Totally new to fish, any advice welcome

(7 Posts)
MollyTheCat Wed 19-Feb-14 20:28:17

On a slight wim, we ended up buying a 64 litre fish tank. I have after lots of reading ordered some ammonia which came today and I will start a fishless cycle. I have also ordered off amazon an API test, but it hasn't arrived yet. Does anyone have any idea how much ammonia I should be putting in the tank, and do I keep putting it in everyday until I get the fish (not sure once I have done the big water change if I need to do anything else until I get the fish?)
Does anyone have any advice on what fish to get, I presume that I still just start off with a few fish and then build up the tank. Was thinking of getting about 6 neon tetras and maybe either 6 guppies or cherry barbs. Does this sound about right? Is there any good fish to get that don't need to school so I can just get 2. I think the tank will probably be full then.
Sorry for all the questions, just want to get it right. Thanks in advance.

EauRouge Wed 19-Feb-14 20:48:58

Sounds like you've made a good start so far! You can use an ammonia calculator like this one that will tell you how much to put in. I used a medicine syringe to measure the amount when I cycled my 60 litre tank.

Once you done the final big water change then you're good to go. The only thing you need to do is just keep a close eye on things for the first week.

I would get maybe 8 of just one species of fish, 2 small shoals of mid-water swimmers might look scrappy. You could get a pair of dwarf or honey gouramis (make sure you get a male and a female) if you want something else in there, or a pair of peacock gobies. You could also get some really bright shrimps like cherry shrimps or crystal shrimps.

What are the dimensions of the tank?

MollyTheCat Wed 19-Feb-14 20:55:58

Thanks, will look at the calculator, was worried about putting either not enough in or too much. Hopefully the testing kit will come soon.

The dimensions of the tank are about 58 cm by 28 and the height is about 48cm. I had wondered about just getting all the same fish rather than a mix, but wasn't sure what would look best. Want to keep it simple as it is all a bit new too me, and very different from the goldfish I had when I was little! Luckily the children are happy at the moment looking at an empty tank while we wait for the fish, they have even named the ornaments we had got!

EauRouge Wed 19-Feb-14 21:08:50

The waiting is the hardest bit! I think my eldest was 3 when I set my tank up. I'd had a break from keeping fish and I was keen to get cracking too but wow, she pestered me every single day!

Your tank's a bit small for dwarf cichlids but peacock gobies or either of the gourami species I mentioned would be OK.

Larger shoals of one species tend to look better than having smaller groups. They're more confident too so they'll spend more time in the open, and you'll get to see more natural behaviour- which means scrapping and males showing off to each other. My cherry barb males go a really dark black and red colour and flare up at each other, it's amazing to watch.

MollyTheCat Wed 19-Feb-14 21:16:53

Thanks for all the advice, will stick to one sort and maybe the peacock gobies, I like the look of them.smile There is just so many fish to chose from, and not a lot of space in the tank I was worried that I would get it wrong!

EauRouge Wed 19-Feb-14 21:30:37

It is easy to get it wrong- I think choosing the fish is one of the hardest bits, especially since it's common for shops to get fish in a delivery that they don't know much about or just plain don't know what it is. And some species on sale can reach 2, 3, 4... even up to 6 feet long, and they are sold as tiny little babies. So it's very easy to end up with the wrong thing.

But if you do plenty of research for each species, and look at a few different websites so you can get a balanced view, then you should be able to get an idea of what will work.

Peacock gobies do well in neutral-ish water. If the male suddenly disappears and you panic and spend ages looking for him then they've probably bred and he's guarding the eggs. I thought I'd lost mine and somehow both fish had managed to get between the filter and the suckers that held it onto the side of the tank and laid their eggs there. Buggers gave me a heart attack hiding like that! Their mating dance is beautiful to watch.

It's always good to stick with 'low maintenance' fish to start with - I read some good info here when we set up our first tank.

Originally we were going to do a Marine Tank - I'm glad we didn't - they are difficult to upkeep!

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