Esau, I got the fish tank, now what to put in it and how to switch tanks?

(14 Posts)
Marne Sun 18-Aug-13 11:41:20

I have bought the tank I wanted on gum tree ( pick it up on Tuesday ), its almost 4 ft,has external filter and RO unit so no more ph problems.

At the moment I have 5 bn pleco's ( only 2 are adults, others are still small ) and around 25 guppies which are mainly fry, plan is to sell the guppies when they are big enough, so I will move them to the new tank and sell them in a few weeks, I won't be adding new fish until the tank is settled and the guppies have gone to their new homes but am planning what to get.

Can I keep dwarf gourami with my pleco's? If so how many do I get ? ( do they need to be kept in small or large groups ), is there anything else I can keep with them? Are they a community fish?

How do I go about setting the tank up?, I was going to set it up alongside my other tank, wait for the sand to settle and then switch the media over in the filters and move the fish over? Or will this not work?

EauRouge Sun 18-Aug-13 13:15:02

Excellent bargain hunting skills grin

First of all I would just set it up and run it for 24-48 hrs so you can make sure it all works.

Bristlenoses and dwarf gouramis are compatible, yes. Dwarf gouramis are territorial so you need to be careful when stocking. They are small but feisty buggers! Two males would be the max number of males I would keep in there. If you want females too make sure you get at least one for each male. If you get two males then it'd be wise to have some tallish plants in the middle so they can each have their own little territory in their half of the tank. Any coloured gourami is male, the females are sort of a silvery/olive colour.

Have you got a different place to set up the new tank or is it going where the old one was?

Marne Sun 18-Aug-13 13:21:24

The tank is going at the other end of the room ( as long as it looks ok there ) so I can have both tanks running for a while if I need too, although my mum wants my old tank so the sooner I can move them the better.

Another question, at the moment I have sand and bog wood in my tank, I love the look of sand but the poo from my plec's seems to make it look messy and I have to vacuum it up every other day, is there any other way of keeping it clean or is it always going to be messy with plec's? I'm temped to sell a couple of them ( maybe my calico and my long fin ) to help with the poo problem.

EauRouge Sun 18-Aug-13 13:26:49

Plecs are just messy grin It's personal preference, but I find sand easier to clean because all the crap just lays on the surface. With gravel, it all slips in between the cracks and so it takes longer to clean. Also soft sand is better for bottom feeders. How's the water flow? If you stuck another powerhead in there then the poo might get pushed towards the filter.

If you're looking to get live plants then you can get a mystery pack really cheap from here. You don't know what you're getting but it's a cheap way to fill a large tank quickly.

Marne Sun 18-Aug-13 13:58:33

Love the look of the mystery pack smile, was going to ask you about plants.

The filter I have in my tank at the moment probably isn't that great, hopefully the external filter that's with the new tank will be much better and will suck some of the poo up, at the moment the poo seems to be sat near the filter but doesn't get sucked up.

Marne Tue 20-Aug-13 18:12:50

Picked the tank up this morning grin, has taken me all day to get the filter working but its now set up (filled up with water) and looking cloudy.

I havn't put the old media in the filter as the other tank is still running with the fish in it, i'm worried about taking the external filter apart to put it in in case I cant get it working again, can I run both filters in the new tank until the new filter is established, would this work??

Just went to buy a new bulb for the new tank and had a look at some fish, still cant decide what to go for, would really like it to be a community tank but would like something a bit bigger than guppies and mollies.

EauRouge Tue 20-Aug-13 18:28:44

I would practice taking the external to bits then, you will need to be able to do that anyway to clean it. You could run both filters alongside each other but it would take ages and it would be hard to tell when the new filter was ready.

There are loads of nice medium sized tetras that are brilliant for communities, and barbs too.

Marne Tue 20-Aug-13 19:09:55

I had problems priming (think that's what its called) the filter, couldn't get it prime with the pump thing, in the end I filled it with water and forces water through the pipes to get it started. If I turn it off and take the lid off to put my media in will I have to prime/pump it again or should it just start? when I take the tubes off will water go everywhere?

EauRouge Tue 20-Aug-13 19:47:00

Priming is a total pain in the arse but you should only have to do it once. Are there valves on the pipes leading into the filter? If not, you should be able to get some- what make is the filter? If you switch the valves off then the intake pipe will still be full of water- gravity will do all the work for you then.

When you remove the pipes, the filter will empty out but I just used to sit mine in a large tupperware (always a good idea to do this anyway in case of leaks). Once you've rinsed the media out, just put it all back together and reattach the pipes.

Then you open the valve on the intake and outlet popes, wait for the filter to refill and switch it on. That's how I used to do mine and I never had to re-prime it.

Marne Tue 20-Aug-13 21:34:44

Thank you, I don't feel as scared about doing it now (was worried water would go everywhere and then I would need to prime it), I will put the media from the other pump in there tomorrow.

I havnt even looked at the RO unit, it looks scary, not sure if I will use it.

EauRouge Tue 20-Aug-13 21:38:42

You'll get the hang of it. With all the pH problems you've been having, I would use RO water.

Marne Wed 21-Aug-13 14:02:20

Have put the media in the filter, still looking at the RO unit, stupidly chucked the instructions away with some other bits that came with the tank so have no idea how it works.

EauRouge Wed 21-Aug-13 14:23:58

You should be able to find the instructions online, do you know what make it is? They are probably all pretty similar.

Marne Wed 21-Aug-13 15:36:54

Its a RO-man (not sure what model), it took it to my local aquatic shop yesterday and they said it might need new filters depending on when they were last changed (apparently it has 4 separate filters?), its sat outside at the moment (outside my front doo), looks like a piece of medical equipment grin.

I'm struggling to get the tank water clear, yesterday it looked cloudy, I did a water change (in case I hadn't cleaned the sand enough) which helped a little, also put some of the water in out my old tank. Will it take a while to settle and clear? should I do daily water changes or just let it settle itself?

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