My new 180 gallon tank! Need Help!!
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My new 180 gallon tank! Need Help!!

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My new 180 gallon tank! Need Help!!
Old 11-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
 
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My new 180 gallon tank! Need Help!!

Hello guys, I am completely new with aquariums, I just got my first aquarium ever! It is 180 gallons, and it is in my office room as an in-wall, and also the other side is in my bedroom. I paid about $9,000 dollars for the whole thing including cabinets and setup etc..

Check out a bunch of pictures of it here:
http://primelogic.ws/180-gallon-fish-tank.htm

I did have a professional guy set it up, but now it's up to me to do the rest.

I had it setup for a week with water before I put fish in it. The first time I put fish in it, I put 25 fish in, it turn out that within a few hours they ALL died! well except for 3 of them, 2 of which was angel fish, and 1 other one was one of those sucker fish. They are still alive today, after 3 weeks, and like i said, the rest died.

I'm not sure why the rest died, maybe because I put too much fish in at once, or the tank had too much ammonia in it or something, I don't know. I recently just added 2 gold fish into it and they are doing okay now. So maybe the tank is now settled down and healthy now for fish.

Here are some more details of the tank:
-180 gallons, freshwater.
-100% starphire glass around it.
-all fake plants.
-2 under gravel filters. No other filters.
-A heater set at 75 F.
-There is a bubbler in it that spits bubbles up.
-Two T5 florescent bulbs, one is a glow light, the other is a regular white light, both are on a timer that is on 14 hours a day and off for 10 hours a day.
-There is a very small amount of natural sunlight coming in.
-There are 4 real rocks in the tank.

But since this is my first tank ever, I am a newbie with all this stuff, and I am going through a big learning process about this, so I have a TON of questions that maybe you guys can help me with. Here they are:

1. How often should I do a water change? And I should do a 20-30% change correct? Remember my tank is 180 gallons!

2. I am concerned about doing the water change because I use my garden hose attached to my faucet outside. I live up north, so it is cold and the tap water is very cold up here, so it makes my water a bit colder for a short period of time until the heater heats it up. Will this be okay for the fish, is there any alternative I should consider?

3. Should I chose a different filter method, Or should I add another filter? Remember I am using 2 under gravel filters.

4. I am now seeing a build up of what I think looks like little white turds in the gravel, I assume these are fish poop?? Am I right? Is this bad? Do i need to clean these out and if so how??

5. How often do I need to clean the filter, and how do i do it? Im not sure how to clean an under gravel filter's filter!

6. My fish food they provided for me is in huge flakes, should I crumble these up, or just put them in as big flakes? Or it doesn't matter?

7. One of my rocks has a large growth of green fuzz on it, should I take the rock out and clean it, or just leave it in there?

8. When I feed my fish I do not see the fish to come up and eat anything, should I give them less or not feed them at all?

9. I see a lot of small particles floating around in the water. Should I be concerned about this? If so how do I remove them? It is kind of annoying to look at!

Is there anything else I should know?

Thanks for those who help me with any of these questions, it is greatly appreciated!

Last edited by jasonwilks; 11-14-2009 at 10:24 AM..
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:52 AM   #2
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum!
Do you want to trade houses? Your house and new fish tank are absolutely beautiful!

To answer some of your questions, we are going to need water test results. If you do not have a water testing kit, The API liquid test kit, is a good one to have.
Not sure how much you have read up on the cycle process of a new tank, but new tanks are very unstable. Ammonia and nitrites can spin out of control quickly. When you need to change out water and how much to change out, the test results will help determine this. Cycling with fish, I try to keep both ammonia and nitrites under .25 ppm. In new tanks, this could mean daily water changes, until the tank is cycled, then depending on stocking, 25% weekly water changes are usually enough.

1) When cycled, 25% weekly should work, depending on what fish you keep and how many.

2)Is your house water heated? Check into buying one of these, Python fill & spill Aquarium Maintenance & Water Changes: Python No Spill Clean 'N Fill.
This can be connected to your home faucet to both drain and fill the tank.

3)I have used under ground filters before, and don't care for them myself. As you can see, they force all the waste down into your gravel. IMO, makes gavel cleaning much more time consuming, with all the trapped fish waste. I prefer canister filters for large tanks. The waste is trapped in the canister, keeping most of the waste in one contained area, making maintenance much easier.

4) Yep, they turds, being forced down into the gravel, by the UGF. Buy the Python, or like advice. It will work as a siphon to remove the dirt from the gravel.

5)I kind of answered this question already. In a cycled tank, the gravel should be cleaned using the siphon weekly. You can alternate, cleaning one side weekly, the other side the next. If you invest in a canister filter, most get cleaned out every 2-3 months. I can go into greater detail on maintaining a canister, if you choice to add one.

6)A variety of food is best for your fish. I would also buy pellets (sinking or floating), frozen foods, algae wafers. What foods you feed, depends on the needs of the type fish you have.

7)a little algae does not bother me. Algae is normal in a cycling tank. If you do not like the looks of it, you can wash it off.

some fish do not come to the top to feed. They may still be nervous, adjusting to their new home. You may need to try sinking foods. Overfeeding in an uncycled tank, can quickly cause an ammonia or nitrite spike, so easy on the food.

9)I would add a canister filter. It will trap dirt from the middle, upper level of the tank.


Can people see into your bedroom from the office room? Just kind of curious.

Last edited by Twistersmom; 11-14-2009 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
 
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Second TM's advice. One additional comment on the light. You are going to have problems with algae because that is a lot of intense light and you have no live plants to be using the light and nutrients, so algae will. I would reduce the light period from 14 hours down to 8; without plants you only need the light when you're viewing the aquarium, and the fish don't need light, so arrange the 8 hours to cover your regular viewing times. If the sunlight is direct sun on the aquarium, shade the window; diffused daylight is fine, but remember it adds "light" in addition to your aquarium lights and this has to be factored in to keep algae at bay.

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Old 11-14-2009, 04:35 PM   #4
 
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I know people probably get tired of me saying this, but I get a real kick out of trying to mimic actual environments in the aquarium. jasonwilks I dunno how much of a nature type you are but you could really have a fabulous 'biotope' goin on in that beautiful tank.

It takes time though. Are you at all interested in recreating a piece of the Amazon River, for example, in your tank?
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
 
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Love thank tank have to say that, but I'd REALLY love to see a BUNCH live plants in there. I personally couldn't see myself spending 9K on a nice tank and then fill it with plastic decor rather then spend the extra $100 for some amazing cool live plants (plus the fish would love that too).
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:02 PM   #6
 
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I have read from a few people, that say they have luck keeping a planted tank with a UGF. I personally, could not get rooted plants to grow having the ugf. If you decide to go the planted route, maybe others can comment on keeping plants with an UGF system.

Last edited by Twistersmom; 11-14-2009 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:22 PM   #7
 
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My 33g was originally set up with an UG, and I had swords and crypts. That ran for a few months but I tore it down and moved the plants into the 90g when I first got it. So probably not long enough to really say good or bad. And as that was 14 years ago, I wouldn't want to trust my memory.

Karen Randall says it is possible, though not preferable. The certain water flow through the substrate would be beneficial. It would pull nutrients down into the substrate where they are needed, and also phosphates which might help prevent algae. However, on the negative side, it drives off CO2 faster due to surface disturbance from the lift tubes and the airstone, or worse, powerheads. It also limits the options as to substrate; sand and enriched or soil substrates are impossible with UG filters because the material falls through the plate openings.

The other issue of course is waste; as most of us tend to stock more rather than less fish, there is more waste produced faster and pulled into the substrate. Clogging, dead spots, etc., are more likely.

However, WisFish has UG filtration, and he has a beautiful planted tank. Maybe he can offer some comments.

Byron.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistersmom View Post

9)I would add a canister filter. It will trap dirt from the middle, upper level of the tank.


Can people see into your bedroom from the office room? Just kind of curious.
Yes I am getting ready to order a canister filter, maybe two of them to replace my UGF. I want to buy high quality ones, price doesn't matter to me. Do you recommend any good ones??

And yes people can see into my bedroom from my office right now. My bedroom is actually under construction, I am turning it into a movie theater / master bedroom, I am putting in a 110'' movie projector screen in there! Its gonna be really cool! I will eventually have curtains I can open or close on around the aquarium to block the view of the bedroom to the office If I want to. I can get some more pictures of my house later once that is done!

Let me know on which canister filter to buy! And should I go with 1, or 2, or even 3 canister filters? Should i get rid of my UGF or leave that in there too?
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:55 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish999 View Post
Are you at all interested in recreating a piece of the Amazon River, for example, in your tank?
Nope, just put random objects in there in no particular order. I do have a big castle, a Chinese temple, a wrecked ghost ship, a drunken pirate and treasure chest in there, but I had no direct vision of scenery. I used black gravel with some blue gravel mixed in, looks great!
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:40 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwilks View Post
Yes I am getting ready to order a canister filter, maybe two of them to replace my UGF. I want to buy high quality ones, price doesn't matter to me. Do you recommend any good ones??

And yes people can see into my bedroom from my office right now. My bedroom is actually under construction, I am turning it into a movie theater / master bedroom, I am putting in a 110'' movie projector screen in there! Its gonna be really cool! I will eventually have curtains I can open or close on around the aquarium to block the view of the bedroom to the office If I want to. I can get some more pictures of my house later once that is done!

Let me know on which canister filter to buy! And should I go with 1, or 2, or even 3 canister filters? Should i get rid of my UGF or leave that in there too?
Plants were mentioned previously in this thread, but not by you (jasonwilks). If you decide to have plants, I would definitely take the UG filter out, clean the gravel (rinse it in buckets) and then go with one good canister filter. Eheim, Rena and Fluval are probably the most widely-used canister filters, and all are basically good. Eheim are the "cadillac" of filters, and this is reflected in the higher price. But they work and they last; I have one on my 90g that has been running continuously for 12+ years with absolutely no problems ever. I have a Rena XP3 on my 115g, identical in function to the Eheim, less expensive; I bought it this past June (couldn't get Eheim locally, so went with Rena) and so far I am very happy with it. Fluval are slightly cheaper, and while not meaning to criticize them, from reports I've read they seem to be less preferred over Rena.

The benefit of plants cannot be overstated; as filters they are superb, and one good canister to maintain a quiet flow of water and remove suspended particles via the pads is all you ned in a planted aquarium. And a 180g planted tank would be a magnificient site.

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