Ode To First Aqaurium Owners
What To Do, One Goldfish? Or Two?
This wish for an aquarium seems overwhelming.
Should it be a ten or even a fifty-five gallon?
Should the front be straight or bending?
Or perhaps the stands show its filters or look like a million?
When you come right down to it can I count on the rule of thumb
You know the one that states one fish for every five gallons
Or can I trust the groups of owners I visit and hope they aren't all as numb as they appear
The aquarium owners say forget the samllion gallon rule you hear!
The thing to do is remember keep it dark and keep it light.
All in all it still comes down to what we hear
You must do whatever makes you happy
So listen to the all the balcony cheers and just enjoy life my dear!
Advice for First Time Fish Keepers
When I started out seriously searching for information related to aqauriums I had to suffer (yes, that is the word) through friends and family's best advice.
Such advice consisted of "you'll be sorry...you have to empty the entire tank weekly... rinse and scrub everything outside in the heat of summer and the cold of winter... it never stays clean... the fish all die... the bigger fish eat the smaller fish... it stinks... fish cause cancer.
You can see why it took me a LONG time to actually get my feet wet lol.
However, there are some things I learned and that may help others who are "just starting out" .This is assuming there are others who hasn't ever had an aqaurium, I feel at times that I was the last person ON EARTH to do this extremely satisfying, relaxing hobby.
1) Choosing the site for your aqaurium is Paramount! I have mine in my daughters old room and it is carpeted. The water level is not even from one side of the tank to the other and this can cause stress on the glass...hopefully not too soon.
2) Sunlight causes cancer, fish do not cause cancer.
Sunlight also causes algae. Algae comes in all colors.
Green is just the end product.
So when my parents placed their ten gallon goldfish aquarium on their sunporch guess what they got?
You got it, about twelve hours of seeing their goldfish swimming and the other seventy some odd hours of the week peering through various stages of algae bloom :)
3) Remember!!! The steps are as follows:
Ready. Aim. Fire. Not Ready. Fire. Aim.
If there were a better way to "re-house" fish other than the clockwise swirling of white water leading to a holding tank of vast waste proportions...OK OK I hear all you PETA People!
I said "if there were a better way" I didn't say I'd done it! Geez! Gimme a break!
4) Back to number three...choose all parts of this hobby with exceptional care.
Easier said than done.
Now I realize the best way to do this would be to actually sit in other aquarium owners homes for a few hours every day for a week or so to see which aquarium, which fish, which set up etc you really liked the best.
Barring that...I researched all the different sites I could find on fish, aquariums, care and maintenance, feeding and breeding etc but in the end I had to look at the main things: budget, space, time, ease of care, hardiness of the fish and most importantly of all COLOR!! I love the different colors of all the tropical fish.
5) However, if I had it to do over,
go with a bow front, ( wear trifocals and a flat front distorts the view) and more two to three inch non schooling fish such as platies and less (much) small, quicksilver fish like guppies and danios.
never, ever spend seven dollars for a cool looking upside down catfish!!! I am still trying to wake up at one or two in the morning just to catch a glimspe of this fish! Otherwise I'd be certain I have vacuumed the thing up the first day it was in the tank!
go slower, I would try to get plants established first.
not buy the really cool oriental dragon...well...OK, I would, cause its really, really cool and bubbles come out of its mouth...but one bubbler is all you need, not three.
Look, no comments from the peanut gallery you guys! I already admitted to being the ready, fire, aim personality!
keep the ten gallon tank just for the prettiest fan-tailed betta I could find! In fact, I am thinking of re-housing the rainbow tetras in there now and fixing it up for one Betta.
Don't look at me like that!! I already told you I wouldn't re-house to the vast waste depository!
6) But, I would not just chuck it. Having an aquarium is the best hobby yet! Best because unlike all the others this one does not get stuck in a corner of a closet!
Fish are relaxing; fish are fun to watch; fish are never boring; fish do not eat much; fish are not messy (buying an Eheim submersible vacuum was the best investment I made for maintaining my forty-five gallon tank! I was just afraid I'd soak the carpet with the gravity vacuum, the Eheim is really cool, just hold it a half inch over the gravel push the button and wait, the Eheim stands up all by itself in the forty-five gallon tank and it just floats all by itself. It is slow, but it works and it does not suck fast, it is just like the one's you see in an outdoor pool, it just floats and sucks up all the ugh into its own filter.
Really a good investment for sixty bucks!
With the ten gallon tank I have to hold the Eheim, wait, move it a bit, wait on so on. When the filter gets one quarter full, I just take the filter off and run it under running water in the sink. All the waste collects in the removeable filter and you never have to touch the stuff!
And as I mentioned, it does take longer but even with all the necessary cleaning for both the ten and the forty-five gallon tanks once a month it takes me an hour.
That hour includes vacuuming, water changes, cleaning inside of the glass, changing filters and moving the "toys". That is not a long time.
The other three Saturdays of the month all I have to do is add treated water.
7) I think the one thing I did correctly (other than doing it with joy) was providing both a hang on tank filter and a submersible filter for both my tanks. I believe that has kept the water clearer, cleaner and decreased the mortality rate of the fish..
The type of on tank filter you choose is just personal choice, the one that came with the ten gallon stater kit was way too noisy so I swapped it out for a tetra whisper and I love it. The one I have is a double filter and there is a little strip that comes with the filter; when you change the filter you press the bubble on the strip, within thirty seconds the bottom starts to darken and as the filter becomes used the strip changes color. The line turns red and when the red color reaches the top of the strip it is time to change the filters.
Very easy, very clean. Also with the Tetra Whisper I do not have to run the new filter under running wter, it just pops in place and that is that.
As far as submersible filters, I still think fluval makes the best. It seems to be the easiest to use, the quietest, longest lasting filter as well as having less trouble with set up.Maybe one day when I get really courageous as well as having more start up cash I will start a salt water tank and go for the cannister filters, however I have not neded a larger filter, that will be for the next aquarium!.
8) But for now, I will save up again and start another tank, perhaps another forty-five gallon or larger, up to a seventy gallon, planted, with only three types of fish, bottom, middle and upper dwellers.
Neons on the bottom, platies in the middle and hmmm the top dwellers are hard, they tend to be schoolers, such as hatchet fish, they tend to just hang out and they do not cause a lot of viewing excitement...oh well.
9) And of course algae eaters, not the one that gets a hundred feet long, just a plain algae eater, did you know their eyes blink? They do, its cool.
10) Last but not least, do not be afraid to buy from Walmart or Petsmart or Petmart...just go often, be aware of theire delivery dates, make sure you see their tanks actually being cleaned and go for it! All aquarium stores have overcrowding, they all have dead fish in their tanks and they aren't really out to torment you and all tropical fishees of the world!
Just remember Caveat emptor.
That and don't send seven or eight dollars on a shy upside down catfish that you'll never see lol
11) I have to add one more thing...obviously I remain the ready, fire, aim type...because this afternoon I went to Petsmart (I love that place...the kids that work there are used to me now and they are fun and helpful)...and I bought four plants, Hornwort,moneywort, mondo (well everyone knows no one can kill monkey grass so its safe) andfrill! Very feathery, soft, and waves around with the motion of the water.
12) So the dragon remains but the fake tree and fake plant came out and the new plants went in. They are lovely and the fish got so excited they were just like a bunch of giggling teenagers on a spend the night!
13) So there you are, a bakers dozen for "Advice for First Time Fish Keepers". Keep on swimming!
pics of my two tanks after four months
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I was born in B'ham, Al; I am rotten daughter number two of five children. I have two brothers and two sisters. My parents were wonderful, very...
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