For the kids

Discussion in 'New members' started by Naeem, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. Naeem

    Naeem

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    Hi

    I got a small aquarium, about 0.3*0.3

    I need to get a heater and pump and filter, but I was wondering if it will just be better to get a complete 3ft or 4 ft second hand?
     
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  3. Lowflyer7

    Lowflyer7

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    If I were you, I would get a 3 foot for the kids. The 90 litres water volume will make for more stable water parameters. It also enables you to add a wider variety of fish (in a smaller tank one can quickly run out of space, especially when the fish grow).

    You can get some real bargains on gumtree and in the for sale forum on here.

    Just my two cents. Good luck
     
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  4. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Hi Naeem and welcome to TASA!

    You could get a HOB filter eg Aquaclear 20, and a small heater (50/100W). No need for an additional pump if the filter provides surface agitation. You’ll need a light also.
    You could perhaps house something like
    - a single betta OR
    - a couple of male endlers (males only so they don’t overpopulate the small tank) OR
    - a couple of white clouds OR
    - ember or neon tetra OR
    - 1 or 2 honey gourami
    Plus some neocaridina shrimp eg cherries (probably not with a betta, depends. Endlers and gouramis might eat them also) and some snails.

    A 3 or 4 foot will give you A LOT more stocking options. Just don’t go for those Daro kits, 75% of the stuff in there is totally useless. If you can find a good 2nd hand setup it should give you a lot more flexibility and it’s easier to maintain stable water conditions in a larger tank
     
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  5. Lowflyer7

    Lowflyer7

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    100%

    If you really want to keep the small tank, an air pump with a sponge filter and some good quality sand will do the trick. My daughter has a 1 1/2 foot tank with a sponge filter. It's running like a dream. It's important to just try and keep a weekly water change of about 10 to 15% of the water. This will help to keep your tank running well.
     
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  6. Whoknows

    Whoknows Comp Coordinator

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    I have a large 4ft that's broken. Let me know if you want it and I'll get a qoute to have it repaired. Its 360 liters
     
  7. OP
    Naeem

    Naeem

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    Wow, amazing community. The last time I had fish was about 30 years ago, I remember breeding guppies in my teens. I wish this forum existed that time.

    I’ve got one betta fish in my tank right now.
    I think a bigger tank will be better.
    I can go max 1200 * 50 * 500
    How do you setup a full eco tank where only the filter needs to be cleaned? Do you have to have a sump?
     
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  8. Whoknows

    Whoknows Comp Coordinator

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    My tank is bigger then that :( 1200 x 500(W) x 600 (D) thought I might be able to help.

    As for filtration, I run a sump on my 4ft and I love it. Only clean the whole thing every 3 months. Mechanical media get cleaned every waterchange though. A large canister might also be an option.
     
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  9. Gbr guy

    Gbr guy

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    I don't mean to sound rude but a kids tank is more like your tank. That's in my experience.... Lol

    But in reality if you do want them to take a proper interest get the most brightest and interactive fishes you can. maybe a nice puffer! Also make it part of their daily routine to care for them.


    I think tank wise it doesn't matter what size or tipe matters it all depends on what they (kids) would like in the long term. You don't want to spend all the money and they don't keep interest.

    I don't know your kids nor what they would like but the more interactive you make it the more they would participate or catch on to the hobby.

    Hope that you get all the advice and ideas you need

    Good luck
     
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  10. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    Hi @Naeem

    Welcome to the forum

    @Gbr guy ... this is how it goes... Dad had fish in the past...
    Now...ummm.. "the tank is for the ids"... Mommy says yes, great idea!!
    Dad think Yepee.. i got my tank... :thumbup:

    @Naeem .... Im just joking.....

    On a serious note...
    Its nice to teach the kids a nice hobby and how to look after their pets, i see fish as pets too..
    Dont know how old your kids are, this will determine how much they can do for starters and how much will fall on you

    A lot of good advice has been given
    Personally, i thin a 4ft or 1.2m tank is a nice start as firstly, the smaller the tank the more difficult it is to keep the parameters stable and secondly you have a wider choice of what fish you can keep with the 4ft
    Its not small but a nice manageable size

    For filters, you can run a HOB, unfortunately i cant give you much advice on the best one asI have never used them due to the size of my tanks but a number of the members can give you recommendations on which one they have found to be the best
    I know @Pezulu uses them quite a lot

    You could use a canister, there are very good ones and you have no clutter in your tank

    Or obviously a sump
    Personally, I love a sump....as @Whoknows said, i find it the easiest for me to clean and maintain
    You can see when the mechanical media (sponge/floss) needs to be cleaned or changed without having to open the canister and it takes two minutes to do
    If you do it regularly, your sump can go for months without having to be cleaned

    You need a good water dechlorinator and remember you have to cycle your tank before adding fish and when adding fish, you only add 2 or 3 at a time
    I like to use Stability for 7 days when starting up a tank, it is bacteria in a bottle that seeds your media and helps with the cycling

    Good luck with your new project
     
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  11. Pezulu

    Pezulu

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    Hi @Naeem and welcome.
    Some good advice has been given so far.

    With regard to your questions, the following:

    Size
    The choice of what size tank you decide on, is a matter of personal choice.
    It depends on the space you may have available, and where the tank is going to stand in your home.
    Larger tanks are generally regarded as being more stable than smaller tanks, as the larger water volume is more forgiving than smaller tanks.
    Larger volumes of water retain a constant temperature easier than smaller volumes of water.
    Smaller tanks carry less livestock than larger tanks. You can keep 10 guppies in a 45 litre tank, while a 300 litre tank can carry 150 guppies.

    Heater
    If you are planning on keeping tropical fish, a heater is regarded as a necessity.
    The general rule of thumb is 1W per litre of water, plus a little extra.
    A 45 litre tank would therefore use a 50W heater, while a 300 litre 4ft tank would use a 300W heater.
    Your fish may prefer cooler water temperature, in which case you would set the heater to for example 24°C.
    During the summer the ambient room temperature would keep the water temperature reasonably constant, but in the winter when temperatures drop, the heater may come on more regularly, or even stay on permanently.
    Heaters are the single most power consuming items in your tank. A 100W heater consumes 100W of electricity per hour, when it is on.

    Filter
    The filter is the single most critical component of your tank.
    It is literally the component that creates a safe living environment for the livestock in the tank.
    The filter draws water in through the intake, and filters out waste and dirt, before releasing clean water back into the tank.
    During the process of cleaning the water, the filter also converts harmful chemicals to less harmful chemicals that the fish can tolerate.
    Beneficial bacteria live in the filter media inside the filter. Ammonia is converted to Nitrite, which in turn is converted to Nitrate.
    Nitrate can be removed either by live plants in the tank, or through regular water changes, or a combination of both.

    The choice if filter is again largely dependent on various factors, and is a matter of personal choice.
    The most basic would be a sponge filter driven by an air pump.
    Various mechanical filtration devices are available on the market, ranging from HOB filters, internal filters and canister filters.
    You could also make use of a sump on larger tanks.

    The general rule of thumb again is that you need strong enough filtration to completely cycle the water volume 4-5 times every hour.
    More or less may be preferable, depending on the livestock you plan on keeping.
    Some fish prefer strong water flow, while others want barely any water movement.

    Personally I prefer to use HOB filters on smaller tanks up to about 3ft, and canister filters on larger tanks.
    All my smaller tanks are shrimp breeding tanks, which require good filtration but not high flow rates.
    I have found that Cascade HOB filters work very well in that regard.
    They are a bit more expensive that other HOB filters available, but they are silent, reliable, have adequate filtration capacity, and have a filtration chamber that can accept quite a bit of filter media.
    By using a sponge over the intake, the filter media only needs to be cleaned ever 4-6 months.
    Sponges get rinsed out weekly, or when I notice filtration capacity drops.
    On a 100 litre 3ft tank the Cascade 200 provides a theoretical flow rate of 875 litres/hour, or completely filtering the water volume 8-9 times per hour.
    In reality it is quite bit less, as various factors limit the effectiveness of a filtration system.
    Sponges over the intake, type of filter media, distance between the intake valve and the filter pump all make a difference.
    The theoretical 875 L/h is more likely to be about 500-600 L/h, which is enough for my tanks.

    Lights
    Livestock and plants need light to live, grow and function.
    The type of light is a matter of personal choice, as long as you take the light requirements of your livestock and plants into consideration.
    Generally tropical freshwater fish and plants require a light spectrum of about 6500K to flourish, with white/red colouration, or natural daylight colour spectrum.
    Marine tanks require a higher light spectrum of 10000K, and more white/blue colouration.
    Budget constraints may see you using a single incandescent bulb in a desk lamp, or you could use a specialised lighting system that costs as much as a small car.

    Livestock
    Do your homework before deciding on what livestock to get.
    Whatever you decide to get, do your research before before making the choice.
    Some fish live for a relatively short period, while others may live almost as long as you.
    Check the compatibility of various species with each other, and their requirements.
    Not all fish prefer the same temperatures, water parameters, flow rates or conditions.
    Take the final size of the fish into consideration. Some fish grow huge, and will soon outgrow the tank they are being kept in.
    Red Tail Catfish, Pangasius and others are seen as monster fish, and generally require a pond or dam to thrive in.
    Micro Rasbora general stay under 2cm, and will thrive in a smaller tank.
    Shrimp can be kept in a small 10L tank on your desktop, within limits.

    Ornaments
    This again is a matter of personal choice.
    You may decide to use live plants, synthetic plants, or other ornaments, like the sunken ship, or crashed helicopter that some people seem to favour.
    I prefer to keep my tanks looking natural, and use live plants that fit with the requirements and type of biotope the livestock are used to.

    Once again, do your research before buying plants for your tank.
    Check the plant requirements and suitability before spending money on them.
    Also note that certain plants are prohibited or blacklisted.
    Your choice will also determine what type of substrate you decide to use.
    Just like livestock, plants don't all have the same requirements.
    Nutrition, light intensity, growth rate and placement in the tank should all influence what type of plants you decide on.


    Conclusion
    I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to deciding on what to get.
    The bottom line is to do your research, and make careful decisions on the information you have available to you.
    Ask as many questions as you need to make an informed decision before putting your money on the table.
    Once you have committed, it is a long term commitment, that could give you many years of pleasure, or turn into a nightmare hanging around your neck.
     
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  12. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    I almost feel as if @Pezulu ’s carefully considered response needs to be pinned somehow for future users :thumbup:
     
  13. eros111

    eros111

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    ja ja - all the above is true - ESPECIALLY the bit about ........ "I bought the tank for the kids".... that's how is all starts and a very clever way to get past the Minister of Finance ( i.e. the wife ) - just saying :)
     
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  14. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    :lol: In our house the hubby is the Minister of Finance and I’m the Minister of Home Affairs. As said before I justify tanks as ‘living art’, one just needs to pick the right time. I have big plans for tanks 5 and 6 but the budget needs to be cleared and now is not the right time (taxes etc). But at least the Minister if Home Affairs has a lot of power also. One needs to be a bit strategic about these things :thumbup:
     
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  15. eros111

    eros111

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    SUCH cleverness - LIFE is all about timing :)
    lets face it ............ a beautiful tank setup is FAR cheaper that an expensive painting is is not !
     
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  16. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Totally :lol:
    And that’s also why I try to take special care to make it look good. Strategy :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  17. eros111

    eros111

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    Your life is sorted then in that case :)
     
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  18. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    :lol::thumbup:
    It will always be easier if one’s partner is in the hobby also, but whatever. As you say, we just need to be a bit smart about it then.
     
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  19. eros111

    eros111

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    the old saying goes .................... if I told my wife/husband how much I actually spent on my tanks and fish, and they tried to sell them for what I said i spent on them , the finances would NEVER add up :)
     
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  20. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    :lol::thumbup:
     

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