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Thread: Newbie tank suggestion

  1. #1

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    I've always wanted to setup a "ghost fish tank" themed aquarium. You know, with some freshwater fish that have see-through flesh, some ghost shrimp or crawfish, glow-in-the dark toys, a supplimental blacklight, spooky rocks...the whole 9 yards.

    Thing is, I'm a newbie and I still have to pitch this idea to my parents because the cps have taken over my room and this will have to be a family tank. So it has to be fairly inexpensive, and easy to maintain. Nobody wants to see dead fish floating in a tank next to the dinner table. I have a 10 gal cp terrarium that I can convert, so I have the hood w/light and the tank itself. All I'd need is the pumps and critters right? I also have RO water - so I assume I won't have to wait for the water to settle for too long.

    Here's where I need some help - please give me some suggestions for the type of fish to put in and their compatibility. I don't know any of the names so it's hard to research specific fish. One splash of color might be cool, I saw a pic of a blue crawfish somewhere. I'd prefer critters that "glow" or are "see-through" for this themed tank. I have access to a few mom and pop pet shops, a petsmart, and two mall petstores (yuck)

    I know that tetras are rather see-through and easy plus many of them seem to glow. And I think the freshwater shrimp will keep down the algae count. Glassfish seem like a good choice. I have the feeling crawfish would munch on the fish...


    So here's what's currently on my "possibilities" list:

    Tetras (glowlight or neon)
    Glassfish - and no, I won't buy the painted ones
    Ghost Shrimp
    Crawfish
    Scud
    Ghost Catfish (probably too big)

    Anyone have any suggestions? If this tank gets made, I will certainly post pics! Thanks in advance!
    A flytrap ate my homework!
    -Michelle

  2. #2
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    good ideas!
    except..a 10 gallon tank is really too small for what you want to do..cant keep much in one..
    you could however keep a nice school of tetras in one..maybe 5-7 fish, but no more..(and *only* the tetras! any more than that and a 10gal tank will be overstocked..)
    If I were king of the world, 10 gallon tanks wouldnt even be sold at all..IMO they are just too small to keep a healthy community..(and goldfish bowls would be totally illegal! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] )

    but..you can keep a nice small school!
    just change 2 gallons once a week!
    (drain out 2 gallons of old water, and replace with 2 gallons of new water..thats for a 10 gal..bigger tank = more gallons)
    and rinse out the filter media in the old water when you do the weekly water change, and it will be fine!

  3. #3
    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    Quote (wickedthistle @ Sep. 30 2003,2:50)
    I also have RO water - so I assume I won't have to wait for the water to settle for too long.[/QUOTE]
    Ummm thats not true. You still need to cycle the tank. When setting up a new tank for the first time, I always stock it with plain old feeder goldfish (10 for $1) for the first 6 weeks or so. What needs to happen is you need to produce a colony of bacteria to process the wastes produced by the fish. The first waste product is ammonia which is highly toxic. Bacteria consume this ammonia and in exchange produce the less toxic nitrites. These nitrites are then consumed by another bacteria to produce the benificial nitrates. This process takes several weeks with a new tank because the bacteria needed to do this job are not present in large quantities in plain water and it takes a couple weeks for them to reproduce to a large enough colony to handle the job. If you have a tank that is already up and running, you can jumpstart this process by adding a couple handfulls of the substrate (gravel) from the healthy tank into your new one. The substrate in the healthy tank will have the bacterial colonies that you need (but not in large enough numbers to avoid cycling the tank). Even still you would probably be better off to stick with the feeder goldfish for the first few weeks because if they die because of the unbalanced chemicals in the water its better to lose 10 cent fish over 3 or 4 dollar (or more) fish.

    Good luck
    Steve
    There are only 2 infinite things... the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not too sure about the universe.

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    Good summary, vft guy. I recommend The Krib for good aquarium info.

    I disagree about banning the sale of 10 gallon tanks, though... they're great for tucking a few neps in the corner of a room. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    What really get me are the 1.5 gallon "designer aquaria" in any neon color you want- every time i go to Petco (shudder), some ditzy person is buying a designer aquarium in hot pink with five fish (four too many&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] for it.

    But i digress...

    if you want to "cycle" the tank at with tropical fish - and some that are slightly less weedy than feeder goldfish - you can use platies. They're like bindweed- impossible to kill. As a bonus, if the conditions are good you end up with a whole bunch of babies to give away!

    One way to reduce the cycle time is to plant the aquarium with live plants. The fish like them, they look nicer, and they help keep the water clean, too. But you do need more lighting for that, and it might interfere with your "black lighting" setup.

    One more suggestion: i hear that danios with the fluorescent jellyfish gene are available commercially now... that would really liven up a black-lit tank!
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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  5. #5
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    so if we kill a few fish from ammonia poisoning while cycling a new tank, its ok because they are just $1 fish? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img]
    no big loss?
    I doubt the fish would feel the same way!

    if you are going to keep fish, you shouldnt consider them disposable..even if they are really cheap..

    here is a much better way to cycle a new tank:

    http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquamag/cycle2.html

  6. #6
    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    Quote (scottychaos @ Oct. 01 2003,6:3[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/alien.gif[/img]
    so if we kill a few fish from ammonia poisoning while cycling a new tank, its ok because they are just $1 fish? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img]
    no big loss?
    I doubt the fish would feel the same way![/QUOTE]
    Well.. basically.. yes. Sorry.. but I dont get the same attachment to fish I normally buy to be devoured by triggers, groupers, and other assorted larger carnivours. Any fish that survive cycling become food too.. so do the ones that die.. so its all the same to me. I dont have much of a problem with them dying of ammonia poisoning anyway. Generally the only feeders that die on me go the very first night. I find feeders tend to be a lot like home depot CP's... sure you might be able to keep it alive if you know how, but buy at your own risk. If you want a real laugh, I still have a feeder in my current tank that I bought to cycle it with... in 1993...

    I do like that idea of fishless cycling, Im gonna bookmark that site and refer to it if I ever start another tank. It would be interesting to see how well it works. Thanks for the info. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Steve
    There are only 2 infinite things... the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not too sure about the universe.

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    Thanks for all the feedback on this! Feel free to keep going of course!

    Well, the situation is I have the 10 gal with hood and a growlight, and two 20 gals of just tank. The reason why I mentioned the 10 gal before was because I'm moving the neps currently in it to one of the 20 gal. Since I have to buy a shoplight(s) and growlight(s) for that, if I wanted fish it would have to be in the smaller tank because I'm trying not to spend too much money! I suppose I could use the extra 20 gal, but I'd have to pitch that idea to my parents and add in the costs of all the accessories. I don't think they'll go for that plus I'm not sure if I have time to take care of the larger tank unless they agree to help out.

    I was also considering getting one of the long shoplights, and use it over both 20 gals. I could put the neps and ultrasonic mister in one, drosera and traps in the other or fish in one, plants in the other. Eh, I'm rambling (allergy medicine). I'm still waiting what my parents say about all this. I already pitched the tetras idea, and the glassfish idea. Of course, I'd use the glassfish in the 20 gal. Wouldn't want to make them unhappy!
    A flytrap ate my homework!
    -Michelle

  8. #8

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    10 gals are good for fry too. What I would stalk would be a school of 4 glass cats and 12 ghost shrimp,but if you can afford a larger tank that would be way better.I recomend the wal-mart 29 gallon complete kit it costs just under $90 and is a very good setup.
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

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