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Thread: total newbie wanting to

  1. #1

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    im interrested in setting up a fresh water aquarium.
    ill start with maybe a 2ft or 1ft tank
    can anyone refer me to some good sites for newbies or some good articles, etc?
    i saw a baby arowanna for S$18(about US10) and some chiclids(?)for S$3 in a fish shop.
    can anyone recomend a good fish and plants to start with?
    around how much does it cost to set up an aquarium?

    thx!
    A lady went into a grocery store and looked into the turket section. She needed a bigger one for her family, so she asks the stock boy: \"Do these turkeys get any bigger?\"

    The stock boy replied: \"No ma'am, they're dead\"

    Msn/email - wezx1@hotmail.com

  2. #2

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    Hey Wezx,

    I'm only a step up from newbie since I have my tank now. First see if you can find out how many gallons the tank is. It's probably 10-20 gallons for that size, but it makes a big difference on how many fish you can put in there.

    I had a roommate with an arowana and ciclids, but she had a huge (100 gal?) tank because the fish can get large. I have a feeling those types might be too big for a tank the size you're thinking of unless you want just one or two of them. Check for the maximum growth size before buying. Oh, and ciclids can be very aggressive, so keep in mind that they may fight with other types of fish.

    For an aquarium you're going to need the tank itself, a hood with lights, filter, heater, some gravel, then the plants and fish itself. Unless you get some of the equipment used or from a friend, it's going to cost at least $100. If you go to a thrift store, sometimes you can find a tank for a much cheaper price than at the store. Remember that the larger the tank the more it costs for the hood though!

    Hope that helps!
    A flytrap ate my homework!
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  3. #3
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Just to let you know where I'm coming from - I've kept tropical fish since I was a child. My dad started me off with a ten gallon tank that had a corydoras catfish, a swordtail, a zebra, and guppies. Within a few years I had eight tanks, with livebearers (guppies, mollies, platys, & swordtails), a breeding pair of jewel cichlids, a breeding pair of convict cichlids, tanks for breeding bettas, paradise fish, dwarf gouramis, pearls, blues, and thicklipped gouramis. Also had a tank for a plant called water sprite. As a young adult I worked for four years at a wholesaler, in charge of a freshwater section, the plants, and the saltwater. That's my "resume." With regard to plants, I recommend water sprite and plant bulbs. The latter are the cheapest, hardiest plants around. Ya can't kill 'em. Water sprite, if not planted in the substrate are excellent for baby fish to hide. Most people start out as I did - with cheap, small, colorful fish that breed without coaxing (livebearers) and/or goldfish. My guess is that you would like to start out with something bigger and more expensive. Cichlids, in general tend to be rough on plants. Most cichlids grow large and require a tanks to accommodate their size. If tou buy a young cichlid, say an oscar, you can get away with a small tank for now. But it will outgrow it soon enough. Bottom line you'll need at least a 55 gallon tank. Both cichlids(excluding the dwarf variety)and arowanas need food that won't be cheap. You can get by with pellets with some cichlids, but the arowanas and other cichlids need live food. Depending upon whether you have young fish or more mature ones will determine whether you will need another tank for feeder guppies (not fancy) or goldfish. I wouldn't necessarily encourage starting out with the fish that you mention - not until you make your mistakes with the cheaper fish. Tropoical Fish Hobbyist (TFH) or Fresh and Marine Aquaria (FAMA) are good magazines with excellent articles on a wide range of topics. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? Many dads buy their kids a typical 10 gallon setup and they want to throw fish in the tank the next day. They think that all they need to do is get rid of the chlorine, but are unaware of the ammonia and nitrite part of the nitrogen cycle that needs to be gotten through first. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good skill.

  4. #4
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    Jim makes excellent points.

    I would add, and re-enforce:

    Big fish should only have big tanks. and you should always research your purchase BEFORE you go to the store. If you see a fish you like, ask the store to hold it for you, most will. Go home, research it (some fish stores will let you go through their books right there!) make sure you have the right environment for it, know the difficulty, and make sure you are up to the task.

    Case in point, Arrowanas, the silver can grow to astounding proportions, I have seen one 4 feet long in an 800 gallon tank... THe other consideration for an arrowana is water quality. It must be spectacular, or the arrowana will suffer from a condition known as gill curl, and infact, if you see this in your tank on an arrow, it is a sure sign it's way past time for a water change. It is easily reversible, but constant poor conditions will cause permenant damage. (I have heard of people doing home'brew surgery on it... but...... you get the idea... a gallon of prevention...)

    By all means start out with a 10 gallon tank. It will teach you stringent husbandry, keeping up with water changes, so on, so forth, but as soon as you feel you have learned your lessons I would move up to the biggest you can afford and house. Why? Simple, larger tanks are larger eco-systems, and tend to fluctuate less. Above all, when you get a larger tank, avoid the urge to overstock it! Let your fish have their breathing room!

    I think the Eclipse tanks are great starter tanks, but if you buy all the parts seperately, I would reccomend an Emperor power filter. Skip the undergravel filter, it's not out-dated as some people say, but I do believe better things (like the bio-wheel on an emperor) have come along, and it will be detrimental if you want to keep plants. The emperor will be enough. As with carnivorous plants, pack as much light over them as you can (if your growing plants) if you control your feeding, change water, and don't over-stock, you shouldn't have algae problems.

    We are always glad to help and talk about our hobby here, so ask away!

    BTW, as some have said before, many times the most gratifying tank you will ever keep will be your first one, with the 'simple' fish many people move on from to 'greater' fish. If you find something you love, like a sword, or a rosey barb, enjoy it, stay with it... and remember, if 6 months down the line you like your rosey barbs, but want something new, RESEARCH! Make sure your tank is not stocked to the limit, and that the new fish/what not, is compatible. That leaf fish may look cool, but when you see a rosey barb shaped lump in his tummy... you will drop your jaw in awe at how wide that suckers mouth can get!
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  5. #5
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Your last line evoked a memory. My dad had his one, big show tank. In it was a few inch tinfoil barb. I wanted to buy him a birthday present - 12 for a dollar neons. You can guess what happened. Tinfoil barbs like neons just as ALF likes cats. That was a painful lesson!

  6. #6

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    thanks alot guys!
    i thought ciclids were small fishes lol! Ill start with a 10 gallon "comunity" tank with small fishes. My mum has a few tetras and i might take some. i might buy some colourful guppies(Or maybe not ,they breed alot right?) and some apple snails to eat algae/dirt, and maybe some of those cool underwater grass....... thats all i know! Ive been to many fish shops and fish farms to look at fishes for my tank but i did'nt take note of their names!maybe in the future ill breed big fishes

    ive done a bit of reserch, ill do alot more!

    Rampuppy:Emperor power filter? WHat that? sorry i live in Singapore and most of the aquarium equipments are "Resun" or other Chinese brands. Also should'nt we have a under gravel filter just to make the water a little better? It dosen't cost much right? Or are there some other disadvantages?
    leaf fish? ive never seen it but it sounds cool!

    Jimscott: Im a child now and hope to be a great "aquariumist" when im older. Just like you before! But the problem is i have to spend my own money
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] . Im not aware of the nitrogen cycle but ill do some reserch on it.
    thanks for the recomendations ill check them out

    also how much light should i have. A shop owner says that (for a 2ft [10gallon] tank 72W of PL lights with Ballast on for 10 hours a day is enough but thats quite expensive, (to me) WHat do you rguys ecomend for a 2ft tank?

    thanks again!
    A lady went into a grocery store and looked into the turket section. She needed a bigger one for her family, so she asks the stock boy: \"Do these turkeys get any bigger?\"

    The stock boy replied: \"No ma'am, they're dead\"

    Msn/email - wezx1@hotmail.com

  7. #7
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    You live in Singapore? I'm jealous! We had a supplier called Dolphin International. Most of our fish came from them - including the ht fancy guppies I love. You gotta check them out if they're open to the public. Hardlines aren't my strong suit. I'll leave that to RamPuppy. I'm a fish person. Man, I'd buy some water sprite plants and a pair of each livebearer type )guppy, molly, platy, & swordtail - and let them have at it. Then I'd suggest getting another tank of let's say dwarf gouramis (1 pair), with the female laden with eggs. Let them have at it. Then another tank with a pair of convict cichlids, with a piece of shale or slate - and let them have at it. Than another tank....

  8. #8

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    jimscott: lol, i don't have the room/money/permission to do that
    dolphin international? i check it out
    also won't the tank look bad with all the black water sprits roots hanging from the top?

    i have a round airstone about 3" in diameter, should i use it or should i get a smaller one? ive read that adding too much oxygen can "lower" the CO2. How can i keep the oxygen and Co2 right when i don;t have any plants yet?

    also is it important to have fertilizer for the plants?
    A lady went into a grocery store and looked into the turket section. She needed a bigger one for her family, so she asks the stock boy: \"Do these turkeys get any bigger?\"

    The stock boy replied: \"No ma'am, they're dead\"

    Msn/email - wezx1@hotmail.com

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