New Tank - Confused

  • #1
I remembered having tanks when I was a kid, the undergravel filter was installed, rock and decorations were added, then within hours the fish were added.. At least that's how I think I remember it ;D

I finally took the dive and bought a tank. I wanted a 125 Gallon tank, too big for the space I have.. Then it was a 75, and a 55 both were a bit large for the area I have open. I settled with a 37 Gallon tank and a Eclipse 3 hood with built in filteration and lighting.

I bought the tank on Sunday, put the gravel in added water and started up the filter/heater. Monday came around and I added some decorations and fake plants. I also added some TetraAqua water conditioner. I may have added the amount needed for a 40 gallon tank, but hopefully the 3 gallon difference won't do any harm.

I have started to "feed" the tank the Bio-Blend fish food that came with my tank setup, this website has been great!!

Now on to my questions (Finally huh?)
How long before I can add fish?
My water seems to be a little cloudy I think? I have never done an aquarium myself so maybe it isnt, I have attached photos for more professional eyes to see.
How many fish can my tank handle? I plan on having 6 neons or so but beyond that I have no clue what fish play nice with neons
How efficient is this filter for a long term solution? I have seen mixed review on eclipse but I really liked that it was an all in one solution.

Tank Specs
37 US Gallons, All Glass Aquarium brand, with matching stand 30x12x22.5 (I think these dimensions are correct)
Marineland Eclipse 3 filter/biowheel lighting hood system

Thanks for such a informative site, and taking the time to look at my post!

  • #2
Beautiful set-up! The water seems very clear to me! I'm sure you've read on this site about testing kits for your water. If you buy one of the master kits taht test for pH, nitrite, nitrate and ammonia than that will tell you when your tank is ready for fish. It is important for the ammonia and nitrite to be 0! and Nitrate should be low 0-10. When you have reached these numbers, you can add fish. It is a guessing game on when it is safe to add fish if you don't have a water tester kit.
I'll let someone else suggest fish that are compatible with neons since it is starting to storm really bad outside here!
Good luck and have fun!
  • #3
Welcome to FishLore! I like the tank. It looks like one I have.

How long before I can add fish?

You must cycle your tank before adding some fish. It can take about 4-6 weeks. You know when your cycle is finished when the Ammonia, NitrIte, and NitrAte levels are are at the numbers Manicivy said.

Here is some more info on cycling your tank :

My water seems to be a little cloudy I think? I have never done an aquarium myself so maybe it isnt, I have attached photos for more professional eyes to see.

The water in your tank might be a little cloudy for a while when it is first set up. It will clear after a while. (I'm setting up a new tank ATM, and it was cloudy for the first few days and then it cleard up)

How many fish can my tank handle? I plan on having 6 neons or so but beyond that I have no clue what fish play nice with neons

I'm not sure how many fish you could put in your tank sorry, but, I have 6x Neon Tetras, 6x Zebra Danios and 6x Leopard Danios in a 15 gallon tank. So you could probably put double that amount of fish in a 37 gallon tank. The Danios and Neons get along very well together.

How efficient is this filter for a long term solution? I have seen mixed review on eclipse but I really liked that it was an all in one solution.

I haven't heard of that filter sorry, but if it is Marineland I've heard that they are quite good.

Hope this helps

Joe G
  • #4
Love your tank , nice set up , nice and neat. the fish you put in your tank are in for a treat.
  • #5
How many fish you can add depends on the size of the fish and kind. Some are larger, some need more swimming room, some are territorial, etc. Research the type of fish you want before purchasing them, and make sure you take into account their full adult length. Google is your friend. Its never a good idea to buy a fish when its small with a plan to rehome it later, as stunting can happen long before it physically outgrows a tank.

As far as the Eclipse filter, I have several smaller Eclipse tanks. The filters are adequate as long as you have a small bioload. Its inadequate for fish that need overfiltering, such as puffers, goldfish, plecos, etc. If you are going to stay with small fish such as neons, and have a small bioload (don't overstock the tank), then it should be fine. There's no need to buy filter media to change it all the time, either. Just rinse the flat filter media in tank water you've removed when doing a water change. Use your fingers to scrub the gunk off, then put it back. Rinse the biowheel (but don't scrub it - it shouldn't need it).
  • #6
I think you should fishless cycle before adding your fish.  You like the neons, so 37 neons would be awesome!  Check out the cardinal tetras also.  They are similar to the neons but bigger.   

Rainbowfish would also be beautiful! Check out the bosemani's, the praecox, and the turquoise rainbows along with all the others. They are beautiful!

  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thank you for all the advice and compliments

I tested my water today and here are the results

Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Hardness 150
Alkalinity 80
pH 7.2

All values are "PPM" whatever that means

Not sure if the results are good or bad  ???

My filter says 250GPH, does that mean 250 Gallons Per Hour?  Shoudlnt that be suffcient for a 37 gallon tank?

I would love to buy a small school of Neons but I'm a bit afraid that the tank hasnt cycled enough and I would kill them.  A friend also recommended that I purchase 2 catfish (bottom feeders) to help with algae removal.

Thanks again everyone!
  • #8
My filter says 250GPH, does that mean 250 Gallons Per Hour? Shoudlnt that be suffcient for a 37 gallon tank?

As I said, its sufficient as long as you have a low bioload. If you overstock your tank or have fish that require overfiltration, its not sufficient.

A friend also recommended that I purchase 2 catfish (bottom feeders) to help with algae removal.

Not everyone has problems with algae, especially in non-planted tank. There are a variety of bottom feeders, though, that do different jobs. There are ones that are primarliy algae eaters (such as otos and plecos) and some that are more of clean up crews (cories). Just remember to research the fish BEFORE you buy them. Avoid common plecos, they get to be waay too big for a 37 gallon tank. Some good ideas are bristlenose plecos or pitbull plecos. There are others as well that stay smaller in the 5-6 inch realm. You could also go with snails instead or in addition. If you are worried about population control, you could get some nerite snails which only reproduce in brackish tanks.
  • #9
GPH =Gallons Per Hour, ppm = Parts Per Million. 1 ppm of a chemical in water means that, in a million units of water, there would only be one unit of the chemical. Hope that's not confusing
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thank you everyone for your help.

I bought 8 Neon Tetras, 2 Blue Dwarf Gouramis and a bottom feeder today

Here are some photos of the weeks progress from empty tank to fish. Tomorrow I am thinking to add 4 more neon tetras and mayb 2 more community fish.

  • #11
Ummm... what were your ammonia readings? Your tank has not cycled yet, thus the zero nitrate readings. It basically has barely begun. After just a week of feeding it fish food, I seriously doubt it has cycled and your fish will be endangered from ammonia and nitrite poisoning.  I would highly recommend getting some Biospira immediately to "instant" cycle it, which still takes a couple of days but works the best and fastest so the fish aren't in jeopardy.  Do not buy a product called Cycle, or anything else they tell you "cycles" tanks, as only Biospira does.

Regardless though, its best not to add too many fish too soon. You should wait at least a week before adding any others, and then only add a couple at a time. If you add too many, the bacteria that is there can't handle the additional bioload and the fish face ammonia and nitrite poisoning.

EDIT:  That bottom feeder you got looks like a common pleco. If it is, it needs to be returned to the store. They get over 2 feet long and very few hobbiests have tanks big enough to house them. I seriously wish they would stop selling them except by special order.   What you should get instead is a bristlenose pleco, bushynose pleco, or pitbull pleco.  One of the ones that don't grow larger than 6".

Also, watch for signs of aggression between your dwarf blue gourami.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
From what the fish store told me my water was ready, I brought them a water sample. The bottomfeeder is not a common pleco from what they say, they called him a golden something or other and they said he should not grow beyond 6".

I also added a package of Bio-Spira as recommended by my LFS.

Hopefully things go well, the people in my LFS seem to be knowledgable and supportive.

  • #13
Did you tell them you'd only set it up a week ago and were using flakes? If so, they would have known that your water wasn't ready and that there was another reason you weren't getting any readings. The Biospira will take care of that though. At least they gave you one good piece of advice. Hopefully they told you to keep it cold on the way home. In this hot weather we're having, it goes bad quickly. I took a small cooler to the store with me today just to bring my Biospira home in.

I hope they didn't tell you it was a Golden King Tiger pleco. Golden Tigers don't get over 6 inches usually, but what you have is not a Golden Tiger. Wrong markings for a GT. Its possible that its a gold nugget pleco, but those get to be a foot long. There are no other ones with "gold" in their name that I am aware of that stay smaller than 6".

Unfortunately, most LFS workers aren't very knowledgeable but they make things up and sound really convincing. And its hard to tell unless you know yourself. That's why its always better to do research on something BEFORE you purchase it. Hopefully you won't lose too many neons.
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I told them that I set it up last Sunday, they seemed to think my tank was ready.

They called the bottom feeder a golden nugget, and said my tank should be suffcient for it.

Hopefully my fish are happy, I love animals and I would hate to think I am causing any animal stress or a distressed environment

  • #15
I'm sorry to say your tank is insufficient for a gold nugget pleco. As I said, they get to be a foot long. He will become badly stunted in your tank, which is a condition in which the outside of their body stops growing, so they look small, but the insides continue growing and get squashed. Its not pleasant and leads to premature death. I would return him to the LFS if I were you and try to get one of the other bottom feeders I mentioned instead.

I find that many LFS staff (a) don't know much about the fish they are selling, or (b) don't care if they sell fish for an inappropriate environment. After all, if people don't know any better (and most don't unfortunately) and the fish dies, they'll just shrug it off and go buy more from the same people, not bothering to find out WHY the fish died.

I commend you for trying to provide a proper environment and care for your fish. That's why I try to stress research BEFORE purchase so much - so that we don't get into situations where we are jeopardizing our fishes' health.

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