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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a used 20 gal. long fish tank with some parts. :lol: It came with two boxes that originally packaged filters, but I don't know what kind of filter it actually is (it wasn't in the box).

Any Help would be appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The two boxes were a Marineland biowheel power filter (what I think it is) and Aqueon quiet flow.
Here is the filter
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mt-mom/9231499703/
And here is the heater, (I think... or is it just a thermometer...it plugs in, and this is the only thing that could be heater, and I know they had a heater because they had tropical algae wafers...)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mt-mom/9231499835/
(I couldn't get the attach pics thing to work so...)
Also, should I boil the decor and reuse it? Same with the sand substrate? I plan on getting cories so I need sand anyway...
Thanks for any advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I've started cleaning the tank! (here's a pic so far: Fish Tank | Flickr - Photo Sharing!) So far all I've done is taken out the sand... but hey, it's a start! I've also tried to figure out how the hood goes... There is a hole for a filter and a heater, but the filter (I'm positive it's the biowheel, and it filters 200 gph so I think I'm good for that) doesn't fit in the hole... It looks like it was a two part hood, but we only have one part (I'm thinking that they only used that one, because of the filter not fitting the hole). Is this OK???? Should I cover the top with a towel or something to prevent jumping?
I know I should clean the tank with bleach water for bacteria/viruses, but does anyone know how to get rid of mineral deposits? (Image here: Fish tank mineral deposits. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!)
I'm planning to reuse the sand and decor they had in the tank, I know you should boil it, but for how long?
As far as water levels what I think I have is a pH of around 8 and DGH of about 7. But here's the link to the webpage with the chart so you can look at it for yourself http://www.flagstaff.az.gov/index.aspx?nid=98. (I hope this is the right chart...)
As for fish I plan on having- I plan to have 6 cherry barbs, 6 cories (depending on the variety, I'm not yet sure of what I'm getting, I'll probably get the minimum, this is what I read in general is the min. suggestions on what type?) and 13 neon tetras. For plants I plan to get java moss, water sprite, and pigmy chain sword. What do y'all think? I'm more than open to suggestions!
 

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I've started cleaning the tank! (here's a pic so far: Fish Tank | Flickr - Photo Sharing!) So far all I've done is taken out the sand... but hey, it's a start! I've also tried to figure out how the hood goes... There is a hole for a filter and a heater, but the filter (I'm positive it's the biowheel, and it filters 200 gph so I think I'm good for that) doesn't fit in the hole... It looks like it was a two part hood, but we only have one part (I'm thinking that they only used that one, because of the filter not fitting the hole). Is this OK???? Should I cover the top with a towel or something to prevent jumping?
I know I should clean the tank with bleach water for bacteria/viruses, but does anyone know how to get rid of mineral deposits? (Image here: Fish tank mineral deposits. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!)
I'm planning to reuse the sand and decor they had in the tank, I know you should boil it, but for how long?
As far as water levels what I think I have is a pH of around 8 and DGH of about 7. But here's the link to the webpage with the chart so you can look at it for yourself City of Flagstaff Official Website - Water Quality. (I hope this is the right chart...)
As for fish I plan on having- I plan to have 6 cherry barbs, 6 cories (depending on the variety, I'm not yet sure of what I'm getting, I'll probably get the minimum, this is what I read in general is the min. suggestions on what type?) and 13 neon tetras. For plants I plan to get java moss, water sprite, and pigmy chain sword. What do y'all think? I'm more than open to suggestions!
pH said between 7.7-8.2 but for some reason I couldn't find the hardness on the chart. might be called something else lol.

No idea what to clean the tank with. Ive bought mine new and always just rinsed with warm water. With the hoods, I know with my 20 gallon tank that we had to cut the plastic part with a dremel so my hob filter would fit on. but for the rest of my tanks i've thrown the hoods out and bought glass tops (they are kind expensive though). I prefer the look of the glass tops. All my tanks have a space between the top and the back of the tank for the filter to sit in and I've never had a fish jump out. I read somewhere that fish usually jump out of tanks when their water conditions aren't right. I'm sure fish jump for other reasons too, but I've never had the problem.

I have java moss and java fern in my 4 gallon betta tank. I am really bad with that lighting schedule and leave the blue LEDs on lots of time. My plants are still doing just fine. they are a hardy plant. Look under the reference material here and make sure you plants will fit to your water. Some plants like soft water, some like hard water, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
pH said between 7.7-8.2 but for some reason I couldn't find the hardness on the chart. might be called something else lol.
I don't remember exactly where I found it... at some pieces in the website (probably FAQ) there was one question that said something like "What is our water hardness" and the answer said "Our water hardness varies from 25 ppm to 325 ppm depending on the source of production. The average throughout the system is 125 to 200 ppm (7.3 to 11.7 grains per gallon). ".

Oh, lighting... right now it's a single fluorescent that has a "cool" bulb, 20 wats. Is this enough for a planted tank?
 

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I don't remember exactly where I found it... at some pieces in the website (probably FAQ) there was one question that said something like "What is our water hardness" and the answer said "Our water hardness varies from 25 ppm to 325 ppm depending on the source of production. The average throughout the system is 125 to 200 ppm (7.3 to 11.7 grains per gallon). ".

Oh, lighting... right now it's a single fluorescent that has a "cool" bulb, 20 wats. Is this enough for a planted tank?
What is the kelvin rating? Prolly something like 5000 or 6500. Should say on bulb.
 

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It says 9K?!?!
I would think u would be okay for some plants but im no expert. Byron would be my resource for that. Lighting is a hard subject for me and i really havent fully grasped the concept of freshwater lighting. Marine lighting is much easier imo lol
 

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Fluorescent tubes lose intensity as they burn. They need replacing regularly, long before they would actually burn out, or the reduced intensity will not be sufficient for plants and algae will have a field day. As this was a used system, I would replace the tube and not worry about what the present one is.

I will assume T8, as opposed to T5. These each have their own fixture. It should say on one end of the tube. "T" refers to the diameter in 8ths of an inch, so T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch diameter, and T5 is 5/8 (thus thinner). Your replacement tube should be the same length (probably a 24 inch tube, as the 20g long tank is 30 inches in length). Take the present tube with you to be sure.

You want a tube with a Kelvin rating around 6500K. With just the one tube over this tank, I would get one of the better makes, a Life-Glo or a ZooMed UltraSun. Make sure it is exactly one of these.

I have the Life-Glo over my single tube tanks, and I replace them every 12-18 months. I wouldn't go longer than 18 months.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alright! I'm going to PetSmart on Sat. anyway to get new filter media, thermometer (they had a stick-on-outside one, but I've read those are inaccurate), etc. so I'll be sure to check for one of these! Certainly wouldn't wan to add to the algae problem, especially with a "new" tank! *makes note to "clean up" all my motes BEFORE going to lps*
Thanks a bunch for replying so quickly!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You want a tube with a Kelvin rating around 6500K. With just the one tube over this tank, I would get one of the better makes, a Life-Glo or a ZooMed UltraSun. Make sure it is exactly one of these.
Ok, I actually went today! So, they didn't have either of these. :( They were recommending a LED light, thoughts? Should I just get a floraglow, or I've heard that full spectrum daylight is good...
Their plant section is pitiful!! there are like 5 different kinds of plants... ordering online. And I saw like five dead fish (probably more). Ah, petsmart...
 

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to clean off the mineral deposits you can try vinegar or CLR and a flat razor blade (like a box cutter blade) .. ya know, the trapezoid style? The pictures look like they just let water evaporate and that's the hard water stains that are left over.

Every petsmart is different. I have one near me that is ok, but if I go like 2 more miles there's another one that has 3x the livestock.

I've been doing a lot of research and from what I've read about the LED's that petsmart and petco offer, that they are very little for a lot of cash. They are kind of the equivelent of buying a long strip light for $70 for a single t8..

Lighting can be cheap, or expensive depending on what your goal is. Sounds like you want low tech (no co2 or daily fertilizing). A 20 long is 30 inches long and that can be a hard size (same as a 29 gallon) and usually most strip lights can be 24" bulb in a 30" long light fixture. I'm not sure of your budget but if you decide on LED's can I suggest

Amazon.com: Finnex FugeRay Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights, 30-Inch: Pet Supplies

I am making an assumption that you have a 2 part hood? 1 part with a hinge and clear plexi area (that the light sits on) and 1 long 30" light? this is the standard style hood. This fixture could fit in the plexi area and look like it belongs there. Another option is to get the 30" clear glass "versa top" and set it on that. Assuming you set it at the top of the aquarium (which is 12" deep) and have 2 inches or so of sand, that puts you at "roughly" 48 PAR which is considered medium light but not really super low.. you should be able to grow the plants on your list and not have to inject CO2. You'd also get even coverage and not have 2 large black areas where the 24" light isn't shining near the top of the aquarium.


This company (Finnex) is coming out with an LED later this year named the Fugeray Planted+ and I'm getting the 48" for my new 55 I just picked up.

Either way, Amazon is your friend. Petco/Smart is WAAAAYY over priced at FULL MSRP for everything!

Let me know if anything I said is confusing, I tend to ramble and get excited..


first edit: From the 1 picture of this tank it looks like a 20 tall. Is it 24" long or 30" long.? If it is 24" long it's a 20 tall. If your tank is 24" tall you'd just get the 24" version of that light and you'd be at "low" light (roughly 32 par)


Second edit: w00t 400th post, ! I'm getting up there in the world, but I'll never catch Byron LOL
 

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ACK I was editing the above post and I took too long. Some of my #'s are messed up cause I was fixing them.

let me clear it up:

20 long is 30" long
20 tall is 24" long

20 long is hard to light due to 30 inch length because no one makes a 30" T8 bulb, and if they do it's exclusive to something like Aqueon and you'll pay like 16.99 a bulb every year or whenever it burns out.

20 tall isn't as hard to light but it's taller so you might need a stronger light if you want to grow "medium" light plants,

With the fixture I linked:

24" version you'd be at 22 par which is very low light, wouldn't grow med plants
30" version you'd be at 32 par (all rough numbers by +-5) which is ok for all low plants and "some" medium plants. They'd just grow slow or tall and spindly

ACK.. why did I bother with this fixture? I've heard good things about it .. pricewise it's ok, but keep in mind that the doublebright (which is more expensive) has LOWER numbers and wont be as good for plants


Amazon.com: Finnex Ray2 Aquarium LED Daylight, 24-Inch: Pet Supplies
This would be good for plants, it's the next version up and would be good if it's a "TALL" tank, for the "LONG" tank the one in my other post is better.

I saw this one in my LFS the other day, it can mimic lightening storms :shock:

Amazon.com: Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light for Aquarium, 24 to 36-Inch: Pet Supplies

This would put you at roughly upper end of low light which IMO is good

Don't know why I didn't think of this unit in that whole last post.. it's a great unit. saw it in action
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
to clean off the mineral deposits you can try vinegar or CLR and a flat razor blade (like a box cutter blade) .. ya know, the trapezoid style? The pictures look like they just let water evaporate and that's the hard water stains that are left over.
Ah, ok. The Lady at Petsmart suggested it, but I wasn't sure if it was good... Cince they don't SELL vinegar I was more inclined to believe her but still... Let's hope vinegar does the trick! I got a LOT of it off with a bit of scrubbing, so let's hope! Yea... it looks like they didn't use it for a while before they put it out, but still kept water in it...
I've been doing a lot of research and from what I've read about the LED's that petsmart and petco offer, that they are very little for a lot of cash. They are kind of the equivelent of buying a long strip light for $70 for a single t8..
Alright then, I think I'll go with Byron's suggested light, but buy it on Amazon. Don't you just love that site?
From the 1 picture of this tank it looks like a 20 tall. Is it 24" long or 30" long.? If it is 24" long it's a 20 tall. If your tank is 24" tall you'd just get the 24" version of that light and you'd be at "low" light (roughly 32 par)
It is indeed a long, it's measurements are: 30 in. Length by 12 in. Width by 12 in. Tall.
Thanks for all your help!

On another subject... I used advisor and this is what I plan on doing:

(Yess!!! It worked this time!) It says with my filtration I can go to 126%. With that in mind, my mom thinks I should do a larger fish (only one or two) of some kind. Would there be anything y'all can think of?
 

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maybe a single male bolivan ram. Kind of stay on the bottom but always out front. My is so dopey I love him
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
O.O, so pretty.... *in trance* lol, but seriously they are so cute!! I've also heard that everyone loves these guys! Now with the BR it says 100% capacity, so I'd better stop there... :)

I forgot to mention before... my hood is for a bulb BIGGER than a T8, I think it's for a "regular" bulb, rather than an aquarium one. We'll probably end up getting a new hood (partly because of that, partly because We're not sure if it works as it got rained on). Would y'all suggest a fluorescent or LED? If LED which would you suggest of the three mentioned above? (probably either the 1st or 3rd one, cause it is indeed a long)

Also, I'm planning to do a fish in cycle, I was planning on doing the shrimp one (where you put raw food shrimp in a mesh bag, and let it rot) but the tank is going to be in my bedroom, and I don't want it smelling of rotting shrimp for two months, or whatever. plus my mom is used to just putting the fish in, from her childhood fish tank(s). I'm planning to use some cherry barbs, they are I think the hardiest fish I plan on having, so let's hope they survive! Thoughts?

And, How many of each of the plants should I get? Again they are:
Pigmy Chain Sword
Java moss
Water Sprite
Thanks again for all the info!
 

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if led go with the current for color customization for low light or the fugeray for a bit more par but no customization on lighting (medium light).

The current has a remote and like 4-6 memory inputs so you want a green tank, you get a green tank, or blue, or red lol. It can also simulate rolling clouds and lightening storms. I just wish it had slightly more par.
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O.O, so pretty.... *in trance* lol, but seriously they are so cute!! I've also heard that everyone loves these guys! Now with the BR it says 100% capacity, so I'd better stop there... :)

I forgot to mention before... my hood is for a bulb BIGGER than a T8, I think it's for a "regular" bulb, rather than an aquarium one. We'll probably end up getting a new hood (partly because of that, partly because We're not sure if it works as it got rained on). Would y'all suggest a fluorescent or LED? If LED which would you suggest of the three mentioned above? (probably either the 1st or 3rd one, cause it is indeed a long)

Also, I'm planning to do a fish in cycle, I was planning on doing the shrimp one (where you put raw food shrimp in a mesh bag, and let it rot) but the tank is going to be in my bedroom, and I don't want it smelling of rotting shrimp for two months, or whatever. plus my mom is used to just putting the fish in, from her childhood fish tank(s). I'm planning to use some cherry barbs, they are I think the hardiest fish I plan on having, so let's hope they survive! Thoughts?

And, How many of each of the plants should I get? Again they are:
Pigmy Chain Sword
Java moss
Water Sprite
Thanks again for all the info!
I love my bolivian rams :) they are beautiful and lovely fish. With the shrimp bag, you wont hafta leave it in for months, just until ur ammonia is at 1-2. Usually only takes a couple of days.
 

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I have heard nothing but problems with shrimp. I'd suggest going to ace hardware and ask for pure ammonia. Should only need a couple cap fulls to get to 1-2ppm. You will need an ammonia test kit. Put in ammonia, wait 1 hour and test, add more if needed and wait 1 hour test again. Test daily and add if necessary.
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Discussion Starter #20
With the shrimp bag, you wont hafta leave it in for months, just until ur ammonia is at 1-2. Usually only takes a couple of days.
REALLY? And that cycles the whole tank? Wow, I might just go with the shrimp after all... :D
I have heard nothing but problems with shrimp. I'd suggest going to ace hardware and ask for pure ammonia.
hmmmm... How much does the ammonia cost?
 
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