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First freshwater tank! 55g

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by hollertronix, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. hollertronix

    hollertronix AC Members

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    A few years back I was running a heavily modified 8g Biocube nano reef setup, which I absolutely loved and ran flawlessly for nearly a year.

    After being out of the hobby for a while, I decided to give it another go with a much larger and much more freshwater tank. Ended up snagging a 55 gallon complete setup off craigslist, and finally got it mostly set up on Saturday. I'm running a Cascade 1000 pump with all brand new filters and zero established bacteria colony. I know I'll likely get a lot of mixed opinions about starting with a product called Nutrafin Cycle; but I decided to give it a go; as I have no livestock and realize that in a worse case scenario, all I have to do is drain and restart from scratch and get a bacteria source from a LFS.

    First day and second day; did the Cycle product as directed as well as adding in a bit of fish food to start the ammonia process.
    Third day, came home from work today to see that the water had went from cloudy to completely clear over the course of the day.
    Ran some tests and as expected, ammonia is very high. Going to recheck in a couple days and see where it stands.

    As of right now; I plan to stock the following:
    4x Sparkling Gourami
    5x Tiger Barb
    5x Boeseman's Rainbowfish
    5x Celebes Halfbeak
    4x Oto
    1x Red Tailed Black Shark

    I ran all of the above through the calculator at aqadvisor and the results showed zero conflicts and all species fall into nearly the same water temperature range. I also plan on filling out the tank with live plants over the next few weeks.

    So, the questions:
    1. I'm not too terribly in love with the Halfbeaks or Red Tailed Black Shark's...anyone have any suggestions as to what I can use to replace them that will also do well; and am I nearly fully stocked, or can I add more? I'm looking for some fish with a bit of color and activity.

    2. The tank came with a 200W Stealth heater which I had assumed was broken after the tank wouldn't heat past 68 degrees. Now I'm running a 300W cranked almost all the way up and sitting directly in the path of water distribution but the tank is sitting at 79 degrees; is it normal for a tank of this size to take a while to heat up?


    And alas; a picture. YES, I bought a random plant at petco that I know isn't an aquatic plant. I merely did it to appease the girlfriend so she'd stop asking when we could put something in there. It'll be removed after I get my shipment of plants.
     

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  2. AquaticAustin

    AquaticAustin AC Members

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    With reguards to the Celebes Halfbeak they look (dont know anything about them) similar to killifish. You could try golden wonder killifish maybe or another large killifish, or you could do hatchetfish for a top dweller.

    Also the ottos, some people have trouble keeping them for one reason or another if you find that to be the case look at fancy plecos. Some are relatively inexpensive for 1" that grow quickly and add a little special something to the tank.

    ALL stealth heaters have been recalled due to them having a tendency to blow up. You can get a brand new heater for free from marineland!

    As far as stocking goes, you could add something like corries to the tank or maybe a smaller schooling fish (obvi in its school) The sharks IMO arnt very exciting, they get kinda big but my neighbor has a 7" one or so that just sits in a decoration and comes out to eat.
     
  3. vanillarum

    vanillarum AC Members

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    I have kept Celebes halfbeaks in the past, and they are not hard to keep. They can get to about 3"+ in length. I have since found a few other species of halfbeaks that I like much better -wrestling halfbeaks and Borneo Tribal Red Line halfbeaks, that I now keep. Contrary to popular belief, they do NOT need to be fed live foods. Mine take almost anything that hits the water. And they like a little surface cover. I use frogbit or just float a couple of plants on the surface. As an alternative, hatchet fish also work well, although I have never kept them. I would also suggest running 2 smaller heaters, as opposed to one larger one. That way, if there is a malfunction and the heater is stuck in the "on" position, it won't boil your fish. There seem to be more heater issues lately with this happening. I went to the 2 smaller heaters. Good luck.
     
  4. hollertronix

    hollertronix AC Members

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    Alright, so I think I'll opt out of oto's and go with plecos instead, they seem like a better option for ease of care. And the wrestling halfbeaks are looking much more appealing than the celebes, so perhaps i'll keep halfbeaks but get the wrestling. I can't seem to find any pictures of the Tribal Red Lines...

    Gonna go ahead and get a warranty replacement on my heater though, googled it and saw a few pictures of the sides of peoples tanks blown out!
     
  5. vanillarum

    vanillarum AC Members

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    Here's a pic of a Borneo Red Line Tribal 1/2 beak. I have seen them offered on AB from time to time. I get mine at Uncle Neds, who is about an hour from me. They have a web site and they ship. Good Luck.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    When keeping tiger barbs, I like to keep them in bigger school. Otherwise they can get pretty nippy and I'd expect that the gourami's long feelers to be their first target.

    One thing I notice in the picture is that you have a Fluval in the back left. I love the heater and have 2 right now but it is NOT a submersible heater. You should remove that ASAP.
     
  7. SMinNC

    SMinNC What you give

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  8. hollertronix

    hollertronix AC Members

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    I was concerned about that before putting it in, as I had read the packaging that said it wasn't submersible. After doing a little research, I discOvered online that it actually is submersible, and that they only put that text there for Canadian safety standards.
     
  9. BanalityBob

    BanalityBob AC Members

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    I too would be wary about the barbs and gouramis. They typically do not mix, plus sparkling gouramis tend to be shy, and at worst they'd probably hide all the time from the boistrous barbs.
     
  10. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    The sparkling gouramis are going to get annihilated in that tank. Sorry to be so blunt but between the tiger barbs and the RTS I don't see them lasting long at all.

    I kept some in a planted 10g with just brig snails...and they were still rather shy.
     

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