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wmoyer2006 03-07-2009 09:39 PM

Freshwater Newbie Questions...
 
Hello everyone. :) Just wanna say that I'm a pretty big newbie and I have some really, probably silly questions.

I recently purchased a 10 gallon tank and have had it set up for about two months now. I have been considering upgrading to a larger tank (probably keep the smaller one for something, not sure what...) Everything seems to be working out well however I still believe that I am not educated to a degree in which I should be before I purchase a larger tank.

Questions!

1.) Is my tank overpopulated? I've heard a few mixed messages so I just want to be sure. 10 gallon and it's inhabitants are:

(1) Angel Fish
(2) Black Tetras
(2) Bloodfin Tetras
(2) Red Eye Tetras
(1) Platy

2.) I'm aware that the filter that I am using is probably junk. It is an Aqueon Power Filter (10) Model CA10. It came in a "starter kit" with aquarium, thermometer and etc. What kind of filter should I consider using for a 55 gallon Freshwater tank?

3.) I haven't tested my water at all, which I am ashamed to admit but also proud to say that I haven't lost any fish. For a 55 gallon tank that I am considering purchasing, what kind of test(s) should I purchase and use regularly and during the infamous cycle phase?

4.) Is one completely submersable heater enough for 55 gallons?

5.) What other equipment will I need for a 55 gallon tank? I already have a gravel vacuum. I obviously know I need a filter, thermometer, water heater and gravel. Should I have a skimmer? Something to move the water? A Co2 Unit? I'm not really sure what many of these do anyway.

6.) This is a fun question! All the fish that I have in my current tank are pretty tiny and the biggest one will be the angel fish. What are larger tropical fish that I will be able to put in a 55 gallon tank?

Like I said I'm a pretty big newbie so any input whatsoever would be incredibly helpful. Thanks guys!

brettxw 03-08-2009 03:28 AM

Well, I can help you out to my best but I know others will be able to add.

For a 10 gallon tank with 9 fish. To me, you are over populated. I believe angel fish are very territorial and need their space.

Your filter, I would get a new one. I was told any filter you get, always get a filter that is capable for bigger tanks then the one you have. Example, for my 30 gallon tank, Im using a filter that is good for tanks up to 50 gallons.

For your new aquarium you are going to purchase. I would fill it with water and wait for your cycle to end before adding your fish. If you just throw your fish in there with out it being cycled your fish will die one by one, especially the Angel Fish. You need to do pH tests, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite tests. They sell those kits in a package. Do not use test trips, you want to use the droplets.

A heater for your 55 gallon tank depends on the heater itself. Each heater is made specifically for so many gallons. So you need to find a heater that is sufficient for a 55 gallon tank.

I would get a thermometer. the majority of the tank heaters are off on their temps by a few degrees. Example, I have my heater set to 78 degrees. My thermometer shows 76 degrees. You don't really need something to move the water because your filter will move the water in the tank.

I can't help you with waht large fish to use cuz I do not know. Im sorry.


Hope this can help.

adpierin11 03-08-2009 10:19 AM

Your stocking isn't that bad, but I think the only bad thing about the 10g is the angelfish in it. The rest should be fine in a 10g.

Personally I like HOB Penguins, and I really look at the gph. For a 55 gallon I would be looking at two filters that produce together about 10x the gallon. So in a 55 I would probably buy one filter that did 300gph and the other at 250gph, so in total your filters would be turning over 550 gallons per hour. That's just what I like my filters to turn over, you can do less if you prefer.

Remember doing a FISHLESS cycle is the best way to go, because you aren't harming any fish in the process. The main tests you would need are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. I bought a master kit and don't use all of them, those three are the ones I use a lot. Also since you already have an established aquarium you could add some gravel from it and put it in the 55 which will speed up the cycle some....

As long as it's for a 55 you should be fine. I have one in my 75g and I have my thermometer on the completely opposite side and it reads at 78 degrees... so yes you can.

In a freshwater tank you just need the basics. Since you are beginning I wouldn't suggest going with live plants and dealing with C0 2, maybe get the hang of fish first then start moving into real plant territory.

As for fish that's up to you and what you like. You could always get a smaller sized pleco about 6 inches or so that would be a large fish. There are so many options it would be hard to say, but I will recommend having cories in your tank I just added them and I love them already!!!

wmoyer2006 03-08-2009 10:40 AM

Thanks to you guys for your input.

It was indeed, very helpful.

On the tank stocking note, I was afraid I overdid it with the angel fish but ironically, he's one of the least aggressive. The largest Red Eye tetra is the most aggressive. When I first added my Black Tetras I had to take him out of the tank for a day or so because he was literally trying to eat their fins.

On a side note once again, I got the angel fish just recently and he is very small still. I'm afraid that once he gets bigger he's going to be aggressive.

One final question. What all should I be feeding the angelfish? Right now he's just chowing down on tropical flakes. It is called Wardly Flake Food. Is there a better option? What brand names are usually better than others?

iamntbatman 03-08-2009 11:09 AM

1.) Is my tank overpopulated? I've heard a few mixed messages so I just want to be sure. 10 gallon and it's inhabitants are:

(1) Angel Fish
(2) Black Tetras
(2) Bloodfin Tetras
(2) Red Eye Tetras
(1) Platy

A couple of things: Angel fish get to be very large and shouldn't be kept in a 10g aquarium. It will be fine in the 55g but it should be moved as soon as that tank is done cycling. These fish get to about six inches in length and over ten inches tall! The black tetras - do you have a more specific name for these? Are they black skirt tetras, black neon tetras, black phantom tetras? In any case, any sort of tetra should be kept in groups of at least six as they're schooling fish. Same with the bloodfins and redeye tetras. I would move two of the different tetra species to the 55g once it's cycled and increase the school sizes, then increase the school size of whatever type of tetra you leave in the 10g (or you could move all three types to the bigger tank). The platy will be fine in the 10g on its own, or in the 55g with the other fish.

2.) I'm aware that the filter that I am using is probably junk. It is an Aqueon Power Filter (10) Model CA10. It came in a "starter kit" with aquarium, thermometer and etc. What kind of filter should I consider using for a 55 gallon Freshwater tank?

Aqueons are junk, but it's better not to switch your filter entirely as this will pretty much be throwing all of your beneficial bacteria out the window. For the 55g, I would get something like two Penguin 200's or two Emperor 280's. This will give you a great amount of filtration, and having two filters is insurance should one of them fail.

3.) I haven't tested my water at all, which I am ashamed to admit but also proud to say that I haven't lost any fish. For a 55 gallon tank that I am considering purchasing, what kind of test(s) should I purchase and use regularly and during the infamous cycle phase?

You should get yourself a liquid test kit. The API Freshwater Master Test Kit is a good balance of ease-of-use and accuracy. It should run you about $20 online at stores like Drs. Foster and Smith. The kit comes with tests for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You can buy those last three individually but it would be more expensive, so better to just get the master kit. Plus, being able to measure your pH is very useful.

4.) Is one completely submersable heater enough for 55 gallons?

They make heaters big enough to handle a 55g, sure, but you're better off getting two smaller ones for more even heat distribution and once again, insurance against failure. Stealth heaters are very nice.

5.) What other equipment will I need for a 55 gallon tank? I already have a gravel vacuum. I obviously know I need a filter, thermometer, water heater and gravel. Should I have a skimmer? Something to move the water? A Co2 Unit? I'm not really sure what many of these do anyway.

You shouldn't need anything for circulation apart from the filters for just standard aquarium fish. No need for CO2 unless you're doing a highly planted tank. You shouldn't need much else other than what you've listed, apart from decor. For cheap decoration solutions: use play sand or pea gravel from a home improvement store instead of aquarium gravel. At $5 or so for a 50lb bag that will save you a lot of money. You can buy slate or shale from a landscaping place and use that to make caves and whatnot to provide shelters and hiding places for your fish. Round out the decor with silk plants and driftwood from the LFS. By the way, if you're interested in bottom dwellers like catfish or loaches, sand is much, much better than gravel.

6.) This is a fun question! All the fish that I have in my current tank are pretty tiny and the biggest one will be the angel fish. What are larger tropical fish that I will be able to put in a 55 gallon tank?

As I said, the angel does get to be pretty darn big. Anything similar in size to that is going to be problematic because you'll get fighting issues, plus most fish in that size range will snack down on your smaller tetras. I'd say with the angel and two or three schools of six tetras, you'd still have room for a school of 6-8 corydoras catfish, a bristlenose pleco or two, and possibly one or two other cichlids like rams, apistos, or keyholes.

fishkid 03-08-2009 01:47 PM

Now that I think of it, a tank of tetras, angelfish, and keyhole cichlids would be nice.

wmoyer2006 03-09-2009 06:38 PM

Thanks for the input!!!!!!

I was planning on moving the angel to the 55 gallon at the earliest possible time. I just bought the tank yesterday and set the cycle in motion. I haven't gotten anything other than gravel in the tank at the moment. I bought a Penguin 150. Instead of getting two 200s I think that I will get a Penguin 350 next pay. By the way, when I'm adding a new filter to a tank that is already undergoing the infamous cycle, should I do anything special? Perhaps soak the media in the tank before starting the filter? Because the last thing I want to do is restart the cycling process. Input please! =D

I would absolutely LOVE to have a cichlid tank, but I don't believe that my tank is big enough nor would I believe that my angel fish would be OK in it. Input on this please? :) If I have to I would give away my Angelfish (I know a couple people that would take good care of it) and get dedicate my larger tank to cichlids.

On the subject of my black tetras. That's all it was called. Here is a link to a picture of one though.
[img=http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/5716/blacktetra.th.jpg]

Yesterday when I bought the 55 gallon, I also bought some test strips. I am also aware that is frowned upon but I -needed- something for my 10 gallon tank until my new kit arrives (I ordered one online.)

I think that is all for now! Thanks a bunch guys.


EDIT:
Oh, I almost forgot. About how big do keyhole, ram and aphisto's get?

wmoyer2006 03-09-2009 09:24 PM

Sorry for double posting but I just realized that my link is 100% bad.

http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/5716/blacktetra.th.jpg

This link is accurate.

And I just re-read your last post, I had no idea angel fish got that big. That's amazing!

ScottishGirrl 03-10-2009 02:33 PM

That would be a black widow tetra you have there.
I have a school of 14 of them in a tank on their own as they are incredibly nippy and fast fish, i wouldnt keep them with any fancy finned fish because of their tendancy to nip!!

Sorry when i said tank on their own i meant they were in with only bottom feeders!

wmoyer2006 03-10-2009 07:29 PM

Update.

My Penguin 150 malfunctioned early this morning and I returned it and got two Penguin 350s. That should DEFINITELY be more than enough for my 55 gallon. That's at least 13 cycles per hour if my math is correct. (Which it may not be.)

Also I would like to mention I bought a product called "-----". It's pretty nifty. I think it's speeding up the process of cycling the tank by a lot as my amonia has fallen and nitrite has risen.

I also took a little (about 1 gallon) of water from my already cycled aquarium and also took the filter pad out and dunked it in my 55 gallon (the pad needed changed anyway.) I believe this may have helped the process jumpstart as well.


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