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Discussion Starter #1
I was all set to plunk down the money for a sweet 150 gallon tank when I looked at the 180 gallon and asked the price. The guy told the price difference was very small.
So my question:
Considering I am going to set up a fresh water tank with a few cichlids I already have. (1 EBJD, a Red Head Cichlid, and 5 small Congo Tetras.) should I spend the extra money for the additional 30 gallons (6 inches of width)? The money really isn't the issue, more the diminishing returns thing. Don't really plan on ever setting up a reef tank.

Some thought?
Thanks in advance.
 

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I agree. It's like having a larger hard drive on the computer - it's better to have too much room than too little! I guess it comes down to what's the definition of a "very small" price difference?

You may want to compare the two tanks to verify the depth is easy to work in for cleaning/maintenance. I'm not sure of the dimension differences.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It is six inches deeper than the 150 and the same height.
I'm sure it's a bear to clean but I have a couple food grade centrifugal pumps I am going to use to refill the tank.

The extra price is $150 and probably another $150 for the stand. Not much in the grand scheme of things.

I'm actually really excited to give my two 2 inch fish and my five 0.5 inch fish a huge home. at least until they grow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can I ask another stupid questions
does anyone ever treat the tank with de-chlorinator after refilling?
 

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Yes, in the tanks I have drilled for water changes, which is 16 ATM. Fill straight from the tap, time it out at 4gpm. When it's done wait a minute or two for it to stop draining, add dechlor.
 

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I actually avoid adding the dechlorinator directly to the tank unless I mess up. I have a 44 gallon Rubbermaid bucket I use for my weekly 125g tank's water changes. I run water into it, drop in a big 'ol aquarium heater, hang an old HOB on the trash can's side for circulation, add Prime dechlorinator and come back in a bit - waters dechlorinated, temp's perfect, and in the meantime I've drained and filled my other tanks and cleaned, drained, & pruned the plants my 125.

I'm not so much worried about the chlorine (although my water company's chlorine levels vary a huge amount, I can smell it strongly from my faucets this week). I'm more interested in conserving Prime (sometimes I just let the water circulate overnight to dechlorinate) and I have lots of difficulty getting the temp correct from my taps in winter. The container helps me avoid temperature shocks.

I don't think you'll regret having the larger tank!
 

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I add prime as I'm almost full again when refilling my tanks. I would be fine I'm sure doing it after I'm done but I don't trust myself to remember.
 

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I pour the prime into the tank once I start refilling. It's all the same difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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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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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I use a pump to drain my tanks - significantly cuts down on the time it takes to do waterchanges.
 
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I have sand - haven't had to clean the substrate in years.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
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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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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