heyfishyfishy heyfishyfishy
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  • Posted on: 4/1 15:58
Complete Newbie - self cleaning tank? #1
Hello!!

I am totally new here, and new to aquariums. I have wanted one all my life and I am considering actually taking the plunge (pun intended).

I watched YouTube video (and then several more) about how to create a tank that needs no water changes - this fascinated me, so I've looked into it more, and it seems perfectly achievable, providing you have the right understanding of the nitrogen cycle, input and output.

So this is what I would like to aim for. I understand it would need to be pretty heavily planted, and I would need a good substrate to provide an area for beneficial bacteria. I may still add a small filter to keep the water moving and I wouldn't consider adding any fish until I had cycled my tank properly and was happy with my set up.

But I still have some questions and any advice would be appreciated.

The idea I have at the moment for a tank is as follows:

- between 20 and 30 gallons
- heavily planted

The fish I think may work (and please do feedback)

- 3 kuhli loach
- 1 bristle nose pleco
- 6 cherry barbs (or another type of small schooling fish)
- a few snails

As I said - I wouldn't be introducing these right away, but these are what I think could work well.

Some questions:

1 - is this all feasible?
2 - would these fish all tolerate a similar temperature range - I live in the UK so I assume, self cleaning or not, I would need a heater - and a light?
3 - I assume you can't just top th tank up with tap water? do you simply use tap water and dechlorinate it before putting it in the tank?

I am sure I'll have more questions soon.
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 5/1 18:11
Re: Complete Newbie - self cleaning tank? #2
Re a tank with no water changes, do bear in mind that:
* if you have very soft water / low KH, it will be used up and you'd be in danger of a PH crash (but there may be ways of counteracting this eg use of JBL Aquadur);
* the bristlenose pleco and snails produce *a lot* of poo - this gets unsightly after a few days;
* this wouldn't reduce levels of hormones that may build up (eg fishes' stress hormones);
* if you're an inexperienced fishkeeper, it might be best to try that after several years of experience *with* water changes.

Other plans sound fine (ie compatibility of inhabitants including their temperature requirements) *but* kuhli loaches wouldn't be wise if you have very hard water. Details on the species' requirements are available at https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/modules/ ... resheets.php?cat=Tropical , and further and more up-to-date detail at https://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/ Heater is necessary for the fish and snail inhabitants, and light for plants and day-night cycle for fish (and aesthetically for you).

Tap water requires dechlorinator to address chlorine/chloramine. Check out articles at: https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/beginners_articles/
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 5/1 18:35
Re: Complete Newbie - self cleaning tank? #3
[Signature: NB. I can only respond briefly to 1-2 queries on very occasional days, so apologies in advance if I don't respond to all on the forum at the time and/or only respond sporadically to follow-on queries. Accordingly, I signpost to articles which contain answers to (potential) queries - hope these are helpful.]