I've got a 120 gallon tank (4x2x2') sitting in my garage gathering dust while I try to make the room to build the stand to put it on. I figured to put it outside for the summer, and, so long as I am doing that, I figured to put something in it. Last winter, I bought a half dozen half inch Firemouth fry and stuck them in a 29 to grow out a bit. The largest male is now pushing 3" and I saw the first being of nesting behavior last night, so I have got to got to get them into a bigger tank mucho pronto. I am thinking that 120 is the very thing.
Now, first step is to level the cinderblocks it's going to be on, and the second step is to take the two 6 foot pressure treated 4x4s I am going to sit the tanks on and cut and fasten them into a 4x2 rectangle to sit the tank on. Next step is to get the tank out there and put a half inch of pelletized lime covered by 2" of mixed size gravel, a half dozen flower pots, some 1.5" PVC tubing (there is a method to this) and assorted rocks. Going to fill it to about 4" from the top and float some water hyachiths on top and some java moss and anachris on the bottom and midwater. Not planning on filtering (though I have a couple corner box filters I could use mostly for aeration if it comes to that. Hope to have that done in the next 2 weeks. Then, I get to wait until June, since the average temps in May are 78 for the high and 54 for the low on the 31st.
Bailout solution until then if things get out of hand is to pull the smaller firemouths out to other tanks. I think I have the wherewithal to put them one to a tank if it comes to that, with fish that are either able to keep out of their way or put them in their place.
Then the plan is to put my Ancistrus in there (I have 2 males, 1 female, and one undetermined but probably male), and then the firemouths.
I'll mark the tank 2" and 4" from the top with some electtric tape, and any time the water level hits the high mark, I'll drain it to the low mark (in case it rains). Water changes to happen bi-weekly. I have a canopy to put over it if Hail is forecast, and I should note that this is near the north wall of my house, so it only gets direct sun a couple of hours on a couple of days around June 21st.
Sound like a plan? What sort of a high/low temperature range should I be looking for to start this out? If I can get the water to stabilize around 67, would that be high enough to start, or should I wait until it hits 72?
I have been advised that Paradise fish would breed in the floating plants (and be able to handle the Firemouths) if I put them in there, but I think that might be too much.