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Old 12-27-2011, 09:05 PM   #1
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Rookie here could use some advice

Hello everyone, I'm new to the fish world and have a few questions on how to properly set up my new aquarium. A friend of mine gave me a beautiful 55 gallon bowfront tank with stand. The tank has one corner overflow and what looks like two hose connections that come through the bottom of the tank. The tank didn't come with a filter, and i'm not really sure which kind to buy. Can a canister filter be hooked up to those connections underneath the tank? I wanted to start with a freshwater aquarium bc I was told it is easier for a rookie to maintain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to AA!

I don't have much experience with canister filters so I'm not sure; hopefully someone else can come along and help there. Here are some links that discuss canisters for a 55 gal on this forum:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ank-49083.html
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...er-110915.html
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...er-170379.html

Other things to get would be a good liquid test kit (API Master is best) and a bottle of good dechlorinator (Prime is highly recommended). You'll also need a heater, substrate and decorations (of course).

How are you going to cycle the tank? Cycling means growing the proper bacteria for the tank to consume the toxins (ammonia) your fish put out through waste. The process can take some time and if you have fish in the tank you'd need to monitor the water closely and do frequent water changes. There are two links in my signature: new tank with fish (fish-in cycling) and new empty tank (fishless cycling). Read both and see which one you'd rather do.

Also I'd hit up your friend from some media from his filter; this would help speed up your cycle by introducing some of the needed bacteria to your tank.

Have you thought about what fish you'd like to get? I find it's best to ask here rather than trust what the fish/pet stores sell you.

Good luck and feel free to ask questions along the way.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:34 PM   #3
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thanks for the quick reply and advice. I can't get any media from the old filter bc the tank hasn't been used in quite a while, and it was used as a salt water tank. I read the links and decided to go with fishless cycling, don't want to hurt any fish in the process.

My friend used this tank as a saltwater tank. Can i use it as a freshwater tank?
i read up on some of the HOB filters like the aquaclear 110. My tank has two plexi glass covers that completely cover the top of the tank. Can i use a HOB filter with these covers? sorry for the noob questions, just want to do this right the first time with as few mistakes as possible
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
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not sure if i posted in the right section, can i plz get some advice guys? thanks
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:07 AM   #5
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AquaClears are great filters, I have one too, so I highly suggest them. I'm not sure about the cover; can you post a pic? Is there a way to cut an opening for the filter? If not you may just be able to lay the hood on top of the filter (if that makes sense lol).

I believe you can use a previous SW tank for FW just make sure you clean it thoroughly. Hot water and vinegar would be good to use. Just rinse it very well.

Also if you need some filter media, this site sells seeded "active" sponge filters from their fish tanks. Many members on here, myself included, have used them to help along their cycles. Just make sure you get one that says "active" next to it or you'll just be buying a plain filter. You'll also need some airline tubing (very cheap at most pet/fish stores) and an air pump to make it work.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:30 AM   #6
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest84 View Post
Hello everyone, I'm new to the fish world and have a few questions on how to properly set up my new aquarium. A friend of mine gave me a beautiful 55 gallon bowfront tank with stand. The tank has one corner overflow and what looks like two hose connections that come through the bottom of the tank. The tank didn't come with a filter, and i'm not really sure which kind to buy. Can a canister filter be hooked up to those connections underneath the tank? I wanted to start with a freshwater aquarium bc I was told it is easier for a rookie to maintain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
the only problem I see with the hoses underneath, is that they will need shutoff valves. because when you go to clean the filter it would drain the tank. sounds like he (original owner) had some type of sump tank setup.
which is also something for you to consider.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest84 View Post
Hello everyone, I'm new to the fish world and have a few questions on how to properly set up my new aquarium. A friend of mine gave me a beautiful 55 gallon bowfront tank with stand. The tank has one corner overflow and what looks like two hose connections that come through the bottom of the tank. The tank didn't come with a filter, and i'm not really sure which kind to buy. Can a canister filter be hooked up to those connections underneath the tank? I wanted to start with a freshwater aquarium bc I was told it is easier for a rookie to maintain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
If the tank is already drilled, why not do a sump?
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:47 AM   #9
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ty for the welcome. Yes the original owner did have a sump on the tank. The tank itself is made with a corner overflow and two hose ports or connections on the bottom of the tank. I don't really have the money for a sump right now, so i was wondering if i could just attach a canister to those bottom connections on the tank. Or am i better off just selling or trading this tank to someone who wants to do a saltwater setup. I would love to do a reef tank but i don't really have the knowledge or time to properly maintain it
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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How much are you planning on spending on a canister filter? Sumps don't have to be expensive, you could always make one out of a rubbermaid tub, hook it up to a pump and some piping.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:05 PM   #11
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im not really sure i guess under $200 all the sumps i seen were like 350+
also if i did go with a canister which one would u guys recommend for that size tank?
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Always go for a canister filter that is rated larger than your tank size itself. Hagen, Eheim or Rena are good and proven brand names.

If you decide to use your overflow bulkheads to connect to your canister filter, make sure you add some ball valves to each tube. You will need to get an adapter to go from the bulk head (the round plastic that is attached to the glass at the bottom of the tank) to a slip valve (bulkhead barb adapter). Then use clear tubing to go to a ball valve, and then from the ball valve to your canister filter. Your canister filter will have a built in ball valve that stops the water from leaking through your hose when you do maintenance on the filter. I wouldn't rely on that 100% though.

An alternative is to seal the bulkheads up. You can buy an end adapter for that. Then use whatever filtration method you desire.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #13
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ok so I decided to just put plugs in the bulkheads that I have and I bought two HOB filters..one Fluval C4 and one Aquaclear 70. If I ever decide to re-use the corner overflow in the future I can..do I push the plug into the bulkhead itself or into the pvc pipe coming out of the bulkheads?

reason I'm asking is because I'm having the slightest bit of water come down the inside of the pipe out of the barbed end. Can i just put a piece of clear hose to both sides of the barbed ends and loop it ?
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