From Reefkeeper to FW
Hey guys my name is Chuck and I could use some freshwater advice. I have kept reef systems for 7 years so I have a pretty good idea how to maintain a system. If you're curious about my background in aquaria I spend a lot of time over on Reefland.com under the same name.
The problem is that I haven't kept freshwater for 11 years and when I kept them I didn't have access to online forums so much of it was just trial and error. I was also 14......Thinking back I highly doubt I did anything right.
With that said I just inherited a 55 gallon freshwater aquarium from a friend. The setup is so simple it actually amazes me and I know it's in dire need of an upgrade.
55 gallon aquarium
1 hob dual cartridge filter
200w unknown brand heater
about 15lbs of misc colored gravel
I added a dual T12 striplight and a timer this afternoon.
I have lots of aquarium equipment laying around....I believe I have enough to run atleast 2 more full reef systems if I needed to. In all this I know a lot of it will not be useful for FW including skimmers, reactors etc.
What I do have is an abundance of spare aquariums but nothing larger. I believe I have 12 50 gallon breeders a few 40 breeders 30 or so 20 gallons, even more 10 gallons and a variety of others. I also have pumps, powerheads, a canister filter, hob cartridge and biowheel filters, UV, carbon, PO4 remover, an RO/DI system, filter bags, lighting...which I don't believe will be important unless I go planted at some point. I have a spare CO2 tank and regulator, on and on and on.
I have lots of test kits including a Colorimeter and digital temp and ph probes that I could use as well but I don't believe many of my titration kits will be of any use.
With all that in mind this aquarium came with four extremely large fish. Keeping reefs all these years I have a good understanding of Bioload and I believe this aquarium is an extremely unfit environment for these four fish possibly for even one. The first fish is an Oscar....I have no idea the species yet. The second is the standard Plecos you see for sale everywhere....I believe Hypostomus punctatus. The Oscar is 13". The pleco is 14". The other two fish are about 6-7" a piece and I have no idea what they are. I believe one is a male and the other is a female as they are marked differently and one is an inch or so shorter. They may be some sort of Cichlid but I don't know yet. I just got this moved in here and when it settles I'll get some pics posted for ID purposes.
I don't mind reading so if anyone has any reads you think I need to see please link me to them. As an aquarist and Biology major I strive to provide the best possible environment for my inhabitants. If I need to find a more suitable home for these fish I will do so. I don't mind spending some money if need be but with everything that I have I'd like to make use of what I can first.
What do I need and where do I go from here?
I'm open to any and all advice.
Forgot to mention I have HOB overflows as well.
I just tried to upload pics but they didn't post in the message??
Welcome to FishForum! I have to say, it sounds like you've got plenty of extra supplies already, I really doubt you're going to have to go out and buy much!
Congrats on having an oscar- they're really cool, very intelligent fish. Plenty of people have their oscars eating out of their hands and following them across the room! With that said- they are messy guys. They definitely need at least a 55 gallon to themselves, so I'd keep that one for him and take the others out. Could I ask what brand the filter is? What is the GPH rating? I'd say you will want the filter to be doing at least 4-5 times the volume of the tank per hour, but more is better. I dunno how it is with SW tanks, but it's really impossible to over filter a fw tank. It might be good to switch to the canister filter, or to add the hob filter. It really all depends on the GPH rating.
As for the pleco, I can't really help you there, except to say that I know the tank is too small. No idea if a 50 gallon would be large enough for him. I've basically avoided common plecos like the plague because I know how large they get and how much waste they produce. Hopefully someone else will be able to help you more- or you can check out the topics on plecos.
As for the other two- I guess I can't do too much until we know who they are. If you get them in their own tank though, you should be able to set up a really cool biotope for them (I figure you'll like this being the biology major and all). Seeing as they are already surviving with the oscar, you shouldn't have too much trouble giving their lives a few upgrades and watching them flourish!
Well I am cycling a 50 gallon breeder to seperate a few of these out. I found out the pair of fish are Jack Dempsey Cichlids I believe Archocentrus octofasciatum. To the 55 I have added another dual cartridge filter, a powerhead and a piece of driftwood with a piece of slate screwed to the bottom. I'd really like to find someone around here with a proper environment for these fish so that I can begin moving the system towards a planted community aquarium. Is there anyone here from Arkansas?
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