Sarting Our75 Gallon
Here is our 75 gallon:
We spent $175 cash to get it. I haggled the guy down from $250. Well, a year later and still no full hood. Mid-April we'll be moving into a new place and hubs promises that I can finally get it up and running. xD
So I think we've settled on South American Cichlids with POSSIBLY some live plants. I'm also thinking about giving sand a try. Get rid of this "already dirty but hasn't been used" black gravel. The media inside the filter has already been used. But I'm not sure how long as they look pretty clean.
Any tips on starting my tank? Would a "kick start" kit be okay, or should I not use it? Should tank be cycling 24 or 48 hours? Any other tips will be greatly appreciated. BTW, this is the cheapest full hood I could find: Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Marineland Fluorescent Aquarium Hoods If ANYONE finds one cheaper please let me know.
Thanks in advanced! :)
That's so exciting for you, that you'll finally be able to set up your tank. And very exciting, too, that its a 75g. That's a great size, and you'll have plenty of choices!
A tank will not cycle in 24-48 hours. You can read more here: http://http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/
It won't matter, for the purpose of cycling, whether your substrate or filter material has been used or not, because its dried out and any beneficial bacteria will be long dead. You can seed from another, HEALTHY tank if the seed is kept wet in tank water, not expose to untreated water, and transported with in a short amount of time.
You may want to reconsider your choice on having plants. A heavily planted tank is beautiful, natural, great for the fish in many ways, and reduce or remove cycling hassles. We can help you figure out what kind of lighting to get, and what types of plants to get.
In the aticle above, take note of the different methods of "fish-less cycling", as these are the most humane. In this day and age, there's really no excuse for "fish in" cycling.
Before you decide on a type of fish or geographical area (which is a great idea, but let's back up for a moment), what are your water parameters (pH, hardness)? You can test your pH out of the tap and after having sit out for 24 hours with a testing kit. (You should get an API Master Kit, anyway, you'll need it later). The hardness (look for GH, KH) of you water can be found by either looking at your city's water works website, or by calling them. Knowing those numbers, we can see what species would like your water.
And, most importantly... WELCOME TO TFK! :-D
The plants I'm considering:
Green Cabomba Plant - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
Hornwort Plant - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
Anacharis Plant - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
Frill Plant - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
Moneywort Plant - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
Anubius Plants - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
Amazon Sword Plant - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
Java Fern Plant - Decorations - Fish - PetSmart
The taller, bushier plants I'd plant in the back and the smaller larger leafed ones I'd plant more in the front.
I've had fish since I was really young. 1st tank was 2 fan tails that lived for 5 years. 2nd tank had a shubunkin that i rescued from wally world (was terribly sick), 1 fan tail, 2 cories and a pleco. SOMEHOW the fish lived for almost 10 years. Since high school I've been owning betta after betta after betta. Along the while dreaming of the big tank set up.
I really had little to no knowledge of proper tank set up for whatever fish. Still kinda know little to none. But know a bit more. Especially after going through bettas.
I had a pH kit. Ran out of it last week. I am considering purchasing water test kits to do periodically on my own. What test kits would you recommend? Would you recommend stocking on any tablet treatments should my fish contract ick, fungus or other issues?
The Cichlids I am considering are: Jack Dempseys, Black Convicts, Red Devils, and Blood Red Parrots. I don't think I'll be adding all 4 of those breeds. I may also consider just getting some assorted african cichlids. Bottom feeders are FOR SURE going to be 4-6 Corys and possibly a pleco.
Sorry for all my questions:oops: BTw, in case you haven't noticed I'll be shopping at PetsMart the most xD
Thank you for the helpful advice :)
Jack Dempseys, Black Convicts, Red Devils are aggressive and not really what I would recommend looking at getting for someone who is just starting out.
Agreed that a 75g tank is the minimum size for a Red Devil and a single fish at that.
Plants - Anbuias (off hand I cannot remember which species) work with cichlids, there is something in them that doesnt taste too good for them, I have it in both my cichlid tanks and it has never been chewed at or destroyed.
The API Master Test Kit is $25 off Amazon.com which contains the 4 tests you need (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH (both high and low).
Buying those individually in strips costs more than that, and gives you fewer tests. Not a good deal anyway you look at it.
What Tazman said about Anubias tasting bad is right on. Java fern, too. Both of these can and should be tied to rock or wood. So this makes them a little bit more resistant to a large cichlid's (esp. Central Americans) 'redecorating', they won't be uprooting those plants, but being knocked around is going to take a toll on them. Its usually not worth the effort.
I saw this Aquarium salt for Freshwater. I read the container and it said it is to be added after water changes and when treating diseases? Why add salt to FRESHwater? Should it really be added on a regular basis?
Wow, that's a can of worms. Many different opinions on that. The short answer is that it depends on the species and situation. Most people here agree that its only possible use in a freshwater system is for treating specific illnesses in specific situations. So, do you need it for regular, daily use? The consensus is "no".
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