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Thread: First aquarium!

  1. #1

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    Default First aquarium!


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey everybody, first time poster and hobbyist here. I've always been a keeper of reptiles and over the past 5 or so years I have thinned my collection down greatly due to time constraints as well as room constraints. I've been thinking about trying my hand at an aquarium for quite sometime and have finally decided to give it a go. I plan on getting everything all set up after the holidays have passed as I would like to be able to have a good plan for everything in place and not have all the typical holiday distractions present so I can give it my full attention.

    As it stands I have a pretty large selection of empty tanks available to me. Sizes are, 10, 20L, 29, 40 Breeder (unsure of this one though as it was sold as a "reptile" tank and has sliding screen top) and a 75. My only consideration at this point is that the aquarium will be on the second floor of my home so I'm not sure if the 75 would be too heavy or not. I'm leaning towards using either the 29 or 75, if I can determine the weight will not be an issue. I've been told that bigger is better with a first aquarium so that's what I am going for. I plan to do a fishless cycle as that seems to be the preferred method and I wouldn't want to harm any fish.

    I'm very interested in live plants, as I always strove to create the most healthy and realistic environment possible for my reptiles. I'd like to keep the system relatively low cost at the moment though so I would like to avoid the super high light/c02 set ups I have read about. As far as low light options are concerned, Java moss/fern and Anubias seem to be popping up in a lot of my searches. Any other recommendations? How many watts am I striving for with such a set up? Do I add the plants during cycling? Is gravel still a suitable substrate with live plants?

    As far as filtration goes, I currently have an aquaclear 110 that came with a tank I bought second hand years ago. Would this be suitable for either of the tanks?

    I've just begun doing some more in depth research on fish for either size tank. I am thinking of using a dwarf gourami with some tetras if I go with the 29. For the 75 I saw a fish called a Bolivian Ram that looked gorgeous. I also liked the look of the silver or marbled hatchet fish. Are these suitable choices or should I looked elsewhere? FYI, I do plan on ordering my fish, as I only have big box retailers in my immediate area and would never trust them with reptiles, so I assume I should not with fish, unless someone tells me different.

    Thanks in advance for any help and getting me started on my new hobby!

  2. #2

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    Image - Welcome wave.gif to the AC!

    And yes, the bigger the better for a novice aquarist (it takes longer for things to go wrong). I would definitely go with the 75 gal - lots of options for aquascaping and fish. The reptile tank is not suitable for fish, as these tanks have thinner glass than what is needed to hold hundreds of pounds of water.

    A completed 75 gal weighs 850-900 lbs. Unless you have undersized floor joists, if you lay a piece of 3/4 inch plywood under the stand and position the tank perpendicular to the floor joists, I think you should be okay.

    Two Aquaclear 110s (AC110) would provide great filtration for a 75 gal (it's what I have on mine). You want to have a minimum of 2 times your tank size for filtration (filter(s) rated for at least 150 gal). You could also use the AC110 you have and add an API Filstar XP-M canister filter (rated for 75 gal). Buying your equipment online will save you big $$$ - there are many good vendors.

    Read thru the aquarium journals in the General Aquarium Forum for lots of ideas and answers to many of your questions. Post your inquiries here in the Beginner Freshwater Forum to get the most replies.

    Good luck!
    75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Silvertip & Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Pearl Gourami, Black Kuhli Loaches, Whiptail Cats, Wild Caught BNP
    Dual 29 gals - Diamond Tetras. Harlequin Rasboras, Bloodfin Tetras
    10 Gal - Mr. Betta's Fishy Paradise

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"

  3. #3

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    + 1 to Gronlaura, always go big or go home, LOL!! But being serious the biggest tank you can affort the better for all the reasons she pointed out.
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
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  4. #4

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    Tx for all the info on tetras!  I really want some African red-eyes now :) - angelcraze2   Thanks for letting me hang out with you - Taurus   No Message - BluewaterBoof   Congrats on the post count! - Slaphppy7   Thanks for all of the Cory threads - Silbar   
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    By the way, welcome to the forum, Iron Mike, LOL!
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
    -Vince Lombardi

    Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ― John Wooden
    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

  5. #5

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    Welcome to the AC...
    .
    You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler1 View Post
    + 1 to Gronlaura, always go big or go home, LOL!! But being serious the biggest tank you can affort the better for all the reasons she pointed out.
    Going to be a lot more expensive though. As a start in scaping a 20 gallon long is a nice size. I've seen tons of 75g beginners tanks where the aim was a planted tank and the result was 8 plants scattered around because the owner ran out of money.
    But hey, that's my 2 eurocents.

  7. #7

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    Little update. After some examining, the spot where I will be putting the tank does not run perpendicular to the joists. I'm going to save the 75 gallon for the basement when it is finished. For now I am going to go with the 29 gallon. I think the aquaclear 110 will be good for this size on its own?

  8. #8

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    That will be plenty filtration for the 29g.

    To save on aqua-scape costs, use pool filtration sand or similar cheap stuff, rinsed well. I have yet to do live plants, but java is good for low light, and moss balls are cool. Although if you have extra reptile lights, I think they could be used to grow plants too...

    I've had no luck with dwarf gouramis. The stock is usually diseased, and mine have all been very timid. 29g would give you enough room for a pair of dwarf cichlids. Best to wait until your tank has been stable and running for a while before adding bottom dwellers though....especially more sensitive types.
    20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!

  9. #9

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    Welcome to the AC.

    You may want to make sure you can use those tanks for fish if you used them previously for other creatures. I don't know a whole lot about it, but I've heard at least hamsters and guinea pigs can wreck a tank for fish. I think most of that might be them chewing at the seams, so you might be OK if you only had lizards in there. Worth checking out though if you haven't already before finding out anything the hard way.


    Shrimp and snail junkie... What can I say, I like the little things in life.


  10. #10

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    if your going with a 29 gallon a pair of bolivian rams or even germen blue rams with a school of some small fish would look great. maybe neon tetra or guppies
    i hear some people say, "i kept a goldfish in a bowl and it lived for a year."
    they don't know how lucky they were and all goldfish live at least 15 years in proper conditions.
    that is equal to saying my human lived in his closet for 5 years!

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