Getting started with a used Fish Tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Getting started with a used Fish Tank?

Hello Everyone.

I'm so glad I found this forum and it is great to be here! Hopefully I can get some answers to my questions. I became interested in Planted Tanks a few weeks back when I looked something up on the net. Since then I really got hooked and now I want to set up own tank.

So right now I'm in the midst of gathering all the necessary information, which can be a bit dry but is also a port of the process.
However, the first thing I need to know, can I use just and ordinary fish tank? I found some cheap second hand fish tanks on the used for sales website http://www.for-sale.co.uk/fish-tank. They are about 125 liters. Is this OK for a beginner like me or should I just start a little bit smaller?

I already know afterwards I have to deal with other technical components like a lighting, filtration, a water pump etc. Are there some common models or brands you can recommend?

Any feedback is highly appreciated. So thank you very much in advance.

Scott.

Last edited by Scott26; 06-08-2017 at 03:44 AM. Reason: edit
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 09:15 AM
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The bigger the better. 'Bigger' tanks are much more stable in terms of water parameters. (although will take more time in terms of maintenance)

Make sure to make a plan what you want with hardscape and plants and don't throw something in. Take your time, question here and read a lot!

Look for inspiration (images/videos) and try to make it.

Any tank is fine as long it doens't leak.

Lighting
https://sbreeflights.com/sbox-fw-pla...led-light.html

Filter
Eheim works really well with some nice transparant hoses and lily pipes.

Heater
Hydor eth 200 external heater (you want as less technique as possible in your tank)

Co2
Plants will benefit great from pressurized co2 it depends if you want to go 'low' or 'high' tech. Low tech is less maintenance but you don't get fast results like high tech and the plant choice is less.

Substrate
ADA Aqua soil works great

Styles
You have a lot of different styles. Find out what you would like to make. Google on terms like, dutch aquascape, iwagumi (stones), nature aquarium

Remember it's a pretty expensive hobby. If you can buy some stuff second hand you won't lose much money if you quit with the hobby.
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Last edited by Nigel95; 06-03-2017 at 09:25 AM. Reason: edit
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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WOW. That was quick! Thanks for your reply Nigel.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 09:49 AM
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You will want to learn the nitrogen cycle well. Its not equipment perse but it is very important to understand. This is a pretty in depth look at it but I found it explains in much more detail than most.

Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle | Cycling Methods | Ammonia & Nitrates

Dan
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 02:43 PM
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I suggest going low tech at first. I lack funds to drop a ton of money into my tank, so I hunted around for cheaper options. SunSun makes canister filters that are OK, but are easy on the wallet. Aquasoil is nice, but very expensive. Try black diamond blasting sand, cheap and inert
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 04:23 PM
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A bigger tank is better, but requires a stronger stand, larger heater/filter...

Used can be a good deal, but fill with water in a garage or on a porch or a deck to ensure it doesn't leak. If it does, no worries as tanks are easy to reseal and several youtubes will show you how.

I'd suggest a 'low tech' approach with no CO2.

For lighting, I'm no expert but I feel that LED is the way to go these days. I'm having great results with the Finnex Planted Plus 24/7.

For filters you can go for a canister or a HOB - I'm currently using Aquaclear 70 HOB's but I'm liking the options on the relatively new Seachem Tidal filters. There are several canister filters out there with various reviews - some love the one they're with, other hate them!
Eheim, Fluval, Marineland, API, Sunsun.....

For heater(s) I like Aqueon heaters (especially the Pro models) as they're guaranteed for life. I like to use two heaters with higher wattage than 'required' and use an external controller.

For substrate, I'm a fan of silica (pool filter) sand.
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Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg from a chicken.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 04:32 PM
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Used tanks, if you know what to look for can be a good option, but making sure your recognize that a used glass/silicon tank does have the potential to suddenly spring a leak, when you least expect it.
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Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 04:49 PM
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I rarely buy a new tank as used is fine but with some care. One biggie is leaks but then I've never bought one that leaked so don't worry that point much--until I get caught! Far more common is to find used tanks that are scratched too much to be pleasant to use. If looking at a dirty tank, and many are, look carefully for scratches. Tiny may be okay as they do tend to disappear when filled but no big ones.
I do not recommend going large/expensive at first until we know for sure it is going to stay an interest. Fish are better in larger but the total picture can be difficult when plants are thrown in as well. Thirty gallon is a nice size for starters. I find no heaters to fully recommend alone as all equipment does fail at some point. That leaves me to say save some money on the heater and then add safety by using a temperature controller to back up the heater thermostat if it fails.
Depending on room temperature and tank size, I might recommend one or more of these as a good medium range choice.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-...different.html
Combined with this, find it a very good choice which works well as well as saves some money:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NB8LQA8...vert-amazon-20
Put a multiple plug in this and add as many heaters as needed up to 1100 WATTS. Way more than we ever use.
Pool filter sand is a good starter for me. Cheap, easy to find and use. Wait to get to the fussy, hard to manage stuff.
Do learn about the nitrogen cycle as step one!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 09:58 PM
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I agree with knowing the nitrogen cycle. That's likely the biggest mistake for beginners. As far as equipment, I have bought very few new tanks. I like bigger tanks for stability, but they can be more expensive to equip and means that water changes and dosings are larger. Worth it though, IMO. For filters, I like a sump and a wet dry. For heaters I prefer to have multiple small ones so that one stuck thermostat doesn't fry the livestock. Add an inkbird controller for more safeguarding. For lights, I like the Beamswork LEDs. The best PAR to dollar value around IMO, outside of DIY. I use pool filter sand with root tabs as a substrate. I don't​ currently inject CO2, and would recommend not starting there. Too much can happen too fast when you are still figuring stuff out. I also think there is a bit of an art to setting up a well balanced low tech tank. When you get it right, you don't have to do much more than drop in some food and stare at it.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all these great replies! This is very helpful.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 07:52 AM
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sounds like fun

Don't be afraid of the larger tank it is less work than small but cost a little more upfront.

There are many places online that can tell you how many watts you need in a heater. Divide it into two and by two smaller heaters. It can save your tank.
The finnex led lights are a great so are the fluval led strips.

Check out the Marineland C-530, and in the carbon section use chem pure. it is a resin/carbon mix that cleans a fresh water like a skimmer cleans a salt tank. That setup will clean your tank better than most systems for twice the money.

Check out AquariumPlants.com | Live Plants for Aquariums & Fish Tanks .... GROW-PRO: FRESHWATER PLANTED AQUARIUM SUBSTRATE
It is the best I have ever seen and very cost effective. They are also a great place to buy plants.

After you have made sure it doesn't leak set it up.

Add the soil and have at least 35 ( or as many as you can afford) plants, ready to plant. Go with Anubias and CRYPTOCORYNE First, both are easy to start in a low tech tank. The plants should be planted before you add water.

Add a dozen cheap danios and let the tank cycle. feed the fish lightly. In about 3 weeks add 2 mollies (they are hardy and will eat algae).

Pull a stalk of the Crypts lose and replant it in a new place in the rear. Crowd them and they will grow tall.

As the tank matures do 1 - 10% water changes 1 time a week for first 2 months then 1 time a month for the first year and use that time (after the change) to add a few fresh small fish. After that if you have not overloaded the livestock but have overloaded the plants you can get away with almost never changing water.

UNDER FEED, UNDER STOCK, OVERLOAD PLANTS

Below I am posting a 40 gal cube that was built just as I described



Contact me if I can help you


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Last edited by Aquariareview; 06-06-2017 at 09:04 AM. Reason: added more info to help him
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