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Old 07-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oak Brook, Il
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So I had a 55 gallon tank back in High School, with some Oscars. Just had my second kid and have a 4 year old with a 5 gallon tank. Made the jump to a 75. currently plan on freshwater with a variety of fish. Really want to do live plants on this one. Tank has been running for a couple of days now. Used a Bacteria Starter, Dechlorinator, plan on adding aquarium salt, and tested the water today. After the test, looks like a need a ph lowering. Tested at least 7.5 on PH.

Have a couple of questions for ya. #1....just put in a small "dirty" decoration from the daughters tank. I have 1 fish, a snail, and another small cave from the existing tank. How long should I wait until I introduce the old fish and snail with all the tank water to the new tank? Obviously I will let the temps equalize before doing so.

#2 - I mentioned I want to do some live plants...currently am doing plastic. I saw "bulbs" for sale at the local petsmart...picked up 2 packages. It says they should grow in 30 days...should I put them in now? I feel like I read they will alter the tank chemistry, so would it be better to get them in sooner so I can get the tank adjusted properly? I did purchase a dual bulbe light fixture with a bulb for plants....so I am guessing I have that ok.

#3 - what else am I missing/forgetting or do you have any other advice for a "somewhat" new guy to this hobby. I dont remember testing water 15 years ago...and havent in the little 5 gallon tank I have now...in fact, almost 90% water changes with tap water were common in the 5 gallon tank an the fish is still going strong over a year later.

I know this is a long post for a 1st post...I am on a few other car forums, so I know there is a bunch of good information out there, but looking to get this tank up and running as easy and as soon as possible for my 4 year old daughter. Tanks in advance


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Old 07-16-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
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Don't worry about the long post ... just look at my long reply

1. First thing I recommend is you read the link below on fish-less cycling.
then ditch the bacterial starters. To put is simply, it can lead to an unstable bio-filter .. meaning the bacteria could crash on you. It's happened to member before. Your best bet is to use substrate/ media from your daughters established tank. Once your tank is cycled, then it's safe to introduce fish into the new tank.

The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling

If you are set on doing a fish in cycle ... see this link
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!

Oh and don't bother adding any pH chemicals ... leave pH alone... your fish will adapt to your tank's natural pH. Adding chemicals to pH can cause a pH swing which can be fatal .... it's happened.

2. In regards to plants, that'll depend on the light you bought. What lighting exactly did you buy? T5, LED, T8? What are the color temperatures .. 6500K, 10,000K? How many watts per bulb?

I've seen these plant bulbs in stores and if you ask me, I'd say return them if you can and then look for some LOW light level plants to start your tank with. Again go to the link below ... under light requirement.
PlantGeek.net - Plant Guide

By the bulbs changing water chemistry sounds like they leach tannins into the water. If that's what it is, it's perfectly safe for fish but will lower the pH slightly and give your tank water a brownish tea color. Again skip the bulbs and consider some DriftWood. Many LFS's sell them, I use MOPANI DW. It'll leach tannins, make your water brown and lower pH ... but all that will pass in time and DW can really enhance the natural look, especially when paired with live plants. Plus DW can help set up territories that some fish establish.

3. Many AA members highly recommend the following.
a. API test master kit ... test strips = garbage.
b. Seachem Prime ... de-chlorinator and locks ammonia and nitrites into less toxic forms.
c. A gravel vac
d. Aquarium Salt

Good luck!

75g Planted Barbs Denison, BlackRuby, Tiger, Albino Tiger, Green Tiger, Cherry, Gold, Checkered, Odessa.
NonBarbs Cardinal, Neon, RummyNose, Bloodfin Tetras, Z. Danios. 1RTS. Amano, Bamboo, Ghost & RCS. 20g Long Shrimp Tank RCS, Tiger, Amano.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:56 AM   #3
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Location: Oak Brook, Il
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much appreciated

Well, I added another piece of decoration from my daughters tank...and the filter media from the filter...I currently put all the water into the new tank, have the 1 fish and snail acclimating in a bag of water to thenew tank, and am considering filling up an old sock with the gravel from the daughters tank.

I planted the seeds for the water plants....for the cost of 8 dollars, I figured it was worth a shot. Planning of hitting up the local pet strore tomorro for a few more fish to help with priming the tank.

In my current opinion...which may be slightly off, tank looks kinda coudy since I added all that stuff....but I am celebrating the arrival of my second daughter and the return of my wife from the hospital....so my view may be slightly incorrect..

If I wast worrid about the crapy cell phone pics....I would snap a shot of the tank for approval.
The more I look on the site...the more I am looking inro driftwood, real stone, and more plants...( gonna wait to see what happens with the bulbs for now though)
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