Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Katastrophi 08-20-2012 02:54 PM

New 150g Set Up Need Help Please
Hello, my name is Chris im 27yrs old from the chicagoland area, im new to this aquarium stuff...i built a nice wood stand for my 150gallon tank that was given to me from my dad he wanted a bigger salt water tank so he bought a way bigger tank, he gave me the 150g tank and (2) Marineland Magnum 350 pumps and a Aqueon 300w Aquarium heater, and the lighting that came with the 150g tank when he bought it. he sold all the rest of his stuff i was wondering what else i need to get the tank up and running i can't afford to do a salt water tank so i was wondering should i do fresh water or do brackish....not sure what i will need as i am new so i would like to do things right im looking for exotic fish dont know what i can get from a fresh water tank like that would be interesting maybe some aggressive fish etc. however i dont want them to fight and kill each other just looking for something that will be kewl/enjoyable....i was told brackish do tend to have a better selection of fish then normal fresh water, i would love any and all help so that i can possibly get my tank up and running if you have anymore questions feel free to ask and ill do my best to describe

*type of fish i was hoping to get out of a fresh water or brackish depending on how much more it would cost to have brackish water set up.

Fresh water: cichlids and or waterever other fish can be kept in the same tank without them going crazy on eachother.
Brackish water: sharks/rays/trigger fish etc.....

Geomancer 08-20-2012 04:57 PM

Most I'm familiar with, and others around here keep are freshwater and not brackish.

For that tank, check the lights with it. If it has the typical multiple T5HO tubes marine tanks have that's wayyyy to much for non-marine tanks. A single or double T8 is more than sufficient.

You ask for aggressive fish ... that don't fight each other ... kind of an oxymoron ;)

Cichlids are typically aggressive and you must be very careful what fish you get, I don't know enough about them to offer any suggestions. They are messy fish though, so need large filtration and/or a sump.

But, can't suggest fish without knowing your water pH, GH, and KH. Those are key, and not something you'll want to mess with lowering. Raising is pretty easy (for example for African Lake Cichlids) but lowering is not.

All you need is:


So you have all but the last two.

Decorations depend on the fish, some need more of a hardscape, others prefer live plants. An air pump may be necessary if you do not have live plants, but you can often get away with having the canister output disturb the surface.

Katastrophi 08-20-2012 05:34 PM

I do have an air pump just dug a few up as for the substrate would u suggest a sand type of some sort of stone? as i know cichlids like to dig supposedly

fish monger 08-20-2012 06:53 PM

I think that you need an additional heater for a tank that size. Aim for 5 watts per gallon. Better to spread them out than to get one huge heater. If you have the right parameters, sounds like African Lake Cichlids might be up your alley. Research substrate and decorations according to the fish you choose. Good luck.

SeaHorse 08-20-2012 07:32 PM

I totally agree on the heater. Get 2. That way you always have a back up... or rather if one fails this winter, the temp might drop 3-4 degrees before you notice rather than 8-10 degrees. I'm jealous!! I want a 150!! Working on a 120 tho.

Katastrophi 08-20-2012 07:54 PM

ok i found another 300w heater that was in the box of stuff my dad gave me with the tank so use them both and only turn one on ? use the other as a back up but have it in the tank and ready to go in case the other dies out? one on each side of the tank should be good?

SeaHorse 08-20-2012 08:03 PM

No run them both on lower settings. Makes them last longer and not burn out, also is already running if one should fail. Yes one at each end works.

Katastrophi 08-20-2012 08:16 PM

awesome thank you all for the quick responses i appreciate it a lot i will be adding pictures when all set up and running :)

dave56 08-20-2012 08:56 PM

If you decide not to do a cichlid tank, look into Rainbows. They are very colorful, and easy to care for. They are not aggressive though, but VERY active. I have about 30 of them in my 180, they make an awesome display in a planted tank!!

Blackfeet 08-20-2012 11:09 PM

We do need the type of lights to give you fully informed answers. Otherwise we could inadvertently steer you into an algea problem. I am running a mixed brackish water of sailfin mollies, guppies, tetras, and catfish. We really need the water parameters out of your tap unless you plan on using your dad's RO system. Using the RO system depending on the filtering sytem gives you totally clean water ph of around 7 and devoid of minerals and carbonates. This water would be near perfect for tetras and with some additions to increase the KH it could be good for some South American and new world cichlids. It would be much easier and less work intensive to go with the tap water. If you want plants then a dual T5 HO light would be great, if not then you should keep at least one bulb an actnic bulbs as these are good for algea and would help to keeps legs growth in check. With plants the substrate comes into question once again a clay based substrate of sand or fine grade is best since they do not require as much fertilization. Dark sand and fine grade gravel is also preferred by most fresh and brackish water fish, this includes diggers. If you need to keep costs down then play sand they sell at home depot will work fine but will require more fertillization with plants. I don't know if it comes in other colors. With decor you can save $ by foraging for local rocks and sanitizing them.

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