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My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

If you are new to the hobby.

Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Kazeem » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:41 pm

cathface wrote:I third the opinion of not getting optiwhite. not worth the extra money.

in terms of filters, since you don't want the pipes etc hanging down, get two internals, for the reason someone else (sorry I've forgotten!) said about in case one fails, you've still got another as backup. I don't know how much filtration tropical tanks (like what you need in terms of turnover) need so the others'll need to weigh in here. I do recommend Charterhouse Aquatics though (charterhouse-aquatics.co.uk), I've bought from them before and they post efficiently and often I find things are better-priced. in terms of hiding the filters and heater, getting live plants is a good plan because you can plant them in front of where they are and they'll eventually grow up and covering them. say if you put the filters facing left to right for example, you can put plants on both sides so when they grow, you'll not be able to see it from either side of the wall!

in terms of live plants, I've been told that bleaching them or using PP (potassium permanganate) is best because it not only kills snail hitchhikers, it also kills off any diseases that might be carried on them. with bleach it's at the ratio of 1 part bleach, 19 or 20 parts water (has to be pure bleach though, nothing scented or whatever). you will only need to soak them for a few minutes. however you can risk killing some plants with the bleach, not all plants are good with it, so it's probably better to use PP. with PP, you just add enough to make the water a light purple colouration, then soak the plants for about 5 hours. after whichever one you choose to do, remember to rinse your plants thoroughly with dechlorinated water!

oh and Kazeem, whereabouts do you live? this would make suggesting a good place/price for custom tanks easier. :)


Hello All,

Thanks for all your help so far, the info regards live plants will defo help once I have purchased all of the bits I need.

**to update**

I have decided to go for live plants

I am going to go with the standard glass as know one has justified spending the extra on the other type

I think LED lighting sounds good,however any more idea on where to get them from would be greatly appropriated

Where I am still a lacking understanding is with the filtration, when you say I should have two filters, is that one under gravel and one sponge (not that I really know what what means, they are just words I have heard thrown around) or is it two of them same filters or something completely different? earlier "blow fish" mentioned a ehiem filter that seams to have great reviews what type of filter is this?? **please excuse my stupidity**

Finally what about a heater? and apart from the obvious fish is there anything else that's important I have left out??

Thanks for all your help! :oops:
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby malakye » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:35 am

For lighting look at the sponsors section on the forum, the company Iquatics does a great range of lights.

For filters avoid undergravel they cause more trouble than they are worth, if you type in Ehiem internal filter or Fluval internal filter you will find examples of them. The size of filter and heater will depend on the overall size of your actual tank. Sponge filters are really only good for quarantine tanks and fry tanks, you need a bigger more powerful filter for a fish tank.
There is nothing stupid about your questions so dont think that. we all had to learn somewhere.

Substrate is something else you will have to think about, if you want cory cats for example they are better with sand. You can buy playsand from Argos at a fraction of the cost of aquarium sand and as long as you rinse it well its great in a tank. Or you may choose to go with gravel or some other form of substrate the choice is down to personal preference.
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby cathface » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:40 am

no, not undergravel at all. undergravel filters go underneath the substrate (gravel, sand, whatever). a sponge filter looks like this:
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and is not what we have suggested. I don't know if it's commonly used in the UK? quite prevalent across the pond though.

the most common filters you can get here are either a canister (which is external) or an internal. canister filters sit outside of your tank, and you use tubes and pipes to extend the intake and outtake into the tank itself. externals just free up more space in your tank, and also since there isn't really a restriction on size with them, they can hold a lot of filter media (sponges, ceramic rings, bioballs, you name it). the benefits of having this extra media is just because it means more space for more beneficial bacteria to colonise. bb's are part of the nitrogen cycle; one type eat the ammonia produced by the fish and turns it into nitrite, another kind eats the nitrite and turns it into nitrate. live plants eat the nitrate, otherwise getting rid of nitrates is just a matter of doing water changes. if you get an internal filter, it does all the same stuff, just on a smaller scale. it sits inside your tank, but can't have as much media in. it's better to have two filters just because you don't want to be in a situation where, say, it's Saturday night, your only filter fails, nothing's open on Sunday, and you'd have to go without a filter until Monday morning at the very least. it's a good idea to have a back up, even if that means it's only doing half the filtration - at least there's SOME filtration, right??

Eheim is a brand, and they make both internal and external filters. I currently own two internal ones, called Aquaballs. they both do a turnover of 550 litres per hour, so a total of 1100lph in an 160l tank. technically I'm underfiltrated because I have goldfish, but different species of fish call for different needs in filtration - I need 10x the filtration because goldfish are reeeally messy, but if you're going tropical, you won't need 10x. someone else more experienced with tropicals will need to help you with what turnover you need for your 165l! once you know that, you can look on the internet for an internal filter that does half the amount of filtration you need, and simply buy two of them. does that make sense? like, if you end up needing 1000lph, get two filters that do 500lph each or something like that.

I can't help with the heater question since I only run a small tropical tank, so I'm not sure what wattage you need for a tank that big.

I don't know if these are things you've already thought about, but if you haven't, here's a short list of things you either need or might want to have:
- water conditioner, to remove chlorines and chloramines and heavy metals from your tapwater. I recommend Seachem Prime, just because it also does the handy job of neutralising ammonia, turning it into a form that is still edible for the bacteria, but is a lot less harmful to your fish. this is especially good when, like me, your tapwater is treated with chloramines instead of just chorine, because chloramines are created by bonding ammonia and chlorine. so once a water conditioner removes the chlorine, you are still left with a trace of ammonia, which isn't healthy for your fish.
- aquatic plant fertiliser, for obvious reasons haha.
- root tabs, for your plants to absorb nutrients from the substrate. this is optional because the plant fert adds nutrients to the water column, and most plants do well just absorbing those. but you can give them a boost with the root tabs, and they're especially helpful if you forget to dose one week or another for whatever reason.
- a master water drop test kit, so one that you can test the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels with, to make sure they're optimal. make sure to get a drop test kit, because strips are notoriously unreliable and inaccurate, especially those "6 in 1" types. I use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, which has been integral to my fishkeeping, because without it, I wouldn't have known why one of my goldfish lost a few scales (it was because of a pH crash, because sometimes tapwater can come out at something like 7.6, but then once settled in tank, drop to 6.4... this sort of crash is very dangerous to fish health!)
- speaking of pH crashes, I would test the pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels from your tapwater before anything is set up, because some tap water may contain traces of ammonia and/or nitrate, and then leave a bucketful of tapwater to rest for about 24 hours, then test the pH for that. that's just in case your tapwater has the capabilities of dropping after you refill the tank.

I can't think of anything else at the moment, so I hope all that was helpful!
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Kazeem » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:25 pm

Hello,

So its about 2/3 years on and I was actually just getting used to having a hole (it was just a a good place to store random bits and bobs. Then one day i just decided lets go for it, so now I finally have a fish tank.

I still no very little, but got some good advice from the local aquarium.

150L Tank - NdAquatics £149
Filter - Fluval 4 £49
Heater - Generic - £19
Air Pump - Generic - £24.99
Artificial Plants - £30

4 x Zebra danios
2 x guppy
2 x angel fish
1 x albino rainbow shark

http://imgur.com/jRpbY2W,tebE3uc,4kPvwPK,gapBOco,g4EGKIe#0 (5 Pictures)
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Graeme » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:26 pm

That looks good in the wall.

Did you have any plans for real plants?
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby malakye » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:19 am

keep an eye on the guppys as the angels can be a bit nippy with them although they can work together. well done on setting up the tank.
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