Rookies first tank Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by hunter7x7, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. hunter7x7

    hunter7x7New MemberMember

    I just purchased a used 70 gal tank after being fishless for nearly 25 years. I am going to be setting it up as a freshwater tank. I plan on getting a divider so my daughter's can have some "pretty fish" such as guppies or mollies. On "my side" I am not sure exactly what fish I will get but assume some sort of Cichlid or similar fish.

    It came with a stand and some accessories. Here is what I have:
    Tank 70gal 48"L X 20"H X 18"D
    Glass top (2 flat pieces of glass) really bad water/scale deposits
    Profile 1000 air pump
    Perplex Silent-Air X3 air pump
    Aqua Clear 70 Filter
    EBO Jager 100 watt heater (just noticed the glass tube is broke) Can this tube be replaced?
    Misc. plastic plants
    Mixed large/small gravel (probably won't use)
    Two pieces of driftwood
    Couple misc. rocks

    Here are a few questions I have:
    Can I somehow fix the heater? Replacement glass tube?

    Should I set up a 2nd filter? Do I need an under gravel filter?

    What do I hook these air pumps to?

    Benefits of sand VS gravel?

    If gravel, smaller stones or larger? What is the benefits or either?

    I have to purchase a hood with a light. Does anyone know of a online site they would recommend?

    I guess I am open to any suggestions you feel a greenhorn should know. If it would be easier, feel free to contact me via email @ [email protected]. I don't want to make a bunch of rookie mistakes that will leave me pulling my hair out. :;fru

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    I have been very impressed with this website. A gathering of so many people with this much experience is very impressive. The pictures of various members tanks are incredible. :;perfect
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  2. Jrobber

    JrobberWell Known MemberMember

    Here are some links that may help you:

    -Your aquarium profile says you don't know about the Nitrogen Cycle, so I would start here

    Filters and Filtration

    Air Pumps


    -This one is another forum that might help you decide

    Fish Supplies

    -Seems pretty reasonable on prices and I've seen others speak highly about what they buy from him.

    Aquarium Lighting

    Hope these links help.
  3. OP

    hunter7x7New MemberMember

    Thanks Jrobber

    I appreciate the quick reply. I have a lot of reading up to do. Thanks for getting me started so quickly.

    Wish me luck.
  4. w_boughner

    w_boughnerValued MemberMember

    heater _ buy a new one there not that much

    a bigger filter would be better or a charcole bag hidden behind wood or rocks will help clarity of your water

    sand to gravel would depend on type of fish

    i dont purchas on line so cant sugest any thing

    if you want extra airation you could weigh down the hose under a rock or buy a decoration thay uses air

    good luck with your tank
  5. redlessi

    redlessiWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore:;balloons

    First off you may want to remove your tele number as this is a public site.

    I would recommend you get an API freshwater master testing kit. That way you can accurately test your water as you go through the nitrogen cycle.

    I would also suggest you get some Prime water conditioner. In my opinion its the best one to use.

    You can visit the freshwater fish profile page to research different species and their requirements and compatabilities.

    Good Luck..........
  6. michael68

    michael68Valued MemberMember

    Hi welcome to fish lore.I would ditch the plastic plants and get real plants.I would go with the mix of small and large pebbles.I would no doubt by a new heater(marineland stealthpro 250watt,it will set you back around 40 bones.)I have four children and they will love what ever you put in the tank so i would ditch the divider and go with one species or the other(maybe buy two tanks).I would run the ac 70 plus invest in a nice canister filter,maybe another 100 bones.I would attach some airstones to those pumps and arrange them accordingly in the tank.Last but not least.What kind of lighting do you have?
  7. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!!
    Hope you don't mind, your duplicate thread had been deleted and the replies merged into one thread.
    ;) Easier to keep track this way.

    Enjoy the forum!!
  8. michael68

    michael68Valued MemberMember

    Sorry hunter i thought you already had your lighting.Check out petco if you have one by you.They have coralife t5 ho fixtures on clearance right now!!They also have the replacement tubes on clearance also!!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  9. click

    clickWell Known MemberMember

    First of all, welcome to fishlore!

    Great advices above. You're saying the tank was without fish for 25 years? The question that I ask myslef is what is the condition of the silicone seal after so many years? Maybe some of the forumists with more years of fishkeeping than me could give their input on this. Would re-sealing the tank be a good idea?

    I would recommend a leak test in the bathtub before anything else.
  10. MindTravel3r

    MindTravel3rValued MemberMember

    I would reiterate what Jrobber said above. Start by reading up on the Nitrogen Cycle. You should consider doing a fishless cycle. There is a good post that is a sticky (permanently at the top) of this forum, and if you search around, you will find articles and posts all over on it. I also agree with suggestion of the canister filter, because of the size of your tank. I would stay away from the undergravel; there are lots of posts on this forum that will explain why, but it short, too much wastes gets trapped under the plates. If your looking for cheaper alternative, a couple of large sponge filters would do the job regarding biological filtration, but you would definitely want to keep the Aquaclear running if you looked at that as an option. The sponges are not pretty, but are effective at biological filtration. The canisters are super efficient at filtering the water and have the added bonus of being hidden behind the stand, but you will spend a little more for the nice system.
  11. OP

    hunter7x7New MemberMember

    Clarification: The tank has not been fishless for 25 years. I have not had a tank in 25 years.
    I am a little confused about hoods and lights. The tank is 48" long. All the lights seem to only come in lengths of up to 36". Do I have to buy 2 hood/light units to span the full width?
  12. Prince Powder

    Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Hello hunter7x7! Welcome to Fishlore! :;hi1

    As for other suggestions...

    As stated above you'll want to get yourself a good liquid test kit like the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It will be an invaluable tool when it comes to prepping your tank for fish.
    As for the driftwood you have, you might want to test your pH before deciding to use it because if it is still leeching tannis it will lower your pH.
    If you're ambitious enough to go for live plants, do so. Not only is a planted tank beautiful, but the plants will actually help keep your tank more stable as far as the nitrogen cycle.

    And my final suggestion...If you really want to keep cichlids, you might want to consider getting your daughter her own smaller tank. Most chiclids require alot of space whether it be due to the larger sizes or due to their aggression and territoriality. They would benefit greatly from having the entire 70 gallons to themselves. You will be much more limited with what you will both be able to keep if you divide the tank.

    EDIT: here are a few more links to help get you started.

    Fish Profiles Research, research, research every fish you are thinking about keeping! After being out of the hobby for so long I'm sure there is alot that has been learned about all the fish species. you'll want to make sure your fish are compatible and know what water conditions they need to thrive.

    The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle I know they already gave you the link for this one, but it is SO important it's worth posting again.

    Four Methods of Fishless Cycling This is another very important link. It will explain the best ways to properly cycle your tank BEFORE getting fish. It used to be believed that the only way to cycle was by cycling with fish, however we now know differently and here are some great methods of cycling your tank without having to put live fish through the stress and danger of the cycle.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  13. click

    clickWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, that makes more sense now. I was scratching my head thinking you found a 25 yr old tank. Silly me....:;smack
  14. xxSTEPHENSxx

    xxSTEPHENSxxValued MemberMember

    I just bought a full length hood from Pet Supermarket for $99. It is 48'' in length.
  15. Goldwing_Don

    Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome To Fishlore :;hi2
  16. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Hunter! Glad to have you on board!
    Please keep us updated with your progress.
    I hope you enjoy the site.
  17. OP

    hunter7x7New MemberMember

    Canister Filter

    Since the suggestions favored a canister filter I went out and I found some canister filters online but I have a question. Below is the sizes and tanks size ratings. I can get a Cascade 1200 for $99 or the 1000 for $115. My concern is with a 70gal tank that is 48" long, would the 1200 just be too powerful (creating a strong current) or much noisier than if I just got the 1000? :;dk

    Since they only have left of the 1200 size so I would have to move quickly so any quick feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for your help deciding.

    Cascade 500, for aquariums up to 30 gallons, 115 gph
    Cascade 700, for aquariums up to 65 gallons, 185 gph
    Cascade 1000, for aquariums up to 100 gallons, 265 gph
    Cascade 1200, for aquariums up to 150 gallons, 315 gph
    Cascade 1500, for aquariums up to 200 gallons, 350 gph
  18. bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to fishlore!
  19. w_boughner

    w_boughnerValued MemberMember

    i dont have a canister filter but i would amagine there adjustable like most filters so biger would be better..maby some one who has one can conferm this. and if you get active fish they would like the curent
  20. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    For your canister filter I would go either the 1000 or the 1200. You can point the outlet nozzle in any direction that you want, even towards the glass, so you can rugulate how much current there is in the tank.

    Gravel vs Sand: I much prefer gravel as it is easier to maintain IMO & gravel will also hold some beneficial bacteria. Something that sand does not do. I also don't like the way all the fish poo sits on top of sand making things look messy. Some people love sand though & there is nothing wrong with using it. Let your own personal tastes & more importantly, your fishes requirements make the decicion for you.

    The lighting should be pretty easy to find though you may need to look for lighting that does not come in a hood. There should be plenty of 48" fixtures that come with little legs that are supported on the tank edges if you do a google search for "48" Aquarium Light".

    Apart from that you have been given some excellent advice by the other posters.