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Author Topic: Fish
Allegra
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I live in an apartment that doesn't allow pets that aren't in aquariums, so I was thinking about a fish or two. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for colorfull, inexpensive, easy to take care of fish. I have never had and fish so any advice is appreciated.
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breyerchic04
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I've never really had fish either, but I petsat a beta and two mini catfish this summer (Not at faira's house, this was at my house, other person) that was easy, I just fed them and threw them in the colander one day to wash out.
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Libbie
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Bettas or guppies are colorful and easy to care for. You'll want to stay away from saltwater fish, as they can get not only complicated but ADDICTIVE! [Smile] Actually, I happen to think that all fish are addictive. They're a lot of fun.

The bonus of guppies is that they're easy to breed.

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The White Whale
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Bettas. Definitely. Mine's named Moby Dick. [Wink]

Well, not plural. They fight. One betta.

Edit: Betta, not beta.

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B34N
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Sticks
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Boon
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Bettas and guppies are tropical fish and need aquarium heaters, or at the very least a warm (but not too warm) and draft free place to live. I'd try a smallish (10 gallons or so, but not smaller) tank to start with a good filter, a live plant or two, a light, and a couple of goldfish if I were you. No heater required, you can pot the plant(s) in small cups so you won't need gravel on the bottom (cuts down dramatically on cleaning duties)...

I wouldn't go any smaller than 10 gallons though. It's too hard to regulate temperature and chemical levels on anything smaller, at least IME.

And for heaven's sake, get the aquarium set up and running for at least a week before you get any fish. You'll thank me for this when your first fish don't die.

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Tante Shvester
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Can you have other stuff in an aquarium besides fish? Like a turtle, or a gerbil, or an iguana or a snake? 'Cause I think that would be more fun.

Fish bore me, unless they are on a plate.

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The White Whale
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Boon, Moby Dick has been living very well for well over two years in a gallon-or-so fish tank with plants. When I got him, he was very white (hence the name) but since then he has lost all of his whiteness. I guess it was becasue he was sick or something...I'm not sure.

I'm not sure you need a 10 gallon tank for a fish, especially if Allegra is going for simple and inexpensive. As far as the temperature and chemical regulation, Moby Dick has never shown signs of anything wrong (although I guess I'm not sure how well he can communicate complaints).

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pH
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Get a tortoise! As easy to take care of as a betta, but you can actually take him out of the tank and play with him!

-pH

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anti_maven
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Tarantula?
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MightyCow
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NO GOLDFISH!

Those things are some of the filthiest, poopinist fishes ever. Unscrupulous pet store owners will tell you that they're a great starter fish, but you end up having to change filters and clean the tank like crazy because they make such a huge mess.

My brother had a Pacman Frog. Very cute, and he enjoyed it a lot. It swallowed a marble in the tank for decoration and then hibernated for 3 months. It eventually spit up the marble, but it died a few months later anyway. So if you get one, don't put swallowable items in the tank [Smile]

Oh, hamsters are also dirty, filthy little poopers. Thinking back, I always managed to pick pets that required almost constant house cleaning. [Mad]

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breyerchic04
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The Betta I petsat for didn't have a heater, but is kept in the bathroom about two hours south of Allegra during the winter, and in the kitchen here in Indiana in the summer.
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

but you can actually take him out of the tank and play with him!

So, what does play with a turtle actually involve?
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KarlEd
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I imagine a lot of little turtle screaming in a range inaudible to humans.
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katharina
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I have an orchid at work. It dropped its blossoms immediately after I got it, which was so discouraging I ignored it. It has since blossomed again. I'm overjoyed - if only more things in my life responded to benign neglect.

I'm sorry, not a fish, but just saying that if you're looking for a delicate, mercurial living thing, an orchid might work. [Smile]

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KarlEd
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quote:
I'm sorry, not a fish, but just saying that if you're looking for a delicate, mercurial living thing, an orchid might work.
Or if not, I'm available for weekends and holidays. [Wink]
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

I imagine a lot of little turtle screaming in a range inaudible to humans.

Human: *pat pat* *prod prod* *poke poke*

Aren't we having fun, Mr. Turtle?

Turtle: *killkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkillkill*

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Megan
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Kat and Karl, you've both made actually laugh out loud in this thread.

[ROFL]

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Architraz Warden
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If you're going for fish, I recommend Cichlids.

Some varieties are nearly as colorful as saltwater fish, with none of the fuss of complex water conditions. Honestly, they work better in aquariums between 10 and 20 gallons because it keeps them at a fairly manageable size, and some types are particularly aggressive (you can ask about these, but they tend to have names like Oscars, Convicts, and Jack Dempseys).

Also, I believe the African Cichlids tend to be more colorful (as opposed to the South and Middle American ones).

Eels are also fairly enthtralling.

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Diana Bailey
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I totally love fish and find them amazingly relaxing and beautiful. Big, professional aquariums are like churches for me...well, without liturgy, but a strong reminder of the wonder and glory of life.

OK, enough blather...setting up a nice home aquarium requires that you buy a tank that is as big as you can afford to have in your home and is more horizontal than vertical because fish need the oxygen.

Set up your tank and let the water and chemicals and filter settle for about a weekto ten days before you add any fish. An "older"tank will always be a better environment than a brand new tank.

Then add the fish slowly. I happen to be partial to fancy goldfish but they demand more care because, as folks have noted, they are dirty. Add one of two fish at a time; don"t rush it. Watch and see how the community shapes up...and watch for overly aggressive fish-return those to the fish store.

I name my fish after political leaders, which is quite fun, and in my family, pretty vicious too.
I still remember Winston Churchill, the dominant and beatiful goldfish who ruled my tank for many months. And believe it or not, I've actually had feeded fish live for years.

Never let your kids feed the fish...they always overdo it, but live brine shrimp or worms are fascinating for kids to watch. I always had green plants, but I also replaced them regularly and I never allowed snails of any kind into the tank. Talk about multipling...

Good luck! I hope you like your new companions!

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Allegra
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Thank you for all of the advice. Especially about setting up the tank. I would have killed my first fish for sure.

A betta would be really nice, but if a heater is really better maybe it isn't the best option. I might do some looking around the internet and ask around at some petstores about that.

If goldfish are as messy as everyone says I wouldn't have the time to keep the tank clean.

I had never heard of Cichlids. I will look around the internet for some more information.

As much as I would like a nice home aquarium I don't really have the money to spend on all of the fish and stuff for the tank. I was thinking more one to three fish in a smaller tank that need minimal equitment. Maybe that isn't realistic.

I might think a little more about my non-fish options. Although a tortoise sounds neat I am too a little mistified about how to play with one. A Tarantula is out of the question. I would be terrified of it. A frog might be nice, but I am not sure my roomate would be thrilled. I am going to look into the rules about what can be in the cage

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The White Whale
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Allegra, I have one beta in a non-heated, non-filtered, single gallon size tank, and have had one (the same one, mind you) for over two years now. I have driven him back and forth to home and school with him, and he's doing absolutely fine.

I have had great times with my fish, he responds to my finger and sometimes gets angry at it and puffs up his gills. He is easy to take care of, inexpensive (after my initial costs, I've spent almost nothing on him) and entertaining.

Don't rule out the bettas.

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Shan
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Speaking of bettas and living situations . . . an office assistant I once knew had a betta in a very large clear flower vase, with a live plant -- you'd could see the roots through the clear glass. (And of course the betta, swimming happily and looking might radiant.) That betta was still going strong when she moved to a new job two years ago.

Does anyone know anything about these kind of set-ups? I've been thinking about trying it at my office. So soothing.

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Will B
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I had tropical fish. Essentially they were interesting decorations with a *trace* of personality. I've heard cichlids are better.

Bettas are pretty tolerant, and can live in a goldfish bowl (better than goldfish, in fact). If they're in less than a 10-gallon, they'll attack their neighbors. They likely will anyway. Very aggressive.

If you go for a 10-, or better yet 29-gallon, you'll have aeration and filtration. Mollies are tolerant; they might like a little salt in the water, too.

You'll need a heater. It's very important when changing water not to trust that tap water is the same temperature as tank water -- I killed a lot of fish this way once.

Painted glassfish are literally painted, by people, which means they're damaged. Bad idea.

I found that tetras were very good at killing themselves.

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Juxtapose
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Fish that'll eat the algae that will inevitably grow on the side of the tank can be a good idea, if you can find one that won't kill your other fish. I had a Chinese algae eater, and that was a problem. Apparently they get pretty territorial. The janitor fish which look like this (or just a solid black/dark brown), shouldn't attack other fish and will grow to match the size of your aquarium. Not very attractive, but they're pretty hardy. I also seem to recall you can get snails that will do something similar.


If you're going for colorful fish, you'll want an aquarium light that's either fluorescent or one that uses those small bright white energy saving bulbs

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foundling
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We have a couple of tanks with Red Jeweled Cichlids in them. Gorgeous fish, and really hardy. You do still have to maintain the tank and equipment with pretty regular cleanings, but it's not actually that hard. Of course, my boyfriend does all the work because I kill all living things I touch below the size of a cat. Hell, I probably kill all dead things too and just dont realize it. I'm BAD at keeping things alive. But these fish have survived even my black touch, so I can vouch for their hardiness. They can be aggresive with other fish, and they breed like rabbits if given the chance. You can sell the babies to pet stores or friends though, so that's ok.
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B34N
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Get some of those fighting fish and let 'em duke it out in the bowl. But be sure to film it and put it up on You Tube and post into the You Tube thread for everyone to enjoy. [Big Grin]
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Allegra
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I found a couple of betta sites and it doesn't sound too difficult. If I am not allowed to have hamsters or other fuzzy companions it seems like the easiest option. Thank you all for your advice.

Shan: Every site that I have seen discourages the type of setup you describe, but my grandma has something similar to what you describe and her betta seems perfectly happy and healthy. *shrug*

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