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jaguayo
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Male Posts : 9

Age : 43
Location : Dominican Republic

PostSubject: Getting started   Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:56 pm

Hello everyone! I'm pretty new at this, although I used to have a tank when I was a kid (not very succesfull actually). I just got a 29G tank, bought a couple of books and started collecting info on the web to make sure I got it right this time. Now that I know about cycling a tank I have finally understood why we had so many "burials at sea" in my house!

I'm currently doing a fishless cycle and once that's finished I'll start putting in some livebearers (my girls would love watching the baby fish).

Looking forward to learning a lot from you guys.
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Mostlycichlids
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Male Posts : 4565

Age : 37
Location : New Mexico USA
Favorite Fish : Jaguar Cichlid

PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:52 pm

Good to have you! Sounds like you have a solid plan to have a successful fish keeping experience! The hobby is enjoyable and a good learning experience. I wish you and your family many years of enrichment!

_________________
"There he goes - one of God's own prototypes -
a high powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production.
Too weird to live, and too rare to die".


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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Wyomingite
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Male Posts : 1781

Age : 49
Location : Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Humor : "I drank what?" - Socrates
Favorite Fish : I won't choose and ya can't make me!

PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:44 pm

Welcome to FWM!

I always have a tank or two of livebearers, even though cichlids are my main interest in the hobby. I currently have a 55 gallon planted tank with nohting but platies and a female swordtail. I started with 1 male blue platy, 2 female blue platies, 3 female sunset variatus platies and 1 female pineapple swordtail. One of the blue platy females died and one of the variatus have died, but not before they had given birth a time or two, and all the other females have had a brood or two, so there are 30 or so fish in the tank in varying stages of development.

IME, platies are the best way to go for raising the babies with the adults. Guppies will not hesitate to eat the babies (nom nom nom) if there isn't enough cover, and swordtails are hit and miss for eating young. In spite being touted as a "beginner" fish, mollies do better in slightly brackish water and many of the line-bred domesticated varieties tend to be unforgiving of a lapse in water quality. Also, the black or spotted strains have a realtively high probability for melanoma due to the pigment clusters that give them their black color.

Regardless of your choice we're looking forward to helping ya acheive success with your new adventure!

WYite

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"In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur
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jaguayo
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Male Posts : 9

Age : 43
Location : Dominican Republic

PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:01 am

Thanks guys!

Question about temperature: I live in the Caribbean and I've been monitoring the temperature in my tank for two weeks now. It has remained in the 82-84 degrees range. Do I need a heater? I'm afraid to cook the fish given that we don't really have winter down here.
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Wyomingite
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Male Posts : 1781

Age : 49
Location : Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Humor : "I drank what?" - Socrates
Favorite Fish : I won't choose and ya can't make me!

PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:12 am

The Caribbean? I'll be real jealous when the -10 weather starts hittin' here in January and February! Smile

At 82-84 ya don't need a heater. Even if the temp in the tank drops gradually by 3 or 4 degrees at night, the fish will be fine. You're pretty much at the same latitude most livebearers come from. With that ambient temperature the heater wouldn't run much anyway and your gut feeling is right, IMO. The risk of shorting out a heater or having it stick and frying your fish isn't worth the almost insignificant gain you'd get by having one.

Where in the Caribbean? All kiddin' aside, once ya get a little experience under yer belt with some of the common livebearers, ya might research some of the native fish and check with your local equivalent of a game & fish or natural resources department about collecting. Some of the Caribbean Islands have some very unique and attractive livebearers (both Poeciliids and Goodeids), killifish and even cichlids and catfish. Oh yeah, freshwater gobies and silversides (relatives of rainbowfishes) as well, IIRC. I'm droolin' thinkin' of some of the possibilities...

WYite

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So many fish, so few tanks.

"In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur
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jaguayo
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Male Posts : 9

Age : 43
Location : Dominican Republic

PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:33 pm

Thanks WYite! I'm in the Dominican Republic. I've only seen the colorless relative of the guppy in local streams (my mother in law has a couple in her tank) but I'll ask around to see what else is out there.

Jorge
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Wyomingite
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Male Posts : 1781

Age : 49
Location : Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Humor : "I drank what?" - Socrates
Favorite Fish : I won't choose and ya can't make me!

PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:57 pm

Cool. Limia perugiae, Limia tridens, Limia sulphurophila and a coupla other Limia sp., several species of endemic mollies in the genus Poecilia, Rivulus roloffi, Nandopsis haitiensis (a cichlid) and IIRC gobies in the genera Sicydium and Eleotris (sleeper gobies).

Most of these aren't going to be bright and flashy like platies or swords. The colors are more subtle, yer not gonna see 'em at their best stressed in a stream. Lot of iridiscence. L. perugiae and L. tridens are both fish I've considered acquiring, I've had the chance and just didn't have the tank space when the opportunity presented itself.

WYite

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So many fish, so few tanks.

"In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur
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jaguayo
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PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:56 am

Ok, I have officially od'ed my tank with amonia and have ended up somewhere between 4 and 8 ppm. I guess this cycling thing is going to take a while! Would it help if I added something like Nutrafin's Cycle?
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Wyomingite
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Male Posts : 1781

Age : 49
Location : Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Humor : "I drank what?" - Socrates
Favorite Fish : I won't choose and ya can't make me!

PostSubject: Re: Getting started   Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:27 pm

jaguayo wrote:
Ok, I have officially od'ed my tank with amonia and have ended up somewhere between 4 and 8 ppm. I guess this cycling thing is going to take a while! Would it help if I added something like Nutrafin's Cycle?

Yes it will help. I always keep some on hand to supplement when I add fish to an established tank, and have actually added fish straight to a new tank without cycling, without any losses and without any spike in ammonia or nitrite, though I only do this when in an emergency and don't reccomend it as a substitution for cycling the tank. Since you don't have fish in the tank though, you aren't really loosing anything by adding the excess ammonia except possibly time in the cycling process. The other thing you could do is a partial water change to bring the ammonia back down to the target levels. The bacteria are on the surfaces of the substrate, decorations, glass and in the filter, so a water change will remove the ammonia but not a significant amount of bacteria that have already established themselves. There isn't a significant population of bacteria in the water column. Also, the bacteria won't OD on high ammonia. Since there are no fish in the tank, there really isn't a right or wrong answer, it will all work itself out at the end of the cycling process.

WYite

Edit: Okay, the more I think about, I wouldn't do anything and keep the cycle going as planned. 4-8 ppm isn't that much. The ammonia spike will just last a bit longer and may be a little bit higher until the Nitrosomonas population catches up to the amount of ammonia in the system. Smile

WYite

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