First post, first tank and first questions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-18-2007, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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First post, first tank and first questions

I've been researching freshwater aquariums for the last two weeks trying to decide what to get. Last night I had decided that I would get a 29g starter kit since the places the wife has designated acceptable for the tank wouldn't allow for a 55g tank. So this morning, my daughter and I head out to buy the kit. Well, I ended coming home with a 56g (30" wide) Perfecto tank, top w/light and an enclosed stand. I still need to buy substrate, filtration and possibly a heater.

I've also decided that I want to have a planted community tank. For plants, the guy at the store recommended onion and brazillian sword plants. I want to have a pretty diverse tank with some schooling fish, bottom dwellers and what ever else will work.


I thought I had worked out a list of fish, but I keep getting conflicting information so I'm looking for suggestions. I was thinking about tetras, corys, danios and maybe some shrimp.


Now for the questions:

1. Since the tank has a bar across the middle, I'm thinking of a canister for filtration. Suggestions?
2. Substrate. How much, what kind ? Does the type of fish or plants I get have any bearing on this?
3. Heater. I know that certain fish need warmer/cooler water than others. The tank won't be getting any direct sunlight and I live in the south east (Atlanta, Ga).
4. Filling the tank. Do I put the substrate in before the water? Should I dechlorinate before I add the water or after since I'm starting with an empty tank?
5. Given my location, anyone know of a good source for pure ammonia?


I know that the answer to some of the questions are dependant on what fish and plants I get, but I'm really anxious to get this thing filled up so I can get it cycled. I'm planning on doing the fishless cycling btw.

I think I've really overloaded my brain trying to decide on all of this.

thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-18-2007, 05:13 PM
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welcome aboard to you and your family. :)
the substrate,can be small gravel,that you can get from
the fish store,Wash it lots of times before you put it
in your tank,and then tip it in carefully,perhaps a bit
at a time.i would then place your heater,and filter
in place,(i'd vote for an external) put the decorations in
and then slowly fill it up.
don't turn on anything electric until the tank is full.
(sorry if you know that bit already)
:)
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-18-2007, 05:18 PM
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Welcome to Fishforum.com and welcome to the hobby of tropical fish keeping.

Canister filter, heater, River run gravel substrate (smaller the better but not sand size), put the gravel in first then fill it but rinse the gravel really well before adidng it or it can cloud the water.

As for plants, being this is your first tank I would really recommend starting with the basic plants and going medium to low tech. Going high tech with high light and CO2 can be a bit overwhelming even for the experienced plant keeper. Anacharis, elodea, Swords like the Red Melon Sword, Anubias, and Java fern and Java moss are good starters. Once you get them growing well and have kept fish healthy and alive for a good time then it is may be time to go high tech planted.

As for clear ammonia, hardware stores, grocery stores, Ace, or any cleaning company should have them but it can hit or miss to find it. The way to test it is to shake it and if any suds form it shouldn't be used. You could always use the prawn method if you can't find ammonia.

Keep the question coming and we will do our best to help you get things going and do things the right way. One thing to remember is to ask before following your LFS advice. Some are good but it always best to double check before getting something you shouldn't have or don't need.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-23-2007, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Some more info and questions.

I've decided to go with an Eheim Classic 2215 filter. Anyone know the differences between the Classic and the Ecco filters? I'm probably going to order the filter early next week.


After a lot of reading here and other places, I'm still a little confused about the substrate. Can you use gravel only for a low-tech planted tank, or do I need to also put some laterite(sp?) or florite(sp?) in as well. Or, should I just go ahead with something like Eco-Complete for when/if I move up to some of the more advanced plants.

I'm going start out with a few low light easy plants as I only have .7wpg lighting.


Any recommendations on heaters? Does anyone have any experience with any of the in-line heaters?




thanks.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-23-2007, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyc
After a lot of reading here and other places, I'm still a little confused about the substrate. Can you use gravel only for a low-tech planted tank, or do I need to also put some laterite(sp?) or florite(sp?) in as well. Or, should I just go ahead with something like Eco-Complete for when/if I move up to some of the more advanced plants.
I used gravel for my plants and simply added ferts, lighting and CO2 injection but this depends on the plants you get. Some can be more demanding than the others.
Quote:
I'm going start out with a few low light easy plants as I only have .7wpg lighting.
That would be a good start. Good luck.:)
Quote:
Any recommendations on heaters? Does anyone have any experience with any of the in-line heaters?
Visitherm is often recommended although I used Sera myself. Here's the thread you can check out.
http://fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2465

Plenty of other threads in relation to the heaters is available in Product, Equipments and Service Reviews section.

Welcome to Fishforum.com, by the way.

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