Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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kbenz 06-25-2012 10:16 PM

New to Forum, Buying new tank - Need some recommendations!
Hello everyone, ill just jump straight into it:

My wife and I currently have a 10g tank with a female Betta fish named Suki. We recently have been considering upgrading to a 56g freshwater tank. We know we need a filter, heater, live plants, and I'm sure we need much more. Also we need to know what kind of fish, and the amount of fish that would be allowed in this tank.

Any advice anyone can give us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. :-D

Tank - Marineland® 56 Gallon Column Style Aquarium and Stand - Black - Specialty Pet Month - Featured Products - PetSmart

Varkolak 06-26-2012 03:42 AM

Star off by testing the water in your 10 gallon and tap water for ph and hardness to get the suggestions going on fsh and plants. Lighting is pretty simple for that size planted I would do dual T8 or Dual HE T5 unless you were going saltwater or high light plants with co2 system in which case get dual T5 HO lamp. my brand of choice on price is Deep Blue solarmax at you get some low prices if you check out coupons online or look for a good deal on coralife or marineland lamps. For filters you cant go wrong with an eheim, fluval, cascade or rena canister filter - always aim for filters rated at double your tank size. Other options are emperor or penguin bio-wheel HOB filters which are very reliable filters and brands if you prefer HOB filters. For planted tanks remember that the opimal bulb temperature is 6500K and they dont need to be special plant bulbs normal hardware bulbs are fine as long as the spectrum(temp) is correct, 6700k are also acceptable but some like myself like the color of using a 6500K and 10000K for a brighter white light

Hope you get more info and welcome to TFK :lol:

Byron 06-26-2012 01:14 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:

The 4-foot 55g tank has lots of options. As Varkolak said, first thing is to know your water parameters out of the tap. This may determine what you need in the way of aquascaping, filters, and light. Different fish have different preferences respecting water flow (the filter), plants have light needs which also affects fish, and the type of substrate (gravel, sand) may depend upon the fish. And selecting fish based on your water parameters is safer and easier than attempting to adjust the water for sensitive fish.

You can ascertain the hardness (GH or general hardness, and KH or carbonate hardness, also termed Alkalinity) from the water supply folks; they may have a website. Should also be able to give you the pH too, though it is worth having a pH test kit such as the API liquid test as this is a useful test to make periodically.

I'll also mention our fish and plant profiles, under the second tab from the left i the blue bar across the top of the page. Most readily-available freshwater fish are included, and each profile gives info on minimum number needed, minimum tank size, compatibility issues, water preferences, etc.


kbenz 06-26-2012 02:13 PM

First off let me start by thanking both of you for the advice.

Right now I'm going to stick with a freshwater setup as saltwater would be a bit too much to handle right now. I do want some plants but i want my tank to be full of fish. I was thinking of doing a community with some nice FW fish. I was going over the forum last night and i saw a page that explained some basic communities to try out in the beginning. Honestly i want to try out some figure 8 puffers, and i think i should be able to house them with this big tank. I also plan on adding some nice plants to the tank to help with the cycling. let me know what you guys think.

mysticganja420 06-26-2012 02:49 PM

@kbenz welcome! i noticed the tank you picked and its a very nice tank but imho the stands that come from petsmart have always been in my eyes not very well built. But if your open to another option then there is always this 55g starter kit - 55 Gallon Fish Tank » Top Fin® 55 Gallon Starter Kit | PetSmart

I was looking into this very tank when mien chipped but got hooked up from a friend but since then antoher friend of mine has bought this and has never been happyer and found a stand for it online for $50. Its another option hope this helps

Varkolak 06-26-2012 03:25 PM

Puffer fish are cool but most don't do well in community tanks because they are able to eat fish much larger then you would think so you would need the tank to be specifically for them

Byron 06-26-2012 03:39 PM

Agree, having puffers will severely limit other fish. And I believe this species is brackish water, though I'm going from memory.

Lisa Molly 06-26-2012 03:55 PM

Congratulations !!
I firstly want to congratulate you both on your decision to upgrade to 56G !! 8-)
Now coming over to the fish factor, you both should enjoy the experience and decide on some fish together. If you like tiny ones, there are the Neon Tetras that stay in the mid water section in schools and look really pretty when the light reflects on them, even from across the room. Then there are the Big ones like the Angel Fish. I would suggest that you should try having fish in each section of your aquarium, the bottom feeders like a shrimp, then, the ones that stay in the middle like the tetras and the ones that move around the whole aquarium and bring in a lot of energy like the Swordtails or Chichilds and Gouramis, the latter two look sullen but super cute with their big eyes !!! Gud Luck :-D

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