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Old 07-28-2003, 03:24 PM   #1
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need advice for a new tank

Hello- I am really in need of some advice.

To give you some background here, I have twin 8 year old boys. One of them has special needs so we spend lots of time at the hospital while he is in therapy. My kids all love the tanks there. Most are just gravel, a couple fake plants and 2-3 large fish floating around. My son LOVES these- I think because of his vision problems he has a hard time seeing very small fish that swim alone so the big ones or schools are easy for him to look at. Anyhow I have thought for a long time that he would love to have a tank at home. His brother has a hamster and I do pretty will with pets as long as I know what I need to do. So, this summer we got our pond out back running and my hubby bought two goldfish to swim around in it. I didnt think they would make it but they are about 4-5 inches long and doing fine. Because we were doing so well and enjoying the fish so much my mother decided to give my son her old tank. He got very excited about this. I had seen the tank before when it was built into her wall and it didnt seem so big. Plus I was under the impression that all of the equipment was included.

Anyhow, two weeks ago the tank arrived. It was covered in heavy plastic but what I could see was so dirty you couldnt see through it. When I unwrapped it and measured it I was quite surprised to find it was a 75 gallon tank and empty of all of the equipment. She had given the equipment away to her "fish guy" (she had hired someone to come in set up the tank and then run it for her)

I finally got the nerve up to try to clean it and after scrubbing it down a couple times I was actually surprised how clean it ended up looking. Because my son was so excited about it we brought it inside, filled it halfway and put his betta in it to swim around (my hubby figured it had to be as good as the 1 gal bowl it was in) Then I went around to several LFS to find out what I would need to buy. I also went to the library and checked out a book and have been looking online. Now for my questions. Everyone I talk to has a different take on what I really need so I am not sure what to do. My thinking is this- I have my two goldfish I would like to put in the tank to start. I would like to get it set up and running so that it looks nice and I can keep it clean but I dont want to spend a fortune until I know that this is something my son will really take an interest in. What do I really need? I would eventually like plants but I am a bit timid of this so can I start off with plastic or do I need to gets plants now? Also I am unsure what type of filter to get? The tank did have 2 plastic underground filters in the bottom with nothing attached to them but I dont know what I need to get to go with it or how much I need to spend on it. I would like my tank to look more like a river stream and not a tropical paradise so we did get a rock patterned background. Do I need a heater right now since they are goldfish? One told me that I needed two heaters and someone elso told me that one would be fine. I have also been told that I should get two of the rim type filters, and that I should just buy a canister.

I am just confused. because we were not expecting to buy all of the equipment, my hubby is not liking the idea of spending hundreds of dollars. but knowing him if I could get it up and running for now and he likes the outcome- he usually gets into it and wants to upgrade (which is why our hamster now lives in a two level cage with two wheels) Please give me your advice. Thanks

Stacie
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
can I start off with plastic or do I need to gets plants now
you can start with plastic and get live plants later. That will be fine. But I would not use the undergravel filter with live plants. (plants will not do well)
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needed two heaters and someone elso told me that one would be fine
one will work just fine but two will be more efficient.
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I have also been told that I should get two of the rim type filters, and that I should just buy a canister.
either way will work, but I would recommend a fluidized bed filter. Espescially if your going to keep large goldfish. Goldfish have a tendency to make large messes

Be careful cuase you just might like it more than your son does and you'll end up like the rest of us.
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Old 07-28-2003, 04:15 PM   #3
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OK, budget is a concern, thats cool.
Assuming you stick with goldfish, NO heater is necessary, room temp. will be fine, they are cold water fish. If you decide to get tropical fish, 2 heaters are better than one, if one goes on the fritz, the other will handle things.
Plastic plants are the best idea for now, you can switch later if you choose.
Either get a cannister filter, or 2 HOB filters, as was reccomended to you. 2 hob's will be easier to maintain.
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:49 PM   #4
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I'd say 2 HOB emperor filters would do the trick. Pretty much all youd need for goldfish are the filters, I would reccomend a gravel bed to anchor the fake plants and decorations in but if you decide you dont want one the maintenece would be easier. A tank of that size with a few goldfish really shouldnt be very demanding.
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Old 07-29-2003, 12:53 PM   #5
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Oh yea, a light would be nice, I reccomend the perfecto perfectalite, they are pretty easy and cheap, and eventually if you want live plants, you could use that lighting for them. A glass top with a few strip lights, or the full hood would be good. I have had the full hood on a smaller 10 gallon and it worked great, www.perfectomfg.com is the URL i think.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:54 PM   #6
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Wheeee! A 75 gallon tank? Thats HUGE! You could prob fit 4 goldfish in there comfortably

I agree, definitely need a filter. I use the ones that come with a bio-wheel (Penguin, Emperor, all made by Marineland). I like the bio-wheel as it gives the nitrifying bacteria an extra place to live, which means you can gravel vac the bottom of the tank to your heart's content and not mess up the bio-filter and the cycle (and you will need to with goldfish...messy buggers). If you are unfamiliar with the nitrogen cycle, have a gander at this: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html . There is other awesome info on that site; click on "main map" at the bottom to see.

I strongly suggest you not use an underground filter. They clog easily and again, goldfish are messy. A hang on back one should be fine, and since it moves the surface, you won't need an airstone and pump (those bubbles don't put air in the water; they move the surface so oxygen can be exchanged up there). This way you kill 2 birds with one stone and save a couple bucks.

Live plants are not necessary; in fact goldfish are notorious for ripping them up LOL I'd go with plastic ones. Easier to take care of, and they don't die.

So, IMHO looks like you need a HOB (hang on the back filter), some plastic plants, maybe some gravel and you WILL need a gravel vac. Not expensive, and you'll need to get up all the poo from the bottom. Oh. and food (which I'm guessing you have already). The only major expense I see is the filter which can run you from about $50- $100 depending on type and where you get it.

I also suggest educating both boys on the basics of fish care; 8 year olds suck up info like no one I know, handicapped or not (I work with disabled kiddies). They can certainly understand the basics of the cycle and you get to use words like pee and poo

Be warned. Fish keeping is highly addictive. *grin*
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