Aquired 55g
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Aquired 55g

This is a discussion on Aquired 55g within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Heya I recently acquired a tank from a cousin that came with a gravel hose, some test strips, filters, and a few live fish. ...

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Moonlight Gourami
Moonlight Gourami
Old 12-01-2009, 01:45 PM   #1
Aquired 55g

Heya I recently acquired a tank from a cousin that came with a gravel hose, some test strips, filters, and a few live fish.

3 Angelfish I believe are silver
1 Huge pleco? (maybe amazon sailfin cat)
2 Blackskirt hifin Tetra
1 Upside down cat
12 Red tux platys

I am new the fish keeping thing and kinda had it forced upon me as my wife wanted to keep pretty fish. However I am enjoying the whole thing now, even though I expected it to be a lot of work.

As far as the equipment inside the thing I have a Topfin 60 filter system it just uses bags with carbon in them, a bubble wand, a heater, and a few ornaments. I don't believe the family member that passed this treasure trove to me really knew what he was doing as one of them had ich and died shortly after I recieved the set up. however none of the fish show signs as of now of any illness.

I've been testing the water with the strips, but I have read they are not very accurate and I can tell why now. But it would seem I have a GH of 200-300 a ph of around 6.2 maybe slightly higher (the strips are color coated ) my NO3 was either 0ppm or close to it, and my NO2 was inbetween 0-0.5ppm. I plan on getting the water tested today, as the fish look healthy but I wanna make sure they feel healthy.

As for a few questions after I get the quality of water troubleshooted:

I was interested in keeping a simple planted tank, what would be your suggestions?

Is my tank overstocked?? My wife wants more fish but I won't let her do anything till I get everything under control, also what would be compatible long term?

As far as my filter goes I have read reviews on the topfin 60 only complaint so far is its loud, which doesn't bother me really. Should I be looking for something better?

What would be the best way to "re-aquascape" the tank?
Would I just have to start over and recycle or could I change the gravel and items out? (I know about the gravel keeping good bacteria I'd keep some of the old to help with the cycle if it has to go that route)

Also I'll try and get pics of what I got and update the thread. Thanks for the help.

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Old 12-01-2009, 03:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to the fish world and this forum, hope you'll enjoy yourself!

If you can get a liquid test kit from API or alike. The strips are extremely inaccurate and while they show you nothing for NO2 & 3 it could well be you are having slightly elevated NO2 levels tested with the liquid set. They often (if not always) only then show readings at all when its pretty much on the verge of being too late already. Also the strips only last so long before the colors are faded and then inaccurate to, over time you'll test your tank water on & off and to keep rebuying the strips is more expensive in the long run then the test kit. Just make sure you can test for NO2, NO3, pH, KH and Ammonia.

A wonderful idea live plants, can only encourage you to do it. Not only will it look much better but also will act as a "bio filter" if you will and so it helps your tank, your fish and your eyes
To ensure proper plant growth you need a proper light, so check what bulb you have under the hood there (the usually have names printed on the sides of the bulb). It should be ideally a full spectrum daylight rated around 6500K for plants.
Then really its up to you what plants you like. I'd suggest for starting out to get a combo out of Stem plants such as Ludwiga, Vallisneria or Cabomba, these will grow fast while plants like a Amazon Sword rather grow slower but looks pretty. There's a good selection of plants with pictures here for you to consider HOME_PAGE_TITLE
This one also has lots pictures and care info Aquarium Plants

If your filter bothers you and you think its too loud, exchange it for something better. Being a 55g I'd rather suggest a canister filter then the one's that hook on the back they'll be less nosy and more efficient. My pers favorite I had for years and years on my 55g and larger are these from Eheim Model 2213, they're working great, zero sound, last forever and a day and are not as pricey as most others EHEIM Classic External Canister - Filtration & Circulation - Fish - PetSmart

You CAN exchange gravel if you want. That said and the wish to exchange the filter you have to know: All your necessary bacteria lives in your gravel & filter, so pulling both out would hurt your tank. What I'd therefor suggest, if you get a new filter, simply put the old filters sponges and other media in the new filter (so you bring over the bacteria there) give that a solid 4 weeks to all settle again, then pull the tank apart and exchange your gravel.

Hope this helps you for the moment
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
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Sorry I overlooked your 'am I overstocked' question.
Thou have have fish in there that breed worst then bunnies (the platy's) I do not see this becoming a issue in your tank as any of their fry will simply be ate by the Angels.

The tetra's would usually be kept in schools of 8-10. However I'd not suggest stocking them up unless you know for sure what your water is, they don't do well in hard water so then re-stocking would be pointless.

What worries me is the "Huge pleco" can you get a picture of it to ID it, or cruise around these search tools to ID it Knowledge Base - Seriously Fish
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:03 PM   #4
So I got the water tested and they told me I had 0 ammonia my ph was 7.2 (strip was WAY off lol) my nitrates were good and sold me some stress zyme and told me to use it with my water changes and keep up what I am doing.

As for the catfish he's maybe 7-8 inches long

sorry for for the low quality pics I only have a cellphone cam to take pics.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:55 AM   #5
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That looks like a normal Bristlenose Catfish to me, they grow to about 6" (give and take with good/ bad conditions).
Googel that name as image results and see if you also find it matches what's in your tank.
He'd be fine in a 55g then.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
Unless he doesn't get the bristles on his nose till alot later in life I don't believe so because mine has only 2 little nubs coming off his nose.

He looks exactly like this one

Amazon sailfin catfish - Pterygoplichthys pardalis

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Old 12-02-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Get a pic of the other fishhh, I want to see the angelfish!
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:39 PM   #8

theres one of the angels :o
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:26 PM   #9
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No the bristles are there very early on in life, not right as they're born but shortly after. That's why I asked for you to check, hard to tell from pictures most times and since you see your guy day in&out you know better then us Happy to know you solved the mystery

And more pictures are always welcome here in case you hadn't noticed yet
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:23 PM   #10
Yep yep. I gotta get a new digital cam mine is broken. Thanks a bunch for all the help Angel.
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