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mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
12/19/20 8:49 a.m.

Someone wrote a letter to Santa requesting a damselfish for Christmas.  Dory's doppelganger is unsuitable for multiple reasons, but most notably because its a saltwater fish.  Santa needs to find a freshwater fish that can thrive in a 10gal aquarium; must be blue and hearty.  

 

What tips can i pass to Santa so he can deliver our first pet?  We have an Aqueon starter kit from petco with led lighting filter and heater.  We have some plastic plants and gravel too. Just one thing is missing!

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/19/20 9:10 a.m.

Dory is a blue tang and they get pretty big.

Blue is not as common in freshwater and I'm not sure how big your tank is. I'd bet you have a 5 or 10 gallon if it's a starter kit.

An Electric Blue Acara would be close but they need something closer to 40 gallons. 

German Blue Rams can be difficult for beginners.

Maybe look for a blue Betta (Siamese fighting fish) but the shape isn't right.

They also have "Glofish" now which are genetically modified fish, I think they have them in Blue. If they do, they are a Tetra or some other super hardy beginner fish. That's probably your best bet.

Have fun with the new hobby.

 

newold_m (Forum Supporter)
newold_m (Forum Supporter) New Reader
12/19/20 2:27 p.m.

Maybe look into getting a school of cardinal or neon tetra's.  They're have a bright blue stripe. Try to see if you can  get the fish from a hobbyist/reputable fish store if you have one nearby. Big box stores like Petco are not the best option. 

If you can also look into getting some real plants which will help with the nitrogen cycle and with LED lights you should have enough to light output to keep them happy. 

Good luck, it's a fun hobby!

 

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
12/19/20 6:28 p.m.

Cool thanks.  I found a mom n pop fish store nearby.  They seem to cater to saltwater fish but I'll call them Monday and see what they have

2.0dohc
2.0dohc Reader
12/19/20 8:57 p.m.

Try a blue gourami.

https://www.thesprucepets.com/blue-gourami-1381023

 

I haven't had a freshwater tank in a while but I remember them being easy/hardy fish.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
12/20/20 4:54 p.m.

One thing with the Blue Gourmies,  keep a screen lid on the aquarium.   They will try to escape.

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
12/20/20 9:09 p.m.

The aquarium is setup, out of sight, to get the water conditioned and filter filtering.  I'm going to have to empty this thing totally before moving it on Christmas Eve... I tried to lift it with just 1/3 tank of water and I could feel the aquarium walls twisting.  Yikes!

Katie Suddard
Katie Suddard Advertising Coordinator
12/21/20 9:45 a.m.

I used to have Cichlids, and I managed to keep them alive as a kid. They have some really vibrant blue ones, but watch out cause they're aggressive fish. You have to be careful what you put WITH cichlids. 

golfduke
golfduke Dork
12/21/20 7:46 p.m.

I third the blue ghourami. Its a hearty fish and will school if you want multiples.  They were one of my favorite freshwater fish to observe.  

WonkoTheSane (FS)
WonkoTheSane (FS) SuperDork
12/21/20 11:42 p.m.

I was going to recommend the blue gouramis as well, I just picked some up last week to add a splash of color to my tank.  I'll snap a pic when the light is on.

 

One thing to know, though, is that you shouldn't be too attached to your first fish.. It generally takes about a month until you have a proper nitrogen & bacteria cycle, especially if you're starting with a completely clean setup.  You can jump start it by using someone else's filter material and a few gallons of water, if you can get that.

I'd start with a handful of neon tetras, and plan on adding the gouramis in a month after it's established.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/22/20 12:32 a.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane (FS) :

"Stability" from Seachem has pretty much done away with cycling issues now. If you follow the directions, it makes things almost newbie proof.

 

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
12/22/20 5:18 a.m.

Ok so i need to get some seachem.  I have well water and a softner, no chlorine here, but we did use some of the starter kit water conditioner.  

WonkoTheSane (FS)
WonkoTheSane (FS) SuperDork
12/22/20 6:37 a.m.
ShawnG said:

In reply to WonkoTheSane (FS) :

"Stability" from Seachem has pretty much done away with cycling issues now. If you follow the directions, it makes things almost newbie proof.

 

That's cool, I haven't heard of that before!  My current tank has existed since about 2002 in some form or another, so I'm kinda out of the loop on a fresh boot.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/22/20 9:05 a.m.
mikeatrpi said:

Ok so i need to get some seachem.  I have well water and a softner, no chlorine here, but we did use some of the starter kit water conditioner.  

Stability is a bacteria starter. Buy "Prime" as well from Seachem, it's their water conditioner.

Prime doesn't just remove chlorine, it also binds heavy metals and make ammonia non-toxic until the bacteria can process it. The two of them together will get you started.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/22/20 9:10 a.m.

The aquarium hobby has gone nuts online in the last ten years or so. Lots of people who are happy to tell you that you're doing everything wrong.

I do lots of things wrong, I haven't properly cycled a tank in years. I just toss in a sponge filter from another tank. I also hardly ever do water changes thanks to having tons of live plants. I also don't test my water unless I see a problem with the fish.

Apparently I don't know anything and I'm going to kill everything but for some reason I'm also the guy supplying lots of baby fish to the local pet stores.

The wife unit used to manage a pet store and I've had aquariums since I was a kid.

The aquarium business is designed to sell gadgets to people. Most folks don't even need a heater in their tank if the house is around 72 degrees.

You need a tank, clean water, some form of light, something to move water around like an air pump and a sponge filter and some live plants like Java Moss or Java Fern. Those two plants are nearly indestructible and will probably grow in a toilet.

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
12/22/20 9:21 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

It was the same when I had a salt tank up. Zero water changes, no testing. I'd just scrape the salt around the rim back into the tank and replace whatever evaporated with well water. I started that tank up with 10 gallons of ocean water and ran it for 10 years. My only issue was it was too clean to keep oysters alive. 

 

 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/22/20 9:26 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) :

Very cool.

That's the biggest thing people fail at is keeping their hand out of the tank. Just let everything do it's thing and you'll be fine.

I had a 60 gallon hexagonal salt water tank in my apartment at one time. Had a huge green carpet anemone in it, about 18" across. Then we had a heat wave one summer and I couldn't keep the tank cool enough and lost everything.

That anemone could have been hundreds of years old. Nobody seems to know how long they live. That was the end of saltwater for me. I felt terrible about it.

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
12/22/20 9:36 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

I had a grouper that was getting too big for the tank and was a lot of work to feed. I was running a small fresh water tank just for the feeder fish. I gave him to a friend and pulled the tanks down and never got back into it.

 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/22/20 9:44 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) :

I know the feeling.

I raise angelfish, tons of them. You get a few deformities and freaks along the way and I don't really like the idea of killing them outright.

I bought a large predator, a dragon puffer. He's named Ryujin, he eats the defective fish.

Problem is, I don't get enough cull fish for him to eat so now I have a tank full of marbled crayfish so I have enough to feed him.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
12/22/20 3:58 p.m.
ShawnG said:

In reply to Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) :

Very cool.

That's the biggest thing people fail at is keeping their hand out of the tank. Just let everything do it's thing and you'll be fine.

I had a 60 gallon hexagonal salt water tank in my apartment at one time. Had a huge green carpet anemone in it, about 18" across. Then we had a heat wave one summer and I couldn't keep the tank cool enough and lost everything.

That anemone could have been hundreds of years old. Nobody seems to know how long they live. That was the end of saltwater for me. I felt terrible about it.

Same, friend, same...  I had a 225gal starfire set up as a peninsula, mature reef for over 5 years.  One ice storm and subsequent 5 day power outage pretty much nuked the tank.  I couldn't keep it warm enough without ambient room heat (it was in our basement family room that wasn't adequately climate controlled, I lost everything... 

It upset me so much that I tore everything down and sold it all off.  I haven't even thought of a tank since.  Although I will say, the thought of a small 60 cube or something similarly sized is starting to creep back in my mind.  This time around, we live in a house with a whole home standby generator, so a 50 year storm/outage won't kill my hobby again, haha. 

 

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
12/23/20 8:54 p.m.

So the purple haired kid at Petco insisted we should wait a week, though a month would be better, before adding fish.  He didn't believe Seachem was going to help.  They were out of blue gourami's anyway.  Tomorrow - will try calling the mom-n-pop aquarium store for their opinion.  Its a much longer drive, but hey, we're down to the wire.

 

Plan B: a letter from Santa taped to the water-filled aquarium.  I imagine its rather difficult to transport a live fish through such a wide range of weather conditions, so Santa might kindly suggest the fish itself be procured from a local establishment with the exchange of the provided voucher...

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/23/20 11:39 p.m.

Purple haired kid is speaking the truth. Cycling a tank the old-fashioned way still works and is probably the best way.

I was doing my best to help you jump-start the system in time for Christmas.

Mom-and-pop store might be willing to sell you an already cycled sponge filter from one of their display tanks, my LFS (local fish store) will do that for folks. That would get you started right away as well.

Benswen
Benswen Reader
12/24/20 7:52 a.m.

Got into the aquarium thing a couple months back (after the kids harassed me for a few months).  Went to the local tropical fish store, bought a 16-gallon Fluval all-in-one setup, did the primer chem and bacteria on a Saturday and then added some fancy guppies and a betta on Sunday.  Couple months later, added a clown pleco.  All fish seem happy and healthy.

I did the usual thing I do where we got several books from the library, did a ton of research online, and then discovered after talking with the owner of the local fish store that I was way over-thinking it for a small easy setup with some simple freshwater fish.

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
12/24/20 10:52 a.m.

Thanks again everyone.  We have the prime and stability in the tank now and we will add the fish in a few days.  I didn't quite grasp the time requirements here but I'd rather not rush and kill the pets that Santa brought.  On the plus side I'm rather proud of the stand i built and it will be much easier setting up tonight!  Merry Christmas!

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/24/20 12:03 p.m.

In reply to mikeatrpi :

Good job!

Welcome to the madness.

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