Thinking about getting into aquatics

kaitlin4599

Member
ill be blunt i havent had an aquarium since 2007 im debating if i wanna get back in the aquarium game lots of people tell me aquariums are a lot of work and require loads of upkeep is this true?

they also say its an expensive hobby and im on disability

please help a girl decide if she wants to get back into the game feel free to share any relevant info or tips
 

LadfromLondon

Member
If you understock and overfilled, fishkeeping does not have to be difficult at all! In my opinion, the essentials to an easy aquarium would be-

Sponge filter

Bulletproof fish-White Clouds are very forgiving

High quality foods-Frozen, quality pellets (I like Hikari)

A large aquarium! The more water you have, the more forgiveness you will have with water parameters.

Setting up can be expensive, but it depends on you. To me, you can get bang for your buck by scouting for a cheap substrate and purchasing a small portion of fast-growing live plants.

These should fill you aquarium up very nicely :)
 

kansas

Member
I just got back into the hobby after 40 years. I spend about an hour a week changing water and other maintenance on planted 9 and a 15 gallon tanks.

To save money, look for plants that are easy to propagate.

Being retired is an advantage, and being patient is another.
 
  • Moderator

jdhef

Moderator
Member
With fish keeping, all of the expense is usually up front. Once you have bought all of the equipent and have the tank up and running the expenses go way, way down.

For example I have a 46 gallon tank fully stocked with Rainbow fish. Generally all I need to buy on a regular basis is fish food, water condition and carbon. (Of course carbon isn't a must have, but I prefer to use it).

I have a python, which makes weekly waterchanges a breeze. I perform a 50% waterchage every Saturday morning. It takes me about 30 minutes.

Of course there is always the unexpected problem that may crop up, such as fish illness where you need to buy a med, or equipemnt failure (for example just this week my heater died and I had to buy a new one).

Of course if you went with fish that do not need a heater, such as goldfish, white cloud mountain minnows, etc, you'd never have that problem.
 

ElysiumPlants

Member
kansas said:
I just got back into the hobby after 40 years. I spend about an hour a week changing water and other maintenance on planted 9 and a 15 gallon tanks.

To save money, look for plants that are easy to propagate.

Being retired is an advantage, and being patient is another.
Patience. You hit the nail on the head.
 

ElysiumPlants

Member
kaitlin4599 said:
ill be blunt i havent had an aquarium since 2007 im debating if i wanna get back in the aquarium game lots of people tell me aquariums are a lot of work and require loads of upkeep is this true?

they also say its an expensive hobby and im on disability

please help a girl decide if she wants to get back into the game feel free to share any relevant info or tips
I have a great suggestion for you that won’t break the bank.

Get yourself a 20G. It’s not a huge tank. If you’re patient and you watch the forums, Craigslist, and Petco’s roughly four times a year “dollar per gallon” sales, the most it will cost you is twenty bucks. If you’re patient enough, you’ll find one that’s free.

I’d go with live plants, and a lot of them. This can also be done cheap/free. There are plenty of members on this site who will send you plants if you just cover the shipping.

For substrate, I’m a big fan of very well-rinsed Oil Dri. I like to pair it with dragonstone. Not entirely necessary, but it adds to the aesthetic. This will typically cost you $4 per pound plus shipping if you get it online. Investigate your LFS (local fish store) options. I found two in my area that sell it for $3 per pound. I don’t have to pay shipping, and I get to choose the pieces myself.

You need a filter. For purposes of this tank, a simple HOB will be sufficient and will cost you less than $20.

You’ll need an API master test kit, which is about $30.

You’ll want some kind of fertilizer for your plants. You can go with a liquid fert, but using root tabs is simpler

At this point, we haven’t spent a fortune, so this is where we spend a few dollars.

Get yourself a good light. Different people will have different opinions on what a “good light” is. For live plants, it makes a big difference. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 ALC. It’s expensive, but worth it.

And now, on to the good part: stocking your tank. Have you considered Neocaridina shrimp? They come in a dizzying array of colors, they’re easy to keep, they’re fun to watch, you can have a TON of them without messing up your water parameters, they breed easily/frequently and don’t consume their own young, so once you have an established colony, they’re self-perpetuating, they clean up algae, biofilm, and detritus in the tank. And if you decide to add other critters at some point, they’re as peaceful as it gets (just don’t add anything that will eat them).
 

fishnovice33

Member
This hobby can vary greatly in cost and time. You can choose what you want to do. You could opt for a 20 gallon freshwater with a few easy plants and HOB filters, fluorescent lighting for about $100 bucks all set up. And spend 45 minutes on maintenance every week and spend maybe $20 on media every 2-3 months.

That’s pretty much the minimum. I would not buy anything less than 20 just the sake of maintaining it easier and wouldn’t skimp on some things like filter.

People go the ‘too’ cheap route, get sucked in to these $30 all in one 5 gallons and people end hating the hobby and give up because they’re not helping themselves out in the beginning.

But it’s just initial $100. After that, $20 every 2-3 months on media and supplements and fish food.
 

ElysiumPlants

Member
fishnovice33 said:
This hobby can vary greatly in cost and time. You can choose what you want to do. You could opt for a 20 gallon freshwater with a few easy plants and HOB filters, fluorescent lighting for about $100 bucks all set up. And spend 45 minutes on maintenance every week and spend maybe $20 on media every 2-3 months.

That’s pretty much the minimum. I would not buy anything less than 20 just the sake of maintaining it easier and wouldn’t skimp on some things like filter.

People go the ‘too’ cheap route, get sucked in to these $30 all in one 5 gallons and people end hating the hobby and give up because they’re not helping themselves out in the beginning.

But it’s just initial $100. After that, $20 every 2-3 months on media and supplements and fish food.
Highly intelligent, well-reasoned post, and correct on all counts IMHO.

He’s right about not cheaping out too much. You shoot yourself in the foot and set yourself up for failure and disappointment that way. Goes back to what I said about being patient. If money is an issue, pace yourself and buy one thing at a time when you see a good deal. There’s no rush. Anything worth doing is worth doing the right way. And in the meanwhile, there’s this awesome forum with pics of other people’s wonderful tanks.

I have a 75G that I’m dying to set up, but I’ll be moving in November. I have a few small tanks in the meanwhile, but I know I have to be patient.

That’s one of the great things about this hobby: it teaches you to think things through and go slow.
 
  • Thread Starter

kaitlin4599

Member
jdhef said:
With fish keeping, all of the expense is usually up front. Once you have bought all of the equipent and have the tank up and running the expenses go way, way down.

For example I have a 46 gallon tank fully stocked with Rainbow fish. Generally all I need to buy on a regular basis is fish food, water condition and carbon. (Of course carbon isn't a must have, but I prefer to use it).

I have a python, which makes weekly waterchanges a breeze. I perform a 50% waterchage every Saturday morning. It takes me about 30 minutes.

Of course there is always the unexpected problem that may crop up, such as fish illness where you need to buy a med, or equipemnt failure (for example just this week my heater died and I had to buy a new one).

Of course if you went with fish that do not need a heater, such as goldfish, white cloud mountain minnows, etc, you'd never have that problem.
jdhef what is a python plz clarify
 

Birbfish

Member
kaitlin4599 said:
@jdhef what is a python plz clarify
a Python is a siphon hose for cleaning your tank! There are different kinds of siphons but a lot of people go for the Python brand!
This is a generic Python siphon:
they come in different hose lengths, some have starting pumps some don't, they help a lot when it comes to water changes, a necessity if you ask me!
 

DoubleDutch

Member
kaitlin4599 said:
ill be blunt i havent had an aquarium since 2007 im debating if i wanna get back in the aquarium game lots of people tell me aquariums are a lot of work and require loads of upkeep is this true?

they also say its an expensive hobby and im on disability

please help a girl decide if she wants to get back into the game feel free to share any relevant info or tips
Do those "lots of.people" own tanks themselves?
 

Mii

Member
It's not thay much work once you've got your tank cycled properly. I do a 20-30% water change and vacuum the substrate once a week, and feed my fish every day, but if you go on vacation they can go up to a week without food, although it probably wouldn't be good for them to do this over and over again. I also don't feed them one day each week as it prevents digestive issues. Also if you understock your tank, you could probably get away with 2, maybe even 3 weeks without a water change. Also live plants really help as they absorb ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.edit Apparently fish can go 2 weeks without food. And supposedly they can do 3, but i wouldn't trust it.
 

RomanNoodles96

Member

Megaanemp

Member
What about a 10 gallon with just one betta? You wouldn’t have to quarantine and it wouldn’t need a crazy amount of maintenance. My 10 gal betta tank usually takes 20 mins of work every 10 days or so :)
 

RomanNoodles96

Member
Megaanemp said:
What about a 10 gallon with just one betta? You wouldn’t have to quarantine and it wouldn’t need a crazy amount of maintenance. My 10 gal betta tank usually takes 20 mins of work every 10 days or so :)
Could also add some shrimp into the mix as well or cleaner snails like nerites
 

kanzekatores

Member
It is a very, very cool hobby, but you have to be into it. If you’re not committed to monitoring and cleaning and testing every week it’s hard.
Here are some tips:
Take things slow. Get a large tank, and stock appropriately. Monitor the tank often to see what’s going on, if there are pests, water with tannins, dirty filter, fish gasping at surface, signs of disease.
Get lots of plants, it can only help.
Do not try to fix everything with new equipment and chemicals. I made this mistake. What the fish want is pure clean water with swimming space.
 
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