Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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adewitt 03-31-2011 12:40 PM

Purchasing used tank, filter question
 
Hello!

Before I had children, I started getting into raising fish, guppies mostly and some platies. I had just started learning the basics, used small tanks- a 20 gallon and a 10 gallon. Then my now husband came along and screwed that all up for me! Just kidding... Anyway. My kids are out of the baby stage, and their favorite place in the store to visit is the fish section. They would probably spend hours just watchin the fish if I let them. So I've decided to get back into fish, and started looking around for a stand for a 40 gallon tank that I had given to me. In my search I ran across a used hexagon shaped tank for $125 with the following accessories:

Hexagon Tank
Wood Stand
Fluval 204 Filter (New is $129.99)
Under Gravel Filter (Needs New Power Head)
Black Gravel washed and ready (About 50lbs)
Coral
Magnetic Tank Scrubber
Air Pump
Light
Tank Heater

Now I hadn't gotten far enough into my fish adventures to know what on earth the Fluval 204 filter means to me..but I want to purchase this tank for the fact that it's a hexagon tank and it will take up a LOT less room than my rectangle tank. Could anyone help me with this? I believe my filter from my old tank was a Whisper?? But not positive. Just want to know if this Fluval filter will be user friendly and if it's a good filter to use. Also, I am not PLANNING to use the under gravel filter, as I am not sure what it would cost me to replace a power head, but would be open to doing so if I need to. I do plan to purchase live plants and have heard they don't do well with under gravel filters. Thanks for your time! (I did try looking up the filter but kept finding posts on yahoo questions and so on of people having problems getting it to work, not much about the actual filter.)

Aime

LasColinasCichlids 03-31-2011 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adewitt (Post 634888)
Hello!

Before I had children, I started getting into raising fish, guppies mostly and some platies. I had just started learning the basics, used small tanks- a 20 gallon and a 10 gallon. Then my now husband came along and screwed that all up for me! Just kidding... Anyway. My kids are out of the baby stage, and their favorite place in the store to visit is the fish section. They would probably spend hours just watchin the fish if I let them. So I've decided to get back into fish, and started looking around for a stand for a 40 gallon tank that I had given to me. In my search I ran across a used hexagon shaped tank for $125 with the following accessories:

Hexagon Tank
Wood Stand
Fluval 204 Filter (New is $129.99)
Under Gravel Filter (Needs New Power Head)
Black Gravel washed and ready (About 50lbs)
Coral
Magnetic Tank Scrubber
Air Pump
Light
Tank Heater

Now I hadn't gotten far enough into my fish adventures to know what on earth the Fluval 204 filter means to me..but I want to purchase this tank for the fact that it's a hexagon tank and it will take up a LOT less room than my rectangle tank. Could anyone help me with this? I believe my filter from my old tank was a Whisper?? But not positive. Just want to know if this Fluval filter will be user friendly and if it's a good filter to use. Also, I am not PLANNING to use the under gravel filter, as I am not sure what it would cost me to replace a power head, but would be open to doing so if I need to. I do plan to purchase live plants and have heard they don't do well with under gravel filters. Thanks for your time! (I did try looking up the filter but kept finding posts on yahoo questions and so on of people having problems getting it to work, not much about the actual filter.)

Aime

Hi Aime!
A couple of answers for you...
1- The Fluval 204 is a canister filter. I dont have experience with canisters (I always have used HOBs), but I can tell you that if you are unfamiliar with a canister filter it can be kind of frustrating until you figure out what you are doing. See if the person selling the tank has the instruction manuel to the filter. If I am correct, the 204 is an older model, as I am finding the 205 available at Petsmart...here is the link to it...
Fluval External Canister Aquarium Filters - Filters - Fish - PetSmart

2- Everyone has mixed opinions on undergravel filters (UGF). There is a great thread on them here at TFK... http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...not-bad-56285/

3- As far as powerheads are concerned, they arent that pricey to replace... At Petsmart you can buy the TopFin brand powerheads as cheap as $19.99.

4- Regarding the use of the UGF, I think it would be beneficial, and if you want to do live plants there are a couple of ways to get around it. One being to use stem plants that dont need to be rooted in the substrate. Also, if you want rooted, they sell in garden stores & some aquarium stores, little clay pots that you can plant them in that way it wont interrupt the UGF and that the UGF cant remove stuff that the rooted live plant needs. But the use of the UGF is totally up to you.

5- What gallon size is this tank you are talking about? Just a reminder that with hex tanks, they are normally tall, which can limit your choice of fish. As in a hex, active swimmers cannot be kept, nor can long fish. Just something to keep in mind. Oh and before I forget, rewash the gravel they said is already washed...you never know what gets on it inbetween transporting.

6- Just a few things to remind you about what you will need to get to start your journey back into fish keeping (heck, maybe you already have some from the last time!)... API Master Test Kit for water parameter testing, a dechlorinater (Prime is popular, I tend to use API StressCoat), and you already have one of the most important tools...being a member here at TFK!!! Welcome!!!

And just to help refresh yourself in the fishkeeping world, here is a link to an article about the entire cycling process and the different ways you can go about doing it.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

Just a quick reminder...once you get the tank set up, before you start shopping for fish, figure out your pH and water hardness, then come back to TFK with that info and based on your tank size with the hardness and pH we can help you figure out what fish will best suite your tank and your kid's attention.

Welcome back to the hobby...we look forward to being along for your journey back into fish keeping!!!

SeaHorse 03-31-2011 04:43 PM

Is the Fluval 204 a Cannister type filter with long hoses or a HOB Hang On Back type? I have a Fluval 303 cannister which is sooooo old it does not even have a "primer" pump on the top. It came with a squeeze ball like a turkey baister to pull the water thru to get it started. When I can get it started it is amazing but needless to say starting it is a "_itch"!!!!! I have it running right now since I broke the spinner post in my Eheim 2215 and the LFS did not have parts in stock. If you decide to buy a new filter research them and ask lots of questions. Ones with bio wheels and layers in a cannister do not get replaced they way we used to years ago. There are many options out there.
Just to ask... do you know about cycling a new tank?

adewitt 03-31-2011 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LasColinasCichlids (Post 635100)
Hi Aime!
A couple of answers for you...
1- The Fluval 204 is a canister filter. I dont have experience with canisters (I always have used HOBs), but I can tell you that if you are unfamiliar with a canister filter it can be kind of frustrating until you figure out what you are doing. See if the person selling the tank has the instruction manuel to the filter. If I am correct, the 204 is an older model, as I am finding the 205 available at Petsmart...here is the link to it...
Fluval External Canister Aquarium Filters - Filters - Fish - PetSmart

2- Everyone has mixed opinions on undergravel filters (UGF). There is a great thread on them here at TFK... http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...not-bad-56285/

3- As far as powerheads are concerned, they arent that pricey to replace... At Petsmart you can buy the TopFin brand powerheads as cheap as $19.99.

4- Regarding the use of the UGF, I think it would be beneficial, and if you want to do live plants there are a couple of ways to get around it. One being to use stem plants that dont need to be rooted in the substrate. Also, if you want rooted, they sell in garden stores & some aquarium stores, little clay pots that you can plant them in that way it wont interrupt the UGF and that the UGF cant remove stuff that the rooted live plant needs. But the use of the UGF is totally up to you.

5- What gallon size is this tank you are talking about? Just a reminder that with hex tanks, they are normally tall, which can limit your choice of fish. As in a hex, active swimmers cannot be kept, nor can long fish. Just something to keep in mind. Oh and before I forget, rewash the gravel they said is already washed...you never know what gets on it inbetween transporting.

6- Just a few things to remind you about what you will need to get to start your journey back into fish keeping (heck, maybe you already have some from the last time!)... API Master Test Kit for water parameter testing, a dechlorinater (Prime is popular, I tend to use API StressCoat), and you already have one of the most important tools...being a member here at TFK!!! Welcome!!!

And just to help refresh yourself in the fishkeeping world, here is a link to an article about the entire cycling process and the different ways you can go about doing it.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

Just a quick reminder...once you get the tank set up, before you start shopping for fish, figure out your pH and water hardness, then come back to TFK with that info and based on your tank size with the hardness and pH we can help you figure out what fish will best suite your tank and your kid's attention.

Welcome back to the hobby...we look forward to being along for your journey back into fish keeping!!!

Oh WOW thank you for the very informative post!!! I did not even think about the fish being limited to swimming in a hex tank, so maybe I will rethink my decision to purchase this tank, just for the happiness of my fish! It is a 40 gallon tank, and I definitely plan for guppies, they are one of my favorites and the kids love them as well. Have not thought of what else I will be puting in so I will definitely stop by with my info for some advice later when the tank is set up! I did save a lot of chemicals I had left in the hopes that I would restart my hobby. I had my kids only 15 months apart so I was basically pregnant two years, and now the kids are 2 and 3, so this is something they would love to help out with as far as setting up and puting in the water and feeding the fish goes. I am very excited to get back into it!! Thank you so much!!
Posted via Mobile Device

LasColinasCichlids 03-31-2011 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adewitt (Post 635112)
Oh WOW thank you for the very informative post!!! I did not even think about the fish being limited to swimming in a hex tank, so maybe I will rethink my decision to purchase this tank, just for the happiness of my fish! It is a 40 gallon tank, and I definitely plan for guppies, they are one of my favorites and the kids love them as well. Have not thought of what else I will be puting in so I will definitely stop by with my info for some advice later when the tank is set up! I did save a lot of chemicals I had left in the hopes that I would restart my hobby. I had my kids only 15 months apart so I was basically pregnant two years, and now the kids are 2 and 3, so this is something they would love to help out with as far as setting up and puting in the water and feeding the fish goes. I am very excited to get back into it!! Thank you so much!!
Posted via Mobile Device

I too am slightly partial to my beloved guppies. They are entertaining, colorful, and many choices of patterns and colors to choose from.

A 40 gallon would house a nice amount of guppies. They do tend to stay closer to the top of tanks, so you might consider bottom dwellers (such as cories), as well as a middle level school, such as a non-nippy tetra that will fit your water parameters. Guppies arent as active swimmers as say Rainbowfish, however, they would do better in a longer tank verses tall.

If you have ANY questions, feel free to post a thread here on TFK, or you can PM me...I am on here at least 2-20 times a day! lol I wish I was kidding! I have become rather addicted to my fish keeping hobby, and although I dont know everything, yet, (and dont know if anyone truely knows everything about it), but I know enough to help people and also can refer you to other members that know things I dont.

Getting the tank set up, cycled, and then starting the stocking process is the most exciting part! Congrats! Hope to see you on here more often!

adewitt 03-31-2011 10:52 PM

I think I've decided to just go with my 40 gallon rectangle tank instead, because I know how easy it is to make fish unhappy! I would rather not take that chance! Will let you know when I get set up and ready to stock!! Very excited. The kids don't know about the tank yet :) will be a surprise for them. The local Walmart is remodeling into a Supercenter, so they've taken out the fish my children just HAVE to swing by everytime we go. Speaking of which, I've never been to a Walmart that had happy, healthy looking fish lol. It makes me sad. Talk to you soon!

adewitt 03-31-2011 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jakiebabie (Post 635109)
Is the Fluval 204 a Cannister type filter with long hoses or a HOB Hang On Back type? I have a Fluval 303 cannister which is sooooo old it does not even have a "primer" pump on the top. It came with a squeeze ball like a turkey baister to pull the water thru to get it started. When I can get it started it is amazing but needless to say starting it is a "_itch"!!!!! I have it running right now since I broke the spinner post in my Eheim 2215 and the LFS did not have parts in stock. If you decide to buy a new filter research them and ask lots of questions. Ones with bio wheels and layers in a cannister do not get replaced they way we used to years ago. There are many options out there.
Just to ask... do you know about cycling a new tank?


Yes it looks like it's a canister style. I decided not to purchase the tank afterall. Thank you for your help! I do know about cycling!

LasColinasCichlids 03-31-2011 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adewitt (Post 635594)
I think I've decided to just go with my 40 gallon rectangle tank instead, because I know how easy it is to make fish unhappy! I would rather not take that chance! Will let you know when I get set up and ready to stock!! Very excited. The kids don't know about the tank yet :) will be a surprise for them. The local Walmart is remodeling into a Supercenter, so they've taken out the fish my children just HAVE to swing by everytime we go. Speaking of which, I've never been to a Walmart that had happy, healthy looking fish lol. It makes me sad. Talk to you soon!

I would definately avoid purchasing fish from walmart. See if you can find a local aquarium store near you, if not, even Petsmart or Petco are WAY better options than walmart...as I am sure you know.

I bet your kiddos will be super excited!!! We look forward to pictures and helping you along your journey!!!

adewitt 03-31-2011 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LasColinasCichlids (Post 635612)
I would definately avoid purchasing fish from walmart. See if you can find a local aquarium store near you, if not, even Petsmart or Petco are WAY better options than walmart...as I am sure you know.

I bet your kiddos will be super excited!!! We look forward to pictures and helping you along your journey!!!


Ohhhhhh yeah. I've been through THAT adventure before. I purchased some from Walmart once, never again. They infected my entire tank with Ick, poor fishies. I was so upset about it. I bought the fish at walmart when I ran across a couple guppies that were GORGEOUS and I couldn't stop myself. Wished I had known before that how poor their fish are. Lesson learned though. I used to buy from a place by where I lived, was a great supply store, but I don't live anywhere near there anymore so I will have to search out a store close by!

LasColinasCichlids 03-31-2011 11:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adewitt (Post 635620)
Ohhhhhh yeah. I've been through THAT adventure before. I purchased some from Walmart once, never again. They infected my entire tank with Ick, poor fishies. I was so upset about it. I bought the fish at walmart when I ran across a couple guppies that were GORGEOUS and I couldn't stop myself. Wished I had known before that how poor their fish are. Lesson learned though. I used to buy from a place by where I lived, was a great supply store, but I don't live anywhere near there anymore so I will have to search out a store close by!

A way to avoid the issues with infected fish from Walmart is to set up a small quarentine tank, like maybe a 10 gallon (Even a 5 gal if you only use it to QT like 1-5 small fish, like guppies). Keep it with bare minimal needs like no gravel, an HOB filter or sponge filter, a heater, and maybe a cave incase you ever get something that likes to hide. Then leave the new fish in the QT for a few weeks until you are sure they are illness free. And if an illness shows up while they are in QT then you can deal with them, and the rest of the fish are safe. (Of course your first set of fish in the new tank wouldnt need to be QTed since there would be no one for them to infect.)

I LOVE the idea of a QT, but I dont have the space to do it. Although my 5 gal has been used somewhat in that purpose, except that the frog is always in there, lol.

The ONLY fish I ever got from Walmart was a great deal! I got an Albino African Clawed Frog...that thing grew fast, and I was new to the hobby, had no clue what I was getting into...those frogs get to be like the size of a softball!! And then it started eating my fishies :( It has a special taste bud for guppies :evil:. Long story short...I talked a Petsmart manager into taking him and letting him live in their live plant set up they use to have (it use to be set up like a fountain with 3 teirs of short 40 gallon tanks that trickled into one another full of nothing but live plants)...I went back to check on the evil frog often...they always had wonderful stories to tell of it jumping from one teir to the other, and how they fed him minnows. They legally couldnt sell it, so it became the store's "pet", until a gentleman came through, knew what he was, and they let him have him. I think I paid like $1.99 for that frog...later that year I went into my now LFS, and they were selling them for like $20-50 depending on how big you wanted it!! Craziness!!!


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