I've caught this aquarium thing that's going around

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Samantha's pet, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    Okay, now I want a community tank. I would really like a mystery snail, a crawfish, and a couple of fish. (i was reading that as long as the fish are larger than the crawfish it shouldn't bother them). IDK about the crawfish and the snail, though. I saw on a forum that someone else did keep them together.

    Any suggestions on fish? I would like about 3 fish (besides the crawfish and/or snail).

    What size tank?

    Which fish do you add first and how long in between adding new ones?

    How long do you have to let the tank run before adding anything?

    I am prepared for this to be a very long process. I just need a hobby, lol. I am heading to the flea market to look for cheap aquariums now. (not prepared to purchase today, just seeing what's available, maybe put something on layaway.) Also may check out a bookstore to see if I can find a guide or dummy book on freshwater community tanks.
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Mwahaha, that's all I have to say.
     
  3. Criosphynx

    Criosphynx New Member

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    what size tank are you looking to do?
     
  4. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I though crayfish were potentially aggressive and you weren't supposed to house them with fish?

    At any rate, I suggest:
    [​IMG]

    a dwarf frog!

    I'm trying to pimp these things to everybody because they're pretty cool. They stay really small and don't need any land.

    Good for variety, but of course you have to watch what you put in with them or they'll get eaten :(

    And do you mean three individual fish or three fish species?
    Because most smallish fish are schooling fish and like to have some same-species friends. It also looks better (IMO).

    Look at platies and mollies and guppies. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  5. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    crayfish (or crawfish) are fast, get relitivly large and ive seen them catch fast swimmers.

    if your dead set on a crayfish id personally get him his very own 10 gallon tank, keep him and only him in the tank unless your planning on him eating whatever you add.
    feeder guppies (there fancy guppies without the super fancy tails) are a nice addition because there cheap and safe for him to eat (set up a second 10 gallon with good filtration and rasie your own guppies for free food!)

    they do not mix well in a community tank and while it might take him some time he will eventually eat anythign you add.
    they are very cool though.
     
  6. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    :( I was afraid of that. Oh well, I may do a crawfish in his own tank (sorry, I am cajun and I just cant bring myself to spell it any other way, lol.)

    As for a community tank what could I do in a 20 gal tank w/ a mystery snail? I do like the frog that was suggested. What other fish can I put w/ it (and the snail)? I would like to do just a couple of med size fish (same or diff species) but w/ that tank size I know I may need to do small school fish.

    I have a 20 gal aquarium but I am not opposed to buying a different one. I dont want to go much bigger than 29 gallons just cause the tanks are so expensive but if I can find a good deal on a used one I am willing to go up to 40.
     
  7. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    a 29 gal would gefintaly open up ALOT of options in terms fo fish...

    mystery snails will do well with almost anything.
    theres only 3 fish id NEVER put with snails and thats gobies, kribensis and puffers (all 3 will eat snaisl right out of their shells)

    frogs
    make sure your looking at african DWARF frogs, african clawed frogs are often mistakingly sold as dwarfs but they are bigger and can grow up to 5 inches, clawed frogs will eat fish...
    dwarf frogs only grow to an inch or so and are fairly peacefull.

    they would go well with mysteries and id probably go with 3 froggies.
    there relitlvly slow eaters so its not typically suggested to mix them with fast moving fish as theyll often get all the food stolen before the froggies get chance to eat.
    the frogs should be fed a frog frog food as fish flakes/pellets are not well rounded for frogs.

    with frogs make sure the top fits VERY well.
    i like to put screen netting over any holes that arnt needed lol.

    in terms of what to keep with them
    rule of thumb, even well fed froggies will fit anything that fits in their mouth. luckily with dwarf frogs they are small so baby guppies and neon tetra tend to be the only ones realy at fisk.

    if you want color, my biggest suggestion would be guppies, the frogs will take care of the babies and the guppies will add ALOT of color and movment to the upper 1/3 of your tank.
    (i love guppies in the right tank) platties and mollies are also a good suggestion.

    but heres a suprise for you...as long as your making sure the frogs are getting food they can be kept with ANY fish including some of the typically agressive fish.

    cherry and rosey barbs are lovely schooling fish with good size stick with 3 or more of each type.
    tigers would work if you have enough, less than 5 tigers theyd probably pick on the frogs...
    leopard and zebra danios are always a nice fast moving additon to any tank!
    Guppies would be a realy nice choice, brightly colord contansly moving and the frogs will take care of the extra babies...
    Killifish are great little fish but can be hard to find
    rasboras would also be nice
    and almost all of the tetras.

    personally id go with a 29 gallon (29's are nice for future planning as its that size you can keep pretty much anything in...)
    3 snails
    3 frogs
    5 male guppies (or 2 males 4 females) (guppies in male/female shoudl be kept 1 male to 2females typically to avoid agression, all male with no female are less likley to fight)
    5 black neon or glowlight tertra
    2 dwarf or 1 pearl gourami (as long as they have a large plant each they shouldnt bother eachother or the guppies in a tank as big as a 29 gallon.

    thatll put you at about 20 inches of fish giving you room to add another schooling type (in my case id do killifish as they are just plain awesome, but a trio of corydora would work well too!)
     
  8. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    Omigosh - you guys are making me want a tank sooooo bad. I have a 10gal in my parents attic, even. :eek: must.... resist.... :rofl1:
     
  9. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    Suppose I decide to stick w/ the 20 gallon tank that I already have. What would you eliminate? Or would you just stick w/ the ones listed and not add another school?

    Also what would be the best to put in first to get the nitrogen cycle started? and how long do you let the tank run before adding the starter species?
    After I add the starter species what order would you add the rest of the fish in?
     
  10. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    in a 20 i just wouldnt add the extra group quite honestly the grouping shoudl work well in a 20 or a 29 the 29 just has more height.

    personally i set mine up and let it run for about 2 weeks adding just a tiny little bit of fish food every other day (the decomposing fish food kickstarts the cycle)
    id suggest investing in a water test kit, even the strips are better than nothing and then id start with the snails, they would be gentlest on the cycle and there also very hardy, make sure to feed them they will nibble on fish flakes but i always like to add a couple of thawed frozen pees with snails in a new tank when theres no algea for them to snack on.
    test your water after a week, if everything seems level id then add the guppies, belive it or not they are rather hardy little fish if from good stock...then id add the tetra or frogs the gourami would be last, being they woudl eb the most territorial its best to have your other fish set up their own territories first otherwise the gourami may terrorize them.

    killis if you decided to go with them would be the last id add because of all of them there a litle more sensitive.
     
  11. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    okay, so just wait about a week then check the water between adding each species?

    Yeah all I have is the actual tank, so this week I was going to go to the petstore and get the hood, filter, etc and I thought I'd go ahead and pick up some of that water conditioner and a testing kit.

    What about the plants? I thought I'd do all or at least some live plants. Can they go in the water right away or will the chemicals in the water bother them?

    Do you just use treated tap water or is there something else I need to use?

    BTW what do i need in the way of equipment? A filter (what kind), a hood w/ a light, an air pump, testing kit, ....what else?
     
  12. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    i would do 2 weeks "feeding" the tank before adding snails and give about a week with water testing between new fish (you can add up to 5 small or 3 larger fish at a time in a 20 gallon tank) id personally add in groups, getting 3 smails get all 3 at the same time, 5 tetra get all 5 ect...

    i dont have much luck with live plants (and the snails will chomp many) but there are lots of realistic silks that would work great, check out your local craft and floral places for silks too just wash them well.
    if you want lives get a full spectrum bulb to go in your light, and stick with broard leaf plants (amazon swords) that will get the most from a basic set up...

    personally i like sand as a substrate, (just dont get "live" sand or crushed coral, live is for salt, and coral will change your ph) but any gravel would work, some like a smaller gravel others like a larger. get something you like the look of.
    white/light gravels and sands will often wash out your brighter fish, but brighten darker ones, colorfull fish look great against a dark substrate!!!

    my suggestion woudl be to check your tap water for hardness and PH, if your tap water is incredibly high or low no manner of chemicals will truly balance it out so in those cases spend the money and use the cheap gallon waters form places like walmart for under $1 a gallon, use spring water.

    our tap water is perfect for cichlids but for any other tank we do bottled water because messing with ph is tough!

    in terms of eqpiptment, your 2 most important things, a hood with a light (with frogs a hood is incredibly important) and a filter. as a rule of thumb, canister filters and sumps are best...BUT for most home aquariums a good hang on the back filter is a great choice.
    brands to look for whisper (this is your "bottom line" best, there great basic filters easy to use, run quiet and what i use on my tanks,
    penguin is better and biowheel filters are best! a simple whisper filter would work fine though...id personally go larger on your filter than reccomended get something rated for a minimum of 20 gallons for a 20 gallon tank (on my 42 gallon i have a filter rated for 60 gallons) they say on the box, and theres nothing wrong with a whisper!!!

    an airpump is a "pretty" addition, the agitation of the bubbles does help with air exchange, but for most tanks its not nessicary unless your runing an under gravel filter.
    they are of course a nessicary addition if you want to add pretty bubble stones but good filtration will provide plenty of surface agitation for O2 exchange.
    id spend the extra and get a GOOD testing kit.
    a heater (again i love whisper brand and they have a fully submersible with adjustable thermostat,) and an aquarium thermometer are musts for warm water fish (even in warm climates)
    during your first 2 weeks of the "cycling" work with the heater to get yourself up to the "green" on your aquarium thermometer. (70 odd degrees) itll take about 6 hours for your water temperature to change when you adjust your thermometer so give it time to settle after each adjustment.
    rocks hidey holes ect all work to create teritories.
    your frogs and snails would also apreciate some nice peices of wood.
     
  13. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    This confused me. So If I have a filter I dont need an airpump b/c the filter will cause enough agitation to oxygenate the water adequately. I got that but are you saying if i want to add any of those air stones I DO need an air pump?

    Oh, i forgot to ask what temp I need to keep the water @ for that grouping of fish.
    I read that if the snails have enough algae and left over fish food to ea they should only eat the dead plant material but that if they are under fed they can start to eat up your live plants.
    I may just try one or 2 live plants to see how I like it. Is there a big price difference in the full spectrum lights and regular ones?

    ok, ONE more question, lol. Do i need to add anything to the actual water besides the water conditioner? I read something about a bacteria additive?

    Thank you SO much Foxy. You have just been the biggest help! :D
     
  14. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    not realy much differnece, get a normal hood and then get a full spectrum bulb (they will be in the same area of the store)

    yes the airstones work off an airpump...so if you want them...(they are pretty much just for decoration) you will need an airpump...

    but if you dont want bubbles for the added decorative look a filter is more than enough on its own as long as its the right size for the tank :)

    alot of people think they need both, but a hang on the back filter works more than well enough by itself :)

    give the lives a try, i will have a planted tank one day and if you can get them established they look sooo pretty, but i also wouldnt go too crazy on live plants at first :)
    youll love having a fish tank, its one of the few things when im having a panic attack that can calm me down, i sit and watch my fish (who being cichlids will come to the glass and chase my fingers) and things just melt away.
    i think everyone should have at least one fish tank in their house, even if its just a betta, its good ju ju too!
     
  15. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    Have you set up your tank yet? If you go with a hang on the back (HOB) filter, I would recommend an underground one as well. I find sometimes with the simple HOB filters, you get an accumulation of poop on the ground and some areas of the tank lack circulation.

    I agree with everything Foxy has said except for housin the frogs with barbs. In my experience, the little dwarfs are no match for barbs and get picked on. They really are quite fragile.

    And yes, like Foxy said, go with fishless cycling as it is much more humane.

    Good luck!
     
  16. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    I disagree, a well set up underground filter is more trustworthy, IMO, then a basic HOB filter. And by that I don't mean just sticking in air stones, I mean something like this:

    [​IMG]

    In this picture, you can see how the movement of bubbles created the the airstones (green) in the 'towers' (black), pulls water through the gravel, through the plastic grate, and up into the cylinders. In this setup, you are less likely to get a build-up of poo on the ground that the HOB would miss.

    Of course with any filter, you will need to do routine cleanings involving a siphon.

    If you can afford it, I HIGHLY recommend both an underground set-up and a HOB. The two together are extrmely effective. And if you have even more money (lmao) you can get some pretty awesome and powerful underground filters with an actual head and proper pump.

    Oh and for the record, yes, I drew that picture and yes, I drew a fishy in it :rofl1:
     
  17. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    Thanks. I am going to start w/ the HOB filter while I am just running and feeding the fishless tank for 2 weeks. I am beyond excited that I remembered my 20 gal aquarium in the attic. I got it down and got it all rinsed out today.

    Friday I am going to the store to get the plants, substrate, rocks, and other decor as well as the filter, water conditioner, testing kit, heater, fish food and tank stand. While I am there I will price the other filtration system.

    In two weeks I am going to get the snails (if my water tests okay), hood & lights, and possibly the rest of the filtration system. I am trying to spread it out as best I can for budgetary reasons, lol.
     
  18. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    Okay, now that I have pestered the crap out of everyone w/ my questions: what are my options in a 20 gallon saltwater tank? My husband is all wanting me to do a saltwater tank now. How much more difficult is that? We like the idea of having some sort of crabs and/or shrimp, and a pink starfish along w/ a few schools of fish. Is that I possibility? Its what I really want to do but it just seemed so complicated. Danny's says I should do what I really want. IDK.
     
  19. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    Except that waste gets pulled down into the gravel layer, where it can create problems. I'd rather trap it in a HOB filter where it is easily swished out during water changes.

    Additionally, sand looks much better than gravel. (ok, and my fish tend to pile gravel, exposing the undergravel plate and making it worthless)
     
  20. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    nevermind. I just finished reading how expensive and complicated a saltwater tank is. I think I am going to start w/ my fresh water tank. If I really like it Danny's mom id offering me a "huge" (from her description I am guessing 50-75 gallon) tank that has the stand, filters, and everything needed to run it. It's her mom's and it has not been in use for a really long time. I would pay her something for it. I think I may buy it soon and one day set it up as a saltwater tank if i really get into it. If not I will just resell it.

    So yea, I am sticking w/ Foxy's plan. And you people are confusing me! lol I now have no idea whether or not to add an undergravel filter to my filtration system. It seems to be a personal preference thing. Maybe I'll start without it and see how it goes. Then consider adding it if I get a considerable amount of buildup in the gravel and my snails dont eat it.
     

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