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Hi All,

I just purchased a 150-gallon tank from a person who lives a few houses down from me. That tank has not been used in 10 years. This person was going to set up the tank then came to the realizations they could not afford to get it up and running. The tank has a stand, pumps, overhead lights, heater, new gravel and several other things. The tank has been filled and tested for leaks

At this point I a smart enough to know I was in over my head, needed good help setting this beast up and go with a fresh water fish. I have hired someone to set the tank up for me. The told me it would take 3 to 4 weeks before we can put fish in the tank but I would need to answer three questions in-between then. Those questions were:

1) How much was I willing to spend
2) What theme do I want for the tank
3) What type of fish do I want (big fish, salt water look a likes)

To start where can I find pictures of fish tanks? I have young kids so a child theme would be nice.

Thanks

Big M
 

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well if you want salt water look alikes, then you are definitely going to have to go with cichlids, they range in color a ton though since there are a few thousand species, but tell me the colors you want and I can tell you what species to go with

also cichlids can be quite expensive at local fish stores, plus they usually have bad quality cichlids, so always buy from a breeder or an internet site, I can also tell you where to go after you tell me what species you want
 

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Is waiting 3-4 weeks before adding fish normal? Can't you just treat tap water with an angent and put fish in the same day or a few days later?
 

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It is normal to wait before adding fish. Your aquarium is a mini eco-system. You need to wait for beneficial bacteria to grow in your tank before it can handle fish.
 

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There are products you can buy to speed up the process, but they are rather expensive. Though, you dont want to not put any fish in, because then there is no Ammonia to start the cycling process. You will need just a few fish, maybe like 6 goldfish, around 3 inches in length to cycle a tank of that size, also what type of filtration do you have
 

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The tank NEEDS to be cycled. Every tank does or you will just waiste your time and money putting fish in and just watching them die. Its a deathtrap waiting to happen. If you are planning on doing a fishless cycle than you need a source of ammonia. Hardware stores sell them, the product ' boots ' has a pure ammonia source. The ammonia in there will help get the cycle started...

But if you want the easier route, there is cycling the tank with some fish. I would not put in goldfish. You are doing a tropical set up and Goldfish DO NOT belong in tropical tanks. Some good hardy fish for cycling a tank are some zebra danios. They are very very hardy. Some platy's are also good too. Get a few of those and watch the water stats. The tank should be around 75-80 degrees.

The point of a cycle is to get bacteria in there, making bacteria colonies. The bacteria than eats the ammonia which than turns into nitrite. Which than turns into nitrate, which is a less harmful thing. Nitrates in a tank are good from 20ppm and under.

Oh i wouldnt recomend doing some cichlids, they are harder and more spendy.
You say you have kids and you would like it to be childish sort of?
I would go with some colored gravel than. Depending on what your kids like, blue usually suits well. Than some good ornaments that your kids will like. Live plants also look very good, and they help keeping the nitrate down a little bit.

I hope this all helps

Nick
 

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Great info Nick.....I would like to throw my 2 cents in also. Becareful about the ammonia that you add to the tank if you do a fishless cycle. I found "clear" ammonia at my local grocery store, however after reading the ingredients I found it contained ammonia hydroxide (which is what you want) but also a surfactant. Moral of the story is to read the ingredients and make sure it contains nothing but straight ammonia hydroxide.

Also, when you go to the fish store to buy a fish to begin the cycling process, make sure to ask them for a small bit of gravel from one of their cycled tanks. You can take this gravel home, pour it into an old pantyhose (my wife keeps yelling at me because all of her pantyhose seem to be mysteriously missing a foot) and then add it to your tank. This will help to "jumpstart" the cycling process, and give you a good source of the bacteria needed resulting in a faster cycling process. Good luck. Hope this helps.

Ken
 

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Yep hope we helped
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

I checked out the Cichlid's web page and that is what I am looking for. I seems like I need to go with a rock type tank set up. I meet with my set up person and he said for what I want I am looking to drop at least $1000 (wow). I am looking for some red, blue, orange or bright color fish. I was told the local fish stores will not have good quality Cichlids. Please let me know where to get some.

Thaks

Big M


Cichlid lover said:
well if you want salt water look alikes, then you are definitely going to have to go with cichlids, they range in color a ton though since there are a few thousand species, but tell me the colors you want and I can tell you what species to go with

also cichlids can be quite expensive at local fish stores, plus they usually have bad quality cichlids, so always buy from a breeder or an internet site, I can also tell you where to go after you tell me what species you want
 

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I certainly don't want to discourage you. But if you think you are in over your head now, do you really want to take on something like chiclids. Please don't get me wrong, I don't want to offend anyone by saying chiclids may not be the way to go, but maybe you should start off with something a little more forgiving.

I hope Chiclid Lover will chime in......... but I would rather have you spend your money on some colorful hardy tropical species instead of starting off with a species of fish that might not be so understanding (in regards to water quality, temperment, etc).

I hope I don't get flamed by the chiclid lovers, but I really do think you should reconsider and look at some other options...
 

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if it were going for cichlids i would study up on them find every thing u need for them meds test kits ect. (ps.there big poopers)
 

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Very interesting thread.
Ammonia can also be obtained through the chemist.

For cichlids, consider these categories:
Lake Malawi
Lake Tanganyika
Asia (Etroplus)-brackish conditions
South America
Central America
Africans(kribs, etc)-exclude Malawi and Tanganyika

South Americans are the most interesting. This consists discus, apistogrammas, pterophyllums, uaru, etc.

On the side note, NEVER mix cichlids from different categories.
 
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If your looking into cichlids and want color your best bet would be Malawi. If you choose Malawi do your research well Some are more aggressive then others. Yellow labs or peacocks are very colorful and less aggressive. Tanganikan cichlids are great also but you will not find the brighter colors. They do however IMO have more personality. Here is a link maybe it will help. I can't stress this enough if you wish to keep cichlids make sure you do your research first. Find, decide which species you want if more than one type make sure they have the same water params and needs.

Cichlids can be tricky to care for but only IF you do not do your research we have two tanks with cichlids one Tanganikan and one Malawi they are great fish to have much personality and great to watch but they do require a much different enviroment than your typical tropicals.

http://fish.mongabay.com/cichlids.htm
You can also find tropical on the site as well read about everything and then decide which way to go.

Tropical fish although are great fish to keep also. At 150 gallons you have the chance to have a great planted tank with many varieties of fish. Examples.. A shoal of Cardinal tetras would be beautiful there are many types of tetras you could go with. Rainbow fish are also very nice. Corys would make a nice addition as well. Personaly haveing 4 children of my own they tend to like the tropicals more my daughter has a 10gallon of her own. She loves the little shrimp and her tetra with a few zebra danios.

Best of luck
 

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Hello! Interesting that I found this topic, I am in a similar situation. I have had fish my whole life growing up, but have not had any for the last 4+ years. I am ready now to get a new tank and start again. I am planning on getting a furniture-style tank, 55-90 gallons. I was also looking at Cichlids for my species. Here is what I was thinking, please leave your input....

55-90 gal aquarium w/furniture style stand
Fluval canister filter (don't remember the model)
Sand-ish substrate
Rock formations
Live plants

For the fish I was thinking all Malawian Cichlids (and a couple Plecos), quantities of:
Electric Yellow (Yellow Lab)
Acei
Red Zebra

Those are all "semi-aggressive" is it OK to throw in some Blue Peacock's as well (they are "aggressive")? Also, can I put some cray-fish or shrimp, etc in there too?

I was told that Cichlids destroy plants, however I really want to have live plants. Would these work?:

Amazon Sword
Anacharis
Micro Sword

I am very open to any input as I have never had a really nice setup before. I am really excited to get started. Please let me know your opinions!!

Thank you!
 

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Hi and welcome,

With Mbunas, you'd worry about the sword plants.
 

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Mbunas = Malawian Cichlids? Thanks. Does the rest of the setup sound OK?
 

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Yes, they're Malawis. You can't go wrong with plants having tougher leaves. Javan ferns are the best plants as they are not easily eaten by fish. The plus is that they just anchor on the decor so digging isn't the problem.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. So is it OK to mix Blue Peacocks, crayfish, shrimp with the other Malawian Cichlids?
 

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Not the crayfish pls. They have large claws and can eat your fish.
Shrimps are not allowed either as the cichlids tend to turn them into snacks rather than mates.
Blue Peacocks(assuming this is Aulonocara) are ok.
 

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Yes it is Aulonocara! Thanks for the reply. Looks like I will be spending close to $1000 just for the tank (90gal), cabinet, and canopy! Does that sound reasonable? I am planning on getting this one: http://www.all-glass.com/products/stands/mseries_black.html

Not sure if I will get black or maple.
 
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