Newbie

Discussion in 'New members' started by Marike, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Marike

    Marike

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    Hi there,

    I am new to the site. I am looking to set up a tank with guppies, mollies, tetras and a separate shrimp tank.

    First need to learn a few things :)
     
    Nirvashen and A new day like this.
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  3. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Hi Marike and welcome!

    Great to be able to get input even before you’ve started, can help set you up for success so ask away :thumbup:

    What tank sizes did you have in mind? Are you going planted or not?

    The most important thing to wrap your head around is the nitrogen cycle, in other words how the beneficial bacteria converts the ammonia from fish poop into nitrates. Shout if you need links!
     
    Shabir likes this.
  4. Saibot

    Saibot

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    YAY, a new member. You are at the right place. Remember pictures when you set up. we love those.
     
  5. OP
    Marike

    Marike

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    Thanks. Links are always welcome.. I already have a 15l Nano tank for the shrimp..(Had shrimp in there before - then moved houses and didn't think about the water) Looking at something not too big to start off with for the other fishes.. maybe a 60l tank.. We do have borehole water so that's the other issue I need help on..
     
    A new day likes this.
  6. OP
    Marike

    Marike

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    And I will have some plants in the tanks for sure..
     
    A new day likes this.
  7. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    Welcome to the Forum
     
  8. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    I would suggest a bigger tank if you’d like to include mollies and platys though- a 3 footer?
     
  9. OP
    Marike

    Marike

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    Yes I can do a 3 ft tank, I am still in two minds about the mollies, but will definitely do Guppies and tetras.. anyone that can recommend where to buy fish tanks? And what is the basics I would need? I know the basics - filter, air pump, LED light, heater.. (best place to buy this please) I was looking at using sand as a substrate, lava stone of dragon stone and some plants.

    Something like this

    unzan-stones-aquascaping-rocks-2.jpg
     
    HugBug and A new day like this.
  10. Nirvashen

    Nirvashen

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    Hello and welcome, if you ever need some plants i always have some cutting floating around
     
  11. OP
    Marike

    Marike

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    Ah thank you Nirvashen - Once my tank is set up i will definitively take you up on that :)
     
  12. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Lovely @Marike
    @fux940510 is also in muldersdrift, perhaps he can help. There are also many online stores these days that can ship plants etc to you.

    The tank in your inspiration pic has an active substrate (an aquarium soil such as ADA Amazonia, Langa etc) and only the path is sand. This is necessary for the carpeting plants in front.

    If you’re willing to let go of the carpet (it’s tricky also for a beginner) then you can absolutely make a beautiful tank using an inert substrate such as pool filter sand (and use root tabs). Not all plants will grow well in sand or gravel but there are still many many choices.

    Instead of the rotala (a type of stem plant) at the back, you could use limnophila sessiliflora, for example- will give a very similar look. Ludwigia repens is another easy stem plant. Pearl weed, baby tears.

    Easy root feeders are amazon swords (background) and cryptocorenes (usually midground). They’d appreciate root tabs for extra nutrients at root level.

    There’s a variety of epiphytic plants that can be attached to rock or wood (and should not be planted in the substrate. Very useful. Eg anubias species (for shady spots, bucephelandra, bolbitis heudelodti, java ferns, susswassertang, mosses.
     
  13. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    Hi @Marike,

    Welcome to the Forum

    Look forward to your new project
     
  14. Trompie 04

    Trompie 04

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    Welcome Marike....

    Sent from my LM-G810 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Sarah Tetlow

    Sarah Tetlow

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    For all who need it, a simplified doc explaining the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle a new tank :)

    https://docdro.id/sKpV1FF
     
  16. fux940510

    fux940510

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    Welcome @Marike ! I usually get most of my aquarium goods from Aqua Empire in Randpark Ridge, as they almost always have everything i need.

    For tanks, i'd check out VIP Pets at Retail Crossing, their prices are usually pretty good. I would be cautious about livestock and plants from there though - plants are mostly unlabelled so you never know if you're getting a plant that is actually aquatic or not, and livestock management appears to be fairly poor. Lots of floaters the last time i went.

    For heaters, i usually go by 1 watt per litre. Gives enough juice to get things back up to temp quickly without the heater staying on permanently. Via Aqua is a good budget option, and you should be able to find it at most Local Fish Stores (LFS).

    For filters, i'd probably go with a good hang on back filter, like a Tidal 55 or Aquaclear 50. The cheaper brands tend to use little cartridges filled with charcoal that would need to be replaced rather than cleaned, which would wipe out your beneficial bacteria that control ammonia. Aquaclear is a bit more difficult to find around here, but lots of stores keep the Tidal.

    For lighting, the best budget option i've seen around is Zetlight. Something like this: https://www.rbmaquatics.co.za/collections/zetlight/products/zetlight-ms-60f
    Should have plenty of light for growing most plants, and is easily dimmed should there be an algae problem

    For substrate, i'd definitely recommend giving the pool filter sand and root tab combo a go. There are specific aquarium soils that work very well, but the cost is a hard pill to swallow. Best budget option for aquasoil is Langa.

    For hardscape, definitely check out AquaEmpire. They have massive bins of materials and a practice area set up at the back of their shop. Keep an eye on the Facebook page so you know when new stock arrives, and you can get there before everything gets snatched up. It sometimes happens in less than a day...

    For plants, best local spot i've found is still AquaEmpire. If you're willing to get them delivered, McMerwe in Bloemfontein provides pretty good quality plants from what i've heard, as well as RBM Aquatics in Cape Town. Also, fellow hobbyists! I'm going to be clearing out a batch of plants soon, and @Nirvashen has also offered.

    In terms of a planting list, stick with everything that has a label like "Easy", or "No CO2 required". Will make the start of the aquascaping journey a lot easier. Plants like Amazon Swords, Cryptocorynes, Anubias, Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus), Bolbitis Heudelotii (African Water Fern), Pearl Weed (Hemianthus Micranthemoides), Rotala Colorata, Hydrocotyle Tripartita, Staurogyne Repens. They should all do pretty well. Try out a new type of plant every few months and you'll soon get an idea of what you like and can grow.

    One thing i can definitely recommend is some kind of liquid fertiliser to be added regularly. Something like Scape Complete, or the Seachem fertiliser range. More nutrients available in the water column will make the plants happier, and they should then out-compete the algae.

    Good luck, and let us know how it all goes :thumbup:
     
    Trompie 04, Marike and A new day like this.
  17. Shabir

    Shabir

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    Hi @Marike and welcome to this beautiful forum with the most amazing people.

    I like that you chose to research first unlike most of us who just buy fish and then try to figure out what we need to do. That inspiration pic you posted looks really good and now i cannot wait to see the outcome of your tank
     
    Marike and A new day like this.
  18. OP
    Marike

    Marike

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    Wow, thank you so much for the feedback. I will definitely go and have a look there. Thank you for the links as well. With regards to my borehole water, does anyone know where can maybe have my water tested? Or what should i be doing?
     
    fux940510 and A new day like this.
  19. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Most aquarium stores will test it for you for free. It would be good to know how hard your water is (kH and GH) for future decisions but not a deal breaker if your water is super hard etc.

    I use Sera liquid tests for pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Will post a link to a thread discussing various testing options and pricing

    https://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/threads/water-testing-kits-product-reviews.33041/#post-412544
     
  20. HugBug

    HugBug

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    Hi Marika, welcome!
    Regarding the stocking options, I've recently been looking at mollies for my own tank and have been totally stunned at just how big they get. I definitely think platties would be a better option with tetras and guppies. They look kind of similar but stay much smaller.
     

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