Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-03-2005, 09:41 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 65
To heat or not to heat?

Okay, so it was a corny title... :P but I've been tossing this around for a while now and since finding this site today, I'm as unsure as ever. Here's my tank history/experience and my current dilema:

I have 20 yrs of tank experience. I have a pretty good knowledge base (although some of the posts I've read so far make me feel like a newbie LOL). Anyway, my tanks have always been successful until the last time, 2 yrs ago.
I have a 45 gallon FW. For years I had goldfish because I like them, and also I didn't have to deal with heating, etc. Three years ago my last goldfish died so I started over and switched to FW tropicals. I've had tropicals before so I know how to run the tank. Well, this time, I had bad luck. They were dying a lot. I did all the standard tests and troubleshooting. It was frustrating as you can imagine. Around that time I had to move, so I broke down the tank and haven't set it up in 2 yrs. My insticts tell me that my filtration was the issue last time. When I had the goldfish, I had an Aquaclear 500....ALOT more filtration than needed, but with goldfish, it worked perfectly. When I switched to tropicals, I got an Aquaclear 200. Barely adequate IMO. I think this was the problem.
So anyway, I just finished setting up a fishless tank. And I have two Aquaclear 200's running. I always believe in extra filtration.
Okay....so the dilema....I was going to go with goldfish for the same reasons above. But now that I've found this site....I'm SOOO tempted to try the tropicals again. Of course, I have to get a heater (preferrably a submersible and I posted in another thread about that). Oh yes, and this whole matter of cycling fishless. I've never done that but it seems to be the preference of people here.
ARGH! What to do!?? LOL!!
So I guess the question is: what do I put in my tank? Tropicals or goldfish

Anyway, that's me.
__________________

__________________
3 long-finned zebra danios
4 long-finned leopard danios
6 neon tetras
2 silver tip tetras
1 red tailed black shark
5 red phantom tetras

45 gallon mirror back
20W flourescent light
2 Aquaclear 200 filters
1 300W visitherm sub heater
Decorations: Castle ruins with matching archway
Plastic plants: 2 x-tall, 3 medium, 3 short, 4 x-short
Blue gravel - large pebbles
Ginafish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 09:53 PM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
 
Jchillin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New York, NY (The Big Apple)
Posts: 14,951
Welcome to AA Ginafish! Without utilizing any bias, I would suggest tropicals. With the tank you have you can have a very nice community.

In regard to fishless cycling, you would use an NH3 source other than fish (fish food, pure NH3, elements from an established tank) to cycle your tank.

Good luck with your decision (especially if it's tropicals)!
__________________

__________________
_________________________________
Jchillin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 10:17 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 65
Thank you!
Yes...as I sit here staring at the tank, which I LOVE, I can envision a nice community in there. LOL
I plan on reading all the threads I can find on here about fishless cycling. I do have plenty of fish food left over I can use. I'm also a science teacher so I'm sure I have pure ammonia in my chemical cabinet at school. But that scares me a bit using that. I think I'm going to go out and buy an aquarium test kit too (saw some good ones recommended). I know I also have water testing kits at school but I'd rather have my own at home. I'm rusty on what levels should be what during cycling, so I need to read all that again too. Guess I won't be getting fish as soon as I thought I would. Ah well.
Once again, I'm so happy I found this place!
__________________
3 long-finned zebra danios
4 long-finned leopard danios
6 neon tetras
2 silver tip tetras
1 red tailed black shark
5 red phantom tetras

45 gallon mirror back
20W flourescent light
2 Aquaclear 200 filters
1 300W visitherm sub heater
Decorations: Castle ruins with matching archway
Plastic plants: 2 x-tall, 3 medium, 3 short, 4 x-short
Blue gravel - large pebbles
Ginafish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 10:20 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Calgary
Posts: 1,835
Send a message via ICQ to SerLunchbox Send a message via AIM to SerLunchbox Send a message via MSN to SerLunchbox Send a message via Yahoo to SerLunchbox
Adding fish food to cycle the tank can sometimes have it take longer. It depends on how much patience you have. Fishless cycle, i am all for it myself. IMO i think it is the way to go. There are some ways to speed the process up instead of cycling from scratch. Jchillin mentioned elements from and established tank, well, what i do (for friends that will be establishing their tank for the first time) is i give them about 5 - 10 gallons of water from my tank when i am cleaning it. It has established bacteria in it and can help it cycle faster. Another thing i saw at my LFS is a substrate that comes packaged in water. This water actually has a lot of beneficial bacteria in it. it is something to look into. If you also happen to know someone with extra filteration, you can also see about borrowing someones established "extra" filter for a week or 2. These are all things that can help you out.

If you want to cycle the tank with fish, after a few days or a week you can add some zebra danios to help out. they are a hardy fish that will survive very well in the water.
__________________
Lunchbox ... "i'm a man, but i can change, if i have to, i guess"

Tankless ... for now ... until i find what i really want (and what the wife lets me get!)
SerLunchbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 10:28 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 65
Thanks so much. I was just reading a thread on fishless cycling that was a bit overwhelming. LOL I could try using Ammonia if you think that's better.
I guess the biggest problem is that I don't know anyone with an established tank. How sad is that? LOL So I'm out of luck with that. I suppose I could check out packaged substrate. There's a good fish place about 30 min from here. I could see if they have anything like that.
__________________
3 long-finned zebra danios
4 long-finned leopard danios
6 neon tetras
2 silver tip tetras
1 red tailed black shark
5 red phantom tetras

45 gallon mirror back
20W flourescent light
2 Aquaclear 200 filters
1 300W visitherm sub heater
Decorations: Castle ruins with matching archway
Plastic plants: 2 x-tall, 3 medium, 3 short, 4 x-short
Blue gravel - large pebbles
Ginafish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 11:14 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Corona Ca.
Posts: 515
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Every day as I learn more, I realize how little I really know Go for the tropicals.
__________________
Doran Hayes
BASSNMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 11:22 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Fernando Valley/Northridge Area, CA
Posts: 281
Send a message via AIM to deeni0z
If you go with tropicals, you can have pretty pretty plants to obsess over!
__________________
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in the most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
deeni0z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 06:14 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BrianNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by BASSNMAN
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Every day as I learn more, I realize how little I really know Go for the tropicals.
Ain't it the truth? Alot of well meaning people simply give poor or incomplete advice, so I understand your confusion completely. Just because something can be done doesn't make it the best way to do it. That goes for keeping a successful aquarium too.

Planning your aquarium ahead of time makes sense. Select one species of fish that you want to keep and then build the environment based on its' requirements. If you avoid overstocking, overfeeding and impulse buying of fish at the lfs, you'll have a very successful aquarium.
__________________
BrianNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 11:54 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 65
Thanks everyone!
Well the good news is that I have the proper ammonia here at school (guess it helps to be a science teacher...just have to make sure it's a lower molarity LOL). So I think I'm gonna do that fishless cycling. I need to piece together some threads I've seen on here so I know step by step exactly what to do and when.
And you're SO right!! After reading all this info, I feel like I know so little! LOL And yes, sometimes there's so much info from different people, it's confusing. Like I said, I found 2 threads on this site that are pretty specific...but if anyone has "directions" for me, I swear I'll do the tropicals. LMAO!! Alright, I probably will do the tropicals, but I'd be ever so grateful.
Actually, my students have been bugging me to get my goldfish tank here at school going again. I could help the cycle at home using a couple of goldfish (not comets) and then transfer them to the cold water tank, no??
Oh, and I posted in a thread under Equipment about heaters. I'm trying to decide between a couple of brands. If anyone has a suggestion, I'd appreciate that too. I was looking at Visi-therm Stealth probably 300 Watts for my 45 gallon.
Thanks again!!
__________________
3 long-finned zebra danios
4 long-finned leopard danios
6 neon tetras
2 silver tip tetras
1 red tailed black shark
5 red phantom tetras

45 gallon mirror back
20W flourescent light
2 Aquaclear 200 filters
1 300W visitherm sub heater
Decorations: Castle ruins with matching archway
Plastic plants: 2 x-tall, 3 medium, 3 short, 4 x-short
Blue gravel - large pebbles
Ginafish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 01:43 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BrianNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,535
At 5wpg you only need 200w. The best way to do this is with 2 100w heaters. visatherm is an excellent brand. JMO
__________________
BrianNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 02:06 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Corona Ca.
Posts: 515
I just bought 2 big als house brand heaters. They are working fine and are really cheap. 100 watt for $4.99. They are clamp on, not fully submersible and fully adjustable. Guaranteed for 1 year. How can you go wrong!
__________________
Doran Hayes
BASSNMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 06:04 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 65
Sounds like a good deal. I've checked out Big Al's site and there's some great prices and products on there. But I really want to go submersible this time. I've never been happy with a clamp on. I still have the one that goes with my tank, but I'm not using it b/c it sucks. LOL

I've seen other people suggest 2 heaters instead of one. Is that really much better? If I place it horizontally in the center of the tank, won't that be adequate?
__________________
3 long-finned zebra danios
4 long-finned leopard danios
6 neon tetras
2 silver tip tetras
1 red tailed black shark
5 red phantom tetras

45 gallon mirror back
20W flourescent light
2 Aquaclear 200 filters
1 300W visitherm sub heater
Decorations: Castle ruins with matching archway
Plastic plants: 2 x-tall, 3 medium, 3 short, 4 x-short
Blue gravel - large pebbles
Ginafish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 07:00 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Newcastle, England
Posts: 14
The reason for two heaters, is that if one breaks and sticks on, then it is less likely to boil your fish, as the other one will stay off because of the thermostat. If all the heating power is in one, then the temp of the tank could rise much more quickly. Similarly, if one fails off, then the other will still work, and the temp will not drop as much.

If you place the heater in an area of high water flow, such as near a filter outlet, then you are more likely to have an evenly distributed temperature throughout the tank. If there is a good water flow over the heater, I dont think it matters much if the heater is horizontal, vertical or diagonal

NB
__________________
NinjaBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 07:20 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
TomK2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
Posts: 2,085
Definitely go with the tropical tank!

I would just add that you can use fish to establish a biologic filter without being mean to the fish.... If you stock very lightly, feed sparingly, and are very patient. I am talking about one inch of fish for each 5 gallons (choose a hardy breed like danios or platies), feed once a day or twice a day only what they consume in two minutes, and don't add any more fish for 4 to 6 weeks. Yes, thats 4 to 6 weeks! Can't wait that long? then don't use fish. but remember that you will be staring at a giant test tube with chemicals in it for 2 to four weeks using ammonia, whereas slow patient fish cycling you are at least looking at fish in a tank, albeit the same small ones for weeks on end.

Then there is the whole Bio-spira thing too.

here's a link or two about fishless cycling.


http://www.algone.com/fishless_cycling.htm
http://www.aquamaniacs.net/cyclingsafelyfishless.html
__________________
TomK2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 09:01 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BrianNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,535
Man Ginafish...............are you on info overload yet? Actually you're getting some excellent advice. If you want to go top shelf on the heaters, Won titanium pro are the best. I use them in my discus tanks and have nothing but praise.
__________________
BrianNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 09:14 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: winston-salem
Posts: 152
i have to throw in my lone vote for gold fish the can be so great

good luck what ever direction you choose!
__________________
benjis gold fish
benji-star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 09:28 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 65
Quote:
Man Ginafish...............are you on info overload yet?
LOL....I look like this right now 8O
No, I really do appreciate all the advice I'm getting. It's going to help me do this right, no matter which cycling path I take. I'm not afraid to cycle with fish, as I've always done that. I'd be totally fine with just a few small danios to start me off.
Quote:
have to throw in my lone vote for gold fish the can be so great
Yes, I love them too. I like the more exotic ones....like Shabunkins. Not too crazy about the telescope eyed ones, but I like fan tails, and Butterfly Koi are beautiful too. Since I want to set up my ten gallon at school again I could always satisfy myself with a few fantails in there.
__________________
3 long-finned zebra danios
4 long-finned leopard danios
6 neon tetras
2 silver tip tetras
1 red tailed black shark
5 red phantom tetras

45 gallon mirror back
20W flourescent light
2 Aquaclear 200 filters
1 300W visitherm sub heater
Decorations: Castle ruins with matching archway
Plastic plants: 2 x-tall, 3 medium, 3 short, 4 x-short
Blue gravel - large pebbles
Ginafish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005, 09:57 PM   #18
AA Team Emeritus
 
jsoong's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 4,222
Quote:
have to throw in my lone vote for gold fish the can be so great
Another vote for gold fish from me! For me, goldies are more like pets. Each has tons of personality.

However, I would caution keeping goldies in a 10. Yes, you can keep 2 or 3 small fantails in a ten for a few years if you are diligent with water change, etc. But they do need more room to live a full & happy life (10 - 15 years are not uncommon). My kid's school has a small indoor pond (100-200 gal) in the atrium with a half dozen goldies. The kids love them. This might be a better setup in the long run.
__________________
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
jsoong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005, 11:02 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: TN USA
Posts: 283
I have a post on a fishless cycling thread that gives specifics about the names of bacteria and there needs on the board here. I researched for a week or more everything I could find out about fishless cycling.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=39891

there is the thread with alot of info on it. also here is some more info on the bacteria.

http://article.dphnet.com/cat-01/naturewonders3.shtml

http://article.dphnet.com/cat-01/naturewonders4.shtml

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

http://www.aquahobby.org/articles/e_fishless.php

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article14.html

http://www.aquamaniacs.net/cyclingsafelyfishless.html

http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/biologicalfiltrat.htm

anyhow I hope this helps
__________________
I Love GUPPIES!!!
FancyGuppyGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2005, 12:12 PM   #20
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 65
Thanks Guppy Guy! I did read that first link/thread you put in there.
There's definitely a divide on here between fishless and "with fish" cycling. I've always done the latter. Fishless seems great too.
I just placed an order at Big Al's for my heater (I am going with one...Visitherm Deluxe 300W....more watts than I need but they only had 200W and 300W in this model...and my living room is on the cool side). Should it break for whatever reason, I do have my clamp on I can throw in there for emergency. I also ordered a deluxe test kit and some live bacteria. So I'm just sitting tight until that stuff gets here. I do have an old ammonia test, which I used for the hell of it last night. Zero ammonia...no surprise.... there's nothing in there.... However my test kit is over expiration so I'm throwing it out.
I'll probably cycle it fishless with the live bacteria. I have the ammonia at school. I'll read those other links you posted.
Quote:
Each has tons of personality
You have no idea how well I know that fact!! I posted this somewhere else on the board. I had a goldfish for 7 years. "She" was a common goldfish and her name was Gina (hence my nickname). She was near and dear to me. I wound up buying my 45 gallon for her!! She passed over the rainbow bridge in 1997. This fish had an attitude! I have witnesses to back me up. I could write forever on it.
Quote:
However, I would caution keeping goldies in a 10. Yes, you can keep 2 or 3 small fantails in a ten for a few years if you are diligent with water change, etc. But they do need more room to live a full & happy life (10 - 15 years are not uncommon). My kid's school has a small indoor pond (100-200 gal) in the atrium with a half dozen goldies. The kids love them. This might be a better setup in the long run.
I hear ya. I actually have a 20 gallon I could move them to eventually. I'd love to see your kid's school..wow!! 8O It's an understatement to say that is not feasible in mine. This tank is in my classroom.
__________________

__________________
3 long-finned zebra danios
4 long-finned leopard danios
6 neon tetras
2 silver tip tetras
1 red tailed black shark
5 red phantom tetras

45 gallon mirror back
20W flourescent light
2 Aquaclear 200 filters
1 300W visitherm sub heater
Decorations: Castle ruins with matching archway
Plastic plants: 2 x-tall, 3 medium, 3 short, 4 x-short
Blue gravel - large pebbles
Ginafish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
eat, heat

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beat the Heat fishylittlenemo Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 9 06-01-2006 07:35 AM
Heat Omega Saltwater Reef Aquaria 5 09-11-2005 02:05 PM
Heat Stroke easyian Saltwater Reef Aquaria 1 05-28-2005 09:26 PM
MAN THE HEAT!!!!!!!!! oscarbreeder Aquaria Off-Topic 16 07-14-2004 08:33 PM
Heat and algae got bait? Saltwater Reef Aquaria 2 05-13-2004 01:00 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.