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Help me set up my new 50 gallon (plants and fish)

This is a discussion on Help me set up my new 50 gallon (plants and fish) within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Got the sand washed and in the tank. It's about 1.25" deep. I bought 2 bags, only needed one. Did the same thing on ...

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Help me set up my new 50 gallon (plants and fish)
Old 11-29-2011, 08:55 PM   #21
 
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Got the sand washed and in the tank. It's about 1.25" deep. I bought 2 bags, only needed one. Did the same thing on my other tank and misjudged how much I'd need. Oh well, it gives me extra if I ever need to replace some.



I am going to use some water, seeded filter media and a couple pieces of decoration to kick start this tank. How long can I let the tank sit without fish or plants in it? I also have MTS I will transfer over at some point. If I add them before fish and plants, will that be okay or help?
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:57 AM   #22
 
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Checking out vallisneria,Water Sprite and Pennywort. What others should I check out?
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:47 PM   #23
 
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What type of tubes are over that tank? They might be making the sand look lighter than it is.

I would add more sand. You will want about 2 inches depth front to back, and then you can aquascape it a bit deeper at the back (shallower at the front) using wood or rock, I prefer rock as it is less likely to shift. I would suggest 3 common sword plants (answering you question about other plants) and they will need it deeper in the back.

Once you have the hardscape (wood, rock) arranged, add some water [may need to add say 5 inches then drain it out as if it is very cloudy] and plant it. After planting, might want to do a full water change again if cloudy which it likely will be from the planting. I usually only fill 2/3 for this reason. Then fill the tank, use conditioner this time, and get the filter and heater running. The snails can be added once you have it filled. If all's good, add some fish. The plants will handle the ammonia and you won't even notice a "cycle."
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:09 PM   #24
 
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It's just a standard tube that came with the fixture. I need to get a proper one.

I didn't think the sand should be that deep. I read that sand should only be 1" to 1.5" deep because it can become too compacted? Not saying you're wrong because obviously you know what you're doing with those tanks looking as good as they do. I'll add some more and follow the rest of your advice.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:17 PM   #25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevysoldier View Post
It's just a standard tube that came with the fixture. I need to get a proper one.

I didn't think the sand should be that deep. I read that sand should only be 1" to 1.5" deep because it can become too compacted? Not saying you're wrong because obviously you know what you're doing with those tanks looking as good as they do. I'll add some more and follow the rest of your advice.
Compaction is sort of an issue, and for years I avoided sand because it worried me. But 2 inches is about minimum for sand. You can read more in my article on bacteria, the bit about the substrate:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/
You'll see from that article that some "dead spots" are actually essential for a proper balance. Also, get some Malaysian Livebearing snails to keep the substrate in top condition.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:39 PM   #26
 
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Compaction is sort of an issue, and for years I avoided sand because it worried me. But 2 inches is about minimum for sand. You can read more in my article on bacteria, the bit about the substrate:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/
You'll see from that article that some "dead spots" are actually essential for a proper balance. Also, get some Malaysian Livebearing snails to keep the substrate in top condition.
Reading it now.

I kinda thought my Malaysian Trumpet Snails would help with the sand. Good thing I bought the second bag, gonna need some of it now.

Oh, having MTS and them being important to a healthy tank, should I not get Yoyo loaches do to them eating snails?
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:48 PM   #27
 
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Reading it now.

I kinda thought my Malaysian Trumpet Snails would help with the sand. Good thing I bought the second bag, gonna need some of it now.

Oh, having MTS and them being important to a healthy tank, should I not get Yoyo loaches do to them eating snails?
That is a thought. I have Botia kubotai which I prefer over the very similar Yoyo Loach. My loaches do eat some, but certainly not all of them. But Malaysian Livebearing snails are not easy for some fish to eat, due to the "trap door." Although my dwarf puffer got them, all except a few that remained in the sand. I know this because when the puffer left the tank, after a couple weeks I started seeing a few snails, then more. Maybe this is why my kubotai don't seem to fully eradicate them.

I forgot the light issue last time. I would replace those tubes pronto. Every time i buy a light fixture it comes with so-called "Aquarium" tubes that are too weak for plants. Mine go into recycling. Full spectrum or daylight enhanced tubes will be better for the plants and not cast that purplish hue which is what I spotted in the photos. The sand will look better then, as will everything else. You seem to have two shorter tubes, in which case i would recommend two Life-Glo tubes (measure the existing tubes end to end not including the prongs, or take one with you to the store). ZooMed's Ultra Sun is equally good a bit less expensive. I can't get ZooMed locally any more, so I use Life-Glo in all my single tube tanks, and I use one Life-Glo in all dual fixtures.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:10 PM   #28
 
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How long can I let the tank sit without fish or plants in it? I also have MTS I will transfer over at some point. If I add them before fish and plants, will that be okay or help?
As long as you feed the bacteria you can keep the tank going without fish or plants. Also, the snails will be fine in the tank first...again...you will need to feed them if nothing else in there since there won't be a food source.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:04 PM   #29
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
That is a thought. I have Botia kubotai which I prefer over the very similar Yoyo Loach. My loaches do eat some, but certainly not all of them. But Malaysian Livebearing snails are not easy for some fish to eat, due to the "trap door." Although my dwarf puffer got them, all except a few that remained in the sand. I know this because when the puffer left the tank, after a couple weeks I started seeing a few snails, then more. Maybe this is why my kubotai don't seem to fully eradicate them.

I forgot the light issue last time. I would replace those tubes pronto. Every time i buy a light fixture it comes with so-called "Aquarium" tubes that are too weak for plants. Mine go into recycling. Full spectrum or daylight enhanced tubes will be better for the plants and not cast that purplish hue which is what I spotted in the photos. The sand will look better then, as will everything else. You seem to have two shorter tubes, in which case i would recommend two Life-Glo tubes (measure the existing tubes end to end not including the prongs, or take one with you to the store). ZooMed's Ultra Sun is equally good a bit less expensive. I can't get ZooMed locally any more, so I use Life-Glo in all my single tube tanks, and I use one Life-Glo in all dual fixtures.
Actually it's a single 48" bulb. I read you recommending the Life-Glo and the Ultra Sun in another thread so I'll have to see about getting one. I'd really like some Yoyos so I'll have to see what I can find...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
As long as you feed the bacteria you can keep the tank going without fish or plants. Also, the snails will be fine in the tank first...again...you will need to feed them if nothing else in there since there won't be a food source.
Good to know. Thanks.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #30
 
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Actually it's a single 48" bulb. I read you recommending the Life-Glo and the Ultra Sun in another thread so I'll have to see about getting one. I'd really like some Yoyos so I'll have to see what I can find...
With a 48-inch you have more options, it is a very basic size in tubes. The Life-Glo 2 will be expensive, the ZooMed a bit less. I do recommend these. But if money is a factor you can also go with a "daylight" type by GE, Sylvania or Phillips, available in hardware stores and similar. Look for one with a kelvin of 6500K. All three make them, Phillips calls theirs Alto Daylight Deluxe and I have it as my second tube with the Life-Glo. Life-Glo is a bit more cool and that's why on single tube tanks I prefer it. A nice crisp white light that renders fish and plant colours true. Any of these will appear much brighter than what you have, but a single tube willnot be anywhere near overkill.
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