New to fish ownership!

  1. P

    PGC123 New Member Member

    Ok, so I recently bought a fish tank, its a 3.5 gallon half moon tank, I a small decoration and a fairly tall and skinny artificial plant in the tank. I was planning on getting fish tomorrow, I already put in the quick start and had the water tested 2 days ago, there was no ammonia, but my PH levels were a bit too high to put fish in. I know my tank isn't that big, so I'm not looking for any kind of crazy fish that get big. I was looking at small danios or tetras or maybe all guppies since they live in groups, and a snail. I was told by the lady at Petsmart that anything over 4 including the snail would be overcrowding. The only fish experience I've had was a betta that lived for 4 years in a vase. I read on Petsmart's website about cleaning tanks but I'm not quite sure what they mean about a vacuum and changing water and adding this and that to the water…so again…I need help! :eek:
     
  2. Kribensislover

    Kribensislover Valued Member Member

    With a 3.5 gal tank the only thing I would suggest is a beta. I read some small species of shrimp would work but I believe they require live plants. Again I'm not an expert.
     
  3. Kribensislover

    Kribensislover Valued Member Member

    My 3 gallon beta tank ImageUploadedByTapatalk1407372963.020009.jpg
     
  4. Delaneyw

    Delaneyw Well Known Member Member

    The lady at Petsmart shouldn't have even said 4 of anything is okay. That would be a nice betta tank.

    Both danios and tetras like larger schools, it minimizes stress and nipping. Danios like to dart around, so longer tanks are best.

    There's a great little guide on here for fish and their needs.
     
  5. fengshui

    fengshui Valued Member Member

    may i suggest some nano marimo moss balls and a small school of dwarf cories
     
  6. OP
    OP
    P

    PGC123 New Member Member

    Yeah, just very small fish. Nothing big.
     
  7. aliray

    aliray Fishlore VIP Member

    That sounds like a really cute idea and I bet the kids would love it. Alison
     
  8. Delaneyw

    Delaneyw Well Known Member Member

    Most cories like larger groups as well. Otherwise they'll hide a lot and be stressed.

    As small as they are, they would still be better in at least a 10g.
     
  9. fengshui

    fengshui Valued Member Member

    also, make sure the substrate is sand to prevent their barbels from getting damaged
     
  10. f

    fishguy1955 New Member Member

    Two points: If you tested the ammonia level before putting any fish in it will always be zero as there is nothing in the tank yet to generate ammonia and begin cycling. Also, there is nothing that will drop pH in an empty tank that has been up for more than a day or two. That pH is probably your tap water pH and will be what you have to work with. What is the pH?
     
  11. petaddiction

    petaddiction Well Known Member Member

    Another point: I don't know much about QuickStart as when I tried it, it didn't work. At all....
    And I had a betta in a 20 gallon high so very low bioload.
    I assume you can't add QuickStart way before you add the fish, or all the bacteria will die. That's what I did and I had no results at all.
    If it doesn't end up working for you, try TSS(tetra safe start). I tried this and have seen results.


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  12. FiscCyning

    FiscCyning Valued Member Member

    Congratulations on your new tank and welcome to Fishlore! Unfortunately pet store employees are not always the most knowledgeable. I would always recommend doing your own research before going to the pet store so you aren't at the mercy of the sales person's misinformation. We're always happy to answer any questions here if you have them.

    That size tank would be good for a betta, and you can put a nerite snail in with him if you'd like. Unfortunately there aren't really any other fish you can keep in 3.5 gallons. Dwarf cories are not commonly available (the ones you can get at petsmart grow bigger) and really need at least a 10 gallon for a school anyway.

    Vacuuming the gravely at means removing some of the tank with a siphon and rooting around in the gravel with it to suck up any fish poop that the filter didn't catch. You can do this weekly and remove about 25% of the water to keep the tank clean for your fish.

    You should also read up on the nitrogen cycle if you aren't aware of it. I don't have any experience with quick start so I can't speak to its efficacy, but the idea is to add bottled beneficial bacteria to kick start your tank, as these bacteria are what break down the ammonia produced by decaying fish poop. You should. Invest in a water test kit (API master liquid test kit is the most accurate) so you can monitor your water parameters and know if the quick start has worked or if your water parameters are unsafe for your fish.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    P

    PGC123 New Member Member

    The woman at Petsmart was very sassy with me. I brought the water in a day after I started up the tank, just to see if the water would even be ok to use for a fish tank...I just wanted to know. She then proceeded to test the water, and said there was no ammonia. I waited to know the ph level and she said to me "it is too high right now, I told you to wait two days...one-two...two days, so I said ok...and she responded with "trust me I know what I'm talking about, you should have waited two days like I said"

    She was very sassy with me and didn't even tell me what the levels were. I know when she put it in the capsule I think the water turned green or maybe blue?....I'm not sure what level that is. I'll defintley be buying a kit myself.
     
  14. FiscCyning

    FiscCyning Valued Member Member

    Wow, that's some remarkably horrible customer service! Definitely don't trust her advice! I think the test kit will be the best money ever spent so you don't have to deal with that again.
     
  15. petaddiction

    petaddiction Well Known Member Member

    Yeah I agree definitely get a test kit. That's so rude! You shouldn't be treated like that :(


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  16. Mortisha

    Mortisha Valued Member Member

    I'm sure she used the test strip not API liquid test. I've seen employees at my local Petsmart test ppl water with the strips, those things are very unreliable. Def get API master kit so you can test yourself and not have to rely on rude employees. It's a shame these big box stores put the smaller pet stores out of business. I had a pet store in my area that had been in business for almost 50yrs and they always gave the best advise and when you took water sample to them they used the liquid test. Oh how I miss that store. Welcome to Fishlore!
     
  17. Coradee

    Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Dwarf or pygmy corys are not suitable for a 3.5 gallon tank they're also a shoaling fish & should be kept in groups of 6+ which there isn't room for in such a small tank.
    The only fish I would keep in it would be a Betta & even then imo it's a bit small
     
  18. Phishphin

    Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    A 3.5 is definitely too small for a healthy school of cories. They would become very stressed in a short period of time.

    It is unfortunate that so many small tanks are sold by the big chain stores, but those same stores are unwilling to educate their employees regarding proper fish stocking for them. A 3.5 is really only appropriate for a Betta. Some folks also keep shrimp (they would love the Marimo balls), you just couldn't keep a betta with them as they would likely become an expensive snack.
     
  19. Phishphin

    Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    No worries. If she was saying two days was the magic number to discover if their was ammonia or not, she is very much confused and likely parroting something her managers told her. An empty tank will have no ammonia/nitrites/nitrates.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    P

    PGC123 New Member Member

    She used a strip and then took some water and put it in a small tube, then put two different liquids in, the liquid was blue-ish green