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Old 01-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #1
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Red face Oh my! This is more complicated than I thought

After reading comments on this site, I've learned that the 10 gallon was ridiculously small to accommodate fish. I exchanged that for a 20 gallon hexagon tank and then realized that was also too small. Last night I went ahead and purchased a 35 gallon. I read that the larger the tank the more forgiving. My husband does not believe me but since he will not participate in research he will have to take my word for it. He thinks that it will be more trouble and money than we can tolerate. Anyway, now that I have the tank I'm ready to start. I intend to do the fish less cycling for 6 weeks. I doubt that I have the patience to wait longer but if I have to wait 8 weeks I will. It will give me time to decide which fish can live in harmony. HELP! What's next? I want a freshwater tank. Do I use tap water? Gravel or sand? I just ordered an Aqueon Quiet Flow filter/pump for a 50 gallon aquarium. Is that okay. Someone told me that I need to change that for something that does not need to be changed so often. She recommended an AquaClear Carbon. She claims you just have to rinse the filter. I am leaning towards sand but I'm wondering if sand will damage the filter. Soooooooo many questions, but it's because I'm inspired by photos of your beautiful aquariums. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nativenuyorker View Post
After reading comments on this site, I've learned that the 10 gallon was ridiculously small to accommodate fish. I exchanged that for a 20 gallon hexagon tank and then realized that was also too small. Last night I went ahead and purchased a 35 gallon. I read that the larger the tank the more forgiving. My husband does not believe me but since he will not participate in research he will have to take my word for it. He thinks that it will be more trouble and money than we can tolerate. Anyway, now that I have the tank I'm ready to start. I intend to do the fish less cycling for 6 weeks. I doubt that I have the patience to wait longer but if I have to wait 8 weeks I will. It will give me time to decide which fish can live in harmony. HELP! What's next? I want a freshwater tank. Do I use tap water? Gravel or sand? I just ordered an Aqueon Quiet Flow filter/pump for a 50 gallon aquarium. Is that okay. Someone told me that I need to change that for something that does not need to be changed so often. She recommended an AquaClear Carbon. She claims you just have to rinse the filter. I am leaning towards sand but I'm wondering if sand will damage the filter. Soooooooo many questions, but it's because I'm inspired by photos of your beautiful aquariums. Thanks in advance.
Hi and welcome to AA
On the filter, i don't know much about HOB or brands available in the US. I'm sure someone else will help you out on that. I would recommend a canister(external) filter. I find them so easy to use/maintain, also they can be customized(add/remove/swap/change the media)..
On the cycling, YOU can't set the time when it'll be done. It's up to the Beneficial Bacteria!!!, it could take 6wks, it could take 12wks. You MUST get this right at the start, as it'll make things so much easier and less expensive in the future.
That filter sounds like it'll do the job, more is always better..
Your next purchase should be a liquid water test kit. You HAVE to have one.
You can of course use tap water. You must dechlorinate it first though, unless you have an RO unit..Seachem Prime is a very good one and very popular..Is a little bit dearer than most but it is concentrate so lasts a long time...
I always use sand myself on all the tanks i've ever had. It really is a personal preference. Some people like it, others don't. I find it so much easier to keep clean. I find gravel, although does look nice, hides a lot of dirt and waste, no matter how good your filter is. Again this is just my opinion and perference..I use regular kids playsand..Extremely cheap. People use pool filter sand also, I'm not familiar with this as we don't have that many pools in Ireland!!!. If you do opt for sand, try and get the light coloured sand. I think this really makes the tank pop..You also have to wash this really, really well..If the sand is washed really well, all the light floaty sand is washed away, so your left with the heavy sand which will not float and even if it gets into the filter will not damage it. It'll only be very small amounts...
Keep asking those questions, the more you know the better. Just a little tip, if your asking a question, just ask single questions at a time, i find more people will respond. You can then learn about each step better..how that makes sense!!!. They're are a lot of nice, friendly, experienced people on here who are always willing to help out new aquarists..Don't be afraid to ask..Remember also, you have the world at your finger tips, google, youtube and of course the AA. All three are great sources of info. And remember to always do research and don't take everything the Pet Stores tell you as Fact...Hope this helps you a bit, if you want more details on anything, just ask...Ian
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome. My replies below in blue.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by nativenuyorker View Post
After reading comments on this site, I've learned that the 10 gallon was ridiculously small to accommodate fish. I exchanged that for a 20 gallon hexagon tank and then realized that was also too small. Last night I went ahead and purchased a 35 gallon. I read that the larger the tank the more forgiving. My husband does not believe me but since he will not participate in research he will have to take my word for it. He thinks that it will be more trouble and money than we can tolerate.
A larger tank isn't that much different from a smaller tank in terms of long-term cost and you're right that larger tanks can be easier in some ways as well.
Anyway, now that I have the tank I'm ready to start. I intend to do the fish less cycling for 6 weeks. I doubt that I have the patience to wait longer but if I have to wait 8 weeks I will. It will give me time to decide which fish can live in harmony. HELP! What's next? I want a freshwater tank. Do I use tap water?
Yes, tap water is easiest and generally the best to use unless during the rare instances that something is wrong with it (has high ammonia levels, etc). Test your tap water with a good liquid test kit (API Master is best) to see where you're starting from.
Gravel or sand?
Up to you. If you want bottom-dwelling fish like corys they tend to prefer sand but other than that it's whatever you prefer. Sand is a bit easier to clean and looks more natural but if you prefer gravel, go for it.
I just ordered an Aqueon Quiet Flow filter/pump for a 50 gallon aquarium. Is that okay. Someone told me that I need to change that for something that does not need to be changed so often. She recommended an AquaClear Carbon. She claims you just have to rinse the filter.
Your filter is fine. The thing with some of the filters like the Aqueon is that it takes certain types of cartridges and doesn't give a lot of options in terms of what media to use and it can be limiting that way. If you can return the Aqueon and get an Aquaclear 50 or 70, I do prefer those just because they come with different types of media and the basket is customizeable so you can use whatever types of media you want (e.g. it comes with carbon, biomax and a filter sponge; you can swap out the carbon for another sponge for example).
I am leaning towards sand but I'm wondering if sand will damage the filter.
It shouldn't. I have sand with two types of filters and haven't had an issue.
Soooooooo many questions, but it's because I'm inspired by photos of your beautiful aquariums. Thanks in advance.
You might want to give this a read---it may address some of your questions: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #4
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Amazon.com is a good source for supplies as its usually way cheaper than pet stores. I recommend a water changer, like a Python or Aqueon. Congrats on your first tank! You'll be glad you got a bigger one.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Delighted

You guys are awesome! I am receiving such valuable information on this site. In the future I will try to just ask one or two questions a time. I will exchange the filter. I am also delighted that I can communicate with people from around the globe with the same interests. Thank you for your concern and suggestions. I look forward to communicating with you in the future. Thanks again.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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I'm a prime Member of Amazon - free delivery and no hassles returning merchandise.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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About your gravel vs sand question it's really up to you, and as Librarygirl said, it depends on the fish you an on having. I had gravel and have cories. I recently made the switch to sand and my cories are so much happier... As am I! My personal preference is sand.
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