Hello from a new fish family!

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  • #1
Hey everyone! My wife and I bought our oldest (5yo) daughter a 10 gallon aquarium last week, and we've been having a ton of fun enjoying it so far!. We also have a 8month old daughter who enjoys watching the fish feed . We have 2 red wag platys right now that we're using to start off the cycling with. We had 3(came as a special - cheaper buying 2 than 3 - crazy huh?) but one died. It was unhealthy from the start I think; didn't see til we'd gotten it home that is had a damaged fin, severely I might add. We got them from Petsmart, which had a 14 day guarantee, but I didn't much care at that point as the fish were already helping the cycle start and that's all I really cared about. The first day or so after introducing the fish, the water was very cloudy, but since then it has cleared up very nicely. I believe the cycle is working great at this point. All the stats are looking spot on right now, except ammonia. I failed to pick up a test for that when we bought everything, but will pick one up this weekend.

That brings me to my next topic! We had a 50+g tank when I was a kid and my stepmother had an array of gorgeous fish, not sure what they were anymore, but that's besides the point! lol. I'm looking at getting a 30 gallon setup(or something similar) this weekend, to set up in 'our' bedroom. They are very relaxing to say the least.

Anyhow, I just wanted to stop by the general forum and say hello from our family to everyone else out there, and I'm sure we'll have many more questions in the future! :;co


  • #3
hI I am also a new member here, and enjoying my tank also. I am going to try and put some photos on here of my tank over the weekend. Good luck with everything
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  • #4
Welcome to Fishlore.

If you're cycling with fish, I'd recommend using Prime for your water conditioner and doing more frequent partial water changes.

Is once a week partials not enough? All the test results, so far, have been ideal (5in1 testing strip).

Also we've been using AquaEase/Safe (don't have the exact name right now), is that ok?
  • #5
Howdy to you!
  • #6
Is once a week partials not enough? All the test results, so far, have been ideal (5in1 testing strip).

Also we've been using AquaEase/Safe (don't have the exact name right now), is that ok?


I am all with you on having fish and enjoying the youngsters with the tanks. I have a grand daughter who's first "word" was shish! She loves to come over and let the fish follow her finger as it trails along the glass.

If you are getting a new tank already this weekend, you might consider a 55 gallon tank. Price per gallon is usually a better buy with the 55 because they are such a popular size. The added cost for filtration and lighting with that jump in size is minimal, but you will have almost double the water and can keep a better variety of fish.

The rule of thumb for stocking 1" of adult fish size per gallon of tank, is much easier to live with in a slightly larger tank.

Most here on fishlore recommend using the API Master test kit (liquid), it is MUCH more accurate than test strips....you undoubtedly are already having ammonia, it just isn't showing up.

When you cycle with fish, you need to do partial water changes every day....25% minimum. If your levels of ammonia reaches .50 or nitrite gets up to .25 I would suggest 50% water changes every day until they both go down to 0 and your nitrates come up to 5-10. Your cycle would be finished at that point, and your tank safe for fish. The entire cycle process, including fishless cycling is explained in a link under 'ARTICLES' at the top of this page in the blue bar.....Read the article on beginners tank set up, and THE NITROGEN CYCLE. It will answer questions as well as detailing just how to do a fishless cycle.

The bacterial product BIO-SPIRA is the only supplement sold that is truly effective in speeding the cycle. It is available at some local fish stores, but not all....don't follow the advice of stores that don't have bio-spira, they may try to sell you 'CYCLE', it just doesn't work.
You can order bio-spira on line from:

Good luck with your MTS, (multiple-tank-syndrome), it sounds like you have been caught by the bug.


FL CommunityFans
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  • #7
I'll look in to the API liquid test this weekend for sure. Regarding the 55 gallon recommendation, after it's all said and done with, how much does a setup like that usually run? Thanks!
  • #8
Wlcome to fishlore.

As far as the 55g, that entirely depends on where you get it.
I think that, new, such a setup ends up being around 500 (after substrate and everything). You can usually find kits at the pet store.

However, Craigslist and Freecycle are an aquarist's friend. Check out the local listings, and you can find setups (I got an 80g setup for $100), tanks, or other pieces. Some people are just upgrading their filters so you can get a filter for cheap or free, then get a new tank to go with it (the tank is usually the cheaper part.
If you get a used tank, be sure to ask to see it while it's full. A tank can leak, even if it doesn't look like there's anything wrong with it.
  • #9
sirdarksol's right, shop around. Last year Walmart ran a special for u to 55 gallon tanks, 1$/gallon. New tanks are cheap up to 55 gallons, the other things add up. I think the figure of $500 is really high though.

I went to to get prices for these, but your local fish store may have some of them and you could save the shipping.....OR they will try to sell you on what they have and it may cost lots more than ordering + shipping........YOU have to shop around.

The list of MUST HAVES, is the same whether you get a 30 or 55. You have to have a filter that will move 10 x the amount of water per hour (unless you get a canister filter then it is about 5x). So an Aquaclear or other HOB filter:
30 g = Hagen Aquaclear 70 - $41.29 vs.
55 g = Hagen Aquaclear 110 - $63.99.

Any tank will require a glass cover. approx. $21.99

LIGHTING is the big expense, and can vary greatly in price, but a good quality choice is Corallife the 48" with 2 freshwater bulbs at drsfostersmith is $129.99

the cheap alternative which is what you would probably get at the LFS is Perfecto Florescent single strip light 48" $52.99, but this is a far second best and only if you Don't want plants.....

These would be the same for any 48" tank. A 30 gallon may take the 36" hoods which would be less, but you can compare if you go to that link.

A Heater is also a must have and 150 -200 watts a visitherm stealth heater is a good choice, on sale now for between $15 &
Thermometer $10.00
Air pumps and hosing & air stones can run $20-$30 for everything.

Your gravel and decorations can really add up fast also, but these ARE best bought at your LFS, 2" of gravel is about minimum, and might really run up the cost.....some people go with sand and suggest getting Swimming pool filter sand as a less expensive choice.

As you can see the cost of a tank is just part of the cost, but the accessories will be between $175 & $250 + gravel and decorations for the 30-55 gallon tank.

Getting a tank off craigs list is a good way to go, if you know for a fact that it isn't cracked, that the lighting works, and the filter is good. The tank and light are fairly safe here, the filter ??
As with anything used is buyer-beware.....

As I see it, the difference between a 30 and 55 gallon tank would average $100....but you would have twice the tank, with twice the room.....
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  • #10
oi vey - something that was a cheap whI'm at first is really adding up lol ! Right now, I don't think something as large as a 55 gallon would be in our best interest. We're in a townhouse that's already at its seams and will likely be moving in the next 3 years. 20 or 30 gallon looks like it may be the better investment for now, just due to the amount of space a 50+g would need to have.

Thanks for the ideas on needs/costs.. it will make it easier to make a pricing sheet with what you've listed.

thx again.


  • #11
Okay. I hadn't been thinking of Drs Foster and Smith when I posted my quote (don't know why, since I get all of my big stuff from there for the reason Susitna just posted)
Susitna's closer on her calculations. Drs Foster and Smith are a much better buy. (Or maybe it's just that all of the pet stores around here are really expensive.)
  • #12
Hello! Hope you enjoy the sight.
  • #13
yeah online is usually cheaper if you are buying a lot of stuff. if you just need to get a little bottle of prime or of ick attack then it is usually cheaper to get at the store because of shiping

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