First Freshwater setup

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ReachTheSky

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Hi all,

I have years of experience and success with saltwater reef aquariums. My girlfriend bought a 65 gallon tank and wants my help. It is not a reef-ready setup and missing a lot of essential equipment which would be expensive so I told her a Freshwater setup is a better idea - she agreed. I know diddly squat about Freshwater systems and would appreciate some help.

The tank has a stand and a canopy. I can figure out the lighting and heating requirements on my own. The filtration... well ... it came with a Fluval FX5 canister filter. Very nice but HUGE and probably weighs a ton when in use. She's a tiny woman (5' tall) and goes to school full time with a part time job. I imagine cleaning it will be very difficult and time consuming for her. How about one Aquaclear 110 or two Aquaclear 50's behind it? A bit of advice would be appreciated.

I showed her around to some Freshwater setups with different types of fish. She saw Discus and fell in love immediately. We might go that route with a bit of fine substrate, fake plants, driftwood and 5 or 6 Discus. Here's what worries me - I did a bit of research on successfully keeping Discus and a lot of articles mandate DAILY water changes of 50-75%. Seriously? Daily? I'm no expert but that just sounds absurd. Why would they require that?

If that's really the case with Discus, we'll go another route. What can you guys recommend that will be easy to keep happy, hardy and not require a ton of maintenance?
 

Anders247

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Discus are pretty hard to care for imo, but @, @, and @virusmk are members that keep Discus that I know of. Discus are very sensitive to water quality.
Welcome to fishlore! Sounds like you have a good filter.
 

Trisha Haarfield

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Imo, guppies, tetras and Molly's are hardy fish and easy beginner fish. I started with Molly's and endlers. I did weekly water changes of 15-30% depending if I over fed or not. Molly's like brackish water. Tetras prefer freshwater but can handle brackish. Oh and cherry barbs are good. Hope you enjoy the freshwater experience. Good luck.


<3 LOVE MY FISH<3
 

Trisha Haarfield

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Trisha Haarfield said:
Imo, guppies, tetras and Molly's are hardy fish and easy beginner fish. I started with Molly's and endlers. I did weekly water changes of 15-30% depending if I over fed or not. Molly's like brackish water. Tetras prefer freshwater but can handle brackish. Oh and cherry barbs are good. Hope you enjoy the freshwater experience. Good luck.


<3 LOVE MY FISH<3
Forgot pics of my babies. ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1422582743.495022.jpg ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1422582808.566893.jpg ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1422582868.114861.jpg


<3 LOVE MY FISH<3
 

Spencer1044

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Are you specifically looking for bigger fish or would you want a community
For bigger fish you could do:
Angle
Cichlid
Fancy goldfish
Larger gouramis
Pleco
Silver dollar
Oscar
Parrot fish
Rope fish

Or a different option would be although not really a fish but still cool are axolotls


 
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ReachTheSky

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Thank you for the input everyone! I think we both agreed that a small community of larger fish would be better than small ones. Cichlids look to be a great choice as well.

The FX-5 is a great filter but I'm still concerned about her cleaning that thing. What do you guys think of the Aquaclear idea?
 

Anders247

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ReachTheSky said:
Thank you for the input everyone! I think we both agreed that a small community of larger fish would be better than small ones. Cichlids look to be a great choice as well.

The FX-5 is a great filter but I'm still concerned about her cleaning that thing. What do you guys think of the Aquaclear idea?
Even with extra filters, it won't replace water changes. It will help, though.
Another suggestion would be a Rift Lake Cichlid tank. They need high pH.
 

Ethan

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the fx5 is a GREAT filter and fluvals are probably one of the easiest canisters to clean as well as super quiet. But if you want to part with it i could find it a home
 

Disc61

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ReachTheSky said:
Hi all,

I have years of experience and success with saltwater reef aquariums. My girlfriend bought a 65 gallon tank and wants my help. It is not a reef-ready setup and missing a lot of essential equipment which would be expensive so I told her a Freshwater setup is a better idea - she agreed. I know diddly squat about Freshwater systems and would appreciate some help.

The tank has a stand and a canopy. I can figure out the lighting and heating requirements on my own. The filtration... well ... it came with a Fluval FX5 canister filter. Very nice but HUGE and probably weighs a ton when in use. She's a tiny woman (5' tall) and goes to school full time with a part time job. I imagine cleaning it will be very difficult and time consuming for her. How about one Aquaclear 110 or two Aquaclear 50's behind it? A bit of advice would be appreciated.

I showed her around to some Freshwater setups with different types of fish. She saw Discus and fell in love immediately. We might go that route with a bit of fine substrate, fake plants, driftwood and 5 or 6 Discus. Here's what worries me - I did a bit of research on successfully keeping Discus and a lot of articles mandate DAILY water changes of 50-75%. Seriously? Daily? I'm no expert but that just sounds absurd. Why would they require that?

If that's really the case with Discus, we'll go another route. What can you guys recommend that will be easy to keep happy, hardy and not require a ton of maintenance?
Welcome to Fishlore Reachthesky, Discus are for sure a beautiful fish and can understand how your GF fell in love with them. But, they are definitely not for beginners IMO. the research you've done already tells you a bit of the story. Daily water changes?? that depends on the size of the fish you get, if they are juvies (anything under 4-4.5 inches) are gonna require that for them to reach their full potential. at the least every other day. I always suggest getting adult or sub adult Discus for beginners as they have already been thru what I consider the tough stage. the tough part with that is they are rather expensive as Adults.
So if your plan is to start out with Juvies I highly recommend a little more research before starting. the Canister filter would work, but I understand the weight issue. to be honest I run a couple #4 or 5 Sponge filters in my juvie tanks with a heater and nothing else. with the daily WC's you don't really want anything else.
if you decide on Discus the biggest help I can give you to begin with is start out with healthy fish from a reputable breeder or importer. most LFS's will not have the greatest to pick from and this step is very important.
any specific questions let me know.

YES, the HOB Aquaclear 70 or 110 would work, I would use 2 of them and clean once or twice a week with juvies. even with Adults a weekly WC should be done.
 
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ReachTheSky

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Thank you everyone for the great information. I will probably see her tonight and we'll talk about everything - if she'll be okay with the filter and how committed she will be to WC's and what not.
 
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