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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I already posted in the Koi and Goldfish section but this seems a better place for my question.
http://www.aquariumforum.com/f65/newbie-here-6277.html

I have a few questions about a tank I plan to set up- this will be the first one I've run on my own, and I want to make sure I do it right. I haven't purchased anything yet, because I want to make sure I do this correctly and with minimal stress to the fish. I plan on buying a 40-55 gallon glass aquarium. I want to keep some goldfish in it, one black moor, one organda, one bubble eye, and one lion head. I will be buying them locally, so they will most likely be no more than two or three inches to start. I want to make sure this is a reasonable size tank for them as adults and that they are compatible. Also, I would be running either one or two filters off the top. Should I also buy an undergravel one? As for decorations, I'm worried about hurting their eyes, so I was wondering for any suggestions as far as live plants would go. I would like to have some form of algae eater in there, though I've yet to decide on ghost shrimp, snails, or some type of fish. Again, I'm afraid for the eyes of my gold fish, so I'm not sure the shrimp are a great idea.

So basically, my questions are;
When I get the tank, I know that more surface area on the top is better. However, with the amount of filtration I plan to use, would I be able to get away with a tall one? Or will it be better for the fish if I get longer and flatter? Also, what do you think the minimum filtration should be?
Can the four types of fish I mentioned be combined safely or should I reconsider? Will there be any issues of some being faster to the food?
What kind of filtration and plants would you suggest?
What kinds of tank mates would be best for cleaning up after the goldfish?
And finally, a quick question about cycling the tank- I've heard that having fish in the tank helps speed it along and that many people suggest goldfish, and others say not to. Those that say you should not are because they are generally different types from what they ultimately want to keep. Since I do want to keep goldfish, should I buy the fish and use them to cycle the tank, or should I do it without fish to avoid any stress on them?

Again, I'm pretty new to the hobby- Right now all I have kept on my own are sea monkeys and triops, but I've always wanted gold fish since my mother killed mine when I was a kid. (I had an eight inch common, but my mother did most of the work as I was still a small child.)
 

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From what I understand putting a fish in a cycling tank is like torture for the fish. It would be like someone placing you in a harsh environment that your body isn't designed to handle.

My favorite cleaners are plecos. Loaches are a good scavenger fish that'll keep the bottom of the tank clean plus they're entertaining to watch. They'll do more for you than an undergravel filter will. I dealt with one once and hated it.

I have a tall tank, it looks best when you have different fish that like to swim at different heights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I'll go with fishless cycling, then. Would a used filter cartridge from my red eared slider's tank be acceptable, or does he produce different bacteria?

From what I've been told pleco's prefer the water warmer than goldfish? There is a beautiful one a little under a foot long that I wanted to buy, but the man at the store told me it wouldn't do well in the colder water. Also, I'd never heard of loaches- I'll look into them, thank you.
 

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Goldfish will consume almost any plant you put in the tank (with the possible exception of anubias and java ferns. They are voracious eaters. I think 4 goldfish would be fine in a 55 gal (even a 40 with good filtration).

For power filters I'm a big fan of the Hagen Aquaclear filters. With goldfish i would recommend a filter with a 10x tank volume turnover, so for a 55 gal, you would want something like the AC110 (110 gal/hr). Another option is to have 2 smaller filters that add up to a similar turnover rate. This provides redundancy in case one should fail and you can change half the filter media at a time ensuring the survival of the beneficial bacteria. I don't think you'll have a problem with surface area so long as you have adequate filtration. I'd skip the UGF.

Nothing cleans a tank of algae better than MTS (malaysian trumpet snails). I'm not sure on every kind of pleco but i think most prefer warmer water than goldfish. Many come from rivers and streams in south america.

If you do decide to cycle with fish (I'm not arguing for or against it), one option is to put a ton of fast growing bunch plants (aka anacharis or hornwort) in the tank to help control the ammonia. This is known as a silent cycle. Yes your goldfish will eat them (not sure about hornwort) also so you may end up spending a lot on their salad bar, but they'll appreciate it. Fortunately both hornwort and anacharis are cheap plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm used to animals eating the plants in my tank, my turtle does the same, so my heart won't be too broken if they do. The decoration is more for their entertainment and health than my viewing pleasure. (Speaking of plants- I've heard peas are good for their health but they won't fit in a food clip like lettuce or cucumber, do I just toss them in? And I assume fresh is the way to go, not frozen?)

Does a silent cycle put the same stress on the fish as a regular one? I'd of course prefer to get my fish sooner but I'd rather keep them a long time if I can help it.

And how many of those snails would you suggest? My local pet stores either don't carry snails at all or will just toss in pond snails for free so I'll need to look on ebay for them. (Mt triops tank has been taken over by pond snails but I don't have the heart to kill them, and they keep his water cleaner I believe.)
 

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I'm used to animals eating the plants in my tank, my turtle does the same, so my heart won't be too broken if they do. The decoration is more for their entertainment and health than my viewing pleasure. (Speaking of plants- I've heard peas are good for their health but they won't fit in a food clip like lettuce or cucumber, do I just toss them in? And I assume fresh is the way to go, not frozen?)

Does a silent cycle put the same stress on the fish as a regular one? I'd of course prefer to get my fish sooner but I'd rather keep them a long time if I can help it.

And how many of those snails would you suggest? My local pet stores either don't carry snails at all or will just toss in pond snails for free so I'll need to look on ebay for them. (Mt triops tank has been taken over by pond snails but I don't have the heart to kill them, and they keep his water cleaner I believe.)
You can just toss the peas in, your goldies will find them :) You may or may not need to de-shell them first. A silent cycle would put less stress on your fish than a normal cycle with fish, obviously the safest course for fish is to cycle without them however. Another option to speed up the cycle is to get some mature bio media from an already cycled tank. Some LFS will give this to you.

MTS can be found for pretty cheap on aquabid, or look around forums for people who are selling them. You dont need that many, they will take care of the breeding for you.
 

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They will not breed as quickly in lower temperatures, so you probably won't have to worry about them overrunning your tank.
 
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