Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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heyhi 05-16-2008 09:39 PM

help setting up my 55 gal
 
i just got a 55 gal tank and stand. i currently have a 10 gal over stocked with 3 pictus cat fish and 2 upside down cat fish. i dont wanna rush into this like i did with my first tank.

what do i need as far as lighting heaters air pumps plants and so on.im new at this i dont know what names are good or what i need. im gonna be buying this stuff at petco or petsmart

Lupin 05-16-2008 09:51 PM

Re: help setting up my 55 gal
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by heyhi
i just got a 55 gal tank and stand. i currently have a 10 gal over stocked with 3 pictus cat fish and 2 upside down cat fish. i dont wanna rush into this like i did with my first tank.

what do i need as far as lighting heaters air pumps plants and so on.im new at this i dont know what names are good or what i need. im gonna be buying this stuff at petco or petsmart

Lighting is not really important unless you wish to keep plants although stick with fluorescent tubes, not incandescent bulbs which give off too much heat and do not give the proper spectrum for the plants to thrive. Start with low lighting plants such as Cryptocoryne, Java moss, Java ferns and anubias. The last two are grown on driftwoods or anything else. Just do not bury their rhizomes on the substrate or they'll die. Java moss can be situated anywhere you want and leave them to establish. Crypts are planted everywhere. Large ones are best situated at the back whereas small ones should be in the middle or front.

I'd suggest two heaters. Redundancy has its good points. In case one fails to work, the other remains running. The same is true with filters. Get two 200-watt heaters and locate them at both ends of the tank. They are best placed where there is plenty of turbulence so the heat will not concentrate in one area. Monitor your temperature regularly and keep it stable at 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

As far as airpumps are concerned, if you are picking a filter that generates strong turbulence, you do not need them however I would suggest buying battery-operated ones for emergencies such as power outages. I filter my 75g river tanks at almost 2000 gph. Not a problem as my loaches prefer a lot of movements or they'll act sluggishly.

You need to be careful when dealing with plants. Ask the petshop employees first about their ID and requirements before you buy. I remember one person in the plant forum posting a pic of a false aquatic plant in a Petco package. False aquatic plants will eventually rot if submerged. I already mentioned the low-lighting plants in the first paragraph.

heyhi 05-17-2008 09:31 AM

can i buy any florescent lighting or are there special lights for fish...also Ive seen cool LCD lights that go in the water are those OK.???? another question i have is the water parameters. i cant get my Ph rite in my 10 gal tank..ive read that chemicals such as proper Ph is no good. when i fill my tank up and get the cycle started should everything adjust it self or is there anything i need to do besides get a starter fish and maybe a cycle enhancer. is the water conditioner . nitrate nitrite remover Ph up ammonia detoxify OK and so on..... i plan on changing the water 2 or 3 times a week and vacuuming the gravel once a week. when i change the water what should i add.... all these chemicals say to add once a week but i dint think allot of them are long term they might be a quick fix i want to keep my water the way its suppose to be with out relying on chemicals-

herefishy 05-17-2008 12:15 PM

An added note to the redundancy of heaters, using multiple heaters also heats the tank more evenly. Make sure to place them apart and in an area of water flow, current.

Amphitrite 05-17-2008 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by heyhi
can i buy any florescent lighting or are there special lights for fish..

i cant get my Ph rite in my 10 gal tank..ive read that chemicals such as proper Ph is no good.

I believe you should buy the flourescent lighting from your LFS to ensure that you get the right spectrum of light for your plants.

As for you pH, what is it currently at? I would never recommend altering it unless absolutely necessary, and yes, avoid using chemicals to alter it as this can lead to disaster.

heyhi 05-17-2008 10:45 PM

ok so i set up my tank... i got 60 lbs of garavel rinsed it and put it in and filled it with water added cycle starter and 5 neon tetras am i ok so far any 1 have any suggestions... also how long do i wait till i add more fish

Oldman47 05-27-2008 07:56 PM

You need to wait until you have finished the difficult process of a fish-in cycle. That could easily be as long as 8 weeks depending on what your testing tells you. What kind of liquid test kit are you using to make sure the ammonia and nitrites never go above 0.25 ppm? I am assuming that since you have taken on a fish-in cycle you are ready to do at least a 25% daily water change to keep the water safe for the fish.
When you no longer need to do a water change to keep your water parameters at no nitrites and no ammonia detectable, you can think about adding your very next fish. If you continue to have these water parameters for a full week, you can get 1 or 2 more fish that are not much bigger than the surviving neons.


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