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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?
 

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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
Anacharis
anubias
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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