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Basic questions about how to start...


28 Jan 2022
I'm a complete beginner and I want to set up my first aquascape and wonder if you can help me with some very basic questions? :)

1. I have inherited a 60*30*30 aquarium with some fishes and a bad internal filter in it. So I have bought a new Eheim Experience 150 that came today and now I don't know how I will introduce a new filter to my running aquarium... Do I let both my old internal filter (with a sponge) run at the same time to still have some bacterias in the aquarium for a while? Or do I just switch filters and do more water changes in the beginning? Perhaps add more bacterias?

2. When I’m going to create my first aquascape, is it better for the fishes to live in a big plastic box for a week or two (with the old water and all gear?), or do I let them in the newly planted aquarium if I do many water changes?

3. I want to buy Neo Flow Set but I wonder if that skimmer is good enough or if I have to buy a separate skimmer just to remove the floating plant parts after a trimming?

4. Should I use styrofoam under the big rocks to be sure my aquarium does not crack of the weight? I have bought a lot of soil to place the rocks in, but perhaps that is not enough?

5. I have a heater in my aquarium, but the rooms in the house are always warm, between 22-25 degrees. Should I take it out? I have platys and tetras today.

Thanks for your help!


6 Oct 2021
Ballater, Aberdeenshire
Hi, I'm quite new to it planted tanks, but here's my thoughts.....

1. I'd run them together for a few weeks.
2. (Following 1) You could remove the fish and put them in a (largish) plastic box with the old internal filter.
3. Never had a Neo Flow, but I believe the skimmer is quite good, I doubt you will need a secondary skimmer. Someone may confirm this.
4. That's okay........or cheap lava rock/alpha grog may be a better option for bacteria.
5. Montior the temp of the water prior to re-introducing the fish.

And most of all............enjoy it !!


New Member
22 Feb 2022
@SusanneK, I'd go with the following advice...

1. You could either run them together, or put the media from the old filter into the new filter along with the new media and run it. The beneficial bacteria from the old media will still be active, and will encourage new growth on the new media
2. Go with @pat1cp advice, don't add fish to an uncycled aquarium
3. Not sure, never used a skimmer
4. Don't place rock on glass directly, but you could just place on a layer of substrate, rather than anything artifical like styrofoam
5. Keep the heater in the aquarium, yeah OK it won't be running 99% of the time, but it will guard against any temperature drops. Fish like consistency in terms of temperature, and anything you can do to maintain the consistency is worth doing

Enjoy your new aquarium! :)