I'm new, got a few questions.

  • #1
Ok, so the deal is my parents just bought a new house, and the previous owner did not want to take the huge (and extremely heavy) tank. I think its something like a 40-50 gallon. It has a few fish in it, but hasnt been well maintained, it needs to be cleaned badly.

I also don't really want the fish that are in there (well maybe one, its pretty cool looking). I did a bit of looking around, and I was thinking about a Bala Shark, Rainbow (or) Red-Tailed Shark, and 4-5 Clown Fish.

I'll post more info about the tank if anyone requests it, I'm just not sure what I would be looking for if I posted anything now.

  • #2
clown fish are salt water how do you think it will survive in fresh water? bala sharks get huge as well so depending how big the tank is if its like 70 gallons it would be ok but u have to find out what fish are in the tank before you get any more fish also post the ph,nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels. it never hurts to do research on the fish that are in the tack and the fish u want before u buy them b/c like me I did know that a common pleco gets 16 or bigger. I hope this helps
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  • #3
Haha, I guess I missed that with the clownfish.

I'm sorry, I have no idea how to check those levels, when I find my camera cable, I can upload some pictures of the fish that are in there. there are 4 of a smaller kind (they look simmilar to the white cloud minnow), and one that is a little bigger.

I'm still unsure of the tank size, because I'm unable to contact the previous owners. The dimensions are L x W x H - 36" x 16" x 19"
I checked out the equipment hooked up to the tank
-Hagen lid with light
-LifeGard Ultraviolet Sterilizer Model OL-8
-Optima (makes the bubbles from the bottom)
-Rena Filstar xP
-Magnetic cleaning device in the tank
There is also something which I believe to be a heater, its long, goes about 3/4 to the bottom of the tank, and has a dial on the top, I can't get a closer look without completely taking off the cover.

Also, my plan was to completely empty the tank and clean everything before getting new fish. Is there a certain way to do this? Is it different if I want to keep the fish versus not keeping them?
  • #4
Well - if you want to COMPLETELY clean it... it'll be lots of work

I can recommend taking out the decorations and rinsing them with water from the tank, and starting to change out water at about 20% a day with a Gravel Vac. That way you can clean the bottom of any filth without taking out all of the water, siphon out the bad water, and put in clean water. If you do put more water in though, be sure to use a dechlorinater so it doesn't kill the fish/bacteria in the filter.

It seems like a 45-50 gallon, so Bala Sharks are definitely not going to be able to live in it They may start small but they can get to be a foot long! They will end up pretty cramped. If you don't want the old fish I'd call your local pet store or anyone nearby with fish to see if they'll adopt them.

The long thing is probably a heater
  • #5
If I were you, I would gravel vacuum the the tank really good, and take most of the water out of but not all (like perhaps, 90%, if it is really as bad as you say) so that you keep some of the beneficial bacteria thriving. Then fill it with tap water, dechlorinate it with something like Tetra AquaSafe and let it run for 2-3 weeks before adding any fish. You can check the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and alkalinity with the use of aquarium water test kits that can be found at your local WalMart/PetsMart/LFS. I would expect to pay about 20 dollars (they can be quite expensive, but WELL worth the money). I find that as long as you read the instructions, they give you really accurate results, I test mine every day.

Hope this helps
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Yeah, I was pretty sure a full clean would take a while. I mainly want to clean everything that has a buildup on it (various colors of crustyness)

I don't really have anything I could use to clean the tank in the way of a vacume, would just using a tube a siphoning it out into a bucket work? I also wanted to remove all the gravel and clean it all using a strainer.

Edit: One more thing, is there any sort of "rule of thumb" for how much, or how many fish I can put into my tank, along with decorations?
  • #7
Well, most people recommend an inch of fish per gallon. So a 6 inch fish would take up 6 gallons.

The Gravel Vac I use was $12 and works GREAT! Go out and get one! It's got an end on it to help get stuff out of the rocks by focusing the pull, and it's got all sorts of different things worked into the design so it won't back-siphon or 'eat' your fish
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  • #8
Sounds good, what brand is it?

and do you recommend any testing kits, I was looking online, and saw one that test all 9 things for around 20-25$, is there any good/band brands for stuff like this?
  • #9
your tank is just over 47.3 gallons... prolly labeled as 45 gallon tank. test your water and tell us the results if your nitrates are over 10 ppm do water changes and gravel vac... if it is still cycling and show u ammonia and nitrite learn about the cycle and change some water. my master freshwater test kit was 29.99 at petco and has 700 tests in it.

Dont clean your entire tank unless you want to have to recycle it. Just do 25% daily water changes and gravel vac. Dont use soaps or detergents on anything and dechlorinate water before you use it.

If you are set on gettin entirely new fish and cleaning the whole tank you could recycle it without fish and change it to a saltwater if you wanted those clown fish. Saltwater is kinda a hastle and the fish are really expensive so I don't reccomend it. Also with clownfish an anemone is a good idea and they are extremely tough to take care of.
  • #10
Yes, I wouldn't consider starting a saltwater tank (as a beginner) unless you have done a lot of research and are willing to commit to the expenses and the difficulty in maintaining one. However, for freshwater fish, if you were thinking of either getting bala sharks or red tailed sharks, I would suggest going for the RTS.. Bala sharks get to be about 10-13 inches long and thus require a lot more space for swimming, and do love to be in schools, so the bigger the tank the better ( I would say at least a 55-60 gallon, preferably more, though). Red tailed sharks prefer to be solitary (from their own species, unless there are plenty of places to hide) and are a lot smaller, so you're tank should be more than efficient.. Good luck to you!

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