How does this tank look, would it be suitable for a beginner?

Tsunami35
  • #1
I am considering getting into the fishkeeping hobby, Ive found a 30 gallon tank that looks really nice. I have had small tanks in the past but I didnt know about the Nitrogen cycle and hence the werent very successful. First question, how does this tank look, would it be suitable for a beginner?



I have a few other questions as well:

-If the tank is drained and moved, once I set it up again will the nitrogen cycle start over, how long does the beneficial bacteria survive without water?

-When performing water changes, how do you keep the replacement water at the right temperature while it is being treated? Should I use bottled water or filtered water instead of tap water?

-Are there any water testing kits that can be kept in the tank continuously, do they all have strips that need to be replaced?

Any input would be appreciated,

Thanks!
 
jack11
  • #2
The tank looks great but you will need to buy a heater for the tank if you plan on keeping tropical fish. for the water changes you simply use tap water and add water conditioner which bonds chlorine and chloromide into safe chemicals.
 
armadillo
  • #3
HI Tsunami. Welcome to Fishlore.

The tank you chose.

The larger the tank the better when you start off, so you're doing great with this larger tank.

If you're buying second hand, make sure you have aquarium silicon handy (for sale in every fish store).

The good bacteria.

The beneficial bacteria does not survive without water. It actually does not survive much exposure to untreated tap water either (i.e.. treated with a conditionner against chlorine/chloramine/metals). You could fill a sealed box with treated water and put in all ornaments, gravel and filter media for the duration of transport. That way, some of your good bacteria will have survived.

Also, when you start off with maintenance, don't vacuum the whole surface of the gravel at once. Alternate different parts of the gravel so that you always have a good portion of undisturbed bacteria. Similarly, don't rinse your filter media in tap water, but rinse it in the bucket where your outflow water when after you vacuuumed. That way, they're rinsed in conditionned water.

Water re-fill.

When you refill the water, you can do this in a bucket or even better, a large watering can (less disturbance on the fish and gravel). Just test the water from the tap with your finger and only start filling the bucket when the temp is right. If you're keeping tropical fish, the temp is 26C. This should feel neither cold nor warm to the finger. You could also buy a quick thermometer that you'd just dip in the bucket.

No need to use bottled water. Just fill your watering can at the right temperature, add conditionner, mix vigorously (to dissipate the higher pressure of the tap water, avoiding giving your fish 'the bends'), and voila! You don't have to leave it to rest for days as some people do. The conditionner should act instantly. I would advise Seachem Prime or Amquel Plus.

Test kit.

There are indeed test kits and they're a really good thing to get. I'd get one for:
  • pH
  • nitrate
  • nitrite
  • ammonia
The API liquid test kit is recommended by a lot of our American members to be very reliable. The paper test kits have a bad reputation for results that are badly off.

Adding fish.

When you add your fish, make sure you do so nor more than two by two, adding two more each week. I'd start with the less aggressive fish, and I'd move the decoration around before putting new fish in (to avoid fights due to territoriality).

What kind of fish were you thinking of getting?
 
manjil
  • #4
Though armadillo have everything covered.

Just wanted to say few things.
# Do a lot of reasearch abt the fish u r planning to keep.
# Dön't use ordinary heater n thermometer.


Lastly don't hesitate to wait till ur tank gets cycled.

N enjoy ur fish

welcome to fishlore..
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I'm thinking about starting with some hardy schoolers, and maybe a freshwater invert or two. Although I just checked my lease at my apartment complex and discovered that I'm not supposed to have a tank larger than 10 gal. without renters insurance, I'm thinking that I'll just risk it anyway though. Does anyone have experience with renting with fish tanks??

*Also, is the aquarium silicon in case there are leaks?*

Thanks
 
Barbrella
  • #6
I'm not supposed to have a tank larger than 10 gal. without renters insurance, I'm thinking that I'll just risk it anyway though.

I seriously advise you to get the insurance. If the tank should leak when you're not home and damage occurs, you'll be liable for the entire amount.

The insurance is a much cheaper way to go!
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I talked to my apartment manager and he said they don't really care if I don't have insurance, but like you said its a really good idea. I'll look into it and see how affordable it would be. How often do tanks really leak, and what would cause that?

Also, it seems to be difficult to find freshwater inverts, why is this?
 
jsalemi
  • #8
The common freshwater inverts are probably more trouble than they're worth for the chain pet stores -- the profit is minuscule for the care and maintenance they need. You'll find them online or in a true 'lfs' that doesn't mind the low profit on inverts and sells them more as a convenience to their customers.
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
So are freshwater inverts hard to take care of? Ive had small crabs in the past and if I remember correctly they did alright.
 
jsalemi
  • #10
They're not hard to take care of -- the common ones are just cheap, and they have to be kept in their own tank in the store. So there's a very small profit margin. Some are also sensitive to water conditions and should really only be put in a mature tank.
 
lyndatu
  • #11
Cool tank!

Yes, the 30 gallon tank is great for a beginner. The bigger the tank, the easier to maintain because water changes will be slow and fish will be happier. The least tank size for a beginner should be 20 gallons, so what more could 30 gallons be?

If you drain the tank, the nitrogen cycle will need to start again because the beneficial bacteria would not survive long without water. But, if you are going to start the cycle again, putting the ornaments from the previously drained tank will speed up the cycle because it contains some beneficial bacteria.

As for water changing, you could take the heater and place it into the replacement water......

For the water kits........I'm afraid I couldn't be of assistance here.........I don't have one, but I'm going to "redo" my tank and I am preparing all the equipment I didn't have before, including the water test kits.........

Good luck!
 
armadillo
  • #12
Good poing, Manjil. Actually, we have a list of all our beginner's mistakes here if you want to take a quick look. It will avoid you haveing some of the headaches we've had.



Though armadillo have everything covered.

Just wanted to say few things.
# Do a lot of reasearch abt the fish u r planning to keep.
# Dön't use ordinary heater n thermometer.


Lastly don't hesitate to wait till ur tank gets cycled.

N enjoy ur fish

welcome to fishlore..

Yes, if you buy second hand often that is the problem. And the sellers are not always keen on refunds if it was second hand.
I'm thinking about starting with some hardy schoolers, and maybe a freshwater invert or two. Although I just checked my lease at my apartment complex and discovered that I'm not supposed to have a tank larger than 10 gal. without renters insurance, I'm thinking that I'll just risk it anyway though. Does anyone have experience with renting with fish tanks??

*Also, is the aquarium silicon in case there are leaks?*

Thanks

I've had one leaking tank ever, but I've bought nearly all my tanks in the store. I have heard of horror stories of leaking tanks wen purchased second hand to discourage me to even do it.

I think worn down seals is what would commonly cause a leak. That or structural damage. But aquarium silicon somethign really handy to have around.
I talked to my apartment manager and he said they don't really care if I don't have insurance, but like you said its a really good idea. I'll look into it and see how affordable it would be. How often do tanks really leak, and what would cause that?

Also, it seems to be difficult to find freshwater inverts, why is this?
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Ok. So I didnt get that tank, it was too far away from where I live. However, today I bought another tank. It is a 30 gallon with two power heads, an under gravel filter, and a hang on power filter. It is already set up and I am starting to "feed" it to get the nitrogen cycle going. It doesn't appear to have any leaks, and I can only find one scratch which is on the inside. If there is going to be a leak would it start right away, or could it develop slowly?

Also, the brand of the filter is Aqua-tech. I can't seem to find this brand online anywhere, and I need to buy some filter pads. Does anyone know where this brand is sold?

I'll try to get some pictures soon, the tank looks really good...

Thanks
 
armadillo
  • #14
Good stuff, Tsunami. One word of warning about undergravel filters, though: a lot of people don't like them because apparently, they can be tough to maintain, and maintenance can jeopardise your cycle. Also, there's stories of fish getting trapped. I have never tried one myself, but I thought I'd let you know.

The leaks I've had have developed slowly - like it took us up to a week or so to notice. So it's best not to have any fish in for a little while anyways.

I don't know that brand of filter, sorry.
 
jsalemi
  • #15
The only Aqua - anything I know of is the lines made by Hagen (). Here in the US their products go by the AquaClear name, though, so the AquaTech may be a foreign version, or a knock-off of the Hagen filters. Check the website to see if any resemble yours.
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
The filter looks like its made by marineland, but some sub-brand called aqua-tech. If a leak develops can it be fixed with water still in the tank? Also, the undergravel filters have really small slots, and theyre fed by the two powerheads on either sides of the tank, so I don't think that any fish could get in. Also, they aren't main filtration so I don't think that I'll have maintenance problems. Although I can see how it could be a problem not being able to clean underneath them....
 
jsalemi
  • #17
If you have a powerful enough exterior filter (HOB or cannister), there's no need at all for the undergravel filter. The cleaning can be a problem, because they've been know to sometimes cause build-ups of toxic nitrite bubbles, which if they burst can poison your tank and kill your fish very quickly. So really, why use both?

As for leaks, you'd have to drain the tank out to a point below the leak (assuming its in one of the corner joints or around the top). The aquarium silicon can only be used on dry surfaces. If the leak is on the bottom of the tank, then it's probably better to replace it altogether.
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Well the tank is already set up and cycling with the underground filters installed, so I guess I have to live with it. With two big powerheads I'm hoping it will be ok. Ive heard both that they are bad and that they are ok, so ill hope for the best. As for leaking, the tank appears to be in good shape and I have no leaks yet, so I'm pretty sure I'm I'm the clear, Ill pick up some silicon though just in case...

Just to follow up I found out what kind of filters mediums I need. My filter is a Regent Aqua-Tech 20-40, made by Marineland. Apparently the Penguin 170/200/330/350 filters will fit in it, or there are various Bio-wheels which will also fit.

Just in case someone with the same problem finds this thread some day...
 
jsalemi
  • #19
Good to know that the Penguin filters fit -- they're commonly available. There's also Bio-3 style replacement filters that have the bio sponge and the fiber/carbon as separate pieces, so you don't have to run carbon all the time (you can replace the carbon thing with a fiber pad), or only have to replace the carbon without losing the bacteria that have built up in the sponge. You can see one brand here: .
They're cheaper in the long run than the Marineland Rite-Size C cartridges.
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Thanks for the link, I'm hoping that they'll have one of these 3 stage filters at Petco when I go tonight...
 
Tsunami35
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
After much consideration I yanked the undergravel filters today, I decided they werent worth the risk. Also, I went to Petco to get some Filter mediums, and also got a piece of a filter from one of their tanks to help get mine established. Now everything is set up, the tank should start cycling, and only the hard part is left.. waiting!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #22
sounds good.. seeding the tank will help, along with 'feeding' it and raising the water temp. to the highest that you can.. maybe even in the mid 90s.
 

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