Re: Beginner

Tracy Wilson <twilson at IPS_ca> writes:
<<I just bought a new 86 gallon tank for my boyfriend for christmas.  Any
suggestions on plants, even fish for that matter?>>

I would suggest looking at - nay, *studying* - the Aquaria FAQ!  There are
good suggestions for how to begin, and (perhaps more importantly) how to
continue once you've begun.  http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~aquaria/Faq/ is the

If you can't do W3, look in the newsgroup "rec.aquaria" for other pointers to
the FAQ.  Many many people-hours were spent creating this excellent guide to
starting and maintaining a satisfying aquarium.  It is the best resource
available for free.  

<<Right now we have no 
plants, 2 bleeding heart tetras, 2 black sharks with red 
tails and now three neon tetras (we had five but two got 
sucked up in my filter.  Don't laugh!!  I have an Aqua 500
filter if that tells you anything.>>

Get another sponge for the aquaclear (a smaller one will work) and cut/ream a
hole down the center (not all the way through - perhaps 3/4 of the length).
 Pull it over the filter intake like a mitten - wala, no more sucked up fish
(plant leaves, fish food, etc).  Also serves as a nice prefilter that's easy
to pull out & squeeze clean without turning off the main filter pump.

<<Any suggestions or tips would be a big help.>>

In the FAQ, focus on "Your first Freshwater Aquarium" (especially the section
on the Nitrogen Cycle), "Live Plants", and "More Details, Please" (covers
good beginner fish).  This should get you on your way to being a "Pro",

Anne Hull Seales
Santa Cruz CA