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Infest

Noob to Aquariums - Community Tank Help!!

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Hey guys. I have just recently purchased a 3ft tank (200L), Atman EF-3 (1000LPH) filter, a light and heater (don't know details).

Now I have gone to Aquarama (for those of you who live in Brisbane) and had a look at all their types of fish.

Ones I have chosen out are: (In order of preference)

1. Clown Loach

2. Red-Tailed Black shark / Rainbow shark

3. Electric Yellow Cichlids

4. Convicts

5. Angels

6. Discus

Now I have talked to many people, including people on this forum and the aquarium guy, and everyone has told me different things.

People are in aggreeance that:

1. You can only have one shark, as they are very aggressive

2. I would be better off going for a silver shark as they are the least aggressive

Now some people have told me Electric Yellow Cichlids don't go with any of those fish, where as some people have told me they will go fine. I need some clarification on this matter.

Next, I have filled the tank, added the necessary chemicals, added plants and let the tank sit for a week, with the heater sitting at 24 degrees celsius. Going to the aquarium with a water sample tomorrow, but have done my own pH test and it's currently sitting around 7.0 (is this good?) Is there anything else I need to do before purchasing fish?

I have more questions but this has already become a long post so I will ask them further down the track.

Thankyou very much!!

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Silver sharks get huge and require a group to be happy, convicts are very aggresiveand should be kept in thier own tank. Angels and discus need very acidic water conditions while the electric yellows come from very hard alkaline water. Why don't you have a colony of electric yellows and some bristle nose.

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1. Clown Loach

2. Red-Tailed Black shark / Rainbow shark

3. Electric Yellow Cichlids

4. Convicts

5. Angels

6. Discus

Hi Infest, welcome to the forums.

Have you had your tap water tested to see which fish are most appropriate? Edit: Have just read that you did. pH 7 and from memory Brisbane supply is currently running quite a low General Hardness reading means its good for the hardier (beginner friendly) South and Central Americans. Unless you planning on using a buffering substrate like Calcium Carbonate or Crushed Coral, I'd recommend avoiding Electric Yellows. Everything else on that list is suitable..

But let me start by narrowing down this list.

1. Clown Loaches eventually get very large. Unless a tank upgrade is planned to something like a 5 foot tank in the future, I'd steer clear of them, unless you don't mind selling them down the track - you'll be able to find buyers.

2. Not a fan of these fish at all - they're very active and grow quite large (6-7" from memory), which is a pretty decent size for a 3' tank. They're also nippy and would narrow down other tankmate options.

3. Electric Yellows - Not personally experienced with Africans, but I've heard that a small colony of Yellows can do nicely in 3' tank. Your tap water, without buffering, disagrees though.

4. Convicts will fit in a 3 foot, but they'll probably be the only thing in there, especially if you have a pair. Very common and breed more often than rabbits, so getting rid of them in the future if it pans out that way may be tough.

5. Angels probably get a little too large for a 3' setup as they reach adulthood - many people don't realise just how large big males get. Definitely an option for a small community tank though.

6. Discus get too large, period.

My personal opinions on what to stock? Well if the tanks cycled, I think I've mentioned them before, but a good quality locally bred Blue Ram, or good quality Bolivian Rams from somewhere like Fishchick Aquatics is your best bet, combined with some Tetra, Otocinclus, and perhaps even some Corydoras - Dwarf or Standard. Sand substrate with a few plants and some driftwood and you're really in business. You'll find all of these at Fishchicks, and Aquarama also has a large range of Corydoras and Tetra. If you're not interested in the "full of life" community style setups like I run and enjoy then that may not be for you, but if you're on the borderline, I'd highly recommend a trip to Annerley just to check out what is available and see if it takes your fancy. Tetra variety is massive between species and while your typical Neons/Cardinals might not float your boat, some of the larger species like beautiful Rosy Tetra or Lemons probably will.

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Welcome

Has anyone advised you about "cycling" your tank ?

You need to read up on this prior to adding your fish.

There are many threads on the forum, some "stickied" which will give you all the details on this process. There are a few ways of doing it.

Knowing how the cycling process works will save your fish, your money, lots of anguish and weeks of trying to fix your water.

Starting out, in addition to ph, you also need to know your ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte.

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G'day Infest,

Welcome to QLDAF.

japes has covered your initial species list pretty well. Just want to add some comments here. You have a 36 inch long tank. If you buy a 6 inch fish, it will take that fish 3 flicks of it's tail to go from one end of the tank to the other. When looking at what species might be compatible for your tank google the fishes name and read the profiles. Things to look for; acceptable PH level, temperature requirements, whether it's territorial and/or aggressive, many fish are more aggressive with others of the same species, this is call con-specific aggression. Different people have different ideas of what is an acceptable sized fish to keep in x sized aquarium.

What chemicals have you been sold? You really only need to start with Prime from Seachem. It is used for nuetralising chemicals in tap water that may harm or kill aquarium fish.

Taking a sample of water to your LFS isn't really necessary untill you start cycling your tank. Typically it takes atleast 4 weeks for a tank to cycle from scratch.

serenitynow asked if your tank was cycled. Basically cycled means, you have grown good bacteria in your tank that will break down any fish and other waste in your tank to a less harmfull state. Here is a link to another forums library section that has many good articles, C-F Library. I highly recommend that you read the Nitrogen Cycle, Water Changes & Water treatment articles to start with.

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Hey

Not too sure of the product you are referring to- ie "sachet of good bacteria"

Can you advise what the product was and what the directions were - ie did you need to add fish food, or some other ammonia source, etc?

You really need to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate - these will indicate at which cycling stage your tank is at.

Post the results.

Highly suggest that you read the link that briztoon has kindly directed you to.

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Best advice...

Make sure your tank is cycled before you put any fish in. This can take up to a month depending on how you're cycling your tank and will give you time to properly research what stock is appropriate for you and your tank :)

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What Japes said sounds very nice & most appealing. The satchet you have will only do so much. If you are keen to add fish, add 6 of the very small to start off with, then progress weekly from there. Just make sure for a start you do 30-50% water changes, weekly. Only feed fish a tiny amount every 2nd day. Get your water tested for ammonia, nitrates & nitrites weekly too, until tank has settled.

If your tank ph stays under 7, then the cycle process will be slow to non existant. Your ammonia will be in the tank as ammonium{non toxic} & therefore won't convert on nitrites.

It is also noteworthy that the primary nitrifying bacteria are affected by pH.

PH levels of 7.5 to 8.5 are considered optimal for healthy nitrification of ammonia, and nitrites, as nitrification rates are rapidly depressed as the pH is reduced below 7.0.

Frenchy :sheep:

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