Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mcdoodles 08-05-2012 12:51 AM

Getting my first large tank... questions/help needed
Hi all, I've had two 2 ten gallon tanks up and running for the past several months and learned a lot about how to keep a tank/fish.

I want to get either a 60 gallon tank such as this one :60 Gallon Tank with stand

but also found this 75 gallon tank from petsmart aswell 75 Gallon tank without stand

I'm leaning towards the 60 gallon because after looking at PetSmart's website they don't have any reasonably priced stands, and I haven't had a chance to look at other stores like walmart.

Some thing's I'll just mention real quick:
- I know I'll need a filter(s)
- I know I'll need a heater
- I already have ammonia testing kit (not strips)
- My tap water is very soft (in fact so soft, it doesn't register on the hardness scale when the plumper checked it after installing the water softner)

Now for the questions:
- Do I need some sort of bubble stone?
- Do I need any other test kits?
- Would a sand bottom be okay? Can I mix a sand bottom with a gravel bottom (ie. half and half)
- What the heck could I stock it with? I would like to put one or two exotic fish in there and maybe a couple smaller schooling fish.

Anything else you guys can suggest? I really have no idea where I am going with this yet.

jaysee 08-05-2012 01:58 AM

Welcome to the forum

You should get the biggest tank you can fit and afford - there's nothing worse than wishing you bought the bigger tank, so if that means you save up for a little while longer, it will pay off I promise. Since you have 4 foot tanks on the table, I think you should go for either a 75 or a 90, since they have the same dimensions.

I also would advise against buying a new tank. You can buy good used tanks for half the price, and they often come with the rest of the equipment you need to get the tank running. Of course prices vary by region, but I bought my 90 (came with a stand, 4 foot dual bulb fixture, a heater, a fluval 405, a fluval 305 and an AC110, plus a bucket of misc stuff) for $225. That was a great deal, but a good used setup in the 75-90 gallon range should cost about $250-$350. For $500 you could probably find a 125 gallon complete setup. But some people like to buy new, and that's okay - good for the economy :)

Do you need a bubble stone? No, your filtration ought to provide enough surface disturbance to facilitate the gas exchange. I don't own a bubbler - I hate the noise.

Tests? I'm not one for testing so I'll pass on that.

Sand? Go for it. Sand is awesome - it looks better, keeps the tank cleaner and the fish prefer it. Mixing sand and gravel can be done, but it requires more thought and planning. Or you can use a divider of some sort.

There are a lot of options with larger tanks. You could certainly do a couple of exotic fish with some schooling fish. You've been in the hobby for a little while - Are there any you have in mind?

mcdoodles 08-05-2012 02:50 AM

A 90 gallon tank wouldn't be OUT of the question per-se and since posting, I've actually leaned towards the 75 more. The problem with a 90 gallon tank is I would most likely be forced to put it in the basement because of how much it would weigh - though, I would have to check. I can however keep a 75 gallon in my room (AFAIK). But now you have me possibly thinking about the 90. Buying new isn't really a problem, as I'm getting $$ as a birthday present. I've looked at tanks on ebay and such, but, I'm kind of put off by ebay.

As for the stand, I found one for 1130ish online, which isn't bad. That would put me only 30~ over what it would cost to buy the 60 gallon tank before taxes.

As for fish, I'm actually really not sure what I would put in there. I have 2 full grown guppies right now and one baby one that is still growing up in one tank, and 4 albino tiger barbs in the other (which I know is technically over crowded if you go by the 1 inch:1 gallon theory - I was originally intending to buy a 55g and having a bunch of barbs and find one or two more fish to put in there). That said, I have no idea what I would put in a huge tank like a 75 gallon one. I love the albino tiger barbs and guppies, but I also like fish that are unique and that aren't seen everyday (exotic). I used to think the Rainbow shark/Red tail shark sold by petsmart were actually sharks, but apparently they are not. To me that would have been pretty cool because it'd be pretty badass (for lack of a better term) to own a "shark".

However, after looking at petsmarts selection some more fish that caught my eye:

Pictus catfish
Electric Blue Cichlid
Tiger Oscar Cichilid

All of those fish can grow to be quite large, and I would like to add at least one or two schooling fish to the mix. I also don't know if these fish will mix. I was hoping for some good suggestions, and possibly ones that allowed me to have 2 "big" fish a couple medium sized ones, and possibly 2 smaller schooling fish into the mix. (not really sure on that, just throwing it out there to give people an idea).

2 last things: most of the interesting exotic fish I have looked at for another fish store in my area are for saltwater tanks. Is this generally the case? (seahorses seem awesome, so do Puffer Porcupine and Mandarin Goby) but I have no experience with non-freshwater tanks so I have no idea what I'm doing with that, or if there are also exotic freshwater fish kinda like the one's I just mentioned.

Second thing: anything that live breads is awesome. For example, I think it's really cool to have a guppy give birth and then the little fish can sometimes make it to grow up (like one of myn has for the past couple of months).

Anyway, hope I didn't ramble too much in this post, as you can tell I really have no idea where I am going with this. I don't want to screw it up and waste a bunch of $$, overstock, or find something way cooler that I just "have to have" since this will most likely be the last tank I'll have room for, for a good while.

Byron 08-05-2012 04:52 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:

On the weight: a set-up 75g tank with substrate, water, tank, stand, very heavy, close to half a ton. If your room is on an upper floor of a typical wood frame house/apartment, I would not risk it unless you can ascertain the floor will hold it. You mention a basement, that would be much better. An, this would probably mean a do-it-yourself stand which would save money. I used concrete cinder blocks and plywood for the stand under my 70g.

Decide what sort of tank you want, meaning the fish in general [rift lake cichlids, livebearers, soft water fish...] first; the choice of filter and lighting can vary depending upon the type of fish, and if plants are intended.

You've mentioned some fish...we have profiles, second tab fro the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Each profile gives minimum tank size, numbers (for shoaling fish), compatibility issues, etc.


mcdoodles 08-05-2012 06:49 PM

hey guys thanks for the tips, I'm going with salt water, getting it tomorrow (unless it's out of stock). Anyway, I'll be posting in the saltwater section from now on.

jaysee 08-05-2012 06:59 PM

hey good luck with that.

Sanguinefox 08-05-2012 07:39 PM

If you are going with a larger tank here is some advice. You may decide down the road you want plants so...while sand is nice try getting something like Eco-complete substrate or something similar to layer some parts of the tank before putting the sand in. This gives you a great option for plants down the road if you choose to want to try planted (or semi-planted).

Also don't waste money on a bubble unless you plan to never use real plants.

Adamson 08-06-2012 02:04 PM

Get a tank used! You will pay $1/gallon at the most!

jaysee 08-06-2012 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by Adamson (Post 1187261)
Get a tank used! You will pay $1/gallon at the most!

Yeah, good luck with that. Show me a Craigslist ad for a large tank costing less than $1/gallon. Or even $1/gallon, for that matter.

92smokeaccord 08-06-2012 07:45 PM


Originally Posted by jaysee (Post 1187394)
Yeah, good luck with that. Show me a Craigslist ad for a large tank costing less than $1/gallon. Or even $1/gallon, for that matter.

not really a $1 pergallon but theres a 125 for 150 obo so you prob could get it for 120 or 130.he wants 300 total with a solid black stand and canopy top....but yes.i want to add you have a basement is there any way you can support the floor from the basement to hold the weight above?

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