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 Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank

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schudini



Join date : 2011-06-30
Posts : 142

PostSubject: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:06 am

So I'm setting up a freshwater aquarium for my little brother (11 year old), it's a 25 gallon with an Eclipse system 2 hood (filtration, bio-wheel, and light (2 T-5's) in hood).

I want to select fish that are easy, community, and low maintenance.


Basically, a setup that doesn't require anything other than feed the fish and occasionally change the water.

Also, suggest a "clean-up crew".
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:04 pm

Guppies are always low maintenance, plus you get to watch them breed. Mollies and platys, are good as well. Basically live breeders will do your job well. they are all community fish so you wont have to worry about fights. You could always add some small tetras like neons and x-rays as well. As for a clean up crew, no to crabs (they need a dry place to rest and will leave the tank). Claims will help with the water but need soft substrate. a small pleco would be good too, I want to say pit bull plecos, or rubber lip(something like that) stay small(about 4"). ORRRR you could always veto the pleco and get otto cats. about........4 min for a 25gal if you get them you will need to but one extra being as they dont always make it, and if he does, 5 is fine for a 25 too. And if your doing T5s you could always add some plants like crypts and anubias. If you do go for ottos, let me know and ill tell you a trick to keep them happy on the travel =]
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:12 pm

Don pretty much has it on spot. If you would like you can add some snails to the tank too Very Happy they're always a nice addition!

__________________________________________________________________
-Nick G.  pirate
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:26 pm

+1 to everything Don said. thumbs up

I personally, would go with either guppies or tetras. I'm not a big fan of mollies or platys. And, as far as a clean up crew, a pleco, some corey cats, or otto cats would do fine. Smile

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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schudini



Join date : 2011-06-30
Posts : 142

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:34 pm

What about using actinic T-5's and filling it up with different color fluorescent danios and neon tetras?
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:20 pm

That'd be cool. Glofish would work, too! shocked

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:34 pm

I don't have any currently, but Rasbora tetras are very lively and hardy, and have a nice red/black scheme. I have cherry barbs in my tank which are bright and friendly, and I know gold barbs are much the same. I kept platys for a while but their perpetual breeding lead me to get a different tank as they stocked the 20 gallon within a season.

the clean up crew in my tank consists of some cory cats (get a few, they school!) and bristlenose plecos. rubberlip plecos are also good, as mentioned before, these species stay small. In the past I also had ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp in there that did awesome for a long time and had little shrimp babies.

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schudini



Join date : 2011-06-30
Posts : 142

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:44 pm

How about substrate?

A long time ago, I had a freshwater tank with an under-gravel filter and bubblers in the riser tubes. Used dark blue large-sized "gravel" with that to make sure the poo went to the bottom.


Now, this tank will have all the filtration in the hood, with a bio wheel and carbon.

What should I use as a substrate? Fine or coarse gravel, pebbles, sand, etc.

I want this maintenance free. No vacuuming or anything. No plants. Are there animals that will eat detritus (such as hermits, snails in saltwater) that I can use in freshwater? The cory cats and plecos are good suggestions. Do they only eat un-eaten food and algae, or do the eat detritus as well (yes, I know it sounds gross, but it's just part of the "food chain"). Maybe small catfish?
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schudini



Join date : 2011-06-30
Posts : 142

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:10 pm

Also, where is a good local place to buy freshwater fish?


How long do I have to wait from setting up the tank till everything is "cycled"? Is it helpful to use the bacteria that they sell in stores?
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:55 pm

No worries on the filter. Undergravel filters are usually pretty bad for the tank, because it pulls all of the waste under the gravel and lets it rot there. The biowheel system you have is one of the best, I wouldn't trade mine for anything!!

For substrate, I used a finer gravel that can be found at any chain fish shop. It'll give your critters something to forage on. The plecos will of course tend to the algae, and some uneaten items. The cories also go after uneaten food, and will groom decorations you have in the tank. However if you want someone to get rid of the waste, I would recommend ghost shrimp (they're cheap and do all the dirty work!).

For your purposes, I would go with a chain store like petco or petsmart, because they have an extended warranty on fish and generally always have the selection you're looking for. This way should anything happen to your new friends, they can be replaced pretty hassle-free. I haven't found many freshwater stores around here that have a good variety, and since you're setting it up for someone else, it just seems like a safe bet!

The cycle of the tank should take a few weeks. You can definitely get a small bottle of the bacteria (stress zyme is a popular, large brand name you will find), or you can toss some fish food in the tank and let it rot. I personally do like the aid of the bottled bacteria because it helps speed up your good bacterial growth on the biowheel, which will be helpful in the future.

Odds are, your tank will fog/haze heavily before clearing, this should indicate your cycle is complete. However, you can get your water tested for free at any pet store these days. It might be good to get your brother in on this testing too, so he can learn about the chemistry. Not vital of course, but at his age, I thought it was cool Smile

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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:11 pm

I found this site thru the forum here (woo!) and I see they have great great prices on cardinal tetras. These are very hardy fish with beautiful red hues!

http://www.coralreeftampa.com/
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:06 pm

You may want to check out Marine Warehouse, too.

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:30 pm

Okay I finally just saw this. For your lights you really dont need to go all out. You said you dont want to add plants. That is the only reason why I am saying that. But T5s would look sooooo much better. Adding to that I was going to suggest adding java moss to say driftwood. It looks nice, and the growth of the java moss will out compete algae for the light. I completely forgot about cory cat before and i love them they do everything. By problem with ghost shrimp are that you dont always know your getting ghost shrimp. There is another species that looks the same but they get really nasty. For shrimp I would recommend Cherry Shrimp



They stay small, do what you need them to do, dont get mean, wont attach your fish and look cool. When it comes to substrate theres a few ways you can go. Eco-Complete is a very nice substrate kinda pricey but breaks down fish poo. The stuff you buy at the fish store like the colored substrate thats not really small, but not huge either is Horrible. You need to clean it often it will grow algae and yeah. Eco-Complete is the substrate in my 100g. You can also do a fine fine fine layer of dirt and pete type gravel like in my 10 but you wont want that. Sand is good but its not favored by all fish. Really my suggestion to you is to pick fish that you or your little brother wants and let us know and we can go from there. Oh and I think harlequin rasboras are awesome
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:32 pm

Marine Warehouse is awesome, but they are pricy.
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:20 pm

+1 on harl. rasboras.. beautiful!!
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:31 am

Yeah, my knowledge is all over the place with freshwater fish tanks. Its prob my specialty. Im still learning more and more about saltwater fish. I cant wait till next year though. Im going to try and have some more tanks =D. And for once in my life of keeping I will have a community tank =P
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loganjonathan



Join date : 2012-12-18
Posts : 396

PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:58 pm

id go with a gravel for your substrate tetras, platys, mollies, and hatchet fish are probably the easiest fish to raise but you have to have a top on the tank for the hatchetfish
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PostSubject: Re: Help me set up a maintenance-free, freshwater tank   Today at 6:50 am

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