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 Starting a new 65 Gallon :)

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PostSubject: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:59 pm

So I'm working on my new 65 gallon aquarium. I just resealed and had it painted to match my other furniture. I'm waiting for the sealant to dry before I do anything else.

Right now I'm planning on flourite with a layer of gravel on top. I have a fluval 406 canister filter that was given to me. I'm somewhat worried the current might be too strong even on the low setting..the killifish like a very slow current. So we'll have to see how that works out when I get it set up, may have to buy a different one or trade down?

I have a bunch of plants growing in my other tanks so I'll have a good start on plants. I have LED lights in them so I'm shocked that my plants are doing as well as they are. Some grow so quick I'm trimming them about every week because they grow so tall they reach the top and come out of the water!

Right now I have 2 different species of killifish I plan on having in the tank but other than that I'm not sure what to get. I know I need something for snails and algea.

I have a horrible snail infestation in my tiny 8 gallon that I use to grow new plants and keep a couple shrimp. They're ALL over and idk how I'll get rid of them. I'm wondering if it might be possible to remove the shrimp and put them in a temp tank and add a smaller loach (maybe a small, not yet fully grown, skunk/zebra) to the tank for maybe a week or two just to eleminate the snail problem? Then move them to the 65 of course? And it's not because of overfeeding becasue I never really feed the shrimp, it's a very well established tank so they just feed off whats already in there and growing. Anyone have any thoughts on that idea? I hate having a snail infestation! If only killifish ate snails like they eat everything else. If it fits in they're mouth its gone...except for snails!

Anyway, here's a pic of the tank. Any ideas are welcome. I'm not sure what to put in it as far as decorative yet. I like the natural look so probably something woody...



EDIT:

Here's some pics of the Killifish Smile They're still babies and growing and gaining color everyday. They'll be bright and gorgeous in no time






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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:35 pm

Starfish, congrats on starting your new tank! cheers The killifish are beautiful and I'm sure you will get a lot of enjoyment out of them

There are many questions I would like to ask about your set-up - such as why the layer of gravel over the Flourite? - but first I'd like to ask you about your snails in the 8 gallon.

Do you know what kind you have? I can probably tell you how to get rid of them, once I know what type you are having the problem with.

Here is a photo showing the three most common types of (pest) aquarium snails:


Starting in the middle of the photo, the cornucopia shaped snails are Malaysian trumpet snails (Melanoides tuberculata); the smooth oval-shaped snails are commonly called pond snails, of the family Physidae (the ones shown are most likely a Physa species from that family); and the rightmost ones with the flat, coiled shell are called ramshorn snails, of the family Planorbidae. (There are many more details I could add but we don't need them for this discussion.)

If you tell me which one of these you have, I will tell you how to best get rid of them.

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:41 pm

Thanks! I have the pond snails.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:52 pm

The best way to get rid of pond snails in a small tank is to pick them out by hand. Every time you see one, take it out. Put them somewhere out of your sight to dry out and die.

Examine your plants in that tank and remove any egg clutches. Feel each leaf carefully for any gel-like or glutinous, clear material and remove it. Lay the material on a paper towel and let it dry out before you discard it. For stubborn egg masses that won't remove easily, try crushing the material or if possible take the plant out and clean it that way. Cleaning this stuff off plants is hard to do and you may have to throw out plants that are completely infested.

Feel around on the glass for more egg masses. Examine everywhere and remove any that you find. Since your tank is so well-established, you should be able to clean the filter, too, if you have one.

Manual removal is very effective, if you stick with it. Using this method you avoid poisons and gradually reduce the bioload of snails, which keeps the biological balance of your tank intact.

I've cleared two tanks of pond snails using the above method and they have not returned. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:28 am

Assassin snails are an option. You can feed them meaty food once they wide out the pest snails.

If you want to keep a planted tank snail free, you will need to treat your plants before you add them to the tank.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:42 am

Assassin snails are my favorite option. They start slow but will clean up a tank nicely. I also use Yo Yo loaches. They work much faster than clown loaches and don't get quite as big.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:15 pm


photo credit to Nik, my aquarium pal from another website.

Here is what it will look like when A. helena goes to work. If you can stand it, the assassin snail is a good choice. Once it has decimated the pond snails, though, you will have to consider what (and whether) you want to keep feeding it.

Yo-yo loaches are avid snail consumers, so everyone says, but you have to consider the size of your tank which is only 8 gallons. They like to be in groups and keeping only one, even short term, doesn't seem fair to the loach.

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:36 pm

Deb is correct, 8 gallon for yo yos is too small. Great pic by the way. I was thinking of the 65.
As for the Assassin snails, once they have completed their mission they are easily cared for, moved, or sold. There is always a market for them. I have a 30g just for assassins and move them where needed. Depending on where you are, I would be happy to "loan" you 3 or 4 assassins if you are hesitant to take on the raising of them. Once you no longer have a need for them you can return them if you like. I am in King George. Please keep in mind that it takes a few weeks for them to clean a tank if not longer. If you are too far someone else might have some or you can get them for anywhere between $2 and $5 at a LFS.
Once again, Deb is correct; the fastest way is to pick them out by hand whenever you see them.

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:54 pm

I'm always very careful when I add new plants and check and clean them as thoroughly as I can. But there must have been one tiny baby snail that hid and I didn't notice for a long while cause I found a big one a while later hiding in the filter compartment, then one day I see all these little dots all over the tank and of course they were baby snails! I got as many as I could but they were in the gravel I'm sure...

I just HATE having to touch them. Something about the snails really grosses me out. Fish I can handle almost anything but snails and egg sacks do me in. Idk why, it's just a gross factor for me, and I can't stand to crush them! Doesn't help that my mans a sissy or I'd have him take care of it. Now larger snails I'll pick up and move no problem but the tiny ones not so much. I'll do it, but I don't like it one bit.

David: I travel up to Ashburn VA every week so I could easily meet you along the way and pick some up sometime. If you don't mind of course. I'm not sure I'd want to keep them but I've never had assassin snails before. Who knows, I might love them. Either way they would certainly be well fed while visiting! How big do those snails get?

And I have another question. The tank was resealed Friday, how long should I wait until I can start doing stuff with it?
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Wed May 01, 2013 12:28 pm

Silver, if you decide you want your own assassin snails the Lakeside Fin & Feather has some but be sure you know what this snail looks like before you go. F&F also has some trap door snails which they have mislabeled as "assassin" but they are not. They are genus Clithon, and a type of Nerite snail.

I explained the difference to the guy helping me and he seemed to understand, so I think they will fix this before you go (if you go.)

As a side note, I did get a few trap door snails while I was there, including Clithon. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Wed May 01, 2013 2:35 pm

I work in Newington outside of Sprinfield so maybe we can meet somewhere. On Thursday I work from home if King George(or Fredericksburg) is better for you. Just let me know and I will try to work it out.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Wed May 01, 2013 4:04 pm

David, I'll get back to you when I know what my plan is for next week.

Back to the 65...I was thinking about probably having maybe 3-4 zebra loaches and 1or 2 smaller pleco's (not sure exactly what kind yet). Either that combination or maybe some otos or cory catfish. Depends on what will get along with the Killifish. I can see a potential problem with the loaches but I know they will be fine with plecos, corys, and otos. I might try the loaches, there should be enough room in the tank that they won't even interact that often, however I'm not positive..

And I'm not saying I'm gonna go out and get all these fish at once lol This is just a goal/plan. I still have yet to even put water in the tank...still waiting for the sealant to dry.

And I was going to do flourite and gravel becasue I only have 2 bags of flourite and I'm not so sure that's enough to give me the depth I want (about 3-4"), so I figure maybe a layer of gravel instead of buying another bag, just to hold everything together. I've never used flourite before so I don't know if there will be a lot of partical debris every time I want to add a plant to the tank...



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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Wed May 01, 2013 5:25 pm

Zebra loaches (you mean Botia striata, right?) should be OK with those killies. Some killies (especially gardneri) get pretty rowdy with each other, but they dont usually pick fights with non-killies that are too big to eat. If/when you want to breed your killies (best to breed them before they reach 2 yrs old) move them to a separate tank stuffed full of fine-leaf plants (moss, hornwort, myriophyllum, guppy-grass). I hope you can distinguish the females of the 2 species. And you've probably heard this already but cover every tiny gap in the hood - rule #1 of killie keeping.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Wed May 01, 2013 9:12 pm

Yes, Botia striata.

I've kept killies before and bred them successfully about 5 years ago. I'd stopped keeping fish about 2 years ago and just recently moved and left all my tanks behind when I decided to start keeping them again. So now I'm starting back up.

I've got EVERY nook and cranny covered, right down to the power cord to the heater taped off Wink Nothing is getting out of the tank lol I'll Killie proof the 65 once I get it all together.

I can tell the females of the different species apart pretty easily. I have picture records of both sides and their markings. The amiete females have distinctive red dots along the middle of their body all the way to the tail, and the innidere females are sort of speckled red with slight yellowing underneath. When the tank was sealed I had a little sealant added in the middle to fit a piece of acrylic for a pressure fit divider if things don't work out and I need to seperate for any reason. But I'm hoping everyone gets along well enough. They're only a couple weeks from breeding age but I'd like for them to get a little bigger and plumper before I try.

I wonder if anyone in VA or close by keeps/breeds killies?
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Thu May 02, 2013 5:23 pm

Join AKA and check their membership directory. The Raleigh club has a few killie-philes, including the current JAKA editor. I have 2 killies: Aphyo. exiguum and Kryptolebias (Rivulus) caudomarginatus. Had Aphyo. gardneri "Makurdi" for many years; just unloaded my last ones at the last RAS auction.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Fri May 03, 2013 12:47 am

I'll check it out.


I used 3 bags of flourite and I'll prob add another 2 bags because I like depth for the plants. I started adding water and noticed that my floor is sloped...on one side of the tank the water level is 1" and on the other its 1.5" from the rim. I know our building manager was over earlier in the week and I talked to him and he mentioned that the building sags a little towards the middle (the way he said it didn't sound as bad but that's basically what he said). He was there to look at the doorframe to my bedroom because my door won't latch shut. The building was built in 2005 and he said that the building is 'settling' Which is why my doorframe has seemingly gotten gaps in it and why theres a very slight gap from carpet to floorboard when you get closer to my doorframe and on that side of the wall.

Of course I (without thinking at all) put the tank on the wall going towards the slope...

I wonder if I should be concerned? Hahaha Our building manager said it was nothing to worry about but that 1/2" difference is just weird!
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Fri May 03, 2013 7:52 am

IMO that ½" difference is too much. Filled aquariums do not bear the weight of water equally over the whole tank. All the pressure is in the corners. That's why they don't really need to be supported in the middle and can sit quite nicely on a metal frame.

That said, you will want to correct the difference. This can be accomplished with something as simple as cardboard shims, wooden shims, or inexpensive floor protectors meant for furniture legs (you can get them at Lowe's in packages of four.) I've used all of these to level my aquariums, sometimes in combination with each other. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Fri May 03, 2013 1:45 pm

I'll pick up some wooden shims. I drained it back down to 1/4 full so I should be able to squeeze the shims under it.

The tank came with one of those nice hose systems you connect to the faucet and of course it doesn't fit a single faucet in my apartment! So I had to carry it gallon by gallon...only to drain it back down, but oh well.

The water riples some when I walk by but I can't imagine why, except for the uneven floor maybe, and it's carpet. But there's concrete underneath, I live on the 2nd floor, although they call it the 1st floor, above a small garage area so I'm sure they have to have the concrete pretty thick too...
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Fri May 03, 2013 5:46 pm

A hardware store will have the adapter to connect your faucet to the filler hose. Just unscrew the aerator off the faucet and bring it with you to the store. Better to shim under the legs of the stand (on floor), not between the stand and the tank.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Fri May 03, 2013 5:59 pm

I don't think it unscrews (or maybe I didn't try hard enough). It's sort of arched and the aerator sits up in it some.

Should I be concerned about the ripples at all?
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Sat May 04, 2013 5:19 pm

If all four corners of he tank & stand are evenly supported and level, then no, ripples or slight sloshing due to floor vibration when you walk through the room is no problem. My tanks jiggle and slosh quite a bit (110 yr old wood floor over crawlspace) and have been doing this for 20+ years. TWISTING stress is usually what causes leaks or cracks, when the stand (or floor) does not evenly support all four corners in a plane.

Try a rubber jar opener (or scrap piece of rubber pond liner) to unscrew the faucet aerator.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Sun May 05, 2013 10:21 am

The aerator on your sink should unscrew off. Often times they corrode or lime up and it can take a litte more effort to remove. They should only be fingered tightened but.... If what Gerald described does not work, wrap some thin rubber around it and use some pliers but be very careful not to gouge or scratch the metal. When you plce back on finger tighten only. Since you will be doing water changes the likelyhood of it getting stuck again will be remote. Not sure which way you turning but turn to the right to remove, and to the left to replace.
Gerald and Deb also gave good advice on making sure tanks are level. a lot of weight and pressure in all tanks and sure will cause a mess if it causes a leak or breaks open.

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Sun May 05, 2013 3:26 pm

This is what the side looks like with the shims, I did them every 2-3 inches.



This is what the front now looks like




Does that seem correct? I talked to someone at lowes who said they did the same thing and this was how they did it.


I feel like this has been such an ordeal..I don't think I've ever had so many set backs, delays, and problems setting up a tank before. But I'm still excited cause it's going to be well worth it! Eventually..

Edit: I haven't filled it all the way up again yet. I noticed that it's perfectly level long ways but it's off by about 1cm from front to back of the tank. I can't very well shim it from the back of the aquarium but I'm hoping 1cm isn't too much. What do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Tue May 07, 2013 7:02 pm

I'm very late to the party but I have my 125 shimmed in a very similar fashion. Any reason you can't get a shim in the back?

That said, I would not be concerned about 1 cm. I have at least that much or more side to side difference on my 150. Also, depending on what your subfloor is made of, there could be some settling of the whole thing, tank and stand, over time and more adjustments could be in your future. However, I think its worth it!

Your killies are lovely and I look forward to seeing the progress.

Nice job on the stand!!

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a new 65 Gallon :)    Tue May 07, 2013 7:45 pm

Thanks! I can't shim the back because I can't get to it (it's too close to the wall). I'd have to drain it completely and have someone help me move it, try and shim it correctly without the tank on it, put it back on, and see if it needs more adjustments (then take it off and put it back on again if need be). I live by myself and it was heavy enough without water in it! There's never a man around when I need one of course lol So I'd rather not have to do the back unless need be.

I do expect some more settling eventually. Especially considering the whole building is in the process of settling I guess (according to the manager), which is why the drywall has cracked in some corners, my doorframe is shifted, and the floor is sloped...sounds like they did a good job throwing it up real quick huh? (that was sarcasm btw) It was built in 2005. I'm not sure what they have in between the concrete and my floor but at least I don't have to worry about it going through to the next level lol Considering I'm above a parking garage, I doubt it'd make it through the concrete, or so I hope. When more changes are needed I'll deal with it, but for right now if that 1cm isn't going to bother it too much I'll wait lol

I put the canister filter together. I have the Fluval 406. I've never used a canister before so I wasn't 100% positive in my decision on where to put the filter media (what goes in which spot). So I sort of used my own judgement and some of what the directions said..

Going from bottom up I did: biofoam in the bottom tray, polishing pads under biomax in the 2nd tray, peat pellets and clearmax in the 3rd, and then ammonia remover/carbon in the last one. I was debating on whether or not to use the carbon but I went with it since I have it...Any suggestions on changes?
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