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Guest Sharelle

I need some advice about tropical fishys.

I have just bought a second hand set-up of ebay (yay I won)

It is a 200ltr 4 ft tank a 300 wt heater, an internal self-contained(whatever that means) corner filter and a pump that pumps at 1.5 ltrs per min and a 40 wt uv light.

Ok what now.....

Does anyone now if the equiptment that comes with it is the right strength or whatever to keep the fishys or will I need to get some new stuff?

Also what is the best substrate to use?

What about fishless cycling?

I have been researching online all week, (I only won the auction 1 hour ago lol) and my head is swimming!!!!!

Different site seem to contradict each other in relation to what fish you can keep together ( i want a community tank), and they basically say not to believe a word the aquarium or pet shops tell you.

I would love to have -



Silver shark

Bristlenose catfish


Kissing Gourami


Zebra Danios

Obviously I cant have all of those!!!

Any other suggestions for bright pretty fishys?

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'k, the heater will be fine for that tank - personally, with a four footer I'd spread the load between two 100W heaters, one at each endish, (so if one fails, the other still heats, and if one sticks on it doesn't boil the water as fast as a single 300W could) but the 300W will work...

I'd need to see the filter to tell you how suitable it is - if it's just a corner sponge filter, driven by the air pump, I'd suggest it's not sufficient for the tank - once you get to a nice, big four footer you're looking at a canister, a sump, or a really good internal powerhead driven unit - an Otto filter would certainly do it, but you'd likely need an Otto 800N or 1200N, and you might think about adding another media container to that, too...

The air pump - well, it's not a *vital* thing anyway - if you want bubbles, it will provide bubbles - you'll need to hook it up and see how it goes if you want to drive a bubble wall or an ornament - it may or may not have enough pressure...

A 40W UV light?? I guess they had a turtle in there previously??? UV isn't particularly useful for fish... if it was a 40W daylight or better rated globe (6500K - 10,000K) it'd be OK, it'll let you see the fish, but you won't get much growth out of plants from it... do you intend planting the tank up?? You would want 100-150W of light over that tank to generate good growth - e.g. a triple tube light, holding 3 40W's would work well... consider T5 lighting, as it's becoming readily available, runs cooler, and has higher wattage per tube... it also delivers a more intense light...

You could mix most of those fish, as long as you can divide the tank up somewhat with plants, etc, so they have places to get away from each other when they need to - just remember angels grow to quite a size, will eat what fits in their mouth, so you won't see many surviving fry from the platy's or guppies, and they can be *very* aggressive when they start breeding...

Silver dollars will decimate your plants, if you have plants... they do grow nice and big...

I've been told not to put gourami's and cichlids together, again, if you have places for them to escape each other, all good...

*One* silver shark, or plenty of ornaments and caves so they can place territories out from each other... I seem to remember they'll need a clear 50L area to themselves from something I read about them...

BN's - fine with everything but each other (males) once they get older... but will manage a pecking order if there is sufficient space and hiding places... BN's like to keep their cave 'their' cave...

For brightly coloured fish, consider dwarf cichlids - Apisto's and Rams - not as aggressive as Angels, you could have a pair of rams in there, and their personalities and behaviour make for excellent tankmates... alternatively, with 4' to play with, consider the benefits of schooling fish - a shoal of barbs or tetras make lots of colour and movement, and outweigh the effect of a few big fish around in a tank...

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