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 New Tank

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Passionweed
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PostSubject: New Tank   Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:12 pm

OK....I have made the 'big step' and am now the owner of a 60 gallon Marineland tank.  Great deal on Craigslist here in the Charlottesville area...included the nearly brand new tank/stand plus a nearly new Fluval 405 canister filter and a 305 canister filter,
two Fluval 150 watt heaters, a Rena 400 air pump, three power heads of different sizes and a UV filter (small), and a lot of
other stuff, most new in the box.  When I walked in and saw the tank I was really floored, they had EVERYTHING absolutely
immaculate...it looked like it just came from the LFS.  Somehow, at $225 for everything I can't help but think I SCORED!

I have so many questions and I really appreciate any and all advice.  I do know this tankfilter was only used for 6 months for
freshwater.

I am going to take my time setting this up.  I am in no hurry.  I have another tank, so I have 'seeding' material when it's
time to cycle this new one.

First question.  The Fluval 305 and 405 are near new, however they did not come with any filter packs...they do have the sponges.
I am wondering what order do you put the packs in from bottom to top?  Is it better to buy the pre-made filter cartridges or
just put your own mix of filter media in...and HOW much of the media per tray.... do I fill the tray to the top
or half way or ???

The two 150 watt Fluval heaters should do the job of heating this tank.  I keep my home warm in the winter (wood stove in nearby room) so the air temp in the house never goes below 75* and sometimes warmer.

My last question...  When I was a teenager (back in the 70's) undergravel filters were THE thing to use.  I really did like them and felt they kept my tank in great health.  Since coming back to the hobby I find that they have fallen out of favor among many...but I still think they were great filters and I am thinking of using one in this tank.  I have found several models and they're really not that
expensive....just wondering what others thoughts are on these.

Don't want to burden with too many questions.  I plan to keep this tank exclusively Angelfish.

I'm REALLY excited!  Looking forward to aquascaping this tank (I plan on using all artificial plants).  This will be the centerpiece
of my family room Smile

Thanks so much,
Dave,
Orange Co., VA
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JohnnyAMH
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:37 pm

I'm a huge Angelfish fan and I can't help but get excited when I hear about someone setting up an Angelfish tank. Sixty gallons is a nice size tank for Angelfish. With a room temperature around 75 degrees one 150 watt heater should suffice. Two heaters should provide plenty of extra insurance. I like and currently use UGF filtration in one of my smaller tanks. I have used UGF in a 55 gallon planted tank but then I kept Jack Dempsey for a while and I pulled them out because Jacks like to dig. When I returned to keeping Angelfish and plants I kept the HOB filters in use. I don't have any experience with canister filtration so I can't comment on them. Good luck setting up your new tank. Ask all the questions you want someone here will either know or research an answer...Smile

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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Passionweed
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:13 pm

Thank's Johnny...I may ask you for advice on Angels as I go along.  I've seen some online that are beautiful, but none that I will ever fine in any LFS I don't think.  How many Angels do you think would fit comfortably in this size tank?  I was thinking 6 or 8?

The Angels that are really catching my eye are the pearl's (think that is what they are called).  Then again, there was a striped (think it was a species) that was really striking.  I feel addiction kickin' in here Smile

I did find a youtube vid on the Fluval canister filters which was great...it answered a lot of my questions about filter media/amounts.  Good ole youtube Smile

Dave,
Orange Co, VA
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thegundog
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:59 am

Hey Dave - GREAT to see the excitement in your post!

You did way better than score... looks like you found an awesome deal.

As Johnny mentioned, a single 150 watt heater should suffice as well as one of the canisters.

So you could sell one of the extra canisters and one of the extra heaters OR just keep both as backups, OR find another tank and stand and start up another tank - many of us here (myself included) have multiple tank syndrome so option three would be my choice Smile

The 60 gallon should be 4 inches taller than a 55 gallon so that will be a real nice show tank for Angel's.

Both of the Fluval filters that came with your tank are nice, I've used both series and liked them very much.

There are still those who swear by the underground filter, if you go to Azalea Aquariums in Richmond you will find a real aquarium only shop that's been in business since the 70's using nothing but UGF's and sponge set up's.

I have an UGF for a 55 gallon, it will work on your 60 gallon, which you can have for free - I'm in Spotsylvania near Locust Grove and we do get into Orange occasionally so I'm sure we could work something out if you are not in a must have now situation.

Look forward to seeing the tanks progression!

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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:31 pm

@Passionweed wrote:
Thank's Johnny...I may ask you for advice on Angels as I go along.  I've seen some online that are beautiful, but none that I will ever fine in any LFS I don't think.  How many Angels do you think would fit comfortably in this size tank?  I was thinking 6 or 8?

The Angels that are really catching my eye are the pearl's (think that is what they are called).  Then again, there was a striped (think it was a species) that was really striking.  I feel addiction kickin' in here Smile

I did find a youtube vid on the Fluval canister filters which was great...it answered a lot of my questions about filter media/amounts.  Good ole youtube Smile

Dave,
Orange Co, VA

Six or eight is a very good start. Six would allow you to have more companion fish. If you wish to focus on Angelfish, choose other fish that are non-threatening. Angelfish are plant friendly so live plants are also an option. I love planted tanks.

Pearlscale Angelfish are pretty fish. I have a few now. I think that the best Angelfish deals are with locally bred fish. There are many hobbyist who breed Angelfish. Usually, they are better fish and harder to find varieties. Some of their fish may be found at some Mom and Pop fish stores. Most of the big box pet stores have mixed selections from which to choose and you never know what you will find.  Several members here have fish for sale from time to time. There's no harm in asking here but you may have to drive to get that special fish. Online purchases is also an option for special fish but shipping can be expensive. I prefer to buy locally or just a few hours drive away.

If you start with around six or eight fish, you will likely have a breeding pair to form. That could definitely lead to an addiction... too much!

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JohnnyAMH

     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)


Last edited by JohnnyAMH on Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:00 am

@Passionweed,
Dave, you are off to a great start with an awesome deal on the tank.  You will get great help from Johnny and Tracey (and others!) regarding angelfish and equipment.  I can't wait to see how things progress!

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gerald
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:06 pm

Filter media: My favorite is small lava rock, since it has lots of irregular surface for bacterial colonization, and can run a long time without clogging, especially if you put a foam block on the filter intake. I suggest including some live fast-growing easy plants (along with the plastic ones) to keep Nitrate and other N-waste product levels low: Frogbit (Limnobium) is excellent for that purpose and you can simply throw out (or give away) the excess when it covers too much of the surface. Its much easier to keep fish healthy long-term in a tank with growing plants; they let you get away with longer intervals between water changes and reduce the risk of overfeeding.
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Passionweed
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:45 pm

Gerald,  Thank you for the tip on the lava rock...I think that would be a great filter media!

I purchased 2 small angels to go in my small tank while I begin setting up the 60 gallon tank.  I had the angels for 3 weeks and all was well....THEN, came down one morning and an angel was missing.  I looked and looked, but nowhere to be seen.  No way could the other have eaten him, they were just not that big.  Then..I looked down...on the carpet lay the angel.  How in the heck that fish jumped out through the small 3 inch opening in that tank is a mystery to me!  

So....I go back to Petsmart to pick up another angel....  little did I know the war that would ensue once I added the new angel to the tank...even though both were the same size apparently gold angel had digs on the tank and they were not about to have a new fish.  The chase went on for two days and I thought I would have to take the new angel out....on day three, total peace!!!  Whatever territorial dispute that was going on finally passed, thankfully!

Also...found some plastic screen at Lowes and I was able to buy a small piece and fit over the opening in the tank so no more jumping accidents.  

Tracey...I sent you a PM (private message)... Did you get it?  

I've got the tank placed where it will stay in the house.  It's near a window (but very shaded) I figure it will be handy to siphon water with the hose out the window and also to initially fill the tank I can run the hose in through the window.  I know I can't do this for water changes once I have the fish in the tank as the water is too cold.  I'm on a well so no problem with chlorine and my pH is right at 6.6 - 6.8.  I really do not do anything at all to my water before adding it to the tank, it seems pretty good for the fish right from the tap.

Hope all is well in everyone's 'fish world' tonight Smile

Dave
Orange County
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gerald
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:11 am

When using a garden hose, run the water long enough to flush out ALL the water thats been sitting in the hose. The plasticizers used to keep the hose flexible can be quite toxic to fish, birds, dogs, etc. Once the hose is flushed out, it probably wont pick up enough plasticizer to cause a problem during the tank filling.
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Passionweed
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:41 am

Gerald, THANK YOU for that bit of information!  That's exactly the 'little stupid things' that I do not know about!  Hmm, don't know if I will use a hose at all now, I'd rather be 'safe than sorry'.  I can
always hoof buckets from the kitchen to the tank to fill it up ....I need the exercise anyway Smile
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:06 pm

@Passionweed
There is a safe way to do partial water changes without hauling buckets. Many of us use water changers. You drain and refill with a hose that safe for aquariums. Water changers hook up to your sink faucets and allow you to mix warm and cool water to match the temperature of the water in your tank, which is very important. The procedure involves draining, adding dechlorinator, refilling and then enjoy...Cool

Here's a link to one of the popular water changes. Other companies manufacture them too but they basically work the same way. They come in different lengths to suit your needs...   Python Water Changer

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JohnnyAMH

     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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Passionweed
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:32 pm

Ahh...so that is what that green nozzle is.  I told y'all when I bought this tank there was a box full of supplies...there are two of these green 'faucet' things that Johnny just linked me to...but they do not include the plastic hose....I think I can find the flexible tubing somewhere (probably eBay) and use this nozzle to do the sink hose idea.  THANK'S JOHNNY!  Your a wealth of information Smile  The distance from the kitchen sink to where I'll be setting up this tank is probably about 20 feet...

Dave,
Orange Co. VA
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:52 am

If you can't find the Angels you want locally or at the auctions; AngelsPlus is a great source. For Angel fish and supplies.  If you ever need sponges or medium, AngelsPlus also sells the foam (Made in USA) that you can order to size.

Angels Plus website

Also your question on Canister filters:

First question.  The Fluval 305 and 405 are near new, however they did not come with any filter packs...they do have the sponges.
I am wondering what order do you put the packs in from bottom to top?  Is it better to buy the pre-made filter cartridges or
just put your own mix of filter media in...and HOW much of the media per tray.... do I fill the tray to the top
or half way or ???

 I have had fluval canister filters for many years and I fill up each compartment.  Usually I have two sponges and one bio medium.  Sponges filter first before the Bio medium. Lava rock or other medium that is porous will work.    

The canister filters and regular water changes are the most important part of the setup.  Also on a note I never use carbon in my filters.  However, peat for an Angel tank would work in a canister filter.

You can mix live and plastic plants.  However, Live plants are great -- Java fern, Anubius, and other plants are easier to grow and usually available at auctions or other members of this forum could probably spare some to send you.  They do take time to get going.

AUCTIONS:  James River Aquarium Society in Richmond  (Oct 17 as well as each meeting) and Potomac Valley Aquarium Society (Oct 4) have auctions coming up and would be worth your time to attend.

The internet is full of great videos and information about Aquariums.  Do the research for your desired setup.

Best wishes and post some pictures, would love to see your progress.

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Passionweed
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:09 pm

Thank's Steve for the info...  I am looking into upgrading the lighting on this tank as it came with two fluorescent's...after firing them up they just don't look like they will produce the light I want, nor would it grow plants well.  My first thought was to go all plastic, but the more I look, the more I like real plants.  I'll probably do a mix and see how it 'grows'...  if I do OK, then I will expand with more live plants.

I keep watching youtube vids...there is this thing called a 'Mean Green Killing Machine'... one of these was also in the box of supplies I got with this tank (24 watt).  I hooked it up and the little light came on the box (which means the UV light is working)...so I may as well use this since I have it.  From what I read/see, these are miracle workers for keeping a tank crystal clear.  

I'm probably going to use resin logs (driftwood replicas)...as for stones, I want natural colored gravel, which I will buy, but also want some nice big round rocks to work around the tank.  I've got plenty in a nearby river, or there is Lucks Stone quarry just down the road.  I'm thinking granite would be OK???  Not sure what rocks will do to alter the water chemistry.  My water is pretty 'perfect' from the tap, 6.6 and it's from a well and goes through no filtration.  I've never had any issues with using it.  I can boil the rocks for awhile to make sure that anything harmful (bacteria wise) is killed, however I don't know if they can/will alter the pH or other things.  I hate buying 'aquarium rocks' at the store when they actually are nothing more than garden variety rocks!

LOL...how did something as simple as setting up an aquarium suddenly pose so many questions?  affraid

Take care,
Dave
Orange Co. VA
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:46 pm

@scruiz wrote:

AUCTIONS:  James River Aquarium Society in Richmond  (Oct 17 as well as each meeting) and Potomac Valley Aquarium Society (Oct 4) have auctions coming up and would be worth your time to attend.


These would provide the means to find very nice fish many of which are not otherwise available locally.

From what I read this is the JRAS's inaugural auction so I obviously can't speak for the items which will be for sale, however we should in my opinion attend (if able) to support the club.

I have been to many of the PVAS auctions and can tell you that there will be live plants out the gazzzooo and if you are looking for angels they'll probably be a large variety. There is always a great variety of fish, equipment and everything else aquarium - seeing your enthusiasm I guarantee you will leave with a smile on your face (it's a ton of fun) and arms full of great stuff!

Go to My Group Auctons and register, you can then view the items currently available for sale.

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Passionweed
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:39 am

I'm going to try to go....but as for buying fish just yet I will have to forgo as my new tank
is in the planning stage and even if I had it up and running, it is not cycled.  When I
saw this show coming up I thought to myself this is the perfect place to get fish.  

More than anything, it will be a good place to go, look at what is now available in the hobby
and hopefully meet some new people.  Things have changed a LOT since I had aquariums back
in the late 70's early 80's.

If I can get my ducks in a row I'm going to do my best to go on the 17th Smile
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PostSubject: Re: New Tank   Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:01 pm

@Passionweed I'm going to be going to the PVAS auction, and will be working the JRAS auction as well, so I look forward to meeting you!

I started keeping aquariums in the 80s and things sure have changed a lot! Plus, back then we didn't have internet, and had to rely on the advice of the LFS folks, which, now that I know more, was hit or miss, just like it is now, lol!

However, in many ways, as much as things have changed, they've stayed the same, and some of the tried and true methods and favorite species have NOT changed, so don't hesitate to fall back on knowledge from your previous experience - it is still worth a lot! great

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