Cycling and fish?

mikeyboy

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Hi everyone, new to this site and in keeping fish so i apologise if any questions i ask you've been asked a million times!!!!

I understand the 'cycle' and what i need to do but one thing i'm not sure on is how is best?
There are lots of sites on the net that say fish going in staright away is best, fish like cherry barbs and zebra danios etc but there are lots of sites that encourage natural 'cycle' and say no to fish straight away!! Please help!!! Also which is best fish food and shrimps etc to start thge 'cycle' or the manufacutred stuff in bottles.

p.s i'm going to have a 29gl tank and would also like some info on the easiest and best fish for beginners because i don't want to be cruel to the fish and lose any that i cannot maintain due to me being a dumb beginner!!!! lol
 

Isabella

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Welcome to Fish Lore You're not a "dumb beginner", lol ... no one is. There can only be inexperienced people in this hobby. Once you get the basics, get started, and get going ... it can only get better from there

Some people cycle their tanks with fish and others cycle their tanks without fish, adding fishfood or pure ammonia to cycle the tank. I personally would cycle my tank without fish, as any ammonia and nitrite can hurt and kill fish - and I wouldn't want my fish going through this. I'd simply cycle the tank adding fishfood (or if I could find it - pure ammonia, but I don't know how much of it is supposed to be added to a tank). Once the tank is cycled this way (meaning once ammonia and nitrite = 0, and nitrate is as low as possible and 0 at best), you start adding 1-2 fish at a time, say 1-2 fish once a week. Do not add all fish at once, as this may suddenly cause your ammonia or nitrite to go up and thus make your fish sick or even kill them. So stock your tank gradually, adding 1-2 fish every week, until your tank is stocked to a desired level (of course, do not overstock).

Great fish for beginners with a 30 gallon tank are zebra danios - they're fast swimmers, so they need larger tanks. Yet they're small and don't produce a lot of wastes, so you could have a nice school of zebra danios in your 30 gallon tank. Neon tetras, harlequin rasboras, cherry barbs, white cloud mountain minnows, and many other similarly sized peaceful fish are great for beginners. Perhaps you could have a pair of larger fish with these small fish as well. As long as the larger pair is peaceful and not too large, it would be very good with 1-3 schools of smaller fish that I mentioned above. I don't know about dwarf gouramis, but if they're peaceful, you could have a pair of dwarf gouramis - only I'm not sure if gouramis need to be kept in groups of 2 males and 1 female - can someone confirm that?

Here is a suggestion for your tank:
6 zebra danios
6 cherry barbs
6 harlequin rasboras

OR:

any 2 of the above 3 groups (say, 6 danios and 6 rasboras)
a pair of gouramis (or 1 female and 2 males, as mentioned above)

The suggestions I gave you do not overstock your tank and the fish I mentioned are peaceful and quite hardy (especially the zebra danios). They're all also widely available at fish stores. They're all beautiful as well. With the suggestions I gave you, you still have room for an algae eater.

Of course, you can choose different small fish species (and larger fish species) from the ones I suggested - as long as they're peaceful (if you intend to have a community tank).

P.S. Is it US or UK gallons that you're talking about? (I assumed they were US gallons.)
 
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mikeyboy

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Thanx a lot Isabella just the advice i needed!!! I'm hoping to involve my 9year old son so need some easy to keep fish to start with!!! But if he gets his own way we'll have a "nemo" fish ( from the film) and a dory is it? and apparently a black and white strippey one from the dentist office??? I have no clue at all!!! lol

Thanx anyway,
Mike
 

Isabella

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Definitely DO involve your son in the hobby! It will be a wonderful experience for BOTH of you. He'll develop knowledge of fish keeping early in his life, which would be a great thing if he wanted to keep fish in the future when he's older. At least he'll already know how to start.

Zebra danios are hardy so they should be excellent for you, and your tank size is just very good for them. I believe neons, rasboras, minnows, and cherry barbs would be good as well. But it's up to you, of course.

The fish you're talking about above are marine fish - they are an entirely different category from freshwater fish (which you're going to have now). We have a separate board for saltwater/marine fish if you'd like to learn more about them. I personally know nothing about saltwater aquaria. All I know is that it is much much harder (and much more expensive) to maintain a saltwater tank than it is to maintain a freshwater tank. But perhaps one day, when you (or your son) are more experienced with freshwater tanks, you'll be ready to set up a saltwater tank as well. Why not? Good luck with it

P.S. You were talking US gallons, right?
 
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mikeyboy

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See i've confused you already!!!! I'm speaking in english gallons i'm afraid!! Not sure how much difference this will make?? :-[ :-[
 

Isabella

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Luckily, there is a calculator on Fish Lore: https://www.fishlore.com/ConversionCalculator.htm It says that 29 UK gallons = almost 35 US gallons. So that's good news - the suggestions I gave you are still valid.

The most important thing is not to overstock a tank. Too many fish will produce too much waste, which will worsen water quality, and which in turn may make your fish sick, etc ... So that's why we want to keep our tanks stocked reasonably. There is a general rule that recommends having 1" of fish per 1 (US) gallon of water. But that is just a general rule - you also have to take into account body mass of a fish. I'd personally use the rule of 1" of fish per 2 (US) gallons - I like the water to be clean and I like when fish have a lot of space to move around. One angelfish, for example, will produce more waste than, say, 10 zebra danios. That's because an angelfish grows to be 5-6" tall, while a zebra danio is about 1" in length. Angels are large and massive and zebra danios are small and not very massive. Therefore you could have, say 6-10 zebra danios in place of one angelfish.

What you also have to consider is a fish's body size and mass relative to your tank's size. If you put a massive fish that is 15" long in a 30 gallon tank ... do you think that fish will be happy in there? No, it'll only suffer. The smaller the tank, the smaller the fish you should be getting, so that they have a lot of space to move around and are happy.

I hope that helps

P.S. I should have the answer soon as to the gouramis. Don't get them until I can confirm that they'll be peaceful with the rest of the fish. If they're not as peaceful as I think they are, you can do just with the small fishies I mentioned above, or with a pair of some other larger species like Rams for example - rams are supposed to be peaceful, beautiful, and up to 2.5-3" in size (though I think they too need to be in some particular ratio of males to females).
 

Butterfly

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Rams are very beautiful and usually claim a good portion of the bottom. You need them in a 1male/2 female ratio.
Dwarf Gouramis can be kept 1M/1F or 1M/2F. They tend to be territorial and in that size tank three should be good if the tank is rectangle shape. If its a hexagon I would go for one. The footprint of the tank makes all the difference in the world.
Carol
 

Isabella

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Carol is an expert here, so listen to her She says 1 male and 1 female gouramis would be OK, but 2 males (with 1 female) could fight, and you don't want any fighting in your tank. Rams, on the other hand need to be in a ratio of 1 male and 2 females, and as Carol says are very peaceful. So it's up to you. You could have just 1-3 schools of small fish, or you could have 1-2 schools of small fish and some of the larger fish like gouramis or rams. As long as your tank is peaceful. Good luck.

Here is more on gouramis:
 
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mikeyboy

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Thank u both for the expert advice!!! I'll definately be staying on this site for advise and to make some friends!!!
 

hopesmom

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hi Mikeyboy! Glad you joined Fishlore, it is a great site with good people from everywhere! What fish is that on your avatar? very pretty!
Denise
 

Isabella

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I think if I were you and had a 35 (US) gallon tank, I'd get for it 6 harlequin rasboras, 6 cherry barbs, 6 zebra danios, and 3 rams (1 male and 2 females). This would be the MAXIMUM stocking level for me (plus some algae eater). To make the tank less stocked, I'd eliminate one of the smaller species (hard to say which one since all of them - h. rasboras, z. danios, and ch. barbs - are beautiful and peaceful). I think such a tank would look beautiful.

I'd also fill the tank with plastic plants on the sides for the fish to have some hiding places, and leave the middle open for free swimming space (zebra danios love to swim fast and need some open space for that purpose). You could also have live plants, of course, and if you decide to have them, let us know about it so that we can tell you more about them and how to set up a planted tank. Really, there are so many possibilities with a new tank
 
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mikeyboy

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Thanx for the advice... i think to start i will use plastic plants and use my time learning how to care for the fish properly and then when i feel confident i'll be back on here asking for advice on what to do next.

My son and i are both excited and are really looking forward to keeping and caring for the fish we just can't wait!!!

Think it will be a really good expereince and one we can carry on for years!!!
 

boff

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Hi ive got silk plants in my tank,and they look move all most like real,some of the plastic ones are to stiff all the best.
 

hopesmom

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the silk ones look good...can you use the ones in a craft shop or are they specifically made for aquarium use?
thanks,
Denise
 
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mikeyboy

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Guys thanx for all the advice but i have one question remaining!!!! I've been haggling with my fish store for about 3 days on prices for tanks. What he is offering is a good deal i think but i'm not sure if the product is good. The offer is a 3 gallon tank( uk gallons) with a wooden stand with a cupborad etc. The thing i'm not sure on is the fact that the filter and i think eater etc are inbuilt into the lid of the tank, is this good or is it better to have these seperate to the tank??

Thanx

Mike.
 

Isabella

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I never heard of tank covers/lids with heaters and filters inbuilt in them. Hence I don't know if such a setup is effective. But I'd personally never want a heater and a filter that is connected to my tank lid, lol. I'd get a separate filter and a separate heater for sure. What if you want to clean your filter? Do you carry it to your sink with the entire tank cover? I don't get it, lol. As for the heaters, when you're doing water changes and the temperature of the air is much cooler than that of your tank water, you've to keep the heater underwater because if you take it out, the temperature difference can break the heater. So if the heater is connected to a tank lid, I also don't understand how you'll perform water changes safely. Besides, you do know what heater (in terms of wattage) to get for a 30UK gallon tank, right? And you do know that you want a filter that will pump 10 times the volume of your tank per hour, right? By the way, what filter and heater are you getting?
 
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