Back into fish keeping :), need advice getting equipment

Jan 11, 2003
666
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New Jersey, USA
#1
Well it's been a couple of years since I have kept fish but now I am back! Can't believe I even remember my password to my account!

I recently moved and decided that having an aquarium would look very nice in my new place. I took advantage of the Petco $1/gal sale and got me a 29g tank. So right now all I have is the tank and am in need of a couple of things that hopefully you guys can help with.

I think I have a 50 or 100 watt Marineland heater from my previous tank somewhere which should still work. I also have the now discontinued Penguin 330 filter. I used that filter in a 55g tank. Do you guys think it will be overkill for the 29g? The filter does have the capability to lower the flow but I am not sure how much the gph goes down.

The things I need is a nice stand, hood with light, and decorations. Anyone have some advice? I am currently looking at this stand Aquarium Stands & Furniture: Aquatic Fundamentals Aquarium Stands & Canopies but I am not sure if $100 is too much for just a stand. Any suggestions for hoods?

And as far as decorations, what kind of gravel and plants do you guys recommend for a community tropical fish tank? I'm thinking of getting some cories, tetras, and other schooling fish.

I hope to get this tank up and running soon!
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
33
48
36
Cape Cod
#2
I think that filter should be fine in the 29g unless it is really creating an excessive flow in the tank. I'd at least try it. You can't "overfilter," so as long as the current isn't too excessive for the fish (most fish actually do well in with a good amount of flow, with a few exceptions like bettas which prefer calmer water) a larger filter is fine.

That stand is fine - if you have a petco or some such nearby, it is a good idea to just swing by and look at some of their clearance stands - sometimes you find a nice deal on a stand. It can be a bigger stand than you need, especially if it has a solid top. I just picked up a stand on clearance because it was "incomplete" - here meaning missing the tank. So it was 90% off - nice solid wood stand for $30, solid top so I can fit my smaller tank on it. Convenient. My other stand is the same thing - clearanced and made for a different sized tank, but since my tank is smaller it works nicely. Plus this gives you a nice little lip around the stand to hold stuff. You can use a lot of other things as stands, or make one yourself, but remember that when full it is approximately 10lbs per gallon size. So if it is not a purpose built aquarium stand, just be really sure that it is sturdy enough for about 300lbs, and is level.

If you're getting cories, you want relatively rounded gravel (or sand) - the pointy stuff isn't good for their barbels or bellies. Same with most other bottom feeders. Color will depend on what your taste is. Rinse it very well (especially if you get sand).

I can't help with actual plants, but if you are looking at live plants you will be limited unless you get a good light. That being said, you can do a very nice planted tank with low light, you just have to get plants that don't need high light levels. If you are getting fake plants, I recommend using mostly the "silk" type ones rather than the plastic ones - the silk ones actually move with the water more and generally look much nicer IMO.

Hood - either the "deluxe" hood (one that has glass under the light fixture - you don't want the cheapo ones with the incandescent light bulb screwed in right above the water) or a higher powered light, usually over a glass top like a versa-top to protect it from the water, as well as preventing fish from jumping out. Personally I recommend a timer for the light, but it's not a necessity.

Read up on fishless cycling a tank if you haven't yet, before you add fish.
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
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East Aurora, NY
#5
Here's a good price on a 30" fluorescent hood, if that's the route you want to go> Amazon.com: All Glass Aquarium AAG21230 Fluorescent Deluxe Hood, 30-Inch: Pet Supplies Something like that is OK for low light plants.

Like FD suggested, a glass versa-top and strip light of your choice can give you some more flexibility.

FWIW, I've got a Top Fin LED hood on my 29gal. It's very bright/vivid (much more so than my 10gal Marineland one), but a royal PITA. You can't get into the tank at all without taking the top off, dripping water everywhere. There's no access doors or hatches to lift. I've got a little system down for that, but it's a pain. The Marineland LED hood is hinged to the back of the tank for easier access, but it's not nearly as intense (by eye) to the Top Fin.

Joel
 

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FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#7
Good call on that. You can mail-order an API master test kit (or the likes) for the low $20 range. Plus you'll need a quality dechlorinator.

Not sure if my LFS even carries a good test kit. I know Petsmart had one API MTK the shelf for just under $30. Not sure if Petco had them.
 

Jan 11, 2003
666
0
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32
New Jersey, USA
#8
I still remember that I have to do water cycling and water testing. I have to check on my old kits to see if there is an expiration date or not.

As far as plants, I forgot to mention that I do not want live plants. Going with fake ones. Thanks for the suggestions