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  1. #1
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    75 Gallon Freshwater Tank Setup - Need Help...

    Hello all. I have worked at an independent Pet Supply store for years and I have been tinkering with getting fish for quite some time now. We don't sell animals in our store and we are limited in what we carry for fish supplies (just the 'basic'-basics). We focus more on dogs cat and small animal products. Though my dog and cat product knowledge is vast, my fish knowledge is very poor indeed. I want to make the right choices going forward.

    I get a good discount and some of the tanks were on sale from our distributor so I jumped on getting a 75 Gallon tank and stand. I would like to start slow and create a nice setup but really need advice on which products to choose. I feel funny asking other stores for advice as I am going to buy all the equipment from the store I work in (though I will buy the fish from them).

    Basically I have already purchased an All Glass Aquarium 75 Gallon tank and a pine stand to go with it.

    I am looking at the Marineland C-530 CANISTER FILTER. This was under recommendation from one of the other Pet Stores I already visited.

    I have my books on setting up the tank but most of them are instructions for 20 gallon tanks and they don't recommend brands of equipment. I tend to want to get the better options of the things I need but I need advice on which brands/models to get/look into.

    I do want to have live plants in my aquarium if this makes any difference and am also looking for advice in what is needed for this as well.

    My plans are; 1) To acquire the parts first. 2) Set up the Aquarium and have it running for a bit (hopefully with plants and cleaning critters introduced). 3) Then add in the fish last over time.

    I am in no rush for completion. Since I am only on step one I want to ensure I get the right equipment. Any advice would be much appreciated!!!

    Thanks!





  2. #2
    Senior Member Fyurae's Avatar
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    The first thing anyone is going to tell you is to cycle your tank. Here is an article that was the one that helped me understand the process best.

    http://aqadvisor.com/articles/Cycling.php

    As for what you asked about equipment, I haven't bought a lot of aquarium accessories myself, so I can't speak to which brands and equipment is best.
    Thread: Second-Hand Fish
    Current Tanks: 29g Community, 20g Cory baby, 5g Betta
    Bellingham Aquarium Society



  3. #3
    "That guy" rufioman's Avatar
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    ^agreed. Filters can be hit or miss but my favorites right now are marineland products like the emperor 400, magnum 350, etc., and I just ordered a sunsun 302 to replace the filters on my 40g. Other than that a power head for circulation is fine depending on your fish, airstones are always good to have, gravel...sand...plants and such lol. It'll all come together don't worry
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigrid View Post
    The local mini-pet store folks would not know a dandelion from a marijuana plant, oooops "noxious weed", and that is the sad truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMinNC View Post
    *pokes dead horse with stick.
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    Don't throw fish. That's not nice.



  4. #4
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    I'm sure this is a very exciting time for you. I love starting a new aquarium. I so often just revamp old tanks I have that are empty or leftover tanks from other projects. Good luck on the whole process!

    The first thing you need to do is decide what the final outcome should be. Whats the goal? That in itself can generate lots of answers for lots of your questions. There are many things you can do with your freshwater tank. You can go live plant, fake plant, cichlid (South American, African, other). You can go with live bearers like guppies and mollies and platies and so-on. You can have more aggressive fish, less aggressive. And the list goes on and on. What do you envision the aquarium looking like in a year? You have a lot of options with a 75 gallon tank. You can have nearly anything a pet store can offer (numbers vary with fish of course).

    Once you know what your goal is you have to seed the tank, which means cycle it which Fyurae already gave a good article on. This is very important (for the good of your fish and for your wallet). Cycling in a big tank can take a varying amount of time. Of course to have the tank cycled you'll need some sort of media for your bacteria to live in. I'm a big fan of over the top filters, the kind that hang over the lip of your tank. You can fit 2 or 3 big one's on a 75 gallon tank and they create nice surface agitation to keep the oxygen levels up (this is assuming you aren't going for a live planted aquarium, as they require CO2 which is depleted as surface agitation increases.) I like Aquaclear filters because they're somewhat cheap (where I go anyway) and they have survived well over the years. Many people will contest to canister filters being ideal and I don't completely disagree. They are great, but they require more fiddling around (I find). I don't like the fact that you have to live with head loss with canister filters (they usually sit beneath your tank in your stand.) I can suggest a filter to NOT get. A Magnum 350. This is a nice filter, but it's just not powerful enough for a 75 gallon tank, even if it's rated for around there. I like using it in my 30 gallon tank. I've liked a lot of the smaller Marineland filters but I've never gotten a big one before. I hear that Eheim and Fluval are really good in terms of canister filters.

    Let us know more about what you'd like to do and I'm sure there is a lot more advice to give.
    Re-entering aquarium hobby, and getting back to basics.



  5. #5
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    I found that going with equipment that is actually made for a slightly bigger tank than what you have is always a plus, I have an Aquaclear filter made for a 50-70 gallon in my 30 gallon, and my heater is for 30-60 gallons (vs.10-30). I agree with dansnyder about the Aquaclear filters, they do thier job and they are not expensive to maintain or complicated. Do your research on the substrate you want to use also, be sure before you set up your tank, it would suck to have to change substrate over in a 75 gallon. If you plan on getting a lot of bottom dwellers (such as cories) or rams, cichlids or even some knife fish they will be happier with sand substrate, but can tolerate finer smooth gravel (just something to think about). Sand is more of a pain in the butt to take care of IMO. It's always good to have a stocking plan ahead of time so you can research and meet the needs of your new friends. Also, you mentioned live plants....live plants are good for your biological filter. I too have a 75 gallon not set up yet, I'm not ready to graduate from my 30 gallon yet. Have fun and good luck!



  6. #6
    O.o
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    If you want sand as a substrate buy pool filter sand. It's cheap and easy to set up. Heaters are by preference but I forgot how much wattage you'll need.



  7. #7
    Senior Member Fyurae's Avatar
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    10w per gallon, IIRC. Some fish need them, some don't. Bettas, for example, get by without them (especially in smaller tanks) but often get fin rot or just aren't very perky.
    Thread: Second-Hand Fish
    Current Tanks: 29g Community, 20g Cory baby, 5g Betta
    Bellingham Aquarium Society



  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone for the kind advice… I figured I would give an update as we zero in on my final 75 gallon tank…

    After posting my original post we had gotten (all residing in a 12 Gallon Eclipse tank):

    1 Moonlight Gourami named Wendyl

    3 Balloon Molllies (Black, White & Orange) named Cookie, Cream & Peaches

    2 Cherry Barbs named Bleep (female, I think) and Bloop (male, I think)

    1 Farowella Twig Catfish named appropriately Twig

    And 1 EXTREMELY reclusive (I keep thinking he’s dead but he keeps reappearing) Zebra Shrimp named Houdini-Hoo

    Since my original post we have added an extra 10 Gallon Tetra Whisper filter (10i) to help with the fish load. On the top of the hood is the filter that came with the Eclipse system. They are working in concert together.
    I have added AquaClear ammonia remover in the main filter as well as a layer of Ceramic Bio cylinders I purchased. On top of that I have added (under advisement from a local fish store in the area) a weeks round of Seachem Stability to get the bio process going (I now know we added to many fish to soon).

    Just prior to my first post Cookie the black Molly had babies – we collected 13 small fry into their own net/tank insert. I am not sure if she was pregnant when we got her or if it happened here… But they are doing well. One of the fry was deformed and had white spot on it. We were unsure if he had fungus on him or if the White Balloon Molly cream was the father and this was some odd deformed fry between white and black parents (all the remaining fry are solid black). He was swimming erratically and was always at the top/surface… In fear that he DID have fungus we removed him from the tank and (since we had no backup tank) froze him in the freezer then flushed him the day after. I hope we did the right thing.

    There has also been one death of the main fish. The white Balloon Molly named Cream was found under an airstone when we were doing a water change (which we have been doing 20% daily). He was still alive but was at the bottom of the tank swimming upside down. We tried to nurse him back to health and feed him peas but he died upon coming back from the store with the actual peas.

    When he was down at the bottom one of the fish in the tank attacked him (or I guess, someone COULD have originally attacked him in the first place). We know this because some of his fins had bits removed… I wish I had seen what had happened…

    Could it have been Wendyl the Moonlight Gourami that originally did him in? Was it the Orange Molly (also a male as the white one was) that contested him? Or was it plainly attacked because it got trapped in the current under an airstone and was weak? I would really like to hear everyone’s comments on what could have led to his demise as he seemed VERY robust just hours before. (Since his demise I only keep the airstone on when I am home and able to monitor the tank).

    Overall since Cream left us the tank seems active and healthy… Under recommendation of the local fish store and stuff I have read in my newly subscribed TFH, we have been doing religious daily small water changes AND weekly 50% water changes. I am confident this is helping them because last night after doing a 50% water change the fish seem more active AND the water clouded back heavily after less then 6 hours (is the bacteria finally taking hold???)
    ---
    The new 75 Gallon 48” x 18” x 20” is finally home on it’s stand. I have the Marineland C-530 canister filter in its box ready to go and this week I am purchasing a 48” Deep Blue duel T5 light(with moonlights – though I may not use them under people here seem to frown on their use). Next week I shall order my substrate so I can begin to fill and cycle the 75 Gallon tank.
    After reading MANY online stuff on substrates, we have decided on ECO-COMPLETE. Unfortunately my distributor only carries certain types of ECO-COMPLETE. This is what the distributor from my job carries:

    “Carib Sea - Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium 20 LB - 2/CS
    UPC: 008479007704
    Vendor: Carib Sea
    Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate-The complete planted aquarium substrate! Mineralogically complete! Contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur plus over 25 other elements to nourish your aquatic plants. Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate contains all the mineral nutrients needed for luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae! Iron rich Eco-Complete™ eliminates the need for laterite. Nitrate and carbonate free - will not increase pH or carbonate hardness in the long term. It's real! No artificial dyes, paints, or chemical coatings. Natural black substrate encourages the most vibrant coloration in fishes and reduces fish stress. Spherical grains for optimum diffusion performance. Supplies Calcium without raising pH. Lead free. Biologically Complete! Eco-Complete™ contains live Heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants. It establishes a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer. Eco-Complete™ is packed in Liquid Amazon™ buffered "Black Water" solution for immediate organic water conditioning. Unsurpassed macroporosity for healthy roots and bacterial efficiency. You would have to buy 4 bags of ordinary gravel to equal the surface area of this one bag of Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate.”
    ---
    “CARIB SEA INC - CARIB SEA ECO-COMPLETE PLANTED AQUARIUM SUBSTRATE RED 20 LB - 2/CS

    UPC: 008479007711

    Vendor: CARIB SEA INC

    Eco-Complete™ Planted - Mineralogically complete! Contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur plus over 25 other elements to nourish your aquatic plants. Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate contains all the mineral nutrients needed for luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae! Iron rich Eco-Complete™ eliminates the need for laterite. No artificial dyes, paints, or chemical coatings. Highly porous spherical grains for optimum diffusion performance. Eco-Complete™ contains live Heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants. It establishes a natural biological balance; which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer.”

    ---

    I believe one of the above substrates has bio properties and one doesn’t… Which should I get? I DO intend to have plants and an acquaintance has some he can give to me (not sure what types yet). My distributor also has some ECO-COMPLETE ciclid varieties… But I assume I do not need these… Am I correct in this assumption???

    All in all my current fish seem happy... I am (again, under advisement from the local fish store) not feeding my fish a lot… I am feeding them about once every two days with a VERY LIGHT snack the day in between. This, in conjunction with the Seachem Stability AND the water changes, has brought the Ammonia from a 4.0 down to a solid 1.0. This seems to be remaining solid/decreasing steadily. Have we made the right choices?
    Also I believe I have purchased every type of food my store carries. I mix together a potpourri of them all and crush them up and feed them that in addition to frozen blood worms. This seems to ensure all fish in the tank go for the food – whereas before only certain fish were responding to certain foods.


    Lastly the acquaintance that is offering the plants (who I do not know well) – also wants to get rid of a breeding pair of cichlids he has had for some time… Warning bells immediately went up because he said “I want them out of my tank”… But he ensures me they are tame cichlids and are one of the more peaceful varieties. I will further investigate the type of cichlids they are – as this all happened very recently. I will let you all know what they are and please let me know if it is a good idea. I really like Wendyl our Moonlight Gourami (who seems to be king of the tank – peacefully) and do not want to see him injured or killed.
    I eventually want to find Wendyl a mate… Which Gouramis can safely breed with Moonlights? I believe I have a female due to its lack of any color.


    Again thanks for all your help!!!


    P.S. Many sites say that keeping a Twig (Farowella) Catfish is difficult… Yet ours seems active and content… Is this good news or is it just a matter of time before he dies? We am ensuring there is a current for him through an airstone which is on at least half of the day, we have supplied him with a nice piece if driftwood (which we boiled for 3 hours – changing water every 30 min), and have been making sure algae wafers are on the tank floor. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks again - Sorry for the long winded post - but I am new to this!!



  9. #9
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    You have all those fish in a 12 gallon!? Holy crap, poor things. You are seriously overstocked. Get your 75 gallon up and running ASAP.



  10. #10
    Senior Member TabisFish's Avatar
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    WAAAAAAAY Too many fishies!
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