Beginner 28 Gallon Vertical Tank Help?

artemisius

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Hello Everyone!

I just joined this forum after finding that many of my google searches led me here and I just had a few questions to ask all of you experienced fishkeepers.

My family has 28 gallon tank that we plan on starting up again with tropical freshwater fish (after years of being sad and empty in storage) and I wanted to make sure it would be stocked and set up in a way healthiest for the fish.

I have basic knowledge of how to cycle a tank, though I've never actually done my own and plan on using Fluval Cycle Biological Booster Water Conditioner. I plan on getting a 20-40 gallon tetra filter, a 150 watt heater (just in case, my house is quite drafty and cold), API testing strips + Seachem ammonia monitors, and am still waiting on measurements of the tank to purchase a replacement light (though I believe I would need 14 to 28 watts according to other forums?). Does this equipment sound satisfactory for the tank or is there anything else I am missing?

In terms of stocking/planting the tank, I would prefer to not have a live planted tank and would very much like to keep a good number of fish as opposed to just one centerpiece fish. In particular, angelfish are a favorite if they are compatible with the size. Are there any beginner stocking combinations that would work with an angelfish and a non-planted tank? In addition, the closest pet store tends to overcrowd their fish and I've noticed a lot of dead or extremely stressed fish there, so is there anything I can do to aid in the transition from store to tank?

Thank you!
 

Mom2some

Well Known Member
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
626
Points
128
Experience
1 year
Welcome to Fishlore. Good for you for researching before buying fish.
28 gallons sounds neat - can you share the dimensions since that will make a big difference in stocking.
With a Hang-on-Back filter you want about 10x tank volume turn over per hour... so check that on your filter plan.
I would recommend you purchase the API liquid test kit rather than the strips. It is a bit more up front, but it is much more accurate & lasts a lot longer.
 

TexasDomer

Fishlore Legend
Messages
33,058
Reaction score
9,021
Points
608
Experience
2 years
artemisius said:
Hello Everyone!

I just joined this forum after finding that many of my google searches led me here and I just had a few questions to ask all of you experienced fishkeepers.

Welcome!

My family has 28 gallon tank that we plan on starting up again with tropical freshwater fish (after years of being sad and empty in storage) and I wanted to make sure it would be stocked and set up in a way healthiest for the fish.

I have basic knowledge of how to cycle a tank, though I've never actually done my own and plan on using Fluval Cycle Biological Booster Water Conditioner. I plan on getting a 20-40 gallon tetra filter, a 150 watt heater (just in case, my house is quite drafty and cold), API testing strips + Seachem ammonia monitors, and am still waiting on measurements of the tank to purchase a replacement light (though I believe I would need 14 to 28 watts according to other forums?). Does this equipment sound satisfactory for the tank or is there anything else I am missing?

Are you going to do a fishless cycle or a fish-in cycle? Fishlore has some great basic threads on explaining the difference and how to do each. I can link you to the subforum if you can't find it.

For the filter, I would look at the GPH, rather than the rating for the tank size. Often the ratings are off. For HOB filters, you want 8-10x the volume of the tank for GPH (so you want a filter with 224 - 280 GPH, though more is fine too).

Rather than the testing strips and the ammonia alert, I would get the API freshwater master kit. It's cheap online, and more accurate than the strips and the alert.

The light depends on what you want to grow and the height of the tank. Watts aren't the way to go, really. There are many options. If you can tell us the height of the tank, your budget, and the plants you want to grow, we can help you find some lights within your budget.

In terms of stocking/planting the tank, I would prefer to not have a live planted tank and would very much like to keep a good number of fish as opposed to just one centerpiece fish. In particular, angelfish are a favorite if they are compatible with the size. Are there any beginner stocking combinations that would work with an angelfish and a non-planted tank? In addition, the closest pet store tends to overcrowd their fish and I've noticed a lot of dead or extremely stressed fish there, so is there anything I can do to aid in the transition from store to tank?

If you don't want live plants at all (they're super easy - we can give you some zero maintenance, low light species if you're interested), then basically almost any light will do. You want to make sure you're not over lighting the tank, or keeping it on too long, as then you'll have algae issues (remember you are the best at preventing and controlling algae). There are cheap DIY options for lighting, or you can get aquarium specific lighting.

What are the dimensions of the tank? They'll affect your stocking options.

Thank you!
See replies in green above
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5

artemisius

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Mom2some said:
Welcome to Fishlore. Good for you for researching before buying fish.
28 gallons sounds neat - can you share the dimensions since that will make a big difference in stocking.
With a Hang-on-Back filter you want about 10x tank volume turn over per hour... so check that on your filter plan.
I would recommend you purchase the API liquid test kit rather than the strips. It is a bit more up front, but it is much more accurate & lasts a lot longer.
I don't know the exact dimensions and at the moment the tank is still a bit inaccessible for measurements in storage but it is quite similar to this one (just about 20 years older):
As for the liquid test kits I was initially hesitant because my father would be the one in charge of the tank once I go to school (and he has a reputation for being not too careful with chemicals and blades and other similarly hazardous things), but he has confirmed that he knows how to use them from when he used to keep fish so I'll add that kit as a replacement for the strips and alert cards
In looking at the filter I've noticed that many do not list their GPH on the product page, and the ones that I have seen from my brief searching jump from 200GPH to 350GPH (too small to too big, and I found those values on filters advertised for 40 to 75 gallon tanks, yikes), you wouldn't happen to have any recommendations for similarly sized tanks? (or even just recommended brands that actually list their GPH in a more visible location)

Thank you so much for the advice!

TexasDomer said:
See replies in green above
I covered a lot of your questions in my above reply to Mom2some, but I do plan on cycling the tank fishless (I am fearful of harming or stressing them more since they will be coming from a pretty overcrowded pet store tank, though time is of a concern since as mentioned above I intend to set the tank up mostly for my father as I will be away at school in the fall and he does not know how to completely cycle the water, though he is moderately experienced in upkeep of an established tank.) I have heard that you can use tank decor from established tanks to aid in the process, if that is true I may be able to obtain pieces from a friend or family member to help cultivate the initial bacteria population.
For the lighting I gave an approximate tank size in the above reply as well, and in terms of budget I would prefer something more affordable if it is not a major requirement.
My issue with live plants is mostly with trimming them if they're hardy enough to overgrow, as again this tank is mostly for my father and he does not have experience with live planted tanks, though if you know of some that are low-maintenance and can just sort of exist without much fuss that might be an option.

Thank you as well for all the specific pointers
 

Mom2some

Well Known Member
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
626
Points
128
Experience
1 year
artemisius said:
I covered a lot of your questions in my above reply to Mom2some, but I do plan on cycling the tank fishless (I am fearful of harming or stressing them more since they will be coming from a pretty overcrowded pet store tank, though time is of a concern since as mentioned above I intend to set the tank up mostly for my father as I will be away at school in the fall and he does not know how to completely cycle the water, though he is moderately experienced in upkeep of an established tank.) I have heard that you can use tank decor from established tanks to aid in the process, if that is true I may be able to obtain pieces from a friend or family member to help cultivate the initial bacteria population.
For the lighting I gave an approximate tank size in the above reply as well, and in terms of budget I would prefer something more affordable if it is not a major requirement.
My issue with live plants is mostly with trimming them if they're hardy enough to overgrow, as again this tank is mostly for my father and he does not have experience with live planted tanks, though if you know of some that are low-maintenance and can just sort of exist without much fuss that might be an option.

Thank you as well for all the specific pointers
Sorry OP, but I don’t see a response to me above.
 

TexasDomer

Fishlore Legend
Messages
33,058
Reaction score
9,021
Points
608
Experience
2 years
So it's a hex tank? Unfortunately that really limits your stocking options, as it doesn't have a lot of horizontal swimming space.

What's your budget for a filter? We can recommend some specific brands.

Decor won't have a lot of bacteria, but if you can get some media from someone's established tank, that would be better.

Anubias and Java fern would be good plants for the tank. They shouldn't require any trimming, as they're very slow growers. If you wanted something like guppy grass, anacharis, or hornwort, your dad could just throw some away whenever it grows too much.

DIY lighting might be a good option. You can use dome work lights from a hardware store and get a bulb that will fit your needs.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

artemisius

New Member
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
3
upload_2018-5-4_13-0-13.png

Mom2some said:
Sorry OP, but I don’t see a response to me above.
Can you see it here? Idk why it wouldn't come up cause I can see my reply to you perfectly fine.

TexasDomer said:
So it's a hex tank? Unfortunately that really limits your stocking options, as it doesn't have a lot of horizontal swimming space.

What's your budget for a filter? We can recommend some specific brands.

Decor won't have a lot of bacteria, but if you can get some media from someone's established tank, that would be better.

Anubias and Java fern would be good plants for the tank. They shouldn't require any trimming, as they're very slow growers. If you wanted something like guppy grass, anacharis, or hornwort, your dad could just throw some away whenever it grows too much.

DIY lighting might be a good option. You can use dome work lights from a hardware store and get a bulb that will fit your needs.
I did actually see a few anubias plants in a local pet store, how tall do they usually get? Are they more of a background type plant or a lawn type?
For filters I would prefer to keep everything as affordable as possible, but as of right now I was looking in the 20 to 40 USD range, if I can find something that fits at a cheaper price it would be better.
 

TexasDomer

Fishlore Legend
Messages
33,058
Reaction score
9,021
Points
608
Experience
2 years
The height of Anubias depends on the species. However, it is soooo slow growing, even the big variants and species take a long time to get there.

They're not a lawn/carpet plant, nor are they always a background plant. They can go anywhere, and they shouldn't be planted, but tied to decor or left floating.

If you're willing to spend a bit more, I'd strongly consider this one:


AC filters are so nice and work very well, lots of space for media. They were my favorite HOB canister (all that I used) before I switched to canisters.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom