What have I done!!!

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10 Oct 2007 23:28 #1 by Carl (Carl M)
I feel like a total nubie again:(

I have always had a fascination in getting fishes to breed so have had loads of small tanks. The largest to date, and currently, is a 180L.

Thinking I would buy myself an Xmas pressie (to relieve the boredom of yet another pair of socks:( ) I have ordered a 650L tank to be delivered in 5 weeks:)

But now I am faced with the challenge of kitting it out! I have always been an advocate of over-filtering, having 2 heaters instead of 1 (or 3 instead of 2), providing all sorts of chemical filtration where it is probably not necessary and doing way more than the recommended water changes.

This has always stood me in good stead with minimal RIP’s and good breeding success. With a tank this big (even though some of you may think it is quite moderate… and I do NOT want to provide this post as a stage for the ‘show-off’s’ amongst you:angry: ) I am going around in circles deciding how to kit it out.

It will be a general soft’ish/acid’ish water community tank for growing on potential breeders but with a show-tank (hopefully… if I can resist putting dividers & pens in to muck it up!) look to it.

ANYWAY… would you care to detail how you would treat it in terms of the essentials? No fish suggestions wanted, just hardware, care, and pitfalls I may encounter with a larger tank

Thanks in advance for any thoughts AND please forgive me in advance if I disagree with you… I can be a tad pig-headed in my ideas but DO want suggestions.

All d best, Carl

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11 Oct 2007 13:00 #2 by mickeywallace (Michael Wallace Cath Woods)
at the moment i am just sitting here green with envy. do i would ask what types of fish you intent to keep in it.

Mickey Wallace & Cath Woods

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11 Oct 2007 13:04 #3 by TomNolan (Tommy Nolan)
Where'd you order that from? :laugh: PM me if you can't tell me. :P

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11 Oct 2007 14:13 #4 by KenS (Ken Simpson)
With regard to filtration, you should take a look at the Fluval FX5. It's rated to handle tanks up to 1,500 litres so you'd get plenty of over filtration. They're also competitively priced and can be picked up on eBay for around €250.

Heaters are less of a worry. Once you get one of the well known brands, two 300w or three 200w should do the trick.

I'd be inclined to go for sand as a substrate. Looks better IMO and is better for cory's etc.

The rest is really up to you in terms of rock/plants/bogwood.

Sounds like it's going to be a great tank. Make sure you get pictures up for us to drool over!

Regards,

Ken.

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11 Oct 2007 14:25 #5 by apistodiscus (apistodiscus)
Replied by apistodiscus (apistodiscus) on topic Re:What have I done!!!
Since you are getting a custom made tank, I would get the tank drilled for a sump. First of all this will be low maintenance and secondly you can hide heaters/ Co2, and other hardware in it. A decent sump will cost less than a FX5 or two smaller filters, almost zero maintenance and the amount of substrate you can put in it is far greater than any external filter. Furthermore, by fitting a sump you will also significantly increase overall tank volume, i.e. be able to keep more fish.

Heaters: get two 300 w heaters and a digital controller. Digital controllers cannot get stuck, like the bi-metal plates in a thermostat and overheat the tank.

Have to thought about lighting?
Do you already have a stand?

Holger

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11 Oct 2007 15:24 #6 by Carl (Carl M)
mwdragondk

i would ask what types of fish you intent to keep in it


The $64,000 question! When I first decided to treat myself to a ‘biggie’ I was thinking of Discus but have actually gone off the idea. I now intend it to be a bog standard community aquarium to see the interaction between larger groups of fish in a more spacious tank than I am used to.

Ones I have decided are definitely going in are:-
· A school of 9 Clown loach (average size 4” and growing)
· An army of 10 Bristlenose juveniles
· 8 juvenile Pearl Gouramis
· 2 Flagtail Cats that I will increase to a school of 6 or 8
· 9 Bosemani Rainbows which I hope to breed from when they mature

Others I will probably include are various tetras, corys, Rams, apistos, otos and maybe a few Butterfly fish as I’d like to rise to the challenge of trying to breed them.
And lots of bog oak, driftwood and plants.

This is all liable to change at a moments notice of course:unsure:


TomNolan

Where'd you order that from?


I am not yet familiar with all the forum rules but as I ordered it from one of the sponsors I guess it is ok to name PetshopOnline.

Actually I have just double checked and discover it is a 690l and not 650l as I thought:cheer:

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11 Oct 2007 15:28 #7 by TomNolan (Tommy Nolan)
I've never seen a tank of that size on there? :woohoo:

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11 Oct 2007 15:56 #8 by Carl (Carl M)
apistodiscus

Since you are getting a custom made tank, I would get the tank drilled for a sump.


Unfortunately it is off the shelf so I do not have the option of having it drilled for a sump and would not have the confidence to try it myself:(

Have to thought about lighting?


It comes fitted with 2x30w and 2x25w T8's which I will make do with for the time being. Will look at T5's when I see what the actual hood is like. Any suggestions appreciatedB)

Do you already have a stand


Likewise it comes with a stand... phew!
Here is a pic of the smallest model and diagram of the RHA2000 that I have ordered






KenS

With regard to filtration, you should take a look at the Fluval FX5


Seriously looking at the FX5, thanks for your help in the pm.

I'd be inclined to go for sand as a substrate. Looks better IMO and is better for cory's etc


I will definitely take your advice on that one... any suggestions on the best place to get it?

Thanks everyone for all your interest and imput:)

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11 Oct 2007 16:01 #9 by TomNolan (Tommy Nolan)
Carl what part of the website is that off? I can't find it at all. :huh:

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11 Oct 2007 16:06 - 26 Aug 2008 05:30 #10 by Carl (Carl M)
TomNolan

I've never seen a tank of that size on there?


I came across it on their PetBliss website about a month ago. It has since been taken off the site along with all the other Jinling tanks but is on special order for me to arrive end of Nov or beginning of Dec... I have to wait for it to come all the way from the Far East via UK:(

I think it will be worth the wait though as I really like the fact that the front 'corners' are rounded with no sealer obscuring the view.

No doubt they will have more in stock once they get their Xmas shipment in.
Last edit: 26 Aug 2008 05:30 by Carl (Carl M).

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11 Oct 2007 16:08 #11 by TomNolan (Tommy Nolan)
Ah, I get you. Well its a great looking tank. Good luck with whatever you put in it.

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11 Oct 2007 17:34 #12 by Daragh_Owens (Daragh Owens)
Great size tank, looks great from the diagram too. I would prefer to go with the sump too, never had one, but like the idea and would definitely consider drilling that tank for one. But if you rule that out I would prefer two externals instead on one monster. How about an Eheim wet n dry and a regular external cannister. You could get themo filters and avoid installing heaters in the tank.

Looking forward to hearing how you end up stocking in and some photos. Good luck with it.

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11 Oct 2007 17:42 #13 by mickeywallace (Michael Wallace Cath Woods)
excellent looking tank, sand well i got some silver sand for mine and you will find plenty of previous post on the subject. do from personal experience I've found that with plecs sand is a small problem do my common plec is 11inches and when he takes flight it rises some what also i noticed that it compacted a lot this was a problem cause some undesirable bacteria grow there on one tank i reduced the depth and after reading an article i can't remember where i add small shingle (40% sand)which in effect stopped the compacting do i washed the sand more times than i cared to count i had the advantage of using a a box filter with filter cotton this very quickly removed the vast majority of the sand problem(shingle i got presented the bigger problem the product came from china and i found that it required extra action i found some unknown plant material and one bit of brown glass or some thing very similar thus i will now boil this shingle in future i will also go through it before i wash it.

I would agree with apistodiscus on the sump if and when the option comes i will be adding a sump and i am sure if you ask, some one will offer to do the job for you and it will be a worth wile investment.

Mickey Wallace & Cath Woods

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11 Oct 2007 20:40 #14 by apistodiscus (apistodiscus)
Replied by apistodiscus (apistodiscus) on topic Re:What have I done!!!
Carl wrote:

TomNolan

I've never seen a tank of that size on there?


I came across it on their PetBliss website about a month ago. It has since been taken off the site along with all the other Jinling tanks but is on special order for me to arrive end of Nov or beginning of Dec... I have to wait for it to come all the way from the Far East:(

I think it will be worth the wait though as I really like the fact that the front 'corners' are rounded with no sealer obscuring the view.

No doubt they will have more in stock once they get their Xmas shipment in.


Make sure that they can get you replacement bulbs. One of my LFSs gets lovely tanks in from China but the light bulbs are nowhere to be got but from China.

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11 Oct 2007 21:04 #15 by Acara (Dave Walters)
I think the sump is a good idea.If not a sump,then 2 external filters,eg the tetratec ex1200(from memory,500ltr each)in case 1 breaks down.They are getting rave reviews,and are cheaper than eheim,although the eheim Daragh mentioned,does,as he says,have the benefit of having the heater in it rather than the tank.
And I would definately have sand and bogwood instead of gravel.

always on the lookout for interesting corys.pm me if you know off any!

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11 Oct 2007 21:50 #16 by platty252 (Darren Dalton)
You really have to think about the depth of this tank when you choose the substrate. At 77.5cm (30\") you wont be able to reach the bottom of the tank once it is filled.
If you use sand just use a small amount to avoid compacting. It is only for appearance after all.
You will need an extra long gravel cleaner to reach the bottom.
You will need to extend the intake of any external filter you use. most of the dirt will be closer to the bottom of the tank.
I can only dream of a tank this size.
If you did want a sump you could ask the supplier if they can drill or get it drilled for you.

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11 Oct 2007 22:30 - 05 Nov 2007 15:33 #17 by Carl (Carl M)
A sump seems to be the general consensus and it makes perfect sense to me.

I will ask if it can be drilled and if not will get back to you all for hints on where to get it done. I must say I would prefer someone to come to the house to drill it as moving a tank that size will be a tad awkward:S

platty252

you wont be able to reach the bottom of the tank once it is filled

VERY good point!

You will need an extra long gravel cleaner to reach the bottom

I was in Blackpool a few weeks ago and saw an extra long one in a shop there... just was not thinking at the time:(

apistodiscus

Make sure that they can get you replacement bulbs

Yet another thing I did not think of!

Does anyone have experience of Hydor in-line heaters? I have used Visitherm for about 20 years now and never had one fail but do like the idea of outside heating. (BTW, I imagine it is ok to name brands as other posts have. If not could one of the mods let me know).

Thanks again for all the imput:)
Last edit: 05 Nov 2007 15:33 by Carl (Carl M).

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11 Oct 2007 22:43 #18 by apistodiscus (apistodiscus)
Replied by apistodiscus (apistodiscus) on topic Re:What have I done!!!
Hi Carl,
didn't even look at the height of the tank. 77.5cm is too high to achieve any sort of decent plant growth with flourescent bulbs. They are simply not strong enough to provide sufficient light for plant growth.You are looking at metal hallides here. Extra costs again. to be honest, I would rethink the idea of buying this particular tank. I would get a tank custom built and get it drilled. Building your own stand isn't all that hard. Several of our sponsors are offering custom built tanks. I got my 600l from Fins and Things and I am very happy with it. Built my own stand and got the lighting system on ebay. The whole lot came to about 850€. However, if I had to do it again, I couldprobably do it for 100-150€ less. Ah well, a lesson learnt.

The strongest Hydor heater is 300W if memory serves me right. Probably not strong enough for 690l.

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11 Oct 2007 23:35 #19 by platty252 (Darren Dalton)
I have 2 Hydor inline heaters. One works and the other dosent.
like all the Hydor heaters they can last for years or break fairly quickly.
You could use plants like ferns or some moss. These will grow under verry low light. I have some java fern in a tank for over 2 years now with no light. It dosent get any bigger but it hasn't died either. There is some java moss in there as well.
If the shop contact's the supplier they might predrill the tank before sending it over here. No harm to ask.

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12 Oct 2007 09:11 #20 by Carl (Carl M)
apistodiscus

77.5cm is too high to achieve any sort of decent plant growth

Oh dear... more trouble in heaven:(
I notice on the Fins'n'Things website that they sell an MP (Eheim) aquarium 70cm high with T5 lighting. Is this still inadequate for a tank that deep? I certainly can not afford to go the extra mile with M.H. Although if I wait until next year to upgrade it I could raid the piggybank again:S

I got my 600l from Fins and Things ... The whole lot came to about 850€.

I actually got an extremely good deal on this tank as it was advertised on sale with 40% discount off an already good price. They were sold out but as I wanted to order it PetshopOnline honoured the sale price since it was still advertised on the website. Otherwise I could not have considered such a large tank. The bonus is that a good-looking cabinet & hood came with it (along with the basic over-tank filter and lighting). Total 688€. Even having to spend more on it to bring the specs up I think I didn’t do too bad.

platty252

I have 2 Hydor inline heaters. One works and the other dosent

Thanks... that answers my question perfectly for me.

You could use plants like ferns or some moss

It looks like this is the way I will have to go to start with.

If the shop contact's the supplier they might predrill the tank before sending it over here

Too late; it is on its way:(

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12 Oct 2007 10:13 #21 by apistodiscus (apistodiscus)
Replied by apistodiscus (apistodiscus) on topic Re:What have I done!!!
T5s probably will be adequate if you put enough of them on it. IMO all those high tank are geared towards fishkeepers who intend to keep a fish only set-up. Ideal for Malawi/Tanganyican or discus/Uaru/Altum but not so good for growing plants. Java fern will be OK and some low light cyrpts should also be OK but not great. Anubias might also be suitable. I would just try a few plants and see how they are doing.

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12 Oct 2007 11:12 #22 by KenS (Ken Simpson)
I was considering one of the Hydor in line heaters for my recently purchased 470l tank. However, after doing a search of several forums, there appears to be nothing but problems with them so gave them a wide birth.

Regards,

Ken.

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12 Oct 2007 11:32 #23 by apistodiscus (apistodiscus)
Replied by apistodiscus (apistodiscus) on topic Re:What have I done!!!
if you want to keep the heater out of the tank but don't have the option of a sump (:( ), you could get one of the Eheim Thermofilters. Eheim are the only brand that I can think of that produce filters with a heating element built in. Not cheap but they work very well and you will save on electricty in the long run

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12 Oct 2007 15:04 #24 by Carl (Carl M)
apistodiscus

I would just try a few plants and see how they are doing.

I think this will have to be my option. I will wait and see what actually comes with the tank and try a few low-lighters to test it out. Any that are not doing well I can pop back into a smaller, better-lit tank. If all fails I will look into other lighting options next year when I have cleared my VISA bill from all the other ‘bits’ I have to get:S

KenS

there appears to be nothing but problems with them (Hydor in-line heaters)

Did a bit of research earlier and came to the same conclusion. I am a big fan of Visitherm (have a 300w running since about 1987 which is still going strong as are all 3 others I have. Never got a dud so I think I may stick with them.

apistodiscus

you could get one of the Eheim Thermofilters.

I know a lot of people have nothing but praise for Eheim filters but I had a bad experience some years back and would be a bit wary of paying the price (which I think is inflated: just like Gucci and Prada if you know what I mean) for a product that has disappointed me in the past. I know they have probably improved their products greatly since I spent my hard earned cash on one of their ‘state of the art’ filters but so have a lot of other manufacturers. Fact remains that an ‘old-school’ Fluval external bought about the same time (I think a 203 or 303, it is not written on the canister) is still chugging along even though I have not been able to get a replacement impellor or O-ring for years.
Even though I will probably stick with the tried and tested Visitherms I am looking into your suggestion of an independent thermostat as I will be running more than one and ‘better safe than sorry’!
I have been looking over your posts on making backgrounds to hide pipe work etc. This I will definitely have a go at! Being an artist I could never forgive myself if I did not try my talents at making one. I have painted backgrounds often but looking forward to a bit of creative sculpting with your techniquesB)

Has anybody tried the ‘cheapo’ AquaPro/AquaVital filters? (I am fairly sure they are the same with different branding).
I got an AquaPro 2 in March of last year that I am quite impressed with at this stage. Being so cheap I was sure it would give trouble or start struggling after a little use but everything seems to be fine with it. Also very quiet and sturdier than I expected. I would be interested in hearing from anyone else that may have used one for longer than I have and what you think of them.

I got one of their internal filters at the same time and only use it for polishing (I have a sponge over the external intake to keep sintered glass well protected). I wash out the sponge every morning and find it is doing a great job at keeping the water clear. They are handy for popping chemical media into now and again without disturbing the external filter. Once again I am impressed with this ‘cheapo’ filter that I did not expect much from at first. Has anybody else tried these? What are your thoughts?

Thanks yet again for everybody’s input:)

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12 Oct 2007 18:51 #25 by apistodiscus (apistodiscus)
Replied by apistodiscus (apistodiscus) on topic Re:What have I done!!!
Hi Carl,
good on you for making your own background. That's what I did on my 600 as well. You can hide all the pipes in it and only have the inlet and outlet pipes sticking out. Hiding the heater is a bit trickier.

I bought some cheap external filters from ebay.de. Had them for some years now (they actually come with a 4 (four) year warranty and even including the postage they are still a hell lot cheaper than anything comparable you can get in this country. Will search for the link tomorrow when wife and kids are gone for the day and I can have a 'fish' day;)

The new Eheim filters (professional III)are over engineered and have too many gadgets on them that could potentially go wrong and, yes, I do agree they are overpriced.

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12 Oct 2007 18:55 #26 by apistodiscus (apistodiscus)
Replied by apistodiscus (apistodiscus) on topic Re:What have I done!!!
The smallies are actually playing peacefully for once. So here's the link. Postage to Ireland is 21 Euro

cgi.ebay.de/AUSSENFILTER-2212-1200-l-h-4...QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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13 Oct 2007 15:24 #27 by Carl (Carl M)
apistodiscus

So here's the link

Thanks guy. I have checked around a few other forums and find good comments about the so called 'chepo' filters so I may go this route & fit 2 of them.

Hope you are enjoying your 'fish day' :)

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11 Nov 2007 17:59 #28 by platty252 (Darren Dalton)
Instead of using an external heater you could use a rena smart heater.
They connect onto the intake of an external filter.
www.aquariumsdelivered.co.uk/catalog/ren...ljqrbju110p0eu5g25v6

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12 Nov 2007 15:13 #29 by Carl (Carl M)
platty252 wrote:

you could use a rena smart heater.

Hi platty252,
Thanks for the link.
Do you use them? Any idea how reliable they are?

I was looking into the idea of external heaters but did not come across any good reports/recommendations on them. If you can recommend them I will try it out but the last heater that failed on me was a Rena and I made an emergency trip to Joe in Ballybough (although at the time he was still operating from home on Clonliffe Rd) who recommended a Visitherm. It is still in use (since the mid 80’s) and I have had no probs with it. Have bought nothing but Visitherm since;never got a dud and all still working.

For that reason I am thinking of sticking with them but if you think the Rena’s may be as reliable I will give them a try.

Thanks again, Carl

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13 Nov 2007 00:12 #30 by platty252 (Darren Dalton)
The are new on the market and i havent used one yet.
The guy demonstrating them at the recent show in the UK was bashing it off the counter and it still worked perfectly.
It has a light that flashes if it is too hot or too cold. But that's no good it you are like me and like to hide equipment in the tank.
I like the idea that the water passes through it instead of around it.
Thats not to say the thermostat wont stick some day and boil your fish.
I tried to get one to try it out but the demonstration guy was having non of it.
Probably best to give them a few months to hear how people are getting on with them.

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