New Tank Setup-Need Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by parvataneni, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. parvataneniValued MemberMember

    Hi All,
    I am new to freshwater Fish tank setup and this hobby,here is the story:
    15 days back i got

    1.Fluval Edge 6 Gallons fish Tank Kit
    2.few artifical Plants
    3.Bamboo wall with plant basket ornament.
    4.Tap water conditioner and other liquid came with fish tank
    5.5 small fish not sure whether they are gold fish or some other fish ,fish store person said they cost 10 cents each so gave me 5 of them.

    I cleaned the tank with water and cleaned gravel and plants, in bucket of water i put tap conditioner and let it go for 2 hrs ,,then later i put fish packet which contains fish i got from store in that bucket and let it go for 30 min later i put all the water from bucket in tank and even put fish in the tank, after a day when i was reading through website then i found i need to do recycling,so far the fish in my tank seems to be okay, here are my questsions

    1.Do i need to do recycling now by taking all the fish out or shall i just change water?
    2.Please suggest some freshwater fish which are good for 6 gallon tank, i dont want to keep goldfish in my tank as i heard they neeed lot of maintenancce and cleaning.
    3.Is there anything elsee i have to buy and which are the good products to buy ?

    Thanks in advance

  2. flyin-loweWell Known MemberMember

    The absolute first thing you need to do is read up on the nitrogen cycle.
    To try not to go too long with this. Gold fish are HUGE waste producers and 1 requires at least a 20 gallon tank to live a full and healthy life. So having one in a 6 gallon is not good let alone having this many.
    If you must have fish in the tank I guess at this point you could keep some of the goldfish in there to cycle the tank but some don't recommend it. The best product you can buy at this point is a good water test kit. API master test kit is what most people on here use. They are worth the money you pay for them as they will last you a long time. Don't trust the test strips at the store because they are not accurate. Your tank is a good size for a single beta but I get a feeling you want more then one fish. You might be able to get a few glo fish, I am not sure how big of a tank they need though.

  3. parvataneniValued MemberMember

    Thank you for your suggestions.I will go ahead and buy test kit today,once the ammonia levels come to Zero is my fish tank safe for Beta or Guppies to have ? or do i have to take my gravel out to clean the Phoo ? i am going to return the gold fish to store as they said if the fish lives even after 10 days of inital setup they are okay to take them back and i can replace with then what i like or best for my tank.

    After reading all about ammonia and nitrogen cycle now i am worried with the fish i would like to keep in the tank. if you dont mind can you please give me some instructions one by one as to what i should do to keep my tank clean and have a good healtheir fish atleasst to start with. i know having lot of gold fish since last 10 days in my tank will definitrly will have lot of waste in that from fishes, how can i clean that?

    Thanks for all your help


  4. gef21Valued MemberMember

    If you want to have fish in your tank from the start I would look for a product called Tetra Safe Start (it is kind of hard to find but worth it). Allows you to introduce the bacteria you need into your tank that gets rid of the ammonia.

  5. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Hello parvataneni and welcome to Fishlore! I believe the recycling you are referring to is the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle is an extremely important part of fish keeping as it is what makes a tank safe for fish to live in. If you click on the underlined words you will be linked to a page which explains the nitrogen cycle. Basically when your fish poo they produce ammonia. Ammonia is very toxic to fish but there is a bacteria that will start to grow in your tank that will eat the ammonia and turn it into nitrite. Nitrite is also toxic to fish, but once it's there another bacteria will grow to eat the nitrite and turn it into nitrate. Nitrate is not toxic to fish as long as the levels are kept low with water changes. When you have enough bacteria grown in your tank to eat all the ammonia and nitrite just as fast as the fish produce it then the nitrogen cycle is complete and your tank is safe for fish. However, the bacteria take a while to grow and reproduce so it can take about a month for the nitrogen cycle to complete. Until the cycle is complete a tank is not completely safe for fish.

    As for the fish you have, if they were only 10 cents each it sounds like they are feeder goldfish. Here stands a problem. Even though your fish are tiny now and may seem to fit in your 6 gallon tank, goldfish get HUGE. Just one of your goldfish will get to be over a foot long. Because they get so big and produce a large amount of waste they need very large tanks and I'm afraid that your tank is far too small for even one, let alone five. If you are able to I would suggest returning them to the fish store and getting credit that you can use towards a fish more suitable for your tank size. However, once you return the goldies you should wait on getting another fish until your tank has completed the nitrogen cycle. Here are Four Methods of Fishless Cycling that you should find very helpful in completing the nitrogen cycle without endangering fish.

    As for some suitable fish for your tank size, a betta is a good choice. He would have to be kept alone, but they are extremely fun fish who are very interactive with people. A dwarf puffer is another option, he would also have to be kept alone. Also consider non-fish like perhaps 2 dwarf african frogs or a school of red cherry shrimp. Unfortunately, that is about all that comes to mind in regards to fish that would be okay in a tank that small. As I said though, if you can return the goldies do so and then cycle your tank before getting a replacement fish. Hope this helps!
  6. parvataneniValued MemberMember

    Thank you Thank you thank you so much for detailed information, i gotcha ... i will gohead and return the goldies to fish store and do nitrogen cycle first and then get the fish. i will follow all the instructions you guys give me.
    In my office one of my buddy has a fish tank which has some guppies in it, i like guppies as theey are cute and small, do you suggest having 1-betta and 3 or 4 guppies together in my tank? or may be have 4-5 guppies ? can you please suggest.
  7. parvataneniValued MemberMember


    Thank you for response and your time, i appreciate your help.
  8. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Guppies are small, but they do need swim room as well as room to get away from each other. Also they are livebearers who seem to live to reproduce as often as possible. All males would avoid breeding, but you'd end up with alot of nipped fins. All females would reduce future breedings, but you might still end up with fry as they can store semen for a long time and can also be purchased already pregnant. In a male/female mix you will definitely end up with fry and since you will need to have more females than males to prevent aggression you could end up with ALOT of fry. You will most definitely not be able to mix a betta in with guppies. Bettas should really be housed alone, they do not make good community fish at all. They can be especially bad with fish who have long, flowing fins similar to their own so a guppy with his long colorful tail would wind up being attacked. IMO a betta would be better suited for your tank than guppies would be.

    I would also like to mention this...When you go to return your goldfish, if you even breathe the words nitrogen cycle to the fish store people they will try to sell you tons of stuff that you don't need. BEWARE THE FISH STORE PEOPLE! If they try to sell you any products and say that it will help your tank cycle RUN! LOL! Seriously though, do not let yourself get talked into buying any bacterial supplements, bio boosters or anything like that. 3 common products they try and sell you are Nutrafin Cycle, Seachem Stability, and API Stress Zyme+. DO NOT waste your money on these products, they will NOT help cycle your tank and will do more harm than good in the end. Avoid any product that contains bacteria to help cycle a tank.

    Another thing they try and do is sell "hardy" fish like zebra danios to "help cycle your tank". While you can cycle a tank with fish, it is very hard on them and even the hardiest of fish can get very ill or die during the process. It is also ALOT more work for you since you have to do water changes constantly to try to keep the fish alive long enough for the tank to cycle. Plus, once the tank is cycled you would be stuck with the fish and they might not be the kind you wanted or they might not be suitable for your tank. One of the fishless methods in the link I gave you would be a far better way to cycle.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  9. parvataneniValued MemberMember


    I understand what you say,reason why i asked you can i have guppies and betta together is my wife wants to have atleat 2-3 fishes in the tank ... so i belive i made a mistake of buying too small tank, i dont see a possibility that i can return the existing tank and get a 10 gallon tank i am sure the store person wouldnot take back the existing tank. other than betta or guppies do i have a choice where i can have one or two more fishes in my tank? sorry to bug you so much and keep asking questions.

    regarding cycling process here is what i am thinking,please correct me if i am wrong.

    1.return the goldies to store API test kit
    3.Remove water and gravel and artifical plants , clean them with fresh water.
    4.put them back in tank and fill it with water and then follow ammonia cycle process by getting pure ammonia liquid.

    Please correct me if i am wrong and missed any steps to go with.

  10. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    I'm not sure where you bought the tank from, but most chain stores will take it back as long as you have the receipt. If you have to fib a bit and say it leaks or something then they will take it back most likely, just tell them you'd rather get your money back rather than exchange it since you might go with something bigger anyways. Most stores will eat the loss, especially if you plan on spending more on something bigger. Another option would be to keep the 6 gallon and get a betta for it and then get a larger tank to make into a community tank. If you go this route I would suggest going larger than a 10 gallon as I guarantee you will wind up addicted like the rest of us!

    One thing you should know about this site and the people here. We all suffer from MTS (multiple tank syndrome) and are huge enablers. We will try to talk you into getting more tanks no matter how many you have! :)

    On the cycling, you've got it! Just make sure it's pure ammonia. Shake the bottle before you buy it and if it suds up it has detergents in it and isn't safe to use. Hardware stores seem to be the best place for finding pure ammonia. Many people have had success at Ace Hardware Stores in particular.
  11. parvataneniValued MemberMember


    Super, WOW you are so amazing in quick time you gave me all basic information what i need to start with and let me go check with the store and them i want a bigger tank and let me see what they say , if they can exchange it then i will get 10 G tank. Prince with 10g tank what all i can have ?

    Thanks for your time and help.
  12. parvataneniValued MemberMember

    My store person refused to take back this 6g tank, i have no choice other than keeping it.So far as you said 1 Betta is what i can keep, are there any other fish i can keep atleast 2 in a tank , like neon tettras or any other fish atleast 2 of them coz my wife wants to have atleast 2 fishes in the tank.

    Thank you
  13. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    It is the absolute max you can put in there, but Bettas can be kept with Corydora Catfish. You should be able to handle a pair of smaller corys (such as Pandas). These are cute and active. There is a small possibility that the Betta will harass the Corys, but this is rare, and even less rare if they are added at the same time. Otherwise 3 male guppies might work, but in my experience they are not really happy without more room to swim back and forth. Definitely do not add corys to the tank if it isn't fully cycled. You mentioned Neon Tetra, but they are not happy unless they are in a large school which you do not have room for.
  14. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    That Fluval edge is a pretty neat looking tank but...

    I've seen photos of the tank and really liked it, but then started wondering what you could keep in it. Due to it's size, about the only thing you can put in there is a Betta. But a Betta needs to get to the surface and breath air occasionally, and due to the design of the edge it appears that there is only a little square area in the middle of the top that would be accessible, since the rest of the "cube" is enclosed.

    I know those tanks are expensive, so I really wish you luck in getting the whole thing sorted out.
  15. parvataneniValued MemberMember

    Thanks everyone,looks like i have no choice other then keeping One Male betta in my fish tank, little disappointed :( don't know what to do at this point ... i have to check with store once again to see if they can take the tank back or else i should buy a bigger one either 15 gallon or 20 gallon i belive.
  16. parvataneniValued MemberMember

    As you said Betta needs to have more oxygen and with the design of Fluval it might be difficult. Do you suggest any other fish ? may be a group of 2? at this point i am not sure what to do , as even i saw the tank and did like it very much to start with as i am new to keeping fish.Even the store person didnt tell me that i can keep only one fish otherwise i could have gone for bigger one rather then this small tank. By the way do you suggest any specific model or brand for 10g tank?
  17. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    As for the fish, I'm not sure what kind you could have in that tank. you might be able to have two guppies, but you should wait for someone else to verify that before taking my word on it.

    As far as aquariums go I would go with just a basic 10 gallon tank. I have one 10 gallon that came as part of an aquarium starter kit which is a Top Fin brand from Petsmart. I also have an Aqueon Starter kit which I got from Petco and I know that Walmart sells a starter kit though I forget the brand name. The starter kits come with tank, hood, lights, and usually some starter stuff like a net as well as food and conditioner samples. Some of the starter kits come with heaters (which you will need for a tropical community). Most of them come with incandescent lighting, but I know there are a few kits that come with fluorescent tube lighting which IMO just looks better. My two kits have incandescent lighting, but I replaced the bulbs with fluorescent bulbs because I wasn't satisfied with the regular lights it came with. You can also buy the items separately, while this does cost more, you would be able to customize your tank as far as filters and heaters go. My Aqueon kit came with a heater and though it works well at keeping my temps stable, the knob is hard to turn so it took a few days of fiddling with it to get the temp correct. My Top Fin kit didn't come with one so I purchased the heater for it separately and much prefer the Hydor Theo heater I got to the Aqueon heater that came with my other kit as it is far easier to adjust the temp. I'm satisfied with both filters, but if I were to have purchased them separately I probably would have gone with an Aqua Clear filter as opposed to the ones I have now. My Aqueon and Top Fin filters are both sufficient filters, the Aqua Clear filter is just a personal preference of mine. In the end it is entirely up to you.
  18. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    I suggest that you buy the largest tank you have room for and/or can afford. The bigger the tank the easier it is to keep the tank parameters correct. Also with a 10 gallon tank you will find you will feel constrained when it comes to stocking it. Just going up to a 20g opens up much more flexibility, and 20g are still relatively inexpensive.
  19. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I really don't have any fish suggestions for you. If I could have figured out what to put in that tank I would have bought one. They are really nice looking.

    I agree with letdicefly. You really should get the biggest tank that will fit/you can afford. There is a general guideline of 1" of adult size fish per gallon of water. So a 10 gallon tank only allows for 10" of fish.

    When I got back into fish keeping after a 20 absence (and the whole theory on fish keeping has changed since then, when I was told a rule of thumb of one fish per gallon...yikes!) I bought a 36 gallon tank thinking it would be plenty big. But ever since I've been kicking myself that I didn't get something larger. (I really like the 72 gallon bowfronts!)
  20. parvataneniValued MemberMember

    I agree with all of you,the store where i purchased Fluval Edge tank i paid $129 for it and they are not willing to replace it with bigger tank as i have used it for about a week.The biggest mistake i made is i didnt purchase it in chain of stores like petsmart or petco or walmart i got it from local fish store called Aquariumconcepts Inc , i spoke to them to see if they can atleast give me store credit but they are not willing to ,i think i paid my price in not knowing or having atleast basic knowledge of fish tanks.May be i will live with this small tank and put 2 male guppies or 1 betta fish and use it for a while.

    Thanks for all your time and help.

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