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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(I hope I chose the right section to post this; I was torn between journals or this one)

After a long haitus I'm back on the forums! Shark and Pleco are doing great, and so, for that matter, am I.

That said, I could use some advice/input/feedback from the fishkeepers out there. I've spent several hours on google reading other forum threads and website articles, trying to compare information and make decisions based of what I'm reading and learning.

I recently came into a small fortune fish-wise; at the dorms for my school, they had a 75 gallon tank setup; stand and everything. To save money, they stopped renting fish (o_O I... didn't know that was a thing, but apparently places rent plants, too. Go figure.), but they owned the setup.

Weeeeell, I talked to the people I needed to talk to, and they ended up giving me the fish tank, so long as they didn't have to worry about moving it out of the dorms.

So now I have a wood stand in my bedroom and a dirty fishtank in the kitchen, and two totes filled, respectively, with (heavy!
) decorative rock and aquarium stuff; filters, tubing, thingies, etc.

Among the items included in the setup:
*Stand
*Wooden hood/lid/thingy
*Light thingy
*75 Gal Tank
*Power Strip
*Two filters;
-Emperor 208b, 120 vac, 13 amp
-Tetra/Second Nature model T3
*Blue Emperor filter pads
*Lots of lift tubes?
*Automatic fish feeder? o_O'
*I believe two or three different timers

And I think that's it. The only things that were with the aquarium that I don't have are the undergravel filter and the gravel. (Of which there is a short and stupid story of why I do not have them :oops:''' oopsie)



Right now, I currently have a ten gallon tank with sand substrate (I think 3 inches deep). There is an Albino Bristlenosed Pleco and a Double Tail Betta. I do 50% water changes weekly, and there is a sponge filter. There's also a short little leafy plant, but I forgot what it is called.

My plan is to work on getting the tank clean and somewhat set up over the weekends I come home from my arts high school. After graduation, I'll have some time to seriously devote to setting up the tank and moving Shark and Pleco into it.

My first dilemma is what substrate to use? I had made up my mind to use sand (hence... not... owning the gravel or undergravel filter... In hindsight, I should have hung onto them for at least a little while.:oops:*sweatdrop*) I like the asthetic of sand over gravel, and I've read in several threads it's easier on bottom feeders, and Shark and Pleco certainly spend a lot of time sitting chilling out on the sand in their ten gal.

Then I started reading into all this about aneroxic (not spelt right, I don't think?) gases and a couple others, and I just sort of got swamped in this dumping of information. A lot of it was portaining to reef keeping too, so I got a bit lost.

I feel like I'm really only just realizing just how big this project is. I knew before I got the tank home it would be a lot of work, but suddenly I'm beginning to wonder if I can handle it.

What do you guys think? I'm still set on getting sand for a substrate, though now I'm a little more wary about it. If I do, I have a feeling I'd be shooting to properly maintain a Deep Sand Bed (DSB), though I know this (like most everything, really) is controversial.

I do plan on doing a fishless cycle. My ten gallon is not cycled, but I keep up with my water changes and I test for ammonia every so often, and it seems to be doing just fine. Shark and Pleco look healthy and are both very active.

For a time, honestly, the only two fish that will be in the tank will be Shark and Pleco, but in the future I do plan on getting some more tank mates. I also have toyed with the idea of a planted tank, but that's another step out for me right now. Moss aquariums are gorgeous, some of them.

What are your guys's thoughts on how to go about making decisions on what course of action to take? I think I've done ok finding some reliable threads and articles to read, but I'd feel more comfortable just getting some second opinions from other fish keepers. (Also, I'm slightly biased xD I trust this fish forum and the majority of the fish keepers on it!)

Would it be a good idea to hook up both filters? When I emptied the tank for transport, there was only one filter hooked up, the big giant emperor one. I'm thinking maybe since, at least at first, I'll have such a tiny bio load with just Shark and Pleco compared to the water volume, one filter should be more than enough.

Also, anyone have any ideas for stocking the tank? ;P



Hope I did ok writing; sorry if it's long, and I hope this is the appropriate section to post in. Thank you so much for your input! I wish I could find some people locally I could talk to about all this stuff, but unfortunately I don't know anyone else who's into 'serious' fish keeping. I know I'm just a newbie, a really, really baby newbie, but I am striving to learn.
 

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You're going to be washing lots of sand, but that's the way to go. Besides being nice for your bottom-dwellers, it's easier/better to plant once you get into that.

You lost just the right things the gravel and the UGF. Both useless for your application.

Can't imagine a reason to run two filters right now. Use "pure" ammonia to feed your bacteria..

You know all this stuff. Just trying to mirror your thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry for the late reply!

Well you have the aquarium and accessories how you need to get it set up and cycled before you make a decision on stocking. With a 75 the options (I wouldn't say limitless) are open to endless possibilities. Stocking at this point would be counter productive.

R
Oh, stocking isn't going to happen for months, for sure. First I need to finish school, and then I can focus on setting the tank up. I have been researching into different fish to look at getting for when I am ready for stocking the tank, though. I'd really love to have guppies, but with my betta it may or may not work. I can always keep Shark in his ten gallon and the guppies will live in the 75, or visa versa. I know some people have been successful keeping bettas with guppies, despite the colorful flowwy fins of the males. I figure I've a good shot at it, since the tank is so large and I'll have it well planted/decorated with lots of hidey holes and things.

Another fish I think is absolutely adorable is the Khuli Loach! I haven't dug too much into researching them, but if it would work, they're a fish I'd definitely love to have in the aquarium.

The thing that baffles me the most with stocking is trying to feed all the different fish. How do you guys feed your community tanks?


You're going to be washing lots of sand, but that's the way to go. Besides being nice for your bottom-dwellers, it's easier/better to plant once you get into that.

You lost just the right things the gravel and the UGF. Both useless for your application.

Can't imagine a reason to run two filters right now. Use "pure" ammonia to feed your bacteria..

You know all this stuff. Just trying to mirror your thinking.
I do wish that I'd hung onto them a little longer though, just in case I may have changed my mind, or I could have given it to someone who wanted/needed an undergravel filter. I put it on the free table in the dorms to see what would happen, but instead of me removing it in a few days to give it a new home, someone just tossed it all into the dumpster.

I'm thinking of getting pool filter sand for my substrate - I've heard a lot of other aquarists use it with good results, and it's on the cheaper end of price. I'll just need to make sure it's not been chemically treated/boosted/etc and it's not the diotomicsutsuusu....I forgot how to spell it :shock: Dio-something-earth. I need to avoid that mouthful of a word!:sick:
 

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Diatomaceous ;) (Shells and bits of tiny prehistoric creatures that are literally sharp. Used to prevent some insects, all snails and worms, and is sometimes used in some formats as a worming agent for large animals because it works on internal worms as well.)

And the other one you wanted was:
Anaerobic. (Meaning does not need air to grow/live.) :)

Sorry...I was an English major once upon a time for a couple of years before I switched...and I can't help it... ;)

As for difficulty, it's just a bigger version of your 10g, and cycling is not that hard, especially when you're not having to worry about fish being in there. :)

Once you get started and just go step by step it's not too bad. I haven't done anything that big yet...but moving from a 10g to a 40b the only difficulty was having enough plants to cover ALL THAT FLOOR SPACE, lol! :)
After you get it set up though you start to realize it's really not any different, and actually the bigger tanks are easier to take care of because the additional water allows for much more leniency in terms of cycling and fish care. :)

Good luck to you, and congratulations on your upcoming graduation! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the spelling corrections! I may go back and edit my posts now, he heh ;P

I am really looking forward to the project. I'm not sure what all to get, but I do have some things;

~Three pieces of driftwood; two are mopani, one's a huge, thick, gnarled chunk and the other is more delicate-looking and wavy. The third is... bogwood? No idea; I got it last year from one of petco's tanks for my Pleco to rasp on. She loves it; it's cave-shaped, so it's absolutely perfect for her.

~Lots of huge hunks of this holey decorative rock. I don't think it will affect water parameters? I'll do the vinegar test.

The tank was previously a freshwater, although I'm not sure what kind of fish was in it. I'd guess that they were cichlid? The fish weren't in the dorm long enough for me to memorize them all.

Have you ever seen Flame Moss before? I know I definitely want it in my tank. It's so cool looking! I really love some of the wispy grass-like looking plants, moss or otherwise. I have a lighting strip thing and timer. The label reads:
36" fluorescent Twin-Tube Aquarium reflector
120 volt 63 watt 60 hz

I'm not sure what that means as far as lighting for plants goes. I've read people like to get a certan amount of 'watts per gallon,' and I'm assuming that means you divide the watts by the number of gallons of your tank?

Edit: Oh, and thank you for the congradulations! After I graduate, I'll be moving on to MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design). I'm nervous, but excited. And it's a good nervous; I think I'd be nuts if I wasn't!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Blue Fish, one of our most knowledgeable members. and I love talking big communities with you. Just so you know there is another larger "mother" forum here called TFK (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com) where even more large-tank and community fishkeepers hang-out.

Start here: Beginner Freshwater Aquarium
I've ended up there quite a bit actually, I think it's really cool they have a whole 'nother sub forum for just betta fish. These two places are my first-stop for finding forum discussions. I've tried other websites, but I always end up coming back to these two. I like the overall community and the knowledge shared by the experienced keepers. You guys are wonderful at talking to younger or less experienced members as well, and I really appreciate that.
 
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