Newbie here (with questions) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie here (with questions)


My brother-in-law gave me his old 29 gallon aquarium the other day, complete with gravel, filter, and power head.

The filter is a Penn Plex (I think I spelled that right) 150. It doesn't have a cover, so it is exposed to the outside environment. First, is this the right size filter for this? Second, is there a problem not having a cover?

As far as the power head goes, what exactly is the purpose of that? He said it's supposed to help with water circulation to improve filtration, but from what I've read, that's mostly for undergravel filters. The employee at my local fish store said it wasn't necessary to have one. The reason I bring this up is because no matter what I do, for the life of me, I can't keep it suctioned to the side, plus it's kinda busted, so I'm wondering if I need one. If I don't NEED one, is there any benefit to having one? And if I do get one, how do I know what size to get?

Also, anyone have any recommendations as far as what to stock it with? The owner of the fish store set me up yesterday with 3 giant danios (small) and 3 white clouds. My kids I think would appreciate a nice mix of colors, sizes (as much as possible) and such.

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post #2 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 05:06 PM
Ok just to get things straight, dont listen to your lfs anymore

The reason for this is that he set you up with giant danios and white clouds, first giant danios get big for the danios (hence the name giant), about 3-4 inches. Next white clouds are more of a coldwater fish than tropical which gives you a less amount of fish to use. The danios are a schooling species and should have six of its own species in the tank. You could keep the danios in the tank and only have 6 danios and nothing else but you might find that boring

Ok you answer your questions, having a hood is the best thing to do, with no hood bad things can fall into the tank or fish will jump out of the tank, danios are known to jump. Second it will help reduce evaporation. As for powerheads, you dont need one but its good to have one. Yes it does have more water circulation which can help the water become more oxygenated. Without a sponge attatchment it doesnt really filter the tank, just gives more oxygen for the biological filter in the tank.

If you want colorful lively fish, i would suggest tetras, guppies, platies, swordtails, rams (dwarf chichlids) and a few more possiblilities. You should return the fish you have and get some platies to start off with to cycle the tank. Once the tank is cycled then you can go on researching what to add next.
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post #3 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Now I feel really weird because I was reading on a local aquarium forum that this particular store is very highly recommended, the best in the area.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 08:14 PM
the lfs might be best in area but that doesnt mean the staff is very good, my lfs has the best fish i have seen anywhere, there tanks look just like peoples home tanks and there are no overcrowding, but the staff there are just as bad as petsmart or petcos staff
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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I get what you're saying I think... but this was the owner that talked to me, not one of his staff.

As far as the power head goes, since I hear that will be a nice addition, what size do I need for 29 gallons?
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 08:23 PM
5 gph pumping, so..... 150 gph, you can do less or more but that is the average.
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far. Do you have any brand name recommendations for a power head, or maybe some brands to stay away from?
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-14-2007, 08:59 PM
stay away from all top fin products
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-15-2007, 12:05 AM
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You may wish to note that certain species of fish will not appreciate the addition of a powerhead to their environment. When setting up a tank you basically have two choices. Either select fish that will go well with the tank setup you have, or set up the tank to be compatible with the fish you want. Most fish do not require the additional current added by the powerhead and thus I would not spend to money on a new one unless you decided to buy a fish that would actually benefit from the additional current. You would do far better in most cases (in terms of water quality, oxygenation, fish comfort, etc) spending the money of live plants for the tank as opposed to the powerhead.
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-15-2007, 07:00 PM
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I cycled my tank with 2 danios and 2 white clouds. I don't believe guppies are a great cycling fish. Once cycled, you can get a guppies with a gorgeous mix of colors, but they will need a heater. A tank full of colorful, happy guppies is really nice to look at.

I found this link all about guppies and it has a video of a colorful tank:

Add a snail and a few bottom feeding corys and- perfect!


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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