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Old 06-02-2005, 01:37 AM   #1
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got new tank: need help sorting it all out

Today my friend gave me her 50 gal aquarium tank and a bag of aquarium junk for free. Trouble is, half the stuff I can't figure out how to use. Most of it makes sense to me, but I am not sure how to set up the undergravel filter or what to do with all these valves and tubing.

She gave me:
~50 gallon acrylic aquarium (width: 35 in. height: 16 in. depth: 15 in.)
~hood with 20 watt light
~some rock decorations
~undergravel filter w/ hagen aquaclear 301 powerhead...?
~heater (whisper 150 or 200 watt)
~bunch of gravel/sand with dead snail shells in it
~Aquaclear 300 HOB filter with refill filter inserts
~pH test kit (6-7.6 pH)
~some dead plant remnants
~jumbo gravel vac
~10 ft of 1/2 wide tubing
~bunch of valves and tubing joints i don't understand...?
~fish net
~wardley shrimp pellets
~tropical fish flakes
~algae scraper
~sinking algae pellets
~kordon rid ich+
~proaquatics bacteria starter
~proaquatics water clarifier
~some little pieces of plastic that must be somehow useful for something...?
~sponge w/ hole in it...?
~something that looks like a miniature toilet bowl scraper...?
~some black and red plastic coated wiring...?
~aquarium stand
~some expired coupons for $1 off a dvd (maybe this one was an accident)

Okay all the stuff with question marks are things I just don't get or am not sure how to use.

I already have:
~10 gallon tank
~75 watt stealth heater
~bunch of epoxy coated gravel w/o dead snail shells in it
~mini gravel vac
~HOB filter
~bunch of anachris
~other plant
~laborette water test kit
~1 pleco
~school of white clouds
~school of rasbora
~submersible sponge filter for up to 12gal tank

Okay so my question is how do I use the things with the question marks next to them and is there anything else that I need? I want to make the 50 gallon a nice planted FW tropical tank. I am thinking I'll need more light and maybe a CO2 reactor? Should I not use the UGF in a planted tank? I want to put all the fish into my 10 gallon into the 50 gallon and make the 10 gallon brackish for some bb gobies. What should I do? I am willing to spent some money if need be but I don't have much.

If it will help for identification I can post pics of the stuff, just ask. Thanks in advance, everyone. Sorry for such a long post.
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Old 06-02-2005, 02:04 AM   #2
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Yeah it would be easier if you could post some pictures of the stuff you wants us to ID because i think its kind of hard to tell from your descriptions
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Old 06-02-2005, 02:34 AM   #3
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For a planted you may want to skip the ugf. You definitely need more than 20 watts of light for 50 gallons. If you shoot for 2 wpg you shouldn't need co2 and most plants will do fine. The tubing sounds like it was for a canister filter. The sponge with the hole either goes on the end of a stick to scrub algae or over the filter intake to keep out sand, little fishies etc. I think the mini toilet scraper might be a tube brush. The wire is probably part of some unfinished project.
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:14 AM   #4
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I also recommend not using the undergravel filter if you are going to have plants. Cleaning under a UGF is a pain and the plant roots can become entangled in the filter plates making things even worse. The Aquaclear 300 HOB filter by itself should be sufficient for your tank. The valves and tubing may be for hooking up to an air pump (I don't see one listed). The "toilet bowl scraper" is probably an algae brush. The 20W lamp is inadequate for almost all plants. If you can get something more powerful I highly recommend it. If you cannot afford a new light fixture at this time I suggest following the link below to see a list of plants that will grow in low light.

http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_...=1&filter_by=2
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:43 PM   #5
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Here are some pics.

some valves

some other valves and plastic bits

that sponge w/ hole

The resolution on these is not very good because my digital camera is no good with close ups. If you can tell what they are from these pics I will try again. I put a quarter in w/ the first and last pics so you can get an idea of size. Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sponge_pic.jpg (9.8 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg sponge_pic.jpg (9.8 KB, 115 views)
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:48 PM   #6
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err
How do I delete those stupid sponges?
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:29 PM   #7
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what you should do is, neatly have everything on the floor....or in a couple of groups and take a pic of it all in a group and we can help sort everything out for you....it sounds like you are having a very joyful time figuring all this out
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:05 PM   #8
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Tubing looks like its part of a python no spill clean and fill. You might as well throw away the UGF right now, do not use it. Don't use any of those proaquatics items as they won't help you. The sponge looks like it comes from a filter?

About planted tanks. It sounds like you don't know that much about them, so don't start off with a CO2 system (besides they are very very expensive). The lights you have now are insufficient for hardly any plants, so you want to shoot for lighting that will give you 1.5-2 watts per gallon.

Here's a good thread for starting out with a planted tank:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=53738

HTH
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Old 06-03-2005, 05:40 PM   #9
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You're quite correct. I don't know much
However that link was helpful. And I'm trying to learn.
I keep fish pretty well in my little 10 gallon but I've always wanted a planted tank and my plants don't usually do too well in the 10 gal. Partly because I think my pleco eats them. I have some anachris and something that I don't know the name of that are still alive at least. I know I will need more light- I will go out today and buy 100 watt light.
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