New tank from the ground up! Help me decide! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 26 Old 01-18-2009, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
well again if your looking for cheap, homedepot has natural colored gravel in the landscaping section just remember to rinse it well. if your planting your tank i would go with eco-complete, you can still use the stones in a planted tank though, along with root tabs.
i personally am a fan of the "natural" look, so wood driftwood is always nice. before you fill the tank up with water i would tape off the glass and tape newspaper and spray paint the back outside wall either black or dark blue ( other colors work but these seem to be best ) or purchase one of those expensive backgrounds. a background is nice because it makes the fish/plants stand out more and hides any wires that you would normally see. before adding fish, read up on "fishless cycling"
feel free to ask any questions
Or throw 10 Barbs in der...and some Tetra Safestart.

55 Gallon

-10x Zebra Danio
-3x Angelfish
-5x Velvet Red Swordtail
-3x Albino Cory Cat
-3x Clown Loach
-3x Black Mollie
-1x Red Tailed Shark
-1x General Pleco
-1x Snail

10 Gallon


37 Gallon (Wanted)

Not Sure

150 Gallon (Wanted)

-5x Bala Shark
-2x Neon Blue Goarami
-5x Clown Loach
-1x Black Knife Ghost
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post #12 of 26 Old 01-18-2009, 11:00 PM
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yes you can cyce with fish, however its faster without fish because you dont have to keep up with constant water changes to keep the toxic levels of ammonia and nitrite down.

you can aways tell the wife its time to get a second tank then if she likes bright things and you like natural!
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-18-2009, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I have read quite a bit on the fishless cycle and I think I will be giving that a try.

LoL, yea, we can get her a smaller tank to design to match her taste!

Last edited by dagizmo19; 01-18-2009 at 11:03 PM.
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-18-2009, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Have you guys heard any reviews or used the Marineland Penguin 350 or the Emporer 400, any comments on a better option?
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-18-2009, 11:14 PM
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you may want to create a seperate thread on those 2 filters and ask peoples opinions. its been awhile since ive used a HOB (hang on back) filter i want to say i had whispers, my last freshwater tanks have been canister filters or none (on my reef tank)
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-18-2009, 11:40 PM
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heres a good place on the forum to post to a question on filters:
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 05:15 AM
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I like the emperor 400 prolly cause thats all i have used for the last few years. Easy to service ,reliable, and should not hurt your budget. For decor with cichlids such as rams,and keyholes(favorites ) I might consider some caves made of terracotta flower pots ,maybe some slate and smooth river stones to make even more caves. these can usually be found at garden centers. I would use very fine gravel to help keep food from becoming lodged down in some of the larger gravels. Course if you don't overfeed that should not be a problem. I would stay away from any REAL coral for it will work to drive up the ph of your water and both rams and keyholes are more comfortable with ph closer to neutral(7.0) or slightly lower. Do take the time to read up on nitrogen cycle in aquariums and get a quality test kit such as API freshwater master kit. It is important to have this test kit to let you know where you are during maturing or cycling of your tank. I would also designate one person to be responsible for feeding the fish and or maint of the tank. Too many cooks as they say, spoils the broth.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent, great advice! I have to make a trip to home depot tonight!

I don't think the wife really wants to do to much with maintaining the tank, although she will probably want to be part of the feeding.

Keeping several pieces of driftwood in the tank would keep the PH a little lower, correct? Should I pick up some peat as well to lower it even more?
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 09:12 AM
As far as substrate, there are a few things that you may want to take into consideration before you choose.

1) What kind of fish do you want? If you want something like cories or kuhlii loaches you will want to get sand substrate because of their sensitive barbels. You can pick up a 50 lb bag of sand at home depot for only $4 or $5.

2) Is it inert? You will need to check any substrate that is not labeled for aquarium use to make sure it won't affect your pH. To do this you can use the acid test. Contrary to popular belief, vinegar is really not good for this because it is quite weak. A drop from your nitrate test #1 bottle (if you use API, I'm not sure about the others) will do the trick. I did get a bag of gravel that was not inert from home depot, so it's definitely a possibility.

As for the pH, what is it at now? Altering it is a pain, so it's probably better if you just leave it alone. Some driftwood certainly won't hurt though.

20 gallon long: 3 adult Neolamprologus similis + about 11 fry of various ages; low light planted tank
20 gallon long:2 freshwater dwarf puffers (Puff Puff and Poofer); medium-light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Wormy; low light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Dante; low light planted tank
2, 5.5 gallon tanks that are currently empty (I see more fish on the horizon )
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 09:14 AM
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you can add peat to the filter to help lower the ph more, what is your ph currently? stable ph is better then fluctuating ph

driftwood tannins will help lower the ph alittle. i think what was meant by designating one person to feed is that if you dont, one person might feed at 8am, someone will walk by the tank at 10am and feed then someone might see the tank at 3pm and feed- get the point?
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