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Old 08-01-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: California
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Hello from sunny Southern California!

Hi! My name is Annie and I'm a first time aquarist!

Today I bought a used 36 gallon bow front aquarium, so it's got a proper stand and also a filter (hangs on the back...Aqueon QuietFlow I think? It's got some clean ceramic media in it since that's what the guy before me used...) It also came with sand, but I'm hesitant to use it since the guy who had it before me had a saltwater tank...

I'd like to know a few things:

1. I want to do a fishless cycle first, but I can't seem to find ammonia without surfactants yet. Is it okay to use some fish food to get things started?
2. What else should I put in the filter? Or alternatively, what's a better filter to invest in?
3. Sand or gravel? (I want freshwater fish, haven't decided what to stock!)
4. Right now my tank has... water and a filter. What other things do I need? A pump? Water bubbler? Heater?
5. Since I'm a first-timer, is it okay to start with real plants, or should I stick to plastic?

That's all for now!
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieJ
Hi! My name is Annie and I'm a first time aquarist!

Today I bought a used 36 gallon bow front aquarium, so it's got a proper stand and also a filter (hangs on the back...Aqueon QuietFlow I think? It's got some clean ceramic media in it since that's what the guy before me used...) It also came with sand, but I'm hesitant to use it since the guy who had it before me had a saltwater tank...

I'd like to know a few things:

1. I want to do a fishless cycle first, but I can't seem to find ammonia without surfactants yet. Is it okay to use some fish food to get things started?
2. Sand or gravel? (I want freshwater fish, haven't decided what to stock!)
3. Right now my tank has... water and a filter. What other things do I need? A pump? Water bubbler? Heater?
4. Since I'm a first-timer, is it okay to start with real plants, or should I stick to plastic?

That's all for now!
Welcome to AA!!

1.) you could use a dead shrimp and I think that fish food could work too.

2.). I'd do sand, especially if you do a planted tank which I will talk about in 4.

3.) A heater and a thermometer. And if you dknt have it yet an API master liquid testing kit.

4.) I'd do a planted tank. There are some easy plants out there like mosses, ferns, crypts. I think that they look better and once you do planted you'll never go back!
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:07 AM   #3
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Okay, I'll go for sand! Is there any particular type I need? (I.e. more fine or coarse? Any colors that are off-limits?)

My next acquisitions will be a heater and thermometer
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:09 AM   #4
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Pool filter sand.
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60g planted/ Anubius, anubias, amazon swords, giant hairgrass, micro sword, mondo grass, java fern. 6 tiger barbs, 6 albino tigers, 10 glowlight, 4 rummy noses, 14 blk neons, 14 neons, 3 otocinclus, 2 ghost cats, 4 peppered corys.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:11 AM   #5
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Welcome to the site!

It's awesome you're taking time to gain the knowledge for setting up a healthy aquarium! If you haven't seen it, check out the guide and FAQ about fishless cycling in my signature

Hardware stores are usually the best place to find pure ammonia. If you have an Ace Hardware nearby...they're almost certain to have it. If not, tossing in a couple raw shrimp or a mesh bag of fish food to get things moving is an option. It's a better option to add the pure stuff...but getting the ball rolling is always a good idea.

For your filter, really all you need is mechanical and biological filtration. Mechanical is things like floss or cartridges which catch the actual debris, and biological filtration is where you will harbor your beneficial bacteria. If you have ceramic media...that's awesome! It's the best stuff!

I'm not familiar with your particular model...but manufacturers like to overrate their systems, so the best rule of thumb is shooting for filtration rated for 2x your aquarium size. I particularly love canister filters, a Fluval 305 would be perfect for your tank, but they can be a bit pricy. As for HOB filters, AquaClear makes some great ones.

For a successful aquarium, you'll only need a few things (other than water, heater, tank and filter ). Make sure you have a quality liquid test kit like an API Master Kit, a gravel vacuum for cleaning and water changes, and a good bottle of dechlorinator like Seachem Prime to use when adding fresh water.

As for plants...I think most of us started with fake...and we all end up with real eventually, lol. You can start however you like, but most plants will require upgraded lighting which can be another initial expense. Unless you've got the extra money, there's no harm with starting fake...and transitioning and upgrading over time

A lot of this is actually covered in the guide...so make sure you check it out and feel free to ask any questions you have!
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eco23 View Post
Welcome to the site!

It's awesome you're taking time to gain the knowledge for setting up a healthy aquarium! If you haven't seen it, check out the guide and FAQ about fishless cycling in my signature

Hardware stores are usually the best place to find pure ammonia. If you have an Ace Hardware nearby...they're almost certain to have it. If not, tossing in a couple raw shrimp or a mesh bag of fish food to get things moving is an option. It's a better option to add the pure stuff...but getting the ball rolling is always a good idea.

For your filter, really all you need is mechanical and biological filtration. Mechanical is things like floss or cartridges which catch the actual debris, and biological filtration is where you will harbor your beneficial bacteria. If you have ceramic media...that's awesome! It's the best stuff!

I'm not familiar with your particular model...but manufacturers like to overrate their systems, so the best rule of thumb is shooting for filtration rated for 2x your aquarium size. I particularly love canister filters, a Fluval 305 would be perfect for your tank, but they can be a bit pricy. As for HOB filters, AquaClear makes some great ones.

For a successful aquarium, you'll only need a few things (other than water, heater, tank and filter ). Make sure you have a quality liquid test kit like an API Master Kit, a gravel vacuum for cleaning and water changes, and a good bottle of dechlorinator like Seachem Prime to use when adding fresh water.

As for plants...I think most of us started with fake...and we all end up with real eventually, lol. You can start however you like, but most plants will require upgraded lighting which can be another initial expense. Unless you've got the extra money, there's no harm with starting fake...and transitioning and upgrading over time

A lot of this is actually covered in the guide...so make sure you check it out and feel free to ask any questions you have!

Woah, super helpful! I will definitely check out that guide and research planted tanks more before I start one Thank you so much!
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieJ

Woah, super helpful! I will definitely check out that guide and research planted tanks more before I start one Thank you so much!
Happy to be of help . Don't hesitate to ask any questions you come across. There's tons of knowledgeable members who can lend a good hand.
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:29 AM   #8
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to AA!

Can't wait to see your tank when it's done!
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:30 AM   #9
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to AA!

Can't wait to see your tank when it's done!
Hehe, me too!
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