New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 7/1/2012, 21:53

Right been down to paddock farm and treat myself to a sera 550 air pump so that i can run two 24" air curtains across the back of the tank. However they didn't have them in so hoping I can get some tomorrow.

Egg-crate turned up today to my dads so going to collect that shortly so that I can start putting the tank together to hopefully get the tank filled monday tuesday :winner:

I still have this issue of which way to go with things, I'm very much happy to go with rocky malawi tank or a community with a planted, rocky, wooded tank. Either way put together with some kind of structure so it looks right.

My biggest concern at the moment is there are too many substrates. I know if I go malawi I am going to go with coral sand (the easy one), but with community Im lost. I have been advised to go with play sand but this then compacts and goes hard, no go for plants and is really dark. Other than that just aquatics sand which is lighter and finer, plants are ok with is as its designed for aquariums. Finally a plant substrate to go underneath normal aquatic sand to give the plants a good base to root and gain nutrients to grow.

All thoughts will be considered in great depth as I'm going shopping for it tomorrow so I can really start getting on with it.

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Ian on 7/1/2012, 22:39

play pit sand is fine for plants thats all i use and ive been keeping fish along long time 40 odd years and my plants really grow well if your going malawi they eat plants so best to get plastic or silk but for tropicals (most other fish) sand is one of the best substrates there is

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 7/1/2012, 23:24

Is there away of lightening play pit sand?

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by mrsbiffster on 8/1/2012, 01:38

Play sand is light in colour anyway. Like Mick says Malawis need coral sand and coral gravel to keep the ph up. Also you would need Tuffa rock or Ocean rock.
No plants! Not real ones anyway.

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by k3vinjam3s on 8/1/2012, 08:04

i have to agree with blooper on the sand front. the play sand does compact a lot compared to aquarium sand. i put play sand in my mothers tank and prefer the aquarium sand i have in my own tanks. the only difference is cost. if you dont mind paying more then it will be better in the long run to go with aquarium sand.
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by ado_boro on 8/1/2012, 09:10

If you decide on the Malawi route I was advised that very fine coral sand can irritate the fishes gills so I have ended up using the sand I had for the base of the tank and using coral gravel over the top which looks brill, really natural. I'm using slate rock to make a cave system for the fish which I bought from the outdoor garden section at a garden centre. I also fitted a juwel background and I think it looks fantastic but it's also somewhere else for the bacteria to live which is great.
As regards to your question on the heaters I don't think you need to run both 300w heaters on a tank of that size a single heater in direct flow from the filter would be fine. Keep one as a spare. I've fitted my filter to the left side of the tank. My final thought GO MALAWI! :lol!: they have fast become my favourite fish! As regards to discus ask Kev or blooper how much work is involved because I understand it's never ending! I've got the same tank as you so I'll upload a pic so you can see my progress, maybe get some ideas. I currently have it fishless cycling which is coming on nicely.
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 10:59

I really like that, I know your all gunna hate this but were going to go down the community route. I feel more comfortable with it and its something I know. Malawi are fantastic in colour but theres just something about them that I cant get over excited about. I think its becuase they are very similar to each other, just different colours. The way the mrs put it was it would buying the same car over and over again but just changing the colour.

For the size tank I have 120 x 40 x 55 cm how much sand do you actually recon I would need. Plus I'm thinking planted, has anyone played with planting substrate with sand over the top? Any issues or problems or has the sand just stayed on the top as hoped?

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Ian on 8/1/2012, 11:07

depends on the fish you keep any digging and they get into the soil and it gose everywhere and can make the tank look messy

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by MarcG on 8/1/2012, 11:14

Look at my valencia journal attached to every post I do hodgy
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by ado_boro on 8/1/2012, 11:15

Yeah I understand your point but Don't agree with that theory. There are really big differences with lots of cichlids and so many to chose from. Every type has different personalities, colours, patterns, breeding behaviours and there are lots of cat fish and other that can be combined with them. Check out this YouTube vid it's not much larger than your tank http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzVGS4XCcXA

Good look with the community project though! I've had a planted set up previously and just used aquatic sand which worked well.
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 11:27

Im guessing then just stump the £ up for aquarium sand and that will do the job?

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 11:31

I think its cos ive been away from the aquarium seen for that long I'm not confident enough to go malawi, we may find in a few years time I may strip it down again and get adventurous. I just dont want to bite off more than I can chew.

Plus as my knowledge grows so will my understand, I know where your coming from with them but you have a greater understanding of Malawi through experiance or dedicated reading on them.

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by k3vinjam3s on 8/1/2012, 11:52

i dont think a community tank is a bad route to go down, i had the same tank as a community setup with nice shoals of tetras and some lovely german blue rams. through in a couple of small l-number plecs and a load of plants and it will look stunning. just keep us posted and the pics coming.

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 13:06

I'm hoping to get cracked on with some stuff tonight so will aim to get some pics up early in the week coming.

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by carpguru on 8/1/2012, 13:17

please keep us up to date with how your
tank is getting on hodgy
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by MarcG on 8/1/2012, 13:53

Ok hodgy looking forward to seeing updates
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 17:28

Just got back from Paddock Farm, they think I'm mad as i was only in there y'day lol got myself some aquatic sand for a bargin lol should have been £21 for the amount I got however I only paid £14 haha including the old discount, plus got some aquarium starter solution (bacteria) so that I can really get things going this week. Now time to play with the tanks background and base so I can get it wet tomorrow Laughing

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by carpguru on 8/1/2012, 17:34

what aquarium starter did you get
i still would of went with the play pit
sand
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by MarcG on 8/1/2012, 17:42

Good discount there nearly half.
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 19:20

I went mad and got 30kg lol been playing with the tank since I got in and starting to get somewhere, however I've become unstuck with the juwel background. Its actually the same one that is in ado's tank shown above. The tiles I have seem to have a good bend on them so that when I put them against the glass they dont sit flat. I've tried bending them but they make this cracking sound.

Any quick good Idea's? As the aquaria sealant is already open as I've glued the egg-crate down.

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by carpguru on 8/1/2012, 19:28

are the badly bent out of shape hodgy
or are the to big if there to big just cut the bottom
off if the badly bent try pouring hot water on them
and holding them on a flat work top or something
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by ado_boro on 8/1/2012, 19:46

Mine were only in two parts and I think yours are in three. Make sure they are trimmed to the right size and if not chop some off with a Stanley knife because any extra will push them away from the glass. Mine were actually slightly bent also so I put a good thick bead of silicone on it and squeezed boxes into the tank gently to keep them pressed against the glass for 24 hrs. Mine were made of a kind of foam? Are yours the same?
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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 21:27

Mine are the same, three bits, hot water and a hair dryer has made a massive difference. I've managed to get one tile in so far will fit another one tomorrow morning and the third tomorrow night.

Biff - the bacteria I bought is pure aquarium (little clear balls with liquid in).

Photo's to come

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by Guest on 8/1/2012, 21:32

Before I started:

Egg-crate in (I've built up the layers as it goes back):

Mess I've made lol (mrs is going made):

Tile in place:

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Re: New Tank - Biggest Yet and 3years out of practise lol

Post by MarcG on 8/1/2012, 22:10

i like the 3d backgrounds seeing yours and ados and dudes makes me want one myself now!
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