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Old 04-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #1
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Totally New Set Up, a few questions

I recently purchased an all in one set up from Marineland, 55gal, Penguin Bio Wheel 350, heater, LED lights, the whole 9. I set everything up as far as gravel, a slate rock cave and tavern i designed and let the tank run empty for 3 days to de-gas. I then added 4 Serpae Tetras as the person at the LFS said they were hardy fish and good to start cycling, my gf who wanted to surprise me got me some additional fish, 2 pictus cats and 2 cory cats (albino and spotted). I'm huge on reading so i've been researching anything and everything, from websites, magazines, and picking peoples brains at the LFS. I have a few questions.

Eventually down the road i would like to have a saltwater set up.

1. I was curious to know what Canister filter could be used for salt and fresh. I have been reading on the Eheim filters and they look pretty good. I like the technology that goes with them (LED display and electronics). Also is it possible to have a filter that is just way too much for tank, (ie. filter is rated for 160gal but using it on 55gal)

2. I'm going to be putting some Malaysian driftwood into my tank, I've boiled it for about 2 hours, changing the water as i boiled it, and it is now soaking in dechlorinated water. How long should i soak it for best results, i know im always gonna have the tannins leach out. Also is there any media i can use to aid in filtering it out?

3. I would also like to add some live plants, what are some "beginner" plants so to say? I'd like some taller ones in the back and gradually get smaller toward the front.

4. Would it be wise to get a powerhead to create more water circulation?

I would really appreciate any input, don't feel inclined to answer everything. I welcome all opinions.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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How long has your tank been up? Did it finish cycling with the fish? Do you have a test kit for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? I would recommend reading up on fishless cycling, you can find the articles on this forum. You will be amazed.

Welcome to the forums by the way, great people here and lots of knowledge to be had.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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Lots of folks are going to tell you that you shouldn't have added fish yet, and done fishless cycling. But, since you have fish your going to want to watch your water parameters (amonia, nitrites and nitrates) closely. If you haven't, get a test kit.
As for plants, I like java fern and morimo (sp) moss balls. Both seem fairly forgiving plant wise and can be added more to fw.
As for canister filters, they might be over kill for fw,.but I ain't even gonna act like I really know anything.
Question, how long ha the tank been running now, and how fast did you add the fish. Even when,cycled, I'd suggest only a few at a time. Three or four at a time or so
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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Its been running for 2 weeks now. I tested it the other day, and everything so far is in the "safe" zone. I've read many articles on fishless cycling vs cycling with fish, very compelling arguments on each side. I added 4 fish after a 3 days running without anything in it. Then a week after my gf brought some home, and i felt bad saying she shouldn't have, i then educated her on cycling the tank.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:19 PM   #5
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I ended up live cycling my first tank to. It wasn't as rough a some discribe, but I had a few scares. Sounds like your keeping an eye on things though. I would suggest checking very often. What ettore of test are you using if I may ask
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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I had just got the vial of sticks you dip in and compare to the squares on the vial. I realize that this the most important factor of aquarium keeping, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money till i got a good opinion on which testing set up to get. In the long run the money factor will add up but I know its worth it to buy the best I can.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BfishLpond78 View Post
Its been running for 2 weeks now. I tested it the other day, and everything so far is in the "safe" zone. I've read many articles on fishless cycling vs cycling with fish, very compelling arguments on each side. I added 4 fish after a 3 days running without anything in it. Then a week after my gf brought some home, and i felt bad saying she shouldn't have, i then educated her on cycling the tank.
If you have a big enough tank, it's possible for you water parameters to stay in the safe zone for a few days. It will not stay that way however...you really need to be doing daily testing of you water parameters so that you don't get an out of control ammonia or nitrate spike (Any ammonia or nitrite over .25ppm) that can harm your fish.

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BfishLpond78 View Post
I had just got the vial of sticks you dip in and compare to the squares on the vial. I realize that this the most important factor of aquarium keeping, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money till i got a good opinion on which testing set up to get. In the long run the money factor will add up but I know its worth it to buy the best I can.
Get yourself a good water test kit as soon as possible. Liquid test kits are more reliable then test strips and a popular brand is API. Most chain pet stores like Petco and Petsmart carry them.

http://www.petco.com/product/103685/...-Test-Kit.aspx
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BfishLpond78 View Post
I'm going to be putting some Malaysian driftwood into my tank, I've boiled it for about 2 hours, changing the water as i boiled it, and it is now soaking in dechlorinated water. How long should i soak it for best results, i know im always gonna have the tannins leach out. Also is there any media i can use to aid in filtering it out?

I would also like to add some live plants, what are some "beginner" plants so to say? I'd like some taller ones in the back and gradually get smaller toward the front.
Try Seachem's purigen. I've used it before and it works well in helping to remove tannins plus it's rechargable so that you can reuse it if you need to. It's hard to say how long your particular piece will need to soak; It can take quite a while if the piece is large enough.

The plants you will be able to sustain will largely depend on your lighting. Can you tell us more about what you have? Some easy low light beginner plants are java fern, crypts and annubias, some swords, as well as java moss. Check out this site for a good list: PlantGeek.net - Plant Guide
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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Most around here suggests the api fresh water master kit and its easy to use. To save I'd suggest getting out online, since the big box pet stores charge high and so do some small lfs. Use the test steps till you can though. Just new aware they lie sometimes
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