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Crystalab9305 12-11-2006 06:11 PM

Contemplating a New Tank...
I used to have a small 10 gal tank. We have sinced moved and it looks like the only items that came with us is my test kit and a couple of plastic plants, lol. The tank was empty when we moved.
Hubby and I have been checking out the lfs for a new, larger tank. We would like a 48 gal min. I came across a 55 gl today.
I have read some of the posts here and saw some awesome pictures that have given me some ideas! One pic I saw had a combo of gravel and small stone with caves for substrate. Love that idea! We would also like to go with real plants. I have no experience so would really appreciate some advice on this topic.
As for fish, the only fish I have in mind thus far are some otos and some cories (my cutie maintenace type fish,lol). I don't want to overload but would like a comfy looking tank. Any ideas? We are in no real rush as we are willing to take the time needed to cycle this tank.

Merry Christmas to Me!! (I am so spoiled, lol!)

Thanks for any and all advice!

fish_4_all 12-11-2006 06:39 PM

First, welcome to fish forum. Hopefully we can help you get something that you will like.

If money is not an issue, here is what I would recommend:
75 gallon tank under 24 inches tall
Light fixture that has 180-250 watts of light
For your substrate, eco complete available at some LFS and online from
Fluval 405 canister filter
Inline heater
Inline CO2 reactor
Pressurized CO2 tank 10-20# with cylinoid, pH regulator
Two powerheads rated for 40 gallon tanks
Dry fertilizers from (will help with which ones if you want to go high tech right away)
A good test kit. Nutrafin master test kit covers all the needs and a Hagen Phosphate test kit for accuracy. ( I think, might be wrong on the brands)
A good variety of foods both flake, frozen, pellet, tablet and others.

Now this is the ultimate setup, although I know I forgot something.

For your basic tank, if you just want to start with something you can upgrade from, the fine aquarium gravel, a powercompact flourescent light that can take up to 250 watts of regular lighting. The fluval is still recommended as well as the inline heater and the CO2 is optional if you to decide to go over 1.5 watts/gallon in the future and go heavily planted. Still need the test kits.

This will at least give you something to think about in order to help decide on what you actually want.

Lupin 12-11-2006 10:25 PM

Hi Crystal.:wave:
Glad you could join us.:welldone: As for the fish, it would be best if you write a list of what fish you are going to consider and we can sort them for you.:)

Good luck.:thumbsup:

Crystalab9305 12-11-2006 11:13 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome!
To start with, I am wanting some otos and some cories. The rest is pretty much up in the air.
Do I want a bunch of small fish or a couple of fair sized fish?
I have read that there are some fairly tame barbs that will mingle with other social fish. Also, I have read about some small sharks.
Basically, I want colour. Big, small, doesn't matter, lol.
Our lfs has the odd iredescent (sp) shark but I'm not sure if a 48 will support it. Very pretty fish, lol.
I have seen a lot of tetras and they are all pretty and hardy. I started out with black skirt tetras in my old 10 gl.
Ugh, too many choices and I don't know enough about compatability, lol. That's why I'm asking, lol

Nick 12-11-2006 11:14 PM

Yes that is true. I have a 55 gallon and I absolutely love it! It's not too big so it doesnt take up a lot of room. But it's big enough for me :D It varies the amount and type of fish you may put in it too. She never stated that she wanted a heavily planted tank, which IMO, she shouldnt go for ATM. She is a beginner at plants, and I know quite a bit about my tank/plants and i dont know if i could do a heavily planted tank ( well, I might :D ), But back on topic. You wont need CO2 for just a few live plants. If you have seen my tank, ( not trying to get you to look at it or anything ), but if you've seen it, I have quite a few live plants includin java fern and a few other assorted plants, and I dont have CO2. I would just make sure to get some plant fertilizer tabs or something around that. Definetly need a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, kh or gh. The master test kit is a fine one. As for your fish there are many options, angels ( are awesome but lower your variety of available fish ), plecos, neons, cardinals, cories, oto's, I COULD GO ON! This is just my 2 cents for now :D


Nick 12-11-2006 11:16 PM

I must of typed my reply when you did ;). I forgot to say something about cycling the tank. This is the first thing that should be coming to your mind right now when you get your tank. There is fishless, and or the fish way. It's pretty simple with the fish but its hard on the poor little guys. When doing so, choose some hardy fish for your set up to cycle your tank such as zebra danios, molly's, platies, etc. :D

Lupin 12-11-2006 11:27 PM

Here are the plants you may try:
Elodea densa, Ceratophyllum demersum, Javan moss, Javan fern, Hygrophila difformis and Hygrophila polysperma. Javan moss make a good foreground plant. Riccia is another option but they can demand bright lighting. The ones I suggested will thrive even in subdued lighting.

Fish to consider:
Lots of choice..though I'd try the following which in my opinion are stunners.:love:
Diamond tetras(Moenkhausia pittieri)
Rosy Tetra(Hyphessobrycon bentosi)
Emperor Tetra
Kerri Tetra
Flame Tetra
Black Phantom
Lemon Tetra
Beacon Tetra
You have your choice though.:)
Other mid-dwellers..
Barbs-I recommend only the small species like cherry barbs and pentazonas.
Rasboras-Too many choices...Rasbora heteromorpha would be the best option.:thumbsup: You may want Rasbora hengeli if you like.:)
Surface dwellers
Hatchetfish, danios, some killifish..
You'll need to place a lid as hatchets tend to jump.
Try Sterbai cories or peppered cories. I'd leave the otos for awhile until your tank matures to 6 months. Otos are quite delicate and may not survive the early stages. If not, you can go with the hardy Bristlenose plec. Otos and BN are excellent algae eaters though BNs have a tendency to eat plants if algae becomes insufficient.

Overall, just do a research and you can pick what you like.:)
On the side note, avoid labeos(sharks), balas and even irridiscent sharks. You will only put yourself on the wrong footing if you keep them. Most are quite aggressive while others will require more than 100 gallons size of tank.:)

Oh, and one more tip..Listen very well with what advice your lfs(local fish store) is giving you. They tend to talk everything that sometimes put even beginners into the wrong hand. If you doubt their advice, you can ask us and we'll help you.:) Many of us have been given wrong advice resulting to major losses(even your cash for useless items).


Crystalab9305 12-11-2006 11:39 PM


Do plants help cycle a tank? If so, which plants do you recommend?
I would rather do fishless cycling. A little confusion on my part, do I use ammonia or bleach?

As for plecos, I brought one home, put it in my 10 gl and watched it die almost instaneously (it was sick before I bought it, just didn't know enough) The big plecos are ugly(IMO) and don't really want them in my tank but I have come across some info today that there are some smaller, prettier plecos that might work.

My test kit is Hagen/Nutrifin Mini Master Test Kit.

I have 2 lfs in town that are vying for our attention. I want to do good dollar wise but not at the expense of my fish.

Crystalab9305 12-11-2006 11:48 PM


Thank You So Much!

You have given us much to consider!
I guess my irridesent shark may have to wait a while, lol. Next Time tho!

Lupin 12-11-2006 11:49 PM


Originally Posted by Crystalab9305
Do plants help cycle a tank?

No, they don't although they can serve as grounds for beneficial bacteria. They help keep down nitrates.:)

I would rather do fishless cycling. A little confusion on my part, do I use ammonia or bleach?

The big plecos are ugly(IMO) and don't really want them in my tank but I have come across some info today that there are some smaller, prettier plecos that might work.
Bristlenose grow to 5 inches mostly so you're on the safe side. What you see mostly are common plecs which can reach 14 inches in size. There are hundreds of species. Some grow rather large and will not fit in your tank. You can consider whiptails if you like. Farlowellas are also good options.

I have 2 lfs in town that are vying for our attention. I want to do good dollar wise but not at the expense of my fish.
Good luck on this one.:) Just follow my tip and you should be alright.:)

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