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    Help with fish tank

    I want to keep tropical fish.

    I dont know anything lol.

    Just been given a tank, air stone (And pump) and a heater.

    What filter do I need and what else do I need to get started?
    The truth is always the truth even if you haven't realised it yet...

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    I find an internal filter the easiest to use and keep clean. They come in several sizes according to turnover so you need to buy one suitable for the tank you wish to keep. I never found airstones to be of much use although they can make some pretty effects if you bury them under some rocks.

    Generally Eheim and Fluval are very good makes, both come apart easily so that you can pull them straight out and clean them. The Fluval (which I use) comes apart into a couple of pieces, the head comes off and you can clean the crap off the propellor in tank water with a toothbrush so that it doesn't get clogged up. The main cylinder contains a couple of long pieces of filter media which can be rinsed out in tank water. Don't use tap water to rinse these as it can kill off all the bacteria that your little eco-system has in it to keep it healthy. I tend to clean mine every time I do a water change.

    Maidenhead Aquatics tend to do some good deals on filters so keep your eye on your local branch.

    Otherwise.....if you want to keep live plants and to get the best colours from your fish you want a light unit for the top of the tank, some gravel or sand and some decorations (whether that be rocks or plastic divers). I prefer the natural look personally.

    You also want some Tap/Water Safe Chemical to add to your tap water when you set the tank up to take out any nasties. I also use this when doing a water change.

    You also need to think about a location for your tank, obviously water is heavy so somewhere that can hold the weight and away from a window or radiator. Get it placed, get the bottom layer in and your decorations, in with the water and then get your heater and filter on. It needs to allowed to cycle and ammonia/nitrates/nitrites will spike during the cycle and then it will settle down so you probably want to get yourself some testing kits. These are about £5 each usually.

    How big is the tank?
    MINXY BUTLER-HENDERSON

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    water, fish. lol

    well you need a thermometer, filter wise depends on size of tank and if you want an internal or external pump. how big is the tank?

    when i had my marine tank, i always used maidenhead aquatics, good range of stuff and the staff are quite knoweldgeable. im sure there is one near you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bertone ben View Post
    when i had my marine tank, i always used maidenhead aquatics, good range of stuff and the staff are quite knoweldgeable. im sure there is one near you.
    Your Maidenhead must have been better than ours. One of the staff members tried to flog me a £60 Anenome when the tank had only been running a short while. It never would have survived in our beginners tank but anything for a sale hey! I tend to stick to the specialists now for marines.

    They are very good for tropicals though.
    MINXY BUTLER-HENDERSON

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    I think I remember seeing Maidenhead Aquatics sign on my way to work.

    The tank is 600mm wide, 400mm tall and 300mm back. It also has a light tube in the lid that is the fishtank blue/white colour.

    The tank will be well away from the window and radiator.
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    Lee, have a look at this site for some more advice.

    http://www.tropicalfishforums.co.uk/

    Also have a think about what kind of fish you wish to keep as some require more brackish water such as Puffers.
    MINXY BUTLER-HENDERSON

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    Probably just going to go for things like 'sharks', tetra's etc.

    Not really sure

    We want pretty ones
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minxy View Post
    Lee, have a look at this site for some more advice.

    http://www.tropicalfishforums.co.uk/
    All looks so confusing and hard to keep lol.

    What weight would the water be? I think I worked it out to be 72Kg's?
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    It works out to around 1kg per litre.

    Most trops are quite easy to keep. Some will even adapt to mild changes in water quality and temperature so don't stress.
    MINXY BUTLER-HENDERSON

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    With trops, the larger the tank, the easier it is, as if you get an ammonia spike, it';ll be more diluted, and a water change should sort it.

    For keeping community fish, get a decent fluval filter and a proper thermometer (not a digital one). Water should be between 27-29degrees. If you want a shark, get a red-finned shark as they'll only grow to the size of the tank. Silver sharks and plecs, for instance, will keep growing up to about 30cm.

    Get a couple of clown loaches to eat the algae aswell.

    as for setting the tank up, get yourself some Tetra Substrate, and place that down, then wash your gravel throughly an put it ontop. Half fill the tank with cold water from the kitchen tap (nothing from the immersion tank!), plant your plants and place your ornaments (if you're having a shark and loaches you'll need something for them to hide under as they like dark), then fill the tank up, add your water treatment, and turn the filter, light and heater on. Turn the light off at night, and on again in the morning. Leave the tank for at least 2 weeks before putting fish in it. Test the water regularly. First;y the ammonia will spike, then the NO2 will spike, and the the NO3 will spike. Once this has gone down, you're ready to add fish. Don't place the tank near radiators or adjacent to windows that the light shines through.

    When you add fish, leave them in the bag, and float the bag on the top of the water for about 15 minutes to warm the water in the bag back up gradually, then add a glass full of water and leave for another 20 minutes, then release the fish into the tank.

    If the colour in the tail fin fades, the water is too cold. A red finned shark is handy to have for this reason as they like the tank to be at the right temp.

    Hope this helps Lee, sorry for the long post.
    Gaz

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