Would Like some help with a New setup 120gal - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-05-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Would Like some help with a New setup 120gal

First of let me say this will be my first tank in 15 years so I basically know zero anymore. I just acquired a 125 gallon tank with nothing else. I need some advise on filters (brands and Sizes) I hope this isnt to much to ask for by a new member. any other advice would be helpful as well. should I do something under gravel as well? Thx
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-05-2009, 10:32 PM
What is your budget restrictions? I'm inclined to say buy a nice sump but those can be pricey. Another alternative which will also be pricey is one or two canister filters. You can DYI a sump, but that would depend on how much effort your willing to put into it since it does take research and time to get it right. As for brand, Fluval is good imo for canisters. Many suggest eheim also, a bit more pricey.

You do not need anything under the gravel unless you want to make a undergravel filter or tunnels for fish.
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-05-2009, 10:54 PM
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Not to disagree but a sump for a freshwater tank? Me, I'd only sump it if it was a S/W tank. JMHO.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 03:25 AM
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welcome to the forum, before i start to reccomend things what arte your plans? do you want to have a nicely planted tank? what kind of fish? well just start there, about the undergravel filter, those are a bit dated and obsolete noadays. if i were you i would use the money towards some lighting or filtration. A dollar amount that you are willing to spend would also be nice and i have to agree with kyme i wouldnt sump unless you have a salt water tank. Money
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 07:11 AM
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+1 for Kymmie and money.

Money brought up a good point, price is a definte subject.....but the long run plans are what seem to make more sense as far as what filters you may buy.....certain filters may not work depending on the environment you wish to create.

i also agree about the undergravel filters.....get back to us about your price range and anything you know you want/do not want in your tank.

Also, you said you have just the tank...do you have a heater/thermometer and that kind of stuff? if you have just the tank....the members here will be more than willing to give a pretty good shopping list next time you head off to your LFS.

Welcome to the Forum!

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post #6 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Johnny thats exactly what I have is a tank. I know I will need three hoods, heaters and filters and lights. my plan for this tank is going to be strickly tropical 76-79 degrees. I have to post picks of this tank before I get started cause it looks like it used to be SW by the way the back corners are arched off. I want some plants in there as well. The thing I keep getting back and forth about is about going with two tank filters or one cannister. My Price range is going to be around 600 in supplies and about 200 in fish plants to start. Thanks guys for the help. a shopping list would be awesome.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 05:41 PM
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In a planted tank you need minimal mechanical filtration and no chemical filtration. The plants keep the water clean, the filter's only purpose is to circulate the water gently/slowly and keep it clear by removing suspended particulate matter and ensuring the nutrients get to the plant leaves and roots. Some planted-tank authorities go so far as to suggest no filter at all, but certainly minimal is all you need. A good canister filter will do the job; this is somewhat dependant upon the type of fish--smaller fish as is usual in plantd aquaria produce less waste and many of the species appreciate less water movement due to their natural habitat. I have followed this aproach and maintained successful planted aquaria for 15 years, and the photos under My Aquariums indicate the current setups; my 115g has a Rena XP3 filter. No chemical media, as these remove nutrients that the lants need and can remove better anyway.


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 #8 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 06:29 PM
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Ok ive had some fun here and got a shopping list for you. What i have in mind here is High end equip on a penny some things are "DIY" or home depot items but they pretty much are the same as a "aquarium item" but are about 50% less exspensive here are some linke of what i have found

here is a GREAT light fixture that you can hang from the ceiling or even put right on top of the hoods. i reccomend switching out the lights though.

Light Fixture

For the Lamps your going to want a combo of them here is one that i reccomend and use for the Very high Blue and red spectrum which plants NEED to photsenthisize.

Lamp 1

Lamp 2

now for heaters this is definately one thing that you DO NOT want to cheap out on it is the one most important thing in your aquarium. The ones i choose for you are very reliable Accurate and very very easy to hide i reccomend buying two of the 250 watt ones


Filtration wont be too much a a big deal for you but i would still throw in a cannister filter just because :D

Look at the c053 model here by marineland

as far as hoods go if you decide to go with the lighting i choose for you look for the clear vers top hoods they are pretty cheap and easy to use. or you could always make your own :D

This is the "low budget" list for equipment lets add it up.
Light Fixture(s)-77.92
Lamps Total-Like 70.00
Versa Tops-77.98 assuming you buy x2 48inch ones Here
Test Kit-18.00 which can be found here (This is a API Master freshwater test kit which i bought here too.
Your gunna want a good water conditioner which can be found here Get the big bottle ;) 7.49
a alge scrubber These work wonders in big tanks i suggest the medium one which can be found Here
Maybe Two thermometers which you can find Here these ones are pretty cool and cheap!! 14.78
i also reccomend a Python for your water changes they are a breeze to use for a tank of this size. find them Here 25Ft model 34.99

And the grand total is................................................ ...........................651.13!!! WOO

now im sure others might give you a diffrent list but if i were you this is what i would get for equip. i would also use Play sand and wash it myself so that its suitable for my aquarium. if you went this route your looking at Maybe 25.00 total for like 100lbs of sand compared to 100$ for "Aquarium sand" that still needs washed. I hope this helps you Money.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 09:06 PM
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great post money!

only thing I would add would be a API Liquid Master Test Kit.....about $22 online. it's a life saver...

i must say that you having the kind of budget you do, really opens things up. I've seen some people on here who say they have like....$7.42 haha....glad to see someone with a good budget!
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-06-2009, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 View Post
great post money!

only thing I would add would be a API Liquid Master Test Kit.....about $22 online. it's a life saver...

i must say that you having the kind of budget you do, really opens things up. I've seen some people on here who say they have like....$7.42 haha....glad to see someone with a good budget!

o i got one in there read it towards the end. walmarts pic isnt accurate, but TRUST ME i orderd that exact same one and got API MASTER TEST KIT for freshwater for 18.00 with shipping.
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