what am i to expect new 55 gal
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what am i to expect new 55 gal

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what am i to expect new 55 gal
Old 05-18-2008, 12:13 PM   #1
 
what am i to expect new 55 gal

i just started a 55 gal tank. i cleaned 60 lbs of gravel.got a aqua clear filter for a 55 gal tank..a florecent light strip with hood u pick up at petsmart. i have a sticker thermometer i stuck on the outside of the tank and 5 neon tetras...
my questions are.... and there are alot but i want to do this rite

1.I put the cycle enhancer in .. should i keep track of the water readings or just change 25% of water every few days

2. what kind of water testers should i get... ive used the 6 in 1 test strips for my 10 gal but ive seen so many diffent kinds.. i saw a few that u stick in the tank with the suction cup and keeps reading .. which ones are the most reliable and long term cheapest... those strips are 10 or 15 bucks for 20 strips usually last a month

3. how long does the cycle take to complete and what am i to expect such as cloudy water... certian readings.. ect. and when can i start filling my tank..

4. how often do i feed my fish and how much...

5. i havent got a heater yet but i am this week.. how many wattage..

6. i like those air pumps do i need one and even if i dont what are the air pumps for..

7. how many tropical community fish can i max out on this tank..

8. how many fish at a time can i introduce and how do i go about it.. do i just dump them in or do i leave it in the bag and put it in the tank for a lil while then dump it in


also what kind of out of the ordinary fish can i put in with community such as eels...aquatic frogs... snails... and any cool ideas will probably go in my tank
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:45 PM   #2
 
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Re: what am i to expect new 55 gal

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyhi
i just started a 55 gal tank. i cleaned 60 lbs of gravel.got a aqua clear filter for a 55 gal tank..a florecent light strip with hood u pick up at petsmart. i have a sticker thermometer i stuck on the outside of the tank and 5 neon tetras...
my questions are.... and there are alot but i want to do this rite

It sounds like you have most of this under control, but shame on your LFS for sending you home with neons at this point! Please don't be shocked if the neons don't survive, they are not a very sturdy fish, and not good for cycling any tank.

1.I put the cycle enhancer in .. should i keep track of the water readings or just change 25% of water every few days

During cycling it's important to monitor water quality at least once/wk or more. After cycling, once/month is a good idea, or anytime you notice something doesn't seem right.

2. what kind of water testers should i get... ive used the 6 in 1 test strips for my 10 gal but ive seen so many diffent kinds.. i saw a few that u stick in the tank with the suction cup and keeps reading .. which ones are the most reliable and long term cheapest... those strips are 10 or 15 bucks for 20 strips usually last a month

Please don't waste your money on test strips. The strips are the most inaccurate tests out there, and inaccurate readings can be deadly to your fish/animals. Liquid test kits are the best to use unless you can afford the electronic meters. API puts out a wonderful master test kit, and is easily purchased online. It's also not real expensive.

3. how long does the cycle take to complete and what am i to expect such as cloudy water... certian readings.. ect. and when can i start filling my tank..

The cycle, in a freshwater tank, will average about 4 - 6 wks, but is dependent on the tank. There is no way to accurately map out how long it will take in any tank. Testing the water is the only way to track/monitor it.

4. how often do i feed my fish and how much...

During cycling it's important to keep the waste levels down, so I always suggest feeding the fish once every other day during this time. Only offer them as much as they can completely finish within 1 minute each time. Any food that hits the bottom should be removed immediately. Anything that remains in the water beyond 1 minute will begin to break down and pollute the tank, causing the tank to cycle much harder (at more extreme levels) which is toxic to the fish. Neons being so sensitive to water quality, wouldn't last long in a heavily cycling tank.

5. i havent got a heater yet but i am this week.. how many wattage..

For 55 gallons, 150 - 200 watts is what you're going to need. If you are considering upgrading in the future, you may want to consider the 200 watt which can handle up to 90 gallons in most situations. Please watch your thermometer closely when you add the heater since there are already fish in the tank. The number settings on the heaters are not exact, and the temps can remain below or jump above the numbers listed based on circulation and room temp. In the future, it's a good idea to add the heater and get the temp regulated at least 3 - 5 days before adding any fish. The temp changes can be very harmful, and again, with something as sensitive as neons, all the more so.

6. i like those air pumps do i need one and even if i dont what are the air pumps for..

Air pumps will give you more circulation and increase oxygen levels in the tank. Whether you need one or not will depend on the animals you keep. It's a good idea to make sure you have a control valve if you use an air pump, so you can control how fast the air is pushing through, and what is hooked up to it on the other end. Some fish can't handle the stress of heavy circulation, and it causes problems for them when swimming. Other fish need the added circulation to stay healthy. Aquaclear makes an awesome filter with a very heavy water flow, which gives good circulation. Considering the neons in the tank now, if they survive, most other fish that are going to be compatible won't require the extra circulation.

7. how many tropical community fish can i max out on this tank..

That is again dependent on what kinds of fish you keep. To be compatible with neons, peaceful is of the ut most importance, and considering the size of the tank, keeping the other fish smaller will ensure you can get maximum capacity. It's going to be important to know the adult sizes of the fish you wish to keep. A rough estimate you can figure is 1 inch of adult fish to every gallon of the tank. Please keep in mind that the width of a 55 gallon tank will limit your fish choices, as will the amount of decoration and rock work you keep in there. Territory is extremely important, and knowing whether the fish are mid level, bottom dwelling, or upper dwelling goes a long way in compatibility.

8. how many fish at a time can i introduce and how do i go about it.. do i just dump them in or do i leave it in the bag and put it in the tank for a lil while then dump it in

Its not a good idea to add more than 3 - 5 fish at a time to a tank that size. The more you add the more waste levels will jump once they go in. Size of the fish you are adding will also play a part here, too. If you add four 1 inch fish, you're looking at a similar waste level if you add one 3 - 4 inch fish. Very slow and very gradual are the best ways to stock any tank. Allow at least 2 wks between additions, and at present, wait until cycling has completed and your tank is stable before adding any more animals. It's always a good idea to have a quarantine tank running, and new fish should spend 2 - 3 wks in quarantine to ensure they are healthy before adding them to your main tank. The easiest way to wipe out an entire tank of fish is in adding something that is sick or is carrying a parasite. Many times the only way to see evidence of these illnesses is to wait them out, and a quarantine tank makes that as safe as possible.


also what kind of out of the ordinary fish can i put in with community such as eels...aquatic frogs... snails... and any cool ideas will probably go in my tank
Eels and other such fish are sure to eat your neons quickly. Most eel species get quite large, and in a 55 gallon tank that would leave room for very little in way of other animals.
Dwarf frogs are good for a peaceful community tank, snails will eat live plants, but are also compatible. I raise snails in my planted tanks, and I have never had any problems with keeping my plants going strong, but some people find them to be a problem. Ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp, also compatible, but not with frogs and some types of catfish.
Use this time during cycling to research available options. Browse the lfs, see what they stock, and then do the research on anything that appeals to you. Also keep track of your neons. If they don't survive cycling, you will then have a lot more options for fish in that tank. You are always welcome to bring your questions about any species here to FF, we're glad to help!

If you need further help or have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
 
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One thing that didn't get mentioned that's just a teeny side note but can be very destructive: Never ever dump the water that's in the transport bag from the LFS into your tank.
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
 
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Thanks Flashygrrl, sorry I left that out, that is very important. I shouldn't write lengthy posts when I'm in a hurry...

As for acclimating fish properly, the bag should be floated closed in the tank for 5 - 10 minutes, then opened up and floated for another 15 - 20 minutes. Once open, a small amount of tank water should be added to the bag every 3 - 4 minutes. Then net out the fish, put just the fish into the tank and dump any water from the bag down the drain.

To float the bag opened, roll the top of it down a few times, which will trap air and keep it afloat.

If fish are not properly acclimated, going into the tank can cause shock from the changes in temp and water quality, which usually results in dead fish.
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
 
thank u thats very helpful.. i have 1 more cycling question

3. how long does the cycle take to complete and what am i to expect such as cloudy water... certain readings.. etc. and when can i start filling my tank..

The cycle, in a freshwater tank, will average about 4 - 6 wks, but is dependent on the tank. There is no way to accurately map out how long it will take in any tank. Testing the water is the only way to track/monitor it.


how do i know when cycling is done... i tested it and everything was safe as far as nitrites Ph hardness alkalinity and i think chlorine... tomorrow I'm going to pick up a ammonia tester... what am i looking for to know when cycle is complete... and when complete are the readings going to stay stable... what do i need to add when changing water.. i usually add water conditioner and the cycle enhancer...

as far my starter fish thats what they gave me i hope they don't die
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:43 PM   #6
 
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You'll know when the ammonia and nitrites go back down to 0 and stay at 0 (you pretty much always should see an increase in these during the cycle), and you have a nitrate level that's above 0 but preferably within 20 ppm. Invest in the liquid API kit, bettababy's right, it's much more accurate and can sometimes save you from trouble (seeing high ammonia or nitrites before it kills your fish).
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