58 Gallon for a Newbie!

  • #1
*This is very long so if you don't have the time to read all of it the questions are at the end*

Okay so I am super happy right now! I just got a 58 gallon tank, stand and equipment for really cheep on Craigslist! As a few of you may recall I originally planned on getting a 20 gallon, then a 30 gallon then a breeder and here I am now. I am a total newbie because my first and only tank is a small one with a betta in it, I have research and asked a ton of questions and advice is appreciated. I suspect the tank was used for saltwater because of the grime buildup (and the smell!) and needs some cleaning. Okay so this is what it came with and what I will buy:
Came with-
58 gallon aquarium
Aquarium stand
Power filter
Heaters- will not be using
Lots of replacement lights
Sand- will not be using
Test strips- will not be using
Extra bio filter media
Will buy-
New heater
Another power filter
Black sand
API master kit
Pure Ammonia (for cycling)
Tetra safe start (for cycling)
Aquarium hood

So these are all the things I will have plus a 10 gallon quarantine/ fry grow out tank with a small heater and sponge filter. I will cycle my tank then start to add fish, this is my current stocking plan:

10 cherry barbs
7 albino/bronze Cory catfish
4 female mollies
A pair of German Blue Rams from german blue rams
A few cherry shrimp
Mystery snail

Is this stocking okay? How frequently will I have to do partial water changes? I don't plan to do anything with the water because I read that fish do better with constant water parameters then fluctuating ones. I may end up adding a couple more cherry barbs or livebearers depending on how well this setup goes. I will add the fish gradually, schooling fish first then the mollies then after the tank has been cycled for a while I will slowly acclimate and add the GBRs. For temp I am thinking 78-80 degrees.

Now I know this is a lot but I am so excited for my community tank. Here is a recap of all my questions:

How is my stocking?
How frequently will I have to do partial water changes?
What temp should I set my heater to?
Am I missing any essentials or helpful things to have?
Is there any advice you could give me?
Is vinegar a good way to clean a old tank?

Thank you so much and I will be sure to post pics as soon as I am able!
  • #2
Vinegar is great for cleaning tank, just make sure you get it all out! Lol

my concern is that those shrimp won't survive with mollies and rams.
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  • #3

ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1461755873.017286.jpg
This is the tank and stand.
  • #4
Welcome to the hobby and to the forum!

I'll let others comment on stocking and temp since I don't have most of those fish.

After you're done with your fishless cycle, you'll need to do weekly water changes. Pick a day that works for you (I chose saturdays) and do a minimum pwc of 25%. Make sure to use your liquid test and test the water before the water change. This way, you'll know if you need to increase the % or not.
I also suggest getting a python water changer (apI makes a similar product). Have a bucket handy to still clean filter media (will get to in a second) but you'll never have to lug buckets of water back and forth to the sink again. It changed my life and is 100x easier to do larger water changes. Just make sure (with the python) to dose prime for the volume of the tank (58g which is close to 6ml) before replacing the water.

Now to filter media. NEVER REPLACE THIS! Only replace if it is literally falling apart. The media will house a lot of your BB. To clean, simply take out the media and give it a good shake or squeeze in a bucket of old tank water or dechlorinated tap water (hence the bucket) and put it back. It may look dirty but it's not. Only clean or take out any chemical or mechanical filtration (sponges, filter floss, carbon, etc) NEVER take out or replace biomedia. This is mainly where your BB lives! You'll want to fit as much media as possible so for example in my HOB filter I have 2 large sponges, 2 carbon cartidges, 1 medium/fine sponge, bioballs. Some of my other filters are not as complex (sponge, carbon, bio media/ceramic rings/bioballs) but I plan to add more finer sponges soon.

If you can afford to get a canister filter I highly suggest it for your tank size.
Last but not least. Have a question? See an issue? Not sure about something? Always ask/check with fishlore. Don't go to the lfs for advice. Not all employees are properly trained, experienced in fishkeeping, or have correct and not outdated information.

Good luck!
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for all the advice. I am super excited! (That's why I have such a long post) I will keep all the water change info in a journal. Do you think the shrimp would be okay with a lot of coverage or is it a definitely a no-go?
  • #6
I think the rams will still hunt them.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Oh, okay well I would hate to hurt some tiny cute animal so I will leave the shrimp out. Oh and a update I just spent 1 and half cleaning this tank, it looks pretty new now.
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  • #8
Okay after further inspection the silicon on the sides of the tank are slightly "peeled" three of the corners are pretty good but one is pretty bad. The silicone seems to be slightly ripped in the corner. I was told it was in excellent condition and it was completely watertight (I will check that later today). I was wondering what this means for me? Will I have to replace the tank or completely redo the silicon? Sorry I just can't afford for it to leak! Will post pics ASAP. Thanks.
  • #9
Just wanted to ask why female mollies? They are 99% likely to arrive pregnant from the store. They will mate with any male fry that survive. And the cycle will continue. Just something to think about.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I really do want to raise the fry that survive a couple of days in the community tank, I already have a plan for the males and I will keep some of the females without overstocking. I am considering changing it to all males but it seems like it would be fun to raise fry.

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