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Old 08-19-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
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Smile FW Newbie : Aqueon (All-Glass) 55 kit

Hi all,

I've been lurking around reading up on my new found hobby.
Always wanted a SW aquarium but the more I learn about it, the more I realize how time-consuming/costly it can be... So I decided to go the FW route instead. Might switch later on.

I've already bought the 55 gal stand from walmart, made by Aqua culture for 89$ and I went to a LFS and saw the Aqueon 55 gal deluxe kit for 190$ ( http://www.aqueonproducts.com/produc...arium-kits.htm )


The AGA definitely looks more well-built than the AquaCulture 55 tank from WalMart which goes for 166$.
1) Is the AGA a good buy?


2) Is the Aqueon kit enough to get me started on the fishless cycle?

I want it to looks similar to this http://www.afishybusinessinc.com/yah...230827_std.jpg

As for fish, I haven't decided on the fish, but I could use some ideas here.

3) Are there any SW looking FW fish??

I'm into
a. funny odd looking and colorful fish like puffer, clown (SW i know..)
b. something rare like Polypterus ansorgii (dont know where to get it...),
c. freshwater crab, if any (i know fiddler and red claw are not..)
d. eel

4) any suggestions on fish and live plants are welcome.

Thanks for reading
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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1) All-Glass is a good company, they make standard tanks of all sizes at decent prices. No complaints there.

The kit though will likely not make you happy. If you want a nice planted aquarium like that then you're going to need better lights than the stock ones, although not as powerful as reef lighting.

If you want to go as far as CO2 injection in the planted aquarium, then you don't want a hang on back filter, you want an internal one or a canister.

Since the filter and the lights are a big part of the expense of the kit, I don't know if you'd get your money's worth out of the remaining parts.

2) Fishless cycle just needs water, oxygen, and ammonia source. Any aquarium will do, with either a filter or an air stone to get oxygen into the water, and just a bit of fish food, vegtable, or refined ammonia to run the cycle.

3) Well, Mollies can adapt to both fresh and salt water, but I don't think that's what you're asking, since they look like most freshwater fish. Cichlids might fit your bill visually. Freshwater crabs will generally grow big enough to eat some of your fish, but there are many types of peaceful freshwater shrimp available. There are also freshwater eels, and Bichirs, and Angels.

No one can really tell you what fish to get, it starts with your tastes. I suggest you browse a bit and come up with a wish list you'd like to discuss with us. Then we can help you select the fish from your list that's easiest for a beginner to keep, and will work well in the type of setup you want.

4) Before deciding on plants, you need to decide on the light level you want. Higher light levels will give you more choices, but will require more maintenance/equiptment/supplies to keep algae away.

Here are some plant sites to look at:
http://www.plantgeek.net/ - a great search engine for types of plants
http://www.rexgrigg.com/index.html - basic info about CO2 and fertilization needed for high-light tanks.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:38 PM   #3
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1. Wal-Mart should have a 55 gallon kit and it's probably $160-170. I paid $160 for mine (All-Glass Brand and not at Wal-Mart) but I've seen them for $150 on sale.

3. There are lots of brightly colored fish available for freshwater. Do some research and see what you like. See if what you like will go together. Come back and ask someone if what you want will go together.

4. Do research. I can't stress that enough. It's better to be prepared than it is to find out that your fish aren't compatible or that some fish you bought needs a 125 gallon tank when it gets larger. These can be expensive mistakes. Ask lots of questions, that's one of the best ways to learn.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:43 PM   #4
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By the way, the plants in the back, the long ribbony ones, are vals. If you're in the US, I can send you some when you're ready for them. Send me a private message with your snail mail address and name when you're ready to start planting. No charge.

I can also attempt sending you Red Cherry shrimp, but I've not done that before.

A planting similar to the picture should wait until after the cycle is complete, so you can leave the lights off during the cycle and ward off algae. If you want to rush the cycle, you can plant heavily with more quickly growing plants at the beginning, and leave the lights on. The plants will absorb much of the ammonia and nitrite, so you don't need as many bacteria in the beginning. As the bacteria population naturally grows, you can incrementally remove the fast-growth plants and replace them with the aquascaping you really want in the long run.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:19 PM   #5
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Shipping RCS is easy, I do it all the time. Kordon Breather Bags come in handy. They easily survive 2 day shipping via USPS Priority Mail. I've shipped over 400 with not a single DOA yet. Smaller ones ship better than adults.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:38 PM   #6
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Thank you very much dskidmore and bs6749
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:56 PM   #7
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Yeah personally what I would do now is read up on things and figure out a solid plan of what you want and what you can afford. Then Look at pricing of stuff.

I as well as many others would just buy a bare tank then piece together the rest of the equipment that matches are goals. It may cost slightly more but cheaper than upgrading down the line.

Also look on craigslist for tanks as you may be able to find a good deal locally.

I just setup a 55G that I got for free w/ stand from a family member, then got a couple deals on things and did some DIY work on the light to be able to grow plants OK.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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As speed suggested look on craigslist theres a 55g on there with stand,filter,lights/hoods,heaters,pumps,pythons,and other misc stuff all for $70. Also you could try ebay for some of the stuff like canister filters,heaters,hoods, and other goodies.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:41 PM   #9
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just dropped by the LFS and was just always drawn away by how beautiful and vibrant the SW fishes, reef are....

i will research on the SW and see how costly / time consuming it can be. but for the experts here, can u give me an idea of the following regarding SW :

1. basic set up cost for a 55 gal to be habitable (w/o fish/reefs)
(the aquaeon 55 tank goes for 130$ alone btw)
2. monthly maintenance cost
3. time requires per week
etc

thx
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:31 PM   #10
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1. With fish only SW, you can make do with a setup very similar to freshwater. It is recomended that you use live rock and powerheads instead of a conventional filter, but that's up to you. Skimmer is also recomended, but you can do without it for fish only. Poor filtration can be partially made up for by increased water changes.

A high precision hydrometer (not the plastic kind) or a refractometer is necessary, to measure your salinity precisely. The more accurate one is needed for medical purposes, as well as creating a more consistent enviroment for your fishies.

Reverse Osmosis will make the fight against algae easier, but if you have no corals, no anenomies, and no macroalgae, you can fight with shorter light intervals instead.

An automatic topoff system would negate the need to do daily water top-ups. You have to daily replace the water that has evaporated from the tank, so the salinity does not drift upwards.

2. Monthly maintenance is mostly food, test kits, and salt. Food is negligable in price, unless you get a picky eater that needs a special diet. Test kits are usually an annual expense, $50 or so a year. Salt, you want enough to do a 10-20% water change weekly.
3. Daily cores: topoff, feeding (few minutes)
Weekly chores: make new saltwater, change water, maintain filter (if not using live rock), test water, whipe down salt creep (1 hour)
Montly chores: more detailed cleaning of anything that bothers you. (few more minutes during weekly maintenance.)
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