55 Gallon Tank New to 55 Gallon, need advice

JustKeepSwimming

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Hey all,

To make a long story short, my husband purchased me a 5 gallon tank for my snails, but it came with a very large white fantail goldfish. I put him in one of my larger tanks and got a calico Ryukin for companionship, but I knew this wasn't going to cut it long term.

Today I found a deal on Craigslist I couldn't pass up, a 55 gallon aquarium for $40. It came with an undergravel set up that I don't want, and pounds and pounds of those blue rocks that we threw away.

This aquarium is basically going to be just for my Fantail and Ryukin.

Now for my question - I have never maintained an aquarium this large. I have a pretty good idea of the things I need (I've had all sizes between 2.5 and 30 gallons before) but I want some advice from people who have an aquarium this big.

How do you prep water for water changes? Do you need both water filtration and airstones/bubbler or some sort for water agitation or is a 100 gallon water filter enough? (I'm doing double because Goldfish require it, or so I hear.)

I want a black sand planted tank. I'm going to sell my smaller tanks and move my live plants to the new one.

Any advice is welcome.

This is the new tank, all cleaned up:

55gallon.jpg
 

cichlidman

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I do my water changes with a python gravel vacuum . or a pitcher and bucket.. i do a 30% water change every 7-10 days just add declorinator in the tank
With only 2 fish i think your filter should be able to skip the air stone if you like
 

oscarsbud

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Congratulations on the great deal. I don't do any special prep work on my water for changes, but I do treat the water with Prime when adding it to the tank. Aeration isn't an absolute necessity, but I like to use it to make sure the water circulates through the tank evenly. Personally, I think your filtration should be ok, but the more you have the better off you and your fish are.

There will be others along who are more experienced with goldfish who will have more advice.
 

pirahnah3

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I have done both methods of dechlor, I currently do bucket changes on my 75 which is a real pain but its too far to the nearest sink. Anyways, with alot of live plants to help I have been able to keep water changes down a bit, but I top off the tank regularly to keep adding fresh water.

As for conditioner I would add it before you add the water to the tank and be sure to dose for the full tank volume each time.

You will actually find that the larger tanks are easier to maintain as they are more forgiving in the level fluctuations due to the volume of water in them.
 

AlanGreene

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Just a quick question, is the water from the tap the same temp as the tank water when you put it straight in then use the declor?
 

pirahnah3

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I would still dechlor first, have the product available to handle the chlorine as it enters the tank. Removes the chance of forgetting to add it.
 
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JustKeepSwimming

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Oh I did have another question (and I'll probably have more later).

Since I want black sand, I was guessing that would be.. what.. 8 bags of sand? At $10 a bag? So my idea was to cycle the tank, add the fish, acquire a bag or two of sand each paycheck, and then would I be able to add the sand (maybe take the fish out for a few hours) at that point in time with the water in it? Or do I need to drain it?
 

Eienna

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If you rinse it extensively, you can put it in with fish. Use a cup to take it at the bottom and then pour it onto the bottom gently.
 
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JustKeepSwimming

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So to rinse it I just put it in a bucket and hose it until it runs clear right? (This is my first time with sand)
 
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JustKeepSwimming

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Today we put our 55 gallon together finally. I bought a Marineland bio-wheel rated for a 70 gallon tank so I think it will do the job! We're gonna buy some cheap LED lighting strips and lay them across the top for lighting. For substrate I used some Black Diamond Blasting Sand (washed it in a five gallon bucket like everyone recommended.)

There's no plants yet but I'll add them as I can afford them, I'm gonna go all live plants. Any suggestions/advice for that? In my other tanks I have an anubias and some other random plant I bought in a pack of bulbs (the name escapes me) that I grew from the bulbs.

I figure it might take about a month to completely cycle. I'm gonna buy a water testing kit so I know when it's just right to add fish. I'm excited for this tank! (And so is the hubs.)
 

marine590622

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Black blasting sand is a iffy substrate, I use blasting sand in a couple of my tanks. The black and white blasting sands are too fine grained to be used as a planted tank substrate. They compact so tightly that most plants cant get their roots through them. Also blasting sand has sharp edges and so is not appropriate for fish that dig in the substrate for food. Corries and bottias, and some cichlids. If you are set on a planted tank. Look online for information on DIY planted tanks substrates.
 

Tigress Hill

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Never use black diamond blasting media in an acrylic tank unless you enjoy the appearance of deep scratches >·<
 
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JustKeepSwimming

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I've researched the substrate thoroughly and it's really what I wanted. It looks great, and I didn't get the fine grain, I got the #20. It's not sharp at all, it's not even oily after all the washing. I've seen lots of people have great success with live plants with it, so it's the choice I made, and I'm happy with it. Thanks for the advice though, it's appreciated, even the stuff I don't take. I also have a glass tank so scratching isn't an issue.

What's everyone's favorite live plant?
 
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