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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My neighbor sold me his 55 gallon tank and wood stand for 50 bucks.... in pretty much new condition, hes moving and dosnt want to take it... Im wondering what filter and air pump isnt the most expensive but not the cheapest...(not the best but not the worst) Its going to be a freshwater tank. Is the canister filter the best way to go there? I read alot of people have 2 filters why is this? is there not a canister or tank hung filter that can work alone and do a good job? On the air pump, is a Maxi Jet 400 powerhead pump good? Found one that pumps 106 gph and its $21.99 or is there a better way to go there? Would a single 100 or 150 watt heater work?? Well I guess those are my most pondered questions so far... The advice would be much appreciated. It is a 55 gallon.
 

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Hi and welcome,

I'd advise you to get external or internal filters. The brand Eheim works well as others have claimed. Fluval may not work and will often found to be defective. Pls avoid under gravel filter at all cost.
Air pump isn't necessary if the filter can create turbulent movements or if you're using only one heater.
A lot of people need 2 filters in order to produce efficient filtration. Underfiltration may result into faster deterioration of the water quality.
My advice is to read the sticky "Beginner's Guide" for more ideas and the Maintenance Procedure Guide in the Maintaining Freshwater Aquarium section.
With a 55 gallons tank, I'd say it's better to buy two 50 watts heaters to spread out the heat efficiently. Locate one in the turbulent area. Another can be located in an area where you can put the airstone connected to the airpump. Aim 2 watts per gallon on the heater.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
About the airstone do you burie it under the gravel? or dose it have to be stuck to the tank with suction cups? So 2 eheim tank hung filters? Is there a GPH I should look for on these for my 55 gallon?
 

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About the airstone do you burie it under the gravel? or dose it have to be stuck to the tank with suction cups?
No. Don't bury it. Just it leave it in the area where you're placing it. If it floats(some may float), then try to weigh down the tubing with a rock or wood.
So 2 eheim tank hung filters?
Yes. This should be efficient. Water changes is still a must. Don't rely too much on the filters.
Is there a GPH I should look for on these for my 55 gallon?
I'm sorry about this but I had to ask on what is GPH.
 

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The manuals usually state liter per hour.
4 liters=1 gallon
This should help you with the calculations.:)
 

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Dose an external filter (canister) need an air pump?
No need. External filters can work by themselves.
Air pumps are only for sponge filters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have you heard anything about Rena Filstar Canister filters? Will one canister keep the water crystal clear with regular water changes and cleaning?
 

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Have you heard anything about Rena Filstar Canister filters? Will one canister keep the water crystal clear with regular water changes and cleaning?
Never heard of its efficiency. One canister is ok. Just do 20% water changes weekly.

Let me know what fish you have and I'll try to sort out the schedule for you. Some fish poop a lot. More poop means more ammonia added. Without the beneficial bacteria, ammonia will increase which is toxic to the fish as the BB was supposed to convert them into nitrites. Then into nitrates which is the most harmless of the three.

Buy a test kit and pure ammonia. You need to cycle the tank first. Pure ammonia is available in the pharmacies or chemists.
Fishless Cycling manual is now available. It's in the sticky.:wink:

You may try cycling using zebra danios or platies but I wouldn't do that as that can be stressing for the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was about to ask about that..
IM just going to cycle it without anyfish, like you said it could stress the fish and id rather not so ill just do it without any fish...
I read in a book that during the cycling process you can try 3 red wag platies and 3 tiger barbs for the first batch and then after cycle is complete the 2nd batch is 3 neon tetras and 1 rainbow shark.... (for a 10 gallon tank was the example they gave) I guess it would be more for a 55 gallon? Do you know of better starting fish?

what are media baskets??
dose that mean two canister units?? or 2 media baskets on one canister?
 

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I read in a book that during the cycling process you can try 3 red wag platies and 3 tiger barbs for the first batch and then after cycle is complete the 2nd batch is 3 neon tetras and 1 rainbow shark.... (for a 10 gallon tank was the example they gave) I guess it would be more for a 55 gallon? Do you know of better starting fish?
IMO, that's only for dummies. Neon tetras are quite sensitive to changes and will not survive. Rainbow sharks and the other labeos are NOT suitable community fish. They are very aggressive.
Don't rely on the books and lfs' advice too much.:)

I'd stick with male platies and zebra danios. Don't get female platies. They will breed readily and you'll have troubles getting rid of them. Both fish are very hardy enough to survive extreme changes in water chemistry.
Pls avoid the labeos. Before you buy a fish, try to ask for experiences. Fish Compatibility is the place for asking what fish will suit in a community.

Good luck.:)

what are media baskets??
dose that mean two canister units?? or 2 media baskets on one canister?
It's in one canister.
I merge your 2 posts into one.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just read your sticky about cycling fishless..
You told me to get 2 50W heaters, its sayin in the sitcky to turn the heat upto 80 would I turn both on 80? Also after cycle is done its says change 80% of the water do i need to re-dechlorinate, add anymore amonia? and do I fill it back up with tap water?
 

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You told me to get 2 50W heaters, its sayin in the sitcky to turn the heat upto 80 would I turn both on 80?
Yes. Both heaters.
Also after cycle is done its says change 80% of the water do i need to re-dechlorinate, add anymore amonia?
Dechlorinate the water of course. Chlorine and chloramine can kill the beneficial bacteria thus you'll be forced to repeat the cycle again.
After cycling, no need to add ammonia. Just buy your first fish and their wastes will turn into ammonia which will eventually be converted by bacteria to nitrites, then nitrates.
With high nitrates, it can be remedied by adding plants like the elodeas and hornworts or do another water change(again dechlorinated).
Pls add your fish in a gradual manner so that the filter can also gradually adjust to the bioload.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cool this is some scientific stuff!!! ok about the plants do they need some kind of fertilization to grow in? or just plant in the gravel? How soon could the nitrates spike? Also how many fish should I add the first phaze and how long should I wait to add more?
 

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Fertilizers are available in solid and liquid forms. Get the one designed for aquatic plants. Horticultural ferts are dangerous as they usually contain additives.
Sera Florena is a liquid form and available in bottle. Sera Florenette is a solid tablet. Just bury the tablet under the gravel. Pls be aware that solid ones tend to support only the plants near it. Add those solid ferts by burying them every two weeks. As for liquid ferts, you may try to add weekly.
Be patient with the nitrates. Make sure you maintain the level of 10-20 ppm. Bacteria will convert nitrites into nitrates so it usually happens in the end of cycling.
Add about 2-4 fish every week. This is a gradual process. Adding all fish you planned may result to New Tank Syndrome. It's referred to adding too many at the same time which can pose a threat to the whole tank system. Too many fish by all of a sudden means too much wastes and ammonia that the bacteria can no longer try to cope with the amount of wastes. Again it's best to add gradually.
 

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I am also setting up a new tank and have a lot of the same questions. I have a couple more too!

If you are supposed to change 80% of the water at the end of the cycle, how do you dechlorinate the new water? Do you just fill up a 5gal bucket, add some dechlorinator, then dump it in the tank or do you have to let it sit for some time? Do you add the water to the tank and THEN add the dechlorinator?

I want live plants in my aquarium, can I put these in immediately or do I also have to wait until after the tank has cycled?
 

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If you are supposed to change 80% of the water at the end of the cycle, how do you dechlorinate the new water? Do you just fill up a 5gal bucket, add some dechlorinator, then dump it in the tank or do you have to let it sit for some time?
Just fill up the bucket with dechlorinator.Then stir and dump.

Don't put the water in the tank directly and then dechlorinating. This can kill the bacteria in the process due to presence of chlorine, chloramine and other heavy metals.

I want live plants in my aquarium, can I put these in immediately or do I also have to wait until after the tank has cycled?
You can add the plants during cycling.
 
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