Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/forum.php)
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Hello All - new member who was give a 30 gallon tall tank with custom stand. My question is now what - what resources do you suggest that can give a play by play on all the items needed to set up properly. This forum is excellent and I need some guidence for a rookie - all input is very much appreciated. Thanks, Scott.
Hi reel gator, welcome to TFK!
The first thing I would suggest is just reading up about the nitrogen cycle. A sticky found at the top of this forum is a great place to do this.
Kudos to you for researching first btw.
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, and welcome to this wonderful hobby.:-D
I concur with rjwwrx on the cycling link. On a general note, did any equipment come with the stand and tank? Thinking of filter, heater, light.
I only have the tank, stand and an AquaClear power filter 50. All brand new. So I do need some suggestions for lighting, heater and any other items that would be suggested. I am very open to any and all recommendations. I want to do this right the first time. Appreciate your note and input. Let me know your thoughts, Thanks, Scott.
Reel Gator, looks like you have a great start in the tank and filter.
In order to answer any questions about lighting we first need to know if you plan on planting this tank? Also any ideas on what you would like to plant it with, as different plants have different lighting requirements. Browsing through the plants listed in the tropical fish profiles tab at the top of the page is a great start.
As for the heater, for this size tank you should get a heater somewhere in the range of 100 to 150 watts. Probably leaning towards 150 so it doesn't have to work as hard to heat the tank.
Another item you would want to consider is what substrate you would like in the tank? If you are going to plant the tank I would suggest going with a sand or very small gravel. If not planting then you can go with whatever appeals to you. You can also look into other tank decorations you would like, such as drift wood or rocks, and any artifical decorations.
Please let us know more about the direction you would like to take with your tank, and me and other more knowledgeable members can keep making recommendations for you!
A heater will be mandatory, unless you live in a permanently warm climate. This is one piece of equipment where it pays to buy the best. A heater that fails, whether it overheats or stops heating, can kill a tank of fish overnight. For a 30g I would suggest a 150w heater minimum, or a 200w heater. There are good brands and there are some quite unreliable brands. I got on the bandwagon of the new Fluval digital heaters a while back and got 3 of them, and one has already failed. And they are not cheap.:evil: I have never had trouble with my Tronic heaters (running for more than 12 years now), and my recently-acquired Eheim Jager seems well made (as one would expect from Eheim). Other members may have suggestions for good reliable heaters beyond the two I've mentioned.
Lighting somewhat depends upon whether or not you intend live plants. Many of us will strongly recommend plants, their benefits cannot be understated, and they are not difficult; but good light is critical. I have a 30g (29g actually) that is the standard 30-inch length, but you mention a 30g tall, so if you could give the dimensions (length, width, height) I could suggest some lighting.
When it comes to fish, we have profiles under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Water parameters of the source water, presumably tap water, are important as some fish need harder water than others, and some need soft water, while others manage in between. You can ascertain your tap water parameters from the water supply folks; many now have websites with data posted. The hardness, both GH |(general) and KH (carbonate or Alkalinity) is important to know [these usually won't change in the tank unless you target them somehow], plus the pH which is linked to the afore-mentioned. Numbers for shoaling fish (that need groups) and minimum tank sizes will also appear in the profiles.
Great input folks, thanks. The tank size is 24"L x 12"W x 24"H - So I want to be sure I get good strong lighting as this is a tall tank set up. Also am assuming will need a hood/cover of somekind. I am wanting to go with light colored sand as opposed to gravel as I do want to have live plants, please suggest what brand of sand works best for a freshwater set-up for live plants. Also do you think that the Aquaclear 50 filter will be powerful enough to filter without laboring or would a 70 be more appropriate?
My plan is to get the tank set/cycled and then step 2 will be to determine to fish schools etc. Appreciate the input and quidence.
And with "cycling", using live plants means there is no discernible cycle. Provided the tank is well planted, a few fish can be added and the plants assimilate the ammonia (as ammonium) very fast.
On the light, my recommendation would be two fluorescent tubes. Have a look online (places like DrsFoster&Smith, Big Al's, etc) to see what is available [I don't mind having a look at anything you find]. A dual T8 tube fixture that is 24 inches long should sit on the tank frame. You will also want a cover glass; check out the same online sources to see if a glass cover unit is available for the dimensions of your tank surface. These sit down on the lip around the inside of the tank frame. They are not expensive, and will have some arrangement whereby the front pane will open for feeding.
For good tubes, a full spectrum or daylight with a 6500K (K= kelvin) will work. We can discuss makes when we know more about the fixture. There might be a "hood" made for this tank but the problem is they are always single tube and that in this case with the greater depth will not be sufficient intensity; if you do see one with dual tubes, that is another option.
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