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Help re: setting up a 35l tropical fish tank please?

(16 Posts)
Gonefishin Mon 03-Mar-14 10:46:59

I think that's what it is anyway? It is a 2nd hand Fluval and it is 50cmx26x30. It came with a heater and a filter Fluval 1plus or something similar. Have washed new gravel and set up with a few items. Have not plugged in filter yet because when I opened it it appeared to have been stuffed with a household sponge as filter media. So have ordered new filter media.
I kept tropical fish myself as a teen with my dad (but this was a 1 metre tank and he helped with the setting up, was 20 years ago or more!). I appreciate that the tank is small but my DD is very keen on fish and I wanted to start off small. My DSis gave it to us.
So...any advice? Would like to get a Siamese fighting fish (was very fond of mine) but how many and what type of fish/snails/etc would people advise? Also, the water is testing fine (have dosed up with treatment stuff) all except water hardness. Any advice here? We used tap.
Thanks in advance x

17leftfeet Mon 03-Mar-14 10:51:47

Run the filter as is, there will be plenty of good bacteria in that sponge!

Gonefishin Mon 03-Mar-14 10:54:48

Oooh do you think?

EauRouge Mon 03-Mar-14 11:13:14

No, there won't be any good bacteria left, it dies off quite quickly once it's switched off- it's aerobic bacteria so needs oxygen to keep it going. I would order a new sponge and start from scratch. It takes about 4-6 weeks for a fishless cycle. You can find instructions here.

35 litres isn't really big enough for fish. You may be able to keep a single male betta in there at a push but you'll have to keep an eagle eye on things. If the heater breaks and jams on full power, for example, it won't take long for the water to get too hot for the fish. I would not keep anything other than 1 male betta in there. I've had a 35 litre tank before and it was a royal pain in the arse. Bigger tanks are much easier and much less work. Something about 60 litres is ideal to begin with.

Gonefishin Mon 03-Mar-14 11:54:29

Would be be better with using it for temperate fish then? I obviously realise that this will have the disadvantage of us needing to replace it as the goldfish etc grows but would it be less likely to go wrong with the temperature aspect?

Gonefishin Mon 03-Mar-14 11:55:23

I mean, without worrying as much about temperature control?

EauRouge Mon 03-Mar-14 12:28:42

Noooo, don't put a goldfish in there. The heater thing was just an example- anything that goes wrong in a small tank is going to escalate more quickly than in a larger tank.

If I had to choose a fish to go in there then a betta would be the only thing I would consider, but if it were my choice then I'd just keep it as a planted tank or put some snails in. 45 litres is my minimum size for fish. Up to you, though.

Gonefishin Tue 04-Mar-14 21:15:29

Thanks for the information. I am a bit confused as to who exactly would enjoy a tank full of plants though!
Out of interest, would anybody else out there deliberately keep just a planted tank with nothing else in? Am I just lacking in imagination?

Grumpla Tue 04-Mar-14 21:20:43

A betta is a great option for a planted tank of that size. Loads of personality and they won't dig up or eat your plants.

Gonefishin Tue 04-Mar-14 21:33:54

Thanks Grumpla. I liked mine when I had him as a teen. He never seemed to cause any trouble and just pottered about. And he was a very attractive fish. I was so upset when he had his fins badly attacked and he ended up eventually dying.
We are hoping to get a bigger tank after we move but thought at least this would be a way to see if we enjoy it. Having been given the tank it is just a case of setting it up. I guess if/when we get a new tank we will have some nice established water and filter media to make it easier to settle the fish into it?

EauRouge Tue 04-Mar-14 22:29:46

Have a google of Takashi Amano, you'll see some amazing planted tanks.

Yes, it will be much easier to set up a tank if you already have a mature filter. There are some fish that are compatible with bettas so he can have some friends after you move.

Gonefishin Fri 07-Mar-14 00:33:32

Wow, those planted tanks are very attractive. However, totally not my thing because I tend not to have the sort of house where that would look in keeping or even be possible smile. I am not a plant person unfortunately. And it would look a bit over the top in my modest and rather functional dining room. The aquarium set up is mostly very gaudy with bright colour and tastelessness being the key! Takashi Amano would find it painful to look at. Hope the poor fish doesn't mind what my young DD and DS chose for him grin.

Gonefishin Fri 07-Mar-14 00:38:10

To give you an idea, it's not so much this:

as this!


Marne Sun 09-Mar-14 17:17:05

I have kept a fighter fish in a 35ltr and it was fine (wouldn't go any smaller than 35ltr though as keeping the water perfect is harder), fighter fish don't like a strong current so I would recommend a filter which is run through a pump, fast moving water can shred their fins as we found out when we first got ours. Ours was happy with a few silk plants and some smooth pebbles it the tank but was a fussy eater (would only eat bloodworm).

Gonefishin Mon 10-Mar-14 20:01:41

Thanks Marne. I think I will go with that. He should cope ok in a 50x30x26 tank and lots of places of interest, plants to lurk around etc. And they are attractive and have enough personality to be interesting to watch I think smile.

Gonefishin Mon 10-Mar-14 20:03:45

I would like a larger tank but we are moving in a few months so didn't really want to get one only to have to uproot in the middle of building it all up.

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