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Brand New and Looking for Help Setting Up My Tank

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Tonce, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. Tonce

    Tonce New Member

    Jul 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Utah, USA
    I have wanted to get into keeping aquariums for quite some time now and have finally decided to do it!

    I bought an Oceanic Biocube 29 second hand off of Craigslist and broght it home and started cleaning it up last night. The guy I bought it from seemed to know a lot about the hobby and was telling me some of the features about the tank. As far as I understood it has all of its original parts and nothing extra. I have been reading about proper set up and maintaining of tanks, and I came across aquascaping and it interested me immediately! But I need help getting up and running so I do it right and don't end up killing any plants or fish.

    I scrubbed down the inside of the tank, should I also scrub down the filter and biomedia? Or Should I get new filter stuff?

    Should I just use tap water and treat it or should I get the filtered water in 5 gal jugs from Walmart?

    I plan on doing 25% water changes weekly, let me know if I should be doing that differently.

    I have a little beta tank with a few snails in it that I would want to transfer to my new bigger tank, should I wait til it is fully cycled or will they be ok while it cycles?

    I can't decide what type of scape I want to do, my wife is from Arizona and has lots of cholla skeleton which I think would be cool as the hardscape. I don't really know anything about plants or fish but I like African dwarf frogs so I think I'd like some of those in the tank.

    Sorry I have so many questions and thoughts, I feel like I'm just rambling now haha. But I'm excited to get started and hopefully get help along the way!

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!!
    ShadowMac and keithgh like this.
  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Melbourne Australia

    Personally and to be on the safe side I would scrub the filter completely, that includes all the hoses. I would then replace all the media and sponges etc.

    You "should" be able to use your tap water but get a full test done first at the LFS. Your local water supplier might have detailed information about your water.

    I would prefer two 35% water changes a week your fish and plants will certainly appreciate it.

    Your tank should be fully cycled first. Seeing you already have a tank you can use some of your media to help the Cycling process, with the aid of a good Bio Starter eg Seachem Stability

    It can be used as long as you give it a good cleaning and soaking first.

    All I can say is start researching then post a few ideas you "both" like that is a must.

    Seeing you have two tanks make one the frog tank.

    Not a problem answering answering questions, its getting started is always the big concern. The more you rush it I can guarantee you will make plenty of mistakes.
    You are starting of correctly asking questions, next step is research, once that is done you can start the planning.

    Can you post a photo of your tank and tell us every thing about it, the filtration and, the lighting. Don't forget the water tests.

  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    North Dakota, USA
    Hello and welcome to ASW and to Aquascaping! Once the hobby has its hooks....err..fins or leaves? in you its tough to get em out ;) I was pulled in by some beautiful photos of tanks by Takashi Amano.

    If it were me, I wouldn't worry about replacing any filter media that is still in working order. Biomedia is just porous material meant to home bacteria. It doesn't need to be anything special, but some materials have more surface area so provide more space for bacteria. Some folks use just small lava rock or pumice others buy commercial stuff like seachem matrix or ADA biorio. Its all very similar.

    I think there are a couple things to settle before moving on and filling up the tank with anything. 1) What are your goals? What type of scape do you want? 2) Reconciling goals with budget 3) reconciling goals with what are reasonable expectations for a first tank. The biggest hit to budget would be deciding if you plan to use pressurized CO2 or not. This is the biggest factor in deciding what type of light you should run and what plants you can expect to be able to grow. Expectation wise, I'd encourage you to think of this first one as a learning experience. Focus on learning to grow plants and have the design be a secondary focus. If you enjoy it...you will want to redo it soon anyways!

    The last thing I'll mention is take in some information. There are some good threads around here that can be a starting point, most of the highly recommended reading is stickied. YouTube is another nice place to go and there is a thread with a few recommended channels. Shameless self promotional plug here...but there is also this podcast: http://aquascapingpodcast.com/

    Once you come back here with your goals and if you have decided to use pressurized CO2 or not...we can start to guide you further. Oh, and please list the equipment that came with your cube so we know what you are starting with.

    Glad to have you and good luck!
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    North Dakota, USA
    to the water thing, 25% can work no problem. Most do 50%. You can use your tap, no need for buying water. I use Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator. I'd wait until your tank cycles before adding any fish. You could take the mulm (the gross gunk) from your current tank and dump it into the new filter once you have things up and running to jumpstart the cycle. You are basically seeding the system with a large biofilter bacteria population. There are also commercial products meant to speed cycling.

    Cholla isn't a typical hardscape used in Aquascaping, but it is common in the hobby of fish and shrimp keeping. Shouldn't be a problem. It is interesting to look at for sure.

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