Aquarium and fish ownership for newbies Help 

firefly1

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I hope to soon be purchasing a 55 gallon tank as my first tank based on info that a larger tank is actually easier to keep clean.I will be able to devote time to this project so I would prefer a larger tank as I would like to get several different type fish.I am planning on a freshwater tank.The fish I have chosen are describe as good beginner fish. I would like to eventually have 6 cherry barbs,6 danios , 4 cory cats,6 rainbows,and 4 otto cats,also plan to have live plants.I do plan to cycle my tank prior to putting any fish in it.I would very much appreciate any advice to a first timer about what filter,motor,lights to bring out colors, color of gravel,etc.:; I should use. My goals are to have a clean tank,colorful active small fish.x
 

Lucy

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Other members have much more knowledge than I do when it comes to equipment, so I'll leave the advice to them.

I just wanted to say Hi welcome to Fish Lore.
 

PetSmart

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For a filter, you could print this off

and price match for the same item at PetSmart (Saving $45, or 50%). I'm unsure about other LFS price matchings. You could also order from that link, but you'd pay shipping.
AC110 is an exceptionally good power filter. It's up there with the canisters in my book.
 

GouramiGirl1221

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I'm cycling a 55 gal right now, and I actually bought a starter kit where most of the stuff came with the tank. It actually gives you a pretty good start, unless you absolutely don't want a power filter. Other than that, I'm not very knowledgeable about equipment, but good luck!
 

Regal

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PetSmart said:
For a filter, you could print this off

and price match for the same item at PetSmart (Saving $45, or 50%). I'm unsure about other LFS price matchings. You could also order from that link, but you'd pay shipping.
AC110 is an exceptionally good power filter. It's up there with the canisters in my book.
Interesting. I didn't know Petsmart matched other store's prices. I've saved a ton by printing their web pages and taking them to the store so I can pay the drastically cheaper web price. I'll have to compare prices and see if they will match them.

It is a good idea to plan everything first. I have changed my mind many times after buying something without researching first to decide what I really wanted. You might get some ideas by looking through the members tanks section to see what equiptment other members have been happy with.

Problem is MTS is a big time addiction and when you want something you want it NOW. LOL
 

MissMTS

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firefly1 said:
I hope to soon be purchasing a 55 gallon tank as my first tank based on info that a larger tank is actually easier to keep clean.I will be able to devote time to this project so I would prefer a larger tank as I would like to get several different type fish.I am planning on a freshwater tank.The fish I have chosen are describe as good beginner fish. I would like to eventually have 6 cherry barbs,6 danios , 4 cory cats,6 rainbows,and 4 otto cats,also plan to have live plants.I do plan to cycle my tank prior to putting any fish in it.I would very much appreciate any advice to a first timer about what filter,motor,lights to bring out colors, color of gravel,etc.:; I should use. My goals are to have a clean tank,colorful active small fish.x
I am so glad that you researched your fish and planned out your stocking before setting up the tank. All of the fish that you picked are hardy and like you said "good beginner fish". I highly reccomend Aquaclear filters. I have had a lot of good experiences with them and now I have them on almost all on my tanks. You can take the carbon out of it and add another bag of ceramic bio media which gives you extra biological filtration. I would get the Aquaclear 75 or 110 for your tank because extra strength filtration is always good For your first tank, I would do a low tech planted tank. You need about 1-2 watts per gallon for you lighting. Plants like Java Fern, Anacharis, Anubias, Crypts, Watersprite, etc. all work well in low tech tanks. Check out www.plantgeek.net for more specific plant information. On their website you can search plants according to their light requirement. I would dose the tank once a week with Seachem's Flourish. This acts as a comprehensive fertilizer for your plants (your plants need these nutrients to grow). I would recommend a Stealth Heater. In planted tanks I think a black or a natural colored gravel looks nice. Sorry for jumping around so much, I am just trying to make sure that I answer all of your questions.
 

cichlidlover

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I would go to Walmart for a filter. You can get a 60 gallon Whisper power filter with bio foam for only 30$ If you want to speed up the cycle process, you can actually buy bactirial cultures. (My favorite is called Cycle.)
 

welshalien

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cichlidlover said:
I would go to Walmart for a filter. You can get a 60 gallon Whisper power filter with bio foam for only 30$ If you want your tank to look natural, I would buy light brown gravel with light green plants. If you want to speed up the cycle process, you can actually buy bactirial cultures. (My favorite is called Cycle.)
Welcome to Fish Lore, firefly!

Unfortunately, Cycle won't cycle your tank -- it contains the wrong kind of bacteria and won't sustain itself so it needs to be added again and again. To do an "instant" cycle, look for Tetra Safe Start.

Kelly
 
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firefly1

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I am so glad I found this site. Please tell me more about TetraSafe Start.What is an "instant" cycle?I saw your picture of what appears to be Rotties.We used to have a female Rottie by the name of Roxanne.Please ,any advice or tips, please let me know. x
 

welshalien

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firefly1 said:
I am so glad I found this site. Please tell me more about TetraSafe Start.What is an "instant" cycle?I saw your picture of what appears to be Rotties.We used to have a female Rottie by the name of Roxanne.Please ,any advice or tips, please let me know. x
Tetra Safe Start is a product that contains the bacteria needed to cycle your tank. So if you add it to your tank, you can immediately add fish. It can be kind of hard to find but I got it here:

http://www.paradisepetshop.net/en/tetra-safestart.html

Yes, that photo is of our "terrorist" rottie pups, Casey and Hayley. They are healing our hearts after the loss of our last rottie (also named Roxanne -- we called her Roxie) who we had to have PTS in August.

Kelly
 

GouramiGirl1221

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I wouldn't recommend immediately adding fish even with safestart. It will drastically cut down on the time it takes your tank to cycle, but you will see ammonia and nitrite "mini spikes" for about two weeks while the bacteria are "waking up" since they are doormat. If you can find ammonia I'd use that instead, but you could use a more hardy kind of fish, like 6 danios, with caution, but you'll probably still have to do some water changes if cycling with fish for a week or maybe two. I highly recommend the product though, it's great stuff. Occasionally you get a bad batch, but I've used it three times now and twice it's worked perfectly. To cycle your 55 gal, you'll need to get two bottles though. One bottle treats 30 gallons of water. Hope this helps!
 

pinkfloydpuffer

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I agree that Aquaclear filters are great, and they're decently priced. Low light plants are easy and look great! Use flourescent lighting, not incandescent. And let me say welcome to fishlore! I'm so glad you're doing such thorough research before setting up your tank!
 
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firefly1

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thank you so much for the information.Anything else you can think of I would love to hear.This is a big project for me so I am trying to get all the practical information I can.
 

cichlidlover

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I didn't realize cycle didn't work. that's all right though because it was expensive.


sorry about the wrong info, firefly
 

Red1313

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Hmmm... seems like everyone here pretty much has you covered. You're off to a great start. You first post asked about decorating your tank so the best advise is to decorate it that way that you want it to look. Everyone has their own preferances. A general guideline is to get a gravel or sand ect. substrate that you like. It's a real pain if you decide that you don't like it later.
Good Luck!!
 

cichlidlover

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Red1313 said:
Hmmm... seems like everyone here pretty much has you covered. You're off to a great start. You first post asked about decorating your tank so the best advise is to decorate it that way that you want it to look. Everyone has their own preferances. A general guideline is to get a gravel or sand ect. substrate that you like. It's a real pain if you decide that you don't like it later.
Good Luck!!
Good point but here's something to add: if you want it to look natural, brown gravel looks supprisingly good. It seems like it would be boring, but it really shows off the fish!! (+ bright green weeds)
 

MissMTS

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When I posted a few days ago, I accidently left out one decorating suggestion:

Add a background to your tank, and it will really accent the color of your fish. I prefer solid backgrounds such as blue or black because they look the most natural.
 

cichlidlover

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MissMTS said:
When I posted a few days ago, I accidently left out one decorating suggestion:

Add a background to your tank, and it will really accent the color of your fish. I prefer solid backgrounds such as blue or black because they look the most natural.
Yes, definitely It helps so much to hide wires and stuff like that. ( I got a light olive green background. It looks better than it seems)
 

Fishies-for-me

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I see you have most of the help you need already...lol so I will just put in my opinion about filters....I alsolove the aquaclear filters...very powerful and lots of room to add things for other tanks....I personally love real black gravel..I have 5 tanks and the black gravel is my fav. I also agree you should have a background I personally love the ones that look like a aquarium...plants and such.. to me it adds a depth to the tank...good luck.
 
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