Freshwater Aquarium Setup

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Aquajade, May 26, 2018.

  1. AquajadeNew MemberMember

    Hello everyone,

    I bought a 36 gallon bowfront on sale from Petsmart. I’m just getting around to setting it up. I’ve done a lot of reading, and feel like I’ve barely touched the surface of the aquarium world. There’s so much to learn! I decided to go with a freshwater setup. I bought some gravel, a background, a waterwheel house along with a barrel bubbler and a small coral reef. I also bought some artificial plants and one Anubia Nana just to see how it does, and to help with giving the fish some oxygen. To be honest, it looks really busy in the tank. I’m thinking more natural is better, such as driftwood and maybe some stone caves. I also didn’t realize the extra care for one plant. I thought I would have to put some plant food in, but didn’t realize it had to be daily. It was recommended by the pet store to buy Flourish and Flourish excel and it needs to be added daily. Could I use plant tablets instead? I need recommendations for stocking it as a tropical aquarium. I would like to buy fish that are entertaining and fun to watch interacting with each other. I realize I shouldn’t have more than 36 inches of fish. What fish would you recommend stocking it with? Thanks for taking the time to read my post! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts

    Aqua Jade

  2. Agrivoi1New MemberMember

    Platys, mollies, or guppies are great community fish that interact with each other and come in many different colors, however, they breed very quickly.

  3. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Zebra or leopard danios are a good first fish. There are some cool looking cories that would be temperature compatable with them. Bolivian rams would work with them as well. I would stay away from livebearers unless you have some were to get rid of all the fry. They breed like rabbits.

  4. midnaWell Known MemberMember

    you probably won't need to use too much ferts for just one plant. anubias is a pretty good beginner plant. root tabs won't work for anubias because they can't be buried in substrate or they'll die. you can attach it to some ornament or rock in the tank using super glue or tying it with thread. they like to sit on driftwood the best: they'll put their roots on it.

    aquarium stuff is definitely overwhelming, but it's exciting! you'll probably learn new stuff every day. the people on this forum will help you get where you want to be. :) welcome to fishlore!
  5. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Zebra or leopard danios are a good first fish. There are some cool looking cories that would be temperature compatable with them. Bolivian rams would work with them as well. I would stay away from livebearers unless you have some were to get rid of all the fry. They breed like rabbits.
  6. AquajadeNew MemberMember

    I'm going to the pet store this weekend, so thanks for the suggestions! Thanks midna for educating me about the root tabs. I think I'll try attaching the anubia to a piece of driftwood, and see how it does. I was also wondering about the fish babies. What do people do with all the fry? Sell them to the pet stores? Do you buy a tank stocked with just females or males of their kind?
  7. LunnieticWell Known MemberMember

    I personally do not have to add anything to my tank and I have anubis...mine is thriving quite well actually. Not sure if its just something odd on my end or not?

    Depending on the kind of fish you get, some fish can go from laying eggs to immediately eating them. (Same goes for birthing fry). Other times the fry/eggs can be eaten by other tank mates.

    I would actually recommend something like tetras. Rummynose's remind me of little arrows.
  8. SmalltownfishfriendWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fish lore!!! Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?? Have you cycled your tank?? That is the number one key to success in fish keeping!!!:)
  9. BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

    This may get some backlash, but I wouldn’t use Flourish Excel. It’s super easy to overdose (especially since they want you to use it daily) and the effects aren’t so great when you do. It says on the bottle in big bold letters “DO NOT OVERDOSE” and when I tried using it for my 5 gallon, my fish ended up dying shortly afterwards (I would only use a couple drops). Since I’ve stopped using it, I’ve had absolutely no problems. Anubias nana should do fine with no fertilizers anyways :) java fern is another good option you should look in to getting! It’s like anubias in the fact that they don’t root in substrate and do best on rock or driftwood. The only fertilizer I use are root tabs for my rooting plants, but the java fern does better than any of my plants. I only bought one and now I have 7 individual plants just from one tiny plant from petco.
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  10. AquajadeNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Thank you! I have read about the nitrogen cycle. I changed my mind about my set-up, so I'm planning on changing out the substrate to sand tomorrow. I will change the water and add the bacteria to start the cycle. I'm told I will have to wait a couple weeks to add the fish.

    Thank you for the information! Sorry to hear about your fish dying. I'm going to read about it a little more before I decide whether or not I want to use it. I appreciate your input! I have looked into the java fern and from what I hear they are a good beginner plant. I think I'll eventually add one of those as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2018
  11. AquajadeNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't heard of the Bolivian rams but I will look into them. The zebra and leopard danios look pretty cool. I'm still not sure if I want to go with livebearers or not. I'm switching out my substrate tomorrow, so I still have a couple weeks to figure it out. Thanks!
  12. Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    You don't need any kind of additive or fertilizer for an Anubias plant. they do fine with just the nitrates produced in a cycled tank.
  13. Mick FrostValued MemberMember

    Anubias Nana needs hardly anything extra. I dose my Anubias once a week, and I don't use Excel at all in any of my tanks (the aquaponic system is a different story). Even at once a week, you shouldn't dose Flourish more than 1ml for one or two plants.
    Sand is nice for a substrate, and is very appreciated by Cichlids and Catfish, but it comes with its own problems. Keep it thin (~1-1.5in) and rinse it thoroughly.
  14. AquajadeNew MemberMember

    Thank you!

    Thank you! I did switch from gravel to sand substrate. I wanted the Cory Catfish, and I hear they do better with the sand. I've read about the problems with sand getting an odor from dead zones. I was thinking about adding some kuhli loaches to help with that problem.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2018
  15. DylanMWell Known MemberMember


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