need advice and/or comments

ok well I recently started a new aquarium from my girlfriend and I have to admit that little 10 gallon got me addicted...I then recently started asking around for tanks that people have and do not use I did this and found 2 tanks...another 10 gallon and a 50 gallon...all given to me for no extra charge...I have cleaned them out using the directions from my grandma...I have somewhat high ammonia levels in my tanks and I am sure that is because it is a new tank and hardly used...I really want this 50 gallon to work great and I read of fishlore to use water from older tanks and such and to "feed the tank" every 12 hours or so to get the nitrogen cycle going....
some questions....
1.) for the 50 I have 2 undergravel filters plus a power filter....are those good options??
2.) should I use pet store water and feed that tank?
3.) my bleeding heart (aka CARI) has itch and the others dont....wuts up with that?
4.) should I use two heaters each half the amount needed?
5.) I have planned out what to get for the fish in this a good combo??
1 Bala Shark
2 Kissing Gourami
3 Angelfish
1 Red Tailed Shark
? Discus...maybe.....
2 Upside-down Catfish
1 Blue Australian Lobster
any other recommendations??
I have no experience with undergravel filters and tanks over 30 gallons is volume (I have one 10g. and one 30g. tank). But from what I read on FishLore, excluding anything about undergravel filters, in the case of a large tank it's better to use two filters, one on each side - so that filtration is more uniform and thorough. The same goes for heaters - one on each side, so that heating is also uniform. Besides, as Gunnie often says, in case one heater breaks, the other one is still working.

As for the filter types, there are really many good external filters available, such as AquaClear, BioWheel, WhisperTetras, etc ... all designed for filtration of both very small and very large tanks. I think an AquaClear or a BioWheel would be very good - that is, one on each side would be better in a 50 gallon tank. I personally have an AquaClear in my 30 gallon, and I love it.

I think what you mean with "feeding the tank" is using beneficial bacteria from an already established filter, not water from a mature tank. Water alone wouldn't really speed up the cycle process. What speeds up a cycle process is when you, for example, cut out a small a piece of sponge from an established filter and put this piece inside your new filter. The beneficial bacteria will spread to the new filter fast and your tank will be cycled faster. Do not use any water from any fish stores. Who told you to do that? I don't think it's safe. It's best to just fill the tank with a dechlorinated tap water and start cycling the tank with the piece of sponge in your filter I mentioned above. Then just wait until the readings are perfect (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, and the pH right for the kinds of fish you will have). And then, you could start adding fish, however not all at once but a few at a time. If you added many fish at once, the toxic levels could rise fast and kill your fish.
Plus, I think for discus you'd need a still bigger tank. And from what I hear, they're difficult to maintain so it's better to wait until you have more experience with aquariums. However, don't get me wrong - it's totally up to you. Just my opinion.

I also don't think angels and gouramis are compatible. Angelfish can be quite territorial and even aggressive (I have 2 angels, so believe me). I think it would be better to have either only 2 gouramis or 2 angels, but not both kinds mixed.

Ok enough for today! LOL
Welcome to FishLore! I think Isabella has you on the right track! In addition to what she's already stated, here's my 2 cents:

1. Undergravel filters are considered obsolete by most hobbyists these days because they suck all your nasties down underneath the gravel, but they are never removed out of the tank. If you have a power failure, you run the risk of all that stuff seeping back into your tank and hurting your fish. You also will probably not be able to grow many plants with that kind of system because all the stuff the plants need will be sucked away from the roots. What you can do with an undergravel filter to make it more up to date, is to reverse the flow so that it pushes the flow up into the water table and your hang on back (HOB) filters can then catch the waste.

2. You say you have ammonia in both tanks already. Do you already have fish in the 50 gallon, and if so, what fish are they?

3. In a larger tank, Isabella is right, that 2 heaters are better so you don't have hot and cold spots in the tank. Plus in a heater failure, the other one can take up the slack hopefully until you can get a replacement. I recommend stainless steel or titanium heaters. They don't break and the ones I have (ViaAqua) have temperature controllers that are outside of the tank so you don't have to keep dipping your hands into the tank to adjust the temperature.

4. Do not use the fish store water! If that fish with ick is a new fish, chances are, that's where the ick came from. Please do not add any more fish until your tank is cycled! When we get a list of the fish you already have, then we can help you treat the sick fish.

5. You should always stock your tank with the adult size of the fish in mind. Plans to upgrade to a bigger tank later on don't always happen, and you end up with an overstocked tank and unhealthy fish. I know the tank will look pretty puny when the fish are babies, but your tank will be much more enjoyable and the envy of all your friends if you know how to stock it properly from the beginning. We have profiles here on FishLore that can help you with your choice of fish.

When I first started in the hobby, I spent hours on a website that sold fish, but it also listed compatibility and tank requirements. It's still a good place to learn about different kinds of fish, and I go back there sometimes:

Having said all that, I think you need to start from scratch on your fish selection. Pick your most wanted type of fish first. For example, if angels are the most important fish for the tank, decide what kind of angels and go from there. Only get 2 though. The 3rd angel will be bullied especially if you have a breeding pair. I would skip getting the bala shark. They can grow up to 18 inches long, which would be too big for a 50 gallon tank. The red tailed shark would probably be fine. The kissing gouramis would be fine if you didn't have the angels in the tank also. I don't think they would get a long very well. I would wait on the discus also. Discus really need to be in groups. They are expensive, quite skiddish, and their water requirements are much more demanding than other fish. You will be doing a lot of water changes for a discus tank if you want healthy discus. They are so beautiful, but they are also high maintenance. Not a good fish for a rookie, but something to look forward to in the future once you get the hang of things. Ammonia at any level in your tank could kill your discus easily. I'm not sure about the upside down catfish. Depending on what other fish you will have, they might be fine. They are pretty interesting fish!

The lobster is a cool idea, but if it's like the crayfish, it will eat your fish if it has the chance. Also, if you have any live plants in the tank, again if it's like the crayfish, it will destroy your plants. The lobster should probably be in a separate tank. I think they prefer cooler water also. As you can see, there are a lot of considerations to be made when purchasing the right fish for your tank. I think you should decide what is your showpieice fish first, and add other compatible fish around that fish. There are some great fish out there than don't have to cost a lot, and will bring pride and enjoyment to your tank. Please tell us more about what is already in your tanks, and please post your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, so we can help you get your tanks cycled. If you don't already have these tests, I strongly recommend you purchase an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test kit. It's on sale online at Petsmart. You may be able to copy the add online, and take it to your local Petsmart to buy it there at the sale price.

It's great to have you with us! Please post back when you can!
k first off I have two 10 gallons...with fish in them...5 tiger barbs, 3 blacktailed tetras and a afirican dwarf frog in a 10 the other 10 gallon I have three fish....a neon blue dwarf gourami, a bleeding heart tetra and a black skirt tetra... in each tank there is a tetra with itch...a blacktail and the bleeding heart... I have the master test kit and the ammonia levels are high...I can not remember the readings right now because I am at school and don't have my notebook with my results in it... my guess is 2 to 4

I read at fishlore..... angelfish are compatable with kissing gouramis....

I am not planning on putting real plants in the new 50 gallon tank....just plastic and prolly not a discus because I don't have the room...but maybe someday when I get experience... thank you for your advice I am 100% sure ill be back to ask more
Definitely do water changes in both tanks to get that ammonia level down to 1 or less. Try slowly raising the temperature to about 85 degrees in both tanks increasing the temp only a couple of degrees each day until you get to 85. Sometimes this will take care of the ick. If not, then you can try adding salt. Butterfly can help you with the amount.
today I did a 50% water change to help with the ammonia and other problems we've been problem that worries me to death is...why do my fish look pale somedays and perfectly fine the others....? and oh I broke my heater today for one of my 10 gallons so I gotta get to the pet store tomorrow to get me another one....

my girlfriend went to petco today and bought some ich med and some chemical that takes out all of the ammonia and such that are in the tank...would it be wise to use them??
There is more than one way to get rid of ick. If you would like to try the medication, that should be fine. A good ammonia neutralizer is amquel plus. You can also get these "pillows" you put in your filter or just drop them in the tank and they absorb ammonia. Is either of these what you bought? They would be fine to use.
I know I'm late to the party but.... gradually raising the temperature of the tank to 85 degrees and leaving it for 14 days  should get rid of ich. If you choose to use salt use non-iodized salt at a rate of 1 tablespoon/5 gallons of water. But don't mix it and just throw it in, raise it to this concentration over a couple of days. Do not use salt on Corys, Loaches and Plecos
today was a very sad day for the fish world...ive lost all my blacktail tetras in the 10 gallon tank with the barbs....

ammonia= 2.0
nitrate and nitrite= 0
I'm sorry to be saying this, once again, but they're dying Ammonia is killing them. I can see them on the pictures exactly as you described them.
wow so all my fish in that tank are gonna die....that sucks and is kinda depressing...the ones in the other one are doing great tho....but the ich is still getting to my bleeding betta is the only fish that has survived from the first batch I got... I am really confused....
ok I will continue to do water changes in my tank...but on to talking about setting up my 50 gallon that I am setting up this weekend... if I use 2 undergravel filters with powerheads on each of the tank both half the power needed and have only one power filter (the Penn Plax Cascade Power Filter 200) would that be sufficient enough?

More about the penn plax
Penn Plax Cascade Power Filter 200
185 GPH - 200
SKU: 918636
Keep your aquarium's water pure, clean, and safe for your fish with a Penn-Plax Cascade Power Filter.
Revolutionary Bio-Falls Quad Filtration System

1: Mechanical
Polyfiber Floss Cartridge traps floating particulate matter.
2: Chemical
Activated Carbon Cartridge removes harmful chemicals, toxins, odors, discoloration, and other contaminants.
3: Biological
Internal Sponge optimizes colonization of beneficial aerobic bacteria. Removes ammonia and nitrites keeping the aquarium healthy.
4: Biological
External Bio-Falls Wet/Dry Biological Booster for additional ammonia and nitrite removal. Enhances oxygen exchange for maximum water oxygenation.
Designed for Dependable, Long-Lasting Use

Quiet, efficient, and maintenance-free motor.
Adjustable flow control.
Extendable lift tube for maximum depth of tank.
Leveling Device keeps filter positioned and stable on most aquariums.
Easy, disposable replacement cartridge. Free cartridge included.
Permanent Bio-Sponge stays in place while changing first stage filter cartridge.
Bio-Falls Wet/Dry biological booster for additional ammonia and nitrite removal.
well today marks the ending of a bad kept my fish are gone and I tried everything I could....guess I will just let the tank cycle for awhile....the frog is still alive tho...thankfully...
I set up my 50 gallon lastnight and it is awesome...its huge!!! and I love it...I can't wait to put fish in there and let the tank get started...any advice on how to speed up the nitrogen process...the web site has many ways of getting it...I just wanna know if anyone knows form experience which is best?? I filtered it with two power with a bio wheel and the other with a regualr ol features...
You can buy a product called bio spira which is basically an instant cycle. It is a foil package which contains the actual bacteria found in a cycled tank. However, it is not cheap, it's not always locally available, and if it's not handled properly, you have purchased an expensive packet of dead bacteria. It's great to have on hand in case of emergencies. If you have a reputable lfs you trust that has it available, I'd say go for it. If you can't find it locally, you can order it from Michael. His email is . That is Dino's lfs.
good news for todays readings on my 50 gallon....

ph is 7.4
amonia is hardly on the scale... would say <.1
nitrite is at a 0
nitrate is 5
wahooo its getting close!!
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