where do i start

  1. freshstart Initiate Member

    I am wanting to start a freshwater aquarium, but have no idea where to start. I would like to start out wiht a 29 gallon tank. I would like to have live plants and mainly tetras. Neon, cardinals, and penguin. But I would also like to have some silver dollars. Should I get a fish that helps clean the tank and if what kind. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Sincerly Freshstart
     
  2. Miss Mouse Well Known Member Member

    Hi there! Well first of all you need to set up the tank and get it cycled so read this bit:
    https://www.fishlore.com/Beginners.htm and then you can read the bit about "Good First Tropical Fish" https://www.fishlore.com/GoodFirstFish.htm and then when its all cycled, get a few fish in there! I think tetras are quite hard to start with so maybe get a hardy fish to clean the bottom like cory's https://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-Corydoras.htm and then gradually add the tetras when you're sure the water is ok.

    Good luck!
     

  3. freshstart Initiate Member

    Thanks for the info.
    I am still in the research stage. But will more the likley set the tank up with just plants for about 1-2 weeks then will gradually put a small number of fish in at one time. That seems to be the norm I guess not to sure if I can cycle the tank with plants but I'll try.
     

  4. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    You can cycle a tank with plants! My very first tank was cycled with fish and a good selection of plants. Research about cycling, and decide if you want to cycle with or without fish. If you do a fishless cycle, once the tank is cycled, you do a massive water change, and you can add a full load of fish at that time. You don't have to wait a few weeks to add a few fish at a time. I think cory cats and a bristlenose pleco would be great additions to your tank, although the silver dollars won't be a good choice with your preferences. I think they get too big for your size tank, and should be in a school. They are also plant eaters, and from what I've read of others' experiences, they pretty much ravenously mow everything down except for java moss.

    http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/profiles/silverdollar.xml

    http://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile23.html
     

  5. Craig Well Known Member Member

    bristlenose plecos r class!!! lol i advise u 2 get 1 in ur new setup as well
     
  6. fletch Member Member

    as well as corys (who will clean the bottom) you need a catfish like a plecoctomus or a sucking catfish. These are larger and will clean a completely covered tank in a night. they get rid of all your algae and need very little maintanance. you only need one of these. you need to keep around 3 or more corys because they like to shoal and are very sociable with their own species.
     
  7. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    About the tetras, cardinals are pretty sensitive and could be hard to keep. Some good, hardy ones are: Black Widow, Lemon/Yellow, Neon, Bleeding Heart, Glolite/Glowlight, Head and Tail Light, Flame, and Buenos Aires. Whichever ones you choose, make sure you get at least six so they feel confident and secure. I don't recommend getting silver dollars, but some other fish that could go with tetras are: danios, non-aggressive barbs (not tiger barbs!), guppies, platies, swordtails (these get quite large!), cory cats, bristlenose pleco (also quite large!), rasboras, gouramis, dwarf otocinclus (catfish but much smaller than bristlenose), and possibly female bettas. Be sure to research fish before deciding to get them. Hope this helps! By the way, I highly recommend cycling without fish, and most of the tetras should be some of the last fish you add because they can be sensitive to water quality. Some very hardy fish you could get as your first fish after the tank's cycled are: Zebra Danios, Harlequin Rasboras, Black Widow Tetras, Lemon/Yellow Tetras, Fire-banded Barbs, or Cherry Barbs. All of these fish are compatible with the above-mentioned tetras. Remember to add fish gradually, and don't over crowd. In a 29 gallon, you could probably have around 40 inches of fish.
     
  8. freshstart Initiate Member

    I have decided against the silver dollar because of the live plants. instead I am going with zebra danios, peppered corys, bristle-nose and some glowlight tetras. That should be a good combo Im guessing. I am not planning to add fish for a few weeks after I start the cycle. cause of lack of funds. but I am looking foreward to starting this new hobby. Thanks for all your imputs and info.
    J.B.
     
  9. FishFan Member Member

    I have had Neons as well as Glo-Lights. The Glo-lights I have are doing just great (and I only have 2) and the Neons I had-I had like 10 (I have 1 left) don't seem to fare as well in my tank :( But, my Glo-Lights have grown SO much since I got them! Enjoy :)
     
  10. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    J.B.,
    Why not do a fishless cycle since your cash flow is low anyway, and then you don't subject your fish to the high ammonia and nitrite levels they would have to endure in a cycle with fish? ;)
     

  11. freshstart Initiate Member

    I will be doing a fishless cycle. I dont plan on getting any fish until later in Sep, I will not be getting my tank until mid Aug. After I move to a new place. Because from what I've read and researched that is very harmful the fish and the tank itself. Like I said I'm still in the research stage of this hobby. Again thaks for the great info.
    J.B.
     
  12. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    freshstart, good fish choices. Get at least 6 zebras, 6 glolites (wow, it's spelled a lot of ways! ;)) and 3 cories to see them at their best since the 1st two are shoaling species and cories like company. Only 1 bristlenose though. Keep up the research! My tank is up and running and cycling, but I still learn new things every day! Fish are so fascinating, aren't they??
     
  13. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Freshstart,
    Where are you from? I second the bristlenose pleco! But if you add one of these when you first add fish to the tank, you will have to make sure and feed him algae wafers because you probably won't have any algae in your tank for him to eat. You should supplement with the algae wafers anyway to give him some variety. Your other fish will love them also! This is a very exciting part of setting up a tank for you! Check out all the fish before you make a decision, and don't forget to find out how long they live. Many folks buy fish like oscars and they can live 10 years! That's a pretty long committment! Rainbowfish are also very beautiful fish, and if you had at least a 29 gallon tank, you'd have a lot to choose from. I especially love the praecox and boesmani varieties. Another thing I enjoy doing is going on Aquabid and just looking at all the fish offered for sale and how much they are asking for them. If you're lucky, you will find a local breeder or hobbyist selling something really cool at a good price, and you won't have any shipping!
     
  14. freshstart Initiate Member

    I'm stationed @ Ft. Lewis WA.
    I will add the Bristle-nose after a few weeks once the tank has fully cycled. I'll probably put the pleco in after the Corys. My plan is to start the cycle with a bacteria starter kit and with just a few plants. Then I'll add the danios 5-6 of them, then I'll add 3 Corys, and 1 bristle-nose, and finally the Glow-lights 5-6. But I'm not really in a hurry, so it may take me a few months to get all the fish. I'll send in some pics once I have it just right.
    J.B.