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 180 Gallon

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Fward
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PostSubject: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:18 pm

Getting ready to move my African Cichlids over to a new bigger tank. I have only purchased the background so far. But I am going with a 180 gallon tank. Any advice would be great! I love to save money to.

Background - RockyBackground This matches my local creek rock I use for aquascape.

Tank- 180 gallon Found one at PAWS for around $1,100.00 including stand and top.

Lighting - I am still working on this. I would think two 36" T5 lights with the bulbs that make the colors pop. One blue one white I think?

Filter - I really like the Fluval FX6 for around $339.00. I will be overstocking so this would give me enough filtration. Later on may add a few over hang filters.

Heater - I have a 300 watt Fluval already.

Substrate- i wish I could just do the white play sand. But I may have to splurge, and get the Caribsea all white sand for the PH boost. Not sure how many bags. Just need enough to cover the egg crate. As these fish tend to make a mess with to much.

Trying to decide whether to leave my Mbuna in my 55 and just take the peacocks and haps. They all get along as well as you would expect. But the Peacocks and Haps are just so beautiful!
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:23 pm

I would add a AC110 or a similar sized Aqueon HOB filter to help with mechanical filtration.

For lighting I would go with LEDs. Not sure the details, but over the long haul(no bulbs to replace and less electricity), they pay off. Or there are some good DIY LED options.
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:49 pm

Yay! Another big tank enthusiast!! Congrats on your new tank.  ThumbsUp 

I like Verbal's advice (definitely regarding extra mechanical filtration). I can tell you from experience with digging fish that Caribsea sand is going to be flying all over and get into the filters, which is not necessarily a problem but is something to consider. This is the case in my 150. Pool filter sand might be an alternative, not being so light, and then you can use crushed coral in a filter or something to boost pH. The pH should not concern you too terribly much, though, unless you've got WC specimens.

I also very much agree with the lighting recommendation for LEDs. I have spent so much money over the years on bulbs, and there are more and more options for LED lighting now. The main thing to consider is moisture, since they don't like it, lol, so a fixture with a fan or a fan installed in the hood (if you have one) will be a good idea. My DIY LED fixture crapped out before too long due to moisture exposure, when I thought the open back on my hood would be adequate, but it wasn't!

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:25 pm

For lighting, I have Aqueon LED lights on my 125 and they seem bright enough. Purchased at Kensfish.com; I have two units 4' and 2' each with 3 bulbs in them. The lights are in a canopy tied near the top. DIY URAU Joey videos helped and he said high is good -- this may help with the moisture.

I am using pool filter sand that came with the tank and buffered the ph with baking soda initially. Since that time it seems to hold. I have two RENA XP3 filters and an internal 10" sponge filter powered by a marine land 550 powerhead. The tank has only had fish for about a month now but monitoring it closely.

Peacocks and Haps are beautiful and I have read a lot of places to be careful when mixing.

Best wishes and look forward to the pics. I have pics at ziurcs.shutterfly.com of my 125 gal build.

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:44 am

Great advice. Leaning to LED now. Only pool sand I can find is blue in color. Maybe chlorine or something in it. I will keep looking. Purchased the Fluval FX6. Money Money blah. I am thinking I will hook it up to my 55 gallon, and get some good bacteria in it. Then I won't have to cycle my tank. Worked on my 30 gallon. Anyone else do this?
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:13 am

Another alternative would be to take the filter media from your 55 and put it in the fx6. If you don't want it in the FX6 long-term you can always switch it back once your cycle is done.

Definitely provide as many pics as you can.
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:38 pm

Will do. I am wondering about a UV filter. The Mbuna like algae. I have brown algae in my 55 now. And that is with a UV filter. Anyone know of a sleek looking UV filter? Mine is a big bulky black thing.
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:40 pm

My UV filter is in-line, so it is under the cabinet or behind everything so you don't see it.

For cheap pool filter sand that is just plain old tan sand, go to a pool supply place. It is way cheaper than aquarium sand and doesn't even hardly need to be rinsed. It is small enough to be considered sand but big enough that it doesn't have dust, and it is clean right out of the bag. I'm a huge fan.

Once I went to a big pool/hot tub dealer and asked to buy a small amount of pool filter sand, but all they had was giant bags that was way too much. They had a broken bag that they couldn't sell, and they just gave it to me - useless to them, but exactly what I needed! They had never heard of using it in an aquarium and thought I was a bit touched in the head, if you know what I mean.....  Razz 

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:53 pm

I agree Liz, Very easy to maintain even with a Python, and IMO has a bit more natural look as not too white, and or dark. Plus as you said Cheap! I love Cheap in this hobby.

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:59 pm

@Ron wrote:
I love Cheap in this hobby.

Exactly, Ron! There is precious little that fits into this category, so take it where you can get it, lol!

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:15 pm

There is a pool supply store in Lynchburg that sells the sand in 50 lb bags. I think the cost was around $15/bag. I bought 4 for my 125. Needless to say, I almost filled the tank up with sand, not really but I had at least 2" everywhere and more in some places. I guess that was a newbie mistake and I wish I would have found CVAS beforehand. I have since taken out enough to fill a 6-gallon bucket (My wife buys wheat in those buckets to make bread). I now have a steady supply of buckets. Invaluable in this hobby even with a Python.

I do have a question, Fward. You mentioned aquascaping with local creek rocks. I have a creek nearby with some nice rock but was reluctant to use them. Most are of the rounded, worn type. Are they safe to use or what pre-cautions should be taken if I want to use them?

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:44 am

Check this article out ---> http://fish-etc.com/aquascaping-main/set-up-and-aquascape-a-cichlid-habitat

there is a vinegar test for rocks -- just take vinegar and pour a little on them -- if it bubbles don't use the rock. Most rocks -- slate, quartz and various other rocks are safe.

Some boil them or put them in a dishwasher (no soap) -- clean them off from debris.

Just make sure there is no moss or algae or other stuff on them. The slate rocks you see around drain pipes seem to have a good color in the aquarium.

Hope that helps,

Stephen

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:08 am

Awesome advice. Thanks for all the help.
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:34 pm

Was thinking of doing a DIY sump. I will have a 30 gallon tank to use. I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around how it works. Maybe you can help. I have looked at stuff online. I get the part where I can make some PVC to get the water from the main tank to the sump. And can see where I can can make different compartments for media. But when I get a pump to get the water back in the tank, is the question. Do I have to match the flow, so the pump does not pump all the water out to quick? And I like to turn my filters off when I feed them. Is this going to mess up the sump? And how do I make it so when I turn off power the sump does not overflow? I am making something simple hard maybe.
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:32 pm

The key to return pumps and drains is to make sure the drain can handle what is being pumped into the tank. The first thing is the diameter of the drain should be bigger than the lines pumping into the aquarium.

If you pump more than you can drain, the tank will overflow and/or the pump will run dry. Using a drain at less than full capacity has the potential to be noisy, but there are ways to handle that.

As long at the sump can handle all the water in a power outage, that should not be a flooding issue.
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:24 pm

Fward, is the 30 gallon sump an additional filteration system? PAW has a couple of nice sumps in operation on their sw tanks. I know they would be glad to unlock the cabinets and show them to you.

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:39 am

Yeah was going to run this as well as my Fluval FX6. Hmm I may have to take a look. Good excuse to ride to L-Burg. Wink My Universal rock Background arrived yesterday. Fluval supposed to today. Not looking forward to moving my tanks around. But it will be worth it. Just need to find time between grass cutting and tilling my garden!
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:45 pm

I was in there (PAW) yesterday picking up a special dog food order. I saw a 180. Is that the one you are getting or have you already purchased and taken it home?

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:16 pm

That is the one I hope to get. Trying to remember what the stand looks like. Wonder if I can build a stand for cheaper, than what they have. If you happen to go in again, see if one of these will fit under that stand. Fluval FX6 If you happen to go. No problem if its to much trouble. I may go Monday.
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:29 pm

Wow Dr Foster and Smith are running a sale on the filter I just bought for $50.00 less. I just bought it from them. Has not even been delivered. Wonder if they will give me some money back. $289.00 for the FLuval FX6!
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:47 pm

I just saw that when I checked the link in your message. If only I had an unlimited amount of money and no children in college I would pick one up and replace one on my 125g. The dimensions are 17" dia x 21" high. That will give me an excuse to drop by there today and see if it will fit.

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:09 pm

Also, if you are going to build your stand, you will want to check the warranty for the tank. I was going to get a pre-drilled 110H Marineland or Aqueon (can't remember which) and told them I was planning on building my own stand. They said the manufacturer requires tanks to be on a "factory" built stand or the warranty could be void.

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:20 pm

Doors on front of stand less than 17". Plenty of height from stand floor to tank bottom. Would have to get fx6 in from the back.

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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:27 pm

Thanks for checking! Your awesome. That would make it hard to clean the filter once everything was in place. Hmm
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PostSubject: Re: 180 Gallon   Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:40 pm

Actually after unboxing I am measuring 15", so that should be fine. Thanks again for checking it out. Did they have any good looking Peacocks?
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