In the event that anyone is setting up a new Tropical fish aquarium, this article should prove beneficial to you and your budget. I honestly believe that there is someone out there that loves to take advantage of your wallet when you decide to have a fish tank. Some of us who have been through this can laugh and say oh yeah I did that too. But then there are some of us who are mad and want to know why they don’t come out with a book that has Tropical Fish Tanks for dummies! (“And wouldn’t you know there is such a book after the tank is done!”)
What I know about this is from the time I was 5 I always wanted to put Big fish in small tanks, so the end result was a dead fish. Now not all of us can go out and spend $1,500.00 for that big beautiful 200-gal aquarium full of fish. Heck, I can’t even afford $300.00 but my price range was $200.00 and that was for the Top of the line 10gal aquarium with the $30.00 worth of fake plants, undergravel and submersible filters and heater, all on a nice stand. What I didn’t include in the last sentence was the Test kits which I have now 6, water conditioner, antibiotics, extra hose, pump, gang valve, gravel, airstone, cycling agent, algae sponge, water softener pillow, fish net, fish food (3 kinds), 10 fish, a bucket, and 2 books on fish species. I didn’t include the kitchen sink but I am sure that is next.
The trouble all started with the want of the tank. I have had tropical tanks of a larger size, even a large saltwater tank but that was years ago. All I wanted was a small tank for my office to give off the sound of water and a couple of Angel or Discus fish to look at once in a while. Now you would think this was an easy project right? Wrong. It takes six weeks to cycle the darn thing and in the mean time you have to keep some lousy ugly little cheap fish alive. Yeah right! Literally they are the bacteria that cycle the tank is what the Fish store told me. Oh and the fish have to have little friends to help them be happy while they die since the cheap ones always live in schools of more than 3 or 4. The Aquarium stores in So. Oregon leave a lot to be desired I tell you what!
Never ask any two people on the phone the same question cause you will get two different answers. I ask a simple question, “What temperature do you run your tanks at in the store so that I can match this to get the fish home in the same temperature?”
What a joke, I got 76 and 84 from two different people in two different stores. Well, I guess I have to look at the tank when you buy fish so you know for sure is my advise.
Books are good on types of fish and where, when, why and how they breed… Do you have or know of a book that tells you all the fish that get along with the fish you want to buy? Joke of the day, Tetras get along with all tetras? NOT! If you buy 4 neon Tetras and 5 Black skirt or commonly known as black tetras who will live and who will die is the question of they day … and do they need to be the same size? The answer is YES they need to be the same size even in the same species since the big always eat the little and don’t believe the book… Black tetras are carnivorous! I don’t have any neon tetras any more…poor little guys!
So my tank takes 6 weeks to cycle…I am totally bored now after 1 week I have two tests and 3 feedings a day…Wait I have to soften the water for the fish I want…EEEK.. That stupid Pillow … put it in the filter…now for a 10 gal. tank I have 143 PPM of calcium and the Pillow takes out 140 PPM in a 48 hour period…how many hours can I leave it in to get 100 PPM of hardness…hahahahahaha… I think it turned out 17 hours but I am checking it every two hours since those fish don’t know I am trying to kill them to get the ones I want. Oh and I have to try to drop the pH too after I drop the hardness of my water from 7.6 to 6.0. Geez what a job. I wonder why they couldn’t just sell me some water while they were at it?
Not to make a point but a friend of mine set up a salt aquarium in two days..the sand, Water and everything was included…what a nice thing to do! I plan to go to that store next time I need to set up a tank, but the draw back is that it is an hour drive one way to get there and the fish I was told are top noch..so there is where I plan to shop for the fish I want after I kill the ugly little ones..If I don’t feel sorry for them and buy them a cheaper littler tank.
I was told that 1 fish per gallon is good if you make your water changes and keep track of all your levels of toxins. I want to put 2 angels, and some smaller prettier fish in the tank to total 10 fish..but I have to count Angels as two each since they get big. Now this posses a problem for odd numbers… since 6 fish would be 3 of each but I want a bottom feeder so now I have to select either 5 of all of one type or 3 of one and 2 of another type…and what fish get along. This is the madness…I really want 4 angels… but if I buy them real little when they get big I can get rid of two I don’t like right? hahahaha NOT! I bet you do what I did and get a bigger tank!
So never let it be said that you only get one little tank..and take my advice and stick to guppies and goldfish so you don’t end up with the madness.