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What's Your Favorite Advice for New Nerms?


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Worry less and enjoy more.

Don't chase numbers; ph, gh, kh, TDS, etc. As long as your water is safe and habitable your aquatic inhabitants will adapt just fine.

This forum is going to be such a joyride for you!   Advice? Do not get defeated by mistakes, failures, or discouraging curmudgeons who scold you for them.    If an aquarist enneagram cou

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I don't think anyone can narrow it down to just one piece of advice. But, here's a few of mine:

-Test your water always. Even if it's year five of your tank running. It doesn't hurt to test. 1x a week takes 10 minutes - TOPS. If you don't have 10 minutes for your tank, you probably shouldn't be setting one up.

-Better to under feed than over feed

-Feed a variety of foods: frozen, live, flake, pellet. Your fish's health will thank you. Would you like to eat the same thing every day?

-Set up the tank that will make YOU happy. Getting ideas from the internet is fine. But, don't compare yours to someone else's. Even if two people set up the EXACT same tank: fish, substrate, plants, etc. Yours will still be different. No two tanks are the same.

-Over filtering (putting a filter that's made for a bigger tank on yours. Example: I run an Aqua Clear 30 on my 10g) your tank will help tremendously

-Just sit down and watch your tank once in a while. You'll learn a lot, and notice if something is different (bad or good) from the last time. 

Edited by Jeff
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9 minutes ago, Jeff said:

 

-Over filtering (putting a filter that's made for a bigger tank on yours. Example: I run an Aqua Clear 30 on my 10g) your tank will help tremendously

Amazing! 

On an obsessive note (see above 😆) I got a Tetra Whisper UL Air Pump for 10g tanks and a small sponge filter for my 10g tank -- I didn't know any better. Should I upgrade? I plan on having a heavily planted tank which I've already started with some swords, crypts, moneywort, water sprite and a dwarf lily bulb and plan on adding a couple pea puffers. 

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Take it slow. A well seasoned tank is more stable than a brand new one. Add fish to a new tank just a few at a time, with a few weeks in between. And quarantine any new occupants for at least two weeks, but more time is even better.

It's a journey not a race.

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7 minutes ago, Jennifer V said:

@H.K.Luterman so adding 10 shrimp and two snails to my new but very algae-ridden tank would be overkill? 

Algae ridden means it's had time to season. :3 The algae helps balance the parameters as well as gives food for your shrimp and snails to nibble on. Also, shrimp and snails don't create as much bio load as adding 10 fish. Should be fine!

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1) Live baby brine live up to every bit of hype they get.

2) Keep your maintenance requirements less than the time/energy you can afford. Life happens and we all go through lulls in the hobby, you don't want a system setup for failure when those times come.

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1 hour ago, Jennifer V said:

Amazing! 

On an obsessive note (see above 😆) I got a Tetra Whisper UL Air Pump for 10g tanks and a small sponge filter for my 10g tank -- I didn't know any better. Should I upgrade? I plan on having a heavily planted tank which I've already started with some swords, crypts, moneywort, water sprite and a dwarf lily bulb and plan on adding a couple pea puffers. 

You're probably good. But like I mentioned, getting a bigger filter (or just adding a HOB filter in addition to your sponge) can only help. 

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@Streetwise this is what my beginning tank looks like. I hope the water sprite, crypt tropica and the dwarf lily bulb to the right eventually do their thing. The moneywort already looks pretty good and the swords to the right are growing. What else do you think I should add? 

PXL_20210106_035701728.jpg

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Put your tank somewhere that you can see it the most. You will find yourselves randomly lost in it for minutes/ hours. When we moved into our current home 4.5 years ago the tank was put in living room but in a spot I could not see from the spot I send most of my time chillin/folding laundry/reading with kids.... 

I really missed just having it catch my eye. We got new furniture in November and this ment we could move the tank. I have spent more time staring at it in the last 2 months than I have in 4 years. It has resparked my passion and I am loving it. So is the rest of the family.

P.S. in middle of cleaning livingroom and water change. Sat down to write this and now don't want to get up. 😁

30g long.

16101214803971421385533969524818.jpg

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My advice would be to be patient—most problems resolve with time, and many others can be avoided by going slow.

Let your tank season, add things slowly, make one change at a time. If you see a problem like cloudy water or a fish doing something strange, wait and observe before freaking out. So many new fish keepers who come and ask questions on forums are trying so hard to solve a problem that would go away on its own if they gave it time.

If you’d asked for advice for someone with their first fish I’d say research research research, but a new nerm will obviously have already researched the heck out of everything. 😉

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Patience.

Take fish additions slow, but do plant additions as fast as your wallet will allow. Spend more on plants than fish, lights and filters at first. Figure out what works for you. Cheaper LEDs (Nicrew, etc) really ARE good enough for anything that doesn't REQUIRE CO2.

Fancy substrate is not important.  Fertilizer is important. Quality food is important. Having meds on hand is important.

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This forum is going to be such a joyride for you!
 

Advice? Do not get defeated by mistakes, failures, or discouraging curmudgeons who scold you for them. 
 

If an aquarist enneagram could be fashioned around root values like “Wet-pet-keeper,” “Farming / Cultivation,” “Science,” “Artistry,” “DIY / Craftsmanship” and “Entrepreneur,” you’ll find yourself naturally drawn to certain points much more than others. The old classical rule KNOW THYSELF is important. And over time, your interests  can evolve.  You’ll find on this forum absolute masters in all of these (and more) areas. Once you begin to figure out your natural inclinations, you’ll form clear ideas of what you want to develop in, try, learn, and share. 

 

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@Jennifer V, it looks you have a great start! I think you should add the plants that look interesting to you. Any plants that you choose will be good for your aquarium and the inhabitants.

I have really been enjoying Cryptocoryne varieties, Anubias varieties, Dwarf Sagittaria, and other plants that don't get too tall, because I have smaller tanks. I plan to start collecting Bucephalandra varieties.

As you browse the tank journals, and watch videos, you can curate your own wish list of plants to try, not to mention fish, shrimp, and snails.

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28 minutes ago, Fish Folk said:

Do not get defeated by mistakes, failures

To this point and if you already consider yourself a NERM, I'd get another tank. You'll be less discouraged if one tank is awesome and another is just kinda meh until you experiment and get things figured.

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