Talk

Advanced search

Dd1 wants to get some fish, maybe Guppies, where to start??

(7 Posts)
Marne Fri 12-Aug-11 16:17:05

Dd1 has been keeping on to get some fish so i have told her that she can have a tank for christmas (just a small one), we have been to look at fish today to see what she likes (i know its a long wait until x-mas). All i have ever had is goldfish but we would really like to try something tropical/warm water, i showed dd1 the guppies and tetra's and she seemed to like them, dd2 has got her heart set on a clown fish (nemo), are guppies the easiest fish to look after? are clown fish a bit tricky? (wouldn't want one if i was likely to kill it as they are so pretty), can anyone reccomend any other fish for a small tank?

EauRouge Fri 12-Aug-11 16:27:53

Clown fish are marine fish, they need salt water so not compatible at all with guppies sad Marine tanks are complicated and expensive, best to cut your teeth on freshwater first. Sorry to your DD2!

Guppies are generally easy to care for if you can get decent ones from a really good aquatic store (try to avoid general pet shops and pet superstores like pets at home). They need hard water which is what most tap water in the UK is. Personally I would not mix tetras and guppies as tetras can be quite nippy and guppies' tails are very delicate.

Small tanks are often aimed at beginners but they are actually harder to look after. Anything smaller than 45 litres should be avoided totally. Something around 60-70 litres would be a good size for 6 guppies only. I'd go for a male only shoal so you don't get overrun!

Fish are great pets but they are very sciencey and they don't do an awful lot. They are also not as cheap and low maintenance as some pet shops would have you believe.

Some fish shop staff are really good but a lot of them can give very dodgy advice so double and triple check everything you are told by doing your own research.

You'll need to do a fishless cycle before you can get any fish. Here are a few articles that might help you out-

Fishless cycling

Choosing a tank

Choosing fish

Hope that helps a bit smile

Marne Fri 12-Aug-11 16:41:43

Thank you, i thought a clown fish would be too tricky (was looking for an exscuse to tell dd2), dd1 was really taken with the guppies as there are so many different colours, Dd1 is 7 she has Aspergers and is into science and prefers pets that dont need to be handled (we have a dog and cat which she's not really fond of), they will be kept in her room (unless i can persuade dh into letting me have a large tank downstairs). Are the male Guppies the colourful ones and females the more dull ones?, i dont want them breeding grin.

We were planning on getting her the tank for christmas, sorting the water out and let her buy some fish a week later with her money (as she wants to choose the fish), would a 60 litre tank need its own stand or would it be ok to sit on a sturdy chest of drawers?

Will the water need to be heated? so will i need a pump and heater?

Sorry for all the questions, i will look at the links and get dd1 to have a look.

EauRouge Fri 12-Aug-11 17:08:23

A really sturdy chest of drawers would be OK but a proper stand is better.

Yes, male guppies are the colourful ones. Guppies make rabbits look chaste grin so best to stick to males. You can mix the different colours, they are all the same species.

Yes, you will need a heater and a filter. They are both essential bits of kit! Your filter sponges will need to be cleaned once a week when you do a water change with water from the tank, never ever tap water. This has chlorine in and will kill all the good bacteria.

You will need longer than a week to set the tank up, it takes around 6 weeks to do a fishless cycle. You'll need to do lots of water testing during this time.

Don't worry about all the questions, I am seriously geeky about this stuff grin

Marne Fri 12-Aug-11 17:42:44

Thank you, all sounds complicated (dd1 will understand it better than me) smile.

alison222 Fri 12-Aug-11 17:51:40

Not too complicated. We have a largish tank. I bought a tank with filter and heater and lights all together as a package.
They explained to me in the shop that you need to set it up fill it with water and plants and let it settle down. You have to change a proportion of the water every week. We have 2 bottles of chemicals to add to the water when you change it - one takes the chlorine out and the other is bacteria that eat the ammonia in the water. They start to live on the filters which is why they need some time to get going. When you wash out the filters you do it in the water that you have just removed so as not to kill off all the good bacteria.

Each week you take a small pot of water to the shop and they will test it for free for the chemical levels and when they are OK they will tell you and you can put fish in.

I got lots of advice from the place I got my tank - and they are very helpful if you need anything else too always happy to give you good advice.

Grumpla Fri 12-Aug-11 18:13:19

If DD is into science then buy her a master test kit. It's a set of dinky test tubes and various chemicals which allow you to test for ammonia, ph, nitrate and nitrite. Using this she will be able to monitor the water quality throughout the fishless cycle, plot results onto a graph f she likes, and then has the means to keep a regular check on water quality once the fishes are in, which gives you a MUCH better chance of them surviving!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now