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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys i just got a 75gal tank from a friend but its just the tank nothing elese.


so i got a few questions for ya

1)What are some of the really unique fresh water fish out the that i can get for it? i generally like stuff that the normal joe wouldent have.



2) Equipment? im pretty blown away by all the stuff i see at the shops online. what type and brands of filters/pumps/lights/hoods etc would you reccommend?
 

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Hmm, normally the stuff most people wouldn't usually require a bit of experience. So be sure to do really do your research very carefully on what kind of fish you'd like. Cichlids are beautiful and unusual and not your average tetra. Just remember they must be kept in a species-only tank.

OK, here's a basic shopping list:

- Filter: Rule of thumb for these is get one that is created for a bigger tank. So for your 75 gallon, get one that would work with a 90 or a 100 gallon. The folks around here seem to really like the Hagen line.

- Heater - If you decide to go with tropical fish, invest the money in a good heater. It will be expensive but worth it. Hagen brand again is a favorite.

- Hoods and lights: Get a well fitting hood for your aquarium so no fishies jump out if they are inclined to do so. Light can be pretty generic, unless you want to grow live plants and then you will need to invest in something designed for putting out daylight.

- API Master Freshwater Test Kit - For testing Water accurately, you can't beat this. Don't waste your money on cheap little test strips, they will guide you wrong.

- API Stress coat or Prime - will condition your tap water and make sure your fish keep their slime coat.

- A siphon, or Python No Spill Clean and Fill (It attaches to your sink and makes cleaning and filling very easy for a large tank)

- A 5 gallon bucket

- Green net

- Gravel and decorations: Make sure your fish have something to hide in, and only use things that are approved safe for an aquarium.


Now to get your tank started, you will need to let it sit for a few weeks while it goes through a nitrogen cycle. Setting up an aquarium is setting up an eco-system, and these bacteria that you need to culture make it so your fish do not suffer and die from toxins in the water. You CAN cycle a tank with fish, but I prefer cycling without fish because it's not cruel to animals and I think it goes much faster.

You will need to find:

- Ammonia - For fishless cycling the tank. Get the stuff with no surfactants or perfumes or dyes. If you shake the bottle and it foams up, it's not the right stuff. You are looking for pure 10% diluted ammonia that should look like water and should not foam when shaken in the bottle. This will feed the bacteria you need to culture so that the eco-system gets going in the tank. Pure diluted stuff can be a bit hard to find, but Ace Hardware is where I found mine if you have any in your neighborhood. I've also heard people have found it at Mejiers. You can also check janitorial supply companies.

- An air pump - You can get a cheap air pump or two with a long airstone. This will provide oxygen for cycling the tank and they are also just useful to have around if necessary.

- A freshly used filter. Borrow one from a friend or a fish shop. It has the bacteria you need to start the cycle. There's stuff on the market that says it's got live bacteria to start cycles with, but it's very hit or miss. Procuring a used filter will cycle your tank the fastest so you can start fish keeping.

I think this should be enough to start with.
 

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I like a planted, balanced tank.

Just the tank, substrate, lights, plants, water, and fish.



but that's just me

and my .02
 
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I have an Aqua Clear 110 filter on my 75 gallon community tank and it does great. I wouldn't go any smaller then that. The first thing you need to do is read everything you can about the nitrogen cycle. Cycling a tank is the most important part of this hobby. It takes a while but will save you money and stress in the long run when your fish aren't all dieing. As stated above it really depends on how much money you want to invest and how much free time you have. A planted Discuss tank is awesome but you will have to be doing a lot of water changes and keep things clean. Most people don't start out with discuss but if you are patient and take your time and research a lot before hand you can run one without any problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey thanks for all the info.

Do any of you guys have any sites you would reccommend that would give me the best bang for my buck? Do you ever buy fish from a online vendor? or do you just go to a local place?

I guess if you have to let the tank run for a few months ill have plenty of time to choose my fish. So ill just hold off on that for now.

i will want plants in it, so what kind of substrate should i use? and what kind of lights? anything in particular?

As far as a filter goes would a Hagen Fluval 405 Multi Stage Filter be a good choice?


and for a heater a Fluval E Advanced Electronic Heater - 300 Watt be good enough? Some one said they were expensive but $50 dosent seem too much.
 

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Did it include the stand? If not and you're a little handy, I can direct you to some pretty decent plans. I used them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually ive already got something im going to use as a stand. its actually a cabnet that i made into a bar, i installed a wine rack in it and wine glass holders. ive even got a kegerator in it as well, and the top of the cabnet has more then enough room for the 75 gal.
 

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My advice would be to do what I have done with my 120 gal tank.( if you want plants but are inexperienced with them as I am) It is pretty heavily planted but it is with low light plants so I don't have to mess with ferts, CO2 etc. Lighting is expensive. At a bare minimum you are going to want 1.0 watts per gallon and at that there are only a few plants you can keep. Getting close to 2 wpg will increase the number of plants you can have. There is a fine balance between getting too much lighting, algae and all that. This is why I went low light low tech. I just used pea gravel as a substrate, it has a native look and is very cheap (free from some places since you only need under 100 lbs). If I were you I would decide first off what type of plants and fish you want to have and then buy your equipment around that. If you want high light high tech plants and discus you are going to need different equipment then if you want java ferns, anacharis, and some community fish.
As far as online goes most people will tell you when it comes to livestock it is better (and usually cheaper) to go with a private breeder then a local fish store. They are notorious for having week and unhealthy fish. I have purchased a lot of fish and had them shipped in the mail without a problem and I prefer this. There is one lfs close by I would not be afraid to buy from but the big chain stores don't get much of my money. I might buy lights or filters from them if they are on sale but that is about it.
Here is a pic of my tank before I got my water cleared up.

 

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Seeing that older picture made me realize I need to get one since my water cleared up. All that driftwood had it stained pretty bad. I added two 100 ml Purigen packs (one in each filter) and in about a week my water is spotless and has been ever since) the tank has 7 angels, 2 german blue rams, 10 various corys, 30 cardinal tetras, and 4 albino BN plecos.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks Great. chances are ill go with the easier to maintain plants. what are some reputable sites that you would reccommend?
 

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I have bought fish from private breeders I found on forums such as this one. Look in the buy and sell area and see what is available. AquaBid.com is a good site that is set up a lot like ebay. You can read feedback and get a feel for what kind of success people have had in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well ive decided that im going to go for some Albino Peacock Cichlid so would they be ok with a low light low tech plant set up? what elese could i put in with them? i know there pretty agressive so my choices will be limited, think they would be ok with some plecos?
 

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I have never had chichlids so I don't know what goes with what. I do know that you need to watch which plecos you put with live plants. I specifically went with the bristle nose plecos. They don't bother the live plants like commons do and they don't get huge. Common plecos can outgrow a 75 gallon tank and then you will find yourself trying to get rid of an 18 inch fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ive been reading that some of them like to dig up plants so again im not sure. it seems like most people base there tank off one type fish then add what they can based off there main fish. So i guess i should start off that way.
 
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