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My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

If you are new to the hobby.

My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Kazeem » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:26 am

Hello All!

I need a lot of help

Back Story

I have just brought my first house and so have decided I also want my first ever fish tank. I have decided to have it in the wall in my lounge so it is viewable from both sides. I have had the builders create a hole in the wall 110cm (L) x 100cm (H) x 30cm (W) and have been told by the pet shop I need to allow 30cm for access for cleaning so my tank should end up being approximately 165 Litres.

What I am looking for

- Where to get the custom tank built and a estimate price? (I have been quoted £220)
-The types of filter(s) I should use? (I would prefer internal and have been advised to use an under gravel + sponge filter) is this ok?
- Advise on where to get the heater and filters from? (ball park price)
-As it will be a feature some advise on lighting would be great! (possibly LED)
-Also the FISH! I am hoping to have a "community tank" some advise on possible species would be great

Anything else that you believe would be helpful would be greatly appreciated
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby cathface » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:45 am

hi and welcome! congrats on the custom tank, I'm totally jealous haha. I can't help with most of those questions because I've not had a custom, nor a community tank, but I will say that I reckon undergravel filters are rubbish. they do barely anything for filtration, and I've heard bad things about them. in terms of brands of filters, I'd say stick with the bigger names: Eheim, Tetratec, Rena, Fluval. they're reliable and have great reviews! externals would technically be better because of the size of your tank, but I'm sure there are some internals that would do the job. I'm basing most of my opinions on having a goldfish tank and they are massive poo-machines, so anyone can feel free to correct me on the filters!

oh, another thing that might be nice could be adding live plants? :)
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby POS_miniracer » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:06 am

I agree, undergravel filters are more trouble than they're worth for the most part.
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Kazeem » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 am

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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby thewass » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:37 am

i would do an external canister filter. And even better than that, instead of getting one really big filter, I would get two slightly smaller ones. reasons why:

1. external filters are easier to clean because all you have to do is detach the hoses from the filter, and carry the filter away to wherever you are cleaning it, and easily just snap the hoses back when finished. The filters are placed beneath the tank, and with your in-wall setup, this would probably be the most convenient for you since you dont have to reach into/above the tank. also, any other kind of filter maintenance is much easier

2. having 2 filters instead of one gives you a backup just in case one fails. It also allows you to have some filtration even when the other filter is being cleaned, and allows the water to be sucked in from multiple points in the tank. in my opinion, this is very important in a larger tank

3. canister filters allow you to place any kind of filter media you please into the baskets. this allows for you to customize your filtration for optimum performance

There are many different kinds of canister filters and you have to do some research to see which one you feel most comfortable buying. Personally, I bought the fluval 406 and I love it. I will be buying another one as soon as this filter is finished cycling. but again, everyone has their own preferences so do some research.

for community fish, I personally have a bias towards tetras. they are wonderful community fish that are interesting to watch. I have had success with them in the past housing them with gouramis, danios, platys, mollies, many kinds of algea eaters, corydora, crayfish, mystery snails, rainbow and bala sharks, and some more that i cant really remember off the top of my head right now.

I bought my filter and heater from amazon. cant beat the prices. the heater i have is the aqueon pro heater 200 watt. lifetime warranty and an indicator light that tells you when the water is/isnt at the temperature you set it at. you cant really beat this heater

as for the lighting, most LED lighting I have seen is custom work (which i see isnt a problem for you). I dont have much experience when it comes to lighting, but I have seen LED lighting and there is nothing comparable to it. I would most definitely go this route.

the most important things you have to remember are:
important thing #1: Research. lots and lots of research. convince yourself you want to buy something, then research it again just to be sure.
important thing #2: NEVER buy something just because someone told you to. take recommendations but dont buy on instinct. (see important thing #1), this is your tank, and if anything goes wrong, it will be you cleaning it up. it is you enjoying the tank so make sure you do it your way
important thing #3: have fun, enjoy your fish, and post pictures when you're done. I would love to see it when it is finished
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Blowfish » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:00 am

Hi kazeem :bye:
shame you cant have a cupboard under the tank for an external filter..oh well,i would prob go for an internal as these are easily serviceable and fairly easy to disguise wiyh plants and decor.Undergravels do work really well for a while but after a year or so need stripped out as all the muck is drawn underneath them to the bottom of the tank,this can cause waste issues that feed nuisance algaes and even cause methane gas pockets that can pop up and do damage/kill livestock! Even regular suction gravel cleaning cant get to the silt on the base of the tank!!

Fluvals are good http://www.tropicalmarinecentre.co.uk/e ... index.aspx
or ehiem http://www.charterhouse-aquatics.co.uk/ ... 5_337.html

Great led lighting here,you want the freshwater one (6500k) you can get a double set http://www.tropicalmarinecentre.co.uk/e ... index.aspx

These guys make tanks but they are based in falkirk ,scotland http://www.bossaquariums.co.uk/
or you could try..http://www.aquariumarchitecture.co.uk/

As for fish species everyone has there own favourites , most folks prob start with a community tropical tank that has a good mix of different fish that co habit,after keeping different species you soon develope favourites! :ok:
Get yourself along to a local fish shop and see whats on offer you never know what you might fall in love with.....my faves are oddballs(puffers particulary if you couldnt guess) eels,arowanas,knife fish and i love american cichlids :thu: :beer:
Keep good water = Keep good fish!!
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Kazeem » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:51 am

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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Getthejist » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:29 pm

I'm not sure if I have missed this but what type of fish do you want tropical or coldwater, and do you want live plants or just the plastic ones? What you could do is have an internal and a sponge filter as sponge filters are very good for biological filtration. And about the optiwhite glass I have no idea as I've never seen it but is it thinner by any chance as that'll probably be why it'd be easier to see through it.
When in doubt get another tank.
I keep water the fish are just for decoration.
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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Kazeem » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:36 pm

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Re: My First ever Fish Tank Ever!

Postby Blowfish » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:54 pm

have seen it,not worth it..doesnt make any real difference ...think its a money making fad!
Keep good water = Keep good fish!!
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