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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Feb 4, 2019
Hi everyone,
Not sure where to post questions. I don’t want to post in the wrong section. Just looking for advice in setting up a 75 gallon tank. Haven’t had a tank before. I’m a complete newbie to this. Lol
This is fine, or you can make a new thread under the freshwater general forum.

Anyway, have you got the tank already? 75 gallons is a perfect starting tank.

What are your goals with the tank? Planted? Cichlids? other??
Yes I do have the tank, I had a custom built bar for it to go into. Haven’t even filled it with water yet. Still need to pick up all the supplies I’ll need. Heater etc.. I figured go with a big tank in case I mess things up! At this point I don’t have a real plan yet. Not sure what fish go with what. I want to stay away from live plants and just use decorations to start.
If it helps there are a ton of beginner plants that are really hard to kill. I personally recommend anubias. I have one that's been growing for about 5 years. It grows slowly and can be attached to rocks/driftwood.
Hmmm I guess I can give it a try. Like I said I’m open to anything at this point! Now to figure out what fish work well with others. And how many!
If you are going the no plant route, look into driftwood pieces and larger rock. And if you like that look it's worth googling African Cichlids. They require that type of set up.

Really, you should pick some fish you like, see if they're compatible, then plan your tank set up around them. That will keep you from the headache of changing your tank around later when you decide you didn't like the set up you jumped into at first.
If you are a true newbie, I believe the first thing to do is research the nitrogen cycle. Nothing kills more fish and leads to frustration for newcomers than lack of understanding of the nitrogen cycle. It will take patience to establish a healthy aquarium before adding fish (although the cycle can be established using fish. Just get cheap zebra danios. Some people feel this is cruel. I'll leave my opinion out and let you decide what's best for your situation).

BTW, cichlids for me. Either African or South American. I keep both. SA can get pretty big, though. So can Afican Haps.
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Thanks for the input everyone. Going to get the substrate figured out first then cycle it. But should probably figure out what fish first? Given they may like a certain substrate. Is that right?
Yeah, if you want something like shell dweller, kuhli loaches or any type of earth eater etc. they require sand. (from what I hear)
Other fish fish are fine with gravel or dirt.
If you just want a single oscar or flowerhorn some people leave the tank bare bottom.

Either way 75 gallons gives you a lot of options so it depends on what you like.
I do like the look of sand better. Which is easier to keep clean?
I've never had sand before however from what I hear you want to go with a thicker grain of sand like pool filter sand. It sinks to the bottom easier and doesn't kick up in giant clouds like finer sands when you add water. either way your water will look cloudy for a bit until it settles.
I've only had gravel and it's pretty easy to clean. It comes in all sizes and colours.

If someone can verify with the whole sand thing and how easy it would be to clean that would be great. I kind of want to try it eventually.
If you do substrate vacuums then gravel is pretty easy to manage. Some people don't like it because it traps poop and food which works it's way to the bottom causing a nitrate build up. But good tank maintenance and consistent and frequent water changes fixes a lot of that.

Sand tends to keep a lot of the poop and food on the surface which makes it easier to clean up. You can use a gravel vacuum on sand with the right technique and not suck sand out of the tank or cause a mess. Sand is easier to plant plants in as well.

Either way it comes down to personal preference and what type of fish you get to mimic it's natural environment.
I prefer sand. As stated above, the waste rests on top and makes it easier to clean. If you do choose sand, go with pool filter sand (lighter in color) or black diamond abraisive (black in color used for sand blasting). Far, far cheaper than aquarium sand at a pet store. Black Diamond can be found at Tractor Supply. Its like $8.00 for 50lbs. Pool sand at most hardware stores for around 10-12$ for 50lbs.
What are some of the easier fish to start with, would neon tetras and mollies work together? I’m open to ideas! I just don’t want to get the wrong mix. Thx
What are some of the easier fish to start with, would neon tetras and mollies work together? I’m open to ideas! I just don’t want to get the wrong mix. Thx
Tetras prefer softer water while Mollies need harder water.
Find out what kind of water you have first. It's easier to soften water than it is to make it harder.
It's easier to soften water than it is to make it harder.
Can you explain this please?

It's impossible to soften water without using RO, distilled or water put through a softener. If the water is put through a softener, it will still be "hard" water with no Calcium or Magnesium in it.

Making water harder is easy. Remineralize CaCO3, Ca and Mg using a few inexpensive products such as KHCO3, CaSO4 and Mg SO4.
This is the section with a bunch of articles which you can check through for some good info.

Articles - Aquarium Advice

The most useful article to read first is here (also in my signature because it is that important for a good foundation for fish keeping).
Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

As for which fish to get I would visit a few fish stores, mainly if possible stores which are not big box stores. And just observe and take notes on some of the ones which really seem to interest you most.

You can compare fish sizes and compatibility, tank and water needs to get the best matches. Also AQadvisor . com can be helpful.

And never jump into buying something. Research and get a knowledge of how big and what kind of care the fish need and if they would be right for your tank.

Common plecostomus get to 18 inches long, Comet/feeder and common Goldfish do too.

Just do a search online for worst fish for an aquarium and start seeing that half the fish in sold at Walmart are on the list, as well as the majority of big box stores stock a large number of fish which are not even good for the starter tank or any aquarium tank.

Unbelievable stores sell Red Tail Catfish which can get to 5 feet long and are 150 lb in the natural environment and Colombian aka Silver Tip Shark, Bala Shark and Clown Loaches get about a foot (12 inches) or longer, and like to be kept in groups.

Lots of fish should be kept in groups. Also important for the fish to behave better.

Many fish need different water temps and as mentioned tank conditions to be most healthy.

It is really great to see you getting as much info as you can to have the best chance for a successful tank!
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