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Want to start a large tank

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Want to start a large tank
Old 08-23-2010, 06:56 PM   #11
 
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Hello and welcome!

About your floor, how old is your place? What floor will it be put on? On you sure its a load bearing wall? Are you sure you are are going perpendicualr with the joists? Im no expert, and I dont have any experience with large tanks, but I have been reading alot about them and If your going to set it up on a load bearing wall and perpendicular too the joists then thats a very good start. I will try to find an article I read about this. Ill post it later tonight if I find it.

Also, I was scared about plants before I meet all these wonderful people here, and now Im so excited (plants arive this weeked) to get started. You should consider Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics. Very cheap, and helpful people. Together with the members here online and Mary over at SA, you will get the right plants you need. Also they do flat rate shipping so no need to pay expensive overnight shipping (this may change depending on where you live but you can just contact them before you buy). I didnt get my plants so I cant personally comment on their condition but there are so many good reviews online (alot form this site) that I am sure they will be fine.

The idea from most members on this site is to go low tech on the plants. Dont let stores and online articles trick you into super expensive lighting and CO2 setups. (like bryon siad, many people go "high tech" but you dont need to. if you make sure to set it up right they should both yeild great results) If you just do it right from the start you shoulndnt need these things. Be sure to ask every single question you have about everything! (may seem annoying, I felt I was annoying, but the people here are very nice. Afterall we are all here to help eachother)

Also look at the top of the page at tropical fish profiles. Members work very hard to provide accurate information about fish. Take a look at these when you start to think about buying fish (there are some plants there too). Before you ask about a specific fish you should read its profile. It may save you some time rather then posting and waiting for someones reply.

I start my 30 gallon this weekend, you already have more experience then I do so dont worry about anything. Just take it slow, make sure you get the right things and cycle properly and you should have happy, healthy fish!

sorry if my spelling is bad. I kinda rushed this :)

Last edited by bigehugedome; 08-23-2010 at 07:00 PM..
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Geomancer (08-24-2010)
Old 08-24-2010, 07:30 AM   #12
 
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The house is 60 years old, which may or may not be a good thing. Some people argue that houses were built better back then compared to today. I'm 100% possitive it is a load bearing wall as directly below it is a large beam running the length of the house supported by pillars into the concrete. Having an unfinished basement has its advantages to spotting things like that.

From what I can find online/asking around most people don't think it would be a problem if placed next to a load bearing wall perpendicular to floor joists. Guess we'll find out... or I'll chicken out and go with a 75 gallon instead.

Thanks for the link for the live plants. It looks like they offer a service to plan out an entire tank. Anyone do that before? Is it worth it? I'm completely clueless on what types of plants to get. They suggest on their website to layer substrates and you won't need any fertalizer. I imagine that only works for a limited time though, won't all the nutrients eventually be leeched out, or does that take several years?
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:47 AM   #13
 
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http://badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article28.html

This is the article I was talking about. It won’t tell you if your tank will work in your house, but it will give you some good info about things to consider. I think you will be fine (but then again I am not an expert).

I am getting the 29 Gallon plant pack from SA this week. Like I said I cannot comment on the actual product yet, but there are many people that were satisfied by SA. I just copied and pasted the plant pack onto the forum so everyone knew my options, and everyone gave me advice on what to get. Same thing with SA. Once you talk to enough people on here and figure out your lighting, substrate, ideas of fish, etc., you just buy the plant pack and they will send you an email asking what you want. Just tell them your your tank size (include LxWxH), your substrate, lighting, fish (or ideas of what you might get) and water parameters and she will give you suggestions. I then posted that on the forums and together I got a final list of what to get. From my understanding the plant packs are a very good amount of plants for whatever size tank you have. Enough so you can start slowly adding fish right away. Of course you may want to add on a few plants, but anything extra depends on what plants you pick driftwood or decorations, rocks, etc.

SA is defiantly a lot cheaper than any of my LFS and has a much bigger selection. Plus their staff know what they are talking about and will give you time to consult with your new forum buddies before you buy. Maybe people can comment on other places to buy plants, but if not then there is someplace you can check out.

I don’t think mixing substrate is a good idea. From what I have read, they will layer themselves over time anyway depending on the size of the substrate, weight; ya know all that science stuff. And it may be a pain to clean. I plan on getting eco-complete; it is gravel that is full of nutrients for your plants. Plus you don’t have to wash it ahead of time which is nice. There is fluorite which is good but I read it may be too sharp for fishies on the bottom. Like Bryon said plain old gravel should work as long as you do everything else right.

I can’t comment on fertilizer tabs but I will be using seachem flourish for my tank (not excel). You have to use something like this anyway because any nutrients in the gravel will not affect floating or other plants that are not rooted into the substrate.

Like everyone else has said, these are all only suggestions. I’m getting the eco-compleate because I like that it’s black. My tank will have black substrate and a black background (spray-painted) and I like that look. If you don’t like it, then you don’t need to get it. I’m sure any way you want to set up your tank, there will be a way to grow plants successfully and have happy fish.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:11 PM   #14
 
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A few thoughts on substrate.

Most plants will do fine (i.e., grow and remain healthy) in almost any substrate. But there are advantages and disadvantages to most substrates, plus cost can be a big factor.

Enriched substrates like Eco-complete or Flourite are touted by some as the best, by others (like Diana Walstad) as a waste of money. If you want to spend more (by comparison to gravel) fine; but as you note eventually the nutrients will be exhausted, thought this make take a couple years. But no one has yet invented a substrate that renews itself, so at some point the benefits of the enriched substrate will be gone.

Soil (with an overlay of gravel to keep the soil relatively in place) is another option. The thinking here is that it releases CO2 regularly due to the organics and bacteria it contains, along with some nutrients. Walstad is a big advocate of this, to the exclusion of any other form of substrate. But here again, the nutrients will eventually be exhausted, just as they are in your garden, and if you don't replace them, the soil will have little benefit. As for the CO2, I am not completely convinced about this being necessary. Fish and bacteria produce CO2, and if my aquaria are any indication, quite a lot of it. I have no other source of CO2 but I have lush plant growth. Walstad stocks her tanks "moderately" which seems to mean with about half the fish most of us would have; this is why she can omit water changes. Heavy plant growth plus few fish will balance. Also, the first several months can be problematic as the biology works its way through. Walstad warns of ammonia, algae, unclear water, plant problems. I intend to try a soil substrate in a 20g when I have the opportunity to re-do that tank. I've had 20 years experience with planted aquaria which I think is important as it allows one to have a better idea of what should or shouldn't occur, and its easier to deal with the issues that these alternatives bring to the aquarium.

Sand is another common option. It is not recommended by any plant author I have read as the sole medium, as it is not a good base substrate. Sand will compact very easily, and the deeper the substrate the worse this becomes. Plants like Echinodorus need 4-5 inches of substrate, and this takes a bit of regular care to prevent compaction around the roots which can kill these plants quickly. I have a 10g with a sand-only substrate which I have had running for about 3 months now, as an experiment. It looks nice, but I am not impressed yet. I myself would never use this in a large tank, but that is my preference.

Gravel is the last option. Small grain (1-2mm) works best at anchoring plants and providing a suitable medium for the immense colony of bacteria that must live in the substrate. Water percolates through fine, but the gravel if small is still able to provide a good medium while having less chance of compacting (but it still can). I grew beautiful swords in plain gravel with only liquid fertilizer for 10 years, so I know it is easily done. Adding substrate fertilizer (root tabs/sticks) increased the growth of the swords. I have not replaced my substrate tabs (which have now long given out) and I am still getting fabulous growth. All the benefits without any of the issues.

Byron.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:35 PM   #15
 
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Thanks again everyone, this is a good start for me.

I have a plan for a tank (75 or 125 gallon), a plan for the substrate (gravel), and filter (canister).

So lets talk fish. For some reason my personal favorite is Angel Fish, but I know they are a somewhat picky fish. However, the fish profiles here say:

Quote:
Generally peaceful. Except when breeding, they should be kept in a group of four/five or more.
Which has me concerned. I only want to do a single tank, so I'm not sure how I could possibly keep them seperated when breeding. How can you tell when they are breeding? For how long? And how can you seperate them?
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:58 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
Thanks again everyone, this is a good start for me.

I have a plan for a tank (75 or 125 gallon), a plan for the substrate (gravel), and filter (canister).

So lets talk fish. For some reason my personal favorite is Angel Fish, but I know they are a somewhat picky fish. However, the fish profiles here say:



Which has me concerned. I only want to do a single tank, so I'm not sure how I could possibly keep them seperated when breeding. How can you tell when they are breeding? For how long? And how can you seperate them?
Lisa can best answer this, she has recently had 3 or maybe 4 bouts of spawning from her pair. But since I wrote that profile, I'll comment to start us off.

Angels when in a group and in adequate surroundings are fairly peaceful, though they will by nature eat (or attempt to eat) small fish that will fit in their mouths--like neons for instance. But aside from that they are "peaceful". When they pair up to spawn, as they will if things are to their liking, the male becomes territorial. The pair will select their site, and all other fish, esp angels, will be kept at a distance. Lisa can comment on the extent of this "aggressiveness."

If you want to spawn them deliberately, as opposed to letting them "do their thing" as Lisa has done in her 125g tank, you should separate the pair to their own tank, which can be a 20g if they are smallish. You are unlikely to have fry reach maturity if this is not done, as angels if they feel threatened will eat their eggs and fry before letting another fish have a meal, and at night in community tanks with catfish that are nocturnal they usually find them and it's game over. That's what the profile means by "except when spawning;" in hindsight, I think that needs explaining more in the profile.

Over to Lisa.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:02 PM   #17
 
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http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...pawning-48638/

Here is the link to lisa's angel tank. You maybe able to find some info there untill someone else can help you further.

P.S be sure to watch the videos, very amazing
p.S.S- i like your avatar
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:24 AM   #18
 
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Thanks for the info, I have no intention at all of breeding any kind of fish. I read the thread you linked bigehugedome, looks like if I go with the 75 gallon (4 foot) it might not be a good idea to have the angels, but if I get the 125g (6 foot) it might be okay.

I don't know why I like them so much, probably the triangle shape. I had a couple striped ones like in the video, and at one point a yellow one ... that one got huge, at least the size of my palm, but then when I moved out of the dorms to an apartment during college he didn't survive long =/
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:54 PM   #19
 
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Sadly, no Angel's for me. I got my water tested and the PH is at 7 which is almost a full point above the angel's range.

Time to re-think what fish to get.

I also went shopping for tanks and such, was somewhat dissapointing. Tank stands are horribly expensive so now I'm looking at building my own (even buying tools + materials would be cheaper than buying one). I was also wrong about the gravel I had used back in college. It was real gravel, just coated in an epoxy to give it the color. Turns out all the gravel I found was coated in epoxy, even the 'natural' gravel that turned out to be not quite as natural. I'll have to keep looking for that.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:01 PM   #20
 
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Sadly, no Angel's for me. I got my water tested and the PH is at 7 which is almost a full point above the angel's range.

Time to re-think what fish to get.

I also went shopping for tanks and such, was somewhat dissapointing. Tank stands are horribly expensive so now I'm looking at building my own (even buying tools + materials would be cheaper than buying one). I was also wrong about the gravel I had used back in college. It was real gravel, just coated in an epoxy to give it the color. Turns out all the gravel I found was coated in epoxy, even the 'natural' gravel that turned out to be not quite as natural. I'll have to keep looking for that.
A PH of 7 for the Angels isn't bad... and you could always add some driftwood in there to slightly lower it.
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