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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! First post here...

I have always loved aquariums, but have never really had the time or funds to purchase everything. I recently acquired a 30 gallon tank from a family member and thought that this would be a perfect time to start.
What I need/want to know.
What type of filtration I need
Lighting
medicine
water treatment methods
do i need real plants?

What I really MUST KNOW
I really need to know some good beginner fish. Like I said, I do not know a whole lot about this so treat me as one of the most ignorant here. I need to know what breed, what they eat, and how to take care of them.

Being a college student I do not have hundreds to throw at special fish, but I do want something very nice to look at, and mainly something to do. This will be something that I am very willing to dedicate a lot of time to, I just need to know what to do.

Thank you in advance,
Dustin
 

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Hello all! First post here...

I have always loved aquariums, but have never really had the time or funds to purchase everything. I recently acquired a 30 gallon tank from a family member and thought that this would be a perfect time to start.
What I need/want to know.
What type of filtration I need
Lighting
medicine
water treatment methods
do i need real plants?

What I really MUST KNOW
I really need to know some good beginner fish. Like I said, I do not know a whole lot about this so treat me as one of the most ignorant here. I need to know what breed, what they eat, and how to take care of them.

Being a college student I do not have hundreds to throw at special fish, but I do want something very nice to look at, and mainly something to do. This will be something that I am very willing to dedicate a lot of time to, I just need to know what to do.

Thank you in advance,
Dustin
Obviously, a filter, heater (if you want tropical fish), gravel, maybe some plants (I prefer live plants).


First off, read up on cycling your aquarium. You need to get a bacteria population built up in the tank before anything else. These bacteria help to dispose/convert the waste that your fish produce.

Once you get your tank cycled, you'll want to introduce your fish. Slowly. Do one type of fish at a time. Monitor your water.

Also, be sure to put some kind of dechlorinator into the water, chlorine is in most city tap water, and is very bad for gills :/

For beginner fish, I recommend guppies, platys, pretty much any kind of tetra, maybe some cherry barbs. These are all great community tank fish.

A general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per gallon of water. Hence, 1 30" fish (unlikely), 10 3" fish, etc...

Hope I could be of help, I work at a LFS (local fish store), so I have a little bit of experience. Obviously, there are those here with way more, so take my advice with a grain of salt :)

Matthew


EDIT: If you want live plants, you need flourescent lights. FLs also make your fish seem more colorful as well. Unfortunately, FLs are also more expensive. On the other hand, if you want to cheap out a bit (like me), you can use incandescent lights. These lights put out a less pure-white light, put out more heat, and don't really enhance the color of your fish. Also, incandescent lights don't encourage plant growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I am going to have to try and find a LFS in my area. I don't think that we have any. :( I pick up the tank next week so I am going to get it all setup and hooked up as if there were fish in it and research for a day or two and then introduce some fish. (I think this is what I need to do) also I think I have decided on fake plants. They will be just less trouble and it isnt something that is going to die! :) The hardest thing for me is going to be figuring out this water quality thing. There is just soo much! Once again thank you and good day.
 

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If you do your research and gather all the advice on here, you can probably ignore the water quality issues. If your filter, heater, and fish population are set up properly, then they should do fine. But if something does go wrong, you won't know it and will lose a lot. Either way, for a basic beginner setup, I would just focus on the basics.

Filter.
Heater.
Small # of fish. Correct & friendly species.
Bubbler is nice.
80* temp or so.
Gravel bottom.
Fake plants.
 

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A betta and 3 cory cats would make a nice tank with plenty of activity. You would not believe how active a betta becomes when he/she is not bound to a plastic cup or bowl! The cory cats will help keep the gravel cleaner by spending their whole day looking for food. They are also very cute! I agree with mschmoyer. Stick with the basics for now until you get the hang of it. You will also need a gravel vac in the beginning so you can clean your gravel and do water changes.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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You should never ignore your water quality, no matter how much you research on here. That is the best way to tell if your tank is doing ok till you learn what to look for.

You should read up on cycling a tank, when you cycle with fish your harming the fish, and they will either die before the cycle is over or shorten their life span considerably. Fishless cycling is by far safer for the fish. This can take 2 weeks or up to 6 week+

You will need to get test kits for at least ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph, testing the first 3 at least every couple of days.
 
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