45 Gal tank + very hard water.
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45 Gal tank + very hard water.

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45 Gal tank + very hard water.
Old 12-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #1
 
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45 Gal tank + very hard water.

I received a 45 gal. tank w/ stand from a friend (has no equipment or hood). I have been reading and researching to the point I am wondering if ever having fish in this is a lost cause.

Where we live we have very hard water (300+ ppm). I know this greatly limits what type of fish I can have. I have read over and over about Cichlids, but am concerned that my tank might be to small for anything but a couple of fish total, which seems kind of boring. I truly do not mind the idea of a species or biotope tank, but I do want more than 2-3 fish in it.

It seems that I need to decide on fish before I buy the equipment, so I can be sure to get the right things. If anyone has some suggestions for a very confused over researched newbie it would be appreciated. I thought I had found the right fish for us (P. Saulosi) but further researched showed that these fish are now threatened, so it doesn't seem prudent to chose them.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
 
you mentiened cichlids perhaps you could do dwar cichlids (warning never checkered cichleds as these are most difficult both to keep and breed only for the seasoned aqauirist.)
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
 
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Do you know your PH as well? Generally it is high if your water is hard but it's good to know.
I have very very hard water and a PH of 8.2. I have a 75 gal community with Australian Rainbowfish, Breeding Mollies and Swordtails (both Live-bearers who like hard water) and Congo Tetras. Is your 45 Gallon tank 48" long? That will help matters if it is.
Buying something bred and raised locally is helpful too rather than investing money in fish that are shipped in and now being housed at the LFS in hard water like yours. It is still hard on their systems to be living in water that isn't what they should be in of course.
The Mollies and Swordtails will breed like crazy so you would need to know that your LFS would buy some of them back from you.
Not sure if this helps you at all but might give you more questions you can ask yourself to help you decide. Good luck, keep us posted on what you decide on.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Jakiebabie View Post
Do you know your PH as well? Generally it is high if your water is hard but it's good to know.
I have very very hard water and a PH of 8.2. I have a 75 gal community with Australian Rainbowfish, Breeding Mollies and Swordtails (both Live-bearers who like hard water) and Congo Tetras. Is your 45 Gallon tank 48" long? That will help matters if it is.
Buying something bred and raised locally is helpful too rather than investing money in fish that are shipped in and now being housed at the LFS in hard water like yours. It is still hard on their systems to be living in water that isn't what they should be in of course.
The Mollies and Swordtails will breed like crazy so you would need to know that your LFS would buy some of them back from you.
Not sure if this helps you at all but might give you more questions you can ask yourself to help you decide. Good luck, keep us posted on what you decide on.
ph is also good question to add since this also determines futher facters, live-bearers can ajust to the ph but with the dwarf chidlids this is a must have also temperature is a facter with chichlids in general which has to be in the 80* F+ range considering their natural habitat is in a hot area in the world year- round it is best to start with the length of how wide it is for chiclids, but with live-bearers it is best either room if warm and comfy or 75*F or so in the 70 range so these are best to think about also your tank so far seems perfect for the live-bearers.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
 
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I think the ph is between 7.4-8.0, not entirely positive on the exact ph, sorry. My tank is 36" X 12 x 24. (I think I listed that right width, depth, height).

I think it might be best if I did go with live-bearers. Some of them may not be my first choice in fish, but you have to work with what you got. I am a bit worried about cichlids due to the exacting conditions they need. With me just starting out it might get overwhelming after the newness wears off.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:21 AM   #6
 
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I have decided to go with Fancy Guppies for our tank. My other half is a bit disappointed that Cichlids aren't a good choice for us due to the size of the tank and the enhanced care/maintenance requirements not suited for beginners.

I am thinking a planed tank would be ideal for this type of fish, plus the concept of a more natural aquarium appeals to me. There are however a few fish I would love to include, but am not sure if it is possible. Namely some type of shrimp, crab or frog (i saw some really cute tiny one at our lfs, but have no clue what they were). Also an Algae Eater, but I don't know what the actual name of this type of fish is. My Dad always had 1 or 2 in his tanks and they were just fun to watch or try to find.

I am going to see about getting a water test kit as soon as possible to find out more detailed information about our local water, as well as see if the lfs does free water testing. Suggestions are appreciated and very much welcomed.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:07 AM   #7
 
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Good for you for taking your time!! A+ on working toward getting a testing kit. The downside is the cost of the kit, but the upside is definitely... when late at night you are panicked about something weird going on with your fish you can test immediately and don't have to wait till morning and the store opens... or late the next day after work or school. It might be too late by then.
Algae eaters will come along later once you are set up and actually have algae in the tank... there are several kinds, a few that get mixed up, even the stores mix them up, and some get very aggressive so you want to know what you want before you go get one. (There are Siamese, the False Siamese, the Chinese, and Flying Foxes, ) Then there are sweet little Oto's, a variety and sizes of Plecos and Snails. Of course this all depends on budget and availability at the LFS.
But you are definately doing this right by taking your time. Have you found a filter, heater, lights and glass top for it yet?
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sookielee View Post
I have decided to go with Fancy Guppies for our tank. My other half is a bit disappointed that Cichlids aren't a good choice for us due to the size of the tank and the enhanced care/maintenance requirements not suited for beginners.

I am thinking a planed tank would be ideal for this type of fish, plus the concept of a more natural aquarium appeals to me. There are however a few fish I would love to include, but am not sure if it is possible. Namely some type of shrimp, crab or frog (i saw some really cute tiny one at our lfs, but have no clue what they were). Also an Algae Eater, but I don't know what the actual name of this type of fish is. My Dad always had 1 or 2 in his tanks and they were just fun to watch or try to find.

I am going to see about getting a water test kit as soon as possible to find out more detailed information about our local water, as well as see if the lfs does free water testing. Suggestions are appreciated and very much welcomed.
all these animal that you mention are indeed compatible with each other before going with fancy female guppies try getting commen females with the fancy males much cheaper also intrduces new blood which is healtiear for the strains of new-comming off-spring but with my expierence with fancy females is terrible they are much harder to keep and in pregnancys they may spazem just over somthing so little as changing water and die or be very damaged from spazems also they spoil the males into wanting only fancy females which could cost quite a bit depending on how fancy they are common fancy female (just tail colored) greatest is full body color fancy female which are much more$$$ than the commen fancy female guppie also the regular non-fancys may be both labled commen guppies/feeder guppie because they are ether realy young or have no coloring so it is best to pick the female commens based on health conditions but cost a little more or no money back if they die within the time period because of selectivity but here in WV the commen male and female are only 37-39 cents to a doller so they are also much cheaper mates just make sure if you get them always isolate if possible a betta cube would do fine for that just five$ or so for one and out of those living/ healtist then introduce them to the males. hope this helps on a buget option
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:37 AM   #9
 
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Actually the other half and I are approaching this with a divide and concur approach. I an doing all the fish and plant research and he is doing the mechanical aspects of our research. He does know that er can get a hood for our tank at PetCo or PetSmart, not sure which one, that is made by the same company that made the tank.

With a bit more research, I think maybe going with a combination of real and plastic plants might be a more advisable solution, considering the size of the tank.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sookielee View Post
Actually the other half and I are approaching this with a divide and concur approach. I an doing all the fish and plant research and he is doing the mechanical aspects of our research. He does know that er can get a hood for our tank at PetCo or PetSmart, not sure which one, that is made by the same company that made the tank.

With a bit more research, I think maybe going with a combination of real and plastic plants might be a more advisable solution, considering the size of the tank.
What I am confused about what you said to my reply to this


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sookielee
I have decided to go with Fancy Guppies for our tank. My other half is a bit disappointed that Cichlids aren't a good choice for us due to the size of the tank and the enhanced care/maintenance requirements not suited for beginners.

I am thinking a planed tank would be ideal for this type of fish, plus the concept of a more natural aquarium appeals to me. There are however a few fish I would love to include, but am not sure if it is possible. Namely some type of shrimp, crab or frog (i saw some really cute tiny one at our lfs, but have no clue what they were). Also an Algae Eater, but I don't know what the actual name of this type of fish is. My Dad always had 1 or 2 in his tanks and they were just fun to watch or try to find.

I am going to see about getting a water test kit as soon as possible to find out more detailed information about our local water, as well as see if the lfs does free water testing. Suggestions are appreciated and very much welcomed.


all these animal that you mention are indeed compatible with each other before going with fancy female guppies try getting commen females with the fancy males much cheaper also intrduces new blood which is healtiear for the strains of new-comming off-spring but with my expierence with fancy females is terrible they are much harder to keep and in pregnancys they may spazem just over somthing so little as changing water and die or be very damaged from spazems also they spoil the males into wanting only fancy females which could cost quite a bit depending on how fancy they are common fancy female (just tail colored) greatest is full body color fancy female which are much more$$$ than the commen fancy female guppie also the regular non-fancys may be both labled commen guppies/feeder guppie because they are ether realy young or have no coloring so it is best to pick the female commens based on health conditions but cost a little more or no money back if they die within the time period because of selectivity but here in WV the commen male and female are only 37-39 cents to a doller so they are also much cheaper mates just make sure if you get them always isolate if possible a betta cube would do fine for that just five$ or so for one and out of those living/ healtist then introduce them to the males. hope this helps on a buget option
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