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Discussion Starter #1
First the basic answers from the sticky.

1. 90 gallon tank
2. Freshwater
3. 2 weeks old
4. (6) Mollies, (12) Molly fry, (1) 4" Algae Eater (actual species unknown)
5. (1) 6" live plant (species unknown but bought at LFS)
6. (2) Emperor 400 HOBs and (1) Magnum 350 cannister (in middle)
6a. (2) 300 watt VisiTemp heaters - tank at 78 degrees
7. No CO2 unit but I did add one tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons
8. Aquarium is near a window but no direct sunlight hits it
9. Water change was done 4 days ago before putting fish in
10. Daily - once or twice (flakes every day, krill or blood worms or shrimp pellets as a treat - algae tablet once a week)
11. Fluorescent lamp (one 48" tube that came with hood) - 10 hours daily (on timer)

Ok, so this is basically my new setup, upgrading from a 10 gallon that I had great success with for 4 years, even though I only learned about the cycle, etc in the past 3 weeks.

I openly encourage anyone to critique my setup now...because I thought I did a good job. I am quite nervous though having jumped 9x in size.



The tank isn't at an angle as it seems...I took the pic in a hurry and this is my first time hosting/posting a pic on a forum. Apologies if it doesn't work out.

My first question is that I wanted to get this going quickly, for fry space, so I ported over some gravel, the filters (Whisper model in 10 gal placed within tank of the Emperors for a week), and ornaments into the new tank, had it running for over a week, only used dechlorinate on the water and Stabil (bacteria product) all around. I moved the fish over 3 days ago, and yet my readings this morning were zero for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Now the fish 'appear' to be doing fine, in fact they continue to swim all over the place exploring, but I want to know where my Nitrates went since my tap water out the faucet gives a reading of 20-40ppm?

Do I have too much water flow in the tank with all this filtration? I am worried about the fry being thrust around although they seem fine so far.

I am going to be experimenting with additional material in the Emp user-changeable filters, possibly using Ammo-carb and floss.

Now, although it is not directly in the sun, natural light does hit this tank more then it did the old 10 gallon, so I am curious about these UV Filters for algae and pest control, like ick. I may pick one up to go on the return from the Mag350, but I am sort of waiting to see signs that I need it. Comments on this?

I have my 2 thermometers next to the heaters, and I am told they should be far away, so I am moving them later today. I will be attempting more live plants if the one I got survives a bit, I put 2 plant feeder tablets in the gravel near it and I have extras for later.

I have more questions (like fish ideas) but I will let it go with just what I have underlined here for now. Thanks for any comments.
 

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Very well done, but the water, gravel and media bugs do not survive that long without feeding so whenever i do this (I do it the same way you have) I chuck in suicide squad, generally the cheapest hardiest fish i can get they keep the media and gravel bugs have until the rest of the tank catches up. :)
 

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Welcome.:wave:
Astaroth said:
I openly encourage anyone to critique my setup now...because I thought I did a good job. I am quite nervous though having jumped 9x in size.
Why so nervous?:mrgreen: Your information is excellent.:thumbsup:
yet my readings this morning were zero for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Now the fish 'appear' to be doing fine, in fact they continue to swim all over the place exploring, but I want to know where my Nitrates went since my tap water out the faucet gives a reading of 20-40ppm?
What test kit are you using? Your tank appears to not cycling yet.:squint: I'd recommend getting your lfs' established filter media and stop using that 'bacteria' product which is a waste of money.
Your fish are fine at the moment as you don't have ammonia and nitrites however once both become detectable during the cycling phase, your fish will show symptoms of poisoning and gill and fin burns. Be sure to monitor your fish and water parameters closely.

Do I have too much water flow in the tank with all this filtration? I am worried about the fry being thrust around although they seem fine so far.
I wouldn't worry too much about the fry. Mollies are just too prolific.
Now, although it is not directly in the sun, natural light does hit this tank more then it did the old 10 gallon, so I am curious about these UV Filters for algae and pest control, like ick. I may pick one up to go on the return from the Mag350, but I am sort of waiting to see signs that I need it. Comments on this?
IMO, I wouldn't locate a tank in an area where there is sunlight. It is very difficult to remove green floating algae once they bloom. High nitrate and phosphates are also to blame for the green water phenomenon. UV sterilizers will not remove the algae totally and the sunlight just increases the temperature.

As for ich, it rarely happens provided you quarantine your fish, prevent stress-related factors and very low temperature. Keep your temp steady. Any swings just stress the fish increasing their vulnerability to ich. Ich will not appear until a fish becomes stressed but neither will it appear unless introduced via a carrier(unquarantined fish).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks...

I know, I should have used some minnows for that week, but it was one (not the only!) thing that slipped my mind with going 140 miles for the tank/stand and then more mileage/shopping for the rest of the new stuff.

I hate to say this, but if I lost the fish I have, it wouldn't be catastrophic...I could replace them for $20.

One question I forgot to add to my other crap, is my pH is ~7.8 out of the tap and in the tank. I would like to get this down to 7.5. Any recommendations for such? I have used drops in the past but am weary of that.

I went 4 years with the 10 gallon, never checked a thing and the water was always just crystal clear. I only lost fish if I didn't change out the water every 6 months. I had overkill in filtration then too (a 20 gallon sized Whisper). Dunno what I was doing right.
 

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Astaroth said:
One question I forgot to add to my other crap, is my pH is ~7.8 out of the tap and in the tank. I would like to get this down to 7.5. Any recommendations for such? I have used drops in the past but am weary of that.
No need to lower the pH. Don't fiddle with it unless you are keeping fish that will require it. Lowering it is only asking for trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I read that Mollies like 7.5, and if I want to introduce other types of fish or creatures (not yet), I didn't want it to affect them.

My test kit is Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=4454&N=2004+113074

I don't have anything to check Mag and Calcium, hardness, or oxygen, yet.

Question further about sunlight...are you saying a room without windows at all? I figured if people put their tanks in living rooms and bedrooms, then mine could handle being in a dining room, just that it is not up against the window and there is an overhang and trees in the yard that blocks the sun directly.
 

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If you put a good thick backing on the tank you can put it next to a window, mines directly in front of a window, but I live in England and the sun don't really shine.

As for the mollies and .3 or whatever it is ph wont make a difference.
 

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Astaroth said:
I read that Mollies like 7.5, and if I want to introduce other types of fish or creatures (not yet), I didn't want it to affect them.
Your fish will adapt.:) There's no need to change the pH.

What is your plant? I believe your plant is consuming the nitrates quickly. I assume it is one of those plants in the category where they are just undemanding and fast growing. Any pictures? The picture of your tank is not working.:squint:

Question further about sunlight...are you saying a room without windows at all? I figured if people put their tanks in living rooms and bedrooms, then mine could handle being in a dining room, just that it is not up against the window and there is an overhang and trees in the yard that blocks the sun directly.
Yes. A tank is best situated in a place where there is no penetration of sunlight. Sunlight alone increases the temp but if the room temperature is cool, probably not that much but the sunlight will also serve as a culprit for algal blooms so I prefer not to situate the tanks in areas where there is sunlight.

Dlil's suggestion is better though.:)
 

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Nice tank.:thumbsup: Any close-up pics of your plants?:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok...sorry I stopped to run a spyware scan on my wife's PC. :roll:

My lonely plant (a first attempt at seeing if I can handle plants). I don't know what type, I bought it at Petco for like 3 bucks. It came with a black plastic basket on the bottom.


Alright, I won't fool with ph then. All the better anyway.

I may have been confusing...my tank isn't in front of a window. It is just in a room with a large window across from it, but not directly in front. My tank (both the 10 and now the 90) temperatures are always steady, especially since I found out how much better heaters with internal thermometers are.
 

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my main tank recieves occasional direct sunlight from windows and doesnt seem to be affected by it in the slightest other than an occasional algae spurt on the area of glass that gets the most of the light.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
FDS, how do you deal with the algae problem when it appears then? Scrub and scape or something else? I never had a problem (knock on wood) with the 10 gallon in the same room as this one, but I am going to be watching like a hawk for the first signs of it.

I watch the new tank like a hawk anyway, especially checking for leaks every time I pass by it. :? Haven't seen or had one yet.

If the pH gets to 8 or more, should I then act on it? Just curious more then anything. I would rather use filter material then chemicals to treat my water if it gets bad.
 

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I just use a scraper to take care of it...rarely gets more than a few spots especially since I increased the number of live plants in the tank. If the pH is rising I'd look to the type of sand/rocks you are using in the tank as they are the likely culprit. I keep the ph of my tank at 6.5 so if i was to see it spike up to 8 I'd be freaking out due to the drastic increase. The pH of the tap water here is around 7.4...thus the reason I don't use it in my main tank where the pH is a major concern. Using peat in the filter will lower pH gradually as will the addition of some form of co2 injection.
 

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Slight growth of algae in a tank is ok but rampant growth is something to be concern about. If your pH fluctuates, then there could be something increasing it so try to find what causes fluctuations. Lowering it is done by use of peat, driftwoods or ketapang leaves but you should know your KH as well as KH when very high makes lowering pH almost difficult, if not impossible.

pH changes will still happen especially when your plants try to use up oxygen and CO2 during the night and day respectively. pH increases during the day as the plants use up CO2. It lowers when your plants use up the oxygen along with the fish who compete with the plants hence the recommendation to switch on airpump at night. This is more common in a heavily-planted or overstocked tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now for my really stupid question. I am confused on what type of bulb to get to replace the one that came with my hood.

It's a 48" Flour Perfecto hood. What type of bulb works in these, I see T-8, T-10 (which I think it came with), T-12? Don't understand these numbers.

Also, the hood only has one bulb in it. How am I suppossed to get 2 watts per gallon (90 gallons) for plants to work with this? I only got the 13" deep one, so I do have space behind it, I am wondering if I am suppossed to get just a twin-bulb strip then. Seems like a lot of lighting for 8-10 hours a day.

I am going to get some kh, gh, etc test kits...so I can cover the rest of the essentials. A UV Sterilizer is really looking like a good idea as well (I don't think it can hurt).

Thanks for all your help and the welcome, sorry to be a pest. If everything goes well for a week or 2, I can start looking at other species for the tank.
 

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Astaroth said:
Also, the hood only has one bulb in it. How am I suppossed to get 2 watts per gallon (90 gallons) for plants to work with this? I only got the 13" deep one, so I do have space behind it, I am wondering if I am suppossed to get just a twin-bulb strip then. Seems like a lot of lighting for 8-10 hours a day.
You might have to make a new hood which can fit more than just two light tubes.:thumbsup:
sorry to be a pest.
Pest nothing.:) I'm glad you asked a lot of questions. There's no such thing as a stupid question.:mrgreen: The only stupid question is the one not asked at all.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, I figured that but it still sounds like an awful lot of light! My dining room is going to glow.

I find these Java Ferns interesting though, they look nice and it says they don't need a lot of light.

I have alot of active charcoal filtration going on right now, could I take the charcoal out of the Magnum's canister and instead put BioBalls in it or ceramic pieces?
 

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you could. There seems to be a lot of controversy surrounded activated carbon these days. Some say it takes out a lot of stuff that is actually needed in an aquarium. Personally I use it without problems and it keeps the water very clear so I don't see what the big deal is. I prefer to let the sponge portions of my filters to take care of the biological filtration rather than adding additional ceramic rings, etc. And while carbon may take out some things that you would want in the tank it also takes out a lot of things you would'nt so I'm not a big believer in running entirely without carbon.
 
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