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-   -   Finally got a 55 (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/finally-got-55-a-41525/)

Castro235 04-20-2010 08:24 PM

Finally got a 55
 
Hey guys, some of you may remember the 300 gallon plan, but that person disappeared, so unfortunately I'm guessing it was all a hoax, but my weeks of browsing craigslist and bartering finally paid off.


Just got a 55 gallon tank for 30 dollars with a bunch of goodies, best deal I've seen by far.

It has a wooden stand, not the best structure I've seen, but it didn't budge when i laid down on it and flailed all around(I think that's the proper testing method lol) so I'm assuming that's a good 400 pounds of pressure with all the movement, and since they were using it before I'm sure it'll be fine.


Has a light fixture with 2 fluorescent bulbs, the wire is frayed about halfway, but thats a quick fix with the handy dandy soldering kit and some electrical tape, it also has what appears to be all the parts for a really large filter, looks like the emperor or penguin filters I've seen for like, 80 or 100 gallons, I'm hoping I can get that working, and it also has a submersible heater that seems to be okay, as well as a whole bucket of goodies.

Have a picture of just the tank and stand, but it's just a 55 gallon tank on a stand, so I don't think it's really worth posting up here, but I'll post some pics once I have the stuff cleaned and set up.


Planning on getting a few hundred pounds more of the playsand I got, and then I'll be cleaning that really good, and looking for some good rock and slate deals, and maybe some deals on decorations, but I think I'll probably be ending up with a natural(a.k.a. cheap) sand and rock formation theme, as well as some plants that can do good with the lighting I end up with and the room temperature water.



Hopefully this time since I got as far as having the tank, I'll be posting some pretty active progress pics in here.


And any suggestions or input is always welcome as usual!!




Anthony

JohnnyD44 04-20-2010 08:56 PM

congrats on the new tank!!!!

I love finding a good deal on craigslist!!!

just one quick question....you said you were getting a couple hundred pounds of sand???? That seems like overkill to me....but some like deep subtrates...I'm guessing thats the route your taking?!?! :-) Keep in mind the water alone will weigh approx 450 pounds...if you add slate and then all that sand, you might be pushing 1,000 pounds...

either way, congrats on the deal and can't wait to see some pics!!! :-)

Castro235 04-20-2010 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 (Post 366461)
congrats on the new tank!!!!

I love finding a good deal on craigslist!!!

just one quick question....you said you were getting a couple hundred pounds of sand???? That seems like overkill to me....but some like deep subtrates...I'm guessing thats the route your taking?!?! :-) Keep in mind the water alone will weigh approx 450 pounds...if you add slate and then all that sand, you might be pushing 1,000 pounds...

either way, congrats on the deal and can't wait to see some pics!!! :-)

Well, from what i read I'm going to lose alot of the sand in the cleaning process, i figure 100-200 pounds should fill it, and at 4 bucks a bag, I figure I'll just grab three or four bags, clean it, and worst case I either buy more or have extra.


Before I buy any more I'll be cleaning the 50 pounds I have and seeing how far that gets me to give myself a better idea.

Castro235 04-20-2010 10:41 PM

Looking through the stuff, guess I have a protein skimmer with a maxi-jet 1200 powerhead, and I'm kind of confused about it.

It looks like having a protein skimmer is pretty useless, but it's the maxi-jet that's intriguing.
I can't find much on it really, but it mentions submersible or external, so I was wondering if I could use it as a regular pump for air-powered things like airstones or a sponge filter or anything.


Thanks for anything in advance.

rsn48 04-21-2010 01:14 AM

Start hitting Craig's list for a canister filter for your tank. I'm assuming you want a planted tank (you may not); if you do get new tubes for your light set up, don't use the old ones, probably weren't replaced when they should have (every year). Get tubes in the 6500 to 6700 Kelvin range, don't buy the ones that say they're good for plants.

55 is a fun tank to own.

Mikaila31 04-21-2010 02:54 AM

use caution with deep sand. You will get aerobic pockets if you do not properly shift it on a regular basis. I deal with the same thing in my 55gal were too much waste gets built up in the gravel. It can and most often will cause gasses to build up under the substrate. IMO it is not harmful if you are aware of it and stay on top of it. Unless you need the sand deep I don't really see a reason to want to deal with the issue. You run a greater risk of having this problem when you start to get around 2 inches of substrate. I don't see any need to go over 3 inches unless you are layering and capping "soil" in a planted tank.

Castro235 04-21-2010 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rsn48 (Post 366615)
Start hitting Craig's list for a canister filter for your tank. I'm assuming you want a planted tank (you may not); if you do get new tubes for your light set up, don't use the old ones, probably weren't replaced when they should have (every year). Get tubes in the 6500 to 6700 Kelvin range, don't buy the ones that say they're good for plants.

55 is a fun tank to own.



I was hoping to stick with an HOB setup, looking mostly at an emperor 400 or something in that area.

I plan on getting new tubes regardless, waiting until I decide what's going to be in the tank before I get them though.

I've been looking at a few plants, but want this to all be as easy and low tech as possible, so mostly looking at java fern and java moss.

The tanks going to be for my three goldfish (One comet, one common, one that I can't distinguish between the two)

I don't know what else will be going in the tank, but have been thinking about malaysian trumpet snails, cherry or ghost shrimp, freshwater clams, or maybe weather loaches or something, but that's all in due time.


Will a canister filter really be the only good choice for this?

Seems like the tank is still small enough that a good HOB filter would be adequate, but I'm still new to all this so maybe that's not going to be a very good option.

Castro235 04-21-2010 04:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikaila31 (Post 366643)
use caution with deep sand. You will get aerobic pockets if you do not properly shift it on a regular basis. I deal with the same thing in my 55gal were too much waste gets built up in the gravel. It can and most often will cause gasses to build up under the substrate. IMO it is not harmful if you are aware of it and stay on top of it. Unless you need the sand deep I don't really see a reason to want to deal with the issue. You run a greater risk of having this problem when you start to get around 2 inches of substrate. I don't see any need to go over 3 inches unless you are layering and capping "soil" in a planted tank.

I'm only planning on going an inch or two with the soil, and I've been looking into trumpet snails and clams seeing if they're really as good as people say for keeping the subbstrate moved around, I don't mind the idea of stirring up the sand every time I do a water change(which would be more than it seems is necessary) but it just seems like every time I do I'll be messing up everything on the tank floor, so I'm hoping to have some luck with finding good bottom-diggers.

And as far as the sand over gravel, I'm trying to keep this project costing as little as is necessary, and I just can't justify spending a dozen times as much on gravel, when I like the look of sand better, and don't mind a higher maintenance substrate.

PRichs87 04-21-2010 04:49 PM

Loaches will stir your sand, they like to bury themselves in it!

Castro235 04-21-2010 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PRichs87 (Post 366880)
Loaches will stir your sand, they like to bury themselves in it!



So weather loaches might be a good idea then?

Will they have much impact on the bio-load, since the 3 goldfish will already be over what I should have in a 55 gallon, i was thinking snails and clams and such might have a nice small footprint to keep things from being too hectic.


Any clues from anyone on the maxi-jet 1200 to power airstones and such? Powerheads are still a little fuzzy to me.

And anyone have a suggestion on if an HOB is unplausible? I can go grab a nice new emperor 400 for 36 bucks while they're still on sale, and thats what I ideally wanted, any words of advice on it?


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