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how do you decide which fish to get?

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how do you decide which fish to get?
Old 05-31-2013, 01:48 PM   #21
 
i think.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:20 PM   #22
 
this stuff seems legit yo http://www.menards.com/msds/101672_002.pdf
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:14 PM   #23
 
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You never gave us your water perimeters hun. Would you mind?

Cichlids are usually not beginner fish IMO unless your water chemistry is naturally suited to their needs. Anytime you have to alter your water chem to suit your fish it's usually either a bad idea or an undertaking suited for expert or at least intermediate aquarium enthusist.

Sand is a great substrate. Although gravel may look cleaner, it is actually far from it. Poop, uneaten food, and any other type of matter falls into the cracks between the rocks where bottom feeders cannot get to it. There, it sits and rots becoming a nitrate factory. You could try vacuming with it, but if you have rooted plants, how can you dig into gravel to get the junk out without distubing the roots? Itz's why I have sand. Everythin sits right on top for easy cleaning and if you get multiple colors, the debre wont show up.

So, what type of sand? Right now, you may be thinking of looks, but one day you might want a soft bellied species and can't get it because of your substrate. I mean, who wants the freakin headache of changingout a substrate including stressing out all your fish? Believe me, it's no fun So which sands would I recomend? Here are my experences with a few...
1. Pool Filter Sand: This has the texture of a facial exfoliant and I looked at everal brands, so it's not for soft bellied fish or inverts. It took me a couple hours to clean using a hose. My plants grew well in it, but I believe it contributed to my brown algae outbrake, so I changed it out. Plus, I wanted to add bottomfeeders.
2. Play Sand: This has the texture of driveway dirt. Not as dirty as soil, but you better be ready for some cleaning! And remember, all brands are NOT created equal. Rather you will be spending 2 hours or 12 cleaning it depends greatly on the brand.
3. CaribSea Supernaturals: This namebrand has a texture like beachsand. It does require rinsing (like any sand) but it will take you less than an hour (took me 20 min). Only drawback is it's price.

On a side note, although I have not had it, sandblasting sand is in fact made to be abrasive. Are you sure that would work for your tank?

Now, on to fish. In a 55 gallon, you can house a variety of fish. Once you find fish that suit your water chem, you can start narrowing the list down. The best way to maxmize the space in your tank is to divide up the swimming levels and use at least 2 of them. Have bottom dwellers and mid level swimmers or something that will be working th walls while your other fish work the middle.

Then once you have an idea of what swim levels you want to fill up, decide what size of fish you want. Big fish plus small fish usually equals the smal fish becoming lunch. You need to decide about what size the average fish will be in your tank and rather or not you want a schooling species. Some species are amazing when in groups, but skidish or violent when stocked in too small of groups. And keep your filter in mind when choosing as the current may be too strong fo some species.

Now what about compatability? The species you select must all survive together in the same water at the same temp with the same plants/decor and the same filter. So you shouln't put a fish that lives in water that is 72-76F with one that lives in water that's 78-84F. Even if you split the difference and make the water temp 77F, they are both living outside their recomended rane which isn't good for either one. It's like giving a kid the adult dose of a medication. Sure it may work in a pinch, but there's a reason why you shouldn't do it if you can help it. And you shouldn't put fish together that as a rule of thumb do not get along. You might as well just hand th shop owner a fistfull of cash and walk out without the fish than buy them, deal with the fighting, and have to either spend money on treatments to heal the injured fish or euthanize it. That is, if the agressor didn't just eat what was left of the other fish before you were the wiser.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure ;)
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:30 PM   #24
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
im not going to have any bottom guys/gals
While I repect your decision (it is your tank after all), I was hoping I might get you to reconsider. Some nice algae eaters can help keep your tank clean and thing like Loaches are good at clening the sand. There is a type of snail (someone help me with the name please) that will stir your sand for you. Bottom feeders add life to the bottom of your tank so it looks more active.

Also, consider the fact of teritory. You have a 55 gallon correct? That is nearly 2ft deep. If you add only mid water fish, you will only be able to add so many because each one will need x amount of space, none of which being the bottom of the tank. That mean that your tank could in fact handle the bioload of more fish, but not have room for more midlevel swimmers. Make sense?
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:31 PM   #25
JDM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
im not going to have any bottom guys/gals

Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
I think
That blasting sand would be fine without them but the data sheet keeps using the word "abrasive" and it's not sand so much as glass... sort of.

Oh, you might want to careful of the melting point... 2500 might be too low

Jeff.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:33 PM   #26
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Malaysian Trumpet Snails, AKA MTS.

Jeff.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:40 PM   #27
 
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Thanks Jeff. I for the life of me couldn't think of what they were called! XD
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:50 PM   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
im not going to have any bottom guys/gals
Cichlids have been mentioned, they are substrate filter feeders, so rough sand is not advisable.

A note on black, I tried this and will never go back again. It shos everything, at least my tank did. I never notice detritus on my mixed sand (play sand), but every little speck showed up with black.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:53 PM   #29
 
lol thanks for all that useful info ya got there. i already have a pool filter sand bottom planted tank that i do enjoy a great deal. i might pass on the blasting sand you had a good point maybe in the future. i changed my gravel to pfs and that sucked. maybe a black sand substrate will be better for the fish less pleasing to the eye but thats ok. lol dont worry about my water dude haha i was just trying to get some ideas of how some people pick and choose their set up thats all. everything you said made perfect sense.
im glad you got so detailed but i do know all of which you speak of.

haha better keep it away from my heaters then right? lol 2500
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:59 PM   #30
 
lol thanks for all that useful info ya got there. i already have a pool filter sand bottom planted tank that i do enjoy a great deal. i might pass on the blasting sand you had a good point maybe in the future. i changed my gravel to pfs and that sucked. maybe a black sand substrate will be better for the fish less pleasing to the eye but thats ok. lol dont worry about my water dude haha i was just trying to get some ideas of how some people pick and choose their set up thats all. everything you said made perfect sense.
im glad you got so detailed but i do know all of which you speak of.

haha better keep it away from my heaters then right? lol 2500 jeeze
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