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55 Gallon Tank - Need help

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  • soto345
    I was just given a 55 gallon tank with no supplies. I want to set up a tropical aquarium but don t know where to start. Do any of you have any suggestions on
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 14, 2004
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      I was just given a 55 gallon tank with no supplies. I want to set up a
      tropical aquarium but don't know where to start. Do any of you have
      any suggestions on books/guides/reference material? Any suggestion on
      filters or anything else I might need in the tank? I'm totally new to
      this but would like to one day have a nice aquarium in my dining room.

      ANY help is appreciated.

      Thanks,

      Brian
    • Nimish Mathur
      Brian, It s a science as big as rocket science. First start going around some aquarium stores investigating fish and asking as many questions you have here.
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 14, 2004
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        Brian,

        It's a science as big as rocket science. First start going around some
        aquarium stores investigating fish and asking as many questions you have
        here. That is what this forum is for.

        A 55 gallon tank is a reasonable size for most fish but you need to know
        what fish are compatible with each other. Restraining impulse buying is a
        difficult thing but if you can stop yourself from it, it will make starting
        the hobby much easier. Though it is very difficult for many knowledgeable
        people also to stop impulse buying.

        Set the tank with what ever substrate you want (gravel/sand/specialist). Get
        some good lighting on the tank and 2 filters.

        Filter itself is a very big question. The purpose of a filter is not only to
        remove visible matter but also to detoxify fish waste by harboring bacteria
        that convert fish waste into less toxic waste. (Ammonia into Nitrates).
        Water changes are most essential as that is the only way for a normal
        aquarium to get rid of Nitrates. Nitrate buildup or presence of
        ammonia/nitrite can use a lot of stress to fish and can easily kill
        sensitive fish. Also responsible for inducing diseases.

        If you can spend the money, get a good canister filter as it solves all
        purpose efficiently with the capability of having your own type of filter
        media.

        Get the tank up and running and don't add any fish. Get a test kit of
        Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Keep feeding fish food to the filter so the
        waste generated can start the bacterial culture to be able to handle the
        fish load when you get them. It could take over a month for it but be
        patient. Patience is what counts in this hobby. Once you have the ammonia
        and Nitrites come to zero, it is safe to add fish :)

        More questions... feel free to ask.

        Nim


        >-----Original Message-----
        >From: soto345 [mailto:soto@...]
        >Sent: 14 October 2004 16:59
        >To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] 55 Gallon Tank - Need help
        >
        >
        >
        >I was just given a 55 gallon tank with no supplies. I want to set up a
        >tropical aquarium but don't know where to start. Do any of you have
        >any suggestions on books/guides/reference material? Any suggestion on
        >filters or anything else I might need in the tank? I'm totally new to
        >this but would like to one day have a nice aquarium in my dining room.
        >
        >ANY help is appreciated.
        >
        >Thanks,
        >
        >Brian
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • soto345
        Thanks for everyone s help so far, you ve all been great... So I ve had 3 platies in the tank for about 3 weeks now but I m not sure what type of readings I m
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 26, 2004
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          Thanks for everyone's help so far, you've all been great...

          So I've had 3 platies in the tank for about 3 weeks now but I'm not
          sure what type of readings I'm supposed to be getting... I got an
          Emperor 400 power filter in there with a 300watt heater set at 78
          degrees...

          Water tests:

          Week 1:

          Ammonia 1ppm
          Nitrite 0ppm
          Nitrate 5ppm
          Ph 8.0

          Week 2:

          Ammonia 0.5ppm
          Nitrite 0.25ppm
          Nitrate 5ppm
          Ph 8.0

          Week 3:

          Ammonia 1.9ppm
          Nitrite 0.25ppm
          Nitrate 5ppm
          Ph 7.8

          Am I doing something wrong? Right? What should I/shouldn't I do?
          I've been feeding the fish twice a day, lights on 10hrs and off 14hrs.
          I've been feeding the fish flakes.

          Should I be doing water changes yet?

          Thanks again!

          --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Nimish Mathur"
          <nimmat4@y...> wrote:
          > Brian,
          >
          > It's a science as big as rocket science. First start going around some
          > aquarium stores investigating fish and asking as many questions you have
          > here. That is what this forum is for.
          >
          > A 55 gallon tank is a reasonable size for most fish but you need to know
          > what fish are compatible with each other. Restraining impulse buying
          is a
          > difficult thing but if you can stop yourself from it, it will make
          starting
          > the hobby much easier. Though it is very difficult for many
          knowledgeable
          > people also to stop impulse buying.
          >
          > Set the tank with what ever substrate you want
          (gravel/sand/specialist). Get
          > some good lighting on the tank and 2 filters.
          >
          > Filter itself is a very big question. The purpose of a filter is not
          only to
          > remove visible matter but also to detoxify fish waste by harboring
          bacteria
          > that convert fish waste into less toxic waste. (Ammonia into Nitrates).
          > Water changes are most essential as that is the only way for a normal
          > aquarium to get rid of Nitrates. Nitrate buildup or presence of
          > ammonia/nitrite can use a lot of stress to fish and can easily kill
          > sensitive fish. Also responsible for inducing diseases.
          >
          > If you can spend the money, get a good canister filter as it solves all
          > purpose efficiently with the capability of having your own type of
          filter
          > media.
          >
          > Get the tank up and running and don't add any fish. Get a test kit of
          > Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Keep feeding fish food to the filter
          so the
          > waste generated can start the bacterial culture to be able to handle the
          > fish load when you get them. It could take over a month for it but be
          > patient. Patience is what counts in this hobby. Once you have the
          ammonia
          > and Nitrites come to zero, it is safe to add fish :)
          >
          > More questions... feel free to ask.
          >
          > Nim
          >
          >
          > >-----Original Message-----
          > >From: soto345 [mailto:soto@s...]
          > >Sent: 14 October 2004 16:59
          > >To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
          > >Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] 55 Gallon Tank - Need help
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >I was just given a 55 gallon tank with no supplies. I want to set up a
          > >tropical aquarium but don't know where to start. Do any of you have
          > >any suggestions on books/guides/reference material? Any suggestion on
          > >filters or anything else I might need in the tank? I'm totally new to
          > >this but would like to one day have a nice aquarium in my dining room.
          > >
          > >ANY help is appreciated.
          > >
          > >Thanks,
          > >
          > >Brian
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
        • Mikael R.
          I have also been thinking about getting an aquarium. Does a 55 gallon tank need 2 heaters or will one do the trick? I m looking more towards a 40 gallon
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 30, 2004
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            I have also been thinking about getting an aquarium. Does a 55 gallon
            tank need 2 heaters or will one do the trick? I'm looking more
            towards a 40 gallon breeder tank.
          • Detrick Merz
            need is somewhat subjective. Let s presume, too, that you re talking about in-tank heaters, as that limits our variables a bit. There are heaters which
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 1, 2004
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              "need" is somewhat subjective. Let's presume, too, that you're talking
              about in-tank heaters, as that limits our variables a bit. There are
              heaters which will, by themselves, support a 55gallon tank. From what
              I've seen, these heaters will usually come in different wattages,
              depeding on what size tank they're designed for. They recommend, if you
              have a tank larger than what their largest heater can support, you buy
              multiple heaters.

              Having said that, there are some people who believe in buying 2 smaller
              heaters, rather than one large heater. Yes, you can get one heater that
              will support your 55 gallon tank. You could also, instead, buy 2
              heaters rated for 30 gallons, and put them in the tank. This will buy
              you some insurance in the case that one heaters fails (the second will
              do it's level best to keep the tank at the right temperature.. this
              might be more than it can handle, but it'll buy you a significant amount
              of time in which you can detect the failed heater, before your fish
              freeze to death). The second heater will also, on a long tank, let you
              get a more even temperature, because you can spread them out a little
              bit along the length of the tank.

              One thing to remember, if you go with two heaters, is balancing them.
              Those temperature markings (if the heaters have marks) are good guides,
              but they are not precise. It will take a bit of work to get your
              heaters 'balanced', so they both are set to come on at the same actual
              temperature. Have them set off by a couple of degrees, and you'll have
              one small heater doing all the work to warm a lot more water than it was
              designed for, and the second heater being lazy and never turning on.

              -detrick

              Mikael R. wrote:
              > I have also been thinking about getting an aquarium. Does a 55 gallon
              > tank need 2 heaters or will one do the trick? I'm looking more
              > towards a 40 gallon breeder tank.
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