Tips and Tricks: Share Your Experiences

  1. H

    HuliJing New Member Member

    I want to get some opinions, advice, and experiences from others about general fish keeping. Things that could help a beginner out or save us a lot of time/grief. I'm starting out my first real tank ever and I'm curious to hear what others have learned along their way about anything from tank cycling to fish care.
  2. sunshine2012

    sunshine2012 Valued Member Member

    There will be a few questions and I'm sure others will have more. How many gallons?, live plants or fake?, what type of fish are you looking for? You will want to fully cycle your tank and you will need a filter, heater and maybe an air stone depending on what your looking for. You will also want the api master water test kit to check your parameters, it is very accurate. Do NOT listen to the pet stores as they will tell you anything you want to hear and most likely they will be wrong as they usually are and then you will have the wrong fish types with each other or they will tell you that a betta fish can be put into a very small tank that is not much bigger than the little bowl they came in. Welcome to the forum! . You will get a lot of questions and lots and lots of great help on here.

  3. SabrinaBrook

    SabrinaBrook Well Known Member Member

    Hi HuliJing,
    The first thing i will say is be prepared to spend money on your fish. I have been keeping fish for about 8 months roughly. I started out with this tank and had 1 male and 1 female guppy in it. When i noticed them gasping for air i went to the pet store and inquired about it. Brought home a tiny filter and popped in in there. Then weeks later i noticed baby guppies swimming in that tank. So off to the pet store again for a new tank to put them in. My love for fish grew from then on, i am now a fish fanatic and have far to many tanks, but still search my house everyday because surely i can find room for more :p Fish keeping isn't as easy as one thinks, there is actually a lot of hard work that goes into keeping your fish happy and healthy and the tanks too. Which takes time, you need a lot of spare time for fish if you want to keep them at their best. I could go on and on but i will save your eyes, i wish you the very best and hope you keep coming back here to share your joy and stories with us :)

  4. a

    angelfishguppie Valued Member Member

    Have you bought a tank yet? If not, try to start with at least a 20gal rectangular tank - it is so much easier to keep stable water parameters than anything smaller.

    Make sure the stand you use for the tank is strong enough for the weight of the tank when filled with water and gravel/sand.

    If you have not yet purchased a tank, I would recommend you avoid kits. Research components and buy the best quality you can afford for filters and heaters. Consider lighting options carefully- especially if you want live plants.

    Have a dedicated bucket (buckets) for aquarium use ONLY. Keep them somewhere you can easily access and where chemicals won't get spilled into them. I use a tapered 3 gal bucket to replace water in my tank, it is the largest I can safely handle lifting (repeatedly) and slowly pouring into the tank.

    Many will recommend a python type water changing system, personally I did not like it, finding it messy and hard to store.

    I also have a set of 3 plastic liquid measuring cups (1, 2 and 4 cup).

    This can be an expensive hobby but used tanks are a good value on craigslist and upgrading to a larger tank can be done by adding on to the equipment you start with (when I went from a 20 to a 46gal I added a new filter and heater but kept the old ones running in the tank - a bit of redundancy is like an insurance policy).

    Have fun!

  5. Lchi87

    Lchi87 Fishlore VIP Member

    What a great thread! I think the most helpful things I've learned are:

    -cram extra media in your filter in case you get another tank or have to cycle a QT/hospital tank in a hurry. That way you have an established colony growing on the extra media that you can just toss into the new filter of the new tank and speed your cycle up a bit.

    -When in doubt, test the water!

    -Don't underestimate the power of a good water change.
  6. Fishoholic23

    Fishoholic23 Well Known Member Member

    My tip is that to look at the stickies before you post.
  7. OP

    HuliJing New Member Member

    Thanks for the replies! I already have a my tank. It's a 20 gallon long and I will have live plants. I have experience with smaller tanks as I breed bettas, but I've never had a "real" tank before. Just bare bottom 5 gals for my breeders and 10 gal fry tanks. I'm getting out of breeding and selling all my males and making a sorority tank. Also, I did look at stickies beforehand and I realize there is already one on basics for beginners, but I was looking for more personalized experiences rather than just a basic run down. IMO experience is better than any book. Sorry if this was too similar of a topic.
  8. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112 Valued Member Member

    I always suggest QTing new fish. Usually a week w/ three meds used simultaneously, no waterchange, no redose. I've found many fish contain parasites, and not a single fish store within 50 miles (havent checked further) QT's their fish. With many commercial breeding facilities bettas are QT'd their whole life.

    Api General Cure, Api Erythromycin, Aquarium Solutions (Hikari) Ich X.

    Note QT is not for sick fish, it is for observation, and broad treatment. =] hope this is helpful.
  9. s

    s hawk Well Known Member Member

    As a college student with limited budget, space, time, etc. First research everything, Google it in the store even. Look into the different substrates. Plants can be your friend. Also just have fun with it.
  10. Fishoholic23

    Fishoholic23 Well Known Member Member

    I was just saying as a general rule to make sure that there isn't a thread that you could easly figure you problem. But I see where you are coming from
  11. Sarah73

    Sarah73 Fishlore VIP Member

    If you want a sorority let me know! I have a sorority also! We can work with a 20gal long:). I also have a 60gal community with a male beta:). You will need a lot of live plants for them to rest and hide in. Fake plants will ripe their fins:(.
  12. Lucy

    Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!
    The stickies were written from personal experience as was this:
    FishLore' Free Freshwater Aquarium E-Book

    Your question is very broad. One size doesn't necessarily fit all. My experience with certain fish or equipment may not be the same as others.
    Often making one opinion neither right or wrong. Just different.
  13. clk89

    clk89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Probably the best advice I can give, though I am still a beginner myself, is to research, research, research, and oh yeah did I say research yet? Read everything you can about what you want to do with your tank, and ask lots of questions. No question is stupid.

    Before getting my betta I looked everywhere for advice, and then picked out a few forums/ebooks/real life people that seemed to know what they were talking about. I even found a forum specifically about planted tanks, since I wanted to have real plants. All of this combined really helped and has continued to help with both my betta and the current 40 gallon breeding being setup.