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New guy question

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Freakshow1966, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Freakshow1966

    Freakshow1966 New Member

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    Ok so i have decided to get back into aquariums. I have had many since i was a child, but it has been a good while. I have always had a 20-gallon tank, this time i am going for a 40. Its been at least 10 to 13 years since i had a setup, im sure things have changed.

    Anyway, i have a problem. I have a 40-gallon breeder tank but i cant find an under gravel filter the right size. They all seem to be to big or to short. I have heard some people dont use them these days. I have always had them so its what i know. Does anyone know of (maybe a link) to the right size?

    If you are gonna advise me to skip the UGF thats fine but you will have to explain to me how that works :)

    Thanks and hello
     
  2. Metalhead88

    Metalhead88 Fish Crazy

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    Haha yeah undergravel filters aren't quite as popular as they once were.

    An aquaclear 70 would be great, and it's on sale right now for 37 bucks on amazon. You really can't beat that.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
     
  3. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Not many people use undergravel filters nowadays. Most people use one of three types - internal, hang on back (HOB) or external (canister) filters. The Aquaclear 70 that Metalhead referred to is a HOB filter and this type of filter is popular in the US.

    As for explaining how it works if we advise you to skip the UG, that's simple. Just buy the filter, set the tank up and cycle the tank. If you buy a filter that contains cartridges consisting of a carbon containing bad on a frame, it is better to replace those with sponge straight away. Sponge is much easier to keep clean by squeezing in water that you remove during a water change.

    But before you start, there area few points to consider.
    Do you intend keeping bottom dwelling fish? If you do, sand is a better substrate than gravel for them.
    Do you intend live plants? There are two ways to cycle a tank, with or without live plants.

    With no live plants, this is the way to cycle the tank https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/

    If you intend live plants, and more than just a couple of slow growing plants, set the tank up, plant the plants then let the tank run till you are sure the plants are growing well and not about to die. Then add fish, a few at a time and test the water daily to make sure the plants are removing all the ammonia made by the fish.


    You said in your other post that you won't be setting everything up till spring so that gives you plenty time to discuss other aspects eg the fish species you want. You may well find that choosing fish needs a deeper understanding of a fish's needs than was usual 10 years ago.
     
  4. Naughts

    Naughts Fish Crazy

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    I think the main advantage of canisters and HOBs is that you can clean the gunk regularly by rinsing the filter media. This removes potentially harmful compounds from the system. Also UGF are not good for live plants (live aquatic plants are great for water quality and fish). @AbbeysDad may explain better.
     
  5. Freakshow1966

    Freakshow1966 New Member

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    Ok lets say i was to go with sand, i actually kinda like that idea. What sand to buy? Can you use Play Sand from Home Depot, or do i need something else?
     
  6. Freakshow1966

    Freakshow1966 New Member

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    Oh as a note i am thinking about a Betta, Neon Tetras, and some bottom dwellers be they shrimp and or fish. Maybe some snails too
     
  7. Naughts

    Naughts Fish Crazy

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    Play sand is ideal. :) Needs to be rinsed a lot before adding to the tank. Plant roots spread well in it and it's perfect for bottom dwellers.
     
  8. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Bettas are not community fish I'm afraid; they are best kept on their own. But in a 40 gallon tank you have many options with neon tetras - provided you have soft water.

    I didn't want to bombard you all at once, but something you do need to establish sooner rather than later is the hardness of your tap water. Your water provider may have it on their website; or phone or email them. You need a number, rather than some vague words, and the unit as there are half a dozen they could use. Or take a sample of your tap water to a fish store and ask them to test for GH.
    Fish need to be kept in water with similar hardness to the water they originally come from. Soft water fish kept in hard water live shorter lives as their organs become calcified. Hard water fish kept in soft water suffer from mineral depletion.
    The best website for fish profiles is https://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/ They give a lot of info on each species.
     
  9. Freakshow1966

    Freakshow1966 New Member

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    Hey, by all means, hit me with what you got. I am a fast learner and i want to do this right! I cant call today but on Tuesday i will call and ask about the hardness. I do know we have a ton of Chlorine in the water, smells like a swimming pool. That is really no issue as i will have the tank running two or three weeks before the first fish goes in.

    For what its worth i live in TN and the water is fairly soft round here. I am trying not to be a bother but i do have so many questions.
     
  10. Naughts

    Naughts Fish Crazy

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    Ask away, questions help us all. I've got one for you - what is different about a 'breeder' tank? Is it the dimensions?
     
  11. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't breeder tanks long and shallow compared to a 'standard' tank of the same volume? We don't use the term breeder tank in the UK.




    Leaving the tank running for a couple of weeks will not get it ready for fish. You need to either plant it quite heavily with live plants or do a fishless cycle https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/
    That's another thing that's changed over the last few years, using fish to cycle a tank is no longer approved of.
    As for the chlorine - assuming it is chlorine and not chloramine - you can either leave the water to stand for a couple of days for chlorine to gas out, or use a dechlorinator (aka water conditioner) to remove the chlorine. If you have chloramine rather than chlorine you'll have to use a dechlorinator as chloramine does not gas out. That's another thing to ask the water provider - do they use chlorine or chloramine.
     
  12. Freakshow1966

    Freakshow1966 New Member

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    Yes a 40 Breeder tank is 36" Wide x 15" Long x 16" High giving it slightly more size than a 55 gallon take as far as surface goes.

    oops i meant 36.5” wide x 19.25” high x 17.125”
     
    #12 Freakshow1966, Nov 9, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  13. Freakshow1966

    Freakshow1966 New Member

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    I was planning of using a quick cycle chemical to get it ready, and as for plants see below.
     
  14. Naughts

    Naughts Fish Crazy

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    Gotcha, Thank you.
     
  15. Metalhead88

    Metalhead88 Fish Crazy

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    I'd recommend against that. Those quick start chemicals are a total lie.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
     

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