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Old 03-02-2012, 10:32 PM   #1 
Olympia
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Getting a -real- aquarium! Questions!

By real I mean large. Around Monday I'm getting a 10gallon with heater, possibly lid and filter for FREE! could have got a free 75 but my dad said no :( the filter it comes with is for a large tank, it looks like two filters stuck together, with two water suckers and cartridges etc. Could I just baffle half of it? I dont want the current too strong for the betta. It has the bio filter, but the guy said I need new activated carbon to keep the water clear. Is this true? Ive seen people say they rather not use it on here.. I'm planning on getting live plants, I want med-high light with no extra CO2. How many watts should I get for the tank?
I want to cycle it with gilbert inside, I hear it's safe to cycle with a betta? I'd get a water test kit. About how much water changes would I have to do during cycling? After it's cycled?
Now the fun part, my ideas!:
1. Gilbert, RCS, cories
2. Gilbert, RCS, kuhli loaches
3. Gilbert, RCS, ember tetras
4. Betta sorority
I'm leaning to option 3 or 2 more. I have never been able to find ember tetras where I live though! Are there any other middle swimmers that are really good? No neons please.. If not I definately think I'd go for loaches, are they fine with smooth gravel? The sand would be a big hit on my budget for the cories. Also don't really want to risk ruining my girls fins in a sorority, it seems quite common.

Any answers, or what you think for the setup, is appreciated. :)
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:53 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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I can't help you on baffling the filter, but you definitely don't need activated carbon to keep the water clean. Sure, it may help, but usually your water will look clean and clear without it anyway. I certainly don't use it in any of my filters and my water is just fine.

I can't really help with any of the stocking ideas, since I love them all! :p If I absolutely had to choose, I'd probably go with the kuhlis...or the embers. Bah! I can't choose. :p
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:43 PM   #3 
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I'm sorry but I had to giggle at your "large" fish tank. When I read that I was expecting a 150 gal. It stinks that you couldn't get the 75 gal, tho. That would have made an impressive community tank.

Now onto your questions: if you are going for a planted tank I would not use the carbon. It removes essential nutrients for plants. While this isn't as important when you just have one east plant, it does become very important when you want a more heavily planted tank. If you decide to fertilize (which you should with higher light) then it will remove the fertilizer from the water.

Could you post a picture of the filter? Or perhaps type out what it says on top of the filer like brand name? If you have the filter I'm thinking of it is waaay to big for a 10 gal.

For the substrate, both cories and kuhli loaches would be okay with smooth gravel, but sand is really best. Kuhli loaches are burrowing fish and can injure themselves burrowing in gravel. Cories just like to poke around in it.

For your lighting, watts doesn't matter as much as kelvins. You want a bulb between 5000 kelvins and 7000 kelvins. Don't worry. The packaging will tell you the kelvin rating. Do you have any plants in mind?

But I think it is important to determine a stocking plan first. Here is something that might help you: how hard is your water? Embers need soft water and an acidic pH. Kuhlies also need soft water and an acidic pH. You know, if your water is soft enough, you could just do kuhlies or cories and ember tetra and leave out the betta.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:48 PM   #4 
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I would recommend doing a fishless cycle assuming you already have a suitable home for Gilbert. It's a lot less troublesome on you and less stress on your Betta. With the fishless cycle you don't have to worry about the water changes. You just test the water to see where you are at and dose ammonia. It's a lot easier than trying to play the balance game of keeping the ammonia in ranges to keep the cycle going and fish healthy.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:33 AM   #5 
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Alright no carbon. Goodie.

I'm sorry but I had to giggle at your "large" fish tank. When I read that I was expecting a 150 gal. It stinks that you couldn't get the 75 gal, tho. That would have made an impressive community tank.
10 gallons is large for me, I only have 2.5's :D
I know, maybe I need to prove to my dad that fish aren't just a "passing interest" for me, then I'd be able to get the 75. xD

Now onto your questions: if you are going for a planted tank I would not use the carbon. It removes essential nutrients for plants. While this isn't as important when you just have one east plant, it does become very important when you want a more heavily planted tank. If you decide to fertilize (which you should with higher light) then it will remove the fertilizer from the water.
That's good to know. For now it'll probably just be one anubias, I want to add more as time progresses.

Could you post a picture of the filter? Or perhaps type out what it says on top of the filer like brand name? If you have the filter I'm thinking of it is waaay to big for a 10 gal.
I KNOW it's too big. It's just that it was free lol. It's almost like this but it's older.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3065443
Would something like this be good?:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=12713971

For the substrate, both cories and kuhli loaches would be okay with smooth gravel, but sand is really best. Kuhli loaches are burrowing fish and can injure themselves burrowing in gravel. Cories just like to poke around in it.
I kind of would prefer to get a mid swimmer, and just have shrimp on the bottom, but if I decide on loaches or cories, what kind of sand should I use? Would natural play sand from home depot work? I read that a lot of stuff from petsmart is bad for burrowers.. there's also the option of fluorite? It says it's gravel like, but seachem says it's good for burrowers, I know..:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...3891&lmdn=Type

For your lighting, watts doesn't matter as much as kelvins. You want a bulb between 5000 kelvins and 7000 kelvins. Don't worry. The packaging will tell you the kelvin rating. Do you have any plants in mind?
Various anubias, java fern, something with a different texture maybe, something with reddish leaves to vary it. I have to see what we have available.

But I think it is important to determine a stocking plan first. Here is something that might help you: how hard is your water?
Embers need soft water and an acidic pH.
Kuhlies also need soft water and an acidic pH. You know, if your water is soft enough, you could just do kuhlies or cories and ember tetra and leave out the betta.

First, I need to put one of my betta in there, that's the only condition that I can get the tank (only allowed 2 in use aquariums right now..)
I believe our tap water's pH is close to neutral, and I think slightly hard? I don't know I'd have to test it.. If so, what I can do to make it suitable for the embers or loaches? And how do I adjust the betta to any changes like this?
What would be some more suitable non bottom dwellers? I could be open to several male endler's livebearers, or what else?

Alright thanks, freemike, I will do a fishless cycle just to avoid problems.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:15 PM   #6 
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I would keep trying with your dad. A 75 gal tank is a great size tank to take your hobby to the next level. You could have large schools of tetra, cichlids, or something more delicate like angels or discus.

The second filter you showed looks like it would be good. I can't actually speak for it, since I use Aqua Clears and Bio-wheels.

Flourite and other specialist substrates are specifically for heavily planted aquariums. The only reason to use them is if you want a lot of root-feeding plants. They are also rougher on burrowing fish and aren't recommended with them. This is an old thread from TFK where those substrates and substrate fish are discussed. For sand you can just get the playsand from Home Depot or the like. Just make sure you wash it very thoroughly as it tends to be kinda dirty.

The best way to get your water parameters is to look online at your water treatment plant's website (they sometimes have the GH, KH, and pH posted). You could also call your local water treatment plant and ask for the numbers. I've seen test kits sold at petsmart, but the strips are very unreliable. Until we know those numbers suggesting stocking ideas is basically shooting in the dark.

About altering ph and hardness: it isn't easy to do. It's much better to just work with what you have. Your betta will adjust to almost any hardness just fine. That is one of the benefits of betta: they are very undemanding when it comes to pH and hardness.

I also wanted to make one last comment about tetras and fin-nipping. It's been scientifically proven that when fish are kept in sub-ideal conditions (especially cramped space) they will react in one of two ways: aggression or complete withdrawl. This is one of the reasons tetra have a reputation here as fin-nippers. A large school of tetra in a large aquarium will be perfectly benign, but to me, 6 tetra and a betta in a 10 gal is crowded. Aquarium fishes are more aggressive in reduced environments, new study finds
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #7 
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I would actually recomend sand, the thing you do, go to a hardware store and get play sand. Usually it is around the concrete, you get about 50 pounds for $5. You will have at least half left if not more. It looks natural too, so I would get it. I think the loaches might need sand, not quite sure though.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #8 
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I would love an angelfish or freshwater parrot fish :3
I think I blew all my shots when I was younger. I went through fish, hermit crabs, mice, a rabbit... all were gotten rid of. I was really irresponsible until about two years ago, and now they don't trust me anymore. I think if I can still be interested in fish for like a year and get a job (I've been applying) they'd cave in. I've been convincing them that getting 80's-95's in school means I'm responsible, but it's not working -__- I mean it's fish. It's no trouble to anyone but me lol.

I'll try that filter, and I'll go with playsand/fertilizers for plants when I get more high needs ones.

We have many water treatment plants here, I don't where our water comes from. All I know is it's from Lake Ontario. I've been looking and can't find anything.. I might take some to the fish store and see if they'll test it.. Doesn't the API Master Kit have pH/hardness testing?

Bombalurina is always vouching for the ember tetras, she has them.. She says they're the calmest tetra and fine for a 10gal, so that's why I was considering them.
So if I have hard/basic water, am I limited to cory cats?
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:12 PM   #9 
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Maybe once you get that job they'll change their minds. A school of angelfish would look stunning in a 75 gal.

I forgot that you could ask a knowledgeable fish store. I have none of those around me, so I have to rely on the internet. They will probably have the tools/knowledge to test the water. The API master kit doesn't include a KH/GH test. I've found a test kit, but you have to order it online. I've never seen it in stores.

If you have hard water, a lot of your fish choices are going to be out. Depending on the species of cory, it could work. One of the tetra I know that can survive in hard water is the X-ray tetra (Pristella maxillaris). I did a google search and found one guy on a forum saying that Lake Ontario water has a GH around 9 or 10 and a KH around 7. (Cichlid-Forum :: View topic - Lamprologus ocellatus Gold and Toronto Water Report Quick Summary - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.) This is fairly hard water and is on the border of the ranges of ember tetra and kuhli loaches. Hard enough to keep African cichlids.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:27 PM   #10 
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These? It seems like it'd be a tight squeeze.

Would a type of rasbora do better in my type of water?
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