Good starter fish tanks?

(10 Posts)
pleasesleepallnight Sun 11-Aug-13 13:09:32

Looking to get some fish for the family as due to allergies we are unable to have any other pets!

Have been looking online and at a few old posts on here and am getting seriously confusedconfusedgrin

Could anyone recommend a good fish tank?

EauRouge Sun 11-Aug-13 13:41:32

The first thing to consider is that size matters grin There are loads of tiny tanks aimed at beginners that are rubbish- loads of people end up giving up keeping fish because they are told that a small tank will be easier to maintain. But in a small tank, the water quality can change very quickly which doesn't leave much space for little mistakes.

If you want a little shoal of small fish, don't go any smaller than about 60 litres, which is 60x30x30cm

Absolutely avoid Biorbs, Fluval Edge or anything that looks flashy and expensive.

There are plug and play type tanks with built-in filters (Juwel ones are popular)- these are fine if you just want a few small fish, but anything big and messy like goldfish will need a bigger filter.

A lot depends on what sort of fish you were thinking of keeping and how much space/money you have available. The more space you have, the more options you will have when choosing fish. Did you have any fish in mind?

pleasesleepallnight Sun 11-Aug-13 14:17:01

Nothing in mind at the moment, do you have any recommendations?

EauRouge Sun 11-Aug-13 14:38:01

There are lots of good species for beginners, too many to list really! Tank size and water parameters will narrow down your choice a bit. Is your tap water hard or soft?

LongTailedTit Sun 11-Aug-13 14:59:43

Please may I gatecrash your thread pleasesleep? We want to get a small tank for DS, he's a fishy obsessed 2yo!
Problem is tho, it needs to be as small as possible, will have to go on a bookshelf or windowsill as we have no room for a big tank on a stand.

We were planning to get 5/6 mini tetras or similar, and rather fancied a single Siamese fighting fish as they're so beautiful.
Having read up on tank sizes it's starting to look unaffordable in both money and space needed!

Eau - please Jan you tell me why Biorbs are to be avoided? I sometimes see them come up for sale locally and was going to get the next cheap one I saw!

pleasesleepallnight Sun 11-Aug-13 15:18:01

Go ahead Long! smile

Soft water here, was hoping to get a smallish tank. Sorry I'm not being very helpful here am I, just have no idea sorry! grin

EauRouge Sun 11-Aug-13 15:20:13

Sure smile For the price, you don't get much. Many of them are too small for fish anyway (anything smaller than 45 litres is no good for anything but a bunch of flowers), the filters aren't much cop, they are difficult to clean because of the shape and the surface area to volume ratio is rubbish (high ratio is important for gas exchange so the water has enough oxygen in it). If any of that doesn't make sense, I'll be happy to go into more detail. They are probably up for sale because the people who bought them realised how crap they are.

If you need a small tank, don't go any smaller than 45 litres. If the bookshelf is strong then it should be OK, but you'll be limited to just one betta, no tetras. Windowsills are a big no-no for fish tanks, they get too much sun and can overheat on hot days, plus the algae goes mental.

Because the packaging on fish tank boxes and the way fish shops are stocked give a false impression of how many fish you can keep in a tank long-term, most people tend to put too many fish in a tank which can cause all kinds of problems.

It can be cheap as chips to set up a 45 litre tank- I set one up recently and it only cost me about £20. Try freecycle for a tank, you can often get a whole set up and if you do need to buy a new filter then a sponge filter would be fine for a 45 litre with just a betta in there.

EauRouge Sun 11-Aug-13 15:24:45

x posts. Soft water! That's the holy grail of fishkeeping, most of the colourful tropical fish are best off in soft water. If you were to have a 60 litre tank you could have something like neon tetras or a shoal of panda corys and a pair of dwarf gouramis. There are loads to choose from.

If you went larger, for a 90 litre tank say, then there are even more you could choose.

pleasesleepallnight Sun 11-Aug-13 19:47:42

Great, thanks for all the advice! I've got somewhere to start at least now! grinthanks

Marne Mon 12-Aug-13 13:42:19

If you want a small (ish) tank then you will be limited to what fish are suitable, if you want a small tank then I would get a Siamese fighting fish (they are fun to watch, pretty and quite easy to look after), if you want guppies or tetra's I would go for a 60ltr tank.

My daughter got fed up with watching the fish after a month or so and now wants crabs or blue lobsters (not a chance) smile, be prepared for the kids to lose interest.

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