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Change of plans

This is a discussion on Change of plans within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I do want lots of driftwood, but is there somewhere reputable to sell it that doesn't charge an arm and a leg. The selection ...

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Old 09-03-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
 
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I do want lots of driftwood, but is there somewhere reputable to sell it that doesn't charge an arm and a leg. The selection at my LPS is pretty good, but their prices seem ridiculous.
Petsmart carries Malaysian Driftwood, which is the only wood i now use (you can see it in my tank photos); you can also get this at other stores, and online. It is rather expensive, but safer. I like it because it is dark brown, sinks immediately (no soaking or holding down), is not bad for tannins once the initial purge is done, and so far has not caused me any issues with fungus like some other woods have.

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As far as plants, my list includes several different Swords (Amazon, Melon, Chain, Red Rubin), Vals, and Cabomba. Should I have a floater? I've been looking at both Water Sprite and Brazilian Pennywort, but not sure if either of those would be good, or if there is something better.
I consider floating ploants mandatory in tanks of forest fish. All of these live in waters heavily overshadowed either with floating plants or marginal vegetation. Plus there is the rapid "filtration" of water by floatin g plants and they add more oxygen via their dangling roots into the water. I use the two species named, and I have Frogbit in one tank but this plant does not do well for me.

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The only one of the tetra I really have my heart set on are the Embers. What if I did just a large school of them (25-30... more? since they are so tiny.) instead of three different groups? I'm really attached to the smaller tetra (except not a huge fan of neons).
My dream is to have a pair (at least) of Discus. Would this be a tank I could possibly add them to in the future?
Discus should be in groups; in a 75g you could have a group of five. They are shoaling fish and have a social interaction.

Embers might end up as food though. With discus or angelfish, I would select the larger disk-shaped characins (linear fish asre OK with discus, but would not be with angelfish). Pencilfish and hatchetfish work, just watch the temperature, as discus need it at 82F and not all characins can manage at this high a constant temp.

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Would a single Farlowella vittata be okay as far as algae control? I do like Otos, but I've read they can be very sensitive to water parameter changes, so I am open to other options. I really just want to be able to care for healthy fish.
A single Farlowella vittata is fine, but if it were me I would have a trio in a 4-foot or larger tank. These fish too are highly sensitive, check the profile.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:42 PM   #12
 
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Boredomb and Eug: Thank you for the info. I'm still really confused as to how to attach a canister to an aquarium, but I've not actually seen one in person before. One of my best friends has just gotten a 125gallon and is putting a canister on it, so I am going to have her show me how to set it up.

Byron: I went out to Petsmart today just to browse around. They did not have any Malaysian Driftwood, only Mopani and it was in the reptiles section. My LPS (Petland) has a fairly decent selection, but they just seem over priced to me. I'm going to try to take a trip to my hometown soon so I can check the pet store there. It is an amazing family owned store that has been there for 30+ years. (Welcome to B&B Pet Stop!)

The Discus would be in the future (probably a couple of years atleast). Probably not until my husband and I can buy a house so we don't have to worry about moving the tank. He pointed out how huge a 75 is to me today in Petsmart, so I am starting to rethink going that big right now. Maybe I should stick with a 40 - 55 gallon... atleast until we move (which could be as soon as March).
Angels are not really on my list of possible fish. I've just never been really interested in them.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #13
 
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Just an update:
My friend that got me into fish keeping has decided not to keep her 55 gallon after all (she just got a 125), and has offered to sell me the tank, hood, filters (HOB biowheels I believe), substrate, stand, and one of the lights (she's keeping one light and the heater for her new tank) all for $120.
The substrate is the only thing I'm concerned about. It is CaribSea Tahitian Moon Sand. Should I do anything with it (cleaning wise) before I introduce fish into a tank with it? She did have a bout of Ick a while back, but as far as I know it cleared up and she didn't lose any fish from it.
Also, would one 200w heater be enough? Or a 150w on either end?
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Asyr View Post
Just an update:
My friend that got me into fish keeping has decided not to keep her 55 gallon after all (she just got a 125), and has offered to sell me the tank, hood, filters (HOB biowheels I believe), substrate, stand, and one of the lights (she's keeping one light and the heater for her new tank) all for $120.
The substrate is the only thing I'm concerned about. It is CaribSea Tahitian Moon Sand. Should I do anything with it (cleaning wise) before I introduce fish into a tank with it? She did have a bout of Ick a while back, but as far as I know it cleared up and she didn't lose any fish from it.
Also, would one 200w heater be enough? Or a 150w on either end?
On the substrate, I wouldn't worry about ich. Wash it thoroughly with hot water, more to kill other pathogens.

Definitely buy two heaters, and good ones. One at each end, next to the filter intake and outflow if possible, will provide more reliable heating. I would use 200w heaters, but certainly no less than 150w each. No other piece of equipment is as important as the heater; the better brands will almost always be more reliable.

Byron.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:24 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
On the substrate, I wouldn't worry about ich. Wash it thoroughly with hot water, more to kill other pathogens.

Definitely buy two heaters, and good ones. One at each end, next to the filter intake and outflow if possible, will provide more reliable heating. I would use 200w heaters, but certainly no less than 150w each. No other piece of equipment is as important as the heater; the better brands will almost always be more reliable.

Byron.
Thanks again, Byron :D

I have been looking at the Eheim Jager thermometer on drsf&s but the 200w are on backorder til the middle of October. I'm going tomorrow to check out a new (to me) pet store and hopefully they will have a good selection. They are locally owned and not a chain so that is hopefully a plus right there.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #16
 
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Thanks again, Byron :D

I have been looking at the Eheim Jager thermometer on drsf&s but the 200w are on backorder til the middle of October. I'm going tomorrow to check out a new (to me) pet store and hopefully they will have a good selection. They are locally owned and not a chain so that is hopefully a plus right there.
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The last heater I bought was an Eheim Jager. Knowing Eheim, I would expect they are well made. Stay away from cheaper types, I have had a couple fail by either overheating (which killed fish overnight) or underheating. More expensive is not always better of course, I have a couple of the Fluval heaters with the LCD temperature display and they were quite expensive, but one failed within a few months.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:12 AM   #17
 
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Had a great experience at the new pet store yesterday. They didn't have a huge selection of accessories (heaters, filters, etc), but they did have a really nice selection of driftwood, and were more than willing to order anything I was looking for that they didn't have.

All of the fish they did have in stock looked bright and healthy.
They didn't have any of the fish that I am looking for in stock (except Discus, which I know I'm not ready for ), but the guy I talked to looked over my list and went through their order system and can order all but the Emerald Catfish right now. He said that the orders can change through the season though so they may come available.
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