05-16-2008, 10:51 PM
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Re: help setting up my 55 gal
Lighting is not really important unless you wish to keep plants although stick with fluorescent tubes, not incandescent bulbs which give off too much heat and do not give the proper spectrum for the plants to thrive. Start with low lighting plants such as Cryptocoryne, Java moss, Java ferns and anubias. The last two are grown on driftwoods or anything else. Just do not bury their rhizomes on the substrate or they'll die. Java moss can be situated anywhere you want and leave them to establish. Crypts are planted everywhere. Large ones are best situated at the back whereas small ones should be in the middle or front.
Originally Posted by heyhi
i just got a 55 gal tank and stand. i currently have a 10 gal over stocked with 3 pictus cat fish and 2 upside down cat fish. i dont wanna rush into this like i did with my first tank.
what do i need as far as lighting heaters air pumps plants and so on.im new at this i dont know what names are good or what i need. im gonna be buying this stuff at petco or petsmart
I'd suggest two heaters. Redundancy has its good points. In case one fails to work, the other remains running. The same is true with filters. Get two 200-watt heaters and locate them at both ends of the tank. They are best placed where there is plenty of turbulence so the heat will not concentrate in one area. Monitor your temperature regularly and keep it stable at 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
As far as airpumps are concerned, if you are picking a filter that generates strong turbulence, you do not need them however I would suggest buying battery-operated ones for emergencies such as power outages. I filter my 75g river tanks at almost 2000 gph. Not a problem as my loaches prefer a lot of movements or they'll act sluggishly.
You need to be careful when dealing with plants. Ask the petshop employees first about their ID and requirements before you buy. I remember one person in the plant forum posting a pic of a false aquatic plant in a Petco package. False aquatic plants will eventually rot if submerged. I already mentioned the low-lighting plants in the first paragraph.