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 A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED

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SMcM1
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PostSubject: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:16 pm

Hiya.

I have bought a tank from a pal of mine at work who was getting rid of it. It's about 2ft long and has a big table that comes with it.

It's got some sort of filter that hangs on the back, a load of gravel and a heater that comes with it. It's a bit dirty and has some green stuff stuck to the inside of the glass that will have to be cleaned off before I can add any fish.

Whats the best thing for cleaning the glass?

The gravel looks a bit ucky, how should I clean that?

My friend said I just have to fill it with water and leave it for a few days before I add fish. How long is it best to leave it?

Are there any fish that are best for a newbie - I dont want to buy something unsuitable or that will need a lot of specific care while I am learning all about this stuff.

Thanks guys, sorry for all the questions/
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:23 pm

wash the gravel well in water till the water runs clear
clean the inside of the tank with clean water no cleaning stuff.
you will need some new filter sponge
a heater
and set it all in place where you want it
then you will need to do a fishless cycle
check for the thread on here

someone will be along soon to give you more advice
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:26 pm

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Diana
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:37 pm

SMcM1 wrote:
Hiya.

I have bought a tank from a pal of mine at work who was getting rid of it. It's about 2ft long and has a big table that comes with it.

It's got some sort of filter that hangs on the back, a load of gravel and a heater that comes with it. It's a bit dirty and has some green stuff stuck to the inside of the glass that will have to be cleaned off before I can add any fish.

Whats the best thing for cleaning the glass?

The gravel looks a bit ucky, how should I clean that?

My friend said I just have to fill it with water and leave it for a few days before I add fish. How long is it best to leave it?

Are there any fish that are best for a newbie - I dont want to buy something unsuitable or that will need a lot of specific care while I am learning all about this stuff.

Thanks guys, sorry for all the questions/

Never apologise for asking questions Steve Smile

As chez says, washing the gravel in water will be fine if it needs it.

As for the green stuff (algae) you might just be able to wash it off with a cloth, or if it is the sort of algae that forms in little lumps you could use something like the edge of a credit card (an old one!Smile)

I used a bit of bleach in water to clean my old tank when I got it and then gave it a really good rinse out under a running hose to make sure there want any residue of that left as it will be poisonous to fish.

DONT just add water and then fish. As Chez says, have a look for the info on the fishless cycle and then ask any questions you may have on it. It's the best way to get things ready for the fish you are going to get.

Have fun! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:33 am

depends on how long the tank has been stood empty as you dont mention if it hasd fish or not with it so the filter could be cycled


dont worry about asking questions tho thats what we are here for
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:07 am

well theres no fish in it karl
so I Guess its empty and needs cleaning
so the filter/sponge with no water will be no good
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:00 am

hi steve

just follow all the above advice and you wont go wrong mate.


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SMcM1
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:15 am

Yep, it is empty. He hasnt used it for about 12 months or so I think. It does look a bit of a mess at the moment to be honest and the table has seen better days - I might get a new one for it.

I guess I have a bit of reading to do over the nest few days!

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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:05 am

1) put all the gravel in a bucket

2) wash it with water (no soap, that might eventually get to the fish and kill them in the future) and keep washing it till it's clean

3) use a wet cloth and wipe the tank inside and outside till it's really clean (again no soap, unless absolutely necessary, in which case you should use a really small amount)

4) clean the filter in a similar manner. what kind is it? (how many litres per hour does it pump, which make, etc)

5) read that fishless cycle article posted above and everything else you possibly can about fishkeeping. It would be nice if you read stuff online for a week or so before starting with the hobby!

6) depending on your weather conditions, you might need a heater for the tank. most hardy fish will be fairly happy at around 25 degrees celsius, although they all have their preferred temperature range. I live in a warm country so I don't need a heater, but nearly everyone else on this forum is from the UK and they all have heaters to prevent their fish from freezing in the cold Smile

7) decide on which fish you want. 2 feet sounds decent enough for guppies, mollies, swordtails, platys, sparkling gourami, a neon tetra group, cherry barbs, and other small fish (not all of those ofcourse Razz choose wisely, you shouldn't ever overstock the tank... http://www.aqadvisor.com/ will help you a bit on that matter Smile Smile )

What is your tank's volume? that bit of detail would be really helpful...

oh and one more thing. I've been in this hobby for just two years as of now, and even though i've learnt a lot, I'm not the expert. So don't take all my advice too strictly... I might be wrong in places... check with the others!

happy to help Smile Smile keep TFF updated Smile
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:08 am

best way i have found to clean a tank out is vinegar and a decorators scraper foe the hard/slimy stuff

make sure you rinse the vinegar out of the tank before filling with treated water

the fishless cycle has things for and against it, but it is the better way if you wish to stock the tank straight away with chosen fish

best thing is a thermometer just to make sure you know the temp does not fluctuate too much

fish wise their are some easy to keep fish but most fish are really easy to keep as long as you give them water quality that is stable dont need to be perfect but stable to many fluctuations make things go wrong

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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:40 am

get marine Smile
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SMcM1
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:19 am

Marine? Do you mean little Nemo type things? No way!!!!

Have had an interesting day cleaning the tank today. Ended up just using warm water and elbow grease, boy it took ages.

Looks better now tho.

What size table do you think is best for a tank this size. The one that came with it was more or less the same size as the tank but I was thinking I might get one a bit bigger. Does it have to be a certain thickness to hold the weight?

Got some questions about what to put in the tank to make it look nice but I'll save them for later Smile

kausthubh (hope Ive spelt that right) thanks for all the information, it's a great help.
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Rich
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:23 am

Your best keeping to the cabinet (what you call table) that came with the tank since it was made and designed for the tank - you certainly dont want half a tonne of fish tank on a coffee table Very Happy

The filter that came with the tank is called a HOB filter which just means Hang On Back - these are ok - but not ideal on their own - however - dont throw it out - spend a bit of money on an external canister filter or a decent internal fitler - there are many to choose from and you can ask hundreds of folks which is best and get hundreds of different replies.

My personal preference for internals is the eheim aquaball (with one or two extra media baskets added) as for externals - they are good but require more management and maintenance such as seals etc to be watched.

Before rushing out n buying fish - do research - and the first thing to do is to get yourself a good test kit and find out what the water is like in your area and buy fish that suit the water - its easier than trying to make the water suit the fish - but a simple thing is this - if your kettle furs up - you have hard water - if it furs up real fast you have really hard water if it never furs up you have soft water Very Happy

HARD water also means more filter maintenance and I know a breeder who had hard water and only uses internal filters because the hard water makes a mess of seals etc in external filters very fast (he had a major flood as a result).

Things to put in tank - well - think what would be in a natural water system - so appropriate rocks, gravel/sand, plants (real or fake - Id stick to fakes to start out with tbh) and wood in the form of bogwood.

Remember everything you put in a tank displaces a certain amount of water and too much will turn a 60liter tank into a 40liter tank very quickly ( a problem with biorbs with too much of their ceramic media in the bottom).

Another tip is to look through the photography section of this site and find our tanks - youll find inspiration there as well as tips and an idea of what to expect.

Any questions - feel free to ask - we were all beginners once Wink

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SMcM1
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:54 am

Hi Rich, sorry have just noticed your reply.

The tank didnt come with a cabinet, it is just with a table, quite solid but the tank just fits sort of snug on it. I was thinking it might be a bit more secure with a bigger table.

Do you think it would be a better idea to look for a cabinet type of thing?

Filled the tank with water today, just in the garage and I am not sure if there is a bit of a leak at the bottom of it.

I;m going to leave it till tomorrow and see if it's just something I spilt or more serious.
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:50 pm

You would have to make sure that any table you did get is sturdy. The tank when full of water will weigh a ton.

If you do have a leak, get some aquarium safe sealant to repair it. I had a leak on mine and still have it years after so it does do a good job.

It does depend where your leak is though so have a good inspect of it before putting fish in it.##Good Luck! Smile

_________________
TROPICAL TANK-Elite Tank - 207litres
6 Harlequin Rasboras, 5 Emerald Eye Rasboras, 10 Cherry Barbs, 2 Bristlenose Plecs, 2 Panda Corys. 4 Dwarf Chain Loaches.

ViaAqua Tank AR620 97litres
1 red male betta, 1 BN
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:59 pm

weight wise it is about 1kg per litre so if the tank is 70 litres then the tank will weigh close to 80kg when filled so i you weigh 100kg then sitting/standing on the stand should show you if it will hold
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Rich
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:24 pm

IF the leak - assuming their is one - is from the bottom of the tank - tbh - id get a new tank

Aquaseal do good basic cheap ones - as for the cabinet - or stand - you may have a basic but purpose designed stand for the tank - any stand - be it cabinet or metal frame type will seem 'snug' and this is cos the weight has to be distributed properly - if you put a tank on something where the legs are a way further out from the edge of the tank - the table bows and the midldle of the tank is not supported - the tank could the burst.

What i will suggest thus is wait to see if the tank is a leaker before getting new table etc - but some folks make their pown stands (for larger tanbks) using bricks and kitchen worktops. It is advisable to have a layer of polystyrene under a tank on a solid surface to iron out any tiny lumps n bumps which again would crack a full tank.

IF you need a new tank - you can get some real bargains on complete tanks with cabinets at the moment - its a buyers market right now Wink

Before jumping the gun - wait to see if your current tank is leaking or not.
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SMcM1
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:45 am

Thanks guys. I think the leak is at the bottom of the tank where the glass meets the tank surround. It;s not much of a one though, justy an odd drip.

I take your point though that it could get worse.

Would you say it was not worth trying to seal it then? Not worth taking the risk?
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:44 pm

hi smcm1
I wouldn't take the risk myself
what with the weight of the water stood in it 24/7
it will get worse.
you can't just run some new sealer over where the leak is
you are suppose to take the old sealer off clean, and do the lot again fresh.

or use it as a emergency/quarantine tank
or sell it to someone to have for snakes/spiders?
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:19 am

It's a good excse to go and get yourself a brand spanking new 6foot tank - go on you know you want to Smile
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:52 am

and get marines Very Happy
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SMcM1
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:37 am

Right, well after leaving the tank full of water for a couple of days, it definately has a leak from the bottom front seal.

I have listened to all your advice on it, and for a change I have decided to pay attention to those that know better than me Smile

So, next week, off I go round the various pet shops to see what they have.

Realistically, what sized tank should I be looking at? I just want a medium sized one I think but I want one that I can have a decent variety of fish in.
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:01 am

2 to 3 foot is fine mate - just be realistic about numbers and species of fish you want to keep

Bigger tanks hold more water (no bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep sherlock) which means more room for error ie if something isnt right it takes longer to do real harm and gives you more time to fix it. Down side is bigger tanks need more money to maintain.

All of us have suffered from more tank syndrome and bigger tank syndrome or both - fish keeping is addictive be warned.

Basically - get the biggest tank you can afford and keep in your house - beware that tanks shouldnt be kept nr drafts, doors, radiators or windows and are a potential hazard to kids (well the opposite really)

Pet shops are great for window shopping for tanks - BUT trust me - for anything under a 3 foot tank - the web is ideal fro bargains and even with delivery work out MUCH cheaper than most stores will charge (with perhaps the exception of chain stores such as pets at home)

A start kit is essentially the tank with a suitable stand (be it a frame stand or nicer cabinet), a suitable sized heater (if your keeping tropicals), a filter of a suitable size (BUT i always recommend getting a filter the next size up from the one recommended - internals are fine tbh) - UNDERGRAVEL FILTERS WORK but also need constant work so dont bother with an undergravel until your very competent - Air pumps are often deemed optional - I actually consider them a necessity - just my opinion but the biggest limiting factor in terms of how many fish you can have is the oxygenation of the water - also keep in mind some species require more oxygen content of the water than others (otos fall into this as do many catfish).

Gravel is also part of this list but cos of the weigt - buy it locally as it puts the cost of delivery right up. You will also want a water testing kit (api master kits are best value) but if you must gets individual tests - the minimum is Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH - you may want a water hardness kit too - some fish shops will test these for you for a small cost (or free if they are nice) - you will want to get a thermometer just to keep an eye on the water temp (not one of those stick on glass tape ones tho) and a bottle of water conditioner (dechlorinator) which makes tap water fish friendly (more to the point - bacteria friendly, you dont keep fish, they are the bonus, you keep bacteria Wink )

others will add if i forgot anything - hope this helps but please do explore the site for more info
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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:41 pm

good advice there rich spot on
the bigger the tank you can get the better
I liked my 4ft jewel tank I got for elvis when he was still growing
but I would get a aqua1 external filter
(I think you told me to get the external filter many moons ago Rich)
its all I would have now less mess and cleaning.
Elvis is in there if you can see him on the right
he was about 4 inch there.lol
people who visited used to say are you only having him in that tank.
till I Told them he will grow to 15 inch.lol
the shock on there face was pale


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PostSubject: Re: A BIT OF ADVICE NEEDED   Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:38 pm

Thats a nice looking tank chez and thanks for the info - you too Rich.

I have been looking online and saw this - the price isnt too bad I dont think but I dont think it has a cabinet with it so would have to sort that out.

Any comments, good or bad, about it?

http://www.petco.com/product/110209/SeaClear-Rectangular-50-Gallon-Aquarium-Combos.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductList_Fish_3-_-SeaClear%20Rectangular%2050%20Gallon%20Aquarium%20Combos-110209
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