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Old 04-09-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
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I used to dabble in freshwater 19 years ago when I was 19. My kids have a hand me down (from their Grandpa) Marineland Euro 28g bow front w/ glass top and 24" light strip w/ T8 18" 15w flourescent lamp. It also came with a Top Fin 30 filter and Neptune 100w heater. I finally got around to cleaning everything up today and verifying the tank is leak-free.

I would like advice on the following ideas. I plan on ditching the Top Fin 30 filter and buying an Aqua Clear 50 or 70. Or use my old Supreme Aquamaster PME power filter with the Top Fin 30. I think the 100w heater will suffice, if it even still works, until we go on a vacation in the winter time and leave the home thermostat set at 60, at which point I think a 150w or 200w would be better.


I'm very interested in using real plants, which means I'll probably need more light. Are there any low light plants that will allow me to use my existing light? If I determine I want to stick with real plants, what do you suggest for a new light setup which still fits on top of the tank without ridiculous overhang? I've read that with a 36w setup, I won't need CO2, which is a good thing because I'd rather keep this as simple as possible.


For livestock, I was looking at two kuhlii loaches, one or two clown loaches, one or two corys or dwarf plecos, bala sharks, redtail sharks, tiger barbs, assorted tetras (suggestions?), angelfish. Obviously, I don't want to overpopulate, so I am looking for suggestions.


My kids and I went to a couple big box LFS' today to do some window shopping and look at prices of equipment. I also tried to find some PFS at Home Depot and Lowe's. I didn't find anything that specifically said "pool filter sand", though at Home Depot I did find the same sand a local pool supply store is selling as PFS. It is marked Industrial Quartz and is supposed to be 20 grit silica sand. Lowe's did have Quikrete All Purpose Sand, though probably not what I should use. I'll make some calls to other pool supply stores this coming week.

I need substrate soon, so I can get going on the fishless cycle. Of course I'll need to settle on which filter to use and will also be picking up the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Do I need to use the Top Fin Water Dechlorinator for the tap water? What about Top Fin Bacteria Supplement or Top Fin Water Conditioner?



Anyway, I know I'm covering a lot here, but I'm trying to soak in as much as I can and get the ball rolling on something my kids and I can work on together. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
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Bump because my post finally got approved.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:46 PM   #3
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I'd forget about the clown loachs they are great fish but can reach a foot or more in length and i don't think that would go well in your aquarium
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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Everything sounds good and to my opinion don't get the bacteria starter or anything like that. Just go and buy any freshwater dechlorinater to clean the water. and the upgrading on the filter would be GREAT.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #5
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To add, any dechlorinator is ok as long as you use one. Personally, I like Prime by Seachem because it takes care of chlorine and chloramines.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:22 AM   #6
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I use top fin it also takes out the chlorine and chloramines and has four slime coat enhancers.
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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I started the fishless cycle yesterday. I recorded my tank parameters prior to adding 80 drops of Prime. I then checked ammonia after the Prime and then added 1 tsp of Ace Hardware Janitorial ammonia to achieve 4 ppm.

Substrate is Quikrete PFS. Filters are Top Fin 30 (HOB) using the standard filter without any charcoal. I'm also using my 19 year old Supreme Aquamaster PME (HOB) power filter using fluval canister biomedia with some cut to fit foam as the filter media.
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:05 PM   #8
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Make sure that you get only one redtail shark!!!
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