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To try fishkeeping again

(23 Posts)
frostedviolets Sat 27-Jun-20 13:04:36

Tried twice and it’s ended disastrously with me and DH disappointed and confused at where we’ve gone wrong.

We’ve had:

- 24 litre with heater and filter in a room with no natural light stocked with 10 ember tetras and 2 Corydoras; loads of algae and unclearable, constantly dirty gravel (this was before we knew cories should have sand

Read that small tanks were hard to keep and should have live plants so bought a big tank...

- 250 litre with filter, heater and two T5 lights, had sunlight catching one side of the tank and stocked with the original embers, Pygmy Corydoras, 2 dwarf blue gourami, 5 or 6 guppies and two small loach things that I can’t remember the variety of.

The guppies died one by one, fine one minute then dead.

The gouramis were fine as babies but when grown up one just stayed in one plant never venturing out because of the other one.
I made sure he got food but the poor little fish died.

The plants never grew much, they got completely covered in green furry algae while the sand was covered in a horrid slime type algae.

We had fishless cycled both before adding fish and regularly did water changes

DH has tentatively suggested trying again.
A 40 litre tank, situated on a cabinet, no natural light.

How do I make this work?

In my head I envisage a beautiful, lushly planted tank with a single Betta fish or 12 or so ‘micro’ fish, like chilli rasbora or something.
But I’m not feeling confident about our ability to keep it nice and algae free....

How is it done?

OP’s posts: |
SchrodingersImmigrant Sat 27-Jun-20 13:29:52

Please, just don't. Let it be. Enough fish died😳

Did you have a filter???

Bibijayne Sat 27-Jun-20 13:32:37

Find a reputable fish shop.

Bibijayne Sat 27-Jun-20 13:33:02

Do you have shrimp or snails to clean algae?

CluelessBaker Sat 27-Jun-20 13:33:14

Did you have a filter and were you regularly testing the chemical levels of the water? It sounds like something was out of balance and you have to keep on top of things with regular checks.

I would be very wary of getting another tank until you’ve worked out what went wrong with the first two, so the fish don’t suffer.

Would it be worth having an aquatic plant tank with no fish for a while so you can practice keeping a tank healthy without risking the animals?

Duckduckduck123 Sat 27-Jun-20 13:33:15

Isn't there a fish keeping topic section, maybe ask @mumsnetHQ if they can move this?

SchrodingersImmigrant Sat 27-Jun-20 13:35:58

I would honestly recommend a totally new hobby...

I had 120l, many of the fish you mention, it also had natural light and no heater. Nice strong filter. Never ever had any of the issues you describe😳

ShinyBeans Sat 27-Jun-20 13:38:51

You need to test the water regularly. I can't think how it can be so bad though!

frostedviolets Sat 27-Jun-20 13:42:10

Isn't there a fish keeping topic section, maybe ask *@mumsnetHQ if they can move this?*

No please don’t move it!
Fishkeeping is literally one of the quietest, most dead boards on here!
I’ll never get an answer!

OP’s posts: |
ChuckyHereToPlay Sat 27-Jun-20 13:45:05

Get a water testing kit. Maybe you overfed them? Make sure that when you clean the filter media to use old tank water as chlorine will kill the good bacteria. I had a problem with algae in one of my tanks so I removed as much as I could and started using algae preventer by API

MadamHattie Sat 27-Jun-20 14:12:11

Make sure you have a decent filter, do not over feed and get some bottom feeders such as plecos to keep your algea down. Also if you have live plants make sure you use a co2 booster

MadamHattie Sat 27-Jun-20 14:14:51

Oh and once you've cycled the tank take a sample to a good aquatic shop and they will test it for you to make sure it's safe to add fish

sophiasnail Sat 27-Jun-20 15:40:51

I have a few white cloud minnows in a biorb 60. I have no real plants and clean it every 9 days. Every third clean I change the filter. I think they are pretty happy little guys. I use anti algae stuff, ph down, tap water conditioner and biological filter booster at every clean. If I don't keep to my routine then the water builds up very quickly. I take out and replace 27 litres every clean.

RandomLondoner Sat 27-Jun-20 15:47:55

I have a 30 litre tank on my desk and keep 5 cherry barbs in it. I've had cherry barbs for more than ten years, and only bought replacements once. So I reckon they are a good option for a planted small tank.

For plants I have cryptocorynes of some type covering the bottom, they really are very tough and need very little light. I also have java moss covering the bottom and a few inches deep, which I have to trim with scissors so that crypts are still visible. The java moss also creates a wall of green a few inches thick around the filter. There's almost no design involved as far as my plants are concerned, I'm just happy to have a green background for my fish.

I was always taught that algae is due to wrong conditions, and you need to fix the conditions, not use treatments. But I recently found a produce (called Algexit) that seems to have permanently sorted out problems, that weren't being eradicated by reinstating perfect maintenance.

RandomLondoner Sat 27-Jun-20 15:54:08

A bristlenose pleco is a good algae eater to keep in a large tank. I wouldn't get any other kind of pleco, they all live too long and grow too big.

Otocinclus catfish are the equivalent option for a tiny tank, but they are very fragile fish, I've never managed to keep one alive for a long time.

You don't have to have a clean-up fish. They won't make a significant difference to the amount of maintenance you need to do.

RandomLondoner Sat 27-Jun-20 15:57:24

I agree white cloud mountain minnows are another good option for a small tank. I haven't keep them, but I've heard they're tough.

Coulddowithanap Sat 27-Jun-20 19:36:06

We've made the mistake of buying fish from pets at home etc, they never last long and once they even infected our tank with worms and we lost loads of fish.

I agree with testing the water, the kits are really easy to use.

Snails are great for the algae and bristlenose plecos as someone mentioned above.

QuestionableMouse Sat 27-Jun-20 19:42:08

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? You also need to treat the water before adding it to the tank.

letsghostdance Sat 27-Jun-20 20:03:28

Get a water test kit and understand how hard or soft your water is before you settle on what fish. If you live in a soft water area your guppies won't thrive because they prefer hard water.

You must cycle your tank. You can kick start that with filter media from an established filter if you know anyone with a tank already.

I'd recommend starting with a 55 or 60l. Get it set up with super easy plants (ask a proper fish shop) and let it run until the cycle is established. This won't happen alone. You need to introduce a source of ammonia to start and carry this on. Introduce your fish in species groups. I have a 60l running nicely with 6 male guppies and they're lovely on their on their own. So colourful and active.

Also corydoras must be kept in groups of 6+ for them to feel safe.

SchrodingersImmigrant Sat 27-Jun-20 20:20:50

I once ended up buying extra aquarium for 100+ baby guppies😂 That was at the begining and we underestimated them. Luckily local fish shop took them. They checked water and the fish and I got something like 0.01p per one😂
I was 11.

tenlittlecygnets Sat 27-Jun-20 23:10:42

I recommend buying a good book about fishkeeoing and asking your local fish shop for advice.

Lean all about cycling your tank too. Did you do water tests? What did they say? Were nitrates or nitrites too high?

Lifeisgenerallyfun Sat 27-Jun-20 23:23:10

Find a decent local acquatics store to help. We have a 50 litre Tank that’s kept about 18 degrees. Add live plants.

Once cycled (get a water testing kit), make a note of the PH levels and ask for advice on which fish you should add. Danios and white clouds are fairly hardly. Add no more than 2 fish at a time. Test water before adding more. Ensure your filter is powerful enough.

Any issues seek advice from a good local fish store.

Lifeisgenerallyfun Sat 27-Jun-20 23:24:34

Sorry should say 60 litre tank.

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