Getting a tank

(9 Posts)
Catypillar Thu 10-Apr-14 13:08:31

I'm planning to get some tropical fish after we get back from holiday this summer- will give lots of time to replace the living room carpet first so we don't need to move the tank, then do the cycle. I've looked at a lot of different tanks and am trying to decide between a 120l Interpet Fish Pod, a Fluval Roma 125 or a Marina Style 160. Any opinions?

Do I also need to get a smaller tank for quarantining fish when I've bought them? If so what size would you recommend? I was thinking 40-60l- would that be big enough. I need something that can sit on a solid wood sideboard as I only have room for a stand for the big tank.

How many fish could I put in a 120 or 160l tank? Was thinking two shoals of little ones and a few bigger fish. I'm waiting for Scottish Water to phone back about the pH and hardness of the water here. We don't get any residue in the kettle so am presuming the water is fairly soft.

EauRouge Thu 10-Apr-14 14:06:28

Going by reputation, Interpet stuff tends to be a bit crap. There's a review of the Marina here. The Fluval Romas are very popular. These plug and play type tanks are easy to set up but the filters tend to be not up to much. You might be better off buying just a plain tank with no filtration and then buying your own. Don't worry, it's not that tricky! It may mean less work for you in the long run and also will probably allow you to put more fish in.

You'll need your own water testing kit (the API mini master kit is prob the most popular) so you can keep up with the cycle and test weekly to make sure all is going well, so you can test for pH yourself. If you've got soft water then you've got the fishkeeping holy grail, as there are tons of colourful tropical fish that like soft water.

Two shoals of little ones and a couple of bigger ones sounds sensible. ONce you've got your pH and hardness then you can start having a look.

EauRouge Thu 10-Apr-14 14:06:29

Going by reputation, Interpet stuff tends to be a bit crap. There's a review of the Marina here. The Fluval Romas are very popular. These plug and play type tanks are easy to set up but the filters tend to be not up to much. You might be better off buying just a plain tank with no filtration and then buying your own. Don't worry, it's not that tricky! It may mean less work for you in the long run and also will probably allow you to put more fish in.

You'll need your own water testing kit (the API mini master kit is prob the most popular) so you can keep up with the cycle and test weekly to make sure all is going well, so you can test for pH yourself. If you've got soft water then you've got the fishkeeping holy grail, as there are tons of colourful tropical fish that like soft water.

Two shoals of little ones and a couple of bigger ones sounds sensible. ONce you've got your pH and hardness then you can start having a look.

EauRouge Thu 10-Apr-14 14:09:50

Arse, how did I manage to post that without clicking? I wasn't finished.

Anyway. Quarantine tanks don't need to be fancy because you don't need them set up all the time. A lot of people use a plastic storage box (make sure it's food grade plastic) or one of those big plastic buckets used for making beer. You'll need a mature filter, you can run an air-powered filter in your main tank so you've got one ready for a quarantine or hospital tank. They are dead cheap.

Hope that helps a bit! You've obv put a lot of thought into this which is good because the preparation stage is so important. Fish are pretty low maintenance if you set up everything properly and stock the tank at a sensible level.

EauRouge Thu 10-Apr-14 14:10:15

And I posted it twice too confused What did I press??

Catypillar Thu 10-Apr-14 18:02:28

Thanks, that's very helpful!

I know about the testing- DS is looking forward to it as he wants to be a scientist when he grows up.

Where would I get a plain tank with a stand? I understand a 120-180l tank would be too big to put on the sideboard, but can only find stands for tanks that come with all the kit. They had some plain tanks in the fish shop in Dundee but they didn't have stands. Would I be better buying the whole set then saving up for a really decent filter to replace the one that came with it? Any recommendations for tanks, filters, heaters etc?

EauRouge Thu 10-Apr-14 18:45:39

Clearseal do tanks and cabinets with no heaters and filters- then you can buy your own. You might have to order online if there's nothing near you. Try Ebay, there are new ones as well as secondhand on there.

Filter-wise you can't go far wrong with an Eheim. The Classics are basic but reliable, I had one for years and it never let me down. They're not cheap but shop around- you might even be able to get a decent secondhand one (it'll need new filter media though). You're looking to turn over the water 4 times an hour so a flow rate of 480+ lph. You cannot overfilter so don't worry about getting one slightly bigger, it's better than getting one that may not cope.

Heaters are all fairly similar, as long as it's got a thermostat on there then just buy whatever the shop has.

EauRouge Thu 10-Apr-14 18:51:10

Actually, thinking about it, if you're going to stock the tank lightly with a few small tropicals then the built-in filter on a Fluval Roma would probably do the job. It might limit your options a bit but if you've not set your mind on anything in particular then you could just get one of those.

Catypillar Thu 10-Apr-14 20:26:36

Looking at the prices, it seems that I would get best value from the Marina Style 160l aquarium and stand with replacement filter (Eheim Classic 250?) and heater rather than getting all the bits separately. Thought about buying a second hand tank but I'd be worried there was something wrong with it and also I'm not great at carefully moving things- if I got a new one delivered I wouldn't have get it in and out of the car! Getting a bit confused though! I'd prefer not to be limited in my choice of fish by the strength of the filter.

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