Hex Tank Setup Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Matt N., Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Matt N.New MemberMember

    I just recently was given a 40 gallon Hex tank. I am very new to the aquarium game and am looking for some guidance. My first question is what type of filter to purchase. The dimensions of the tank are 22x24x25. It came with an under gravel filter plate and two tubes, however no pump or anything. My second question is how many fish and what kind of fish would be ideal to keep in the tank to ensure healthy, happy lives for them as well as a community aquarium feel. My third question is what type of substrate to use, sand or gravel? And finally my fourth question is what type of heater to get to keep the fish happy. Thank you very much in advance for your help!!

  2. kayla.sWell Known MemberMember

    Some of your questions answers depend on what you decide to stock the tank with, like the numbers of fish and best substrate option. Are there any fish that you are interested in keeping? The forum can help figure out the best numbers from there. Also your substrate choice will depend on if you have any bottom dwellers, like corys :)

  3. DylanMWell Known MemberMember

    definitely get sand, if you plan on heavily planting down the line invest in some fine planted substrate. If not, literally no advantages to gravel. Don't do undergravel filter, way more trouble than it's worth. check out canister filters, those are the best. If you are on a budget you could make a DIY canister filter relatively easily following a tutorial, it will probably end up working better than a purchased one. For heater I would recommend an Aqueon pro heater 250 watt. I have a 100 watt version that I had in my 20 for a while, and is now in my 10 until I can get my 10 a heater of its own. Looks to be made out of a really sturdy material and hasn't broken yet. I've had 2 non-pro Aqueon heaters malfunction, luckily no fish deaths, but the pro one works flawlessly. Finally, you really should research and figure out stocking yourself. But if I had a 40, I would probably do:

    3 Gold gourami, 16 silver tip tetras, 2-3 upside down catfish


    5 dwarf neon rainbowfish, 12 cardinal tetras, 10 julii cory catfish

    This is all assuming you want to do a freshwater setup, which you probably do if you are just starting out. Welcome to the hobby :)

  4. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome! Good for you for researching before adding fish & purchasing equipment! You will want to understand the nitrogen cycle. And at the top of this page there is a bookmarked thread with beginner how-tos which might help.
    You might want to go to a fish store & write down fish you like & then we can help from there. With a hex tank I would really encourage you to think about the height & fish that swim at different levels.
  5. Matt N.New MemberMember

    Thank you guys very much for the reply’s! I am looking at the Fluval underwater 3 filter right now. Looks like it has very good reviews, just wanted to double check on here ! As far as substrate and fish. I think I am going to do sand and then research which fish will benefit and pick ones that have stay at different levels as suggested. What are some examples of really colorful freshwater fish that won’t break the bank lol!?
  6. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    There are so many it makes my head spin. I’d go to your local fish store (even if it’s a Petsmart or Petco.) Then, write down the names of all the fish you like. Once you have a sense of what you want, we can help you from there.
  7. Matt N.New MemberMember

    As far as filters what are some recommendations? I would like to stay in the 50-60 dollar range. I found a Fluval underwater 3 filter on sale for 29.99. Is that good?
  8. DylanMWell Known MemberMember

    No way one of these will be able to handle a 40 gallon. Unless it does 400 gallons per hour and has tons of room for biological media. Also, we need to know whether or not you know about the nitrogen cycle. If you just get all the parts, clean them, fill up the tank, and add fish, you are going to get a massive die-off when you first set up the tank.
  9. Matt N.New MemberMember

    I do understand the nitrogen cycle. I have done tons of reading about it and hopefully watched enough videos of explanations. That’s why I want to purchase a filter to get the process started. As far as the fluval U3 it says it is made for tanks up to 40 gallons and has an output of 155 gallons. However I am absolutely open to new suggestions of filters. Any type would work I just am not sure what the best ones are ! Thank you very much for the reply!
  10. DylanMWell Known MemberMember

    As long as it does 400 gallons per hour and has space for media, you should be fine.
  11. Matt N.New MemberMember

    Do you have any suggestions of other brands or products that you have used in the past that work well?
  12. Lollipop0912Well Known MemberMember

    I’m a fan of Aqueon Quiet Flows. I have the 50 and 10 gallon varieties. I’ve noticed that they are super quiet.
  13. GuppyGuy007Well Known MemberMember

    Not related to filters, but for easy colorful fish, I like guppies! They are not too expensive and they come in a variety of colors. They are extremely active and entertaining to watch. They may not be compatible with bigger fish, however.
    Also, look into tetras. Many of them are brightly colored. I have lemon tetras, and candy cane tetras are a type that I think look really cool. If you were to get sand, you could get some shelldweller cichlids, (neolamprologous multifasciatus neolamprologous brecks, etc.) They are not as colorful as other options, but they behave very interestingly, and are pretty cool in my opinion. Also, dwarf cichlids are pretty brightly colored, and in my opinion , are extremely cool. They may not get along with some other fish, but you could definetly plan your stocking with them in mind. I am excited to hear what you decide☺
  14. tetraboiValued MemberMember

    Hmm let’s see 40 gallons...
    For the bottom I suggest a clown pleco or another type(clown plecos have just always worked well for me), a small school of Cory catfish(4 will do as a minimum) a sand substrate will do good, but it is up to you to decide.

    For the middle to top I would decide whether you want a lot of small fish or a small amount of larger sized fish.

    For smaller fish I would suggest
    6x (or more) lemon tetra
    6x (or more) cardinal tetra
    6x flame tetra
    2x Blue Ram cichlids
    3x (or more depending on how much else) marbled hatchetfish

    For larger fish i would do
    2x gold gourami
    1x blue acara
    3x roseline barb
    2x blue ram cichlids

    Before you add your fish make sure your tank is fully cycled. You can buy aquarium test kits at pretty much any fish store or online. Good luck!

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