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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'll be getting an apartment this summer after this college semester (finally) so I'll be able to take my love of fish seriously. I'm planning to start with a 55g tank. I'll mainly be looking for these on Craigslist for sellers in my area ranging from just the tank to it's supplies. I'll also be looking for a cheap set of a 10g tank or 2 as quarantine tanks for new additions as well as if i get fish that start to act... weird/sick.

I know it's cheaper to find people selling filters and such on craigslist... but is it really better than going out and just buying a new filter? I suppose for the Water Cycle a used filter as well as it's objects are REALLY good. But depending on how old the filter is (or crappy) what should I plan to do? Just get the tank and hood (if possible) and go buy new equipment?

The reason I'm starting this up now is because I want to have everything 100% planned and ready before it's needed (even if it doesn't happen right away which I'm sure it won't). I like to plan in advance and weigh the possibilities and options. The only con is that I'm fretting about this for ~5 months. haha.

The first fish I'll be getting is a group of 2-3 Pictus Catfish. Aside from the Pictus, I want a few tankmates, preferably middle and top dwellers. I don't want the bottom to belong to anyone but the Cats for the most part. The middle and top fish need to be of similar size to the Cats and also need to be just as active. Recommendations? I was thinking about some Lyretail mollies? Perhaps some smaller breeds of the swordtails as well?

I also want to get some hardy live plants to go in during the fishless cycle. Also anyone know of a place I can get driftwood? (To my understanding i don't have to worry about the water getting yellow with the filter and such and it goes away after awhile?) I can look at my LFS but I'm not getting fish from them, they were horrible in the past, dead fish, horrible tanks, etc. I've been told they're under new management now at their new location... but I don't really want to risk it.

The plants I want to be hardy and that barely need much attention, I'd like to have some short plants, bushy like possibly for shelter as well as some taller ones, but I'm not really looking for particular plants.

As far as the fish go, I'll be shopping at PetSmart. I've been told by others that apparently they can order fish for you as well so even if they don't have it in stock I can always ask.

I'll be using sand substrate (white preferably) and understand not to actually touch it with the siphon. Was told types of burrowing snails were good for keeping the sand clean but also had a few people tail me that snails are horrible for tanks (they had theirs overrun by them) but I'm guessing as long as you have fish that eat them... they should be okay and kept under control?

87 Posts

First off, welcome to TPT!

Your planned setup is similar to mine. I am a few years into this and have learned a lot. I'm not an expert, but I have learned a lot the hard way. Hopefully some of this helps...

If you buy a filter on craigslist, thoroughly clean it out as you don't know what the other person had going through that filter. If it we me, I would buy a new canister filter. It is a small investment that can last you for several years. I run the Rena XP3 on mine, it seems to get the job done.

Think long and hard about the fish you want to keep. You have plenty of time to do your research to figure out what you want. Don't add them all at once and wait until after the tank has cycled. Add them in small groups over several weeks so you don't set off a mini cycle.

There are several members here who sell driftwood, plants, fish, and shrimp. Take a look in the For Sale/Trade section of the website. I recommend buying from them if possible.

If you do buy the fish local I would check the LFS again to see if they have cleaned up their act. Buy from whoever has the healthiest looking fish and tanks. I haven't had much success with fish from PetSmart or other chain stores.

Don't worry about the snails, they are harmless. I only see a bunch of them when I have been overfeeding. Normally I hardly see them at all.

I will check back in if you have anymore questions. What do you plan on doing for light?

852 Posts
Hello and welcome :)

Not sure where to begin, so my best advice is

Your comments are a bit vague
This is what I got

And I think you like pet I

Since light drives the tank, decide on that first. Are you going to use C02? These two options pretty much determine what is going to grow, along with your water parameters. Do you plan on fertilizing.

I suggest you think about how much time you are willing to expend. The higher the light (par) the more work.

I have had high, low and medium light tanks. I no longer keep high light tanks and I have five to play with. Personally I like the single t5 bulbin a 65 K and the use of a Finnex. Led. The combo to me - looks great. The most important thing is that it looks good to you. In order to get there you have to experiment, with all the variables. Make sure you over filter and have good flow/ movement in the tank.
Do a search here for Niko - his posts really make you think about a tank as a system.
HTH & good luck. Contact me for some free plants in about one month_ you pay shipping
Have a great day

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I plan to stick to low to medium lighting, i don't want the tank gloomy in very little light, but I don't want illuminating either haha. I have yet to really look into lighting yet as I've only just now figured out what plants I am interesting in having in my tank so I still need to research them. If any of your are curious though the plants i'm interesting in are: (keep in mind I'm not saying i'm going to use ALL these plants, but they are just what im interesting in)

Java Fern
Green&White Acorus
Water Wisteria
(this was just looking at petsmart store site and what they had)
since it's been advised to check out the LFS just to see if they are doing better, I will, and I'll see what plants they have there as well.

I haven't looked into Co2 yet either, though do plan to get to that soon.
I do plan to fertilize if i get live plants
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