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On my way to getting my dream aquarium...

This is a discussion on On my way to getting my dream aquarium... within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Canadian Fish I I'm also FINALLY going to get a 50 foot python. Up until now I've used buckets for my ...

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View Poll Results: If I had a 220 Gallon Aquarium, I would stock....
Cichlids. Duh. 34 30.36%
It would be Saltwater. That's how I roll. 11 9.82%
Bala Sharks 14 12.50%
Tinfoil Barbs 6 5.36%
1 Male Betta 6 5.36%
100 Neon Tetras 23 20.54%
Rainbowfish 13 11.61%
Goldfish 4 3.57%
Other - Please elaborate in a comment in the thread. 22 19.64%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 112. You may not vote on this poll

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On my way to getting my dream aquarium...
Old 05-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #21
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Fish View Post
I
I'm also FINALLY going to get a 50 foot python. Up until now I've used buckets for my weekly water changes. My wife helps and we use 4 buckets at once. It sucks. I saw a picture on the python packaging at my LFS and there's a cartoon of a schmuck filling his tank with buckets and it looks exactly like me when I do it.

THAT will be the best money you ever spent. Water changes made so easy, I LOVE mine. I too am jealous of your new tank but very very happy for you. I hope you do go with plants. Also, I think a large school of Tiger barbs would be cool. They are so much fun to watch as they are like the class clowns in gang form. A school of 12 or so would be a blast. There are so many options in a tank that size. Bala sharks to me, are over rated. I had them in the past (many years ago) and they were sort of boring, to me. It is of course, up to you. If I were to do Bala sharks again, it would be in no less then a 300 gallon tank, but that is me.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:58 PM   #22
 
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Hello Fellow Ontarian!!
Eheim canister all the way. Had mine 15 years now on my 75 gallon. It is the work horse of filters. In a tank that size... 2 heaters. If your one heater fails...and it has happened 3 times to me in the last 1.5 years, and the temp dropped by 10 degrees and it's sitting on the main floor in my living room. Yours is going in your basement. That's total stress and a poss ich outbreak and meds and expenses. AND you know the silly thing will break down on a Sunday night!!
Good luck, post lots of pics please. Is that a Big AL's you are standing in??? Newmarket branch is the BEST!! Amazing service and support. (JMO!!)
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #23
 
nice man! i dont have any room for anything bigger than my 46, my snakes are in the way lol. i second the nomination for cichlids. i just like fish that get big. anytime someone sees my tank their amazed by it. i also vote for the natural look. ive had my tank setup for prolly 12 years and its never been better.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:17 PM   #24
 
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Inga, I am quite interested in tiger barbs. I've always thought they were entertaining, but were a little too nippy for what I currently keep in my tanks. Might have to try them in the big tank!

Jakiebabie, it is Big Al's in Ottawa. They've been really helpful to us. The first time we tried keeping fish was over a year ago, and we got lousy advice from a big box store, and it was a disaster. We got discouraged and gave up. January we decided to try again (since the tank was just sitting empty in our living room) This time we went to Big Al's, got much better advice, and we've been there once a week (at least) ever since. Getting our water tested, checking out the new stock. Our 3 year old LOVES the place. He runs around like a maniac, but they're very patient and all call him by name.

What size Eheim would I need for a 125 gallon tank? With the HOBs I always over compensated (ie 2 x Aquaclear 70s on a 55 gallon tank) do I need to do that with canister filters as well, or will one do?
What size heaters do I need?

Skelator, now that I know there are some easy plants out there I am very interested in a more natural look. I'm not crazy about sand though. Any feelings on black substrate? I've heard it brings out the colors in the fish. Up until now we've had really flashy substrate.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #25
 
Black or brown substrate is encouraged. It not only makes the colors of the fish pop, but makes them feel more secure.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:35 PM   #26
 
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The filter depends on your budget, fish breed you intend to keep, bioload of the chosen fish, your routine and cleaning habits....or lack there of like me...lol
I have the original 2215 from 15 years ago running as a river. Input at one end, out put in a spray bar at the other and the fish they all face up stream. lol. Rainbowfish and Congo Tetras. Only the Mollies face downstream. huh?
I do not ever change the filter bio media stuff, not the tubies or the stones. I occasionally rinse the filter pad/floss in old tank water, or de-chlor new water and make sure the hoses are not clogged. I am 100 percent fully planted too tho.
As for HEATER size, yes go for 2 that are slightly stronger/bigger than half the volume of water. IE. 120 gallon, get 2 75 gallon heaters. I have 2 50's on my 75 gallon. That way the remaining one isn't straining, never able to turn off for a couple of days till you get a replacement. And if the temp drops it won't get too dangerous.
I went into Big Al's to buy a new Eheim and the owner refused to sell me a new one... he gave me a list of things to go home and check on the old one and come back for parts or to bring it back in with me if his list didn't work. It turned out to be one of the things on the list. (I don't get the same feeling/service at the Barrie or Whitby location tho). Glad you have found a good one!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:36 PM   #27
 
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I don't know the numbers, models or volume of water flow on the newest models of Eheim. Can't help you there. Sorry.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #28
 
i use large gravel. its a tanish color. i have rocks stacked to make 3 caves. i also have a lave rock and a large realistic looking plastic log. it used to be a center piece but i pushed it to the side to give the fish more room to swim. i put a large ozolot (spelling) sword plant in the center of the log. with a piece of driftwood next to it. it also helps hide some equipment aswell.

i never tried black substrate. i have no experience with sand. i figured it would be hard to vacuum and keep clean.

ive also started growing pothos out of the top of the tank and i think it looks really nice. its growing like crazy in the tank too.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:28 AM   #29
 
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Wow, lots of posts since yesterday =)

Lots of things to comment on.

Substrate:
Dark is best, both for the fish and for making them happy. The technicolor is unnatural and fish can tell. If you are planning on loaches sand is best for them. They root around in the sand, some even bury themselves. Sharp substrate can cut them, they do not have scales. Same goes for cory catfish, they like to dig in the sand, and while they have scales their barbels can still get injured from sharp gravel.

Playsand is the cheapest option, and a lot of people use it including myself in my 125 gallon tank. It requires a lot of cleaning, but for under $15-20 you can have that entire 125 gallon tank covered in a 2 inch sand substrate. You won't find a better deal.

Lighting:
I'm not sure what yours will come with, the ones down here in the states that Petsmart sells come with two Aqueon 36" T8 fixtures with 8000K tubes. The fixtures are 36", but the tubes themselves are only 24". These have a good enough color spectrum for plants (but with a kind of purplish hue) however they are no where near bright enough except for the lowest of light plants. Which Java Fern and Anubias are.

If you want a fully planted tank, I recommend going to a hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe's and picking up shop lights. You can get dual T8 48" and 24" ones and are fairly inexpensive (I had to add a power cord to the 24" one, it was meant for permanent installation). That's what I use on mine, with the 6500K daylight bulbs which is ideal. Make sure they have a reflector so that when resting on your tank the tubes themselves are not touching the glass tops. With this much light though floating plants are required, fish don't like bright lights and floating plants provide a 'roof' that all fish enjoy.

Fish:
As you know, the Tiger Barb is a fin nipper, so best kept with active species that do not have long fins. A large school of them will help curb aggression.

If you go with cichlids do your research, they are generally speaking an aggressive bunch and that comes with its own challenges. In my tank I'm going with Angelfish which are a South American cichlid, they love soft water and are for the most part peaceful if kept in the right conditions. But that's a perfect example of what NOT to put with Tiger Barb.

If you go with cichlids, just keep the lights the tank came with. They'll handle the Java Fern and Anubias just fine.

Filters:
Eheim is the old standby, and nearly everyone recommends them. I've never personally owned one. They are one of the oldest brands out there so they have the track record. A lot of people report having one for 15 years and they are still going strong which makes them a worthwhile investment. I would really go out and find reviews for the specific model you are looking at. When looking for my own filter I too looked at Eheim but noticed that some of their newest models are getting really low reviews. It may be a case of 'they don't make them like they use to' or it could just be a faulty new design that will get fixed.

Other big brands in this area are Fluval and Rena. I would pick Rena over Fluval, and I don't think Fluval makes one large enough for a 125 anyways. Their 406 model goes up to 100 gallons, and their next up model the FX5 is for 400 gallons o.O The Rena XP3 is a good model for this size aquarium.

Go with a canister though, it's good to have a gentle (not strong) current going from one end to the other. Two HOBs won't get you that.

I'm using an AquaTop CF-400UV ... it's a no-name brand. Trying it out because it is half the cost of the others but that could very well mean trouble in the future if it breaks (ultimately costing more).

Heaters:
Definitely go with two, and don't buy the cheapest one you can find. That dosen't mean expensive, just search reviews and go with the most highly rated.

You will want as a minimum 2x 250W heaters. If the temperature differential in your basement is huge, maybe 2x 300W. Aqueon Pro have the highest reviews that I've seen myself, but they only go up to a 250W.

A canister with the current it creates will ensure even heat throughout the tank. Put one at the intake of the canister, and the other in the out take.

Some people use an in-line heater with a canister. It's a heater that you attach to the plumbing of the canister so the water passes through it before or after it hits the canister. They are very effective, but you won't find one large enough for a 125 gallon.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #30
 
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I checked and this is the light that comes with my tank:

Perfecto - PF DBL FLO STRIP 72" BLACK 72" Black flo Double Bright Strip Light Double Bright Strip Lights provide twice the light in the same space as a standard strip light. Instant-start feature allows the use of timers. Top vents provide heat dissipation, and interior reflectors provide maximal light output into the aquarium. Water resistant rubber boots protect switches from corrosion. Fits all brands of aquariums.

Is that going to be too bright for the Java Fern and Anubias plants?
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