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I am looking to buy an aquarium for Christmas ...

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I am looking to buy an aquarium for Christmas ...

Post by alexmtl on Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:22 am

Each year, a multitude of would-be hobbyists seek to place a shiny new aquarium under the Christmas tree. Often these are prepackaged kits that contain the tank, canopy and filter, with a small little booklet called "introduction to fishkeeping". While this is a great way to enter the hobby and begin enjoying pleasures and beauty of fish, there are a few cardinal (forgive the pun) rules to remember.

What advice do the members of Canadaquaria have for those who are starting up new aquariums this season ? What are some of the pitfalls, and some of the most common mistakes ? What are the best fish to start with...
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Re: I am looking to buy an aquarium for Christmas ...

Post by mikebike on Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:01 am

I like to get people started with guppies.
Start the tank with a few inexpensive ones.
 
I often give fry.
They don't put a large bioload on the tank during startup/cycling.
 
If they survive they are available with lots of colours and patterns.
 
I like guppies as they can survive in a planted low maintinence tank.


Last edited by alexmtl on Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:41 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : mod)
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Re: I am looking to buy an aquarium for Christmas ...

Post by alexmtl on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:15 pm

I think the best start is to ask yourself what would you like out of the aquarium. Really it is a long term commitment for some fish like goldfish and cichlids. Most people would love to have the colour and vibrancy of an aquarium, as a living backdrop to everyday mundane. Yes, the aquarium will do that. In return the fish need your care and commitment to understand that they have some needs and basic requirements.

In return, your aquarium will blossom. So to start, a small aquarium would be great. Maybe 10 or 20 gallons. You will need to cycle through the nitrogen cycle, which may take a month, maybe less with a few small fish. But start small. As mikebike said, a few undemanding fish, like danios or tetras may be a great start. Use the salesperson's knowledge to give you a basis for decision. You do NOT have to purchase fish right away.

Perhaps you should buy the aquarium first and a few low light plants to start. After you have researched your fish, begin to add a few at a time. The general rule of one inch per fish, per gallon of tank is a good rule (for small fish). If you are just starting out, begin with one inch of fish per 5 gallons until you have cycled the tank (usually about a month).

I hope that this starts the enjoyment. I hope that you look inside Canadaquaria, and explore the wondrous world of aquarium keeping ...
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Re: I am looking to buy an aquarium for Christmas ...

Post by hello_rockview12 on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 pm

Water change. Water change. Water change. I can attribute 90% of my successes to water changes. I've seen this on the internet before: freshwater fish love fresh water.
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Re: I am looking to buy an aquarium for Christmas ...

Post by JayB on Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:53 pm

It's really exciting finding a new aquarium under the Christmas tree. You can't wait to get it set up but the nitrogen cycle takes time.

What I suggest is that you set it up, get some plants and spend time aquascaping it while you research what type of fish you want to keep which will be suitable occupants for your size tank and water parameters. To get the cycle started, the plants will help and I'd get a few diffusa snails to start if you can find some (I've often cycled tanks with them as they breath air and can climb above the water level for a bit of a reprieve should ammonia levels get too high.) Diffusa snails are active and come in a pretty rainbow of colors. Be sure to remember to feed them some fresh veggies.

If you can't find diffusa snails, then you can start with a few small hardy fish (guppies or platys).

Once the tank has cycled, add the fish you want very slowly (just a couple at a time) to allow the existing bacteria to multiply to handle the increased bioload of waste in your tank.

and... most importantly. Enjoy! Like any live creatures, those you add to your new aquarium will take some care and time but will give you endless hours of enjoyment.
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Re: I am looking to buy an aquarium for Christmas ...

Post by mikebike on Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:18 pm

another option is if you know someone with established tank is get their water change water
and use that water to start your tank if it is not heavily landscaped.
Of if they are real aquarium fanatics they may allow you to set up the tank at their place and you just put the box or photo of the tank under the tree
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