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Old 07-15-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
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55 gal set-up and cycle

Hi everybody!

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and enthusiasm for fish keeping with me. Being a very analytical person I am having a blast reading these forums and dreaming of my own "perfect" tank!

I thought it would be wise and not to mention more fun, for us to go through this process together.

What I have so far is a 55 gal tank that was recently a home for a lizard. I also have the black, wooden, cabinet-style base. Everything needs to be done from scratch.

I have a basic list of what I need and at this time am looking for a biofilter recommendation and online supplier rec.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:19 AM   #2
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Welcome Jen! Glad to have you aboard!
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:26 AM   #3
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Hey, welcome to AA! If it has not been used as an aquarium for a while I would leak test it for a couple of days outside. Better Safe than sorry. Hope it all goes well.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:38 AM   #4
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Good idea! I will!
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:41 AM   #5
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Good idea! Filling it and draining it would also rinse it adequately, correct?

The book I am using supplement this forum is The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums, 2nd ed. By David E Boruchowitz
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:58 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum! And the hobby.

So freshwater or saltwater? Post pics .

Leave the water in for a day for leak test.

Than put bit of bleach in, using sponge and gloves clean in and out glass but be gentle on the corner silicon. Than empty it and wash with water/vinegar solution. Than wash with lots of water and air dry.

That should clean out anything in there. Better safe....
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen31972 View Post
Good idea! Filling it and draining it would also rinse it adequately, correct?

The book I am using supplement this forum is The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums, 2nd ed. By David E Boruchowitz
Good luck on your new 55gal! As it was used for lizards, are there any cracks on the plastic retainer bracings? Definitely test the tanks for leaks and the seals on the edges ... I'm in a similar situation, next door neighbor gave me a 55gal and stand he used for lizards. Too bad the center bracing is cracked .. In my case I'm probably going to have it resealed, a new bracing put on ... thankfully I'm in no rush.

A good scrub down with a bit of bleach, vinegar and or ammonia (100% pure) would help disinfect it ... just to make sure. You could use mild detergent ... but then you'd have to THOROUGHLY rinse it off. Soap and aquariums =
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:53 AM   #8
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I am planning on using is for freshwater fish. My hubby is taking a look at the aquarium and stand today at lunch to make sure they look stable and clean before we buy them. Since Petco has that great sale on aquariums, I told him if in doubt, just buy the stand. The stand seems to be the most expensive part of the whole set-up.

Regarding supplies. I am looking at ordering online and it appears the Hagen Aquaclear 70 would be the ideal filter. It's $35.84 from Amazon's supplier. I am actually thinking of ordering 2 so I have very good filtration (the book says we can't over filter the tank) and back-up. In addition, I will eventually have an extra biofilter for another tank. Thought?
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:45 AM   #9
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Smile

I ordered 2 100w submersible heaters by Won from AnglesPlus as well as some decorations for the tank. I am going to get aquarium gravel at the local Petco/Petsmart as well as silk plants.

Since the stand is black and I am going for neon tetras and other brightly colored fish, I think I will put in black gravel. I hope the effect will be as stunning as I envision.

I talked to Steve at AnglesPlus ans will be ordering an active filter as soon as I get everything else set-up so that the talk is ready for it. I am so jazzed. I am certain i would be screwing this up royally if it wasn't for this forum!

Jen
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:48 AM   #10
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Welcome to AA!

From what I have learned, if tanks have been used to home reptiles they should be used to home reptiles and not fish, because some reptile tanks are made with thinner and less glass, so there is more of a chance that it will break. IF you are using it make sure you test for leaks! Good luck cycling!
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen31972 View Post

Since the stand is black and I am going for neon tetras and other brightly colored fish, I think I will put in black gravel. I hope the effect will be as stunning as I envision.
Oh yes .. a dark substrate with a black background would make fish and plant colors pop, probably better than you envision once you get fish in there.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #12
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That sounds awesome. I am sure it will look great.

Just to help out ur pocket.....
Have u tried craigslist, u could get a 30-40 gallon tank with all supplies for $30-$40. Even a stand will be less than 100$.
Than that would leave u with more$ for choosing what to put in the tank.
Just a thought unless $ is no problem.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:14 PM   #13
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When the guy I'm getting it from delivers it, I'll have him put it outside and then fill it and watch it for leaks for a day. Someone suggested testing that water to make sue there's no ammonia in it. I'll then dump that water and clean out the tank with vinegar and water. Rinse well and move it in.

I bought probably way too much aquarium gravel from Petco. I'm going to mix mostly black with some dark blue. I also ordered a few "logs" and silk plants from AnglesPlus and got some different size silks from Petco. My sons (12 & 15) want me to get the giant "Hogwarts-style" castle for the tank. But it looks like it would be too big even for a 55 gal.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:19 PM   #14
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Glad to have you on the site . Are you going to be doing a fishless cycle? If so, don't worry if there is ammonia in the tap water. It's something you'll be adding anyway in order to begin cycling your tank, and once cycled as long as you are using a quality dechlorinator like Seachem Prime...it will detoxify the ammonia long enough for your new bio-filter to consume it.

If you haven't already seen it, check out the guide and FAQ in my signature
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:16 PM   #15
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Thanks! I will definitely do a fishless cycle. Once everything comes in the mail and it's up and running I'll get an active filter from AnglesPlus. They are only around $5 or $6!

I had bought Nutrafin Aqua Plus but can return it to Petco and exchange it for the Prime.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:44 AM   #16
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Has your stuff shown up yet?
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #17
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Love to even see a pic of tank coming in. Lol
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:12 AM   #18
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No, ahggggh! Amazon said my heaters aren't due 'till Wednesday. No idea when the AnglesPlus heaters and decor will arrive. Probably by then as they said they shipped on Friday. In the meantime I have been having a time of finding hoods with lights. Petco doesn't carry 24" or 48" sizes and the local Petsmarts are out except for the one 24" I did buy which doesn't work so will have to be returned.

I am busily deep cleaning the house in the meantime so hubby will be happy with this. I think I made a deal with the devil, lol! I keep finding more to do!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:57 AM   #19
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I bought this hood on amazon and I'm really happy with it.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:01 AM   #20
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I think they have this on sale at petco now.
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