Brand new tank, looking for advice. Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Cassandra043, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Cassandra043New Member

    Hey everyone, brand new to the site and soon to be fish owner, I just have a few questions... I have a 90 gallon fish tank which I bought for $500 and still have $300 left for some heaters, lights, food, test kits, pumps and all that good stuff. I was just wondering if it would be smart to buy some of the top of the line stuff for my fish, right now I'm still reading about the ammonia and the pH testing and stuff like that and would just like to get the right equipment.
    Also as for fish, right now I'm looking into Cory Catfish because they look to be good beginner fish and that's really all I have planned so far.

    tl;dr version - Should I get top of the line equipment as a beginner with a 90 gallon tank, and what freshwater fish would be good that are not aggressive for my tank.

    Sorry I'm totally new and lost, still reading up on everything so I'll be checking the thread regularly.
  2. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    welcome to fl :)
    The first thing you want to do is read the link in my signature. It is about the nitrogen cycle, and crucial to keeping a successful tank. You should consider doing a fishless cycle.

    A good filter is going to be important in your tank. Researching these two things is where you should start,

  3. danio_manoNew MemberMember

    Get a API freshwater mater test kit, to understand what going on in your tank

  4. marina3Valued MemberMember

    Welcome to F.L!!!! Like Meenu & danio_mano told you + LOTS of patience!!!!!

    Happy fishkeeping!!!

  5. JrobberWell Known MemberMember

    I second the "LOTS of patience."
  6. FishVixenValued MemberMember

    welcome to the insane hobby. Actually it's quite fun and exciting. There are so many choices for aquariums. 90 gal is huge for a beginner congradulations on that wise choice. As stated first concentrate on a fishless cycle. It will take time to cycle. The API master test kit works well. You will need it before you start your cycling. Once again welcome.
  7. flyin-loweWell Known MemberMember

    Im not trying to be rude but where did you buy the tank that cost $500.00 and didn't come with all that stuff. Usually unless it's some specialty custom tank or something the tank itself is about the cheapest part and the filters, etc. is where the high dollars come in. Our LFS had an add running last week that there tanks (glass only) were on sale for $1 per gallon.
  8. Craig-DValued MemberMember

    90 gallons is a lot of tank for a newcomer to the hobby. You are going to need a python or similar water changer unless you like making a dozen trips with buckets when it's time for water changes. You don't always have to have the best of the best, but you should stick with trusted name brand manufacturers like for example Marineland for filters and heaters and Coralife for lighting.

    For a cycle that takes days instead of weeks, I advise seeking out Tetra Safestart. It's the only known product that contains the correct bacteria to safelly start your cycle with fish. It's hard to find and expensive, but worth it. Cories are not really the best fish for a beginner to put in an immature tank because though they are generally hardy, they are not really tolerant of poor water/substrate quality. I'd recommend starting with something more tolerant of less than optimum water conditions like platies or zebra danios. If you want to avoid aggressive species, stay away from all cichlids and sharks. After your tank is mature, you will have plenty of stocking options with a tank that big. Just make sure you do research and choose tankmates that are compatable with each other and with your particular water chemistry.

    One last thing: make sure your floor and stand can handle that tank. Keep in mind that when filled with water and substrate, decorations, etc., your tank and stand will weigh a little less than 1,000 lbs.

    How much you spend depends on what you buy and from whom. A Mercedes-Benz and a Chevy do the same thing but cost vastly different amounts. Sure, a basic generic glass rectangular box can be had cheap from Wal-Mart - and there's nothing wrong with that. But something with style and a name brand will cost ya. I spent $400 for my Oceanic BioCube 29 and stand. My old Marineland Eclipse 12 gallon was nearly $100. Big tanks like the OP's 90 gallon are not cheap, especially if it comes from a name brand manufacturer. Go look at what Marineland and Oceanic charge for tanks that size.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  9. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    my 30 gallon long acrylic tank cost a lot of money too... So, yea, I agree with Craig D on that point..
  10. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Actually, there are lots of species of cichlids that do quite well in a community tank. SA dwarfs like rams and apistogramma are a great choice. Kribs can make nice community fish as well. Also, there are cichlids that don't qualify as dwarf cichlids like keyholes, curviceps, etc. that do well with community fish.
  11. shadow2Valued MemberMember

    I paid $60 for my Marineland 5 gallon tank, so I agree, tanks are not cheap, like anything else, u get what u pay for. Only thing I regreat is the acrylic I have scratches so easily.

    Btw, anyone know of something good to use that won't scratch?? Only thing I have been using is a microfiber cloth, I tried the acrylic scrubber pads and it left scratches.
  12. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    If it were me, I would invest in a cannister filter, if you don't already have a filter. I have a Fluval 205 in my 36gallon tank and love it. It's easy to maintain and works great. (Of course if you did choose Fluval a 205 would be too small for your tank, so you would need either the 305 or 405 I believe, but check the manufacture for which will handle your tank size).

    As far as stocking, if it were my tank it would be a tank full of Rainbow Fish. The are beautiful, peaceful and pretty hardy. (At least my Boesmani Rainbows have been.) There are a bunch of different Rainbows and with a 90 gallon tank you could get some of the larger growing varieties.
  13. jsides1979Valued MemberMember

    check out this site for supplies. Places like PetSmart and private stores can't compete with their prices.

    Far as a filter. You can not go wrong with a Aqua Clear. Just make sure your turning the tank over 6- 10 times an hour with the gpm. They are great and inexpensive to maintain.
  14. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Hello and Welcome to FishLore!

    Wow, that is a huge tank for a beginner, lol! Congratz!

    For a heater the popular one is the Marineland Stealth Pro, they are shatter proof, a 300w should be fine for your tank or you could do 2 200w. You stick the heater on the back of the tank above an airstone or near good water flow to help circulate heat better. Also position it so it's slanted and not touching the gravel. Recommended temp for most tropical fish is 78.

    For filtering you could do 2 Aquaclears 110's that hang on the back or the Fluvel 405 Canister. Canisters are more quieter too. I'm not familiar with Canister brands, range in different prices but I just bought a Fluvel for my 125g because I hear they are a good choice but was spendy. So it depends on what you want to spend, especially if you have a budget.

    Food depends on what fish you get but Omega One is a good brand. Since you want some Corys they eat Algae Wafers, sinking Shrimp Pellots, flake food that is left over & enjoy frozen Bloodworms. All fish enjoy frozen bloodworms & frozen brine shrimp along with flake food etc. Just mix it up. Nutrition is importent. Frozen Bloodworms are not to be fed daily due to fish don't need alot of protein.

    The most recommended test kit is the API (liquid) Master Test Kit. The kit is spendy but worth it and dose lots of tests.

    Below I put a link on ways to cycle fishless.

    Having a 90g tank gives you lots of choices for fish. You know you don't want aggressive fish, so do you want small or medium schooling fish? One of my favs is the Silver Dollar, grow to about 6" and they are peaceful but eat live plants. lol If there are fish you like then ask if they are compatible. Usually profiles will note their temperment if they are peacful, active and maybe potential fin-nippers, semi-aggressive & aggressive. Tiger Barbs are active fin-nippers to name one but are nice lookin fish.

    There may be lots of info and it can be overwhelming but in the end fishkeeping can be easy if you follow the guidelines. Water changes done weekly is one of the most importent things once your tank is established.

    Goodluck with your new hobbie! And be patient.....;)

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  15. mosin360Well Known MemberMember

    Corys aren't generally a starter fish and I'd wait a month or more before getting them.

    As you can see from the replies, you have a ton of options when it comes to filters and stock.

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