Starting new after 5 years... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-20-2010, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Starting new after 5 years...

Ok, 5+ years ago, I had 2 55gallon tanks set up and running.
Both had the Marineland 350 magnum cannister filters and one Penguin HOB on each as well.
One tank was meat eaters, the other was "cute fish" for the wife (Though I did put my clown knife in there and he ate all her Neon Tetra's LOL)
Both tanks ran perfect, were always clear and clean, and I did weekly testing and kept it in a spreadshreet to track and see any possible trends before they got out of hand.
I sold those when I moved, and am ready to get back into the fish world... I was going to do a reef tank, but just simply cannot afford it, so I am going freshwater.
Picked up an All Glass Aquariums 75 Gallon tank and a stand for 75 bucks...
Aquarium was a reef tank with a BUNCH of coralline algae on the back and sides... Picking up some muriatic acid on the way home tonight to get rid of it...
The stand is the All Glass Aquariums 48x18 black cabinet stand...
What concerns me is that the stand is open on the top, and the tank ONLY sits on it around the edges... Even though it has a tempered bottom and it is the stand made for this tank, I just don't feel safe with it like that...
I am going to add some 2x4 struts front to back and put 3/4" plywood across the top for full support.

now, several questions... I want the tank to be planted, so I need a good substrate, not just the gravel. What is recommended?
Also, is the Magnum 350 good enough for a 75G tank? should I also have any powerheads or an HOB?
and lastly, Lighting... Tank has no hood, so I need to buy or make something... What would you all recommend?
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-20-2010, 07:35 PM
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You should read byrons low tech planted aquaria 4 part series in the plant area. It is really helpfull and will and will answer all of your questions. From what I can tell he is the most knoweldgeable guy on the forum as far as freshwater goes.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-20-2010, 07:48 PM
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Hello Dave and welcome to TFK!!!!

I'm glad you've decided to get back into aquaria!!! Since you've had what you've said to be successful tanks before, we'll save the schpeal about the cycle and all that stuff!! But if you're interested, we have links for that!

I too would recommend reading Byron's four part thread about the low-tech planted aqaurium. He's one of the smartest on here and his tanks are gorgeous!!

To get to some of your questions....

I currently run a 350 Magnum on my 55G planted tank. I know it's rated up to a 75G tank. You goal should always be to "over filter" you you did with your 55G(350 magnum and a HOB). I would recommend you might step it up to something which would handle a 100G tank. When you add your plants, and you add fish to the bacteria load, you'll want a filter that won't be working at it's strongest constantly. You should try andd look into something rated for a 100G or more so it'll work easier than a magnum 350 would on a 75G.

Don't sweat the fact that the stand isn't supported through the middle, alot of stands you buy @ a LFS (local fish store) are made like that, but the plywood and the studs will not hurt anything!!

A lot of plants will do well it a low-tech set-up. There's no need for expensive lighting or any of that stuff. I"m not sure of the size of your tank, I think the 75G tank measures 48" could use a twin-tube lighting set-up. The lighting can be two T-8 bulbs. You can either buy a lighting system made for an aquarium, or you could go and get a cheap shop light @ Lowes, depending on your budget. The bulbs can also be bought at Lowes or Home Depot. I run two of the 48" of them is the "full spectrum" and the other is the "cool white'. The mixture of the two has worked well for my tank and it's growing quite nicely!

That info will atleast start you off....

Have you thought about a stocking list for your tank? What about any plants?? Depending on the plants you buy you'll end up needed some kind of fertilizer....but we can get into that later on!

and again welcome!!! can't wait to see you tank up and running!

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-21-2010, 05:02 PM
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just wanted to say welcome.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-21-2010, 05:08 PM
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Welcome back!

Keeping fish is addictive. Sheesh.

BTW, before you run out for expensive substrate, my 10G livebearer tank is plain gravel.
10G livebearer

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2


Last edited by iamntbatman; 05-22-2010 at 03:33 AM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-22-2010, 03:33 AM
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Welcome to TFK! I'm on board with JohnnyD44's post.

4 8 15 16 23 42
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-23-2010, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well, spent about 45 minutes with Muriatic acid and the tank is like brand new...
Before the acid, I actually snapped a single edge razor blade trying to scrape it off...
I'll leave the stand the way it is... This is the Aqueon stand made for this tank... 48x18
Need to find glass lids for it, as it's just the bare tank... I can do cheap on lighting LOL...

Trying to come up with a stocking list... The wife and I are at odds on that LOL... she wants lots of color (I told her that would be a saltwater tank) and I like the meat eaters...
Bichirs, Oscars, Knife fish etc... She wasn't impressed...
SO, I guess color is where it needs to go LOL
Poking arounf the net, I saw the auusie blue crayfish... That would look cool, but I also don't want to introduce anything that will eat anything else we get...

SO, the more colorful, the better...
All suggestions welcome!
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-23-2010, 08:23 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

What are your water parameters? Fish that share the same requirements will be compatible from that aspect so this is a good place to start. Plus having an idea of what general type of aquarium you want--you mentioned plants, so presumably forest fish. You can have a lot of shimmering colour with shoaling characins, rasbora, danio plus some slightly larger fish like gourami, angel, dwarf cichlids, even Discus. Not all together of course.

On the top and light, I would recommend a glass top with a dual-tube regular (T8) fluorescent fixture that will sit across the tank on the frame. Assuming the tank is standard size, the glass top sets are not expensive. I use this arrangement, and I like the All-Glass fixtures (nothing to do with glass, just their name).


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-23-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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No water params yet... Still wanting to get all my ducks in a row with equipment first...
Then a fishless cycle.
This aquarium is Aqueon brand, which is the new name for All Glass... why they changed, I have no clue.
I was checking out Petco and Petsmart, and they have 48x13 lids, but not 48x18...
Definitely am wanting planted... Had plastic plants before, and they just don't cut it... want the real thing.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-24-2010, 12:51 PM
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It is wise to know the water parameters of your source water before deciding anything; your water board will probably be able to give you the pH and hardness (both GH and KH are important) or the fish store will usually do a test. Make sure you get the numbers so you will know where you are in terms of the water. Not all fish will manage in any water, and knowing the parameters sometimes directs you in certain areas. For instance, if your source water is very soft and acidic, rift lake cichlids and livebearers will be out of the question unless you take steps to harden the water. And in reverse, if you have "liquid rock" as source water, keeping soft water fish will be next to impossible. It really pays to know the water beforehand.

Filtration and lighting should always be suited to the fish in the aquarium; another reason for knowing first what general type of fish you intend, then the equipment will match. As with the water, not all fish manage well with all filters or light.

That sounds like a standard aquarium so the glass tops are available, online if not in the local store.

A suggestion, if you intend live plants, I would plant the aquarium and add a few fish and forget about cumbersome fishless cycling. Live plants consume ammonia/ammonium produced by the fish, and if there are enough plants and few fish, there will be no cycle from day one. I have always used this method, since I always have planted aquaria. It is far safer and simpler. Besides, there is no point in establishing a large colony of nitrifying bacteria in planted aquaria since this is detrimental to the plants.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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