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Old 09-28-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
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Requirements for tanks

Here are my tanks. All empty. Some still need to be cleaned out.

3 Gallon
10 Gallon
20 Gallon
55 Gallon

I have two quietflow filters...that's really it. One that filters 10-20 gallon tanks and another that filters 50-60 gallon tanks. I know a need a lot more things so can I get a list made of what I need or should have? Since I am new at this I don't know exactly everything I need to keep fish healthy and happy. I also don't quite know what fish should be added into what tanks. Some fish that I am looking into are...Cichlids (No longer big predators, for now), Hillstream loaches, and Corydoras. I will want more but those are only a few that I know that I do want. If I can't settle with them, I'm willing to settle with different fish. I'm the sort of guy with exact specifications but am willing to change them if need be. Please, if anyone can help me assemble a list for the products and or fish I need or can use, I would appreciate it. The only reason I am asking for a fish and product list at the same exact time is because I'm not quite sure if certain fish use different products. Logically guessing, I could only imagine. Thank you. ^_^
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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In general, from a hardware perspective you're going to need the same setup regardless of what type of fish you use.

Assuming you stick to a freshwater community fish tank, You'll need:
a tank
filtration
heater
lighting
substrate
decor

Obviously if you decide to do a saltwater tank or a planted tank or something different the equipment list will change in the specifics of what kinds of each of the things listed above you'll need.

But based on your current potential fish:
It seems you already have a tank and a filter. You'll want to get a heater that's rated for the size of tank you have (don't oversize the heater). You'll need a substrate for the bottom - gravel, sand, etc, and some decor to make hiding places and something interesting to look at, and some kind of lighting so you can see your fishes.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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I've done so little research on the corydora but I understand that they're scaleless fish and that a rocky gravel is bad for their skin condition. Is this true?
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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Cories are actually armored catfish. Sharp gravel will damage their barbels (whiskers) that they use to sift for food. Grind some pieces of the gravel between the palms of your hands. If you don't feel a lot of sharp points, cories will be ok in it. They really love sand though.

Start simple. Set up one tank at a time. I'd start with either the 55g or the 20g. Those are both decently sized tanks that won't limit your fish selection too much.

Equipment:

Filter - On a particular tank, I like to either use two filters rated for that particular tank capacity or one bigger filter rated for twice the tank capacity. You can't have too much filtration, as long as the fish can handle the flow.

Heater - You get what you pay for here. Don't get a heater with a non-adjustable thermostat.

Lights - If you just want to see your fish, most any light will do. If you want live plants, you'll have to use more powerful light.

Substrate - You can use gravel or sand or go with a bare-bottom tank. I'm partial to sand. It's cheap and it looks good.

Decor - You can use whatever you want, but it's good to provide some cover for your fish. They like to feel safe.

If you're going saltwater, you'll need more stuff, but the equipment requirements for one aquarium don't differ much from another aquarium of the same type.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:20 PM   #5
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I like the way you set that up. It makes it easy for me to understand with the format. I thank you for that and also for clarifying that fact about cories. I would like to try out sand but is it cheap and also good for cichlids?
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:03 PM   #6
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Depends on what sand you use, I like useing stuff made for aquariums, so me being me ha to go out and buy Caribsea supernaturals for 25.99 per 20lb bag. I've never use pool filter or play sand. I just like knowing that I'm using something soecifically made for freshwater aquariums, or whatever in doing. But lots of people use pfs and play sand and it does just fine. I prefer sand over gravel as it's easier to clean, and if you get a nitro feeder they need sand, or at least cories do because yet dig in it and it can easily damage and infect there barbells if not using sand, even if soft rounded gravel they can't do there natural hooby, sifting through substrate diggin for food! I think sand is better than gravel for Chichimec also but I'm not 100 percent sure on that. Also snails tend to prefer sand. The previous answers pretty mug cover rquitment very well, so no need for further explanation by me. Of course if doing saltwater it's completely different, bur I'm guessing by the fw category your not doing sw. Good luck
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Originally Posted by Mako_Pacific View Post
I like the way you set that up. It makes it easy for me to understand with the format. I thank you for that and also for clarifying that fact about cories. I would like to try out sand but is it cheap and also good for cichlids?
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:34 AM   #7
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I've used play sand and Quickrete medium sand, which is basically PFS. I got both of them at Home Depot for $3 for a 50lb bag. 50lb of sand covered the bottom of my 29g (12"x30" footprint) to a depth of 3"-4". It's the cheapest substrate I can find short of digging dirt out of my yard.

It really depends on what type of cichlids you're trying to keep. It will work for all types of cichlids, but it may not be the best. Most African cichlids like water with high pH. It's really easy to use crushed coral as substrate to buffer the water for that high pH. South American cichlids should have no problem with sand.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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If you go with hillstream loaches, you will want a tank with high current and no heating. Many cories also like cooler water. Unless your water is extremely soft, even Africans can thrive in water that is right out of the tap. The less you play with your water the better, in my opinion. It is rarely necessary. If you use substrate to beffer your water, every time you change the water you will alter the water chemistry, which in general is not a good thing. Stability is better than "ideal".
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:15 AM   #9
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I just obtained a 50lb bag of play sand. I'm guessing I need to clean it off before I add it into the tank. How should I clean it off? Will a 50lb be enough to cover the bottom of a 55G tank? By the way, I'm thinking strongly on going with cichlids.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:03 AM   #10
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50lb should fill the 55g 1.5"-2".
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