New 55 gallon. Water changes? Rocks or gravel?
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New 55 gallon. Water changes? Rocks or gravel?

This is a discussion on New 55 gallon. Water changes? Rocks or gravel? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I currently have a 20 gallon tank with 4 cherry barbs. This tank and every other tank I've ever had up and running has ...

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New 55 gallon. Water changes? Rocks or gravel?
Old 01-06-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
 
New 55 gallon. Water changes? Rocks or gravel?

I currently have a 20 gallon tank with 4 cherry barbs. This tank and every other tank I've ever had up and running has been a rock bottom. I've figured out a good method for water changes for this tank but when I switch over to my new 55 gallon tak I believe things will get more complicated.

A EXTRA long syphon hose with on-off switches came with my tank. Taking water out won't be the problem. Can I put water straight out of my water hose back into the tank without treating first? Another problem with that is that wateer temp. will be very different then that in the tank.

Second question, Once my new tank is established I plan on housing
5 Cherry Barb
5 Tiger Barb
a clown loach
and 3-4 blue gouramis

would a rock or sand bottom be best for these inhabitants?

Thanks all.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
 
Here's what I do... my gravel siphon tube slides nicely inside a standard 5/8" garden hose that runs out to the yard / flower bed. For the refill, I have a $6 hose adapter for the sink. I ran the water and adjusted the hot/cold taps to give approximately 78 deg F. and then indexed the faucets with marks using a permanent pen so I know where to set them each time. It works great.
Now I have country well water so I don't have to add conditioner (but I do for heavy metals and such). But many people here do in fact add conditioner, then refill much like I do. Most will add an amount of conditioner to treat the whole tank, even though the actual new water may only be 25% - 50%.
If you were using Seachem Prime, you would add one capful, then refill your tank.

Hope this helps.

AD
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:33 AM   #3
 
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I would strongly suggest reading over the fish profiles for each of your selections here at the forums. The link is right at the top of the page, second one. I think they should also auto-highlight in this post and you can just click on the names to go to their specific pages.

Cherry Bard, you'll need at a minimum 6 for these guys.
Tiger Bard, these guys can be very mean. You need at least 8.
Blue Gourami can become aggressive when older, but they can also stay peaceful.
Clown Loach, you need at least 5 or 6 of these guys. 6 foot tank is also recommended, I believe a 55 gallon is only 4 feet.

For water changes yes you can fill directly from the sink if you want to, just put the water conditioner in the tank before adding new water. The conditioner 'works' for ~24 hours. Just put in enough to cover the new water, maybe a little extra. Don't have to put in enough for the entire 55 gallons. I just asked this same question myself for an even larger tank (120g).

You can use water out of your garden hose, but you are right that it will affect the tanks temperature. I personally wouldn't do it unless your residential tap water is already pretty warm. They make attachements that can hook up to your sink faucets in the house, that way you can use your hot & cold water to get the perfect temp. You can always just use a 5 gallon bucket and a pitcher to do it manually as well (3 or 4 bucket loads once a week).
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
 
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Ah, as for substrate...

I'd personally recommend the coated gravel you see everywhere in pet/fish stores. It's the right size (you don't want large size gravel) and easy to maintain. Sand can compact, and is much harder to clean. Some fish really like sand though, check for it in their profile.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:06 PM   #5
 
I'm guessing that since the room the tank will be in doesn't have a faucet anywhere near it this is going to be a challenge either way... filling originally won't be a problem because the temp. can be cold and will rise on its own and then with a heater (since there are no fish inhabitants yet) syphoning out water may not be a problem either. but getting warm water back in is going to be the problem. 25% of a 55 gallon tank is roughly 14 gallons. meaning I'd have to use 3-5 gallon bucket loads of warm water to refill everytime. Aren't you supposed to let the water sit for 24 hours first? or is this becoming a myth?
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherryblu View Post
I'm guessing that since the room the tank will be in doesn't have a faucet anywhere near it this is going to be a challenge either way... filling originally won't be a problem because the temp. can be cold and will rise on its own and then with a heater (since there are no fish inhabitants yet) syphoning out water may not be a problem either. but getting warm water back in is going to be the problem. 25% of a 55 gallon tank is roughly 14 gallons. meaning I'd have to use 3-5 gallon bucket loads of warm water to refill everytime. Aren't you supposed to let the water sit for 24 hours first? or is this becoming a myth?
With larger tanks, the best apparatus for water changes is a hose we call a Python. That is the make. Aqueon also make one, not sure what they call it, but it works the same. It has a 25-foot initial hose, and you can buy 25-foot sections to lengthen it if needed. It needs to run from the tank to a water faucet that it can attach to, like a garden hose, so it needs threads. A laundry room sink should work, some kitchen sinks; but the new decorative faucets most now have will not. The valve on the faucet attachment can be switched to either create a siphon to drain water out of the tank, or to refill the tank straight from the tap.

You can use cold and hot water to refill the tank; I would not use just cold with fish. Squirt the conditioner in the tank prior to filling it. There is no reason to let water sit with a good conditioner, they work instantly to detoxify chlorine, chloramine, toxic metals; and some also manage ammonia, nitrite.

I have 7 tanks, three large ones are 70g, 90g and 115g. I change half the tank volume every week using the Python.

On an earlier issue, you have some problems with the fish selection, as someone mentioned. Tiger Barb should not be combined with sedate fish like gourami, this is asking for trouble. For a community tank, I would not recommend Tiger Barb. Clown loach are nice, but they get large--up to a foot, and need a group and a very large tank to grow into.

Byron.
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