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Thread: New to the hobby in Brisbane

  1. #1

    Default New to the hobby in Brisbane

    Hi,

    Been reading various interesting posts on this forum
    All the helpful posts from members convinced me to take the plunge and start a fish tank
    Got a 2nd hand 4 ft tank, cleaning and re-sealing atm
    But keen to try out the '2toned' substrate on a 'no tech' tank

    basically wack in heavy planted (java moss, java fern, tiger lotus) + matten filter (utilise as back up active filter, usually passive sponge acts as extra surface area + tank divider) + aquaponic style plants (peace lily hanging off the top) to maximise nitrate cleaning and minimise water changes

    throw in blackworms, daphnia, trumpet snails, shrimp, corys for keep substrate clean and turned over to minimise manual substrate/algae cleaning

    put it in direct sunlight for algae growth for the algae eaters and warm water a bit in winter (may need a surface fan in summer)

    add in half a dozen harlequin rasbora, a betta and see how much the tank can handle with no heater, active filter/pump, lighting

    a complete beginner and not even started, I am sure all plans will go out the window on first contact with the enemy :P

    any generous advice gratefully received to aid minimising the suffering of innocent fish

    Thanks in advance
    Jon
    Last edited by bertiebond; 27-05-19 at 09:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central Coast - Narara
    Posts
    6,013

    Default

    Sunlight will cause way too much algae IMO.

    I would suggest a heater to keep it at the desired temp.

    Betta are great at hunting shrimp. Make sure you have plenty of plants, etc. for the shrimp to hide and go with something like Cherries that breed prolifically and you should be fine.
    Whatever

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cooloola Cove QLD
    Posts
    382

    Default

    A matten filter will be good backup but you will need to use it with an AC/DC Air pump instead as it still operates when power is out. I take that this system will be the main filtration and act as back up. In order to keep down nitrate you will need to 1. have a low bioload, keeping plants that grow fast (stem plants) and emersed plants (growing out) java fern and java moss are slow growing plants however given the right conditions they can grow rapidly.
    In any Aquarium Maintenance is always required regardless, by keeping to natures scale 1. large water volume, more vegetation than fish you will be able to keep water changes down.


    Direct sunlight is a No, no you will end up with green soup

    you will need a heater full stop to keep desired temperature (other wise you will just stress fish out) fish are the temperature of the water.
    Althought individual fish do not cost much, do not think of fish as cheap little expendables.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,894

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    The proposed no tech tanks can be difficult for beginners. I suggest having some control such as light, filter (simple canister would suffice), heater (keep temps between 20-25) and nutrients (with 50% WC weekly) when you start off.

    Sunlight should absolutely be avoided by a beginner. Light is your main control in a planted tank. It's best to have full control of that.

    2TONED substrate is very good. I used it quite successfully and crypts etc absolutely love it.

  5. #5

    Default thanks for advice

    Thank you for the experienced replies

    The two tops points to be

    1) even in QLD, indoors, large(ish) volume of water (over 400 liters), sunlight to collect heat during day, fairly hardy fish...
    you will need a heater. although then i am thinking i need a pump to circulate the water. maybe the fish will figure out where it is warmer and hang around there when its too cold

    would a chiller be required in summer?

    2) sunlight = algae bloom, no matter how much algae eaters (daphnia, snails, shrimp, corys) you have. Well, it will be window with blinds, so can control it to a degree
    Last edited by bertiebond; 28-05-19 at 09:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,894

    Default

    If you are having a pump, might as well have a simple filter I reckon.

    The window blinds are good in theory but it's going to be tricky to control light. Plants love a routine and you can grow plants very well when they sync up to a nice little routine of light and in faster growing tanks, ferts also.

    Chiller maybe required but fans may be enough. Locals in similar situations can give you some hints. Use a min-max thermometer to scope out your room.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kenmore, Queensland
    Posts
    239

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    As a local, you're probably aware that Brisbane climate varies significantly by locality. If you're in Ipswich, you're going to need to think about heating and cooling. If you're at Redcliffe, you might get away with it. I'm in Kenmore and even there, the diurnal temperature swing outside of the summer months is markedly higher than the CBD 9km away.

    I would have thought just about anywhere in SEQ would have been problematic in direct sunlight though. My upstairs main tank idles at 30C for about 3 months of the year and there is little I can do with that unless I want to run a chiller. That's without direct sunlight. At the higher temps, I get less plant growth and more algae growth.

    My downstairs, indoor pond (on a concrete slab set into ground level) still needs a heater during late June/July to keep the water column north of 16C and the Praecox alive.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dcm View Post
    As a local, you're probably aware that Brisbane climate varies significantly by locality. If you're in Ipswich, you're going to need to think about heating and cooling. If you're at Redcliffe, you might get away with it. I'm in Kenmore and even there, the diurnal temperature swing outside of the summer months is markedly higher than the CBD 9km away.

    I would have thought just about anywhere in SEQ would have been problematic in direct sunlight though. My upstairs main tank idles at 30C for about 3 months of the year and there is little I can do with that unless I want to run a chiller. That's without direct sunlight. At the higher temps, I get less plant growth and more algae growth.

    My downstairs, indoor pond (on a concrete slab set into ground level) still needs a heater during late June/July to keep the water column north of 16C and the Praecox alive.
    +1. Kenmore can get pretty nippy in winter.

    Agree on the 'no sunlight', it will become a swamp no time at all and the temp fluctuations will stress your fish (they might survive but they won't like it one bit).
    Also, if you're wanting to go low-tech / no-tech get a lot of plants. Some will survive and some won't, I still can't figure out which do, which don't and why so maybe someone else can chip in on this. I suspect water hardness / ferts tbh but that's just my 2c. I've had plenty of 'finicky' plants survive and some hardy ones melt, but I'm a blackthumb lol. My advice is to try a few and see what takes off and what doesn't - also, you can get them cheaper on gumtree / sometimes through facebook pages. LFS / petbarns etc are pretty expensive for single bunches. A while ago I got a shopping bag full of hornwort from a guy in Oxley for like.. $10? Filled both tanks and had enough left over for the pond. Be warned - it grows like crazy and sheds, but very good for providing protection for shrimp / fry etc if you're planning for that later.

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