Thank Goodness I Found You

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by sass, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. sassNew MemberMember

    Hello from the Uk
    I am really glad to have found you. I have visited some other sites but not registered as they seem to talk in mumble jumble. This is a clear and very useful forum, so well done to all those who make it that way.

    Many years ago I used to keep a freshwater community tank, but had to give it up as life got in the way. I have now had to stop work as I suffer from depression which at times is very debilitating. I was given a lovely tank and stand after mentioning it was something I would like to do again. I am not in any hurry to get it set up as I know how to set up a good healthy tank, time must be spent in preparation. I haven't decided yet on what species I want to keep and I am currently researching my options.

    Now, I have this lovely tank which needs a really good cleaning, but I am worried that at sometime it might have housed rodents. Is there any special care I need to take in cleansing it? Is there a proprietry fish tank steriliser available.

    I am really looking forward to getting to know you all and to learning from the vast range of experience here on this forum.
  2. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    welcome to FL :)

  3. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    :;hi2 Welcome to Fishlore

    Well good to see you getting back into it, and doing your research.

    We're all here to help each other :;hf

    You're going to cop this question, so let me be the first to ask, do you know about the Nitrogen Cycle?

    Anyway, that's the formality! ;)

    Regarding cleaning of your tank, is it glass or acrylic?
    If it's glass, I would perform the following:
    Rinse and scrub with boiling water first, and use a scraper to get any nasties off the glass.
    Mix up a solution of warm Vinegar and Water (not sure what ratio, but have seen it mentioned), wash, scrub rinse the tank.
    Then rinse it once more with boiling water.
    Leave to dry in direct sunlight if possible (will result in UV sterilisation too!)

    These are just my thoughts, and I'm sure many of our other members will be along soon to give their advice.

    Welcome again, and feel free to ask any questions that pop into your mind.

  4. sassNew MemberMember

    Thank You both. Ryan s'cuse the ignorance but LFS? As for the burning question, I have forgotten so much, the result of 2 breakdowns I'm afraid. I am reading up on it and if anyone feels that they can explain in really simple terms I would really welcome that.

  5. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    No prob... LFS or LPS refers to Local Fish/Pet Shop.

    I say never trust them because, as many here will agree, many give bad advice in the interests of making the sale, rather than the interests of the fish.

    As for the Nitrogen Cycle - the link i provided is excellent in explaining what happens and what it is.

    But in a nutshell, the nitrogen cycle is the natural/biological process of dealing with the fish's waste. It goes through three stages of 'processing' by various good bacteria, converting the harmful and toxic fish pee and poop into something safe for the fish.

    The important thing is that a new tank does not have any bacteria yet, and as fish keepers, we need to establish that good bacteria before we add fish to our tanks, otherwise our fish will suffer by having to breathe deadly toxins.

    Many LFS recommend 'cycling' your tank with some hardy fish, this is the cruelest way, and when you're ready (also on the link I provided), we can talk you through fishless cycling methods that don't harm anyone! yay :;hug2

    edit: PS - you could also check out (the home site of this forum), there is heaps of great advice, information and ideas there :)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  6. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Sass and Welcome to Fish Lore.

    One way to clean the tank (if it's glass) is to use 1 part bleach to 19 parts water. This will kill any cooties=unwanted bacteria and just plain old nasties that might be in there :). Then rinse it several times until you no longer smell the bleach. Fill the tank again and use a conditioner called Prime or Amquel + to remove any bleach left behind. (any chemical that states chlorine remover should do but two of the best are above).

    As for the Nitrogen Cycle, here is a link that you may find helpful. It's highly recommended to do a fishless cycle:

    To start your cycle, the tank needs an ammonia source, mentioned in the link above. Over time the ammonia turns into nitrite and then turns into nitrate. Your tank is cycled when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. (explained in the nitrogen cycle link in one of the above posts).

    A test kit is also recommended. The API (liquid) Master Test Kit is used by many members. It will test for everything mentioned in the Nitrogen Cycle link. (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH).

    I know this is a lot of information for you at one time. Check it out and when you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. We're all here to help.

    Best wishes and I hope you enjoy the site.

    One more link for abbreviations:
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  7. sassNew MemberMember

    :D Doh!! obvious!! silly me. Not got the brain in gear yet

    I am in no hurry to get the tank up and running, it will take as long as it takes to balance. I want a long term healthy tank and also I have to save for equipment as I go along.

    My first mission, is to thoroughly clean the tank and make sure there is no nasties lurking in it. I shall aim to have some water in it next week and even some plant material. But I guess before I decide on plant material I need to decide on the species I want in my community. I am used to challenges and disappointment as I used to keep Discus!!

    Any thoughts on plant and community species welcome
  8. sassNew MemberMember

    I knew this was the right forum for me. You guys haven't disappointed in any way. Thank You so much for your input. I really appreciate all the advice you have given. I feel much more confident about getting things started now, it was a daunting prospect to start again after so long especially as I now find things very hard on my brain after my breakdowns. I am struggling to find my way round this site as it seems absolutely vast, with so much information.
  9. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Some plants that I like and only require low lighting (generic lighting that came with my tank) are:
    Java Moss,
    Java Fern,
    Japanese Marimo Balls (moss balls, I love 'em)

    I'll let others give you stocking tips.

  10. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Do you have your filter yet?
    Also - if you could fill in your aquarium info in your profile as you go, it'll help us all to give you more educated advice :)

    We can suggest heaps of combinations, but we need to know how big the tank is first, so we don't over populate your tank, or suggest fish that will be too big ;)

    Also, try and determine what species/type of tank you want to keep first.

    Cichlids for example, are extremely colourful with bright blues, yellows, but can be very different to a standard tropical fw community. Cichlids setups are typically rocks, rocks, rocks and more rocks to make caves etc), and we have some very experienced cichlid keepers here. And cichlids are very territorial, aggressive and best kept as a species tank.

    Let us know how big your tank is first, then we can recommend some filters, heaters, lights (requirements can vary based on what type of plants you want).

    Some things we all recommend:
    - The API Master Test Kit [does pH high and low range, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate] and is used by most on these forums. Avoid the test strips as these can be very inaccurate. The Master kit is good for some 300 odd tests.
    - A glass thermometer (stick on ones tend to be misleading)
    - Seachem Prime water conditioner (you'll see this referenced heaps on fish lore)
    - Other test kits (if budget permits) - API GH/KH test kit, there are heaps of other tests on the market, but the ones I've mentioned will cover what you need.

    As for other things:
    - Gravel vs Substrate: If you want a heavily planted tank, then a proper substrate such as Seachem Flourite, or Eco-Complete are excellent choices. What's the difference, a substrate contains minerals and trace elements beneficial to the plants. If you only want lightly planted, then most small (3mm) gravels will be fine. [our friend Nutter is excellent for plant advice]
    - Lighting, well we can discuss this when you've decided on plants etc.
    - Filters: We can recommend once we know the size.

    That's probably enough to think about for now..... but don't panic, we're all here to help, and we all appreciate it can be overwhelming, so take your time, and things will fall into place :)
  11. TigerfishyWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome sass. I recommend that you order Prime too (Got it on eBay as I'm UK too lol), also Stress Coat+.
    These are the 2 products mentioned most on here, and Prime is so economical, it takes drops to condition gallons of water, not millilitres!
  12. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    first things first, I would concetrate on getting the tank started and decide how you want to go about establishing the nitrogen cycle.
  13. sassNew MemberMember

    Sorry people, just spent an hour looking for a rule. The measurements of the tank are as follows: 13.5"x11"x13.5". I always have got confused on gallon sizes and whether they are US gallons or UK gallons:;dk

    There seem to be so many more products on the market now. I must go and research what they all do, as I don't want to be wasting money by doubling up.

    I have used the API master kit before and had planned on using it again
  14. TigerfishyWell Known MemberMember

    OK, we use US gallons, it still confuses me haha!

    Basically, Prime gets rid of chlorine & chloramines, also it detoxes ammonia for 24hrs as well as nitrites. It's good as it's so economical, and if the tank hits a mini cycle, it keeps the environment safe for 24hrs between water changes with your fish. It's a very good, very economical water conditioner. BUT, it stinks haha, you'll never forget the smell of Prime...!

    Stress Coat contains aloe and is very good at replacing the slime coat on the fish to help heal them, calm them etc. This also conditions water, but I only use it when I add fish, move fish or when there's a sick fish or they're healing up from torn fins for example, as you have to use a lot each water change if you use as a conditioner.

    EDIT: I bought my API master kit on eBay. The shops wanted £30 for it, but I got it for £18 inc postage on eBay, just a tip :p
  15. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    No disrespect JJ, but without a filter, you can't really start the nitrogen cycle, and without knowing the size of the tank, we can't really recommend a filter. ;)

    But I do agree, we'll start slowly and build up to the other stuff.
  16. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    OK sass, so with your measurements, thats 8.5G (US) or 32 litres (fyi, there's a little calculator at the bottom of the page, that helps quickly do metric to imperial, celsius to farenheit :) )

    Does it have a filter already?
    If not, probably a little Hang on Back filter (or HOB) would be great. These hang on the back of the tank (as the name suggests) and don't take away valuable tank space.

    With filters, you want to aim for a filter that can 'turnover' your water at least 4 times an hour, so for your tank, I'd look for a filter that does 32 gallons per hour. I don't have any experience with HOB's but a number of members have brands that they swear by.

    This is probably enough for a start, until you figure out what you want to do.

    edit: One more vitally important thing you must have...... Patience :;laughing (we all want things to go quicker, and I'm a shocker for it, but we must be patient)

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  17. sassNew MemberMember

    I have been reading up about the HOB filters, they look perfect. It does have heaters, and a filter but I don't really want to use them and start with new. It will be money well spent in the long run I think. In fact it is a complete package. May use the filter and heaters for spares.

    I have patience in spades, so that isn't a problem. Actually it is hillarious to have an empty tank running and watch visitors playing 'Spot the Fishy' OK! yes I know I have a warped sense of humour!

    Oooooo didn't see that nifty converter at the bottom of the page, COOL!
  18. Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore. :;hi2 hope you enjoy it as much as i have...
  19. Beth1965Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore, have a good time.
  20. marina3Valued MemberMember

    LOL!!! I love that game (Spot the fishy):;laughing
    Welcome to the forum!!! There is so much information here, and everybody is very helpful! Enjoy the journey!!!! :;hi1

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice