Ready to set it up!

MrsM3197
  • #1
HI all. The most wonderful thing has happened and a neighbor is giving us a 30 gal hex. aquarium because they are getting a larger one. Bad news is, although I have wanted one for years, I know nothing about caring for it. I need a set up that is attractive, but even more importantly idiot proof. So just a few questions to start with...there will be many more I'm sure.
1) How many pounds of gravel will a 30 gal hex aquarium need?
2) Any suggestions for easy to care for plants?
3) I understand that when it is time to add fish we are to add just 1 or 2 at a time, but I am really trying to start simple and am planning on a small school of zebra fish (after the tank has cycled of course). Should I rethink this?
 
Iluvatar
  • #2
https://www.fishlore.com/FirstTankSetup.htm [Okay welcome to fishlore!!! You can set up the plants in gravel first then you can add water. I don't know how many pounds of gravel you need I would guess ten or more pounds. You shouldnt place your tank near a window or algae can form more. I had that problem myself. Get the right lighting for the plants you plan on getting. I think you can add gravel until you have as much you need and it needs to be kind of deep. I don't think the zebra fish is a bad idea but don't get so many fish. I keep plants.
 
Shawnie
  • #3
welcome to fishlore!!!!!

planted tanks usually have 3-5 inches but you can use your own judgement depending on plants....the easiest plants ive found are the java fern, java moss, and they are low lighting also..I ...dont have any experience in plants other than that..as far as fish, read over these profiles and you can find a lot of different kinds as well as compatabilities of each..goodluck! https://www.fishlore.com/freshwaterfish.htm
 
Angela_96
  • #4
HI all. The most wonderful thing has happened and a neighbor is giving us a 30 gal hex. aquarium because they are getting a larger one. Bad news is, although I have wanted one for years, I know nothing about caring for it. I need a set up that is attractive, but even more importantly idiot proof. So just a few questions to start with...there will be many more I'm sure.
1) How many pounds of gravel will a 30 gal hex aquarium need?
2) Any suggestions for easy to care for plants?
3) I understand that when it is time to add fish we are to add just 1 or 2 at a time, but I am really trying to start simple and am planning on a small school of zebra fish (after the tank has cycled of course). Should I rethink this?

Welcome to fishlore! heres the link to the front page for beginners fish care, it includes links to aquarium setups, etc. You might want to go to the link on the fishlore.com home and read about the nitrogen cycle as well.
As far as the substrate, if you are using real plants, look under the best substrate for plants. (I would guess about 15lb of gravel at least, I use about 30-45lb in a 55 gallon tank)
I would study the plant species, lighting requirements, substrate requirements, and so on.
Zebra fish would be great in that tank in my opinion.
 
Lucy
  • #5
HI Mrs M Welcome to Fish Lore

I'm happy to hear you're doing a fish less cycle! Easier on you and definitely better for your future fish.

Perhaps this link will help with your choice of plants:


Choosing fish for a tank has to be a personal decision, but I agree with Shawnie, look at the zebras profiles and compatibility to other fish you might want to get in the future.

Good luck with your tank.
 
Fish Addict
  • #6
Maybe see about getting some flourite for your tank, if you need gravel and want plants...
 
jdhef
  • #7
Of course if you really want easy, you could always go for artificial plants. A school of at least six Zebra Danios would be a good choice. They are pretty hardy. You could also put a few Cory Cats in there also.

John
 
goggles
  • #8
shawnie I saw you said jave moss, I was thinking of getting some, does it cling to the rocks by its'self or do you need to tie it?
 
Shawnie
  • #9
I have it tied or weighted down
 
goggles
  • #10
thanks
 
MrsM3197
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks Everybody

Thanks everybody for your input. I am really encouraged to find this forum. Naturally I have another question or 3.
How and with what do I secure my plants in my tank? Will I need to let my aquarium cycle before I add the plants, then let it cycle again before the fish are added? Theory of water displacement says that could be messy, I need to plan for that.
Plastic plants were mentioned, I'm not opposed to that idea, but I thought that I read that real were beneficial to the tank. Are real plants a must have?
 
pepetj
  • #12
HI MrsM3197. Wellcome to fishlore, from another newbie.
Real plants are definetely better for the aquarium system than plastic ones if you meet their lighting/substrate requirements. I have lo-tech planted tanks (low light no CO2 system), I say go planted fishless-cycling.
As for stocking, you might consider the area of the base and not striclty the gallons of water (e.g. I have a 29 tall tank I am cycling right now and consider it as 20gal for stocking purposes, found this researching in fishlore). Hope others with 30gal hexagonal tanks give you feedback.
To secure plants, well I purchase lead strips (sold as safe at the LFS) but after giving it some thought I share about it here and decided to remove them from the tank. I use rubber bands and stones to weight some, others I just stick into the substrate, and recently learned that anubias have a ribozome that must stay out of the substrate (on time to save most of mine, one was really damaged -kind of rotten- but is still hanging in there).
I found cycling with pure ammonia (with Xdrops to reach 4-5ppm added daily and half Xdrops once the nitrite spike begins the most practical method). Just one total water change after the nitrite spike fades out (to remove nitrates), just add dechlorinated tap water and ready to go. If your neighbors have healthy, well stablished aquariums, you could add some used filter media and/or gravel (do not rinse it) and put it in (this might save you a couple of days).
Enjoy the waiting. Wish you the best,
Pepe
Old-Newby
Santo Domingo
 
jdhef
  • #13
Live plants aren't neccesarry, and can lead to more tank maintenence. The plants need to be trimed back occasionally, and any debris from the plants need to be removed before the decay in the tank. Also many times plants that you add, have snail eggs on them, and you get a snail outbreak.

Also, some fish will just eat/dig up live plants, so you would want to be sure not to include any of those types of fish.

I didn't learn of fishless cycling until after I started cycling my tank with Zebra Danios (or I may have gone fishless). They seem to be doing fine (they are eating great and are very active). The reason I mention this, is that I have artificial plants and my Danios don't seem to mind the artificial plants at all.

John
 
eric_m
  • #14
hey, and welcome
I'm kinda new also.. your better off waiting for the water to cycle before adding fishes.. get the API master test kit so you can monitor the cycle.. I started off fishless but soon found myself stocking up my tank .... now i'm now doing daily water changes in order to minimize sudden uncycled fish death syndrome... Save yourself time, extra work, and frustration and wait for the cycle.. the drawback is looking at a fishless tank.. the benefits would be to not have most of your stock go belly up (happened to my cousin)...
 
Blub
  • #15
Plants... I just love them.

For a tank like yours, try Hornwort, Hygophila, Crypts, Java fern (Needs to be tied to rocks with string like java moss) and anubias. (Anubias can be attatched to rocks/wood, or planted in the gravel. When planting anubias, remember to keep the rhizome above the substrate!) You will need to take the plants out of the pots/bunches they came in (There is a surprising amount in there!) because otherwise same of the smaller stem/rosettes will get shaded and die off otherwise. Your plants will also be able to spread easier.

As far as fish. If you want a foolproof tank, go with Guppies and Platies. Hardy, pretty, cute, and possibly the best begginer's fish in the world. Just make sure you get all males of both specie.s If you have males and females, you will get overstocked FAST! You can have Zebra danios in there as well. I recommend...

8 Zebras
3 Platys
3 Guppys

Don't be afraid to mix the various variety's of Platy and Guppy! The more kinds you get, the more interesting your tank will be. Platys are pure cute pigs, Guppys colourful and fun.
 

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