Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Nathan Macey 02-20-2013 01:26 AM

Hello, and I need some ideas for a tank make over.
3 Attachment(s)
Hello everyone! I'm new to this forum and this is my first post so hope its in the right section,

My main tank is in need of a make over its a 6ft 170 gallon with a 4ft 75 gallon tank as a wet dry filter, it was last used to hold my Arowana but when it died about 4 years ago the tank then became really neglected and its now time to change that. I'm planning on setting up my first planted tank but I'm not to sure on what fish to start off with, maybe down the track it could became a discus tank.

The first thing i need to work on and upgrade is the filter so if anyone has ideas or suggestions about any improvements on the following things:
  • Keep wet / dry or go for a canister filter
  • Should i set up co2 and some how seal my filter
  • What would be the best filter medium to use and the best place to put it
  • Is there any other add on items that would help my filter eg. uv light

aussieJJDude 02-20-2013 01:36 AM

It depends on your personal tastes - are you looking for a bitope?
If so, discus with some rummies/other large tetras which cories/catfish would make a nice tank. maybe some hatchlets too??

MoneyMitch 02-20-2013 03:07 PM

setting up new tanks is so fun! the planning part anyways:P planted tanks take alot of homework before u start them, u mentioned a wet dry and co2, the wet dry will negate the co2 injection. also keep in midn that for a nice paltned tank with co2 injection is going to take some good lights. just for the co2 and a good light setup for that size ur looking close to 500.00 if u store buy a co2 system and lights. then u have the ferts that u will be putting in. but if your planning on going for a densely paltned tank i would reccomend selling the wetdry for a co2 system and lights and getting a canister filter and uv light to help fight any algae outbreaks which will happen untill you find your balance with everything. hope this helps?

TitanTDH 02-20-2013 03:44 PM

Hey mate, the current setup looks cool with the wet dry filter. My two cents would be to go with a canister filter for the main tank, and use the 4 ft tank as a water ageing tank. Looks like the plumbing would be able to top up the main tank. It would make it easier IMO to conduct regular WC's with the water pre conditioned and heated in the 4 foot tank.
I'm putting a UV on my 3 foot tank and a sump arrangement plumbed up to fill main tank for water changes. The UV is just a little added insurance policy as I still intend to utilise the sump to do 2 WC's per week.
Live plants are awesome. Almost as much fun as looking after the fish. It's all personal preference but research is the key. Water parameters and light being two of the main considerations.
Look forwArd to seeing the build either way.


Nathan Macey 02-20-2013 09:03 PM

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My goal is to have a set up like the one in the attach photo so i believe i will need co2 and im just going to start of with some simple and more common fish like cardinal tetra, harlequin rasbora, cory's and maybe clown loaches or bristlenose cats. I also have a few canister filters laying around a Eheim pro2 2026 For tanks up to 350L with a flow of 950 L/h and a Eheim pro 2228 For tanks up to 600L with a flow of 1050 L/h they where used on my 4ft and 5ft but now both tanks have been empty for a few years so i could use these to replace my wet/dry, and if i can find it i got an old bucket style 2260 stored somewhere. Its just so easy to inspected and clean the filter wool on my wet/dry i wish it was just as easy to seal it for co2 but at the end of the day this is still my first attempt at a fresh water planted tank so I'm going to take the time and do this make over properly.

Any more thoughts on the best filter set up would be appreciated.

Thanks guys,


Byron 02-21-2013 11:10 AM

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Welcome Nathan to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:

That sort of aquascape in the photo, what is termed the "Nature Aquarium" style made popular by Takashi Amano, is a very high-tech setup. Mega light, CO2 diffusion, and daily doses of various nutrient fertilizers.

I personally do not like this style, because it is not the best for fish. And I would not put discus or cardinal tetra and other forest fish in such a tank. The info in our fish profiles [click shaded names] explains why.

Most of us here use the natural planted tank method [natural as opposed to nature] and we let nature do the work rather than relying on paraphernalia and additives by the bucket. The Nature style are works of art, but they are not natural. Plants and design are the priority, and fish are added secondary. I put the fish first, so I give them the aquascape they will be happier in.:-)

To illustrate, the three tanks below don't happen to have discus, but each is an example of the sort of aquascape that well could.


redchigh 02-21-2013 11:44 AM

I agree with everything Byron said.

Forest fish are from streams and lakes in the jungle/forest, where tree branches often hang over the water (a tip I've noticed: if a fish species prefers an acidic Ph, then its definately a forest fish. The Ph in nature is usually from plant debris falling in the water. Their colors and behavior will be more natural in medium-to-low light).

A nicely aquascaped nature-style tank is still possible, but requires special attention to plant selection and a lot more grow-in time. (growing the plants emersed can help if your not in a rush) For example, many stem plants don't look nearly as attractive in low-light tanks since they stretch toward the light. However, many rooted plants are often underutilized, despite their attractive shape, such as cryptocoryne spiralis, aponogeton sp. , echinodorus var Vesuvius, narrow-leaf Java fern, and more mosses than you can imagine. Ill be glad to list others when I have the time.
Another benefit is that long grass-like plants (vallisneria, e. vesuvius, crypt spiralis, giant hairgrass, ect.) are perfect for replicating the natural habitat of discus and angelfish

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