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Ricksza

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Nov 8, 2018
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Rick
Getting back into the hobby after a 45 year hiatus. After all that time, everything has changed so much, so I'll be looking over a lot of the older posts before I start asking the same questions over again. Putting together a 54 gal community tank.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Joel
Sounds great Rick. Welcome to the site. Like you've said, a lot has changed over the years.

Tell us about what fish you'd like to keep and the hardware you'd like to use.
 

Ricksza

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Nov 8, 2018
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Bensalem, PA USA
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Rick
I have a 54 gal corner tank with Penn Plax Cascade 1000 filter & Eheim Jager 3616 Heater.

For fish, I was thinking of: 6 x Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi), 5 x Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya), 3 x Molly (Poecilia sphenops), 4 x Emerald Green Cory (Brochis splendens), 10 x Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda), 6 x Zebra Danio (Danio rerio) & 4 x Golden Oto (Otocinclus affinis). I think they will all get along, and won't grow too big for the tank. I hope to get some live plants today.
I just filled it up yesterday with treated tap water and added API Quick Start Water Conditioner. I mounted a couple of Power Strip Surge Protectors in the cabinet for the electronics. I checked the water with my API Freshwater Master Test KIT and Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate read 0, PH reads 7.6. Can't wait ti have some fish swimming.
 

Rbishop

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Mr. Normal
Welcome to AC!
 

FreshyFresh

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Rick, I'd probably skip the mollies and double the number of corys. I also would do otos until the tank has been well established and has formed lots of bio films for the otos to skim on.

I'd also consider a finer grained substrate if you want to keep corys. It's closer to their natural way of life than chunky gravel.

Good on you to have that API master test kit!! I know when I was in the hobby first in the late 1970s to early 80s, I knew nothing about proper water parameters, weekly water changes, nitrogen cycle, etc.

Most importantly, how do you intend to establish a nitrogen cycle in this tank? I'm sure you've read by now, but you need an ammonia source for all that to start happening.
 

Ricksza

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Nov 8, 2018
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Rick
Well I guess I made my first (of many) mistakes, two days ago I had my water tested at the fish store and they recommended I put some hardy fish in the tank to get it established. So I bought 6 mollies (2 male & 4 female) and some plants. I had already added bacteria when I filled and treated the tank last week. I assume the mollies will help provide the ammonia source.
 

FreshyFresh

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You can make it work with the mollies. Just measure for ammonia and nitrite every day or two and keep up on water changes. Do more water changes if you see measurable amounts of either. I would not bother measuring for nitrates for weeks. It will take 4-6 weeks. With these 6 fish in 54gal of water it shouldn't be too difficult to keep up on. Problem is, mollies are live bearers and the ratio you have is probably going to result in babies. My personal fish of choice for a fish-in cycle are zebra danios. I just keep up with water changes so they are not subjected to ammonia or nitrites. Eventually you will see nitrate creep up, then you gear your weekly water change so that nitrates don't exceed ~20ppm on water change day.

It's wise to keep a quality dechlor/detox product on hand for this process and for normal water changes. Most of us like Seachem Prime or Safe which is the granular form.
 

Ricksza

AC Members
Original poster
Nov 8, 2018
15
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Bensalem, PA USA
Real Name
Rick
You can make it work with the mollies. Just measure for ammonia and nitrite every day or two and keep up on water changes. Do more water changes if you see measurable amounts of either. I would not bother measuring for nitrates for weeks. It will take 4-6 weeks. With these 6 fish in 54gal of water it shouldn't be too difficult to keep up on. Problem is, mollies are live bearers and the ratio you have is probably going to result in babies. My personal fish of choice for a fish-in cycle are zebra danios. I just keep up with water changes so they are not subjected to ammonia or nitrites. Eventually you will see nitrate creep up, then you gear your weekly water change so that nitrates don't exceed ~20ppm on water change day.

It's wise to keep a quality dechlor/detox product on hand for this process and for normal water changes. Most of us like Seachem Prime or Safe which is the granular form.
Zebra danios were my first choice, just not available. I think until the tank is fully established, the fry will basiclly just be live food.
I am keeping an eye on the levels and planning water changes starting in 2 days, that will be the first week.
 
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