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Old 01-07-2007, 03:45 AM   #1
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New to Aquariums - Couple Questions..

First of all Id like to say hi, I'm new to this forum as well as new to aquariums in general. I grew up with my grandfather whom had a whole bedroom in our house dedicated to aquariums and reptiles.. so that kinda got me into it..

Anywho, I have a 55gal tank that i want to do something with, and I figured freshwater is a safe route for a beginner. I already have the fish planned out and made sure they are compat (even though that doesnt mean anything right?)..

My Questions:
1) My tank has dried green algae on the inside, will that rinse and filter away or should i put a vinegar/water mix in there and scrape it all off?

2) Do I really need a hood or anything of that sort? All I have are a couple crappy Tube Lights that literally SIT on top of the tank.. Should I need to get one of the ones with a light on the back and the little flap door things on the front?

2 part 2) If so, my filter hangs over the back of the tank, so how would I incorporate one of those deals with that? I assume just modify the hood and cut it around where the filter sits?

Thanks all!
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:44 AM   #2
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1) whatever gets it off. obviously don't use soap, but water and a algae pad will take it off, with a little help from a special ingrediant. I think my follks called it elbow grease.

2)a) Depends on the fish, mostly. No lid means you have the greater potential for escapees (and then fatalities). Snails may crawl right out, rainbows will clear the lip of you tank, etc...personally, I'd get one. They're not that expensive. Even if your LFS doesn't carry one in your size, they can likely get a custom cut glass lid.

2)b) Assuming you go with a HOB unit. If you haven't purchased a filter yet, I would reccomend a canister. The Rena XP3 will be highly recomended for you here, though I prefer Ehiem. If you're stuck with a HOB (I don't mean there in a derogitory way), then yes, a hood will have cut-outs.


That being said, I hope your gramps has taught you plenty, but please go read through the articles on this site, http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...php?fldAuto=2/ especially on The Nitrogen Cycle, and Fishless Cycle.

Good luck, welcome, post pictures, and feel free to ask lots of questions
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:20 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA!!!!!!!!

An algae scrubber should work, if not vinegar will but make sure to rinse the vinegar out well.

In addition to having to worry about escapees, you will suffer more evaporation and risk any airborne contaminants getting into the tank. You can get a plain sheet of glass cut if you take the blueprint, including where you are placing the heater to any glass company, should be very inexpensive.

You say you already have the filter, what kind of filter is it?

I too recommend highly, reading the articles, esp the fishless cycling article. You can use pure ammonia instead of shrimp.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
Welcome to AA!!!!!!!!

An algae scrubber should work, if not vinegar will but make sure to rinse the vinegar out well.

In addition to having to worry about escapees, you will suffer more evaporation and risk any airborne contaminants getting into the tank. You can get a plain sheet of glass cut if you take the blueprint, including where you are placing the heater to any glass company, should be very inexpensive.

You say you already have the filter, what kind of filter is it?

I too recommend highly, reading the articles, esp the fishless cycling article. You can use pure ammonia instead of shrimp.
thanks, yeah since i got this filter for xmas im going to at least try it out before i decide anything against it.. but yes its a HOB unit, a tetra whisper filter made for 30-60 gal
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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If it's designed for the tank size, your filtration should be good, but you might not have the circulation needed from the return. You might have to get a powerhead to move the water around.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:02 PM   #7
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powerhead? that just another fancy term for a pump? I still need to get a heater and a pump and some substrate.. Im looking for some moonsand or something dark so it will bring out the colors in the fish and the decor..

btw what are those hoods with the door and such called, so i can look them up online?
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:30 PM   #8
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Yes a Powerhead is just a circulatory pump. See here. You can actually get them with filters attached, but I don't know how well that works and it takes up space inside your tank. Basically it adds more flow to the water so you don't have dead spots where junk can accumulate and the moving water makes it harder for algae to grow. Canister filters normally give you flow under the water, circulating the water so you don't need a Powerhead on top of a filter.

As far as a heater goes, a 55-gallon would require a 200 watt, maybe 250 watt heater. Since you're going to try out your HOB filter first, just go with a submersible heater. A lot of people are fans of this brand.

The hoods, I would just call hoods. If you go to PetSmart or Petco websites you'll see then under the fish section without a problem. Whatever they label them is probably what other places will call them too, so that's a good starting place.

Good luck. Keep asking questions.
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:01 PM   #9
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:15 PM   #10
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awesome thanks for all the help guys, I plan to get a submersable heater, I was told to go with a 300watt just because (also my aquarium sits over an A/C vent,even though it doesnt change the temp much) so the heater is going to have to work harder to keep it warmer.

you wouldnt happen to know where to nab some moonsand would you? or like a mild black substrate..

thanks again!
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
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awesome thanks for all the help guys, I plan to get a submersable heater, I was told to go with a 300watt just because (also my aquarium sits over an A/C vent,even though it doesnt change the temp much) so the heater is going to have to work harder to keep it warmer.

you wouldnt happen to know where to nab some moonsand would you? or like a mild black substrate..

thanks again!
Well if it's hot enough to run the A/C, you probably don't need to run the heater on the tank.

As far as black substrate, I don't know. I only know about pool filter sand, which is a natural looking sand color that can be picked up at any pool supply store. Someone here probably knows where you can get something and probably cheaper than at a fish store.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:22 PM   #12
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I tried asking on the classifieds section but it says only people granted SPECIAL ACCESS or something are allowed... any idea on that?
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:10 AM   #13
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Unfortunately I've never headed to that section. Just post a general discussion question. The moderators may move it, but at least you'll have it up so a few people get a chance to look at it in the general discussion forum.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I tried asking on the classifieds section but it says only people granted SPECIAL ACCESS or something are allowed... any idea on that?
You have to have at least 50 posts or prior approval to post in that section.
You may also want to ask the folks in your local area, you will need to get access to this as well. The local folks might be able to help you.
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:00 PM   #15
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oh okay i wasnt sure how that works, well slowly but surely i will make it above and beyond 50, haha.. im a forum wh*re lol
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:52 AM   #16
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2 more things for you...if you're doseing ammonia to get your cycle going, make sure that you get pure ammonia. There's way too many horror stories posted here of people who thought that they had pure ammonia an then found a tank full of bubbles the next morning. That would be soo painful to see, as you're waking up getting ready to go to work. If I was to do it over again, I would definately use the cocktail shrimp method in a biobag...

For black substrate, if you are thinking of going planted, and you got a little too much money burning holes in your pockets, go for Eco-Complete. Planted is always nicer, and easy to do, and I believe most fish "behave" better in a well planted aquarium. Yah, Eco's a little more expensive, but if you ever plan on putting plants in there it's the way to go.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:42 PM   #17
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well i finally got some more equipment for my tank.. almost ready to start it up and get a cycle going..

i bought a pump and a heater and some substrate for it, but I think i need a few more bags..
how much am I supposed to use again? I also got a stick on thermometer and an brush to clean the glass with.

My wife wanted a beta.. so i bought a gal bowl and some rocks and couple plants.. he seems to be doing fine.. freaking out but thats normal.. he already ate when i fed him but thats because i got him from walmart and they starve their fish.. I put some medicine in his water that is ment for beta and Ill post some pix or something if you guys want...

thanks!
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:07 AM   #18
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The rule of thumb is 1-1.5 pounds of gravel per gallon. Remember, this is where a lot of the beneficial bacteria you want will make their home. I've got 50 pounds in my 46, and I'll probably add another 10 when I rescape it in a week or two.

Keep an eye on that bowl's water parameters. If you haven't already, I highly recommend you read the article on the nitrogen cycle, you can find a link to the articles up at the top of the page.

Black substrate - I've been looking at this Black Tahitian Moon Sand for another project I'm thinking about doing. Several of my LFS locally have it in stock, so you can check with them, or order online.

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Old 01-14-2007, 02:10 AM   #19
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thanks, yeah I got a pH tester and the water that comes right out of our tap is actually like PERFECT for fish.. its crazy.. but after cycling it, i assume it will change some.

wow.. 1-1.5lbs of gravel per gallon... holy crap.. guess i need to buy a LOT more bags haha good thing they are like $2 for a 5 lb bag.. i need 8-9 more bags..
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:40 AM   #20
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Testing pH isn't enough, you need to test for pH, Ammonia, NitrItes and NitrAtes at least as well. Aquarium Pharmacuticals makes a "Freshwater Master Test Kit" which tests for all of these things. Chemical test kits are much more accurate than the test strips as well. I highly recommend that you get one, read the article on the nitrogen cycle, and keep an eye on your tanks.
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