Help with the Fish!

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by rott, May 14, 2018.

  1. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    448
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Nation's Capital of failure
    Kids have been begging for a pet for a while, so we relented somewhat and I recently started them off with one Betta each, in separate small tanks. Even though not the type of pet one can really interact with, so far they love it. It has also got me more interested than I had expected, and I think we're ready to step up to a decent size aquarium tank and fill with 7-10 fresh water fish (while still maintaining the Bettas separately).

    I'm doing my own research before jumping in, but was wondering if any SBAF'ers have aquarium experience? Any tips on which fish are somewhat easy to maintain? Do I need live plants? Any specific fish or plants to avoid?

    Only requirement so far is a Black & White Clownfish that we saw on the last trip to one of the local aquarium shops. And I'd like to stay away from Goldfish.

    As I read up on all this, it seems I may need to keep one or more species that need like-type companionship (e.g. Guppies in groups of 3) if I'm looking to keep flexible (not strict/tight temperature) water conditions.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    slankoe likes this.
  2. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    4,603
    Dislikes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Denver CO
    Home Page:
    Growing up, my friend caught a wild fresh water bass. He brought it home, put it in a tank, and fed it bluegills from the same lake for months. Then winter came, and he had to start feeding it goldfish from the pet store. He added a ceramic castle, fake plants, and eventually a bigger tank. The bass' name was Earnest. He died the following year.

    He was delicious.

    I also don't know anything about aquariums.

    Sorry.
     
  3. barelyincollege

    barelyincollege Nice Pit Bull

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    650
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I'd strongly recommend against getting clownfish for your kids' first tank. Many stores will actually refuse to sell clownfish to first-timers and their kids because so many people want their own Nemo without knowing what they're getting into.

    Clownfish require a saltwater tank, which involves substantially more setup time, care and maintenance than a freshwater tank in terms of maintaining water temperature, salinity, cleaning the tank of algae and waste, etc. You'll have daily tasks to take care of, and you may be stuck doing all of the maintenance on your own when the novelty of a new pet wears off. Saltwater tanks also only last a maximum of 7-12 days unattended, and clownfish typically live for three to ten years, so it's no easy task.

    Start with a freshwater tank with relatively hardy, easy to keep fish like platies, cories and guppies. If your kids end up losing interest (which happens quite often because of the lack of interaction), all that's required to maintain a freshwater tank is to change the water periodically, vacuum waste, and check the filtration system, pH, nitrate and ammonia levels every so often.

    You don't need live plants; they're nice to have and can help with waste filtration somewhat, but they add another layer of complexity because they can wilt and negatively impact your water quality as a result.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    jmcmasterj, slankoe, Imraan and 5 others like this.
  4. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Likes Received:
    68
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Chicago
    Keep it as simple as possible! Fresh water, no plants. Kids can have a lot of fun watching guppies have their own families.

    I had a 50 gallon planted tank with platties and a shrimp colony for a few years. It was fun to watch, but there was always something going out of balance. It's can be a full-time chemistry project!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Imraan

    Imraan Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    244
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    Good advice here already, let me just add the most important thing I ever learned about aquarium keeping - that the smaller the tank, the harder it is to keep the chemistry within the bounds of survivability for your piscine companions. Changes happen very very fast in those starter tanks they sell, and before you know it - >dead fish. Literally hours sometimes.

    As dubharmonic noted, even his 50gal required a lot of attention to stasis.

    Would recommend guppies and no live plants in the largest tank you have room for and can afford. Bonus is guppies breed like...well...rabbits, so it's a great and interactive learning experience for the kids. You could even eventually get them breeding show guppies for eg. Not very difficult to start, hard to get good at. :)

    These are good starter reading (apologies, on my phone so a screenshot is all you get, I can send the kindle store links later if you like) :

    [​IMG]
     
    slankoe, Skyline and barelyincollege like this.
  6. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,281
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Matin Moe's book for saltwater aquariums is very good and makes keeping these tanks quite easy. I kept a saltwater and eventually a full reef tank for 15 years. If you like clownfish, then go with what you like.
     
    slankoe and Imraan like this.
  7. slankoe

    slankoe Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    432
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Edmonton, Canada
    Ya'll are making me want to keep a bunch of little fish in a tank, now!
    I like this kinda stuff. Let the fish enjoy the music, too! :punk:
     
    Imraan likes this.
  8. winders

    winders Worst poster on SBAF (not a joke)

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Dislikes Received:
    85
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    You ate a fish that died from some unknown ailment???
     
    Imraan likes this.
  9. winders

    winders Worst poster on SBAF (not a joke)

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Dislikes Received:
    85
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    I had a South American Cichlid tank for many years which was fun. Even had a nice breeding pair of Jack Dempsey fish. I really wanted to do an African Cichlid tank but never got around to it.

    I would recommend starting out with a freshwater tank with live bearers like Platys and Swordtails along with Cardinal Tetras, Zebra Danios, Cherry Barbs, and Dwarf Gouramis for variety.
     
    Imraan likes this.
  10. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    448
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Nation's Capital of failure
    Thanks all for the input. Yes, am definitely going to start with freshwater. Told my daughter that we'd investigate saltwater after gaining solid experience with freshwater. This will be one of our bigger summer projects.
     
    Thad E Ginathom and Imraan like this.
  11. Imraan

    Imraan Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    244
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    Good plan @rott - I'd love to know how it goes!
     

Share This Page