Originally Posted by mynameismud1977
1. any special cleaning before using this as freshwater?
No. If the tank has dried out then any nasties that might have been in it are dead. Just clean it like you would any other tank and you'll be fine. One thing though, if its acrylic avoid anything overly abrasive lest you scratch it.
2. what type of filtering would i need? im familiarwith the smaller tanks where the filter just hangs on the tank. no larger than 30 gallons. there are so many types of filters, i dont know where to begin.
Well you can either go with a canister set up or HoB's. Either way I'd recommend two filters. Personally I think a pair of Emperor 400's would be able to take care of the tank no problem without the added expense of a canister. If you choose to go with a heavily stocked tank or one with messy fish I'd probably go with canisters though.
3. its gonna be for a few community fish, so what size heater would be needed?
It's really about the water volume. With that much water I'd recommend a pair of 200W heaters.
Some other things to note:
1) Leak test the tank. Preferably have the person with the tank fill it before you arrive so you can see it holding water. With this size tank they might not do it but it never hurts to ask.
2) Inspect the seal. Pay close attention to the silicone holding it together. If the outer edges of the fillet are pulling up a little bit its not a big deal. If the main body of the silicone is pulling out though its a problem.
3) If there are any chips or cracks walk away. You cannot repair them and they will get worse. If the tank is cracked or chipped you WILL be cleaning 125 gallons of water out of your living room. Not might, WILL.
4) If the tank is scratched angle for a discount. If it's just scratched on one side you can turn it around. Also note that small scratches appear very large once the tank if full of water and decorated. They will also be directly in your line of site at all times.
5) Ask if the tank has ever been treated with copper bearing meds. If it has and you want to keep shrimp you may want to pass.
6) Ask questions, haggle, and never be afraid to walk away if you're not comfortable with it.