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Author Topic: Suggestions for freshwater aquarium fish
Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2006 21:14      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Last weekend I talked myself into buying a 44-gallon aquarium to replace our ten gallon tank. So far the new tank just hosts the cory catfish, blue tetra, and pink tetra that used to live in the old tank. The biological filter cycle seems to have kicked in, so we're ready to start introducing some new fish.

Does anyone here know much about freshwater aquariums? My prior experience is goldfish, guppies, tetras and the cory cat. I'd really like a nice variety of "cool" fish. One pet shop near us had what they called "painted glass fish", which looked like our tetras but transparent with a glowing neon dorsal stripe. PetSmart has bala sharks, angelfish, another kind of catfish, and neon tetras that all look interesting.

I guess my biggest concern is compatibility. The youngest Clublet is very attached to the blue and pink tetras but the fish that interest us are mostly semi-aggressive. The lady at PetSmart tonight said that shouldn't be a problem, with a few exceptions. What do y'all think?

Oh, and the water temp is set at around 75F now, but it may go a little higher in the summer -- no AC in the Club Cave. So no cold-water fish.

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Ugh!

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2006 22:04      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My bf keeps fish. I gave him a betta as a gift, complete witha little bowl and next thing I knew he had a 30 gallon tank going. You might want to get a couple algae eaters and bottom feeders just to keep the tank clean. All of my bf's fish are community fish, including his shark (not sure about the species, but it's a very dark chocolately brown with orange fins) except the betta. Yes, I know, bettas are usually kept in small bowls but they seem to like aquariums too. Rainbow lyras are pretty and don't seem to be too picky. Platys are nice, as are barbs. Dwarf puffers are cute but have a tendency to go after fins. Swordtails are an aquarium classic. You can also find some really pretty mollies. Just go to the pet store and see what they've got. You probably don't want more than one semi-aggressive fish but if your tank is big enough maybe you can have more. Most pet stores have an aquarium specialist so you can ask them.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2006 23:02      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A couple of things I remember from fish-keeping days...

1) Angel fish will fight unless the density of fish per gallon is very low.
2) Glass or Ghost catfish are cool, but susceptible to disease
3) Loaches are dull, but easy to keep and they help keep the glass clean
4) get two or three different types of Tetras, a big tank can accommodate two dozen, and the way they swim together creates visual interest.
5) Kissing Gouramis always elicit an "Aaaahh" from someone [Razz]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted January 06, 2006 00:32      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like White Cloud Mountain Fish... they are semi-boring looking, and egg-layers, but I got them to breed. It was very romantic. [Geek]
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 06, 2006 08:10      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Got any pics of the h0t fish sex?

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted January 06, 2006 11:26      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
H0t p1x, funny, Xanth [Smile] Mrs. Club wondered if a betta would do OK in the big tank, so maybe we'll give it a try down the road. Your other suggestions sound good, too.

Grummy, Do you mean angelfish will fight with each other unless the number of angelfish per gallon is low, or must the density of fish in general be low?

I did more research today and found that the "painted glass fish" I liked are actually injected with dye and otherwise treated not nicely, and tend to fade and/or die quickly, so I'll avoid those. I should have known a h4wt p1nk stripe was not natural!

The PetSmart lady did warn us to not mix angelfish with barbs because they'd start nipping fins.

Snaggy, I'll keep my eye open for White Cloud Mountain fish. Are they a schooling breed?

Thanks for the advice, all. I'll let you know how it's going in a month or so [Smile]

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Ugh!

Posts: 1742 | From: Ithaca, NY | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Grummash

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Icon 1 posted January 06, 2006 13:17      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ugh - IIRC, our tank (way back in the day) was 30"x14"x"14 or thereabouts. If we had more than two angelfish of 2" bodysize (not inc fins) they would chase each other all day until the nibbled fins became a health risk. I don't remember them hassling any other fish though.

The other fish that we had in a large-ish group was the Zebra Danio, 8 or 10 of these about 1" in length make a nice little "shoal"

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Matias
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Icon 1 posted January 06, 2006 15:49      Profile for Matias   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I had a siamese fighting fish in a 5 or 6 gallon all to himself.

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted January 23, 2006 08:23      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just an update on the aquarium. We ended up going a bit overboard and got 6 black neon tetras and 6 white clouds plus some live plants.

All was well until a bit more than a week ago when the water turned very cloudy overnight. The black neons started gasping at the surface and the rest followed soon after.

After some frantic Googling I finally got my act together and bought some 5 gallon buckets for water changes (which I should have gotten right away). I started changing 5 gallons a day for several days and the water cleared up. The gasping stopped after the first water change. There was some kind of film on the water surface, which I'm guessing was blocking the oxygen exchange.

Since then we've lost three of the black neons and the ammonia levels are still very high. I had hoped the water chemistry would have started to stabilize by now, but maybe I'm being impatient.

Interestingly, the white clouds and black neons seem to school together. I do like the schooling movements -- that's one reason I wanted thee bigger tank. The original tetras won't have anything to do with them though. Snobs [Smile]

Oh, and Grummy, if you read this, thanks again for the Angelfish advice.

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Ugh!

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted January 23, 2006 11:31      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ugh - glad to hear things worked out in the end [Smile] But I am a bit concerned by your comment about ammonia levels....there shouldn't really be any! I couldn't help thinking about what might have caused noticeable ammonia levels and cloudiness appearing overnight. Here's a scenario for you to consider ( if you haven't already [Wink] )-

Perhaps the biological filter isn't working after all - this could lead to a build up of faeces in the gravel layer. If there is insufficient biological activity in the gravel, the faeces may only be decomposing partially (possibly anaerobically) and in turn causing a build up of unwelcome chemicals, such as ammonia. If this build up is physically contained by the silt & gravel the problem could go unnoticed for some time. However, once the gravel is disturbed, by introducing new plants perhaps, a massive blast of toxins is released leading to cloudy scummy water and dead fish [Frown]

Just a thought FWIW, as something similar did happen to us once, although the unpleasantness that was released then was more of a 'sulphide' smell than ammonia.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted January 23, 2006 17:48      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yo, as betas were meantioned, DO NOT PUT THEM WITH OTHER FISH!!!!!

90% of the time, they will kill other fish. there are a few exceptions, but normally they will. and espically not other betas, as they will kill each other off, very messily.

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Use the Force, Luke.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 23, 2006 18:31      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Um, so far the bettas my boyfriend's had in his tank have been just fine with the other fish. They may not be so happy with the aquarium itself though...he's on his third because the previous two got sick and died.

You just need to make sure the other fish are a) community fish, b) don't have any fancy fins that might get the betta confused and, consequently, pissed off, and c) aren't fin-nippers themselves.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted January 24, 2006 05:52      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, as we know, 90% of statistics are made up. But maybe Xanthine's bf hit the 15% lucky bracket thrice [Wink] I'll probably hedge my bets by not putting a betta in the tank.

Grummy - The cloudiness appeared about a week after the new fish and plants were introduced, with no disturbance to the gravel. Two things I know happened the night before: Mrs. Club dropped a algae tablet in for the catfish and I added some AmmoLock. Both of these things had been done before with no noticable ill-effect. In the case of the AmmoLock, though, the ammonia levels had been rising as all the web sites I visited told me to expect in the first couple weeks, so maybe the chemistry was different that time. In any case, I stopped with the AmmoLock in favor of small, frequent water changes.

I am a little worried that the ammonia level hasn't started to drop off yet. I also noticed that the nitrite level is very low or non-existant, while there is a small amount of nitrate. That sort of implies that only the second stage of the biological filter is active I think, but I thought the same bacteria chewed up both ammonia and nitrites. Any ideas how to kickstart the biofilter? I started off with some fake plants and the plastic filter cartridge frame from the old tank, but the old gravel has since been rinsed and dried...

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Ugh!

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David Rogers
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Icon 1 posted January 24, 2006 08:02      Profile for David Rogers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I was in the Marines I had a 30 gallon tank with 2 Neon Dwarf Gouramis, an Angel fish, a plecostomus, an "upside down" catfish (synodontis nigriventris), a small school of neon tetras, a small school of molly's, and a Beta. I never had a problem with the beta attacking other fish. In fact, it was the synodontis which caused me the most problems by pruning my school of neon tetras of its smaller members. When I was trying to decide whether to introduce the beta to my tank or not, my research indicated that as long as there were no other male betas in the tank I would likely have no problems, though in crowded situations they may nip the fins of fish with long dangly fins like angle fish. I never had a problem with him nipping my angle fish's fins though. I imagine that the more aggressive / territorial fish that you have in the same volume the greater the chance of trouble regardless of species.

As to the ammonia problems you are having, I believe that Grummash is likely in the ballpark.

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David Rogers

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Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted January 24, 2006 08:10      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, For the outside refrences I apologize. I havent done this so no personal experience. But I have had several friends try it, with no luck. But I dont know the exact other fish used, so ya. I aggree through commonsense about the colors and fins, as I know thats specificly why betas dont like each other in general (or atleast males). That part I have had common experience with. Lol, had two of them in seperate bowls, next to each other. Lets just say they arnt smart, in regards to glass walls. They both were ok though after they got split.

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Use the Force, Luke.

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Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted January 24, 2006 08:26      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On a different point, involving fish, does any one have problems with cats playing/catching/eating fish? As my cat knows the beta my sister keeps exists, and has watched it a little bit (really cant get to it, as its on top of a bookshelf), but never really has an interest in it.

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Use the Force, Luke.

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted January 24, 2006 20:49      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I learned tonight that there are two types of bacteria involved in the biological filter. It's quite possible only the second stage is up to snuff. PetSmart sells several brands of "bacteria-in-a-bottle" which are supposed to help get things going, so I got one to try.

Luke - No sweat on the betta comments. I've heard from people who say they've put bettas in with other fish no problem, and others who say it doesn't work. I'm sure there are plenty of variables, like tank size, shape, density of fish, type of fish, water currents, etc.

As for pets getting into the fish, I've seen cats that ignore a fishtank completely, cats that look but don't bother, and cats that go fishing whenever you turn your back. I think it must depend on the cat's personality among other things.

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Ugh!

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magefile
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Icon 1 posted January 24, 2006 22:06      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My brother has a beta; he left it with some friends while on vacation. It immediately began fighting with their beta once it was dropped in the tank - they had to be quick to separate the two and put them in separate tanks.

The local Petco folks told us that there's a chance two betas won't fight if they're put together - but that the odds were against it.

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Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

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