This section is going to be written by one of the readers. He has decided to undertake the task of starting up a new 75 gallon aquarium. I believe it will be a helpful and fun addition to the site and offer insight, ideas and problems from a fresh perspective. Enjoy, the Badman
Hi I would like to welcome all to this section of the site.
I would like to mention that this section is intended for NEWBIES people who would like to get into keeping fish and what is involved, but everyone is welcome.
This site will contain several sections. The first section is the new tank that I am putting together which will be a 75-gallon tank. I will show you step by step all parts and work necessary in putting up this tank, and I think we will do this in weekly (or as I get to them) so stop by whenever you can to see how far along we are!
The second section I would like to put up is really geared up for the beginners. There is much to know about these cute little water swimmers than you could possible think. The third section I haven't decided yet and will update this as soon as I know what it will be!
First of all I will tell you a little about myself and hope that I don't ramble to much as I am know to tell long fish stories! First off I am 37 married and have two kids that occupy what little time I have. I am forced to find time at work and late at night to do things I love such as this site.
Well, the story begins: Up until 2 months ago I knew that fish swim and they like water! That was all I knew. We went to a carnival this summer where my son won a Goldfish. I had been thinking of getting him a fish tank for some time but wasn't sure if I wanted to mess with the fish stink (so I thought they stunk). My son was all excited on the idea of getting a fish tank and I thought oh what the heck Walmart is open all night lets head out there. Not having a clue of what I am doing, I was shopping up a storm, picking stuff like I knew what I was doing. I found a 10-gallon tank kit. Hey! This is just what we need. Everything is in the box just add water and fish. Nothing to it! Hey! We only have one fish. Lets get him some buddies. Hey this funny looking (I think) Catfish looks good. I found out later it was a Pleco. He looks cute silver and black and nice and little. The sign says Silver Shark but he looks OK. Close but it was really a Bala Shark. My son spots these cute little frogs. African Claw frogs they look small and cute lets get two. So we proceeded to get 1 Pleco, 2 African Claw frogs, 1 Bala Shark, a cat fish of some sort I forget and we had a Gold fish so now we have some buddies for him. I bought a Regent 5-15 gallon 100 gal/hr. filter (don't ask me why I guess I thought it would make the tank not stink). A few little plastic plants and home we went. When we arrived home, I noticed that there was no gravel in the kit. It's pretty hard to weigh down a sponge filter blowing air without gravel to hold it down and gravel is supposed to be in there to make the tank look pretty. Dad to the rescue! A hot pepper jar will hold the bubble maker down until tomorrow so toss those fish in and we'll take care of that in the morning. Next morning all the fish are still alive and dad is a hero. Lets go to Walmart. We get gravel and more junk to put in the tank and buy a heater.
We didnít get one of those with the kit maybe, we need one. My son spots a Crayfish. . He has to have him heís cool. What the heck Iím make him happy. We get a crayfish I should have known this guy was going to be trouble when he poked a hole in the bag before we got through the line and the girl in the fish department had to put him in a glass jar. But she said they don't hurt fish? We get home, put the tank together add gravel and the heater. As my son sits there looking at the Cray fish, that was in the tank one minute eats his Bala Shark. Tears flying from him I catch the Cray fish in the net and put him back in the jar. The Bala, still alive but badly hurt had to be euthanized. Another trip to Wally World to get a refund on the Cray fish. The same sales girl is still there feels bad about the Bala and gives me a new one free. Back home We went with the new Bala and dumped him in. Now all is well. Four days later the Bala is dead. Must have been defective, so out to Walmart again. They give us a new fish. Heís dead the next day along with the catfish. Hey what gives here?
I found a pet store where I work and talk to the guys in the fish section. They inform me that I have new tank syndrome. Huh?! What the heck is that? They want a water sample. I bring it in and the Ammonia is off the charts. How often do you feed the fish they ask? Three or four times a day, and lots of it. We want fat fish. The next question is what kind of biological filter am I using. BIO WHAT! Like I said I have fish with a bubble maker! You should at least have an undergravel filter. OK! Off to Walmart. Get an undergravel filter and what the heck there is a power head. This is supposed to work great on undergravel filters. It says so on the box. 170 gallons per hour too. That will fix the problem. Out of the tank the fish go and in goes the new undergravel filter and power head. Switch on! Now this I wished I had a video of a 170 gal/hr. head on a 10 gallon tank. I had the only wave pool for fish on the block, and with the aeration it looked like they were in a snowstorm. This doesn't look right. Out come the fish redo the whole tank again. Using the air pump and the two tubes. Now I find that I need a valve splitter and tubing. Out to Walmart. Take the power head back and get a new air pump and new tubing and a adjustable valve splitter. Now weíre set. Biological whachamacallit in there and new fish, air looks good but fish have white specks on them. Must be dandruff or something. New Bala dies. Two days later spots are worse and Pleco is dead. What the heck is going on now? I call pet store and they say ICK! I told you I have fish what the heck is ICK! Well that was it I had added 3 Berry Tetraís (which I found out are painted fish) and they were the last to die. I added Copper plus to the water after I found out that this stops ICK but it was too late. I am a fish killer. I was sure that the Cods had my picture on every tank don't go home with this guy.
Well, that was a lesson well learned and a long story. There were other problems afterwards to but the moral of the story is don't listen to Walmart fish people! No really I told this story to help others not to make the same dumb mistakes I did. First of all those cut little frogs at Walmart get the size of a grown mans fist and will eat your fish in about 6 months to a year. Not to mention fish getting scared and developing a disease called ďICKĒ. This is what caused my fish to get sick. In one night I pulled the fish in and out of the tank two times. This is what caused the ICK! Iím sure the frogs jumping around didnít help but they were the only things to survive. I guess ICK doesn't affect frogs. I cleaned the whole tank (which I find out I didnít have to do after 24-48 hours ICK parasites die without a host). I got books, studied web sites and started over. I got another 10-gallon tank to hold the frogs and just fish in the other.
So here I am 2 and a half months later and a lot smarter. I have 2 ten-gallon tanks and 1 has already cycled and all fish are doing great. So I am by no means an expert at fish but I am a lot smarter than I was 2 Ĺ months ago. I have read many books and have asked many a question. I now know that cycling the tank is very important and what goes on and what to look for. Also the reason for the 75-gallon tank. Larger bodies of water are a lot more forgiving than smaller bodies. Make a mistake with 75 gallons of water not real bad as long as repaired. Make a mistake with ten gallons and move quickly because concentrations build quickly. I also want to show that even a Green person such as myself can put together a large tank and so can you. I will show you step by step parts I am using and the things you need to do. Also pictures of what to do as well. Prices of parts and helpful places to get the best prices. By no means does anyone need to use the same parts and I will try to add a place for the smaller tanks. I found out there is such a thing as starter fish. Some fish can tolerate extreme levels of toxic substances more than others can and we will cover this as well. So book mark this page and tune in as often as possible to find out how things are going and how far we are along. My name is Bill but my friends call me Mags! Anyone with any questions or need help please feel free to drop me a line at Mags