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Old 09-22-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
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New 55g

Hello everyone.

I'm fairly new to the aquarium hobby. I have done a bit of research and feel like I know a decent amount about aquarium care. I would, however, like to get a little info from some more experienced aquarists.

I am planning on getting a standard 55g aquarium. I want to stalk it with about ten or so tiger barbs and possibly a rainbow shark. I would also like to plant it with hygrophila and water sprite. I might also try to cover a good sized piece of driftwood with some java moss. I am kind of going for a southeast Asia (Thailand/Borneo) feel. As for the substrate, I have been looking and I think I would like to use Seachem Onyx (either sand or gravel or maybe a mixture of the two).

I have been reading about all of this and I was just curious if anyone had any advice about lighting, filter, etc.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:49 PM   #2
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I would just like to welcome you to AA and let the more experienced planted peeps chime in.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:01 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA Had you thought of using pool filter sand as your substrate?
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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I use a Marineland C-360 for my heavily planted community, I like it, you can't go very wrong with a Fluval or Rena either, it's all preference. IMO those 3 are the best, and I did a bunch of research.

The one piece of advice I always give is one I got from The Planted Tank Forum, and that is to use Seachem. Purigen instead of carbon in the canister, because it removes dissolved organics and not trace minerals that plants use, and is 'rechargeable' for long-term use. I currently have 250ml in "The Bag" (a 180 micro mesh bleachable bag) that has been in there for about 5 months and probably needs recharged, but I bought another 250ml and another "The Bag" so I can fill up the tray better, and in a few months I'll recharge the first bag, so now I'll always have at least one bag in there. Best advice I ever got, my Nitrates kept below 20ppm for 4 months, only recently has it begun to rise again, indicating that the Purigen needs to be recharged
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:31 PM   #5
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First of all, thank you to everyone for the warm welcome.

Secondly, I had originally thought that I might want to use pool filter sand based on some good reviews I had read but decided on the Onyx because I really like the dark color that it brought to the aquarium. It just seemed a little more natural to the environment I am trying to create.

Thirdly, thank you to floyd for the filter advice. I was curious if you knew if those filters were fairly available at large pet stores or would I have to travel to a larger city and find a specialty store for them.

Thanks to all.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:57 PM   #6
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It depends on the store, Petco usually carries Cascade (lower end on quality IMO, low price), Fluval and Eheim (another good brand). Petsmart I've seen Rena and Fluval. Smaller stores will have them, my local store that I prefer (see my photo gallery for some of their tanks) has every one of them.

Personally, I would buy mine online. It's a big ticket item and you don't want to pay too much. For instance, when doing my research I found the cheapest store that carried the Fluval 405 was $220, but I found a NIB one on eBay for $110. I bought my C-360 on eBay for $130 shipped, cheapest locally was $180. I also shop online for the replacement filter pads and buy in bulk to save shipping and lower my per-item price. I even saved 25% on my lowly Whipser EX20 for my 10g via eBay.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:58 PM   #7
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PS my thread on canister filters

Which canister filter should I choose?
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:47 AM   #8
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I think the filter is well covered. I'll comment on lights.

You won't do too well with stock light (usu. a single 32W T8 ) in a planted tank. A double T8 fixture (2x32W) is the bare minimum, and you can only do low light plants with that (and they won't grow much.) The T5-HO is the in thing right now. A double fixture (2x54W) would do nicely over a 55 for a medium+ light set up. An alternative would be a 95W PC or 2x55 W PC's.

In terms of bang for the bucks, T8's are still cheapest, since you can run Daylight tubes from the hardware store at $5 vs. $20 for PC or T5HO's. A 3 or 4 tube T8 would bring you right to medium light. I find plants do much better at medium (even low light plants) than at low.

One more thing, Welcome to AA!
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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Ok so if I use the Fluval, Marineland, etc. for filtration and a 2x55W PC lighting setup, would this tank do pretty well? I guess I'm just looking for verification from some more experienced aquarist that I'm headed in the right direction (as far as fish compatibility, substrate, and flora).

Thanks for all the great advice.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:55 PM   #10
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sounds good to me. keep in mind tiger barbs can get a bit nippy, but the idea of having 10 or so sounds great to me. add some larger species of phantom tetras. everything sounds like a solid plan.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:16 PM   #11
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I like the idea of adding some tetras, and I like the look of the phantom tetras. But I'm really looking to stick with the southeast Asia/Borneo theme. Does anyone know of an attractive tetra from that area that I could keep with the tiger barbs and rainbow shark?
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:27 AM   #12
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What about a school of seven or eight pearl danios? I really like the look of them and I think they are compatible, but because of all the stuff that I have read I am nervous about the tiger barbs bullying them. Is this a legitimate concern or should the tiger barbs mellow out in such a large (relatively) number?
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