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Newbie just getting hooked
#1
Hello there,

My mother-in-law recently bought a 19L "Aquatown" kids tank from Pets at Home for my kids for Christmas (they're 4 and 2) as a 'first pet' thing. Of course it's fallen to muggins here to actually look after it all, but I'm really getting into it.

The starter tank came with a filter as part of the kit, and I've got some gravel/ornaments. I went through a 2 week fishless cycle on advice from a fish place down in Henlow, and we then placed 2 small Platys in there.

Around a week or so later, Pets at Home said we'd be able to add some more, so using their FishPoints system they said I could add some White Cloud Minnows, and I bought a couple of Amano Shrimp for cleanup.

In total we've got the 2 Platys and 5 White Clouds, which using their points system is 9 FishPoints (the tank has a capacity of 10) and the two shrimp are 0 points.

I recently added a tiny LED strip light (£10 from Pets at Home, advertised as ideal for the kids tank) but since then have been having rapid green algae growth. I've done a lot of reading and have realised I've proper been over-lighting the tank (because hey, it's pretty). I'm currently covering the tank for a few days then will do a 50% change once the algae is killed off.

I'm being recommended to get a snail or two to help with the algae, which again Pets at Home classify as 0 points, but to be honest it seems to me there'd be a lot of life in such a small tank, even if they say the shrimp and snails would be 0 points. Is this over-stocked?

I'm getting really hooked on this to be quite honest, and have gone out and bought a 270L tank to upgrade to (I'll be equally honest, I wasn't intending to go this big, but it was £60 second hand including the cabinet). I'm planning to stick with cold water as I like these White Cloud guys (although having a shoal of neons does tempt me to tropical). I'd really like to have a lot of smaller fish rather than big ones in this new tank. Anyone have any tips for affordable gear for this size of tank?

Any input appreciated.
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#2
Hello and welcome Smile
Technically the P@H system is right about the snails and shrimp as they dont realy add to the bioload, but I wouldn’t rely on their system to house fish as some fish require different parameters to others (including temperature).
Its also not a bad thing to go for a big tank (thats a steal btw!), the parameters are easier to keep stable and it does allow plenty of room for any fish you might fancy. TBH platies and wcmm are not the biggest fish, and will probably look small when in the bigger tank Wink
As for the algae scrape it off and do a water change with conditioned/dechlorinated water and reduce the lighting, we normally recommend starting with 6 and then upping to 8 hours gradually once things have settled.
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
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#3
If you get a heater (approx £20 for your larger tank, I recommend either Eheim or Fluval) and set it to 22C, that should suit both white clouds and neons, so you could have both Smile

19L is too small for any extra fish or snails in my humble opinion. The Pets at Home points system is not at all reliable. I would suggest waiting until you get the big tank set up to add anything.
240 litre Fluval Roma

38 neon tetras
8 albino corydoras
6 otocinclus
2 Bolivian rams
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#4
When you get the new big tank set up you could use the smaller one as a hospital/quarantine tank as you want the same fish and a good way to use the tank.
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#5
Welcome to the forum. Smile
Well done on the bigger tank, I'm not sure a 19l is big enough for platies to grow properly anyway. Wink
When you swap, take the filter media out of the 19l and put it in the bigger filter to support what you have now.
As you add fish, use either Tetra Safestart or Seachem Stability to boost the munchers in the filter.
Do you have a water test kit (liquid kits are far better than paper "sticks")? You can make sure the water parameters are ok then.
Oh, and neons will prefer softer water than platies. White clouds can take a range of hardness.
There are only a few P@H stores which give good advice on fish, so be careful while stocking. I would suggest you find a store that will probably have healthier fish as well, again P@H aren't renowned for healthy fish. Wink
If at first you don't succeed....
...get someone else to do it! Big Grin

Enjoy your fish, shrimps and snails!
Ian

All my posts are from a desktop.
Mobiles are way too complicated for me, although I do have one now. Wink
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#6
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I've just ordered an external canister filter, heater and sand for the new big tank. I'll order a water testing kit too. 

Plankton when you say use the media from my old pump, do you mean just plonk it in the new water?

I live in an area of Bedfordshire that is renowned for hard water, what can I do about that if I wanted to mildly warm the tank and include neons as advised if they prefer softer water?

I've received fairly uniform feedback on this forum and another about Pets at Home and their fish advice, so I'll try and find a local specialist supplier instead.
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#7
Hello and welcome to

I keep neons and i live out west midlands way, water here is known as liquid rock. Check your hardness on the water suppliers website, you might find its not as hard as you think Smile
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#8
Hello and welcome to the site, how exciting, you have really got hooked. Looking forward to hearing your updates and photos of you new big tank project Smile
Cool I’m a goofy goober  Cool
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#9
The media in the filter, whether its sponges, ceramics, noodles etc just take it out of the old filter and put it in the new filter, make sure the new filter is clean and tank safe (by running it in dechlorinated water before adding the old media) this will (as Ian said) transfer the bacteria currently supporting your fish. Hope that makes sense.
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
[-] The following 1 user Likes Gingerlove05's post:
  • plankton
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#10
Hi and welcome to the forum Smile

Everyone's said everything, I can't give any more advice haha! Big Grin all the best.
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