Inheriting used fish equipment

primerowan
  • #1
hI folks!

so i'm a soon-to-be amateur and i've been reading these forums religiously for the last couple of weeks - so thanks for all the info! but I have a couple of questions - so here's my story.

I managed to get my hands on a 55gal. tank and custom-made stand, along with a dual-filter system, heater, thermometer, air pump and bubble-maker, fish tank decorations, and 150lbs of crushed coral rock from a fish enthusiast who is moving out of the country for the great price of $150. I have long wanted to start my own aquarium and when this fell in my lap I figured now was the time to do it!

so i'm picking the tank up this weekend. I plan to do a fishless cycle with some plants (I would like to have a planted tank!) so I don't anticipate actually having any fish for a bit. so i'm going to set up the tank with some plants this weekend - but I am a little leery of having used equipment. I'll be replacing any filter media in the filter, so that's not a problem, but as for the crushed coral and giant fish castle/decorative rocks and the tank itself - is there anything I should do to them to insure that my eventual fishies do not get sick from anything lingering from their previous owners? I know you rinse out *new* gravel and whatnot - but since this gravel has been used before...should I do anything special to it? this probably sounds like a really goofy question but I really do not know much about transferring fish illnesses.

any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! and I have to say that I love this forum - reading it over the last few weeks has really left me feeling prepared!

julia
 
BoSox Fan7
  • #2
You can boil the decorations. And I think you can bleach the tank someone else can help you with that. What are you putting in this tank?
 
primerowan
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I've done a lot of research but haven't settled on what I want to get yet - from what I've read cycling a tank this size will take a bit of time, so I plan to make my decisions while I'm waiting!

(This is mostly a safeguard to prevent me from getting ahead of myself and buying fish too soon!)
 
SereneReyn
  • #4
unless you're going with saltwater or african cichlids, i'd dump the coral rock... if you want a planted tank, that indicates to me you're not going with either... so i'd suggest a substrate with plants in mind... I got eco complete, the best deal I found on it is here


big al's has it priced cheaper, but they charge an arm and a leg for shipping... for a 55g, i'd suggest 60lbs, but you could mix it with something else too, if you wanted.

as far as used decorations/filter parts, i'd just scrub them good (without soap)... maybe mix up a mild bleach/water solution...

so what fish do you have in mind?
 
SereneReyn
  • #5
also, if you want plants, you should read up on lighting... you can get away with minimal light for many plants... that's how i'm going, don't want to bother with CO2, etc...
 
COBettaCouple
  • #6
The tank and everything in it can be cleaned and rid of potential nasties with either hot water (not hot enough to crack the glass) and vinegar or a solution of 19 parts hot water and 1 part bleach.

After cleaning it all, rinse it thoroughly and dry it. When you fill your tank, heavily overdose on dechlorinator and start the cycling.

Welcome to Fishlore.
 
Blub
  • #7
Hi!

Try plant geek for lots of cool info on planted tanks. You'll want to upgrade to 165watts of lighting, and a CO2 injector is useful. It's best to have Flourite or Eco-complete either mixed with sand or wit ha layer of sand on top as your substrate in a Planted tank. You'll thank yourself later for doing that! Camboba, Elodea, Java moss, Java fern and Anubias are great to start out with. Echindous species are relatively easy to care for and really cool looking, especially Echindous x. Ozelot!

 
primerowan
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks for all the helpful responses - this forum is making the planning go so much easier! I'm hoping not to have to use a CO2 injector, figure I'll try and take it easy at first.

I am doing a freshwater tank - and judging from your responses I'm assuming this means that I should get rid of the crushed coral in favor of a gravel/eco-complete mix?

As for fish - I'm still playing around with ideas since I have a bit to go before I buy anything, but here is what I'm looking at now:


From what I've read the most aggressive fish in this bunch would be the angelfish, and since there aren't any super small fish I'm thinking that this arrangement would be ok (correct me if I'm wrong!)

Does this seem like a reasonable setup for a 55gal tank? I've researched the adult sizes of all these guys and I think I might be a bit over, but I'm not really sure. Any suggestions?

Edit: Notably - I am lucky enough to live near a great LFS - guy has a PhD in biology and has been building aquariums since the 70's, so this may all go out the window depending on what he has, but I figure I should go in with a plan!
 
Shaina
  • #9
I believe an Oscar would be too big for your community, but I'm not sure. They can also be quite aggressive.

The 1"/gal rule is only a rough estimate, and thick-bodied, high waste producing fish like oscars are exceptions: they need more room than their adult length would otherwise suggest. Plus they can grow up to 15-16" long.

I think if you take out the oscar and have lots of plants you should be okay though.

NOTE: I'm kinda new as well, this is just my best guess based on my research and other discussions I've seen.
 
Blub
  • #10
Hi!

There are many flaws in your plan. First off, the Oscar cannot be kept in the community - in a 55gal if you want an Oscar he has to live alone! Also - dwarf gouramis and Angels will fight. Since angels eat Cherry barbs, eliminate angels from the list and keep the Dwarf gouramis. Also, make sure you get 1 male and 2 female Dwarfs. So basically, forget angels and Oscars.

That's 23" of fish then. So, you have about 35" left to stock! Look into Serpae and Neon tetras, Guppys, Hatchets, Swordtails and Bristlenose plecos - they are all peaceful community fishies. TakashI amano shrimp are excellent algae eaters as well.


 
primerowan
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Aw man, Oscars seemed so cool! And from the reading I've done since, I figured the Angels were out too.

Hm. I'm interested in Hatchets and definitely the Bristlenosed Plecos, so they're definitely options. My LFS is pretty good, so I'm thinking that what I get is also going to be based on their recommendations (since I haven't really looked at what they have in stock yet). And Discus look really cool too - but I think I would be getting in over my head, judging from their descriptions.

All this planning is fun! : D
 
Blub
  • #12
Hi!

Don't do what your LFS tells you. Even the best aren't as good as us - we are the people who keep, breed and enjoy our fish.

Go for common hatchets. Marbles have a neat pattern, but it's debatable how big they get (Some people say 2", others say 3"), they tend to jump out of the tank during water changes and are prone to whitespot. Common hatchets (Silver hatchets) are really neat, in subdued lighting it can actually look like they're scales are silver glitter!

CO2 is advisable if you want to go fully planted. You can make a really cheap DIY one, if you want I can tell you how. (I know a way that does not leak!)
Also, Oscars will rip out your plants and ruin the entire decor. All the fish but the angels will probably end up as lunch, and the angels will be his enemys.
 
SereneReyn
  • #13
like everyone else said, oscars need more room, and would limit your selection substantially - they're fiesty lil buggers. angels are great though, and i'd opt for them over gouramis any day... i'm planning my tank around them... except that i'm heartless and cruel and i'm putting neons with them, knowing full well that they'll disappear once the angels get bigger... /shrug - colorful feeders...
 
BoSox Fan7
  • #14
You can keep Cherry Barbs in with Angelfish.
 
BoSox Fan7
  • #15
Isabella has 6 cherry barbs with 2 angelfish.
 
joshthefisherman
  • #16
I got a 55 and now I have a oscar by himself in their I reccomend getting one they are an awsome fish great personality mmine has already got to no me and the food bag you can put a pleco in their but not for its whole life you would have to sell it and get a new one when it gets to big but ive had plecos for a long long time before and didnt get to big goodluck
 
Blub
  • #17
You can keep Cherry Barbs in with Angelfish.
Hi!

They are the same size as a Neon. They get eaten. Lol, think like an Anglefish - "A cherry barb! Mm, lunch!"


 
Faye Rod
  • #18
Glad you're getting Cherry Barbs - and not cycling with fish. I am at the end of the cycle (with fish - a beginner mistake!) and the Cherry Barbs have made it through. They are fun, colorful and friendly fish. They make the water changes that I was doing every day quite an event - they like to check out the vacuum.

I'm looking forward to when I can add more fish to my 55. I have live plants that are doing well without CO2 - I was told that the Java fern and elodea so fine with 2 watts per gallon. I still need to upgrade the wattage some but so far they are green and thriving.

One of our local fish guys was like yours - he's been setting up tanks in this area for 17 years and has great success. But it was discouraging when he told me I was doing too much research and didn't need to worry so much about cycling my tank - just listen to him. I know he's successful, he's a nice guy - but I WANT to know all I can so I can deal with this new hobby with some confidence.

Glad you're cycling without fish - the planning and working with your plants will be fun. Enjoy!
 
Blub
  • #19
Hi!

Great to hear your cycle is over Faye! It'll be worth looking into various Gourami species to go with your current fish, and Harlequin rasboras as well.


 
Faye Rod
  • #20
Thanks Hatchet - I enjoy your posts! I'm not quite there yet but the nitrite is dropping. I'll let you know when we're ready to introduce some more fish.
 
Blub
  • #21
Hi!

Cool. What are you thinking of adding? I think you should deffinatly think about finding Common pleco a new home soon and swapping him for a BN or clown pleco. Not many people will take in a large pleco - but when he's small they will take him much more readily.


 

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