rebbieOctober 25, 2006

I've just bought a fishtank and I would like to know more about how it is to have fish....I am waiting for you to post your comments;)


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What size is your tank and what kind of fish would you like to keep?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 6:09PM
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Depends on what type of fish you are interensted in keeping. Goldfish? Tropicals? Saltwater? How big is the tank? None of them are 'easy' but once the tank is established and you know the basics they are great to have!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:37PM
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I have two tanks and I love them BUT they are more work than my 7 cats and dog .. not to mention the foster kids and kittens :o)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:42PM
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Some of my favorites are Cichlids, but they require a large tank and lots of rock for caves.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 12:36AM
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If you're just starting you might consider Goldfish as they're the simplest to take care of and the hardiest.Than if you turn into a fish addict go on to something more challanging.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 2:45AM
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Here's a link to raising goldfish

Here is a link that might be useful: Goldfish links

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 3:06AM
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Goldfish are hardy, but they grow very large and put out a great deal of waste. Fantails are the smallest type, but any goldfish will need a very large tank and an efficient filter system, plus frequent water changes.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:19AM
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Did you all know that goldfish are an invasive species in some natural waterways in the US? Just a fun little fact.

I saw the topic and thought this was going to debate whether fish tanks are humane.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 11:16AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If you're going to have goldfish, invest in a GOOD filtering system!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 5:03PM
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How about guppies? They are easy and fun. They multiply but then you could always get an Oscar (my favorite) to take care of the over population problem.
I know that sounds cruel, but heh! Fish gotta eat. :-)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 5:10PM
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I have had had great luck with goldfish in the past that were only living in a tank that was about a gallon and a half (WAY too small for goldfish) I thought when I got my hanging fish bowl (yes, it hangs on the's very cool) that I could get a goldfish and put it in the bowl. It lived a few months, but died last week. It got ammonia burns from it's own waste in the small tank and she croaked. :( So, I got a sad little beta stuck in a cup at walmart and now "Edward Scissorhands" swims around happily in the tank. It's a great size for him and he even has a plant to hide behind.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 7:26PM
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I have had a beta that just died of old age (5 yrs old) and have had "Sushi" my other desk buddy for almost 2 years now.

I'm hoping that you know that ammonia burn happens to betas as well. It's a good idea to clean their tanks regularly and to do partial cleans as well (exchanging old water for new). Also, use aged water, never water straight from the tap. I commend you on the size of his bowl, a beta was never meant to live in anything smaller than a gallon. I'd love to find a wall hanging bowl for Sushi! It'd be a work of living art, and I have the perfect place here next to my computer where we could still interact. I'll have to look for one around here. I do wonder though, how I'm going to heat his water as betas are not cold water fish? I'll figure out a way, if I ever find this cool sounding fishbowl.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 1:19PM
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Well, I actually found it in a magazine and had my mom order it. The tank is a gallon (maybe slightly more..or a bit less) I do clean the tanks out, but a goldfish in a small tank equaled trouble. I'll post a picture in a second so you can see the bowl and everything. It was only like 10 dollars.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 8:53PM
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The fishbowl..and you can see the beta too.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 9:04PM
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One of the first things you need to know is not to set up your pretty new tank and run down and put lots of fish in it.
New tanks need about 6 weeks to "cycle". First set up your tank with water and add the recommended dechlorinators. Give your tank a few days to reach the proper temperature. Depending on the size of the tank, put in a few hardy starter fish such as guppies or white clouds. Purchasing an ammonia/nitrate test kit at this time would be prudent as you will see several spikes of high ammonia and nitrate (both toxic to fish and caused by fish waste or overfeeding). Your tank may turn extremely milky in the next few weeks, but this is normal and due to the surge and die off of natural bacteria.

It works like this (simply put)....
Good bacteria eat ammonia which is caused by fish waste. But you need ammonia for the bacteria to "eat" for the colonies to build up.
If you put 10 fish in a 10 gallon tank all at once with no aerobic bacteria colonies, all that fish waste creates high ammonia in your tank and is toxic to fish causing disease and death.
That's why you start out with about 3 small inexpensive fish. They start the cycle going and allow the bacteria colonies to build. Test your tank once or twice a week and do minor (about 10%) water changes...but only from the top of the tank. don't touch the bottom surface areas where the bacteria colonies are building up. You can also buy products (enzymes) that contain beneficial bacteria and "seed" your tank to allow it to cycle quicker.
You should see your tank starting to stabilize in 4-6 weeks. You should also check the PH which ideally would be close to 7.5.
Once your ammonia/nitrate levels have stabilized, then you can start adding fish slowly (1 or 2) a week. If you add to many all at once, then your bacteria colonies will not have grown enough to handle the extra load of fish waste.
I would recommend that you get a siphon (water vacuum) and do a 30% water change once a month, vacuuming the gravel, thereafter or 10-15% every other week.
Don't feed the fish more than they can eat in 3minutes or you will have a lot of waste also creating ammonia build-up.

Don't put you tank near a sunny window where it can heat up too much or where too much sun would promote algae growth.

Good luck and have fun!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 1:45AM
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Hey ya'all!
I mentioned to my hubby that I was missing having a betta since I started reading here. Then WHA LA! He brought one home for me yesterday!
I must have been out of the betta loop for longer than I thought. When I first looked at my new fish friend, I thought hubby had picked one that had been mangled by another male or something. It is what is called a crown tail. Never heard of one. Anyway he is really cool looking now that he is out of that teeny cup and swimming nicely in his 2 gallon mini tank. He's like a perfect circular shape when swimming around. Anyway, just wanted to brag on my fish and my sweet husband. :-)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 11:42AM
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Why don't more people have pet lobsters?
They have live ones at the supermarket and you can even use food stamps to buy them. Seems like it would be more popular as a pet. So much cuter than a fish.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 12:08PM
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LOL, I don't know.I never thought about it.You really think they are cuter? LOL again,buying a pet with Food Stamps!Too funny.:-)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 1:58PM
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africanvioletlvr, what a beautiful boy you have! He's my favorite colour too! What's his name? Thanks for the info, he looks really cute in there.

beeane, congrats on your new little guy! A crowntail? Wow, those are so beautiful! What have you named him and where's his pic?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 7:38PM
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Yes Africanviolets fish is pretty and cool tank. I can't decide if I like the regular ones better or the crown tail. Yes mine is very pretty too. He is red with some blue. I haven't named him yet. He reminds me of some kind of frilly red flower.
He's doing well, but it's been so long since I've had fish, I hope I don't mess up. Think my husband and I have already overfed him because his water is cloudy. Also we have well water and that's what I used.
Sorry, no pics, I'm not smart enough to post one even if I had one. :-)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 8:21PM
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beeanne, I hope you don't mind me giving a bit of advice then as I've cared for betas for a while now.

First, betas don't eat much. What I do with mine is give him one pellet at a time (I use hikari I think the name is) and wait til he's eaten that one before I serve him another. He gets 3 pellets per day and I feed them all to him at one "sitting".

Second, partial water changes are very important. I age the water because I have city water which has clorine in it. I don't know about well water, so I can't say what is in it that could benefit or hurt fishes. I take a tea cup and empty the water to about a 2/3 level left in the tank and replace it with fresh water. Betas don't usually like filters and because they're just in a fishbowl type setting, it's nice to have fresh water. I do this about every 2 or 3rd day. Some do it more often but my fish have never had problems with my timing.

Third, betas do breathe air and some are jumpers, it's a good idea to leave some airspace in the bowl. I actually cover mine with a small saucer because "Sushi" is one of those jumpers.

I usually change the whole water bowl about every 3 weeks (I'm lazy, and some beta owners do it more often). If the water gets bad I do it more often.

Be careful of full sun (especially in summer) because it will heat up the water really quick. We don't want stewed fishes :D . Speaking of water temperature, get one of those temperature strips and stick it on the outside of his bowl. Betas are not cold water fishes... they like water to be between 72 and 80. I found they are happiest at around 77 or 78. I bought one of those little heating pads to put them on in the winter and I've kept it on low to keep their water warmer. I once made the mistake of not checking their temperature one day and it was over the top! Boy those poor little guys looked pitiful! They weren't moving and were staying right at the bottom of their bowls. I caught them right in time, turned off the heating pad and put them in a cool area. Never quickly change the temperature of their water though because it will shock them and they may die from it.

I find betas to have huge personalities (for fish) and now, I could never go without one again. Mine sits on my desk and interacts with me.

I know, I probably told you things that you already knew, but I figure if I can possibly inform those who don't and who might be interested in getting one of these little guys, their new buddy will be all the happier for it.

PS: Not being able to post pics has nothing to do with smarts... heck I just learned to do it this year and I've been playing with computers since the Commodore was out ;).

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Thanks lobotome,
What I did today.
This morning I sat a 1/2 gal. pitcher of water beside his tank so that this evening it would be the same temperature.
He is in a 2 gal. tank. I have siphoned off 1/2 gal. and siphone back in the 1/2 gallon of clean.He took that well. I plan to do same tomorrow.
I had no idea dh was bringing him home so I have found myself without a heater or thermometer.Our house usually is 75 degrees so he should be fine until the weekend.
We have two kinds of food. One is a betta pellets, but these are really tiny. It seems I remember I used to feed a larger one. The other food is flakes which probably isn't the best but he chose that over the pellets yesterday. I think we probably just got carried away with our new baby.
Ya know, we didn't want the poor thing to get hungry:-)
As far as the water, I'm hoping it will be fine and better than city water and the clouding was just from overfeeding.
He has a cover with air space and also a light.
Yes I know they have great personalities and I'm excited to finally have another one. He takes notice of me and the cats. He is outgoing. The only other fish I've ever had with more personality was an Oscar, but I don't think I want to go down that road again. I'm the type that once I got started I'd just keep adding fish and then more aquariums and I don't have the space anymore. I'll just make do with my little betta. :-)
Thanks again

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 11:55PM
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Bettas do not dislike filters. It is perfectly fine to keep a Betta in an aquarium with a filter. Preferable if you aren't good at regularly doing partial and full water changes and tank cleanings.

They sure do have wonderful personalities. Angelfish do too and so do Goldies. All forty of them in my biggest outdoor pond are very friendly and engaging when people walk up to the pond. It is very true that they need extreme filtration to thrive in aquariums. I've got Goldfish that are going on ten years old, from the original six feeders we bought when the pond was filled. Unfortunately, raccoons got most of them before we put up an electric fence.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 2:53PM
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Buyorsell, thinking about your outdoor pond makes me green with evny. That sounds so cool. Is is alot of upkeep? Does anyone else on here have outdoor fish.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 4:23PM
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No, it is not a lot of upkeep, I actually have 7 water gardens including 2 that are in whiskey barrels. The big pond is 900 gallons, with a waterfall. We've had it almost ten years. We did it ourselves, my husband ran a conduit and electrical line out to it. We built a filter too, for cheap. The biggest expense is the liner and the pump. There are online sources that are cheaper. We are low maintenance ponders, we do not tinker or fuss. It is a pond, not drinking water and we have Goldfish not Koi which require much more depth and filtration.

I've been very active in online watergardening groups and have met many people in person from them. I love ponding. There is a good group here on Garden Web and I'm really fond of this one too:

Here is a link that might be useful: American Ponders

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 7:44PM
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