Put the plates down on the bottom of the bare tank. Connect the plates together. Put the riser tubes on. Put the gravel on top. Install the air stones in the bottom of the riser tubes and feed the airline tubing through the elbows at the top of the riser tube. Hook the other end of the airline to the air pump. Put the pump higher than the tank.
Fill with water. Turn pump on. The rising bubbles brings water up the riser tubes, in turn, drawing water down through the gravel. The gravel acts as the filter. Good bacteria will live on the gravel that will break down the fish waste. Don't ever scrub or bleach your gravel, just siphon it clean every now and then.
That should get you going. Need anything more specific, just let us know!
thanks for the quick response, i do have a more specific question. should the air stones be placed all the way to the bottom of the tank? there are these plastic pieces that fit the tubing and the air stones perfectly which makes the stones fit above the plates but the plastic piece is on the bottom.
That looks about right, I never used those spacers but it seems appropriate to keep them off the bottom so the bubbles are forced to only go up the tube and not sideways into the plate. So far so good!
Did it come with carbon cartridges that snap into the top of the elbows?
yep sure did, total setup 55 gal for $150. while i got u, just saw something else new to me, it came with a Marineland Emperor 0280d filtration system. it has a carbon filter and a plastic one, their website says the plastic one is a "media filter" but i could not figure out what goes inside, the pics on their site looks like a powder, what's this "media" that's goes inside? thanks again for your help.
It's a place where you can put whatever you like, usually its good to fill it with a quality activated carbon.
See, there's three types of filtration.
Chemical (use of carbon etc to purify the water)
Biological (use of good bacteria to process and break down the waste into less harmful substances)
Mechanical (trapping particles for removal from the system)
Your undergravel filter is your biological, because thats where the bacteria live that filter the waste. It also acts as a mechanical filter to trap debris, thats why we siphon it clean sometimes.
The hang on back filter typically acts as a mechanical filter to trap particles in a pad. It also acts as a chemical filter by using carbon to adsorb impurities in the water, remove the yellow, etc. Many hang on back filters now have a wheel or something as an area for bacteria to live, to function as a biological filter as well.
So, you have the three bases covered with your setup, its a good setup.
Get a jar of activated carbon, fill the media filter cartridge, and rinse it well in tap water till it runs clear. That step is important because from the shipping process, it's very dusty and will put some black powder into your water and make it murky if you don't. People usually only make that mistake of not rinsing it once.
Over time, as you get into the hobby some more and experiment with different things, you can use the media filter with different things such as phosphate removing media or ammonia removing media, it all depends on what you'll be keeping, the bio-load, your feeding schedule, any problems with algae, etc.
If you ever notice anything strange going on with the tank, just let us know and we'll make the best suggestions for you.
Enjoy setting it up and cycling it. Start with just a few fish, wait about 6 or 8 weeks, and go from there. Biggest mistakes are too many fish at the beginning, and overfeeding as well. We can talk about the cycle process if you want the science part of it, if not, just mark the calendar and wait it out... it's tough, but will give you a good impression of the hobby instead of some bad experiences at first.
thank for all the advice, i already have 3 tanks at my office 33, 20 and a 10 the way i have those setup are more basic than this one i picked up lot of stuff i haven't used before so i'm sure i'll be back. i'm putting the water in today fish prolly next weekend. my wife want goldfish and i want african cichalids...think they can live together? j/k
A forum community dedicated to Aquarium owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about collections, displays, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, breeding, health, behavior, housing, care, and more!