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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Question a little help please!!

ive just joined, please dont shoot me if i posted in the wrong place!

very new to this.. i've wanted fish for a while, just coldwater, nothing fancy!
well i bought a tank today (river-reef) and it has all these things with it and the 'instructions' are.. well a bit pap!

bio-media??? is says wash before use but later says not tap water..?
carbon something or other.. oh dear!

i havent yet got gravel or anything so any advice, muchly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 10:48 PM
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I am unsure how large of an aquarium you purchased. What kind of cold water fish do you plan to keep? Goldfish (or their fancy variety) require a minimum size aquarium to be kept.

In terms of the information you are looking for, it may be better to purchase a beginner's guide to aquariums, as it may help answer a lot of questions that you will have.

Bio-media is essentially filter media that will go into your filter (hang on the back type, or a canister type filter are more popular these days). Bio-media has a large surface area due to the special nature of the media, and allows a high amount of surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize. These bacteria are responsible for converting toxic ammonia and toxic nitrites to (slightly less toxic) nitrates.

Filters remove detritus and other waste from the water column, but do require regular maintenance as well. During this time it best not to use tap water, as it contains chlorine and/or chloramine, which will kill off the beneficial bacteria. Instead, it is best to use aquarium water (i.e. you should be performing regular water changes as well for your aquarium) to rinse off any detritus from the biomedia.

For carbon, many people do not use it in their planted aquariums, as it exhausts relatively quickly (i.e. 2-3 weeks, depending on the organic load), and also has some ability to adsorb (not absorb) chelated iron.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavo View Post
ive just joined, please dont shoot me if i posted in the wrong place!

very new to this.. i've wanted fish for a while, just coldwater, nothing fancy!
well i bought a tank today (river-reef) and it has all these things with it and the 'instructions' are.. well a bit pap!

bio-media??? is says wash before use but later says not tap water..?
carbon something or other.. oh dear!

i havent yet got gravel or anything so any advice, muchly appreciated!!
biomedia as the above poster says is the filter sponges or ceramic noodles that live in the filters they provide a home to beneficial bacteria that live there they help to remove harmful toxics as the water passes through it, carbon filter media is know to remove nessessary minerals and trace elements from the water that plants need, if i was you i would swap carbon ones (black ) with something else, unless you decide not to have real plants then i doubt it matters goodluck
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavo View Post
ive just joined, please dont shoot me if i posted in the wrong place!

very new to this.. i've wanted fish for a while, just coldwater, nothing fancy!
well i bought a tank today (river-reef) and it has all these things with it and the 'instructions' are.. well a bit pap!

i havent yet got gravel or anything so any advice, muchly appreciated!!
Don't shoot you, okay, we won't.

How many gallons is your tank? (To find out, multiply length by depth, by height [in inches] take that answer, and divide by 231. Example 16"x 8"x 12"=1536 cu. inches. 1536 cu. inches / 231 = 6.5 gallons)

For small coldwater fish, you could use White Cloud Mountain Minnows, or a small loach of some sort.

You will likely need a substrate of some sort to keep your fish happy. Whether or not you want plants will need to be taken into consideration when choosing a substrate.

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Einstein

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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thank you though not much closer!

it is a 48 litre tank... and i would prefer 'real' plants.. so i dont put the carbon in?
will be getting gravel tomorrow hopefully! and a good book!!!!
the bio-media is like ceramic tubes (noodles i presume) (+sponge etc) so do i need to mix the ...chemical stuff (can you tell this is all new??) with the water to then wash them in?
(i dont have 'aquarium water' as it isnt set up yet)
it says to replace these every 4-8 weeks, can you recommend anything better? (more permanent) and do they need replacing or just 'washing'?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 06:17 AM
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First, welcome to TPT! And congratulations on researching before setting everything up. My first tank was an impulse buy, more or less, and due to terrible advice from the LFS worker everything was dead in a week.

Anyway...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavo View Post
it is a 48 litre tank... and i would prefer 'real' plants.. so i dont put the carbon in?
No need for carbon in a planted tank, as others have said. If you're having problems with water discoloration at any point, say due to adding driftwood, I recommend purigen instead. It lasts longer, won't remove anything you don't want removed, and can be recharged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavo View Post
the bio-media is like ceramic tubes (noodles i presume) (+sponge etc) so do i need to mix the ...chemical stuff (can you tell this is all new??) with the water to then wash them in?
Yup, bio-media is usually something like ceramic tubes, or a sponge. It's anything with a lot of surface area that can be colonized by the nitrifying bacteria your aquarium needs.

And by chemical stuff, I assume you mean a product like prime, designed to neutralize chlorine in water. If so, I would just fill up a bucket or some container with water and let it sit for a day. At that point most all of the chlorine will have evaporated, and the water is good to go to use for whatever. It's what I do every week for water changes and maintenance, rather than buying something else to add to my water. Of course, adding prime or whatever is faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavo View Post
it says to replace these every 4-8 weeks, can you recommend anything better? (more permanent) and do they need replacing or just 'washing'?
You don't want to replace your bio-media. When you're doing regular filter maintenance, just take it out, rinse it off with aquarium water, or if it's a sponge give it a squeeze and rinse, and put it back in.

Mechanical filtration media, on the other hand, should be replaced around this often. For that I and many others have had great success with plain old polyfill, or pillow stuffing. Just don't use anything with added mold inhibitors or whatever. The stuff is dirt cheap.

And as some tips, as a beginner starting into aquariums, the nitrogen cycle is one of the more important things you're going to want to learn about and understand, if you haven't already. That and never buy a fish on an impulse without knowing what it needs are nuggets that could have saved me a ton of wasted effort and money.

But good luck! Keep coming back with any questions and people on here will be more than happy to keep you informed and help you out.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 06:30 AM
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Id say take a small step back and put the tank on hold for a short time. Because what i did was bought all of the stuff from the store like fish tank kit/ gravel/ decorations/fish and more and really knew next to nothing about care or what i was shooting for. So i spent countless dollars on things then had to sell that and rebuy everything. Real plants are great for many reasons environment for fish/ water quality/ the look/ and tons more. I would say do some research for a little while on this site and pick out some things you would want to do and what you want your tank to look like. Check out the low-tech forum that is a good place to start and keep things simple til you get the swing of things and there are tons of very knowledgable members on here that will walk you through what we all went through as newbies. This is what i would do if i had to do it again. Hope this helps.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 07:09 AM
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A 48 liter isn't very big, if you bought yourself a 50 to 75 watt heater it would open the window to all of the cheaper small tropical fish. Gives you more of a selection to choose from. No real difference in care between cold water and tropical fish other then needing a heater.


here is a cool little site, you punch in your tank size and filter types then select the fish you want and it'll give you a general idea of how over stocked you are and suggest a water change routine. http://aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php?A...nch&AqJuvMode=
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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well thank you dr. acula very helpful!

i had goldfish when i was little, won off the local fair.. and it lived 4 years without all this fancy filter systems etc so cant be all bad!

yes it is only a small tank but is enough to keep a 2 year old amused for 5 mins!
the set came with a heater.. im just having a personal debate which way to go!

and as for rushin.. that i am not! (for maybe the first time in my life haha!) all i currently have is a tank, filter, heater and a couple of large 'ornimental' stones! oh and some dechorinater thingy, filter booster stuff and nitrate & ph tests!

thank you all.. we'll see how it goes!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 05:19 PM
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Just a quick blurb for you:
If you go coldwater, you have a smaller selection of plants and fish (not that there aren't as many plants or fish to look into, but that people don't often stock much other than tropical, so they are harder to come by) And most of the coldwater fish I know get BIG, and with your size tank, tropical could be the way to go. There are a ton of various plants, and little fish that would be great to keep a two-year old entertained, and fit nicely in your tank. Tropical stuff is generally easy to find too.

As for the tank, treat the water with the dechlorinator each time you put new water in it. Likely you knew that, but as for the filter booster stuff, add it in the beginning, when your tank begins to produce filtration bacteria. It will cut your cycling time by a bit, for it basically is a bacteria culture to help kickoff your filter, so it doesn't have a huge ammonia and nitrite spike. We'll be looking forward to seeing how this plays out!

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Einstein

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 11:36 PM
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White cloud minnows and gudgeons are nice coldwater fish that don't get very big.
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