What is really needed for an aquarium?

Fishfriendkeeper
  • #1
Hi, I have a tank with platies and swordtails and am wondering what really needed. I know most people say all you really need is a filter, heater, and dechlorinator, but what else? Say you keep live plants (I don’t but I plan to after vacation) with a non fertilized substrate. What kind of fertilizer would you need? Root tabs or some sort of chemical you add to the water? Or both? What brand is best?

What about garlic guard? My fish aren’t finicky eaters at all, they have even tried to eat gravel after I accidentally scooped it up in a net and put it back in. But I do know that garlic is good for fish immune systems and helps prevent disease. So if garlic guard is good for that, every other day when it’s pellet feeding time I could soak the pellets in garlic. Is garlic guard a good purchase or some other product like that?

I know having medicine on hand is great too so you can treat your fish as fast as possible. I currently have melafix and pimafix on hand, but I was looking into some sort of parasite medicine. So far I want Seachem paraguard, Fritz Expel-P, and some sort of medicine that just treats external parasites. Maybe even a medicine I can mix into their food. Suggestions?

What test kits are really needed? I have ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and a GH/KH liquid test kits but are certain kits like phosphate, iron, and chlorine needed or useful for certain purposes?

Is there anything that you wouldn’t be able to buy at a fish/pet store that’s worth it? I’m looking into getting some sort of quarantine bin, either a big tub that holds 10-30 gallons or one of those smaller multi shelf bins that can hold 5-10 gallons for me to treat multiple fish at once. Or a 5 gallon bucket for water changes/new fish? I do have two 2 gallon black buckets that I use for WC and they work fine for me. Maybe a container to hold fish food/medication? Some sort of storage rack? Nothing too expensive as I do have a budget and limited space. My budget really just depends how hard I work. In my house chores are optional unless you want to earn money. I can make anywhere from 0-$5 a day and $0-$40 a week. Each chore is usually $0.25 and depending on what’s available can be more.

Is there anything else that a beginner (ish) like me should have? I’ve kept fish for a year but never really cared until recently. I’m gonna rescape the entire thing, I bought them higher quality food, I’m individually taking care of the babies, I’m working on so much more fun stuff for the tank besides a bright colorful look my siblings picked out (I wanted natural, a natural dark gravel, fake plants as I didn’t think I could keep real ones, and driftwood or a rock cave. Instead what happened is my dad pulled out some old colorful rainbow Walmart gravel from when I had a goldfish bowl when I was 6 and since I got to pick the stocking of the tank, my siblings got to pick out the looks. Older sister wanted to match the gravel with a big bright colorful pink plant, little sister brought in a tiny treasure chest that the fish can’t even go in, they both decided on a big bright saltwater barrel as the corals matched their theme. I convinced them to buy a green plant and a green/blue plant. We ended up spending 90 dollars and my dad took back the cheaper 10 dollar green natural plant instead of the 25 dollar pink plant that glows under blue light which we don’t even have. Eventually I convinced them to let me get a tiny natural log and that’s really the only natural thing in there, besides the tiny green fry plants.) Anyways, I’m going to rescape the tank so is there anything I would need for that? I’m pretty much into buying anything as long as it sounds like a good idea.

(Sorry for the long post)
 
Cherryshrimp420
  • #2
All you need is light, water, and sand.

None of the mountains of products in this hobby are truly necessary. They are more like toys for humans rather than fish.

Here's a shrimp bin I set up with light, water, peat moss + sand and an airstone:


IMG_20220718_125812.jpg

Here's my 75g with just light, water, sand, airstone and heater:


img.jpg

No aquarium products, none of that fertilizer or root tab or whatever that people say is necessary for a planted tank. No dechlorinator either. Over the years I've noticed that the effect of chloramines on aquariums is dubious...and chlorine gas can be easily bubbled out if the water is allowed to sit for a day or two.

If there is one fish product that I'd recommend it would probably be an airstone. The surface gas exchange can become limited based on your setup and increasing it has multiple benefits for the creatures and plants in the tank.
 
ruud
  • #3
Light, water and sand....few plants, leaves and stones added to the mix in tanks below.
No chemicals, no heater, no meds, no testkit, not even a filter.

And if your tank is large enough and heavily understocked with fish, the tank will even deliver free live foods to your fish (depending on fish species of course).


IMG_20220718_154023948_HDR.jpeg

Wouldn't even need a light if these were placed on a windowsill with mostly indirect sunlight. Oh wait, I have two of those as well. See below. Admittedly, these are a bit too small to house fish in.


IMG_20220508_144752496_HDR.jpg
 
ruud
  • #5
Yes, I wouldn't recommend leaving a filter out. And agree with Cherryshrimp; a little oldskool airstone does wonders. The tiniest airstone and airpump is all it takes to keep a large water surface crystal clean and get some water moving.

A little airstone is probably the one thing I could / should add to these two little tanks.
 
SparkyJones
  • #6
I'm gonna say dechlorinator, I'm gonna say medicines and chemicals, I'm gonna say every thing is needed when you are new and don't have a firm grasp on what to do, what you can and can't do, what works and doesn't work. It's all needed until you figure out that you don't need them and can do things different to phase it out, that comes with experience.

A lot of stuff is trial and error, learning through experience so I wouldn't recommend going without a filter or going without dechlorination or other things to you, you may decide you can do that, but I wouldn't recommend it as a starting position.

I think you need some methelyene blue or malachite green and should have some hydrogen peroxide 3% on hand, might not need them, but good to have on hand to treat minor things early before it's a bigger problem.

Most important I think is having the tank cycled and doing very regular water changes so the water quality stays high and stable for the fish. A filter, a good light, a water test kit and patience.
Regardless of the rest of the items out there for sale, you'll learn as you go, but those couple things give you the best shot at keeping the fish happy and healthy and the plants happy and healthy also when you get to that step.

A person can keep fish easily as long as the tank is cycled and the water is kept clean for the fish. You can make it more complicated than that if you like but that's all it takes. If you get your starting point right you can expand from there. A whole lot of folks don't want to wait for cycling to complete and the tank to mature, they rush in buy a bunch of fish or plants and then have problems as it becomes too much to handle. Learning to keep water and bacteria first, is paramount to success regardless of the equipment or anything else you have.

The diet for your fish is important for long term health, just as feeding the plants is important for their long term health. You might not have either of them nailed down at first and know what they need, or what you need to find out, this is also where patience comes in and reading and learning and I'm just gonna say,, we all buy things we later come to find we don't really need, but at the time and our experience level, we couldn't get by without it.
All part of gaining experience and knowledge.
 
ruud
  • #7
I'm gonna say dechlorinator, I'm gonna say medicines and chemicals, I'm gonna say every thing is needed when you are new and don't have a firm grasp on what to do, what you can and can't do, what works and doesn't work.
A lot of stuff is trial and error, learning through experience so I wouldn't recommend going without a filter or going without dechlorination or other things to you.

Most important I think is having the tank cycled and doing very regular water changes so the water quality stays high and stable for the fish. A filter, a good light, a water test kit and patience.
Regardless of the rest of the items, you'll learn as you go, but those things give you the best shot at keeping the fish happy and healthy and the plants happy and healthy also when you get to that step.

A person can keep fish easily as long as the tank is cycled and the water is kept clean for the fish. You can make it more complicated than that if you like but that's all it takes. If you get your starting point right you can expand from there. A whole lot of folks don't want to wait for cycling to complete and the tank to mature, they rush in buy a bunch of fish or plants and then have problems as it becomes too much to handle. Learning to keep water and bacteria first, is paramount to success regardless of the equipment or anything else you have.

It's a classic learning curve. Once you get the hang of it, you can start letting go and come to the basics: "light, water and sand".

But agree, if you are fairly new, I would change the list:
  • add a decent-sized filter; don't worry about brand, filter type, or worse, filter media
  • use dimmable light and a dimmer (either part of the light, an external device, or a semi-transparent sheet between tank and light unit could work also)
  • start with one species of fish only and understand the species' water requirements (specifically hardness and temperature); seriouslyfish.com and fishbase.se are good sources to start with (not someone's guppy blog or the local fish store)
  • know your source water; if it's not suitable for the fish you intend to keep, find ways to adjust (outside of the tank) or switch to another source
  • have a bucket and hose for water changes
  • always have a towel in close proximity
Few bonus tips:
  • if possible, choose a shallow or breeder tank, instead of a tall tank
  • use a sand substrate and never clean it
  • add dry leaves and let it rot
  • add neocaridina shrimp if water parameters and fish species allow
  • even if you don't like plants, at the very least, add plants that have their leaves up in the air
Chemicals and meds still not on these lists... it creates the typical man-made / transhuman type of thinking that this hobby in my view doesn't need. Too much reliance on human and technological intervention. And not enough biology thinking.

Some (national) cultural differences are perhaps at play also: Cultural Difference in the Aquarium Hobby - Aquarium Article
 
Advertisement
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
It's a classic learning curve. Once you get the hang of it, you can start letting go and come to the basics: "light, water and sand".

But agree, if you are fairly new, I would change the list:
  • add a decent-sized filter; don't worry about brand, filter type, or worse, filter media
  • use dimmable light and a dimmer (either part of the light, an external device, or a semi-transparent sheet between tank and light unit could work also)
  • start with one species of fish only and understand the species' water requirements (specifically hardness and temperature); seriouslyfish.com and fishbase.se are good sources to start with (and not someone's guppy blog or the local fish store)
  • know your source water; if it's not suitable for the fish you intend to keep, find ways to adjust (outside of the tank) or switch to another source
  • have a bucket and hose for water changes
  • always have a towel in close proximity
Few bonus tips:
  • if possible, choose a shallow or breeder tank, instead of a tall tank
  • use a sand substrate and never clean it
  • add dry leaves and let it rot
  • add neocaridina shrimp if water parameters and fish species allow
  • even if you don't like plants, at the very least, add plants that have their leaves up in the air
Chemicals and meds still not on these lists...
Ok, thanks! It’s a tall tank, all I had space for on my table/desk, I wanted to get a 30 gallon but my dad said no, we don’t have enough space and the table might not be strong enough. In less than a year we’re basically building a new house and I have so many plans. I get my own room, there’s living room space, hallway space, my little sister would love to have a tank in her room, so my possibilities are endless. For my room I wanted a 55, 40 breeder, 29, my 20 tall, and a 10 gallon betta tank. Maybe another 40 breeder for my platies and swords. Living room will most likely have a 75 with so many cool fish that catch the eye of people walking by, and a pretty 7.5 gallon betta tank. My little sisters room will have a 20 long, and maybe a 10 gallon betta tank. Twenty long will be stocked with her favorites, Albino Corydoras, and she says Glofish but hopefully I can change her mind.

I do have a gravel Vacuum and a bucket. I do 25%-50% weekly water changes depending on how dirty my tank is and how high nitrates are.

Wouldn’t I need a tub or something for quarantine? I currently don’t and luckily I haven’t had any parasite outbreaks (yet) but if a fish does get a parasite or sick I would like to have some sort of tub. I found this really cute shelf that holds 5 gallon plastic tubs in 3 layers. Rinse it off, add some fake decor, then I can treat up to 3 fish with different things at the same time, like if there’s a fungal infection on a fish, a ectoparasite on another, then a internal on the last one, I can treat all three of those without over medicating and stressing out the fish more.

Everyone’s probably gonna say no to this, but I still want parasite meds (I already have bacterial and fungal meds) and stress guard for adding new fish. I might even get a small bottle of garlic guard and mix it with their pellets every so often.

I’m getting mixed ideas, but I think I’m still gonna buy root tabs/something like flourish/CO2. I think what’s trying to be said is that since I’m a beginner (kind-of) it’s better for me to go with products that when I become more of an advanced keeper I would wish I never bought, but they helped me through the beginner stage. The only thing wrong with my tap water is that the GH is 6, and my fish have a GH of 28. I usually add a little aquarium salt to my tap water though, and it seems to harden it enough.
 
ruud
  • #10
I almost never buy fish. When I do, I add them to an established tank that has no fish. I don't call this the quarantine tank. I didn't even know what that was, until I joined Fishlore last year. And I've been in this hobby for, well, a long time.

To have a tank with light, filter and the likes, just for the purpose of..... it's just jaw-dropping to me. Again, cultural differences... Cultural Difference in the Aquarium Hobby - Aquarium Article

If you fancy community tanks and would like to purchase new fish once in a while, there are plenty of people on this forum that can consult you on quarantine tanks and meds to apply. I'll pass.

I rely on dirty substrates, plants, live foods, (social) stress-free environments, and the right water parameters to prevent all the infections, issues and algae.

So better talk to SparkyJones ;)

Regarding "root tabs/something like flourish/CO2". A lot of nutrients enter your water column (and therefore also your substrate...) via "natural ways": water change, decay, waste, food. You likely miss out on a few. Making a long story short, a liquid bottle of micronutrients (which typically have a few macro's in them as well) and a liquid bottle of NPK is all you need. In biology/ecology, these are sometimes collectively referred to as soil-nutrients. You can dose them in water and they'll be taken in via leaves and roots. Yes, roots. Really. Believe me. :)

CO2 in a bottle does not exist. Hence, my tips regarding shallow tanks and dirty substrates with rotting leaves*. Along with fish and water agitation, these will increase your CO2 levels, albeit modestly...but enough for most purposes.

Good luck.

(*dirty substrates with rotting leaves, have more beneficial purposes besides offering carbon)
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Ya, I wasn’t talking about CO2 in a bottle. I was talking about some sort of CO2 setup thing or API CO2 booster. I can see how that is confusing though.
 
ruud
  • #12
Ya, I wasn’t talking about CO2 in a bottle. I was talking about some sort of CO2 setup thing or API CO2 booster. I can see how that is confusing though.

Isn't API CO2 booster, "CO2" in a bottle?

Anyways, there are natural ways to increase CO2, as I described, and there is the pressurised way. Just not in liquid form.

If API CO2 booster is something else, forget what I said.
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Isn't API CO2 booster, "CO2" in a bottle?

Anyways, there are natural ways to increase CO2, as I described, and there is the pressurised way. Just not in liquid form.

If API CO2 booster is something else, forget what I said.
Ya it is, I just read the description a little more thoroughly, and that’s what it claims to be.
 
ruud
  • #14
Ya it is, I just read the description a little more thoroughly, and that’s what it claims to be.

Besides your question of what the absolute basics in this hobby are, your next question would be, what are the absolute things to avoid :).

On top of my list would be not to listen to the advice given by aquarium suppliers. They sell to people. Not to fish or plants. There really is a lot of truth to what Cherryshrimp stated. All you need is (the right) water, (established) sand and (dim) light.

But I'll agree with SparkyJones, you probably need to learn the hard way, also to understand all the dependencies. This includes perhaps spending money on liquid CO2.
 
SparkyJones
  • #15
Ok, thanks! It’s a tall tank, all I had space for on my table/desk, I wanted to get a 30 gallon but my dad said no, we don’t have enough space and the table might not be strong enough. In less than a year we’re basically building a new house and I have so many plans. I get my own room, there’s living room space, hallway space, my little sister would love to have a tank in her room, so my possibilities are endless. For my room I wanted a 55, 40 breeder, 29, my 20 tall, and a 10 gallon betta tank. Maybe another 40 breeder for my platies and swords. Living room will most likely have a 75 with so many cool fish that catch the eye of people walking by, and a pretty 7.5 gallon betta tank. My little sisters room will have a 20 long, and maybe a 10 gallon betta tank. Twenty long will be stocked with her favorites, Albino Corydoras, and she says Glofish but hopefully I can change her mind.

I do have a gravel Vacuum and a bucket. I do 25%-50% weekly water changes depending on how dirty my tank is and how high nitrates are.

Wouldn’t I need a tub or something for quarantine? I currently don’t and luckily I haven’t had any parasite outbreaks (yet) but if a fish does get a parasite or sick I would like to have some sort of tub. I found this really cute shelf that holds 5 gallon plastic tubs in 3 layers. Rinse it off, add some fake decor, then I can treat up to 3 fish with different things at the same time, like if there’s a fungal infection on a fish, a ectoparasite on another, then a internal on the last one, I can treat all three of those without over medicating and stressing out the fish more.

Everyone’s probably gonna say no to this, but I still want parasite meds (I already have bacterial and fungal meds) and stress guard for adding new fish. I might even get a small bottle of garlic guard and mix it with their pellets every so often.

I’m getting mixed ideas, but I think I’m still gonna buy root tabs/something like flourish/CO2. I think what’s trying to be said is that since I’m a beginner (kind-of) it’s better for me to go with products that when I become more of an advanced keeper I would wish I never bought, but they helped me through the beginner stage. The only thing wrong with my tap water is that the GH is 6, and my fish have a GH of 28. I usually add a little aquarium salt to my tap water though, and it seems to harden it enough.
I have a quarantine tank, it's running and a couple fish there, I don't really use it because I'm not buying fish and haven't for 2 years and likely won't need to for another 5 years or longer, unless I feel like it. I have 3 juvenile angels in it currently. 1, because they had broken ventral fins and I wanted to see if with time, peace, and great water quality they would grow back, and 2. something should be in there to keep the cycle functional, or I would break it down and put the sponge in my filter and be ready to set it up again if I needed it.

my fish don't get sick. my blue gouramis I've had for like 5-6 years, 6 angels for like 2 years and 33 juvenile angels that are about 6 months old overall. there's an occasional cloudy eye, or a bit of fin fuzz, water changing has always corrected it without the need for meds, and for fin fungus on pectoral or tail, I use a bit of hydrogen peroxide on a qtip and pull the fish out, spot treat and put it back and it clears up. (do not use H2O2 around the eyes, gills head area!) I had 2 kissing gourami before all this, they lived for about 15 years and were 10-12" and died of natural causes within a year of each other I had 6 angels before this current group that had all died after about 5-6 years, the kissing gourami were kind of rough with those angels at times. all in all I have bought 16 fish in the last 20 years. I've raised 33 for myself and traded to a petstore another 30 for a bunch of fish food.
The big tank has been running for like 7 years, the bacteria colony has been running in my smaller tanks that I have downsized or up sized from depending on life for 20 years in one tank or another.( i shut down tanks if I'm too busy to handle the work on them but always keep one tank and the colony working)

I had plenty of problems early on with Ich, cycle problems, mysterious illnesses, when I was a lot younger and new to fishkeeping, those fall into inexperience and operator error.
It just doesn't happen anymore with the tanks well cycled and me not introducing new fish from outside and I'm keeping up on water changes. i don't have any meds besides a bottle of Methelyene blue I used once, and a bottle of Hydrogen peroxide I use rarely if I feel I need to.
I don't feed garlic, I don't use any water conditioner beside prime for chlorine and whatever added benefit I get out of it for ammonia, but ammonia isn't an issue ever either.

I probably don't need the prime either, but I don't want to wait for water to offgas chlorine. that product works great and I trust it, been using it for years and years.

When it comes to meds for fish, its better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. If you feel better having the safety net of a medicine cabinet for the fish, I say you should do it, you are free to try other treatment methods before going to meds right away, but sometimes just having it on hand helps you think better knowing it's readily available to you.
besides Ich, (haven't seen it in my tank since I was a kid) I've never had a parasite become a problem or let me know it was there.

I don't keep plants, it doesn't work with me, on land or in water, I'll leave all of that up to people that know. I'd just say give it a shot and realize your limitations, that goes with fish keeping or plant keeping, it's it's too much and overwhelming, it's not fun, and if it's not fun.... and you'll not want to do it all.
Hence why I shut down tanks or open tanks as my life permits.
 
MacZ
  • #16
"Liquid CO2" is another form of offering bioavailable carbon. It does not replace the need of plants for CO2 and it is usually nothing but a type of algicide. More trouble in a bottle and just as unnecessary as injecting CO2.
 
SparkyJones
  • #17
Besides your question of what the absolute basics in this hobby are, your next question would be, what are the absolute things to avoid :).

On top of my list would be not to listen to the advice given by aquarium suppliers. They sell to people. Not to fish or plants. There really is a lot of truth to what Cherryshrimp stated. All you need is (the right) water, (established) sand and (dim) light.

But I'll agree with SparkyJones, you probably need to learn the hard way, also to understand all the dependencies. This includes perhaps spending money on liquid CO2.
I'd say there is a "hard way" (rushing in blindly at full speed just wanting to keep fish and not knowing you need to know things) and theres books and people that can teach and a learning curve that can't really be taught that's gained from experience, where the comfort zone settles in and what works works and what doesn't was discarded, where knowledge comes in as it actually applies to you and your situation and water in your tanks. There's a lot of generalities in the hobby that work for some and not for others, it's all conditional. A good foundation and understanding is key.
 
Advertisement
Cherryshrimp420
  • #18
Everyone’s probably gonna say no to this, but I still want parasite meds (I already have bacterial and fungal meds) and stress guard for adding new fish. I might even get a small bottle of garlic guard and mix it with their pellets every so often.

I’m getting mixed ideas, but I think I’m still gonna buy root tabs/something like flourish/CO2. I think what’s trying to be said is that since I’m a beginner (kind-of) it’s better for me to go with products that when I become more of an advanced keeper I would wish I never bought, but they helped me through the beginner stage. The only thing wrong with my tap water is that the GH is 6, and my fish have a GH of 28. I usually add a little aquarium salt to my tap water though, and it seems to harden it enough.

The problem is that these products may be detrimental to your tank. You are actually hurting your fishkeeping journey by using them.

Medication can have strong adverse effects on fish health and their natural skin biome. Using the wrong medication (ie anti-bacterial on a virus infection) will not cure the diease and will simply hurt the fish. There is no way for a hobbyist to reliably identify every disease without lab equipment. On top of that, there is the problem of developing anti-biotic resistance

Fertilizers, root tabs contain nitrogen compounds (ie ammonium, nitrate) which is a burden on the bioload of the tank. By using them, you are adding an ammonia source to the tank and contributing to the nitrogen cycle. These products will not suddenly make your plants flourish (overdosing ferts can reduce nutrient uptake), but will kill your fish if the nitrogen cycle is overwhelmed.

Ammonia-binding products like Seachem Prime have not been proven experimentally. There is no chemical mechanism that explains their claims, so it's questionable if this action is occurring at all.

The second problem is that these products are not regulated. They are not evaluated for purity, safety, nor effectiveness. They may or may not contain the ingredients they claim, and they may or may not work at all!

People who buy into these products often leave the hobby much faster than people who don't.
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Wow, thanks for all the advice. I don’t know, I’ll probably get the 3 layer 5 gallon thing I saw. It’s better to be safe than sorry, is what I believe you’re saying. I can put the little thing under my desk, out of the way. I do have a fry grow out tank that is only 1 gallon and I can use one of the 5 gallons as a grow out tank, as well as having the two other shelves available for quarantine tanks and maybe even keep a shelf as extra fish storage (meds,food, salt, maintenance equipment, etc.) It seems like the best idea for me. It can get dark and hot under my desk especially in the winter, so I’ll invest in small lights and maybe a small heater for winter. I have this digital thermometer gun (the thing people (usually schools) would use to check your temperature during COVID) which has a setting that pretty accurately displays water temp but I’ll still get a thermometer just in case. Thanks for all the help! This is a lot, and I mean a lot, of new information to take in.
 
KingOscar
  • #20
The few times I used meds back in my early years I don't recall them ever fixing anything. The fish always died. Since then I found proper setup, feeding, and maintenance to virtually eliminate illness. Light stocking and low stress tanks help too. Prevention beats cure.
 
86 ssinit
  • #21
Ok I’m with Cherryshrimp. What you need to start is water,filter, a regular substrate (sand or gravel). Yes your clown puke gravel will work :). Water changing and knowing your water is key. So for that reason I do recommend a api test kit. Test your tap water let it sit for 24 hrs and test again. Now you know what happens with your water in a tank. Some people age there water 24hrs because their tap ph changes in 24hrs. Last thing you want is a fluctuating ph. If your ph is the same in 24hrs the next thing many use is prime. This dechlorinates the water for quick water changes. Water changes are key for good fish keeping. 50% weekly for best results more for even better :).
As to medications I say no. Stick with clean water and maybe some salt and you should be good. So many buy meds and misuse them. So many buy all different types and mix and kill their fish. The meds you already bought are useless. Mela para fix are just oils. Clean water! Next when buying fish always buy the strongest looking fish. The healthiest looking. Never buy a sick looking fish! Never feel like you can save a sick fish. Its just a recipe for disaster. Yes a qt tank is a great idea. 4-6 weeks in qt not only lets you know the fish are healthy it give you the chance to get these new fish time to destress and get strong and healthy and used to your water. I keep q t tanks (yes tanks :) ) running all the time.

As to plants start easy. Giant hygro is very easy. But again know your water and what will grow in it. Plants are the next step. To grow healthy they need light and some added nutrients. Co2 is not needed it’s for the pros!! Co2 booster is just an algaecide. It kills algae. So again not needed and if used incorrectly can be worse for the tank.
Most important thing for your tank is ask questions here before buying stuff. Any pet store will sell you anything. They sell to stay in business. Ask questions :) .
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
The problem is that these products may be detrimental to your tank. You are actually hurting your fishkeeping journey by using them.

Medication can have strong adverse effects on fish health and their natural skin biome. Using the wrong medication (ie anti-bacterial on a virus infection) will not cure the diease and will simply hurt the fish. There is no way for a hobbyist to reliably identify every disease without lab equipment. On top of that, there is the problem of developing anti-biotic resistance

Fertilizers, root tabs contain nitrogen compounds (ie ammonium, nitrate) which is a burden on the bioload of the tank. By using them, you are adding an ammonia source to the tank and contributing to the nitrogen cycle. These products will not suddenly make your plants flourish (overdosing ferts can reduce nutrient uptake), but will kill your fish if the nitrogen cycle is overwhelmed.

Ammonia-binding products like Seachem Prime have not been proven experimentally. There is no chemical mechanism that explains their claims, so it's questionable if this action is occurring at all.

The second problem is that these products are not regulated. They are not evaluated for purity, safety, nor effectiveness. They may or may not contain the ingredients they claim, and they may or may not work at all!

People who buy into these products often leave the hobby much faster than people who don't.
Would a general medication, like API general cure, or Paraguard, hurt the fish of treated wrong? I know Paraguard is mainly for ectoparasites, but also claims to treat bacterial and fungal lesions. If I were treating for parasites and used that, would that be worse than just using a medicine for only ectoparasites?


I’ll look into malachite blue and green, but I’m pretty sure those harm beneficial bacteria. I guess if I only use it in the quarantine “tank” I’d be fine?
Yes a qt tank is a great idea. 4-6 weeks in qt not only lets you know the fish are healthy it give you the chance to get these new fish time to destress and get strong and healthy and used to your water. I keep q t tanks (yes tanks ) running all the time.
I’ll get a quarantine tank. I don’t have the space for another tank, nor the outlets. Since most meds are not good for beneficial bacteria, do I need a filter in the quarantine tank? Can I just add an air stone and a light? I’m thinking as this would really be the only thing I can do is that I buy more air tubes and get the split off air thing, attach those to my qt tanks then get some sort of battery powered light.

My room temperature typically stays 68-80 and under the desk is usually the hottest as it’s right by the heater.

I just realized I could use a sponge or a box filter, and attach the air to that. Airaton and Filtration in one.

So it should be fine to use a plastic tub as a quarantine tank instead of a glass tank? I don’t think I really have the space for a glass tank or the money. A cheap plastic tub I can buy at Walmart or target would really be the best for me.
 
86 ssinit
  • #23
I rarely medicate and only in qt tanks. I’ve never needed meds in my community tanks. Clean water keeps them healthy. All fish have diseases and parasites in them. They show up when the fish are stressed. Fish stress from bad water or fear. Fish can also hurt themselves In your tank. They can cut themselves on sharp items. Most times just salt added to the tank at 1 tbs per10 gal will clear these cuts up. Also extra water changes. Fish also can die mysteriously in your tank. Some times they just swim into something when being chased, or they just overeat. So don’t let one dead fish scare you. Just remove and change water than watch the tank.
 
Flyfisha
  • #24
I have not read all the posts but want to say.

A light and water are necessary for terrestrial plants, you don’t even need sand when the out of tank plants have their roots floating in just water.
195DAE04-79EF-49AC-9F64-CBE55D4CA886.jpeg
That is my indoor platy tank.
 
MacZ
  • #25
Would a general medication, like API general cure, or Paraguard, hurt the fish of treated wrong?
Yes. Many meds put quite some strain on the fishes systems.
That's why I have to expand
Prevention beats cure.
By: And cure is only achievable with a correct diagnosis.

So if there is no problem, don't medicate. And if there is a problem, don't randomly medicate with whatever you have at hand. 9 out of 10 people coming here to the forum with sick fish have previously medicated on a whim without even looking at the med's indication.

Also: You only should have meds specifically for certain parasites:
- Ichthyopthirius (Malachite Green-based meds have proven easiest, but also contain aldehydes, which can be problematic)
- inner worms (Praziquantel or Levamisol)
- inner protozoan parasites

Broadband meds have killed more fish than they have saved.

Bacteria, Fungi and less common diseases/parasites: Get something specific. And always keep proportionality in mind: Is it necessary to pay 60 bucks for an antibiotic that might crash the whole system to safe an overbred, bad health, 50ct Guppy?
I’ll look into malachite blue and green, but I’m pretty sure those harm beneficial bacteria. I guess if I only use it in the quarantine “tank” I’d be fine?
Simple rule:
- If the fish have parasites or a diseases that spreads: Treat in the main tank.
- If the fish have something that is not transmittable and are not yet in critical state: Treat in a hospital tank.
- If the fish is already in critical state: Consider sacrificing it for a veterinary diagnosis and correct treatment to safe the rest.
 
ruud
  • #26
I have not read all the posts but want to say.

A light and water are necessary for terrestrial plants, you don’t even need sand when the out of tank plants have their roots floating in just water.
That is my indoor platy tank.

Lovely tank!

Regarding sand, it wasn't argued otherwise.

The "sand, water, light"-mantra served more as a symbolic statement that you don't need a lot in this hobby to keep fish healthy. You can exchange sand with plants or filter - that's fine :).

But the discussion gravitates towards meds, so I'm out.
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Ok I’ve limited it to this:
Seachem Stressguard
Fritz Expel-P
Fritz Prazicleanse
Kordon Ich attack

I’m also buying two more things but that wasn’t really for discussion here but I’ll say them anyways:
Kordon NovAqua plus (I just ran out and even though I do have prime I also like this product a lot)
Penn Plax Lok-tite 5 gang (When I rescape I plan to have two air stones in the tank, and the other three valves are for my fry grow out and quarantine tanks.)


I don’t think I’ve gotten an answer on this question yet. What is everyone’s personal experience with garlic guard? Is it a good or bad product? I know garlic is great for fish but also have read other threads and now am confused. All I want to do is buy a small bottle and use it with my pellets once a week. Is that ok?
 
Advertisement
MacZ
  • #28
Seachem Stressguard
The manufacturer does not disclose the active ingredients and what they write on their website is vague and sounds impressive. When you search a bit you find this: Stressguard™
So Methylene Blue and Glutaraldehyde. You can kill algae with that, the latter was the prime ingredient in Seachems Flourish until last year. But the fish have no real benefit from it. Waterchanges do more good in case of injuries.
The only positive thing about Methylene Blue is that it's an antidote to Nitrite poisonig. Which is not even mentioned.
Big promises, no base for it.

Fritz Expel-P
Fritz Prazicleanse
Why both? The manufacturer lists different types of worms on the products, but if you go by the indications of the respective active ingredients it makes no sense. You can treat them all with one of the meds.

Kordon Ich attack
Having looked up the ingredients...
The effectiveness is not independently proven to my knowledge. Alternatively probably a product containing malachite green and formaldehyde may be harder on the fishes system, but is for sure effective.
 
86 ssinit
  • #29
I don’t use any of these. But find it strange that stress guard would have Glutaraldehyde in it. That’s also a main ingredient for Api co2 booster. The blue stuff has been around forever as an anti fungal med.

As for the Kordon I do use the rid-ich plus and have found success with it for external diseases. This also contains the same stuff as yours. So maybe they’re just different names for the same product.

As to garlic guard it is an ingredient in nutridiet discus flakes. I mix these with a few other types of flakes and feed these to all my fish.

And to the 5 gang air valve you will need a strong pump to feed this.
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
And to the 5 gang air valve you will need a strong pump to feed this.
Aw, I don’t really think I do. It’s a Penn plax silent air x2, suited for up to 20 gallons. It’s a little too strong for just one tiny air stone and the air comes out of the top of the decor and the holes on the side. I still need a way to get air to my qt tank and I don’t want to buy another air pump. I can make the 3 valve work, but preferably the 4 or 5 would be the best.
Why both? The manufacturer lists different types of worms on the products, but if you go by the indications of the respective active ingredients it makes no sense. You can treat them all with one of the meds.
Oh. I thought one uses levamisole and the other uses praziquantel. Also expel-p says it does not treat flukes and tapeworms. I wanted to get both to be prepared in case I do have flukes or tapeworms. So you’re saying I could just get one and treat all internal parasites?
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Nobody responded to my last thread. It’d be very helpful if someone did. Also, thoughts on Kordon fish protector?
 
MacZ
  • #32
Oh. I thought one uses levamisole and the other uses praziquantel. Also expel-p says it does not treat flukes and tapeworms. I wanted to get both to be prepared in case I do have flukes or tapeworms. So you’re saying I could just get one and treat all internal parasites?
Ok, you picked the two exceptions: Neither flukes nor tapeworms can be treated with Levamisole, but Praziquantel should do the trick.

And you can treat all WORMS with it, not all internal parasites. Protozoans like Hexamita shrugg it off, usually.
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
Ok, you picked the two exceptions: Neither flukes nor tapeworms can be treated with Levamisole, but Praziquantel should do the trick.

And you can treat all WORMS with it, not all internal parasites. Protozoans like Hexamita shrugg it off, usually.
So does praziquantel treat worms and levamisole treat internal parasites? If so, would it be best to buy both?
 
SparkyJones
  • #34
I'm feeling froggy at this point in the day, so I'm going to answer the title question with

"A container, A fish, and Water" voila! Aquarium!
 
MacZ
  • #35
So does praziquantel treat worms and levamisole treat internal parasites?
No. Both treat worms. P all, L not all.

If so, would it be best to buy both?
Absolutely not.

And I would also not buy meds in advance. Best-before dates have to be kept in mind. Could be you never have to use one. Because if you pick the right supplier, meds are not necessary to be kept at hand.
When I wrote "have" above I meant in general. Those are the only things you can and should use on your own devices without consulting a vet or at least other knowledgable hobbyists.
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
No. Both treat worms. P all, L not all.


Absolutely not.

And I would also not buy meds in advance. Best-before dates have to be kept in mind. Could be you never have to use one. Because if you pick the right supplier, meds are not necessary to be kept at hand.
When I wrote "have" above I meant in general. Those are the only things you can and should use on your own devices without consulting a vet or at least other knowledgable hobbyists.
Ok, but my LFS isn’t open all week, the closest petsmart is 30 minutes away and my dad would not make that drive just to save a fish that he thinks most likely isn’t going to make it. Also, we usually buy online, and meds take a little to get here. Is it better to buy a stress/disease preventer? I really like Kordon fish protector and seeing all the good stuff said about it here on fishlore I’m thinking of buying it.
 
MacZ
  • #37
Ok, but my LFS isn’t open all week, the closest petsmart is 30 minutes away and my dad would not make that drive just to save a fish that he thinks most likely isn’t going to make it.
All the ailments we're talking (parasites) can wait up to 3 days, unless you notice the symptoms much too late. Ich becomes hard to control after that, while inner parasites kill over weeks and months, not days. If the fish with these problems are on the verge of critical condition a treatment would come too late anyway but would benefit the still healthy fish.
Actually... except poisonings (ammonia, nitrite, chorine, CO2), bigger parasites (anchor "worms" (not worms)) and acute oxygen depletion there are barely any conditions that require immediate action.
To be clear: If a fish goes into critical condition from other than these situations, action is usually too late.
 
Fishfriendkeeper
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
All the ailments we're talking (parasites) can wait up to 3 days, unless you notice the symptoms much too late. Ich becomes hard to control after that, while inner parasites kill over weeks and months, not days. If the fish with these problems are on the verge of critical condition a treatment would come too late anyway but would benefit the still healthy fish.
Actually... except poisonings (ammonia, nitrite, chorine, CO2), bigger parasites (anchor "worms" (not worms)) and acute oxygen depletion there are barely any conditions that require immediate action.
To be clear: If a fish goes into critical condition from other than these situations, action is usually too late.
Ok, so no meds. I would like to purchase Kordon fish protector. It says it helps meds and protects fish from disease, stress, and adds a thick slime coat. Good or bad? I could have this on hand to a: cure cuts on my fish and b: protect them from disease and stress. Thoughts?
 
MacZ
  • #39
https://www.kordon.com/kordon/products/water-conditioner/fish-protector#specifications!
Read what they say:
Fish•Protector is not a medication and is not intended to be a substitute for any chemotherapeutic agent.
I am certain they have to say that for legal reasons. Which makes sense as
Contains synthetic polymers, vitamin B12, Echinacea, edetate heavy metals detoxifier, and product stabilizers.
the words I put in bold tell me it's just a glorified water conditioner. Vitamin B12 is plenty in fish foods nowerdays and Echinacea, while used in traditional human medicine is likely only tested on fish as far as to say it doesn't hurt them. And to make the stuff smell medicin-y. Safe your money.
 
mattoid
  • #40
"Liquid CO2" is another form of offering bioavailable carbon. It does not replace the need of plants for CO2 and it is usually nothing but a type of algicide. More trouble in a bottle and just as unnecessary as injecting CO2.
CO2 injection is only unnecessary if the plants you are wanting to grow don't require it in your set up... Just like everything is unnecessary unless it is required for the set up you are wanting to achieve and maintain.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
7
Views
425
david1978
Replies
14
Views
777
DylanM
  • Locked
  • Question
Replies
5
Views
278
Nataku
Replies
17
Views
592
Mouska
Replies
21
Views
919
Sprinkle
Advertisement


Top Bottom