New tank, new hobby - now what

Discussion in 'New Members' started by MainMeat, 13 Jul 2009.

  1. MainMeat

    MainMeat

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    Hi All,

    If I new this forum existed I would have read this first - but I did not so please don't come down hard on me now!

    Anyway, I decided to this year to give this ago, perhaps not knowing what I am letting myself into, but always up for a challenge and some fun. Not knowing of I will like this new hobby and went to my local Pet shop and got a small starter kit - basic tank with the accessories that came with it ('Daro' type) - I think that was my first mistake!

    The tank I got is 460 X 300 X 230 mm (I know it is small but was intended), with a wonky platic roof and one of those silly corner type filters with an air pump on the outside. O, and I also got the light!

    Problem I have had to date:
    - The Pet Shop gave me a 30W power supply for the light...and a 10W light. After initially setting the whole thing up and admiring what I have done, the Power supply got so hot it melted the screws that go through the plastic lid and fell in the water. I have since replaced the Power supply with a 20W one and was told it will not get hot with a 10W light - it still does and I will replace the light with a 20W one soon.

    - Next - the filter unit in the one corner blows air and seems to be working ok - but I have noted that the power supply is getting wet from the bubbels going to the top, and knowing that electricity and water does not work together, I need to make a plan here. The tank is not too full so that cannot be the problem. I have noted that one does get some filters that works in a horizontal direction and I wonder if I should not rather go for one of those?

    - Where to from now? I have followed some basic instructions and am learning something new everyday. After reading some posts on this forum it became apparent that I have lots still to learn! So, basic pointers would be good:

    1) The Lid - I have the tank now and really don't want to restart from scratch. Does anyone know where I can find a decent lid for this tank?
    2) The Light - I assume when replacing the 10W light with a 20W one, the heating issue will go away and the 20W Power supply will stop heating up?
    3) Heating - I do not have a heater and have read that I need a small one - please confirm
    4) Filter - any advice here on what I should rather get - the current one is consuming space and looks bad!
    5) I have added the required water conditioner that came with the starter kit to the water. Apart from the above - what else to I need to do except to let the tank stand and run for a week or so? How do I monitor the PH levels in the water and would should the ideal be?

    Currently I have some small gravel stones in the tank - and yes, later I learned that in order to grow a small plant - I will need to sand right at the bottom and I did kick myself for this. I was hoping I could somehow remove the small stones and put the sand in, but this probably means I have to let the tank run for another week before inviting some new inhabitants?

    I am based in Pretoria and have noted that Animal Kingdom in Atterbury is not a bad place to visit - which I will do soon.

    Is there anything else I have done wrong or something that I can do in the meantime to make the tank more efficient in the future? I have no intention of having very expensive creatures in this tank until I am confident in what I am doing - then I will probably save up, can this tank and start a new - much bigger one!!

    Thanks so much in the meantime!
     
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  3. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Are you wanting to keep fresh water or marine?
     
  4. MainMeat

    MainMeat Thread Starter

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    Hi - well, for a start and to allow me to get my paws wet - just fresh water!
     
  5. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Oh ok for a second I thought you wanted to keep marine which would not really have worked to well in that tank. Sorry got no advise for fresh water fish as I just fill my fresh water tank with tap water and never do water changes and they never die.
     
  6. MainMeat

    MainMeat Thread Starter

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    Manic: ok - thanks - almost seems to easy!?

    Since the intention is to learn from this, if there is any other pointer, specifically on the items mention in the start of this thread, it will be greatly appreciated!

    One day - when I am big, I would love one of them marine tanks - but for now, that would be suicide!
     
  7. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    I really have no idea, if it was marine I could give you some info but for fresh water (Depending on species) it is pretty easy, just add water. For the filter try blowing the bubbles the opposite way so they dont pass past the power supply...
     
  8. Kavir

    Kavir

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    Try Guppies for Yuppies
    They have more info WRT fresh water.

    I this the only fish u could keep wit out a heater is gold fish, but if u stay along the east coast then u can keep ur normal tropical fresh water fish
     
  9. marine101

    marine101

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    It sounds like the problem comes from that tank u have. Since its so small, take it back to where u bought it and tell them to show u how to solve the problems. Also at the point where the power source burnt through and fell in the water, man u lost me there. I would have gone to the Lfs and demanded my money back, failing this make a scene and throw the tank on the floor, just for fun. The only advice i can give u is dont take bs from Lfs, period
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. inflames

    inflames

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    Hi Dude,

    I have kept fresh water tropical for years and they are really easy to keep! The main thing with them is a constant water temp of 22-28. Try keep it as stable as possible. Also dont worry to much on water quality...normal tap water with a bit of chlorine remover is fine! I always believed that an Aqua clear filter is and always was the best for filtration. All LFS's should stock them. Alternatively ask for un undergravel filter. As far as lights go...rather get an external ballest and make sure the ballest can run the tube. I would go for a 20watt. Just mount the tube in the lid with clips. The sand in the bottom is of no real issue...any size will work. the general one that all LFS's sell is fine! I would personally look at getting a 3 foot tank with stand and lid. Most cash converters or pawn shops sell them for cheap. Probably about R400 for all.

    Hope this helps!
     
  11. Tony

    Tony

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    Why not go to the freshwater branch of MASA
     
  12. Mouse

    Mouse

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    I think that's a bit unfair to say...imagine living in the same dirty bath water topped up with acid for an entire lifetime. I doubt it would be a long lifetime.

    Fresh water fish are sensitive to chlorine and other nasties in tap water and need a dechlorinator & water conditioner/stress coat. They also require water changes, heating and decent filtration as well as weekly water changes (10% or so).

    Join a fresh water fish forum to get the best advice & good luck on your journey!
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi MainMeat - congratulations on your new purchase.

    Keeping ANY type of aquaria, and lifestock successfully, is up to the ONE MOST IMPORTANT thing:
    Balance - Balance, means you MUST try and get equilibrium in your aquarium. Meaning: the nutrients you put IN the water, you MUST remove from the water, however you do that.

    Before I went solely into marines, about 4.5/5 years ago, I had "keeping freshwater" down to a HUGE amount of water plants, with ample lighting, as the biggest form of nutrient export. My freshwater angels CONSTANTLY laid eggs, and my siamese figher/betta splendis constantly mated.

    BUT, it takes a HUGE learning curve, to learn EXACTLY what balance YOUR tank requires.

    Please read up as MUCH as possible as you can in the beginning.

    If you REALLY want to succeed at being a freshwater aquarist, you HAVE to do the following:
    1) READ A HUGE AMOUNT
    2) ask a LOT of questions
    3) don't buy impulsively - ask first
    4) be patient
    5) get yourself the correct testing kits for your water
    6) don't overfeed
    7) in the beginning, until such stage that you feel you have learnt a HUGE amount and are not killing lifestock anymore, do regular waterchanges (of a certain percentage - 10 to 15% is good to work on)

    Also - MASA has a sister-site, which concentrates solely on fresh water. So, it might be a good idea to register there as well, that you can get access to the knowledge of like-minded people.
    For example, I know that there is a certain professor on TASA, that specializes in freshwater fish illnesses...

    Here's the URL: Tropical Aquariums South Africa

    And I FULLY AGREE WITH MOUSE. We should ALL be conservationists at heart. And we should ALWAYS strive to try and keep the environments we keep our lifestock in, as clean as possible!

    Good luck!
     
  14. Kavir

    Kavir

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    MASA has a sister-site, which concentrates solely on fresh water.


    Here's the URL: Tropical Aquariums South Africa

    And I FULLY AGREE WITH MOUSE. We should ALL be conservationists at heart. And we should ALWAYS strive to try and keep the environments we keep our lifestock in, as clean as possible!

    Good luck![/QUOTE]


    I had No idea masa had a better half
     
  15. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Welcome to MASA anyway!!
     
  16. Annoying

    Annoying

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    masahello
     
  17. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA, hope you found TASA and will be happy there ;)
     
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