36g Bow Front Equipment and Setup
I came across this site a few time while Googling specific topics so I decided to register.
My background is with small freshwater tanks growing up and a 55g saltwater tank in my mid 20's.
Back then, if you can even image a time, we didn't have Google and the internet to read and research online so I'm sure I had no idea what I was doing even though my only dead fish either jumped out a crack or got sucked into the filter somehow.
So fast forward and I am 44 with an 8yo daughter that won a goldfish at school and wants an aquarium.
We are starting with a 36 gallon Aqueon bow front and stand from PetSmart. I ordered a 150w Jager Aquarium Heater and a Fluval C4 filter.
Almost 6 weeks ago we bought a 4g Aquaon all in one kit tank to keep the goldfish in and now we have 2 small goldfish and 2 Cory Cats. The water looks clear but goes toxic so we do 25%-50% daily water changes and everyone seems happy enough until we set up the new aquarium.
My question is about doing the cycle with those 4 fish in the bigger tank. Should I do it with only the 2 goldfish and leave the cats in the smaller tank or since it is so much bigger, can I do it with all of them?
Also, we would like a natural gravel substrate look with some driftwood pieces. Fake plants to start with the intent of adding live stuff later.
Should I use a mixture of substates on the initial set up or wait until I actually add live plants?
With the exception of the goldfish that hopefully will find a new home one day soon, we imagine an Amazon River theme with schools of smaller fish instead of anything too large.
Any ideas of thoughts would be welcome.
I don't have another tank until Santa brings the 36 next week.
I guess I'll plan on keeping the temp at 72 to keep them both happy for now and use Dr. Tim's bacteria on the new tank after Christmas.
I'll start with the Goldfish alone in the bigger tank and test the water daily, if after a week or so the Nitrites and ammonia are under control, I will add the Corys and raise the temp to 72 until the goldfish can find a new home or 'run away'.
I will look at the pea gravel in the box stores. I think I like the idea of larger than pea sized with a couple of bigger rocks and a piece of wood here or there.
What about using some Flourite Plant Substrate under the gravel? Not everywhere, just where I imagine live plants may go?
Or should I just wait until I get the live plants and not worry about disturbing the gravel substrate?
Depending on the plants you want the gravel will be fine. If you go larger than pea gravel (which is a bit larger than peas) plants are probably going to have to be potted. The cories really benifit from sand, though. Gravel is hard on their barbels.
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I changed my tank from gravel to sand and I think its much better. The corys love the sand and the plants are growing better. Its harder to work with at startup, but I really like the results. I used playsand but the washing is hard work. If you can afford it, get good quality aquarium sand from a fishstore. If not then the playsang is 7$ for 50# but you pay in hours of washing.
Just an idea, good luck with your tank.
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