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I'm a Newbie - help please!

(10 Posts)
NoWittyName Sat 10-Sep-11 14:22:29


We're being given a 27inch corner unit tank with filter, light and heater. It has been used as a saltwater tank but we're going to change it to tropical.

Any help/thoughts/suggestions greatfully received.


jancolls Sat 10-Sep-11 16:28:27

The only thing that I can think of, is that you need to clean it very thoroughly.

I think you can either get specialist cleaning products, or you may still be able to get methylene blue from an aquarist. I've used methylene in the past and you just follow the instructions for your particular tank. It needs to be very thoroughly washed out though, as methylene is toxic to fish [no, doesn't make sense to me either hmm].

You will need to know how much water your tank can hold in litres. Mine is about 18 x 15" and holds 35 litres, so that should give you an estimate. Otherwise it will be fill a bucket and see!

After that you will need gravel for the bottom [several kilos!] and plants. Now I operate a coldwater tank, so I use plastic ones but it is possible to use real plants in a heated tank. Just remember that they will need looking after as well. The water will need to be dechlorinated prior to filling the tank. I use Aquasafe and usually leave it for 6-8 hours before using it. Just mix it into the first bucket and then continue filling with tap water. Leave the tank to settle for about 4-6 days the first time, as you get 'fog' from the gravel and it will let the filter settle down. You can get a biological booster for the first filter use, but I don't bother with coldwater species, tropical might need it though.

When it comes to deciding upon the fish, the best thing is to go to a specialist aquarium shop, tell them the size of your tank and let them help you to choose. Besides fish, you might want some of those bottom feeder things, to help keep the tank clean.



NoWittyName Sat 10-Sep-11 16:34:20

Thanks Jan. This may sound SO ignorant, but how do I find a specialist aquarium shop?

NoWittyName Sat 10-Sep-11 16:43:36

Have just found a web search and seems that half an hour away we have a shop that's been voted "Best Small Aquatics Shop in The UK". Will have a pop along there at some point.

EauRouge Sat 10-Sep-11 19:37:17

Hello smile

Setting up a tank is fairly simple. You will need to do a fishless cycle before you can add any fish, this takes around 4-6 weeks. The shop may try and flog you some stuff to speed up the cycle- don't bother! I've tried several bacteria products and none of them have made any significant difference. It does take a while to get a tank ready but it's worth it because it will save you some trouble in the long run.

I would do your own research on a geek specialist website (like the one I linked to) because even the good shops can give dodgy advice. There's no legal requirement for staff to be trained so you never know. Some shops aren't that keen on fishless cycling for some reason confused so if they tell you to just bung in some hardy fish to get things going then take everything they say with a pinch of salt.

I wouldn't use methylene to clean the tank, a good scrub with some hot water and white vinegar should do the trick. You can use diluted bleach (10:1) but make sure you give it a really good rinse.

Which shop is it? I might have heard of it.

NoWittyName Sat 10-Sep-11 22:11:52

It's called Ferrybridge Aquatics. Would love an opinion on it if you know of it.


EauRouge Sun 11-Sep-11 08:28:22

I've never been there myself but I'll ask around for you.

NoWittyName Sun 11-Sep-11 08:55:50


EauRouge Sun 11-Sep-11 09:04:39

That was quick- a friend got some fish there and said she recommends it grin

NoWittyName Sun 11-Sep-11 14:58:08

Brilliant. Thanks.

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