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Old 12-25-2012, 02:25 PM   #1 
MadameDesu
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I got a tank for Christmas! And I have a lot of newbie questions lol

Hello all and Merry Christmas!

I'm sorry I haven't been around lately ... my Rosie died at the start of November and I just haven't had the heart to come back for a while.

I'd been thinking about getting another fish sometime next semester though. So as a good surprise, my parents bought me a bigger tank. Rosie had been in a 3 gal Kritter Keeper, but this new one is a 10 gal!!!!

Here's some info on it:
*10 gal glass
*Hood with incandescent lighting, feed door, and punch outs for filter and heater
*Aqua Tech 5-15 Power Filter with carbon cartridge
*Random samples of food and conditioner

So what do you guys think of it? I have some questions:

I know that my biggest challenge will be what to do with the filter as it will probably be too strong. I was thinking about getting a sponge filter instead, but I worry about what that will do to the water quality. Once upon a time, I replaced a cartridge in my Whisper 3i with a sponge and the water got DISGUSTING. Maybe I could have a sponge filter and this power filter? Or two sponge filters?

And the light. Is incandescent a no-no or is it ok? I'm not really planning on growing plants. I may add some in the future, but I won't start out with them.

What kinds of things will I need for a fishless cycle? I want to do things right this time instead of just throwing my fish in. I have Prime conditioner and the big test kit that a lot of people here use (forget the name).

What would water changes look like?

How much gravel would I need to fill it up about 2-3 inches?

I may want to divide it as well. How could I do that?

Thanks in advance! Hope you're enjoying your holidays!
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:02 PM   #2 
bryanacute
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I know that my biggest challenge will be what to do with the filter as it will probably be too strong. I was thinking about getting a sponge filter instead, but I worry about what that will do to the water quality. Once upon a time, I replaced a cartridge in my Whisper 3i with a sponge and the water got DISGUSTING. Maybe I could have a sponge filter and this power filter? Or two sponge filters?

For a full powered heater, all you have to do is fit panty hose around the area where where it spits the water out.

And the light. Is incandescent a no-no or is it ok? I'm not really planning on growing plants. I may add some in the future, but I won't start out with them.

IMO, I wouldn't have a incandescent if you have no plants.

What kinds of things will I need for a fishless cycle? I want to do things right this time instead of just throwing my fish in. I have Prime conditioner and the big test kit that a lot of people here use (forget the name).

Just cycle for 24 hours.

What would water changes look like?

What do you mean exactly?

How much gravel would I need to fill it up about 2-3 inches?

About maybe 2 inches at the highest point. You can make it un-even which looks really cool IMO
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:27 PM   #3 
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Tank sounds good, filter sounds a little strong. I would add some pantyhose to the intake like bryana said, but I'd also add filter floss inside to make the outflow less harsh. I have never had a problem with sponge filters in 10 gallon tanks, I'm guessing you might not have had the right size? Theres an elite sponge filter that I use, its white and has a hard shell on the back with the suction cups, I suggest that one. You could always use two or more.
Incandescent is fine until you want to add plants. I have incandescent lighting in my 10 gallon too and tried plants, even with 50 watts, they were rotting, I suggest changing them out to compact flourescents when the time comes for you to want to plant it.
You will want pure ammonia (ace hardware) and a test kit for cycling. you want to dose like 2-4ppm/day or whatever, so you will definitely want to get a liquid test kit like the one API makes. theres a whole sticky devoted to cycling in this forum somewhere (sorry I cant find the link right this second)
After the cycle is over you're going to want to do 25% (or more) water changes 1x a week. (or more if you want)
I have about 10lbs (i think) in mine and i'd say its about 2", so 2-3 medium sized bags?
Theres a DIY divider you can make with craft mesh, or go to the petstore and buy them, I think they are about $10 at petsmart. Just put the plastic on the mesh and insert into your tank, comes with metal things to keep them from sliding. You could divide it into up to 4 sections, just remember that filters dont work well in divided tanks, I switch my sponge filter around from section to section every few days.
Hope this helps?
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:14 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemaki09 View Post
Tank sounds good, filter sounds a little strong. I would add some pantyhose to the intake like bryana said, but I'd also add filter floss inside to make the outflow less harsh. I have never had a problem with sponge filters in 10 gallon tanks, I'm guessing you might not have had the right size? Theres an elite sponge filter that I use, its white and has a hard shell on the back with the suction cups, I suggest that one. You could always use two or more.
Incandescent is fine until you want to add plants. I have incandescent lighting in my 10 gallon too and tried plants, even with 50 watts, they were rotting, I suggest changing them out to compact flourescents when the time comes for you to want to plant it.
You will want pure ammonia (ace hardware) and a test kit for cycling. you want to dose like 2-4ppm/day or whatever, so you will definitely want to get a liquid test kit like the one API makes. theres a whole sticky devoted to cycling in this forum somewhere (sorry I cant find the link right this second)
After the cycle is over you're going to want to do 25% (or more) water changes 1x a week. (or more if you want)
I have about 10lbs (i think) in mine and i'd say its about 2", so 2-3 medium sized bags?
Theres a DIY divider you can make with craft mesh, or go to the petstore and buy them, I think they are about $10 at petsmart. Just put the plastic on the mesh and insert into your tank, comes with metal things to keep them from sliding. You could divide it into up to 4 sections, just remember that filters dont work well in divided tanks, I switch my sponge filter around from section to section every few days.
Hope this helps?
I'll have to ask around about the filter and find out how exactly this works. It has a few extra parts than my last one. I'm not sure at this point if I'll use it or not. Decisions decisions.

What exactly are the pros and cons of incandescent and fluorescent? I notice not too many people have incandescent.

I'll check out that sticky! I hope it goes well. I know people have had issues cycling before.

As for the dividers, maybe tht means I should just get a sponge filter for each side.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:54 PM   #5 
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I think thats the same setup my sister had - hers came from walmart with the aquateck 5-15g filter.
Does the hood have 2 screw in bulbs behind a bulge of plastic? If you want to do live plants you can replace those bulbs for florescent ones but no need to if you aren't gonna try live plants. Florsence are better for plant growth, incandesence is just going to light up the tank. I'm not sure if even low light plants can grow with it. You can find out more in the planted tank section about lighting. The is a whole bunch of stuff involved with plants/lighting/colro spectrum and tempature.

I took her filter and it is a bit strong. For ALL my filters, i don't bother with the cartridges. I stuff them with Foam for Aquaclear filters which will do both biological and mechanical filtration. I don't bother with carbon unless I am removing meds from the tank. Foam will last ALOT longer then filter floss and the cartridges and no need to toss them every month (which will also toss out most of the bacteria you want). Just swish in old tank water when you change it out. Not only do I stuff it inside the filter but I also stuff it at the outflow to baffle the flow. This works rather nicely because you can squsih the foam to fit into the spot.

It will take about a month or more to cycle the tank and you want to either test the water every few days OR follow Oldfishlady's cycling for bettas guide. You can find the sticky someplace on the site, forgot what topic it's under. I think your supposed to change 50% of the water every 4 days if you don't have the tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and you are doing a fish in cycle. I have never done fishless so..no idea on that.

Dividers can easily be made with craft mesh and those plastic binders that people use to hold book reports and stuff together. The side away from the filter does get more dirty but I normally siphon out that side and then once a month, I remove the fish and dividers and siphon the whole thing and do a big water change. I have seen people with multiple filters in a divided tank or they put the filter in the middle.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 12-25-2012 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:08 AM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameDesu View Post
What exactly are the pros and cons of incandescent and fluorescent? I notice not too many people have incandescent.
I'm unsure of the pros and cons, but I know that I have an impossible time growing plants with incandescent, no matter the wattage, and with my 26 gallon I have a t-8 15watt light with 6500k and my plants are thriving (about 19 watts under whats recommended)
I know LED cant grow plants well either, so I'm thinking they dont put out the right spectrum of light, but I've never researched it so I dont know for a fact.
Incandescent is just fine to use until you want live plants though
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:16 AM   #7 
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I had the same kit I believe. The filter works fine if you fill the water all the way up to the lip. Any distance between the lip and the watter will make a current and just push everything around. I would unplug it at feeding time and while doing pwcs.

What setup are you thinking of btw? A single male? 2 males divided? 1 or a group of females? A community? Just curious
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Last edited by Bluewind; 12-26-2012 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:06 AM   #8 
MadameDesu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikibirds View Post
I think thats the same setup my sister had - hers came from walmart with the aquateck 5-15g filter.
Does the hood have 2 screw in bulbs behind a bulge of plastic? If you want to do live plants you can replace those bulbs for florescent ones but no need to if you aren't gonna try live plants. Florsence are better for plant growth, incandesence is just going to light up the tank. I'm not sure if even low light plants can grow with it. You can find out more in the planted tank section about lighting. The is a whole bunch of stuff involved with plants/lighting/colro spectrum and tempature.

I took her filter and it is a bit strong. For ALL my filters, i don't bother with the cartridges. I stuff them with Foam for Aquaclear filters which will do both biological and mechanical filtration. I don't bother with carbon unless I am removing meds from the tank. Foam will last ALOT longer then filter floss and the cartridges and no need to toss them every month (which will also toss out most of the bacteria you want). Just swish in old tank water when you change it out. Not only do I stuff it inside the filter but I also stuff it at the outflow to baffle the flow. This works rather nicely because you can squsih the foam to fit into the spot.

It will take about a month or more to cycle the tank and you want to either test the water every few days OR follow Oldfishlady's cycling for bettas guide. You can find the sticky someplace on the site, forgot what topic it's under. I think your supposed to change 50% of the water every 4 days if you don't have the tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and you are doing a fish in cycle. I have never done fishless so..no idea on that.

Dividers can easily be made with craft mesh and those plastic binders that people use to hold book reports and stuff together. The side away from the filter does get more dirty but I normally siphon out that side and then once a month, I remove the fish and dividers and siphon the whole thing and do a big water change. I have seen people with multiple filters in a divided tank or they put the filter in the middle.
Hi, yep that's my tank!
I'm not planning on doing any live plants for a while, so I'll stick with the incandescents for now.

Thanks for the tip about the filter! What are the exact sponges you're using? Do you cut them to fit? Did you keep the floss that it came with?
If you have any pictures of how you set it up with the 5-15 filter, I'd REALLY appreciate it. Again, it has more parts than my Whisper 3i, so I'm not really sure how it works ...
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:10 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewind View Post
I had the same kit I believe. The filter works fine if you fill the water all the way up to the lip. Any distance between the lip and the watter will make a current and just push everything around. I would unplug it at feeding time and while doing pwcs.

What setup are you thinking of btw? A single male? 2 males divided? 1 or a group of females? A community? Just curious
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Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely keep that in mind if/when I use the filter.

I'm probably going to go with 2 females, either divided or in community. Because of filter issues, it may just be easier to keep them together, but I've heard stories of females roughing each other up, so I'm not sure if I'm ready to deal with that just yet.

I'm also not
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:12 AM   #10 
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From what I've read, females do better in groups of 3 or more. Just 2 and the dominant one will pester the submissive one constantly. As long as you do plenty of pwc and add a few live plants, they should be fine.
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