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RFD - Real Fish Discussion

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  • Oct 20th, 2020 7:57 pm
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Mar 7, 2011
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Vernon

RFD - Real Fish Discussion

hello everyone, I really enjoyed reading the fluval flex hot deal post the past few weeks and I thought perhaps others might enjoy an ongoing post of any advice, questions or anything aquarium related.

I searched the pet forum but all i could find find was dog and cat posts (hopefully I didn't overlook it). anyways judging from the 22 page fluval post there's certainly an interest here on RFD.

to get the ball rolling I personally I own 6 tanks ranging from 5 to 25 gallons. all planted but honestly I've only been really successful with Java fern over the years. I'm sure it has to do with inadequate lighting so my search continues for a reasonably priced solution.

I have bred and sold cory catfish for about about a year and a half and currently I'm trying to mod the filter in my new fluval flex to be a little more efficient. once done it will be a Betta home for my office.

my other fish are quite simple, large schools of Cardinals, harlequin rapboras, Otto cats and of course Cory catfish. recently I was give a couple endler guppies and now I have about 30, such a cruel joke =p

I'd love to hear from everyone out there and I hope this thread continues as a source of both information and entertainment.

thank you!
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Dec 2, 2007
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Here is my 4 week old Flex 15. Cycling was tough, but I think it’s now properly cycled. I’ll probably add come tetras and stop there. Keeping my eye out for a Flex 32 for my next upgrade!
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Jr. Member
Jul 25, 2020
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richmond,bc
Kafer wrote: Here is my 4 week old Flex 15. Cycling was tough, but I think it’s now properly cycled. I’ll probably add come tetras and stop there. Keeping my eye out for a Flex 32 for my next upgrade!
Fluval flex is really popular in especially since Hagen group is based in Canada and fluval kits are probably the best start kit for planted tanks. The biggest sticking point for me is the width and it makes the flex tank a bit overrated. I can't believe the fluval flex 15 gallon only 16 inches in width. That's the same footprint as my top fin 5 gallon for my betta! So I actually don't suggest putting most tetras since they are a schooling fish in the flex 15, it's not quite width enough. If you really want tetras I would get the 6-8 of the smallest kind which would be like the green neon tetras or ember tetras. If bought the flex I would get Celestrial Pearl Danios but sadly I've run out of space in my house which isn't carpetSmiling Face With Open Mouth. Thank god i'm paranoid about keeping fish tanks on carpet otherwise I would have more than 5 fish tanks and quickly realize i don't have the time to water change all of them every week.
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Jan 13, 2005
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Thanks for starting this. First aquarium, few questions.

Do I need to buy a heater?
Prefer to have a Betta. How many other fish can I keep in the tank?
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Jul 25, 2020
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richmond,bc
Yes you need a heater since bettas only thrive in a narrow range of temperatures and preferably an adjustable one so you can deal with ick problems if you have to.

If you want fish with a betta you would need to choose fish that can thrive at 25.5-26.5 C and I would keep them in a 20 gallon. If you want a betta alone then a 5 gallon is good enough.
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Vernon
this is great, I'm glad to see posts, thanks =)

@iverson for a heater don't cheap out and definitely read reviews.
ive had bad luck with non adjustable "betta" bowl heaters when I first started, so I'd avoid those for sure.

although bettas prefer to be solitary I think an important note would be not having other fish being too flashy/colorful or fish that prefer swimming near the top like bettas do (although he'll swim all over).

I've also read that adding your betta as the last one into the tank is a way for him to adapt better into the community. if he's first then he'll claim the entire tank as his territory and everything added afterwards will be viewed as a theat.

but all in all it really depends on each bettas individual personality, so if it doesnt work out make sure to have a backup plan!

edit:
(personally i find Molly's nippy)
Last edited by brigand on Aug 3rd, 2020 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Fluval Flex 9 deal probably brought a lot of new people into the hobby (such as myself). Along with the pandemic as well according to the employees at the LFS's as people are looking for hobbies to keep them busy at home.

Currently 2 weeks into cycling my Fluval tank and looking forward to adding my first fish:

Image

Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: ~1.0 ppm
Nitrate: 10-20 ppm

Still new to this but it appears nitrates are appearing so I'm just waiting for ammonia and nitrite levels to reach zero.

Spent about $200 on top of this tank so far without even having fish yet: heater, substrate, live plants, wood/rock decorations, water conditioners, master test kit, gravel vacuum, net, etc...

I do wish I did more research beforehand and starting with a much bigger aquarium off the bat like some others here suggested. This 9 gallon (really closer to a 7 gallon due to divided back compartment) really limits the amount of fish you can put in without overstocking.

So now I've already developed multi-tank syndrome before even buying my first fish and looking into 20-30 gallon rimless tanks with aquascaping which I loved the look of while researching the hobby on Youtube/online.

The pandemic ruined my travel trips this year and for the near foreseeable future so I have extra disposable income to spend to go along with all my other expensive hobbies.
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Subscribed. Currently on day 7. Hopefully, can get some nitrate reading after 2 weeks or so.
Planning for a shrimp tank.
[FS] SportChek GC at 87%
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Newbie
Nov 5, 2007
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brigand wrote: I'm sure it has to do with inadequate lighting so my search continues for a reasonably priced solution.
Nicrew will grow medium light plants, or if you want to spend a little more chihiros will do too.

I currently have 2 "real" tanks and a few large jars/vase dedicated to cherry shrimps and moss lol .. If i had more room I'd probably have more tanks!
The real draw( or drawback?) of this hobby is that there's always "that next fish" that you want to home!

To everyone that's cycling their tanks, be patient and wait it out! You'll get there!
Jr. Member
Jul 25, 2020
161 posts
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richmond,bc
Scribblez wrote: The Fluval Flex 9 deal probably brought a lot of new people into the hobby (such as myself). Along with the pandemic as well according to the employees at the LFS's as people are looking for hobbies to keep them busy at home.

Currently 2 weeks into cycling my Fluval tank and looking forward to adding my first fish:

Image

Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: ~1.0 ppm
Nitrate: 10-20 ppm

Still new to this but it appears nitrates are appearing so I'm just waiting for ammonia and nitrite levels to reach zero.

Spent about $200 on top of this tank so far without even having fish yet: heater, substrate, live plants, wood/rock decorations, water conditioners, master test kit, gravel vacuum, net, etc...

I do wish I did more research beforehand and starting with a much bigger aquarium off the bat like some others here suggested. This 9 gallon (really closer to a 7 gallon due to divided back compartment) really limits the amount of fish you can put in without overstocking.

So now I've already developed multi-tank syndrome before even buying my first fish and looking into 20-30 gallon rimless tanks with aquascaping which I loved the look of while researching the hobby on Youtube/online.

The pandemic ruined my travel trips this year and for the near foreseeable future so I have extra disposable income to spend to go along with all my other expensive hobbies.
Your nitrites are really high, you seem to have lots of bacteria to consume ammonia but the not enough bacteria to convert nitrites. I can't tell if that is 4ppm or 8 pppm but if your nitrites don't go down in the next 5 days or so, I would do a 50% water change to cut your nitrites in half since would it mean your cycle is stalled. Once your nitrites become zero then I would redose ammonia up to 1-2 ppm and see if the ammonia and nitrites are down to 0 again in 24 hours. If it is then you are cycled and ready to add an entire school of 6-8 fish assuming they are fish with small bioload.
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Nov 8, 2003
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craxybuyer wrote: Your nitrites are really high, you seem to have lots of bacteria to consume ammonia but the not enough bacteria to convert nitrites. I can't tell if that is 4ppm or 8 pppm but if your nitrites don't go down in the next 5 days or so, I would do a 50% water change to cut your nitrites in half since would it mean your cycle is stalled. Once your nitrites become zero then I would redose ammonia up to 1-2 ppm and see if the ammonia and nitrites are down to 0 again in 24 hours. If it is then you are cycled and ready to add an entire school of 6-8 fish assuming they are fish with small bioload.
The Nitrite level is at roughly ~1ppm, 4th one down on the chart (the pic makes it look darker due to lighting and the colored chart behind the glass vials). I'll continue testing daily and hopefully I'll be ready for fish soon, thanks for the advice!
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For those who haven't given them a try, inverts like shrimp and snails can be pretty cool too.

Basic neocardina types like red cherries are a great starter shrimp. If you want more of a larger shrimp to help with algae, you can also look into amanos.
Jr. Member
Jul 25, 2020
161 posts
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richmond,bc
Scribblez wrote: The Nitrite level is at roughly ~1ppm, 4th one down on the chart (the pic makes it look darker due to lighting and the colored chart behind the glass vials). I'll continue testing daily and hopefully I'll be ready for fish soon, thanks for the advice!
Ah I see, my mistake. You are close to finishing your cycling. Advantage of fishless cycling is you don't really need to add fish slowly week by week if you've dosed ammonia to something like 2ppm or even 1ppm since any fish small enough to put into a 9-15 gallon tank isn't going produce much waste. Putting schooling fish together at the same time is also better for acclimating them since they're less stressed in a large enough group.
Dave98 wrote: For those who haven't given them a try, inverts like shrimp and snails can be pretty cool too.

Basic neocardina types like red cherries are a great starter shrimp. If you want more of a larger shrimp to help with algae, you can also look into amanos.
I got black neon tetras, zebra danios, a swordtail and a garra rufa in 20 gallon. I want some colorful shrimp on the bottom to add some color but I'm sure one of those types of fish will attack the shrimp Disappointed But Relieved Face
Newbie
Nov 2, 2019
9 posts
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I bought a Fluval Flex 9 from the offer as well. I did a quicker 7 day cycle with Seachem Stability and Ammonium Chloride. Once I started getting the correct results on API Freshwater Maser Test Kit I introduced a Betta fish and 6 Cherry Shrimps.
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I did mess up in that I bought some Java Moss from Kijiji (PetSmart did not have it) and it introduced ick to the tank. Had to do a 5 day treatment. Now, everything is back to normal and all inhabitants are happy.
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