Turn Off Ads?
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Aquariums for Beginners?

  1. #1
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Land of the Lost
    Posts
    7,254

    Aquariums for Beginners?

    Anyone know of any good websites with info on aquariums for beginners. My mom got my boys a 5 gallon aquarium for Christmas. I had a fish tank once when I was a kid, but the fish never lasted long. Any info on what type of fish would work in a tank like that and how to keep things as low maintenance as possible would help.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    7,552

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    I've been a fishkeeper for years.

    Five gallons isn't much to work with, but they're also super easy to take care of.

    I'm assuming it's got an external filter and all of that. Just make sure you keep it clean by rinsing it when you change the water, removing clogs and other nastiness.

    Get a nice natural substerate (gravel, and crushed coral are my faves) for the floor, and I recommend going to the aquarium store and finding some good real plants to help balance things out in there. Anything that you would see in nature is better than anything made of glass or plastic for fish.

    As for the fish, stick with nice, friendly little fresh water buggers. You don't want your little one to wake up to a blood bath because of an overly aggressive fish. Tetras are colorful, active and pretty dowright hardy. I also like Dwarf Ciclids because they're intelligent and play nice with others. I would stay away from all other members of the Ciclid family, though because while they may be fairly low maintenance and colorful, they are stone cold killers without the ability to reason.

    I would also recommend finding a smaller algea eating fish. Otocinclus would probably be your best bet, or maybe a chinese algea eater but they tend to be aggresive. Stay away from most plecostomus breeds because they grow to fast for a tank of that size.

    As for the water, you can easily find a water treament solution, and most importantly, wait a few days to stock the tank once it's full. That will allow natural stuff to start happening so your fish aren't choked out by the noxious chemicals in local drinking water.

    One more thing. Stay away from the cool looking fish often refferred to as "sharks". They're catfish, and they need a brackish (a little saltier than fresh water) environment or they will die within a few days.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

  4. #3
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Land of the Lost
    Posts
    7,254

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    Quote Originally Posted by wheels View Post
    I've been a fishkeeper for years.

    Five gallons isn't much to work with, but they're also super easy to take care of.

    I'm assuming it's got an external filter and all of that. Just make sure you keep it clean by rinsing it when you change the water, removing clogs and other nastiness.

    Get a nice natural substerate (gravel, and crushed coral are my faves) for the floor, and I recommend going to the aquarium store and finding some good real plants to help balance things out in there. Anything that you would see in nature is better than anything made of glass or plastic for fish.

    As for the fish, stick with nice, friendly little fresh water buggers. You don't want your little one to wake up to a blood bath because of an overly aggressive fish. Tetras are colorful, active and pretty dowright hardy. I also like Dwarf Ciclids because they're intelligent and play nice with others. I would stay away from all other members of the Ciclid family, though because while they may be fairly low maintenance and colorful, they are stone cold killers without the ability to reason.

    I would also recommend finding a smaller algea eating fish. Otocinclus would probably be your best bet, or maybe a chinese algea eater but they tend to be aggresive. Stay away from most plecostomus breeds because they grow to fast for a tank of that size.

    As for the water, you can easily find a water treament solution, and most importantly, wait a few days to stock the tank once it's full. That will allow natural stuff to start happening so your fish aren't choked out by the noxious chemicals in local drinking water.

    One more thing. Stay away from the cool looking fish often refferred to as "sharks". They're catfish, and they need a brackish (a little saltier than fresh water) environment or they will die within a few days.
    Thanks for the tips. I put the water in the aquarium and let it run for a few days before we added the fish. We got two platys with "Mickey Mouse" markings, three cardinals and a bottom feeding fish that is white with pink eyes that is supposed to stay small and do fine with other fish. We also got a baby guppy in our bag, which they said we could keep as a free bonus. I put the bag in the water for about 1/2 hour before setting them free. They seem to be doing good for now.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  5. #4
    Member Spitball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,620

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    I've had fish tanks off and (mostly) on since 1967. About three years ago, I got tired of caring for it and decided to go completely with 28 cent goldfish. Now, I don't have to worry about not changing water or temperature. The goldfish are hardy and I can still enjoy the activity of the fish, landscape, and bubbles in my 29 gallon tank.

    I was down to two goldfish but added three more Tuesday.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

  6. #5
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Land of the Lost
    Posts
    7,254

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    Well, we had our first casualty this morning. Yesterday I noticed one of the platies, which my son named "Mark," wasn't doing to well. It wasn't eating, had gotten noticeably thinner and it's mouth had turned white. This morning it was stuck on the filter intake, dead. So far, the other fish seem okay, but I'm nervous about the other platy "Mike" because, from what I've seen online, this could be some kind of disease. He looks normal, but seem less active than before. Do you think that would be because he lost his buddy? He still eats well, but seems to prefer hanging out down at the bottom near the pirate ship and the stone octopus whereas before he was always swimming near the top.

    On the the other end of the spectrum, the baby fish, named "Smallfry," is eating well and growing. In fact, the loss of a fish seems to have emboldened it. It initially stayed on one side of the tank, never straying far from the surface or the plants it liked to use as cover. Now it ventures all over the tank.

    Also of interest, one of the cardinal neons, "Rosie Red," has gotten noticeably bigger than the other two. It also appears to be aggressive toward the other two cardinals, "Mr. Red" and "Rainbow Red." Yes, my six year old son named them. This is a distinct change from when they would all school together. Would this indicate that Rosie Red might be pregnant?
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  7. #6
    The wino and I know bucksfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    NW OHIO
    Posts
    3,039

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    I had 2 or 3 aquariums up and running for most of the 90's. Now that my daughter is 7, I'd love to start back up again and this thread really got me thinking about it.

    I had always heard that it was actually easier to maintain a healthy aquarium the larger it was. The logic seemed to make sense to me anyways, but certainly there is less work to maintain the smaller tanks.

    I had a 20 gal and 40 gal and sometimes a 10 gal and/or a terrarium. It was great fun and pretty cool to learn about the different fish. I still several reference books that I purchased at the hight of my interest. One of my favorite fish were the orange and black striped clown loaches. For interest, as well as equitable fodd consumption plan, have some fish that tend to stay on the top, middle and bottom respectively. I have not looked at prices recently, but in general, freshwater "mistakes" are not too costly compared to those of the saltwater variety.
    "I'm virtually free to do whatever I want, but I try to remember so is everybody else..." - Todd Snider

  8. #7
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Land of the Lost
    Posts
    7,254

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    Hello again aquarium experts. Thanks for your advice so far. The fish seem to be doing well and the baby is getting bigger every day. The latest issue: brown algae. Has anyone dealt with this one? I started noticing it last week. Brown spots appearing on the decorations and fake plants. I did a 30% water change and took out all the decorations and scrubbed them and then put everything back and filled the tank back up with fresh water. This week, the stuff came back with a vengeance. I can see it on the decorations, the fake plants, the gravel and the glass. I've even found it on the filter. What's the best plan of attack on limiting the growth of this stuff?
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  9. #8
    Member jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Troy, OH
    Posts
    2,633

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    Hello again aquarium experts. Thanks for your advice so far. The fish seem to be doing well and the baby is getting bigger every day. The latest issue: brown algae. Has anyone dealt with this one? I started noticing it last week. Brown spots appearing on the decorations and fake plants. I did a 30% water change and took out all the decorations and scrubbed them and then put everything back and filled the tank back up with fresh water. This week, the stuff came back with a vengeance. I can see it on the decorations, the fake plants, the gravel and the glass. I've even found it on the filter. What's the best plan of attack on limiting the growth of this stuff?
    Sounds like you are starting to get this hobby down.

    Algae is always hard to combat, especially when using tap water.

    The smaller the tank, the more frequent your water changes should be. Try doing smaller, more frequent changes.

    How long do you leave your light on? Algae needs light, so try keeping it on for only 8-10 hours a day. I always used to have a timer for this.

    Make sure you are not overfeeding your fish. Only feed them what they end up eating. Any excess left in the tank can lead to algae growth.

    Do you have good water flow? The more movement the better. You don't want everything in your tank moving around though, just use your best judgement. If you are only getting a trickle, you need more.

    Overstocking your tank can lead to excessive algae. This can be a common problem when the fish start getting bigger.

    Try getting an algae eater or two. There are certain small fish that eat algae, and also some snails and shrimp. Ask your pet shop for advice here.

    Good luck, hope this helped.

  10. #9
    The wino and I know bucksfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    NW OHIO
    Posts
    3,039

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    I'm not sure if I am remembering correctly, but isn't there something also you can treat the tank with to control/limit algae growth? BUt the algae eaters and the limit on light are goodsuggestions. I had mine on a timer.
    "I'm virtually free to do whatever I want, but I try to remember so is everybody else..." - Todd Snider

  11. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,187

    Re: Aquariums for Beginners?

    There are things like Algaefix and others. I've used them, but the best treatment is a good old fashion cleaning. Like others have said. Limiting light also helps. If your tank gets any direct sunlight from a window or door, that also causes algae to take off.

    I use Algaefix in my aquarium after I do a water change. I have Oscars and they have dirty eating habbits. I recently bought this HOT Magnum aquarium cleaning system. It is a hang on canister filter with biowheel. Very easy to assemble, take apart and convert into a gravel vacuum system. I can vacume out the gravel, clean out the filter, put it back together and get it running again in about 20 minutes. You can use it for everyday heavy filtration or use it for water polishing. Obviously, this only makes sense for larger aquariums, but for around 80 bucks, I'm very happy with it. Thought it might help some people out.

    Also, remember that even though algae eaters do help, the overall impact of them is not that large when you have algae problems. They are not a solution. I've found snails to be very good cleaners, but they can also reproduce rapidly.


Turn Off Ads?

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25