Going from desktop aquariums to 55gallon or 75gallon. Planning/stocking/experiences? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-25-2015, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Going from desktop aquariums to 55gallon or 75gallon. Planning/stocking/experiences?

My family has gone from thinking I'm a little excessive in my fishkeeping to enabling more multiple tank syndrome.

We have a stone peninsula shelf thing that is 2 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and 10 feet long. The wall has a drain that goes to the garden. It's not in the same room as a faucet, the closest is a garden hose spigot in the backyard and then the kitchen sink.

My dad said that I could use that spot for a tank and asked how big a tank I can handle.

But it's sort of difficult to say without experience, but I also don't wanna spend for a bigger tank and then hate it. Well, I doubt I would hate it, but unforeseen consequences or something? I know bigger tanks need less changing, but 20% of 50 is already 10 gallons. I spend about 1 hour every Sunday towards cleaning the aquariums I have so far. How big a difference in time spent is there between maintenance for like 20 gallons than 55gallons?

I was thinking something like the Top Fin 55gallon or 75gallon at Petsmart. I want a 4-foot long aquarium, but the height and depth is what I'm not settled on. Does having 20 more gallons and the different footprint make a big difference with 55g vs 75g?

So far the idea I have is definitely planted and maybe natural planted with soil plus a sand cap. I just like plants a lot, but probably on the middle to low tech side. I mainly don't wanna deal with adding CO2.

I would like a community that includes corys that can handle my hard as rocks ph7.8-8 water (bronze corys maybe?) and one type of schooling fish and some larger centerpiece fish. While searching around, I saw angelfish and gouramis suggested, but what other options are there? Also saw cichlids, but they aren't very plant friendly, right? I think a gourami is probably the idea I like best out of those three.

The only fish I'm against is livebearers. My family would probably like something really bright and active in the tank because their favorite thing is an overstocked guppy tank...

5.5g: empty
20g tank: 5 neolamprologus multifasciatus + babies
4g: Nick - doubletail male
75g: harlequin rasbora, peacock gudgeon, green cory
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-26-2015, 06:20 AM
Lots of questiones :) so I will try at a few. First off I have a 55 gal tank from Petco and I love it, depending on what you go with should only take an hour to swap out 20-30% of the water, maybe another 20 to clean the glass and stuff. I also own a 90 gal and that take only another 20 to clean than my 55. So bigger isn't that much more work.

I have done the dirted tank on my 55, its in my profile if u want to look.
So for a dirt tank I wouldn't go sand (you will have a swap gas mess way faster)
1inch dirt 1-2 inch rocks......really important that you only use one inch of dirt!!! And cap with gravel. (Allows the gas to escape rather than build up)

Plant and fill.....don't add fish too early
P.s. If you want a good website for plants I can pm where I got mine

The tank will go threw a really dirty period, so dont stock right away!! You will want to do a big wc every day for a week, then everyother day for another week. After that your water should look clear, you just have to get the tannins out slowly.

After the plants root in the dirt you might have the thought, "why do people try and grow these plants in something other than dirt"

Last edited by Embouck7; 01-26-2015 at 06:22 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-30-2015, 02:38 PM
As for cichlids, German blue rams are lovely little fish and make a good centerpiece. I have a pair of them in my 120 gallon, and while they are not very big they definitely run the whole tank. They (at least mine) are very peaceful and never bother anyone. They eat right alongside all the other community fish. My tank is planted, and they do not bother the plants at all. You could also do a pair of apistogrammas instead of the rams.

As for water changes, I find my largest tank (120 gallons) to be my easiest change. I have the thing filtered within an inch of its life, so there is almost never any poo on the bottom of the tank to siphon out. I use a water changer to do the water change - you can even just use a garden hose with a faucet hookup. I keep a big, strong suction cup handy for this. I set the intake of the water changer in the tank and suction cup it so the very end of the tube is at the halfway mark of the tank. Then I start the siphon and walk away. (I do use nylon window screen mesh over the intake so no fish get sucked up.)

You don't have to worry about it draining too much from the tank because you've secured the hose at predetermined level so it can't take too much water. I can do a complete drain, vacuum, and fill of my 55, 25, and 20 gallon tanks while the 120 empties out the window. Then I go back to the 120, add the water additives, and start filling it back up while I then go and change out my remaining two 10 gallons, one 8g, and one 5g. You do obviously have to keep an eye on the tank while it's re-filling, but after a few weeks you will have it down to a science.

Bettas: Roland, Belle, Snow White, Polo, Elise, and Titan. | 120 gallon community tank | 55 gallon angelfish tank | 20 gallons of guppies
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-31-2015, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Good to hear the maintenance is not too much.

I'm starting to skew towards 75gallons. The 55gallon is 1 foot wide and having a 1 foot wide tank on a 2 foot wide peninsula might not look so great. That and I went and looked at a 55gal when I went to pick up some stuff and it didn't seem as intimidating as I imagined.

Got my feet wet with a small dirt tank recently.

5.5g: empty
20g tank: 5 neolamprologus multifasciatus + babies
4g: Nick - doubletail male
75g: harlequin rasbora, peacock gudgeon, green cory
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