What else do I need to buy before starting up? Need specifics and lots of info.!
Let's start wrapping up the planning/beginning process : ) This will be a tiger barb-only tank of 8-10, plus one BN pleco and I am trying to plan accordingly.
Below are the things I currently own and would like some feedback as to everything else I will need, and I mean everything you can think of to begin! Essential water conditioners, miscellaneous etc.
Would also like some suggestions for easy to care for plants and whether or not I need to purchase extra substrate to place under the gravel for them
I own/about to purchase:
- 20 gallon tank + stand
- Air pump + stone (do I need these?)
- Hood and light
- Aquaclear 50 power filter
- Fish net
- Heater **which one should I get?**
- Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, PH testing equipment
- Natural driftwood from LFS. Plus background decor for barbs of course.
20 gallon Tiger barb Tank
You don't really need the air pump and air stone, they're usually just for aestethics, but if you like bubbles in your tank, i won't stop you.
For the heater in a 20G, i think 100-150watts should be enough. I recommend the visi-therm heater by marineland. Most will probably recommend ebo-jager, i'm just not a fan of it because it's huge. -_____-
For dechlorinator, hands down on Seachem Prime.
Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL
Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.
A couple five-gallon buckets from Home Depot, they're only a couple bucks each. They come in quite handy.
Since you're already thinking about live plants, now is the time to make sure you get the right light and substrate. If the hood has screw-in incandescent bulbs, you can replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs, which will give a nice boost to the lighting.
For substrate, something like Eco-Complete would be a good choice.
For a test kit, I recommend the API freshwater - it has everything you'll need to maintain your water parameters - and I don't think you'd need more than 1 bucket for water changes.
If you choose "easy" plants, you wont' need any special lighting either - it depends what you want in there.
Whatever heater you get, make sure it's adjustable - some come set at something.
You might also consider getting a 5gal tank to use for quarantine purposes - you won't be adding all your fish at once and quarantining is the best way to avoid bringing in illness and diseases to your main tank. Plus it can be used for a sick fish.
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
You will need other food than flake for your bn pleco if you add it right away to your tank. It's good you will have wood for him, but there won't be any algae for it to eat in a new tank, so you will either have to feed him specifically, or wait until you have some algae in your tank before adding it.
Feeding it is not a big deal - algae wafers and some zucchini periodically will keep it happy!
If you fishless cycle your tank, there's no reason actually why you can't add all your fish at once...
A bottle of pure ammonia so you can cycle the tank before adding fish.
Even with a fishless cycle, I would recommend waiting at least a few weeks before adding the pleco.
Originally Posted by sheamurai
QT tank is a good idea, you can buy an extra small filter to run on the back of your 20g and switch over to the QT as needed....instant cycle.
I have heard nothing but good of the Prime dechlorinator, but if that isn't available, I use Tetra brand.
I use the API testkit, too.
Hmm...I think you have everything you need.
The moss balls they sell at Petsmart are super easy, and cool. I have heard java fern and moss are easy, and anubias I think. One day I will be adding these plants to my tank. :)
10 gallon with a veiltail betta, 7 neons, 1 ADF, and one neat moss ball.
20 gallon with 6 female black phantoms, and 1 schwartzi cory
I would not even be thinking about plants when you are setting up your very first tank and probably do not need the expense of a plant light. You need to walk before you can run.
I've been successful with java fern with only the standard light. They grow slowly however, I also have a lot of ambient light where my tank resides though.
On the subject of buckets I have the oval shaped 3.5g ones from they are better because easier to carry 35lb versus 50lb. And the shape reduces tendency to slop if I carry it the right way. I use two of them with a siphon to draw water out with the siphon. That way I only have to start the siphon once. I have a combined tap and once I set the temperature I fill the buckets in turn, unloading one buckete while the other one fills.
Unusually I have nothing more to add...