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Nano Aquarium

(5 Posts)
Laurabob Sun 09-Oct-16 20:56:54

I know these aren't most people's cup of tea, however space/time/resources just won't allow us to go much bigger yet.

My grandfather was a tropical fish breeder, his garage was amazing, like my own private sea life centre, and I have always wanted to own tropical fish!

We are well researched, got the tank set up (30 litres, tall, prism tank) and cycling before our first fish arrive.

There is some seemingly innocents questions I have that I just can't seem to find the answers to online. Hopefully I can find some help here!

1) our first fish will be (surprise!) some neon tetras, we have been told we can have up to 15-20 of these, this seems like a lot! Is this actually true?

2) we want to introduce some assassin snails and some red cherry shrimp, can we do this at the same time as the neon tetra?

3) tank has been on since 5pm, we deffo have the correct heater, but readings are still (at 20:30) only 18 degrees. Not expecting it to heat the water rapidly, but since it's a low capacity I thought it would have gotten to temp now. We aren't using real plants so put cold water in)

4) Gravel, I have read and was told in a aquatic shop we should Hoover it at each full tank change, can I just buy new gravel? Its a small tank so would literally cost £4-7 and I really don't mind paying it, rather than spending an age hoovering gravel.

5) linked to my first question really, we are hoping to have 3x assassin snails, 5 x neon tetras, 3 X cherry red shrimp, and 2 "showcase fish" short list so far is: Siamese fighting fish, irantherina werneri. Apparently both fish can live quite happily in a small tank, (and together with the rest of the fish, but let me know f I am wrong) just really worried about over crowding.

After I have wrote this I feel so much less prepared than I thought! Some of the Internet search results are just too confusing. We when to 3 shops today 2 independent and 1 chain, and all 3 gave conflicting advice..

Thank you in advance, I really want to be conifer are as possible, luckily four us (and the fish) we won't be introducing any tot he tank until Saturday as we both work full time.

user1474539059 Mon 10-Oct-16 08:56:20

I would't... but thats not to say you were given wrong advice. What I would say is this: you say the tank is tall - is there enough swimming space for neons? Have you really got to grips with cycling and maintenance, some people do overstock and they get away with it because they are completely on top of their cleaning. You say time and resources mean you want to go with a smaller tank - sorry but the likely-hood is nano tanks will take up more time and resources. Especially the cleaning.

When introducing lots of different things in one go you risk overloading your filter bacteria. Shrimp and snails contribute a bio-load. You probably can have them in your tank, but I wouldn't introduce all together.

The heater will take time. That said - if the water is still not at the correct temperature this morning it is not working. Unless you put ice water in or something...

Just think about how you would do this every single time you do a water change? So: you scoop out the old, mucky, gravel - and the muck goes everywhere - then you do the water change and put new gravel in (avoiding the fish?). No - no - and no - apart from the unnecessary stress to the fish (and lets not forget the snails and cherry shrimp you are planning) the gravel will harbour some helpful bacteria. Never do anything major in the tank in one go as you risk upsetting filter bacteria. It sounds as if you have not quite got the hang of cycling yet, and if you are really considering spending £4-7 every week to change gravel you would do better to put it in a 'tank' fund to get a bigger one. If you really want to throw money at chores that take time hire an aquarium man to come to your house and take care of the tank for you. Hoovering gravel should not take an age - especially if you are careful about feeding. Personally though, having started with gravel, I would suggest sand is a lot easier.

Here is your fundamental problem. Neons need company, 5 is not a great number. 15-20 is much better but as you correctly (in my view) consider - 15-20 in 30 L is too much.

Rainbow thread fins I have no experience of, sorry. Lovely looking fish though.

Siamese fighters. When I first started with fish I got a Siamese fighter and a 6 neons (in 30 L). I had read up on the differing personalities of fighters and went to a specialist breeder that grew his fighters in tanks with neon tetras. I followed all the advice - put the neons in first, gave the fighter a cave and floating log for himself etc etc. He was a complete bully. Killed two neons right away. I ended up creating an emergency tank for the remaining neons and for a time had two miniature aquariums. It really was not great. What I would say is this: unless you buy your fighter from a proven community tank where he lives happily with others you are risking your other fish. It can be done, I bought a second hand, 200L, community tank with the sweetest fighter who used to eat out my hand, but it is always a risk.

Why don't you try just a fighter, some snails and shrimp, until you feel you have found your feet and have the space for a bigger tank? If your tank is tall that is not great for fighters (who would prefer long but shallower tanks), but if you are careful with big leaves and logs he can perch on you should be fine.

Re-reading your message, one final thing, how long has the tank been up and running? If you only just put a heater in in I m guessing not long? Saturday is far too early to introduce fish. You are looking at another couple of weeks, plenty of time to research more. I highly suggest buying a book on fish keeping as it can be helpful to remind yourself of the chemistry every so often. I would also check out: Its not just a fish, which has an excellent break down of cycling a tank.

froglou Tue 11-Oct-16 20:56:31

1) no way! Limit of a 30l tank would be about 7 neons and some snails and shrimp and nothing else!
The general rule is 1cm of fish per litre of water (for example for every neon you need 4litres of water)

2)no introduce all your fish slowly, otherwise you're tank won't cope with the bioload, also if you put them in the tank too soon not enough algae and old fish food for the shrimp to start hoovering up!

3) completely normal it can take a day or two

4) not a good idea, when you're removing the old gravel you'll be disrupting all the debris (old food, fish poop ect) which will float around the tank and need to be hovered away anyway as it'll get re settle on your new gravel.also when you take out gravel you're removing all the good bacteria (which our Hoover won't suck up anyway) which is what breaks down ammonia.

5) fighters are lovely (they're what I keep!) but need a minimum of 7litres, ideally 12 litres, which would leave you with 23 litres left for neons which would only allow you 5 neons and then your shrimp and snails.

Lots of pet shops tend to sell too many fish into tanks as they make more money by selling fish and then selling all the treatments to your fish which get sick because your tanks over stocked, or just out of laziness to avoid confrontation with customers.

Have another look at what fish you'd like going by the 1cm:1l ratio and

froglou Tue 11-Oct-16 21:01:19

If you gravel Hoover as part of your water change,using the Hoover to take the water out it's really not a lot of effort, I do it with my 20l tank at home and the 800l tanks I have to clean at work!

Toomanydragons Wed 12-Oct-16 07:05:31

Thanks for all your help, water is at temp now hurrah.

My water testing strips arrive from amazon today (bulk order!) so planning on doing daily testing.

It's over 50cm tall and is a prism shape.

It's so annoying that places try and over sell fish! Especially when they label themselves as specialists etc..

I wondered about the snails and shrimp as I thought even though the contribute to bio load, they might take more than they give. But will add them in after the neons.

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