New to the fish game

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by LorenHusky, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. LorenHuskyValued MemberMember

    Hello to everybody from Ohio! My brother gave me a 20 gallon tall tank. I got a fluorescent hood, a Marine-land Penguin 100GPH Biowheel filter, a Tetra HT30 heater, and a CoraLife temperature probe. I'm a total newb when it comes to tanks but I understand the nitrogen cycle for the most part. I don't know if it was the greatest idea or not, but I plopped a Betta in the tank to kick start the cycle. I figured a fish that breathes regular air and lives in mud puddles would be a pretty good fish for cycling. I know a lot of people are doing fishless cycles now but given the conditions I've seen Bettas in before I think it will be ok. I don't know if the lone Betta will present enough bio load to help cycle the tank.

    Also my Tetra 30 Gallon submersible heater cannot seem to get my tank above 76 degrees. It's 100 watt, and is supposed to be preset to 78 +/- 2 degrees. This seems awfully low to me, is this an acceptable temperature? I think once the tank cycles I'm going to get 5 or 6 Zebra Danios.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  2. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    Hello and welcome to fishlore :)

    Congratulations on your new tank I would like to make a couple of suggestions :)

    Firstly I wouldn't do a fish in cycle with a betta without using tetra safe start I have used it successfully many times and your tank will be cycled in around about two weeks. I can tell you how to use it if you like :)

    Secondly I wouldn't get danios they are hectic fast swimmers and also fin nippers and I am afraid your betta would be harrassed and very unhappy, if you are wanting to add more fish I would choose a more peaceful kind but as your betta is already in the tank this may prove difficult.

    Some guys on here have successful community tanks which include bettas but bettas can turn violent very quickly and usually without any warning.
    And as yours is already in the tank he probably has claimed it all to be his own they are territorial little fish.

    Don't get me wrong I love bettas I have two and I wouldn't risk putting any other fish in with either despite Henry being a very gentle little guy I wouldn't take the chance.

    If you do decide to add more fish with your guy you could try rearranging the tank beforehand as this will help to make him think it is a new environment and then he may accept tank mates but I would provide lots of hiding places just incase :)

    As far as the temperature goes I keep mine at 82 as bettas prefer warmer temperatures but 78 is acceptable but if you can replace the heater it's something to think about in the future :)

    Happy new year :)

  3. LorenHuskyValued MemberMember

    Happy new year to you too! So you are saying that the Safe Start stuff actually works?
    Also I just bought the Tetra 30 Gallon heater yesterday, and I guess technically it's performing in spec at 76 degrees but maybe I should take it back and try a different brand or an adjustable or something.

    As for the Danios not being a good idea.. how about Bloodfin Tetras? Those look really cool and I'd be happy with those too. I don't think Tetras are nippers, but I've never had them before so I'm not sure.

  4. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    Safe start really works as long as you follow the instructions to a t and its pretty straightforward :) I have cycled multiple tanks using it and will be using it on my 63.5 gallon when it's set up :)

    I would do some research on the tetras I haven't kept them before some types are more peaceful than others.

    What colour is your betta? You could get a school that would compliment his colouring I like glow lights and penguin tetras

    Have you got plants in your tank? Both of my boys love swimming in and out of their plants and one of them is a part time gardener lol he keeps uprooting his but I think that is mainly to annoy me the little monkey ;)

  5. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    tetra heaters are junk. aqueon pro heaters are very recommended around here. make sure its the pro model as aqueon has a older heater that wasnt so good.

    i also wouldnt cycle with a betta. they can die or will at least develop some major fin rot. try the tetra safe start. a lot of people have had success with it.

    bloodfins can be fin nippers along with danios. try neon tetras but be careful some bettas wont like tankmates.
  6. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    I have just been reading up on blood fins and tetras in general I didn't realise some of them can be so mean.

    I would go with neons also for the safety of your bettas beautiful fins and make sure you get a big enough school to prevent them from getting stressed and so they school properly :)
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I think the reason most people are surprised that tetras are nippy is because they keep it to themselves. Even neons can be nippy - to other neons.
  8. AquariaUKValued MemberMember

    Hi and welcome to Fishlore!!!

    I agree with the others that Tetra Safe Start will help your tank. You could keep some snails in the tank if you want such as apple snails or MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snails). The tetras are a risk which could result in fin rot, but that's your choice if you want to experiment. Personally, I wouldn't as betta fin-rot can kill very quickly, although the chances of getting it are quite small with the right precautions.

    I don't use a heater so I can't comment much on that, but Tetra heaters aren't as good as the Aqueon or some Fluval heaters. Good luck!
  9. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to fishlore!

    Some great advice above.
  10. kellyiswickedValued MemberMember

    As a fellow amateur fish keeper, I just want to throw my 2 cents in - even though it's possible to keep a betta in a community, the general consensus is it is difficult. Being new to the hobby, it's so easy to make mistakes, and it's also heart breaking to see even the best laid plans go awry. I would invest in an inexpensive 5gal for the betta. They're not hard to keep and you would see him comfortable and awesomely beautiful. In addition, you can choose whatever tetras you want based on the dimensions of your tank. It's just my opinion, but it might save you a lot of trouble and disappointment in the future if you don't attempt a challenging community for your first try! And welcome to the addiction! I mean hobby. :)
  11. LorenHuskyValued MemberMember

    I just drove all over town and unfortunately there's no fish place open today. I was going to get the safe start stuff but I guess it'll have to wait a day. Wal-mart had Jungle start zyme, which is made by tetra but I don't know if it's the same thing.
  12. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    im not sure if its the same or not... i know there are a lot of useless cycling products out there so id try to get the safe start. i have also heard ATM colony works but not as many people have tried that one yet, its newer.
  13. LorenHuskyValued MemberMember

    Yeah I didn't buy the Jungle brand stuff just in case it wasn't the same. If I dump it in my tank and it doesn't work, it's not like I can take it back. I ordered a Fluval 300W heater off Amazon for 25.47 + free shipping. It's half the price of in the local "pet supplies plus", it's adjustable, and 200W more than my Tetra POS is advertised at. Once I get it I'll put it in the tank and take the Tetra 100w back before my 30 days is up. The fluval only cost 5 dollars and change more than the Tetra in the store did. Problem solved!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  14. MagooFishlore VIPMember

    I would stick to the safe start :) seachem do one called stability that some members have had luck with but I've read mixed reviews so I wouldn't chance it :)

    Good news on the heater the adjustable ones are always better then if you need to you have the option to change the temperature
  15. LorenHuskyValued MemberMember

    How long would it take for the tank to cycle with just my Betta in the 20 gallon? I went to PetSmart and it was 14 dollars for a tiny bottle of safe start! That is insane that it costs that much!
  16. marine590622Well Known MemberMember

    Do you have a friend with a tank? Jump start your cycle by rinsing his/her filter media in your tank.

    With just a Betta in the tank, I would not worry about how long the tank wil tank to cycle, I would jump start the cycle, and do 50% water changes each week for 3 weeks. Then test, you should be cycled with no problem. Just remember what you have done is established a biological filter capable of handling the polution produced by that bio-load, if you then double the bio-load you will need to recycle the aguarium, until you have increased the bio-filter to the point where it can handle the increased bioload.

    In other words the biological filter can not be oversized, because the bio load will not support it.
  17. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    you cant just seed a tank and magically it works. unless you know someone with a filter that they would let you use. if you moved a established filter it should cycle.
  18. LorenHuskyValued MemberMember

    Yeah I don't really know anybody in this town unfortunately. I guess my Betta is going to have to suffice for cycling the tank. In a few weeks I will add a couple more fish to increase the bio load so the cycle doesn't stall out on me.
    Can you guys think of any Tropicals that will go in my 20 gallon tall tank? If it comes down to it, I can put my Betta in my 10 gallon if the new fish don't play well together.
  19. EthanWell Known MemberMember

    the tetra safestart i will stand by it 100% for the price it is well worth it. i used it in my 30gallon one little bottle put my fish in and it was cycled in less then a day with no casualties :)
  20. bankruptjojoFishlore VIPMember

    while the tank is cycling with fish it is recommended to do daily water changes of 50% using prime. the water bill and prime would be more costly then the safe start. not to mention all the extra work. also fish in cycling can take a lot longer then any other way out there.

    if you have 2 tanks i would do a fishless cycle on the 20g and keep the betta in the 10g tell the 20g is done. the fishless cycle is much faster and does not require any water changes tell its done.

    no matter what you choose you will need a API freshwater liquid test kit, they cost around 20$. the test strips are not accurate enough.

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