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Posted: 9/6/2010 5:17:14 AM EDT
Looking to possibly set up a small fish tank in my living room.
I have never had fish so I really do not know what I am getting in to.

Please advise.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:19:03 AM EDT
pearl gouramis and a pleco.... define 'small'
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:26:45 AM EDT
bigger = easier and more stable in the long run.
reason being is water chemistry and temp can be all over the map in a small tank. changes in those things stress and kill fish.
with a big tank you have way more time to fix these problems.
get the biggest you can afford and have room for..you will thank me later and save lots of $ in the long run.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:28:50 AM EDT
Largest I would be looking at would be about 3ft by 1 1/2ft not sure what that works out to in gallons.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:30:49 AM EDT
You want a 40 gallon tall... as said above me, easier to control the variables, and you won't have overcrowding if you want a couple of different fish.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 5:58:18 AM EDT
If you never had fish before do not get a tropical salt setup until you did fresh water. They are a LOT OF WORK and expensive. If you can afford a fish tank service consider it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:03:11 AM EDT
saltwater = much work,money
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:07:34 AM EDT
The first few nights you will be paranoid that your fish tank is leaking (if your bedroom is within earshot), And thats even with a whisper filter.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:14:33 AM EDT
Definitely looking at freshwater.

Any starter fish recommendations?
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:16:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By naes:
Definitely looking at freshwater.

Any starter fish recommendations?


make sure you let your tank 'cycle' before you add fish. Don't just fill it up and toss them in there.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:20:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 6:21:21 AM EDT by Vigilante256]
get a pleco and a small school of some kind of tetra... not the dinky neon ones, guppies or mollys, pleco (algae eater)... gouramis look nice and arent that pricey. go to any fish store and look for the fish person who looks excited to be there... that person will be the one who knows about the ph/nitrate/co levels, which species interact best with otheres, live vs plastic plants, rocks, driftwood, lighting/temperatures...etc.

edit: which part of ny are you in?
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:23:06 AM EDT
Just make sure the fish work well together, usually pet stores / aquariums have info on the tank of which types of fish work well with others... You don't want to mix cichlids with tetras, stuff like that.

Tetras are a good way to start off, easy to maintain and relatively cheap, and if you get some vibrant or neon colored substrate it causes their colors to intensify.

And make sure you cull or transfer your pleco when he starts getting big
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:28:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By UBB:
Originally Posted By naes:
Definitely looking at freshwater.

Any starter fish recommendations?


make sure you let your tank 'cycle' before you add fish. Don't just fill it up and toss them in there.

Yep. I killed some nice fish when I was a kid until I figured this out.

Fish tanks are much more work than most people realize.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:31:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 6:41:56 AM EDT by OhioEd]
Buy used equipment if at all possible. If you buy new, once set up, filled up and running, value drops waaaaay down. I had a VERY nice 125 gallon with solid oak three door stand, solid oak canopy, all glass tops, double strip lighting, under gravel filters with power heads, two Fluval 404 canister filters, 125 pounds of gravel, assorted rocks, plants, drift wood, all the supplies, water treatments, water test kits, nets, gravel vacuums etc etc, WELL over 3000 dollars invested in all this brand new set up. Beautiful set up. When I had to move to another state about a year after setting it up, I figured I would sell it rather than move it. Put it on Craigslist, and several other places with lots of pics of the still running set up. Price eventually was lowered to $400 for it and STILL got no serious interest. Gave it to my niece just to get rid of it.
Look around. Buy used.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:31:35 AM EDT
From someone who had 100 gallon+ tanks in high school and first years of college. Don't do it. Just don't do it. It is one of the most aggravating hobbies out there. Power goes out and you have a heavily stocked but stable tank. Everything dies.

Biggest waste of time, and biggest source of frustration I have ever dealt with. My tanks were amazing, but they took up a lot of time, and money.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:33:45 AM EDT
We had small tanks for some years....not too bad to maintain...if you maintain them.

Get lazy..and they stink and turn green.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:35:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JSmith88:
From someone who had 100 gallon+ tanks in high school and first years of college. Don't do it. Just don't do it. It is one of the most aggravating hobbies out there. Power goes out and you have a heavily stocked but stable tank. Everything dies.

Biggest waste of time, and biggest source of frustration I have ever dealt with. My tanks were amazing, but they took up a lot of time, and money.

winter snow storms -> power outtages got two of my best tanks that way
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:36:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JSmith88:
Power goes out and you have a heavily stocked but stable tank. Everything dies.



You can use a correctly sized UPS to float through outages.

Salt fish are expensive.

A correctly sized UPS is well worth the cost.


Link Posted: 9/6/2010 6:40:14 AM EDT
My advice (though I'm a saltwater guy)

1. Go as big as you can (Because you will want bigger if you don't)

2. Read Read Read

3. Go Glass not plastic (plastic scratches way to easy)

4. Build your own stand (far cheaper and stronger)

5. use two smaller heaters instead of 1 big one (it it fails in the on position less likely to cook your tank)

6. Do Not try to ever move it full (or even partially full)

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:11:03 AM EDT
My folks had some fish when I was growing up. We thorougly enjoyed a fistful of feeder fish. They're dirt cheap, and will grow to a pretty good size and live a long life. We had one feeder goldfish last over 10 years.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:58:31 AM EDT
The more I read about fish tanks the more complicated it seems.

I like the idea of it but I am not sure I have the time or patience for them.
So much for get a tank and throw some fish in it.
More research is required.

Any other words of wisdom?
I guess I either need to be talked into or out of this venture.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:09:41 AM EDT
Pics
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:12:08 AM EDT
wow, there are a lot of ignorant replies on this thread.

Basically the rule of thumb with Aquariums is to buy the biggest tank you can afford/fit into your desired space. like one of the previous posters stated, the bigger your tank, the more stable it will be. Fish are very sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and water chemistry.

The old adage that salt water is more difficult than freshwater is complete bullshit. Salt water is more expensive and requires more expensive filtration. this rumor got started by ignorant fishkeepers who really wanted a salt water tank but couldn't really afford it so they cheaped out filters and protein skimmers and ended up with a bunch of expensive dead fish.

The most common types of aquariums bio-topes these days are

Fresh water community
fresh water cichlids (african/south american)
saltwater fish only
saltwater reef

those are listing in order of cheapest to most expensive. Ease of care is the same if you invest in the proper equipment.

Here is the best advice anyone will ever give you when it comes to fish keeping. buy a good book on the subject and READ IT. Don't go into the store ignorant and hope the salesman at the pet store will lead you the right way. many salesman are helpful and full of helpful knowledge and there is an equal number that don't know shit and will feed you bullshit like "salt water aquariums are hard" and "feed you fish three times a day." I recommend you buy a book that focuses on the actually art of husbandry and once you have soaked up that knowledge get one that focuses on the fish.

If you have any questions and or want book suggestions let me know. be careful there are a lot of out of date books out there that are almost worse than no info at all. i'll tell you this though most of the posts on this thread so far have been "get what i have, its the best" or "i didn't do research and all of my fish died and my tank looks like shit, so yours will too."<––bad advice all around.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:42:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ChickenpotGuy:
wow, there are a lot of ignorant replies on this thread.

Basically the rule of thumb with Aquariums is to buy the biggest tank you can afford/fit into your desired space. like one of the previous posters stated, the bigger your tank, the more stable it will be. Fish are very sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and water chemistry.

The old adage that salt water is more difficult than freshwater is complete bullshit. Salt water is more expensive and requires more expensive filtration. this rumor got started by ignorant fishkeepers who really wanted a salt water tank but couldn't really afford it so they cheaped out filters and protein skimmers and ended up with a bunch of expensive dead fish.

The most common types of aquariums bio-topes these days are

Fresh water community
fresh water cichlids (african/south american)
saltwater fish only
saltwater reef

those are listing in order of cheapest to most expensive. Ease of care is the same if you invest in the proper equipment.

Here is the best advice anyone will ever give you when it comes to fish keeping. buy a good book on the subject and READ IT. Don't go into the store ignorant and hope the salesman at the pet store will lead you the right way. many salesman are helpful and full of helpful knowledge and there is an equal number that don't know shit and will feed you bullshit like "salt water aquariums are hard" and "feed you fish three times a day." I recommend you buy a book that focuses on the actually art of husbandry and once you have soaked up that knowledge get one that focuses on the fish.

If you have any questions and or want book suggestions let me know. be careful there are a lot of out of date books out there that are almost worse than no info at all. i'll tell you this though most of the posts on this thread so far have been "get what i have, its the best" or "i didn't do research and all of my fish died and my tank looks like shit, so yours will too."<––bad advice all around.



I have to agree

I have a 180 gallon saltwater reef, People look at it and say oh that is so much work.

Actually is is not really much more than freshwater

Maintenance is pretty much feed them and clean the skimmer weekly.
Water changes about the same as freshwater (10% weekly).

The biggest thing about a Reef tank is to not mess with it so much
let it find it's stability point and keep it there and Don't overstock it.





Link Posted: 9/6/2010 8:49:09 AM EDT
Im fixing to clean mine. Im sure my helper will be along.





My newest Fish. Ignore the Filthy Tank.





Link Posted: 9/6/2010 9:03:07 AM EDT
Research research research. It pains me when people get into aquariums and then get incompatable fish and water parameters.

Craigslist for equipment and even fish. People sell fish allthe time in the Community-Pets area.

I've been keeping fish for 18 years.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 9:34:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DangerJ:
Research research research. It pains me when people get into aquariums and then get incompatable fish and water parameters.

Craigslist for equipment and even fish. People sell fish allthe time in the Community-Pets area.

I've been keeping fish for 18 years.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


yeah, i'm 27 and i've been at for 14 years. RESEARCH! RESEARCH! oh, and then RESEARCH some more. If you thought picking out an AR-15 was hard, welcome to the hobby that's REALLY full of bad salesperson advice and misinformation!
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 9:48:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By naes:
The more I read about fish tanks the more complicated it seems.

I like the idea of it but I am not sure I have the time or patience for them.
So much for get a tank and throw some fish in it.
More research is required.

Any other words of wisdom?
I guess I either need to be talked into or out of this venture.


It isn't hard or complicated. The problem is all the misinformation or conflicting information you read on the internet. What works for one person doesn't always work for the next.

Step 1: Buy everything that you need. What you need is up to you. Basics would be the tank, stand, hood, light fixture, test kit, filter and heater. Decorations and substrate is your choice. I use sand, I think it looks much better.

Step 2: Set it up, fill with water, turn everything on.

Step 3: Start the cycle. http://www.bluecrayfish.com/cycle.htm Last time I did it, I did it the fishless way. One thing the article doesn't mention is that the ammonia needs to be ammonia and water, nothing else. Most ammonia cleaning products have detergents and scents in them, don't use those. easy way to tell is to shake the bottle, if it builds up a foam, it's no good. If it makes a few bubbles which pop right away, you are good to go. I used Ace Hardware brand, janitorial strength formula. It's pure ammonia. Follow the guide in the link.

Step 4: Once cycling is finished, add fish.

Step 5: Enjoy!

From there it's just general maintanence. Which is easy as pie and depending on the size of the tank, takes mere minutes. On my 75 gallon tank, it takes me all of 20 minutes from start to finish.

I have a few helpful tips for you as well.
You will need a water conditioner. Water right from your trap with have chlorine and such. I recommend Prime It's all I use these days. Works great.

When you buy a tank, it may or may not come with a thermometer. You'll want one. I use a digital probe since they are more accurate. I think I paid all of $20 for it.

If you bought a new tank kit, it might come with an undergravel filter. It's junk, throw it away. It does nothing but trap poop and rotten food under the gravel.

You'll probably want a siphon of some sort. You can buy one for $10 at just about any pet store. I use a Python since it's easier. It hooks right up to my faucet, so no running around with buckets of water. You can buy one for $50ish or make one for a lot less. http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_python.php

Something to clean the glass inside the tank. Depending on your fish, filters and cleaning routine, you might end up with a bit of algae on the tank. A simple brush is enough to scrape it off. I use a Mag-Float

Substrate. You have many choices, sand gravel, nothing, clay etc. Use whatever you want. I prefer sand since it looks much better. You can buy it at a pet store for way to much money, or go to Home Depot and get play sand. The only difference is that play sand only comes in a light brown color. Whereas the pet store will have just about any color you want. I used Quickrete brand play sand from Home Depot. $3 for a 50lb bag. I used 1.5 bags on a 75 gallon tank. Sand does need to be cleaned. Especially play sand, it has tons of dust. Put it in a bucket and run a hose in it until the water runs clear. You can just put it in the tank, but it'll take a few days for the dust to clear up. The biggest advantage to sand (other than appearance) is that all the crud (poop, uneaten food) simply sits on top of the sand. It won't sink down into it like it would with gravel. You can siphon the crud right off the top of the sand.

Go with as big as a tank as you are comfortable with. Bigger is better for reasons already explained. It also allows you to keep more or bigger fish. One often overlooked figure for aquariums is the width from the front to back. It's a huge limiting factor as far as fish are concerned. A 55 and 75 gallon tank are both 4 feet long. But the 75 is 18"s and the 55 is 12"s wide. It makes a difference. IMHO, the wider, the better. A great starting point would be a 40 gallon breeder tank. It's 36"L x 18"W x 16" H
When you purchase a tank, make sure to cruise craigslist first. Used tanks are damn near worthless. Search for a local aquarium club forum as well, tons of people always looking to sell stuff.

Filters, if you buy a kit, it'll come with one, but it would be that good. It'll work, but there are better options. I recommend canister filters, they are super easy to setup use and clean. A Rena Xp2 would be great on a 40 gallon tank. This is also something you can buy used.

Aquarium stands, again, buy a kit and you are good. Or buy one used. The cheapest way is to build one. It's plenty easy, just make sure the tank has a level surface to sit on.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 10:02:53 AM EDT
Thanks for the tips, keep em coming.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 10:08:59 AM EDT
A few questions:

Are you in a House or apartment?
(rent or own)

What is the absolute largest you can go?
(size)

Why Freshwater over Salt?
(Fear or finances)


Link Posted: 9/6/2010 10:17:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 10:21:18 AM EDT by dugedug]
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Originally Posted By ChickenpotGuy:
wow, there are a lot of ignorant replies on this thread.

Basically the rule of thumb with Aquariums is to buy the biggest tank you can afford/fit into your desired space. like one of the previous posters stated, the bigger your tank, the more stable it will be. Fish are very sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and water chemistry.

The old adage that salt water is more difficult than freshwater is complete bullshit. Salt water is more expensive and requires more expensive filtration. this rumor got started by ignorant fishkeepers who really wanted a salt water tank but couldn't really afford it so they cheaped out filters and protein skimmers and ended up with a bunch of expensive dead fish.

The most common types of aquariums bio-topes these days are

Fresh water community
fresh water cichlids (african/south american)
saltwater fish only
saltwater reef

those are listing in order of cheapest to most expensive. Ease of care is the same if you invest in the proper equipment.

Here is the best advice anyone will ever give you when it comes to fish keeping. buy a good book on the subject and READ IT. Don't go into the store ignorant and hope the salesman at the pet store will lead you the right way. many salesman are helpful and full of helpful knowledge and there is an equal number that don't know shit and will feed you bullshit like "salt water aquariums are hard" and "feed you fish three times a day." I recommend you buy a book that focuses on the actually art of husbandry and once you have soaked up that knowledge get one that focuses on the fish.

If you have any questions and or want book suggestions let me know. be careful there are a lot of out of date books out there that are almost worse than no info at all. i'll tell you this though most of the posts on this thread so far have been "get what i have, its the best" or "i didn't do research and all of my fish died and my tank looks like shit, so yours will too."<––bad advice all around.



I have to agree

I have a 180 gallon saltwater reef, People look at it and say oh that is so much work.

Actually is is not really much more than freshwater

Maintenance is pretty much feed them and clean the skimmer weekly.
Water changes about the same as freshwater (10% weekly).

The biggest thing about a Reef tank is to not mess with it so much
let it find it's stability point and keep it there and Don't overstock it.







+2

I'm currently in the process of aquiring equipment for a 12 gallon Nano reef tank setup. There is alot of good information/how-tos on the forums. Doesn't seem any harder than fresh as long as you have patience. As for price, local fish store has clowns for $17 ea, another $30 in cleanup crew (shirmp, crabs, snails, Goby) and youre set for a small tank.

http://www.nano-reef.com/

http://www.reefcentral.com/
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 10:24:05 AM EDT
I'd stay away from starter kits. You can buy a whole setup for like 50 bucks. That's what I did back in the day. All the stuff that came with it had to be replaced because it was the cheap crap.

You should get one though. They are very soothing, especially if you have neon rocks.

Tiger Barbs are a lot of fun. Buy Neon Tetras to test the water. Cost next to nothing so they make good guine pigs. Pictus Cat is a great looking fish and fun to watch. Looks like a cat but acts like a blood hound sniffing around on the bottom with all his figure 8 turns.

My last tank setup, I went on vacation for 10 days. Put the time released food pelots in the water and they pretty much killed everything.

Just be aware that some fish are more aggressive than others and you don't want to mix or you'll find your wimpy guys too be all nipped up by the Tiger Barbs.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 10:34:34 AM EDT
Taking care of that tank and keeping it "un-greened" is a lot more work than you think it is.

The pleco couldn't keep up w/ the algae in mine, I grew tired of it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 10:45:19 AM EDT
Speaking of fish I have a Spotted Raphael catfish in my 20 gallon tank that was given to me in 1986, I never thought a fish would last 24 years +
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 11:31:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rdblan2:
Taking care of that tank and keeping it "un-greened" is a lot more work than you think it is.

The pleco couldn't keep up w/ the algae in mine, I grew tired of it.


No it isn't. You were either over feeding, under filtered, or had too many fish in the tank.

Also, not all Pleco's eat algae. A common pleco will eat algae, but it's not what it prefers. It'll go after the food you feed the other fish first.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 11:40:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By naes:
Definitely looking at freshwater.

Any starter fish recommendations?

Go to a good fish store. Look around, you don't have to buy just because you are there.

No need to start with starter fish. That's for children, like a gold fish or neons. When you see some freshwater fish that you like that you can afford, get it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 1:17:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 1:22:45 PM EDT by gs1150]
I have a 200 gallon fresh water tank.
I do all of my maintenance during half time of a football game.
That's it, 15-20 minutes a week.
Vacuum the gravel to remove 30-40 gallons of water and change the bags in 2 of the 4 whispers.
Done.

Feed the fish every OTHER day. This keeps your water chemistry easy to maintain and helps to prevent algae.
Keep fish populations LOW. This also helps with your water.I have less than 20 small fish in a 200 g tank.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 1:30:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 1:35:02 PM EDT by yamatitan]
The above posters are right freshwater is not harder then saltwater but saltwater is defiantly more expensive. I have enough live rock in my salt tank that it basically cares for itself I just drop in some food once a day. It was different when it was a reef tank but now is just a live rock with fish. I havent changed water/clean the tank in 6 years and the water test 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5 ppm nitrate. The tank is also very clean with all the snails I have in it, luckily my puffer doesnt seem to eat too many so I dont have to replace them often.

All I do is top it off once a week with some freshwater and I just added more salt for the first time in 6 years because I was getting 1.018 as my salinty level so I bumped it back up to 1.024.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 1:33:24 PM EDT
I fish tank is nothing more than a device designed to saturate your carpet and flooring with gallons of water at a randomly selected point of time in the future. I've only had one once.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 1:51:14 PM EDT
Ensure your homeowners or renters policy will cover damages if you have a tank burst.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 2:04:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 2:06:09 PM EDT by ttman]
DO NOT GET A PLECO. they are sh** machines and pollute more then they actually help. and they grow too large for most home tanks. for a noob, I recommend FW. for the size tank you want (40G or below), I recommend a pair of convicts, very rewarding fish. or if u prefer a community tank w/colors, then swordtails/mollies. a PYTHON (water change system) is a must.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 2:05:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 2:05:57 PM EDT by JasonblkZ06]
lots of work, lots of money. You could get the same outcome by doing the same thing over and over again and flushing money down the toilet.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 2:11:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ChrisSA:

Originally Posted By UBB:
Originally Posted By naes:
Definitely looking at freshwater.

Any starter fish recommendations?


make sure you let your tank 'cycle' before you add fish. Don't just fill it up and toss them in there.

Yep. I killed some nice fish when I was a kid until I figured this out.

Fish tanks are much more work than most people realize.

It depends on your water.

I had a tank at my mother's house once and the fish were in the day I sent it up. They lived and did fine.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 2:13:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OhioEd:
Buy used equipment if at all possible. If you buy new, once set up, filled up and running, value drops waaaaay down. I had a VERY nice 125 gallon with solid oak three door stand, solid oak canopy, all glass tops, double strip lighting, under gravel filters with power heads, two Fluval 404 canister filters, 125 pounds of gravel, assorted rocks, plants, drift wood, all the supplies, water treatments, water test kits, nets, gravel vacuums etc etc, WELL over 3000 dollars invested in all this brand new set up. Beautiful set up. When I had to move to another state about a year after setting it up, I figured I would sell it rather than move it. Put it on Craigslist, and several other places with lots of pics of the still running set up. Price eventually was lowered to $400 for it and STILL got no serious interest. Gave it to my niece just to get rid of it.
Look around. Buy used.
Buy used.
I have a similar story, but with a 55gal TruView I posted it on Craigslist for FREE and got no serious replies, still have it, empty now.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 2:16:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By naes:
The more I read about fish tanks the more complicated it seems.

I like the idea of it but I am not sure I have the time or patience for them.
So much for get a tank and throw some fish in it.
More research is required.

Any other words of wisdom?
I guess I either need to be talked into or out of this venture.

I was at Sam's Club the other day. They have a 42" Vizio 1080P on sale for $498.

Get that, a dvd player and a "fish tank" dvd. Or hook the TV to a computer and use a fish tank screen saver. Hang the TV where you wanted to put the tank.

You'll be WAY ahead in the long run and there is no maintenance.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 2:25:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 2:25:32 PM EDT by JSmith88]
Best tank I ever had was a 150 with Frontosas and a full rock-scape. Wish I still had pictures.

Google Monster Fish Keepers for the arfcom of huge fish and tanks.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:21:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2010 3:21:32 PM EDT by RyanC]
Originally Posted By ttman:
DO NOT GET A PLECO. they are sh** machines and pollute more then they actually help. and they grow too large for most home tanks. for a noob, I recommend FW. for the size tank you want (40G or below), I recommend a pair of convicts, very rewarding fish. or if u prefer a community tank w/colors, then swordtails/mollies. a PYTHON (water change system) is a must.


Again, it depends on the species of pleco. There are hundreds of them. The common pleco, yes, gets huge.



A pair of Convicts is a good idea. Don't plan on keeping anything else in the tank though, they are aggressive.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:33:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By yamatitan:
The above posters are right freshwater is not harder then saltwater but saltwater is defiantly more expensive. I have enough live rock in my salt tank that it basically cares for itself I just drop in some food once a day. It was different when it was a reef tank but now is just a live rock with fish. I havent changed water/clean the tank in 6 years and the water test 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5 ppm nitrate. The tank is also very clean with all the snails I have in it, luckily my puffer doesnt seem to eat too many so I dont have to replace them often.

All I do is top it off once a week with some freshwater and I just added more salt for the first time in 6 years because I was getting 1.018 as my salinty level so I bumped it back up to 1.024.


Can you post pics of your setup?
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:48:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By R89:
Just make sure the fish work well together, usually pet stores / aquariums have info on the tank of which types of fish work well with others... You don't want to mix cichlids with tetras, stuff like that.

Tetras are a good way to start off, easy to maintain and relatively cheap, and if you get some vibrant or neon colored substrate it causes their colors to intensify.

And make sure you cull or transfer your pleco when he starts getting big


Don't believe the size care sheets say fish get. I have one of those blackfin shark catfish. All caresheets i have seen say they grow to 6-8 inches. Someone forgot to tell my fish that-he's pushing 11 1/2 inches in a 55 gallon tank. Can't get rid of him because nobody in the area has a tank bigger than a 55, and I'm not GIVING him to a pet shop so they can SELL him. Fucker's more voracious than my piranha was.
Also stay away from iridescent sharks. They claim 12 inches but the fish is an Asian equivalent to our channel cat. They've been known to reach 50 inches and 35+ pounds. Also are sold at Walmart in the seafood department under the name swai.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:50:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By reelserious:
saltwater = much work,money

No,

I love my marine fish.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 3:53:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JSmith88:
From someone who had 100 gallon+ tanks in high school and first years of college. Don't do it. Just don't do it. It is one of the most aggravating hobbies out there. Power goes out and you have a heavily stocked but stable tank. Everything dies.

Biggest waste of time, and biggest source of frustration I have ever dealt with. My tanks were amazing, but they took up a lot of time, and money.

I have had the power go out for two days on my eight gallon saltwater with a bunch of soft corals and two fish. They all survived.
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