is a lot easier to deal with and looks better.

u/CallMeMrsSlender · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

> I thought weekly changes were best?

If it's absolutely mandatory: ex- the bio-load too much for the tank and/or filter is large or there is an issue within the tank. Once a tank is established (parameters testing solid over a period of time) you can play with it to see what works best.

Personally I've got a two established 10 gal Betta community tanks that get a good 30% water change monthly and a 40b tank that I do a 10% on every other week due to a very messy baby Oscar currently inhabiting that tank otherwise I'd go for monthly on that tank as well because the parameters test nicely.

> Fluval aqua plus conditioner.

I just googled it and read the bottle. I'm not seeing where it does anything for ammonia at all. So that may be where the ammonia is staying, you're adding in new water but the conditioner isn't neutralizing any ammonia. You most likely need to make a run to the store to find a water conditioner that does work against ammonia. I know many use Seachem Prime as it's a wonderful and fast acting water conditioner. You would only need a few drops for a 29g but it would neutralize any ammonia in the tank.

> So loaches and corys do well together?

I've kept both. Never together though. My concern would be the loaches get huge and they will, once large enough, bully and eat fish smaller than them meaning once the loaches have a group and established territories within the tank they will start to pick on the corys and once large enough could eat them.

u/jairuncaloth · 1 pointr/Aquariums

It seems like the thing that more people mess up at first is not respecting the nitrogen cycle. If you try to rush though this step it is almost guaranteed that your pretty new fish won't live. We followed the advice of our LFS and put fish in after two weeks going solely based on their single water test. Only one of our little guys survived. Get stuff to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate since that is the only way to tell for sure if your tank has cycled and it's OK to put fish in. Amazon has the best deal I've seen on the test kit I see recommended around here the most. $20 right now and it covers the nitrogen cycle and Ph.

u/Shadowpriest · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I would suggest the API Freshwater Master Test Kit versus any paper/litmus test strips for determining water quality and parameters.

If you're going for a true nano tank, here are some fish to consider. I have betta and shrimp tanks and on that list my personal favorites (besides the ones I have) are Ember Tetras and Chili Rasboras.

If you're looking for plants and aren't sure of the varieties, colors, difficulty and requirements, this may be a good place to start.

If you're going for a planted tank, I'd suggest with simple low light plants like Anubias, Java ferns, and Marimo moss ball that are easy to care for. If you want simple aesthetics, I'd suggest a monochrome sand substrate and a simple piece of driftwood you can attach the plants to.

If you'd like ideas for how you want your tank to look, you can check out u/Plantedtank for setups.

u/Hiskm · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

I see from your post history that you appear relatively new/are inexperienced in the hobby.

Please ensure you fully research everything to do with the fish you want to keep.

Invest in a proper test kit such as API Freshwater Master Kit. US/UK

A quarantine tank for all new fish.

How to cycle an aquarium.

Post as much information as you can get, including tank parameters, tank mates, tank size, what equipment you are using, age of fish etc to enable us to help you with your query.

Read the Wiki for this sub, it contains a lot of great information for the start of your journey into this hobby and also check out the Rules to ensure your post stays up and you can get an answer for your question.

u/gmacWV · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Nicrews are pretty good for the money. I've got one on a 20 long that grows high light plants. Sponge filters are also pretty good.

I don't know about filters. I've got a DIY canister on my 20, but it cost about as much to make as the cheapest store bought model and one of those might be a bit much for a 5 gallon. Plus you need to put the pump somewhere. If you want to look into DIY filters, here is the instructions on the canister I have. That guy has a ton of DIY filter tutorials too. Something like this would probably be better for a smaller tank.

u/canon87 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

You need some airline tubing, a check valve, and an air pump to make this work. I listed the links for those below. Other than its size I think it will be okay for a 10 gallon tank. for the 29g tank it depends on what youre stocking. If you want to keep things like shrimp or fry then a sponge filter is probably best because its gentle. If youre keeping adult fish then go with a hob. I recommend an aquaclear 50.

Airline kit with accessories:

Air pump:


u/kittycatpenut · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

Here's the air pump that I bought

Tetra 77851 Whisper Air Pump, 10-Gallon

And the filter

Bio Fish Aquarium Mini Cylinder Soft Sponge Water Filter, Black by XINYOU

I think I accidentally ordered the filter a size up. Mine takes up a bit of room but it should have the same effect as this one that won't take up as much. I think it's more about the air flow than the size of the sponge.

I also got some check valves to protect the pump in the case of a power outage. They're super cheap, and I got mine at a petco nearby. If you want a little bit more control over the air flow, I got an air control valve there too.

Like these

Plastic Aquarium 2 Way Air Line Tubing Flow Control Valve 3mm Dia 5pcs

Uniclife Aquarium Air pump Accessories Set for Fish Tank, 2 Air Stones, 2 Check Valves, 4 Connectors and 6 Suction Cups

And some airline tubing.

Many of these things were actually cheaper at a petco than on Amazon besides the filter and air pump

u/Kairus00 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

As long as the flow is good, then that's fine. Most people that do sponge filters get the hydro-sponge (I have one myself), and use an air pump or powerhead to power it. Doing it the way you do it will act like a pre-filter as well. These are good for this purpose as well.

What is the flow like on your filter after putting this on?

u/NoGimmicks · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

New person here replying.

  1. Use clear ammonia. No scented or colored ones. Ammonia is usually sold in a 10% ammonia 90% water sort of solution. You probably won't be able to find 100% ammonia. You don't need it anyway. All the cycling guides assume the common household ammonia.

  2. I believe Bio-Spira is only for saltwater tanks. My cousin used a nutrafin (I think) when he did his first tank, I don't think it did anything. Skip the bottled bacteria.

  3. The amount of ammonia you need to add varies on the size of your tank, but the time between redosing is usually about every other day. On the initial dosing you want to get the ammonia in your tank to read about 3 ppm. No more then 4 ppm though. If you hit more then 4 ppm do a large water change to lower it. You want to redose the ammonia when it gets down to 1 ppm, which should take about 2 days. So if you dose on a Friday and come back Sunday night or Monday morning I think you'll be fine.

  4. Once your tank is cycled, you should be doing weekly water changes of about 20%. That is the general rule, but it can change depending on your stock (fish) and filtration. Here's a quick rundown of how the cycle works in a fully cycled tank:

    a. Fish eat foot, produce poop, and poop has ammonia in it. Ammonia is bad.

    b. Bacteria in your tank will consume the ammonia, but as a byproduct produce NitrItes. Which are also bad for fish.

    c. Another bacteria is going to consume the NitrItes, but as a byproduct produces NitrAtes. NitrAtes are tolerated a lot better by fish then Ammonia or NitrItes. Fish can handle about 40ppm of NitrAtes safely.

    Therefore, when your nitrAtes hit 40ppm you should be doing a water change. If you have great filtration, lots of plants, little fish, it may take you 2 weeks to hit that number. Your weekly water changes would only have to be done bi-weekly. If you have "ok" filtration, messy fish and not a lot of plants, it may only take 5 days.

    Daily testing after your tank is cycled is still required to see how long it takes your tank to go over 40 ppm Nitrates. AND you still need to test afterwards to make sure the amount of water you changed is enough to lower the Nitrates to a safe level. If 20% isn't enough, then you may need to do 35% weekly water changes. It really depends on your setup. We can't know for sure until your tank has been fully set up.

    As far as how to do water changes, you should really invest in a water changer. It hooks up to your faucet and lets you pour water directly into the tank. Way easier then using numerous jugs or buckets. Regarding temperature and dechlorinator, you should just "eyeball" the temp with your hand. You are doing a 20%-35% water change, so the temperature shouldn't be swinging more then 1 or 2 degrees. Your fish should be able to handle it. I would suggest doing the water change directly into the tank and then dosing with the dechlorinator for the full amount of water in the tank. Ex. If your tank is 55 gallons, but your only changing about 15 gallons or so, you should dose the tank for all 55 gallons. Dechlorinator is fairly cheap, so while it does waste a bit, its probably not worth your time to be doing 5 gallon buckets at a time and waiting. Your fish will be absolutly fine with chlorinated water for a few minutes. It's not an instant death. Just get it done within half an hour of adding in the new water.

    Buy this:
    It's the API master test kit. Pretty much the standard in water testing. Don't get any paper strips, they suck. Your LFS should carry them if you can't order online or want them fast.

    You should also get this:

    It makes water changes SO much easier. Suck water out of the tank directly into your sink, and refill directly from faucet to tank. Such a time saver. There are other brands and lengths, so you may want to double check what you need/like first before ordering. LFS will carry this, but a lot more expensive IME. Might want to order this online and do it the hard way while you wait.
u/TsunamiBob · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Are you using test strips? Most people recommend, at a minimum, the API master test kit.

Also, are you using any glutaraldehyde-containing "liquid carbon" products including but not limited to:

  • Easy Life Easy Carbo
  • Seachem Flourish Excel
  • API CO2 booster
  • Azoo Carbon Plus
  • Cidex
  • Metricide
  • NilocG Enhance
  • Dinosaur Spit
  • Rhinox Easy CO2?
u/B_Huij · 1 pointr/Aquariums

There is more to plant care than I can easily explain in a reddit comment.

I think though that your primary concern right now should be making sure your NO2 stays as close to 0 as possible while your biofilter grows in. After a couple of weeks you should see your nitrites at 0 consistently. Hopefully you don't have to lose any fish in the process. One of the signs of nitrite poisoning is that your fish will stop eating. So if you notice that, I recommend testing for NO2 and doing a water change immediately if the levels are high.

Best kit I can recommend for testing:

u/Jadis4742 · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Then all I can recommend is that you get a really good test kit and monitor the water really well. If your fish keep dying with good parameters, you can always try ordering from Aquabid. I got my second betta from a breeder there and he's a beauty.

u/princessodactyl · 1 pointr/Aquariums

It's not the best quality, so you will probably have to replace parts of it over time, but it's a good starter kit.

If you want to get some slightly higher quality gear for a comparable price, I recommend:

  • get a standard 20 gallon tank at the dollar per gallon sale ($20)
  • filter: Aquaclear 30 ($30)
  • heater: Hydor 50W($20)
  • lights: Nicrew LED 20-27"($30)

    Boom, that's $100 and you get pretty much everything that's included in the kit but it will last longer. I don't think the light will let you grow much more than low-light plants, but it probably won't be worse than the light that comes with the kit.
u/steamboatpilot · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Never seen that before but it seems kind of redundant. I'd go with something like this

That is the style sponge filter I always see breeders using and they seem to know what they are doing. Easy yo clean too just squeeze it out in old tank water.
I have one of these that works fine too and I can alternate cleaning the sponges so I don't upset the bacteria too much.

u/IdLikeToBuyAVal · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Sure! We love multis and I love telling people about them :) We live in Missouri so we have hard water, I don't have a test kit for the water hardness but it's high. Our water comes out of the tap at a ph of 8 so basically our water was MADE for africans!!

Their tank is kept around 78 degrees, no fancy lights, just a basic 20L with hood and light from Petsmart. The substrate is CaribSea for African Cichlids in black. Look for it on special at your local big box store. I think we got our 20lb bag for $4 or something. We use an african cichlid mix for their water here is a good article with a mix like we use. We also use Rift Lake Vital for the trace elements they need. We do 50% water changes on the tank weekly (and you have to make the mix for each water change of course).

We feed them Omega One Flakes, a few shrimp pellets, sometimes color bits to mix it up. They are very clean fish and keep their territories clean. Usually there will be two or three places in the tank where the waste seems to congregate, either they are putting waste bits of snail shells, food etc. there or it is naturally being swept their by the filter, an Aquaclear 50.

The fish are kind of hard to find so ask around. Usually people who have them have a colony going for years. My independent LFS has had them a couple of times (and asked $15.99 each!!). We bought them at the auction for about $3 each if I recall and the other six were given to us by the same guy.

u/NeedsMoreMagic · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Sand can be a challenge for some beginners to get; it just depends on what plants you place in your tank. If you have plants that have high demands, you'll need to dose and use additives. For most beginners, I'd say just start with a substrate that does most of the work for you, especially if this is your first planted tank. (You'll be worrying about getting the lighting and water parameters correct.)

If you use actual sand (pool filter sand), you'll need to use root tabs or additives to the substrate to give the plants the proper macro and micro nutrients. You'll also need to dose ferts, but you might do that anyway, depending on the tank style you're trying to achieve.

If you're just going for that sand/gravel look, you'd get great results with CaribSea's Eco Complete. It's not very much ($22) compared to some other substrates, and does a fantastic job of growing plants, and looks somewhat similar to a sand/gravel effect.

u/bigw86 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Thanks. I found this stuff on amazon which I think I might use but not sure how much I’ll actually need.

Dr Toms

I think I’ll just play it safe and start my own. What is this seed you’re referring to? I can’t find it listed anywhere. Is it safe to add live plants during this or should I add them at end when I’m adding the fish? I thought of starting the tank with live plants right off the bat during the cycle process.

u/pink_mango · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

So the filter wasn't cycled? That would be a problem.

While adding the 50% cycled water was definitely a good idea, it wouldn't be enough to avoid recycling.

Do you have a test kit? If not, purchase one. (Don't get the strips, they are useless). You will have to monitor your tank every day, to make sure that the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels don't exceed what the fish can handle. (see the links to the nitrogen cycle on the side bar)

It will be some work, but you can cycle your tank with the fish in it, and keep him healthy, if you are diligent.

Then once the tank is cycled you can stick to water changes every week, and testing it before you change the water to make sure everything is good.

u/Burningfyra · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

ok first of all you need to read and google about the nitrogen cycle as understanding it I really important to keeping a healthy tank. I would also suggest you go out and buy a test kit as It makes life alot easier easier to be able to diagnose problems with your water.
I am also relatively new to the hobby so some other people will come and give there opinion on what to do. Dont give up! this hobby can be very rewarding.

u/hispeedzintarwebz · 4 pointsr/Aquariums

Aquaclear 50 is what I use on my 20 gallon, and it works well - you can skip the bullshit cartridges that most manufacturers use, I added some floss padding and purigen to polish the water (clarity) and threw out the charcoal filter that came with it. You also might need to cut the sponge that comes with it in half laterally to fit all of this and still have the bio media submerged, but that's easy.

Aquaclear 50 on Amazon

Filter floss on Amazon

Purigen on Amazon

Your LFS will likely have all of these things as well, so it's up to you if you're in a rush or want to save a few $$$ by using Amazon.

And, lastly, this is just what works for me. You might try a different setup - but many other HOB filters don't allow you to customize the filtration all that much, and are just there to sell you cartridges.

HOB filters are the Gilette of the aquarium hobby.

u/RPump · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

You may want to invest in a Python hose. It hooks straight up to your faucet. When you're removing water from your tank, it sends the water straight down your sink drain, but when you're adding water it connects to your faucet and goes to your aquarium.
No need for buckets, heaters or spilling water. Pretty easy.

They're a bit pricey but well worth it.

u/EighthCircle · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Should I be using Flourish Excel in my 10g planted tank? Seems like lots of people use it when they don't have CO2 stuff, but I wasn't sure if I needed to use it or not as my lights are low (or are they? I use this Nicrew one). I have saggitaria subulata, water wisteria, bacopa caroliniana, an anubias (?? idk which kind) and java fern. I also have some dwarf water lettuce on the way. I started dosing some Aquarium Co-Op Easy Green ferts when I noticed the plants looked a little sad a couple weeks ago, so I've been doing that twice a week and they perked up a bit.

The plants seem to be doing all right otherwise apart from one bit of saggitaria that just sort of melted, which I figured was normal. The other piece is already making lil baby shoots. The bacopa is just okay, a few leaves have holes but the holes haven't gotten bigger and the rest of the leaves haven't developed any holes so it's probably fine...I've also got a bunch of hair algae, which I think came in on the saggitaria I got from the LFS. :( Excel would help with that, yeah? But also I figured the dwarf water lettuce could help with the algae.

u/DIYaquarist · 1 pointr/Aquariums

I started out the hobby with a Walmart 10 gallon kit :) nothing wrong with the equipment, as long as you know how to take care of it all, but it doesn't include a heater so that adds some unavoidable cost. Then, as you add decorations and chemicals the cost creeps up.

Heaters are around $15, fairly priced online but wildly overpriced in every store local to me... more like $25 if you want adjustability. I would have said "go for the cheap Tetra that does 78 degrees automatically" but I had one and it died on me in like a week so... I no longer will recommend going for the bottom-of-the-line.

Then a bag of gravel is $5-$10.

This specific decoration, seen in every beginner fishtank since the beginning of time, is nearly $15 depending on size

And finally, the API master test kit is around $30 making it the biggest investment if you are looking to get really involved and work for the best results.

And that does all push towards $100, but it can be done MUCH cheaper by having stores test for you and not splurging on decorations.

u/NotSoVertical · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Sponge filters are great for biological filtration! I'm cycling with a small corner sponge on my 10gal with pond snails. Unfortunately, sponge filters are crap for actually pulling old food/poop/dead plant matter. You'll have to stay on top of vacuuming the bottom of the tank during water changes. It gets very, very messy.

As for the actual sponges, see if you can find the two-sponge varieties such as this one here. That way, you can clean one sponge at a time and not worry too much about crashing your cycle. I would also recommend getting a larger pump than recommended for the size of the tank - I use a Whisper 020 (rated for 20 gallons) and it still doesn't have much pulling power, so detritus as mentioned above. But the bubbles vented from the top of the sponge filter disturb the surface quite a bit. I had to replace the mesh topper with a glass lid to keep the lights dry, or keep the water level at 75% filled. Boo.

Another thing to consider is the noise of an air pump. HOB filters hum and make waterfall-y noises, canisters are almost completely silent, and the air pumps hum and buzz no matter what you do. Some things to think about. Good luck! :)

u/gold_miner_94 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

It probably is a translation error from the manufacturer. If you have ever read their manuals, it can get pretty funny with the translations. I would recommend looking for something that has a 20 gph rate max for a tank that small. Perhaps a HOB would be better. My smallest tank of all time was a 5 and I ran this on it. . Hope this might give you an idea!

u/Avoch · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Fish stores have a horrific habit of doing this. They basically want the sale. Some of the ones near me would happily sell me their granny for a quick buck, it's sick. Definitely research as much as you possibly can before buy. There are some fantastic groups on facebook for fishkeeping as well as this subreddit. I tend to look at the pretty pictures of fish and if I see one I like the look of I will spend a few evenings researching that species of fish and see if it is suitable for my setup.

I would also recommend investing in the API Freshwater Test Kit That link is just to show you the one I mean, not trying to tell you to buy from that seller.

u/piddIepie · 1 pointr/Aquariums

This one!

I think it's almost a bit too bright when it's white light, but my shrimp prefer the light to a non-lit tank. I turn on the blue light around 6PM and leave it running till 10PM when I turn off the lights.

Thank you so much! I'm really happy with how it turned out.

u/gertzz · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

Yes you need to separate them. Here is a conversation about why they can’t be housed together.

Here you can read about the care requirements of an angel fish. The only fish I’ve ever owned is a betta so I can’t do much more on that subject.

Your current tank is a perfect place to permanently keep your betta. They will love having all that swimming space to themselves. If you really want tankmates you can consider getting snails or shrimp. r/bettafish is a great spot to get the specifics of betta care.

Again you absolutely have to get a filter. I got this sponge filter for my 5.5 gallon betta tank. With this you also need a pump and tubing but you probably already have that with the air pump you have.

You will also need to cycle your tank(s). Basically your fish are producing waste, and the filter is home to bacteria that eats this waste; since you don’t have a filter you need to grow this bacteria from scratch. Get a filter and a liquid test kit like that one. Test your water daily and do daily water changes. You can read about how to fish-in cycle here.

u/sleepingdeep · 1 pointr/Aquariums

check out the aqua clear 20.

great small filter, quiet as ever, only 20$ and the cost to replace the media every once in a while is super cheap. usually i just rinse mine off in tank water.

u/thefishestate · 5 pointsr/Aquariums

So today's important lesson is that fish stores, especially the larger chain stores, are notoriously awful at providing accurate information. They often either don't know, don't care or are just trying to make a sale.

Topfin filters are not the most popular, and you always want to lean toward over-filtration. This stuff about the filter is kind of an aside at this point, but as you increase stock in the future it's something to consider. This isn't an immediate issue.

I would recommend getting the API Freshwater Master Kit and taking control of your own testing. The paper strips are not very good at all. The nitrate test is often done incorrectly because people don't read and follow directions and assume it is done like the other tests.

Properly cycling your tank is going to be the most important step for the health of your fish.

u/Wakenbake585 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums



Test kit Don't get strips, they're inaccurate.

Dechlorinator seems they have the wrong title up but that's what you want. There are other brands as well.

Gravel vac

For substrate, you can just get some play sand since it's really cheap, just have to rinse a few times until the water runs clear.

For plants, has cheap packages and you can check out r/aquaswap.

Read this to learn how to cycle.

Here is the easiest way to cycle.

u/myth1n · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Purigen® is a premium synthetic adsorbent that is unlike any other filtration product. It is not a mixture of ion exchangers or adsorbents, but a unique macro-porous synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water at a rate and capacity that exceeds all others by over 500%. Purigen® controls ammonia, nitrites and nitrates by removing nitrogenous organic waste that would otherwise release these harmful compounds. Purigen’s™ impact on trace elements is minimal. It significantly raises redox. It polishes water to unparalleled clarity. Purigen® darkens progressively as it exhausts, and is easily renewed by treating with bleach. Purigen® is designed for both marine and freshwater use.

Basically, its this special plasticy bead stuff that goes in the hob or canister (the 100ml comes with a fine mesh pouch), it absorbs all sorts of metals, nitrates, excess waste etc from the water, pretty similar to what carbon does, except it does it a whole lot better, and it lasts a lot longer. It also polishes and removes tannins from water, water will look crystal clear once you start using it, i dont have a single tank with out purigen in an hob.

u/Zorminster · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

eheim daily feeder / air feeder as it's sometimes called.

Up to 4 feedings, can be used with flake (if very uniform and smaller than the opening- i crush mine up) or pellets. adjustable gate (most people open it up then tape over the opening partially for fine tuning) and you can set each feeding to rotate the drum once, or twice (after a 1 minute delay. helps slower feeders have an opportunity to get something after the more active fish feed on the first dump)

Very happy with mine so far.

u/nsalapatas · 1 pointr/Aquariums
  • Get yourself an aquarium. The bigger the aquarium, the more stable the system. (You might want a ready prepared kit since you're new to the hobby. It will be a bit more expensive for the quality than buying everything individually, but everything is there.)

  • A filtration system. A small hang over the back filter is all you'll need.

  • Buy an API master test kit and read up on the fishless Nitrogen cycle.

  • You will have to cycle the aquarium prior to adding any fish.

  • It may take weeks before the aquarium is fully cycled.

  • While the aquarium is cycling you can start adding substrate, plants and decorations (NO FISH UNTIL YOUR TEST KIT SHOWS IT IS CYCLED).

    There's really too much to write on one post. A local pet store can definitely help you get started when you go there.
u/napoleonthegeck · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Check out the python water changing system! Get a hose length that will reach from your tank to your room. I recommend also purchasing the green hook that makes refilling easier, as well as a longer siphon attachment (my personal opinion. Not necessary.) It has made my life a million times easier. What I do when I refill is attach the hook, and run my temperature matched water back into my tank. About halfway through being refilled I will dose the full amount of my tank with dechlorinator. No more buckets!

Python water changer

Watch some videos of this system on YouTube so you can get an idea of all of its parts and to see how it works!

u/AsstToTheRegionalMgr · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Cool. Maybe getting a sponge filter is good since it's good to learn other filtering options. It seems like sponge filters need some air pump and airline (please correct me if I am mistaken).

Would the following, airline and pump, be the only additional things I need?

u/SpaceChief · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Just some info:

Picked up a nice sized piece of driftwood from the internet, as well as the very nice Marineland 5gallon hex. We're using a Purigen filter in the built in system, and it's worked phenomenally since day one at keeping the water clear and at a healthy balance.

For fish we have our Veil Finned Betta, a school of 5 phantom tetras, a yoyo loach, a snail, and about 10 cherry shrimp.

For plants, we've got a marimo ball that we're growing out to use as grass for the tank at a later time (which you can see at the base of the Easter Island statue bust), some marimo pieces on the driftwood, and a stone with baby tears growing from it which should grow along the floor as well. As for the large plant on the left I hate to admit this but I have no idea what its called. It's grown really really well since planting it.

Just thought we'd show off a bit! This is our first attempt at any kind of planted tank, and we've got huge plans for our upright 20 gallon in the near future. I plan on doing a before and after as soon as we finish with that one.

u/Lrs8855 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Eco-Complete currently, though I'm not sure how long I will stick with it. I prefer the sand look, and watching Cory's run their little noses through it is my favorite thing ever.

If you want sand, I do recommend Malaysian Trumpet Snails to help aerate it. Good for everyone.

u/orangemelon72 · 1 pointr/Aquariums

best one if you haven’t tried yet is

EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder Programmable Automatic Food Dispenser

easy to adjust and easy to program

u/GalactusIntolerant · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

Have you considered a python water changing system? I love mine, it's saved my back for sure. Plus you can get the tubing from any hardware store too!

u/n1ywb · 2 pointsr/Aquariums

You can change the water quickly and easily with one of these

It hooks up to your faucet and uses a venturi to suck the water out of the tank. Turn a valve to fill the tank. Done.

If you are cheap like me you can make your own out of a water bed water changer and some hardware store fittings and garden hose. Works great!

I bought this one

This one has a better picture

u/ashleyasinwilliams · 1 pointr/Aquariums

If space issues are honestly that tight then it might be in your best interest to just not have the aquarium. If you legitimately can't provide a good environment for your pets, they might need a new home until you can.

If you want to keep them like this, you need to get a water test kit (this one is very good) and keep a close eye on your water parameters. You'll need to do multiple big water changes a week to keep things in check. And if the fish start hurting each-other, you need to be willing to seperate them and rehome them if needed.

u/Krispyz · 1 pointr/Aquariums

Yeah, it looks like it has a filter on the back of the tank (so the back wall of the display is set in a bit and there's a filter compartment behind it). You would still need to put filter media (carbon, bio filter) in that. I'm not sure if the tank comes with it or not. You would also want to buy some water conditioner, if you're going to use tap water. This stuff is good and will last forever because you will use only a few drops each water change.

Otherwise, you get your soil or sand, decor, and plants into the tank AND YOU WAIT. You get your filter up and running and you let the tank cycle. You should read up on cycling the tank (the nitrogen cycle). Basically what you are doing is allowing bacteria to grow that will process the fish waste into non-lethal forms (ammonia and nitrite are lethal, bacteria turns it into nitrate, which with is harmful, but only at higher concentrations). Then you do water change to get rid of that nitrate. That's the tl;dr explanation, please read up on it! If you add fish before the tank is done cycling, 9.9 times out of ten, the fish will die.

Once your tank is done cycling (zero ammonia, zero nitrite) can you think about adding fish. If you are patient, this will take a few weeks. If you're impatient, you can purchase bottles of beneficial bacteria to make it go faster... you can get it down to about a week, but you'll want to test either way to make sure. Buy yourself a nice test kit. API Freshwater Master Kit is all you should need and is much accurate than strip tests.

Then you're ready for the fish :D

u/apistia714 · 3 pointsr/Aquariums

it's my pleasure. you can find plain ammonia at wal-mart. just make absolutely certain-- CERTAIN-- you only use ammonia that is free from dyes, fragrances, and surfactants (soap). you can also buy this it's unspoiled ammonia in a dropper bottle. also make sure you have this don't use strips for testing as they're unreliable.

u/WrapGod · 1 pointr/Aquariums

When you get a new tank it's not about waiting for it to "clear up". You have to consistently add pure ammonia until it's converted rapidly to nitrite and then nitrate. You remove nitrate though water changes. Here's a simple guide for beginners. You need pure 100% ammonia (check local fish store and hardware store) and a liquid test kit. Many like to recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit.

The result of adding fish this early into the cycle is a rapid buildup of ammonia from the fish. Ammonia is toxic to the fish and high enough levels can kill them quite rapidly. If you want to greatly improve the chance of survival for your fish, read the test kit's manual to learn the safe enough levels for your fish at this time. Perform water changes to lower levels, and make sure to treat any tap water with dechlorinator.

You should hold off adding any more fish until the end of the cycle or you'll just add to the problem further.

u/EonofAeon · 1 pointr/Aquariums
  1. That's relatively fair, but wouldnt said bacteria also live on the gravel and old fake plants in the old tank? (tossing said plants out cause dont really like em n they got a bit nasty/damaged TBH)

  2. I know. I dont need to touch the sponge except maybe to swish it in tank water, the biomax stuff lasts for mooonths. The only thing I MIGHT need to replace is the carbon, no?

  3. I'm aware....and worried for the future lol

  4. I'll look into the test kits; knew I forgot something at store today. Ditto SeaChem.

    TBH the lighting is at least partially for me so I can better see him/the tank. I do have a glass lid; its a Versa Top 24 inch tall lid.

    Wasn't sure about variety/viability of lights. So this? I may look into it....not sure how I feel about the blue lights tho, may be too bright still :X

    Appreciate the help so far mate