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Cold water fish advice

(19 Posts)
MakeUpGirl Sat 22-Sep-18 09:07:27

My daughter has asked for some fish for Christmas and I’ve seen a 24L tank that would be perfect, can anyone give me advice on the best fish to get, how many would be best to keep and how to set the tank up

sandgrown Sat 22-Sep-18 09:10:24

I visited my local independent fish/reptile shop . They were really helpful about which sort of fish and how many the tank would fit

knockknockknock Sat 22-Sep-18 09:16:49

Please eg advice from a specialist fish shop. We recently looked into a tank and were told that you'd need a 40 litre (minimum) for 2 goldfish to keep them healthy.

flumpybear Sat 22-Sep-18 09:19:42

We just got a 17 litre tank a few months back. We got platty fish which range in colours (we have a blue one and an orange and black one)
They have live babies as our orange one must have been pregnant as two babies and along a few weeks later!

Plan is to get maybe two more and some small bottom dwellers like some sort of shrimp thingy

You need small fish that don't grow bigger than the tNk can handle so goldfish would probably be out but check with shop as we're new to this too wink

MakeUpGirl Sat 22-Sep-18 10:22:59

Thanks we don’t want goldfish if possible but do want cold water fish, daughter wants at least 4 so looking for ones that like to live in small groups. Unfortunately we don’t have a specialist fish shop close enough to visit too often but will speak to them before I buy

thecapitalsunited Sat 22-Sep-18 11:07:20

24litres is really too small for almost any fish perhaps with the exception of a betta which needs a heater.

Don't let any shops try to tell you that goldfish will be fine. Common goldfish can grow to 10-12", the fancy ones a little less and if there was a shitting competition in the Olympics, they'd get the gold. Common goldfish need a 100 litres minimum then another 50l or so per fish. Fancies will need a little less as they swim slower and are smaller.

White cloud mountain minnows are the only thing I can think of which is small and cold water but they would appreciate a heater. I wouldn't keep them in anything less than 40l because despite being small they are very active little fish.

Tropicals tend to be more suitable for smaller tanks (and are actually often easier to look after) but if you want to keep a few please do get at least 50l, 100l if you have room. Tetras are nice and small in size and can be very attractive. Danios, guppies and platys are all likely to be suitable and come in lots of pretty colours.

One other consideration of getting the biggest tank you can afford is that the water is easier to keep the bigger the tank you have. When fish poo they release toxins in the water. If you have a small amount of water those toxins build up to poisonous levels very quickly. With more water it takes longer for that to happen. Fish keeping is largely about keeping water that you just happen to have fish in. Tropicals don't take any more maintenance than cold water fish so if that is what is putting you off tropicals, please don't let it.

MakeUpGirl Sat 22-Sep-18 11:45:46

As I’ve already said I don’t want goldfish I have no intention of letting anyone tell me they’ll be fine in the tank I’m looking at.
I don’t have anywhere suitable in the house to keep a tank with a heater so looking at cold water fish
I was looking for advice on small fish that I could perhaps have 4 of in the tank not a lecture so thanks anyway but I’ll go elsewhere for help

thecapitalsunited Sat 22-Sep-18 12:56:24

No one is trying to lecture you only pointing out the facts of fish keeping. Cold water fish selection in the UK tends to be limited in most stores to goldfish and white cloud mountain minnows (and as mentioned, these would probably prefer a heater but can cope without). Anything other than that you'll probably need to order from specialists over the internet. Because of this it is so common to be told that they grow to the size of the tank and won't get too big if you put them in a smaller tank.

I don't really understand why you can't have a heater? Is it that you don't have a plug socket near where you were thinking of having the tank? Whichever type fish you get, you will be needing a filter to keep the water clean so you'll have to have power near by for that.

MakeUpGirl Sat 22-Sep-18 13:19:57

I only have one socket due to other things that need to be plugged in and no other realistic option for where to keep a tank
Looks like I’ll have to disappoint my daughter sad

thecapitalsunited Sat 22-Sep-18 15:29:57

You can use a power strip if you only have one plug socket available. My dad has one for his tank to power the lights, the filter and a heater because he also only has one socket available where his tank is. You just need to make sure that the leads hang down below the extension lead then come back up in a U shape so that if there were to be a leak the the water will flow to the bottom of the U and drip off and won't go into the plug socket.

It's a shame there isn't more variety in cold water but it is unfortunately the way it is. I'm not sure why but the tropical hobby with its brightly coloured fish has always had more variety.

MakeUpGirl Sat 22-Sep-18 15:52:45

We already use a power strip in the area and it’s the only real location for the tank other than my daughters bedroom which I wouldn’t really want
I simply don’t have the space or the money for a bigger tank right now so she’ll have to wait another couple of years

stillawakeat4amagain Sat 22-Sep-18 15:59:16

op i pmd you

MissMarplesKnitting Sat 22-Sep-18 16:02:13

Best fish would be temperate species, as long as where the rank is doesn't get super cold.

White cloud mountain minnow, and zebra or leopard danios. You could keep 4/5 happily in that size tank.

Bear in mind it'll need at least a fortnight with correct bacterial additive to 'cycle' before you can add fish. Add fish gradually, two at a time. Then wait a week or two before adding another two etc.

MissMarplesKnitting Sat 22-Sep-18 16:03:54

Other alternative is a Betta set up with a single beautiful tropical Betta fish. You'd need a heater too but they need to be housed away from other male Bettas and are fine solo. They don't need masses of tank and are gorgeous.

tessiegirl Sat 22-Sep-18 16:13:58

Bloody hell, who would thinking keeping fish has become so complicated!

MissMarplesKnitting Sat 22-Sep-18 16:20:29

It really isn't. Goldfish are pond fish really. They poo a LOT and that means they're higher maintenance.

White clouds are sweet little fish, and how my kids got started with a tank.

Now we have a tropical set up and guppies that breed constantly....

MakeUpGirl Sat 22-Sep-18 16:27:10

Thank you both that’s exactly the sort of thing I’m looking for
Are they fish that are happy living in a small group like that? And by temperate does that just mean they’re ok at room temperature?
How do I go about setting up the tank and getting it ready for the fish?

thecapitalsunited Sat 22-Sep-18 16:30:34

Fish keeping has always been like this really amongst serious fishkeepers even if not casual fishkeepers. And it all results from a misunderstanding at the beginning of the hobby.

Goldfish (which is what most people have experience with) were kept in bowls in Europe because we were shown them in bowls in China and Japan where the hobby originated and got the wrong end of the stick. The bowls were just temporary to show off their beautiful colours and shapes. Then the fish were put back into big ponds after having been displayed. But the people who brought the hobby back to Europe thought that the little bowls were the permanent homes of the fish and this mistake has just continued through the years.

Someone mentioned danios and yes they could cope without a heater but would prefer to be at 18-24 so a little heater would be preferable. Like White Cloud Mountain minnows they are very active little fish so also prefer space and would do better in a slightly bigger tank. Kinda like you could keep a greyhound in a small garden and they would be ok but they’d probably prefer somewhere they could stretch their legs. At least you can take the dog to the park for a run, you can’t take your fish out for some exercise!

thecapitalsunited Sat 22-Sep-18 16:37:22

Try reading this about fishless cycling:

Other than that is just choosing a tank, some decorations (fish like having places to hide), plugging in your filter and your lights and letting it run.

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