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Fish novice-where do I start

(10 Posts)
Whattodowithaminute Tue 16-Aug-16 18:23:05

Right I know nothing-where do i start? Books, websites, please direct me!

We have decided that we would like to look after some fish, haven't decided on type, no equipment purchased as yet, need more information on the time commitment for cleaning and maintenance.

Anything that you can advise will be absorbed and utilised in planning!

plutoisnotaplanet Wed 17-Aug-16 12:35:29

First of all, have a measure up and see how much space you have for a tank. This will dictate what fish you can actually have.

For example, if you have a big space where you can fit a large tank and stand, this will give you many more options than if you have, say, a 2ft space on a kitchen counter.

Once you let me know what kind of space you have I can help you out with an appropriate set up smile

Whattodowithaminute Sat 20-Aug-16 16:24:44

Realistically I think we can have a 40cm (60 at a push) width, 49 cm depth and no height restrictions tank. Ideally want it to go on top of a sideboard we have already. Sideboard is close to a window without double glazing and not in the sun if that makes any difference. Any help gratefully received, have a very expectant nearly 5 year old!

plutoisnotaplanet Mon 22-Aug-16 15:00:27

Hmm, so you're looking at a 10 - 15 gallon (64 litre) tank.

For that size, really the only thing suitable would be betta fish. I have a betta myself and they are awesome little dudes, full of character and beautifully colourful. You can only keep 1 male at a time because they fight each other, but 1 male would love a tank that size and would thrive. They have really funny little personalities and "flare" at themselves in mirrors where they extend all their fins in a big display of aggro, it's super cute smile They also learn who their owners are and get really excited when you walk passed the tank grin

They need a heater at about 25/26 degrees Celsius and a little sponge filter with an external air pump because they don't like a strong current in their tanks (due to the fins!), but these are super cheap on amazon!

In terms of substrate and decor, avoid anything with sharp edges because their fins are really delicate and rip easily. Grab a pair of tights and if the decoration snags the tights, it's too sharp for the betta smile They love caves and plants to hide in so really like a tank with live plants smile If you don't fancy live plants, use silk ones not plastic as these will damage fins.

Before any of that though, read up about the nitrogen cycle and "fishless cycling". This will colonize your filter with really important bacteria which will stop your water from becoming toxic to your fish smile It can take anywhere from 4 - 8 weeks to cycle a tank so the sooner you can get set up, the sooner you can get your fish smile

I've attached a photo of my betta for you, his name is Naru and he's a dude smile They come in all kinds of colours and fin lengths though so do your research and figure out what you like smile

Whattodowithaminute Mon 22-Aug-16 18:38:08

Thank you plus very informative! Will get on and order the tank and get sorted with the cycling. Glad I asked for advice on here, went into a shop on Saturday and was advised to get goldfish, that a small tank was fine and cycling would take 7 days max... Sigh... DH has taken some convincing that this isn't the way forwards!

plutoisnotaplanet Mon 22-Aug-16 19:51:26

Haha goldfish are really messy fish and therefore need a lot of tank!

Whattodowithaminute Tue 23-Aug-16 12:57:36

This feels like a whole new world I am exposed to!
Do I need gravel or sand? Do they need to be in place for the fish less cycle? Do the plants need to be in place as well?
Which other bits do I need for maintenance, sponges for cleaning, vacuums, algae magnets?!!

Thanks again...

Whattodowithaminute Tue 23-Aug-16 18:12:39

Looking at a tetra Aqua art 60 l tank like this;

www.seapets.co.uk/tetra-aqua-art-explorer-tropical-aquarium-kit-60l-47364

Any opinions? Has a Fluval edge in a basket as I was hypnotised about the aesthetics but have read too many bad reviews about them with respect to fish welfare...

OscarDeLaYenta Tue 23-Aug-16 19:26:50

Make sure you wash your gravel first!!

OscarDeLaYenta Tue 23-Aug-16 21:55:27

I found this site which I quite like. Seems clear and thorough

[http://injaf.org/beginners-guides/the-nitrogen-cycle-and-the-fishless-cycle-getting-your-aquarium-ready-for-fish/]]

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