I'm new to fish tanks, I just bought a 55 gallon tank. I need help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'm new to fish tanks, I just bought a 55 gallon tank. I need help!

I just bought a 55 gallon tank it came with a stand, filter and two 24 inch 19 watt lights, all for $100. I'm interested in having small turtles/goldfish in it, any tips/dos/don'ts? The last tank I owned was 15 yeas ago and 3 gallons.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 01:36 AM
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100 bucks was a pretty good steal depending on what kind of filter.

If you plan on getting goldfish or turtles do not get plants unless they are top floaters unless you want them eaten.

To better assist you let us know what kind of filter you have? This will let us know if you need to upgrade for goldfish/turtles as they are very high polluters and require tons of filtration.


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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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The only thing the filter says is "Aqua-Tech 30-60" there are two filter units. The inside and outside of the tanks need to be cleaned. What can i clean it with?
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 02:29 AM
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55g is a little small for turtles IMO, there's no turtle that really stays that small haha...
plus they need heated water, being reptiles, and goldfish are coldwater fish. also turtles will eat goldfish. i'd either do just goldfish or go with something else.

30-60 is only rated for 60 gallons and is a cartridge filter sold by a not-so-reputable company IMHO (this is the company that works with wal-mart and promotes putting goldfish in tiny tanks), if you really want goldfish i'd recommend a high-GPH canister filter or something.

do you know about tank cycling?

EDIT: you can clean your tank pretty well with a mix of water and bleach, or water and vinegar. bleach if you just want to clean it, vinegar if there's hard-water deposits that you need to get off. do NOT use soap or any household glass cleaner!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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I have no idea what tank cycling is, I'm pretty new to fish tanks. The goldfish aren't a necesity but my wife has been on my case for months about getting some little turtles (the size of a half dollar) that she sees some lady selling at the local flea market. Does anything else pair up well with turtles? The tank came with a small heater.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action53 View Post
I have no idea what tank cycling is, I'm pretty new to fish tanks. The goldfish aren't a necesity but my wife has been on my case for months about getting some little turtles (the size of a half dollar) that she sees some lady selling at the local flea market. Does anything else pair up well with turtles? The tank came with a small heater.
for some reason there's either no cycling sticky or i can't find it, so i suggest you contact diana and ask her how to do a proper fishless cycle, she's really pro at explaining it ;u;

you know those turtles won't stay that size, right? they're babies...

what type of heater is it, and what wattage?
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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It's 200 watts and about 18 inches long.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 04:05 AM
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Honestly, I'd stay away from both turtles and goldfish, and go with something a little less challenging. Turtles will require land, and heat, while goldfish will require very clean and cold water. There are a lot of other really cute things your wife will like :P How about a dwarf or clawed frog? Also, like mentioned above, since youre on the plantedtank forums, we assume you want plants! Neither species you mentioned go well with all the beautiful plants we all love
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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What would be easy and pretty? I want to slowly ease into plants but i do like nice rocks and "caves" what fish/plants would go good with some nice rockage? When I was little my dad had a 55 gallon tank with a bass he caught in it, it was amazing to watch it eat. He had that fish almost 5 years before it finally died.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action53 View Post
What would be easy and pretty? I want to slowly ease into plants but i do like nice rocks and "caves" what fish/plants would go good with some nice rockage? When I was little my dad had a 55 gallon tank with a bass he caught in it, it was amazing to watch it eat. He had that fish almost 5 years before it finally died.
most small tropical fish, like tetras, are fairly hardy and easy to keep. there are many different varieties in many different colors so you can choose whatever appeals to you. any fish can go well with rocks, provided that the rocks don't change your water's hardness. any plants can do well with rocks around, anubias, mosses, and java fern can even be attached to rocks.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Red face

What about getting my tank ready for life? Just fill it with water after cleaning and let it run a few days before putting anything in it? Thanks for all the fast help, I hope I'm not being a pain with all these newbie questions.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 05:51 AM
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If you want to put fish in within a few days, you have two options. Either plant the tank heavily with plants, or use Tetra SafeStart. Either way, I'd start off only with a fish or two to let the tank build up its bacteria colonies before stocking it up any more.

Usually, we go through a process called cycling, which involves adding a source of ammonia to the tank, and letting bacteria which eat ammonia build up in the filters bio media. This takes quite some time if you are doing it for the first time. Using SafeStart, though, gives you a boost. It has the bacteria inside the bottle. You dump the whole thing in, wait an hour and add fish (you must add fish, or the bacteria will starve).

Oh, and you also need to dechlorinate your water I use Prime, BUT when using SafeStart, I usually use their (Tetra's) brand, as it doesn't interfere with the SafeStart bacteria, which is sealed in some special way by nitrogen.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 10:09 AM
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Definitely do more research on your turtles and don't just impulse buy them. They're going to be pets for many years so it's your obligation to take good care of them. If you're thinking of small red eared sliders, that tank will be okay for a while, but males and females get to 8-12 inches respectively. You generally want 10 gallons per length of shell... so when one turtle gets to 8 inches, they need 80 gallons - and if you have 2 x 8 inch turtles, that needs 160 gallons. Turtles are a big investment but I enjoyed them for a decade. They are messy eaters but if you can feed them in a separate tank (and let them do their business in there) it'll make cleaning a lot easier.

As for keeping fish and turtles together... baby turtles might not be able to catch/eat the fish, but adults will. To me at least it's kind of silly to keep both together. At least if you care about the fish you're getting, you wouldn't house it with its predator. This is a fish forum so it would be like keeping a goldfish with a huge oscar and hoping the goldfish survived. It's food for the oscar and it's food for the turtle. Yea they can live together but turtles alone are a big enough deal I wouldn't attempt to tackle 2 pets you have no idea about.

So to sum it up...

#1 Stop, slow down. Do not rush and buy anything living yet.

#2 Do your research on the turtles you want to buy. As far as I know, no turtle is going to stay that small at 1/2 inch. Those are babies and will become large fast. If they're red eared sliders like I mentioned, they need more than just water - they need land and special lighting. What kind of lighting? Do your research online and get a book.

#3 Don't attempt fish and turtles. You're going to struggle with both if you know nothing about either going in. Like others said, turtles need warm water while goldfish need cold water; the 2 just don't mix if you want both alive.

#4 If you want both alive, you're being naive and again, do more research on both potential pets before jumping in. There's no pressure here that you need to fill that 55 gallon tank up today; it's not going anywhere so hold off until you know more.

#5 Make sure you're serious in owning a pet for many years. Don't let ignorance fool you. Yea the turtles are cute - but they grow up and require larger tanks, varied diet, etc. You wouldn't keep a cat in a small box for its whole life, so don't keep a turtle in a tank too small. Others might do so but you will know better after doing research so please be responsible and don't contribute to animal abuse.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 10:21 AM
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Turtles are cute, but who could resist those puppy eyes? He also sets everyone giggling when he swims, he looks completely ridiculous. Do a nice tropical community with a bristlenose plec. Much much easier than goldfish or turtles.

fishless cycling guide
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 01:23 PM
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I wouldn't get turtles if I were you, the ones they're selling at the flea market are most likely Red-eared sliders, which can get up to a foot long. Turtles also require UVA/UVB lighting, Which gets quite costly over time. If you put fish in with you're turtles, they will get eaten, slowly but surely. No plants with you're turtles either, they'll uproot them and shred them to pieces, some people have reported keeping java fern with them, because "they don't like the taste", Didn't work for me. If you decide to get turtles, go with Musk turtles, they stay around 5 inches when fully grown. Its hard to have an aquarium look nice with turtles.
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