50-gallon Set-up And Stock List For A Science Classroom

jpaek7

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I just got my hands on a 49-gallon acrylic tank. Dimensions are about 120.5cm L x 31.5cm D x 49cm H (front corners are rounded). The tank is going to be in a science classroom that has A/C.

I have a 10g tank in the beginning stages of cycling and the water temperatures read at 24.5C/76.1F min (end of school day) and 26.7C/80.1F max (happens weekends when A/C is not on). pH reads at about 7.4.

I live in Oahu. I need to purchase equipment such as filter and substrate. The main stores we have on the island is PetCo and Pet Depot. The equipment needs to be easily available (I am not sure if I will be able to purchase anything online). What other equipment will I need?

I already know about cycling a tank and will be holding off on stocking the tank but would like to already have a list to get my students interested. I don't want just the names of the fish, but a list of fish and amount. As a teacher, I don't have the time to read about every type of fish available to me and figure out what other fish they get along with.

Thank you for your help,
Hawaii Life Science Teacher
 
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Preston Landolt

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I've found they do well in 10 gallon tanks, but I have no experience with them in 20 gallon. Keeping the school low helps

But no lower than 6
 
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vikingkirken

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Are you looking for a few large fish or a bunch of smaller ones? Plants or not? Active or calm tank?

Sticking with one region of the world? Seems like that might be appropriate in a life sciences classroom
 
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jpaek7

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For the 10 gallon
Thanks for the advice. I did have 10 neons in a quarantine, but when I moved them over to the tank I wanted them in, they all died one by one. I can guess what the cause was and it was totally my fault. I may try again in the far future once I can get a temperature schedule and other issues solved.

But I was looking more for advice on the 50-gallon tank.

Are you looking for a few large fish or a bunch of smaller ones? Plants or not? Active or calm tank?

Sticking with one region of the world? Seems like that might be appropriate in a life sciences classroom
Not sure. Maybe active as I already have a betta in one of my 10g tanks (I have 2 that are planted but beginning stages and 1 more off to the side). I might have all 3 10g tanks as betta and the 50g as a multi-fish tank. I teach 7th graders (12-14 years old), so I want something that will stimulate their minds but not take away from the lessons. Not too sure if I want to do planted (it will need to be low maintenance and low light). I'm having students research about fish and tank set-up as extra credit and anyone who does it gets to help me maintain the tanks, so I need it to be kid easy.
 
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Platylover

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Hello, glad to see such a good teacher here! Very refreshing from the ones we usually hear of that don’t care for the fish! As for stock, I’ll recommend a few ideas. If your going for something that will be relaxing to watch, but not to distracting, I’d go with primarily schoolers. Maybe something like-
10-15 marble hatchet fish
10-15 cherry barbs
And perhaps some shrimp that are relatively easy to care for, like amanos. The temp should probably be kept right around 25C. I’m probably under stocking quite a lot here, so I’ll call our master stocker for more stocking help @TexasDomer
As for plants, I’d really recommend using them. They help with the parameters some and fish tend to love them, as well as love plants barley if ever posing a threat as far as hurting them. For lolights and easy care, I’d go with some java ferns and Anubis. Fast growing ones are anarchis and water wisteria, as well as floaters like duckweed.
For substrate I’d suggest going with either black diamond blasting sand or pool filter sand, cheap and works well.
If your looking for a nice, natural decoration, I’d go with some wood. I got three very nice pieces of manzanita wood and absolutely love them! I got them from Manzanita - Page 1 - Manzanita-Driftwood.com and he was very nice to work with. Hopefully this helps and I wish you the best of luck with your tanks!
 
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jpaek7

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Hello, glad to see such a good teacher here! Very refreshing from the ones we usually hear of that don’t care for the fish! As for stock, I’ll recommend a few ideas. If your going for something that will be relaxing to watch, but not to distracting, I’d go with primarily schoolers. Maybe something like-
10-15 marble hatchet fish
10-15 cherry barbs
And perhaps some shrimp that are relatively easy to care for, like amanos. The temp should probably be kept right around 25C. I’m probably under stocking quite a lot here, so I’ll call our master stocker for more stocking help @TexasDomer
As for plants, I’d really recommend using them. They help with the parameters some and fish tend to love them, as well as love plants barley if ever posing a threat as far as hurting them. For lolights and easy care, I’d go with some java ferns and Anubis. Fast growing ones are anarchis and water wisteria, as well as floaters like duckweed.
For substrate I’d suggest going with either black diamond blasting sand or pool filter sand, cheap and works well.
If your looking for a nice, natural decoration, I’d go with some wood. I got three very nice pieces of manzanita wood and absolutely love them! I got them from Manzanita - Page 1 - Manzanita-Driftwood.com and he was very nice to work with. Hopefully this helps and I wish you the best of luck with your tanks!
Thank you so much for your ideas!

I am not sure if my LFS has hatchet fish but will be fish window shopping next Monday (I do know they have the barbs). Hoping I can find the substrate easily in Hawaii. I haven't been able to find any Java Ferns but I did see Argentina Swords, Bleheri, Rorippa aquatics, Dracaena, Amazon and Melon Sword.
 

vikingkirken

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I'd suggest coming back here after your window shopping with a list of what you like Spend some time watching fish behaviors, too--some of the most interesting fish aren't necessarily the prettiest. Start with a short list of fish you would LOVE to keep. That's going to be the best way to build a stock you and the kids will enjoy!
 
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jpaek7

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I'd suggest coming back here after your window shopping with a list of what you like Spend some time watching fish behaviors, too--some of the most interesting fish aren't necessarily the prettiest. Start with a short list of fish you would LOVE to keep. That's going to be the best way to build a stock you and the kids will enjoy!
The main reason for window shopping is to see what my LFSs have. From my knowledge, they usually don't carry a large variety.

On a side note, I need fish that do not mind people constantly coming and going as well as kids coming up to the tank. I also need hardy fish that won't easily die. I've personally had neons, bettas, angelfish, and guppies before but for some reason, this time around the neons died on me when I transferred them to their new tank. I've also tried platys and they have also died on me. It could just have been the stock (for the platys). At least that's what PetCo said.

Will definitely come back with the list of fish after Monday. (Going to be taking 2 students (they are the most excited) with me).

Thank you all!
 

vikingkirken

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Barbs are hardy, friendly, and playful. They'll come right up to the glass anytime someone comes by My gold barbs are like little puppies, they beg and play constantly. My electric blue acara and angels are similarly outgoing (although a bit more laid back).

Neons tend to be weak nowadays, and Petco stock is unreliable... You really have to watch the tanks for illness. I'd also suggest going the day BEFORE their weekly shipment, so the fish have a week to settle in at the store before you buy them. At least some problems will show up in that time.
 
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jpaek7

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Welcome to fishlore!
Have you seen this thread, to help with your 10g?: Stocking List for 10 Gallons

I'd do this in there:
8 ember tetras or celestial pearl danios
2 peacock gudgeons
15 red cherry shrimp
Thank you for the list.
Yes I have checked it out, but it is WAY too much information for a newbie to look at and to create a stock list (plus it only tells you how many you should have in a tank, not which are tank mates or how much you should have in total). It is a good list if you going for more of a species only tank though. That route is a possibility as you don't have to worry about different parameters and other things.
 
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jpaek7

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Barbs are hardy, friendly, and playful. They'll come right up to the glass anytime someone comes by My gold barbs are like little puppies, they beg and play constantly. My electric blue acara and angels are similarly outgoing (although a bit more laid back).

Neons tend to be weak nowadays, and Petco stock is unreliable... You really have to watch the tanks for illness. I'd also suggest going the day BEFORE their weekly shipment, so the fish have a week to settle in at the store before you buy them. At least some problems will show up in that time.
That's a great idea. I have checked several times and have noticed that their stock lately haven't been very good. Now I need to ask when their stocks coming in.
 

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May I recommend a filter? For a classroom I think a hang on the back type filter will be a good option. Easier to maintain as I'm sure you'll be busy. They're also simple to setup and cheap in comparison to canister filters. For a classroom, I'd go HOB.

Aquaclear 70 would be a good option for that tank. Will keep it clean and can handle a decent bio load.
 
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jpaek7

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May I recommend a filter? For a classroom I think a hang on the back type filter will be a good option. Easier to maintain as I'm sure you'll be busy. They're also simple to setup and cheap in comparison to canister filters. For a classroom, I'd go HOB.

Aquaclear 70 would be a good option for that tank. Will keep it clean and can handle a decent bio load.
Thank you! I was thinking of getting a HOB filter as well. The tank has a narrow slit towards the back that looks like it used to hold a filter. Will see if my LFS has that particular type or something similar.

It also has holes in both back corners. Not too sure that they were for, but when I get back to work (we are on fall break) will take a pic and maybe someone can help me figure out what each hole is for.
 
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jpaek7

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Mini update.

Today I visited 2 local fish stores. I think they have a larger variety than petco does. It is very hard to find gouramis (petco carries a few varieties). I could not find any gudgeons (not even sure what that is).

Keep in mind the different tanks I have (2 10-gallon and 1 49-gallon)

Here is a list of fish that I liked (please help with stocking numbers as well as if they can go together or not). (The 4 listed below, I've had them personally before. My rainbow lasted a good 10 years).
- Betta
- Guppies (kind of want the fancy ones or I might just get a variety)
- Rainbow shark (will only get one unless is possible to get 2)
- Corydoras (looking to get a variety instead of single species) (how many can I have?)

Options:
danios (regular or long-fin)
rasbora (is this the same as the harlequin?)
mollies
platies
barbs
Bottom feeders: Kuhli or Clown loach, plecos?

Here is a list of plants that I have found on the island (I need low-light).
Anacharis (elodia densa)
Dwarf Baby Tears
Fox tail
Sagittaria
Java Fern
Java Moss
Riccia
Pellia
Fissiden
Anubis
Amazon Sword
and there were a few others that I didn't write the names down.

Any one tried the woods from Fluval?
 

Platylover

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Out of all listed the only ones that would work for the 10’s are the bettas or the guppies. You could have 5 guppies all male, or if you decide to go for females to/all females get 3(or with one male and two females). I’d advise against getting females though as they give birth to 50-100 fry every month and will continue for 6-12 months after their last contact with a male. You could try a divided same gender tank for the betta, but that can sometimes be a bit stressful on the fish so don’t think I’d recxoemns it for a class room setting.
You could have 1 rainbow shark but no cories. What are the species of the other fish?
 
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