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Tank ordered - here we go!

(12 Posts)
soloula Mon 02-May-16 19:32:15

I've ordered a 125L tank and cabinet today (Fluval Roma 125) for my first proper fish tank. I've owned goldfish in the past. My first (won at a school fair - 80s child) amazingly lived a good few years but I now know how lucky I was that the poor thing lasted so long. I originally wanted more goldfish but having read up on a few websites I know now that they're not the easiest to look after and need a lot more space than I can provide. So I'm planning on a tropical freshwater tank but haven't got much further than that.

My tank should be here over the next week. I've ordered the api master test kit and a set of water conditioner and food. I've read about a fish less cycle but I'm not 100% sure the best way to proceed - food only, ammonia (where is the best place to buy ammonia?) and food, food and a bit of prawns to rot into the water etc, I don't know anyone else with a tank so pinching their good bacteria isn't an option. Any advice would be really appreciated.

Is there anything else I should look out for. I'm keen to get it planted too for a more natural look so I'm not sure when to add the plants and what ones would be best. Do I decide what fish I want then suit the plants to the fish? I've not come across any useful guides online yet so if someone could point me in the right direction that would be great.

TreeSparrow Mon 02-May-16 23:39:11

Ammonia (pure ammonia) is the best, most straightforward method for cycling a tank. Go to a chemist and ask for a bottle of pure ammonia. I bought "Ammo clean". If you're not sure if it's pure, shake the bottle and see if the contents foam up. If they don't, you're in business.

TreeSparrow Mon 02-May-16 23:39:50

What fish are you interested in? That'll tend to dictate what plants/substrate you'll need.

soloula Tue 03-May-16 16:28:46

Thanks TreeSparrow - I'll get DH to try and get some ammonia from the chemist tomorrow. TBH I'm not really sure about fish yet. I'd like some schooling fish and a bit of colour but that's as far as I got. I'd like fish that are fun to watch for my 2.5 year old and 7mo when she's older too (and for me). There's a new Maidenhead Aquatics opened at our local garden centre and I've seen a few fish in there that I liked but I'm not sure if they're compatible or not or even suitable for my set up. I loved wee ones they had that were really white and with a right pearlescent sheen but it was really busy when I was in last and I had DD1 to keep an eye on so I never got their names. I think they might have been gouramis but I'm not sure. DD1 likes the neon tetras so I think we'd like some of them too.

DH is off Wednesdays so I think I'll leave the wee ones with him and try and go in one Weds when they'll be a bit quieter for a proper look and then hopefully I'll have a better idea what I want. I just want to take my time to get things right for the fish and looking good for us too.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 03-May-16 21:19:28

I used fish food to cycle mine.
It took a LONG time but I wasn't sure where to get ammonia and it all seemed a bit technical for me.
I just fed imaginary fish every day for months then gravel vac'd.

Sparkling gouramis are beautiful if you like little fish.
They're irredescent sparkly silver blue and teeny weeny.
Your meant to have a shoal of at least 6.

Other teeny weenies include chilli rasboras, false neon tetras (like neons but smaller), ember tetras, celestial pearl danios and you can get gorgeous mini corydoras for the bottom too called corydoras habrosus.
All of those fish grow no more than 2.5cm so you fit in a good shoal.

Included pictures of them all.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 03-May-16 21:20:15

These are the celestial pearl Danio and Cory.

ScrotesOnFire Tue 03-May-16 21:30:03

Plants, I have alternathera reinecki mini which is gorgeous and doesn't grow too tall.
10cm max.
In high light it's bright vivid red/pink but I have a low light tank so it's a beautiful bronze colour for me.

Lilaeopsis braziliensis also grows really well for me, it looks like vivid green grass.
You can let it grow high or keep it trimmed short.

Amazon frogbit is lovely too, fishies like swimming amongst the dangling roots (it's a floating plant), if your patient and DIY handy you can also grow certain house plants with their roots in the water and foliage in the open air.
I have two peace lilies and a flamingo flower in mine.
They are attached by hooks to a wooden joist on the wall so the foliage is kept in the air and the roots are in the water.

www.aquaessentials.co.uk is good for plants

TreeSparrow Tue 03-May-16 22:45:08

Tiny shoals of fish look amazing in a spacious tank, I agree. If you get corydoras please do make sure you have at least six in a group all the same species. They are very social fish.

I had a school of twenty celestial pearl danios in a 350 litre tank. They are fast swimmers and enjoy the space.

This site might be useful for planning your stocking: aqadvisor.com/
Put in all your tank and filter details, then select the fish you want. It should indicate any potential compatibility issues.

soloula Sun 08-May-16 17:13:59

Sorry for the slow reply. I've had guys in fixing our bathroom after the original fitters made a mess of it. angry Thanks for the help again. Those fish are gorgeous Scrotes - I love the celestial pearl danios! They must look gorgeous in your big tank Tree. The corydoras habrosus are on my list now too and I'll bear in mind the advice about keeping them in 6+ groups.

I went to my local chemist today and the pharmacist kind of glazed over when I asked for ammonia. Obviously not something they get many requests for. I managed to get some off amazon instead - it's a cleaning ammonia but lots of the reviews are 5* for folk who've use it specifically for cycling their tanks. Should arrive round about the same time as the tank so should be ready to go.

I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much I need to know to be honest.I'm hoping once I get my test kit and have a read through that the cycling process might be a bit clearer. I'm worried about learning about fish care and plant care and if it might be easier to go fake plants but then that's extra expense that I could be doing without just now and I know it probably won't look as good and I'll want proper plants eventually anyway. Decisions decisions! Am very excited about it all as well too. grin

ScrotesOnFire Sun 08-May-16 21:49:57

Pharmacies used to stock it frequently, it is however I believe a main component in bomb making which I suspect is why it's now hard to find!

It's not that difficult really, once the tank is cycled you just add fish and go!
Although I don't think your meant to add them all at once.
They look after themselves really.

I use fertiliser tabs buried in the sand for my plants but they get no special care apart from that.
I don't have special lights or co2 systems or anything.

TreeSparrow Sun 08-May-16 23:22:09

If you cycle the tank using ammonia you're setting up a fully loaded and prepared bacterial culture in the filter. When you have this you should fully stock the tank all in one go.

Adding fish gradually is only when you need to wait for your cycling bacteria to increase and catch up with the increased bioload.

soloula Mon 09-May-16 09:24:37

Bomb making? That would definitely explain why it's not so easy to find! grin

I watched a really good video on the Practical Fishkeeping YouTube channel last night about setting up an aquarium and I feel much more confident now having seen it all in action iykwim. He planted it up too and made it look really straightforward. Good to know you've managed without the co2 set up Scrotes.

I didn't realise that using ammonia meant you were ready to go and can fully stocking once it was cycled - thanks! I'll probably take a while to work to what fish I want right enough so may end up adding gradually but nice to know I might not need to wait.

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