09-06-2011, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Rwoodring
I just purchased a 50 gallon tank and am starting to get it set-up I purchased the tank used but wanted to get new equipment for it. I've been doing some reading but still not really sure which equipment to purchase. I want to do live plants I also wanna do a community tank and see if there larger singular fish that I could get as well. The Tank came with the standard aqarium rock in the bottom. I'm not sure if that can be keep for live plants or if i need to create a different substrate in order to sustain live plants. Any Advice would be greatly helpful.
So pretty much a complete amatuer and while I've done alot of reading just interested to get some guidance from actually experience.
Hello and welcome to TFK
For equipment you will need a heater and a filter. For filters you have a few choices, canister, HOB (hang on the back), or sponge filter. Most will not recommend doing a sponge filter on a 50 gallon, although I have two running in my 50 gallon which has been working well for me. My first sponge filter is rated for up to 80 gallons, and the second sponge filter that I have set up on the opposite side of the tank is rated for 20 gallons. I also have live plants in my tank which helps with filtration also. On larger tanks canister filters are the top choice by most people. With live plants and depending on the type of fish that you are planning on keeping you will want a filter that does not provide too much current in the tank. Does the tank have a hood or light fixture that came with it?
For substate you can either use a gravel substrate or you can do a sand substrate. Either will work well with doing a planted tank. In the plants section there is a good article on doing a natural planted tank, it is a four part series that can be found at the top of the section.
As for fish I would suggest looking in the tropical fish profiles section, the link can be found at the top of the page second tab from the left. This will give you information about what the fish needs, if the need to be kept in a group, temperments, and other helpful information. Once you have an idea of what fish you might be intereted in keeping we can help you in making sure that they are compatiable with each other and if they will work in your setup. Also a good thing to find out is what the hardness and the ph of your water is. Some fish have certain requirements in the type of water that they are kept in. You can find out the hardness of your water, general hardness (gh) and carbon hardness (kh) from your local water people. Most have this information available online. If you can not find the information online than you can contact them by phone to find out this information. For finding out the ph I would suggest in buying an API master test kit. This has tests for ammonia, nitirites, nitrates and also ph. Once you have set up your tank you will want to be able to keep track of your ammonia nitrite and nitrate levels, also this is good to be able to check out when something is not right in the tank or when you have an illness. The liquid test kits are more accurate and realiable than the strip tests. Also over the long run they are a better price for your money.