Aquarium size advice - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-17-2013, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
I just put a down payment on 180 gallon.
I feel nervous. Big upgrade from 55 gallon
I have decided to go with small black rocks in stead of sand.
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post #12 of 23 Old 11-17-2013, 05:27 PM
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I'm envious! You'll find that on a per-galllon basis, a larger tank is actually much easier to maintain. Granted, the water changes are a bear in terms of quantity, but moving from the standard 55 gallon footprint gives you a ton of decorating and livestock options. If you don't have one already, invest in a quarantine tank. That's the only downside of a large tank, it costs a fortune if you have to treat the entire tank due to an illness.

I like a darker substrate as a rule, the fish colors pop more and fish will be darker. I just couldn't afford that much dark sand for my 125, so I spent about $16 for playsand.
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18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-17-2013, 06:43 PM
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I use a pump to drain my tanks - significantly cuts down on the time it takes to do waterchanges.
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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #14 of 23 Old 11-20-2013, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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I use a pump to drain my tanks - significantly cuts down on the time it takes to do waterchanges.
If you use a pump, how do you clean the substrate adequately?

Thanks
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post #15 of 23 Old 11-20-2013, 01:04 PM
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I have sand - haven't had to clean the substrate in years.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #16 of 23 Old 11-20-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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I have sand - haven't had to clean the substrate in years.
Why do you not have to syphon the sand?
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post #17 of 23 Old 11-20-2013, 02:09 PM
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I use a pump for water changes also and use white play sand in my 125g. The tank does have a canister and good-size HOB, so whenever I stir up the sand or re-scape the plants, much material gets collected by the HOB. In a planted tank, you really don't want to muck around with the plant's roots anyway (by siphoning down into the sand). If there are viisible "deposits" that accumulate in an area, I just take a small hose, grab a bucket, and siphon/vacuum that area a bit.

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.

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post #18 of 23 Old 11-20-2013, 03:29 PM
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Why do you not have to syphon the sand?
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For those with planted tanks, it just becomes fertilizer. For me and my unplanted tanks - between the trumpet snails and the massive filtration systems I run, there is no waste to vacuum.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-20-2013, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
Surely some fish poo must settle on the bottom
The massive filter must create a huge current in the tank.
I was planning on a 900 gph pump for the 180 but was staying with black gravel. Now I am wondering about sand.
Just seems too easy to stir up.
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post #20 of 23 Old 11-20-2013, 05:54 PM
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Surely some fish poo must settle on the bottom
The massive filter must create a huge current in the tank.
I was planning on a 900 gph pump for the 180 but was staying with black gravel. Now I am wondering about sand.
Just seems too easy to stir up.
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The trumpet snails eat fish poop that is not collected by the filters. My tanks have multiple canisters that create a circular flow in the aquarium. This mostly linear flow is easier for the fish than the turmoil of a HoB, in my experience. Some parts will have a stronger current than others, depending on decor and all. Too much current is not an issue with which I've ever had a problem.

Some sands are of a larger grain than others. My personal favorite, all things considered, is pool filter sand. It's cheap, inert, and is large enough to not get kicked up in the water. If money is of no concern, then the caribsea supernaturals sunset gold is the best. At over $1/lb, filling a large tank is quite an investment. A 50 lb bag of PFS should cost between $8 and $12. For a 180 you will need 3 such bags of sand. It's extremely rare to see people who are unhappy having made the switch from gravel to sand. Many people go on to systematically convert the rest of their tanks. I find sand to be SOOOO much easier to maintain than gravel. You certainly can still vacuum sand - it's equally easy as gravel, but it's different. There is a degree of finesse with sand, whereas vacuuming gravel is more brutish.
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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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