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Old 11-27-2002, 09:12 PM   #1
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Getting a new tank, what a good price for a tank?

Hi, i'm getting my first tank and what i was offered $25 for a 20 gallon tank or $75 for a 55 gallon tank. So what do you guys think? It's it a good price? Do you think i should get the 20 gallon or the 55 gallon? Thanks.

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Old 11-27-2002, 09:49 PM   #2
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I live in Northern Virginia and out here a 20 gallon tank can cost anywhere from $70 to $90 and a 55 gallon tank usually costs more than $150. This includes a filter, heater, thermometer, a few fake plants, and sometimes some gravel.

So, too me those sound like good prices even if they don't come with anything.

I started with a 10 gallon tank and then got a 20 gallon tank a few years later and a year or so after that I got a 55 gallon tank. I believe I started with the 10 gallon tank because I didn't have a lot of money to invest in a tank at the time. However, If I could do it over again I would probably start with the 55 gallon tank. I believe a 55 gallon tank is easier to keep a balanced bio filter and you have more time to fix any problems than with a smaller tank. If your heater breaks down the water doesn't cool as fast as with a 10 gallon tank. Pollution levels rise slower in a 55 gallon tank than in a 20 gallon tank. Basically, if you are just starting out the larger tank will give you time to research issues before they become life threatening for the fish.
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Old 11-27-2002, 10:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The price is for the tank only and i am looking for some information about filter, heater, etc. So for a 55 gallon tank what type of filter am i looking for (how many gph)? And what about the heater and gravel?

These are the filter and heater i had in mind, since the tank will be in my room, i need a silent filter. What do you guys think about the filter and heater. Any suggestion? Thanks

AquaClear- 200 http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_699.shtml
Penn Plax Submersible Heater 200 Watt http://r5.us.rmi.yahoo.com/rmi/http:...%3ftarget=_top
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Old 11-27-2002, 10:39 PM   #4
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Before getting my 55 gallon tank I used the smaller gravel, but when I upgraded to the 55 gallon tank I decided to get a slightly larger gravel and choose to get a light brown mix. I think what kind of gravel you get depends on the type of fish you plan to get and the way you plan to decorate your tank. For example, I think my 10 gallon tank looks good with the blue gravel I have in it, whereas I wanted what I consider a more natural look for my 55 gallon tank. I have some fist sized rocks and other slightly larger decoration items in my 55 gallon tank.

You should consider at least these two options for the heating of a 55 gallon tank. You can get one 200 watt heater or you can get two 100 watt heaters. The benefit of having two heaters is that if one fails (meaning it doesn't heat or it tries to heat too much) you will have time to fix the situation before all your fish die from water that could be too hot or too cold. Also you need to consider if you want submersible heaters or not. When I got a decent heater I opted to get a submersible heater. This was mostly motivated by the fact that the non submersible types have a line that the water should always touch and often I don't get around to top filling the tank that much so with the submersible heater I don't have to worry about that. I also don't have to remember to let the heater cool for about 15 minutes before changing 25% of the water as I have placed it low enough that it will remain underwater even after I remove a lot of water.

I know the least about filters. I have whisper filters and these seem to be fine for me. I haven't really tried other filters so I can't say much about which are best or not. The filter I have on my 55 gallon tank is technically inadequate for this size of tank. The outside of the box says it is for a 20 to 40 gallon tank and that it moves 200 gallons per hour. My 55 gallon tank has been running now for more than a year with this filter and I've had no environmental problems since I set up the tank. I have about 30 fish in this tank which includes an 8 inch pleco, one 6 inch fish, and a 6 inch crayfish. I recommend getting a filter that moves more than 200 gallons per hour.

Also in case you haven't heard before, I would start a 55 gallon with only about 6 to 10 inches worth of fish and then wait about 3 weeks before getting more. This gives your biological filter time to grow to control the increased pollution caused by the fish. Then you can gradually add more fish until you have the amount you want.
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Old 11-27-2002, 10:49 PM   #5
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Hi jbahseng,

The link that you posted for the heater says;
Quote:
The rule of thumb when buying a heater is 5 watts for each gallon the aquarium holds. Typically, one heater is sufficient for an aquarium. However, for better heat distribution in larger aquariums, especially tanks more than 36 inches in length, it's best to have two heaters.

The heaters should be placed at opposite ends of the tank and each should be about half the total required wattage. For example, if you have a 55-gallon aquarium, you will have the best heat distribution is you put a 150-watt heater at each end of your aquarium.
I have read the same 5 watts/g rule on many sites.
Also, with 2 weaker heaters, if 1 fails and stick in the on position, you won't cook you fish as fast. (You may have time to correct it.)

55g x 5 watts/g = 275 watts

200 watts may be low depending on the fish that you are going to keep. You may want to consider 2 150 watt heaters (budget permitting).


I don't know much about filtration so don't quote me on this but I have heard that that you need to circulate the volume of your tank between 1 to 3 times per hour. (Less fish and more plants require less filtration), others on this site can get you some better numbers.

You are doing the right thing... Research, Research, Research.

I am positive you'll find the information that you are looking for these folks are a great resource. Have fun.
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