New guy's equipment list.

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#1
Just wanted to get some ideas on what I'm missing to start off with!

Here's what I'll be setting up with my kids. I realize piecemealing your own system with super hi-end equipment is better, but good mom/pop shops are hard to come by in my area and cost is an issue. Our plan is some groupings of small communal fish.

So far I've mail-ordered the following:

Master (water) test kit.
Airpump, silicone hose and some air stones.
Fake driftwood decoration.
Aquarium stand: 29 Gallon Aquarium » Top Fin® 29 Gallon Ready-to-Assemble Aquarium Stands | PetSmart

I picked this tank kit up at the store: Top Fin® 29 Gallon Starter Kit - Fish - Sale - PetSmart

To do list; Need some pure ammonia for cycling and I'd like to use Box store pea gravel for my gravel. I'd like to get some fake plants to start off with too. Unsure on what to use for real plants.

Thanks for you input!

Joel
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
33
48
36
Cape Cod
#2
A 29g is a nice size, you can do a good number of fish in there and it's not too big or too difficult. You could easily do a few small groups of fish, or one bigger school, as well as some bottom feeders and a "showpiece" larger / more interactive fish.

If you're using the stock light that comes with the tank, you'll be looking for low light live plants. Java fern and java moss are some good ones. Java fern has the added benefit of being hard to kill...

Pure ammonia is easiest to get from the grocery store. You've probably already got it, but a small measuring device like measuring spoons are helpful for a variety of things.

The other small but important thing to grab would be dechlorinator - looks like the tank kit comes with a sample but you'll probably want a little bottle of it too.

I also recommend a timer for the lights; although it isn't a necessity, it is a nice thing to have (even if not now, maybe down the road). Ditto for a background on the tank, unless it's against a dark wall (and even then a background looks nicer). Makes the tank look neater and crisper, also gives the fish more security since they are not as "out in the open." A background can be one that you purchase specifically for the purpose, or as simple as a black trash bag taped along the back of the tank, or a painted on blue or black (which scrapes right off if you decide you don't like it). Same as a timer, if you don't get it right away you can always add one later.
 

FishDad

Superstar Fish
Mar 4, 2012
1,218
1
38
Cleveland
#3
Sounds like you know what your doing. I started in this hobby a year ago with my 3 year old son with a one gallon tank. I now have a 125 gallon and this forum has been a huge resource. Let us know how it goes and good luck!
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#4
Thanks for the tips!

I actually have no idea what I'm doing. Everything I knew about this was from ~25yrs ago, and I'm ALARMED at how things have changed.

Even tho I don't recall loosing fish back then, I must have setup a torture chamber for them. I'd basically dechlorinate, let the tank run a few days, then start adding a few fish. This was advice from pet/fish store owners at the time too!

*edit- the tank kit isn't exactly like advertized on the site either. It's not a fluorescent hood, it's LED. No chemicals come with the tank either, so I'll have to p/u some dechlor ASAP.

Joel
 

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Thyra

Superstar Fish
Jun 2, 2010
1,891
0
0
Yelm, WA
#5
Welcome to the forum! I just want to mention to be sure there are no other ingredients in "pure" ammonia. I was unable to ever find any - it all had perfume or surfactant (to make suds) - in fact many places didn't sell ammonia of any type. There are other ways to cycle a tank - one is by using a shrimp (like the kind you would eat) and letting it rot and another is by feeding the tank a small amount of fish food daily.
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#6
Gotcha. I haven't tried to source 'pure' ammonia yet and I'm open for suggestions for sure. Looks like the Top Fin HOB filter that's included in the 29gal tank kit is rated at 150GPH. Is that a bare minimum size? Also, the heater is 100watt. I'm sure that's bare minimum as well. Looks like the LED hood has 7 banks of 3 LEDs. 21 LEDs total. I have no idea on total wattage.

Joel
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
33
48
36
Cape Cod
#7
150GPH is about the minimum for the 29g tank. Since you've already got it, it will work fine as long as the tank isn't overstocked. A bigger filter would probably be a good idea down the road, or you may find that that one does fine for your purposes. ]

The 100W heater is the minimum/recommended size as well, assuming you want to heat the tank to about 5-15*F warmer than the room. If the room was going to be consistently much colder, you'd want a more powerful heater. With heaters (and especially less expensive heaters) you don't want to get one too much bigger than necessary. If it were to get stuck ON, a properly sized heater is less likely to overheat the water too much before you notice, whereas an oversized heater can overheat the water much more quickly. In a larger tank (50g+), lots of people recommend even having 2 small heaters rather than one large one for this reason. So in short, I'd stick with a 100W heater on a 29g tank, unless the room is going to be much colder than the tank.
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#8
Good info. Thanks!

The filter is a Top Fin 30. I guess you can use cartridges or your own concoction of floss, etc in them.

I'll give it a go thu the cycling period and then with some fish to see how it goes.

Joel
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#10
The stand came in this AM. It took me about an hour to assemble it, then it was go time to get the tank setup. Had to wash the heck out of the Lowes pea gravel and rocks from the stream.

Got ultra-hi quality dollar store blue cellophane wrapping (like wrapping paper) as a backdrop

The LED hood is pretty bright and the Top Fin 30 filter is pretty much silent and flows well. Not a good design though given there's only room in the filter for a filter cartridge and thin black bio sponge. Got an air stone bubbling away for now too.

All I added at this point is Prime. I need to tear into my test kit and get some ammonia added for my fishless cycle..

Here she is:




Joel
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#13
Thanks guys! I'm really liking it. I used some packaging tape to secure the blue plastic to the top/back of the tank. I love the Lowes pea gravel. Lots of cool looking little pebbles. The giant plastic driftwood is pretty neat. Has a big hollow in the middle with access holes for critters that like to hide. I've got an air stone stuffed in there for now, but don't plan on keeping it that way. Too much velocity coming out of that single stone at the moment. I'd like to get a cheap sponge bubbler filter for the right side for another form of bio filtering and maybe move an air stone to the left. My new air pump has two outlets that I temporarily tee'd into one. The center plant is silk, the rest are plastic. Fake plants were all from Petco. The tank is in our bedroom and I welcome the noise. I do shift-work (have for 20yrs) and I sleep better with some form of background noise.

Joel