Beginner Needs Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Pamela M., Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Pamela M.

    Pamela M.New MemberMember

    I'm getting a 30g high tank by the end of the week. I was wondering if the fish I chose to populate it are a good choice....
    1x Flame Dwarf Gourami
    1x Cockatoo Apisto
    6x Albino Cory
    3-4x Guppies
    2-3x Dalmatian Mollies

    My sister-in-law is giving me her tank and supplies she's had for about 2 yrs now. Said she was gonna show me how to get it started and all that. Is there anything I need to do prior to putting fish inside?Also, are plants a good idea for beginners?
  2. MaddieTaylah

    MaddieTaylahWell Known MemberMember

    Your plans for stocking sounds okay, although i'm not 100% sure.

    You need to know about the nitrogen cycle in order to have a successful tank so I recommend reading all about it. Is your sister-in-law's tank up and running still? If so, then I would assume that you are able to use her already cycled media to give your tank an instant cycle.

    There are some low tech plants that are great for beginners such as java moss, java fern, anubias etc. that you could look into.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  3. EternalDancer

    EternalDancerWell Known MemberMember

    Is this tank currently set up? I'm guessing not as you said about choosing your fish not that that's what came with it.

    Spend spare time today getting familiar with the nitrogen cycle (words should be a clicky link).
    Basically, fish go toilet in their living space. Pee and poop is produced as harmful ammonia.
    Your filter grows bacteria to eat this ammonia.
    The bacteria then create their own harmful waste, as nitrIte (note the I). This is also harmful to fish.
    A second bacteria then grows to eat the nitrite. They then produce nitrAte. This is still harmful to fish, but only once it reaches higher levels.
    We then do a water change to remove this nitrAte. Generally around 20% a week but that will depend on stock/filter/age of tank/planting/etc.

    Get yourself an API freshwater master kit. Generally taken to be about the most accurate kit there is.
    You'll need to provide an ammonia source to your tank to start the cycling process (grow your bacteria). Some people do a "fish in" cycle, using the fish as the ammonia source and using chemicals to keep the fish safe during the "poisonous water" stage.
    Others use a bottle of pure ammonia and dose set amounts until they can test the water and see it being processed.

    It's up to you which route you choose.

    Keep coming back and asking questions, this is a great place to expand knowledge.

    @TexasDomer @Al913 @BottomDweller and others can help with your fish selection.

    Welcome to the forum :)
  4. OP
    Pamela M.

    Pamela M.New MemberMember

    No it's not :/ now I'm kinda wishing it still was.
    Now this "cycle" that I keep hearing about is...running the water in the tank until it's healthy for the fish to go in? Was I even close haha
  5. MaddieTaylah

    MaddieTaylahWell Known MemberMember

    It's not that simple unfortunately, you need to pick up some pure ammonia & an API testing kit. Basically you need to dose ammonia into the water and allow beneficial bacteria to establish on the filter media which converts ammonia to nitrite & then nitrate. The API testing kit will allow you to monitor your nitrogen cycle. The purpose of this is to make sure that once you stock your tank with fish, your beneficial bacteria can convert the waste into a less toxic form being nitrate, which you have to remove by doing water changes.
  6. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    No worries. It shouldn't take long to cycle using a bacteria starter in a bottle, like Tetra Safe Start Plus or API Quick Start. It took me 10 days to cycle using Quick Start. The time varies, but supposedly Tetra takes approx. 2 weeks and I guess that's pretty consistent since everyone recommends it here. I would thorougly research about the nitrogen cycle before you start, so you don't make any mistakes and avoid stalled cycles. As far as your stocking, I have no idea, lol.
  7. OP
    Pamela M.

    Pamela M.New MemberMember

    Ok so read up on the nitrogen cycle, and yikes! Complicated but not to complicated that I can't handle. Just more work than I thought. I made sure to note down Bio-Spira, a lot of good remarks on that brand for cycling apparently.
    Now question about water change? I obviously shouldn't use tap water...what are the specifics?
  8. MaddieTaylah

    MaddieTaylahWell Known MemberMember

    I & most others on this site would recommend buying Prime by Seachem, it makes tap water safe & also detoxifies ammonia in emergency situations.
  9. OP
    Pamela M.

    Pamela M.New MemberMember

    Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
  10. MaddieTaylah

    MaddieTaylahWell Known MemberMember

    You're welcome.
  11. Yves

    YvesValued MemberMember

    If you have the time, YouTube "Aquarium Co-Op" check out this channel, he is probably one of the best YouTube Channel for aquarium hobbyist. He has excellent video on Nitrogen Cycle, also check out the video on filtration and lighting, a lot of people are not familiar between lightning and algae growth. And yes there is plenty of live plants you can get as a beginner however you will have to do a bit of research, some plants feed from the water column, others feed from the substrate, you will specific lights for growth and you will need to have it on a timer. Again the YouTube site I mention has a lot of info on planted tanks and the benefits.
  12. BottomDweller

    BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    Hi, your stock looks good. I would probably just do one molly. Make sure all your livebearers are males or you'll be overrun with baby fish!
    What are the dimensions?
    Plants are definitely good. Java moss, java fern and salvinia are all low tech plants that are great for beginners.
    Remember to do a fishless cycle!
  13. OP
    Pamela M.

    Pamela M.New MemberMember

    How do I know which fish are livebearers? One Molly? Darn
  14. EternalDancer

    EternalDancerWell Known MemberMember

    Your guppies and your mollies are livebearers, meaning they give birth to tiny fish. The other are egg layers.

    Raising egg babies is haard.

    Livebearers go wild. A female guppy can be in a tank with a male for five minutes, then removed to her own tank.
    She cab then give birth to approximately 100 fry every 28-30 days for the next six months without ever going near another male, as she'll store his sperm and continue reproducing from that.

    Have a look at your guppies and mollies. Specifically, look at the bottom (anal) fin.
    On a female, it will look fan-shaped, the same as the top (dorsal) fin.
    On the males, it will look like a rod (like a ****, really).

    If you have any you're unsure off, post a pic from the side and we should be able to help.