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In need of some guidance! Want it set up for freshwater but have no idea what I'm doing! Tank was a gift from my boss


Eheim User
After some searching, I 'think' I found your brand tank and here is the instructions for how to set it up https://www.tropicalfishstore.com/System-2-Instructions-2002.pdf

If you don't already have the bioballs, you could always choose another type of bio-media to use in mesh filter bags.

Can you post a pic of the entire top of the tank? Usually access to the filter media is a bit of a pain on these type of tanks since the openings are so small.


Eheim User
Excellent pics, thank you!!

Before you decide to set up this tank, can you post the dimensions in Length x Width x Height plus what fish you are considering on buying? Also include the width of the filter chamber as that dimension would be subtracted when figuring out the number of fish the tank can comfortably hold. The reason I ask is that it would be a shame to set it all up if the tank would not be large enough for the fish you are considering buying.

You will not be using the skimmer on a fresh water tank and I'm not positive what the black hang-on box was used for, it appears to be an overflow box that may have been connected to a separate sump or refugium tank.

The Fluval white pad was probably used vertically in Chamber A as a pre-filter. The other media in bags is possibly carbon (needs replacement if used) and some bio-media.

The air pump was probably used to supply air to Chamber C to aerate the bio-media and the bio-balls.

The egg crate or light diffuser panel was probably used on the bottom of the tank to support any rocks or corals and is not really needed now. It also may have been used as a cover on the tank or possibly even over the opening on the filter portion of the tank. Just lay them out to figure where they might have been used.

The pinch or clothespin type clamps were probably used to hold the pre-filter in place or maybe even the media bags.

The unpictured clear things may be the lids that cover the filter compartment?

I would remove the water pump from Chamber D by removing the white clamp that connects the hose to part #10, the black turbulence manifold so you can test operate the pump in a bucket of water to make sure it works. If you can still read the brand and model # on the pump, write it down for reference in case it needs to be replaced.

I think I got everything except the green hose and the Maxijet 1200 power head which was probably used for circulation in the tank OR to return water from the separate sump or refugium to the aquarium.


Eheim User
Just a guess but PO4 is phosphate so maybe that bag is a phosphate remover pellet or media. Maybe sell it off with any other saltwater equipment you aren't planning on using.


AC Members
Beside the protein skimmer (& sump? looking tank with the vertical panels), what filter do you have? Power heads don't really "count" as filtration to me, I use them for circulation, but with a sponge over the intake, they might help a bit...... Some people use freshwater sump set ups but I haven't.

You might look into adding "bio-bits" or the blue spiky balls type media to the Octopus for bio-filtration. I have no experience with salt set ups. You're still going to want a mechanical filter

I agree with the loach, the blue actinic bulb(s) are not for freshwater (see TL, we don't disagree on everything, lol). I use T-5 bulbs in most of my tanks, I haven't gone to LEDs. My tanks can grow plants & the fish look nice.

It was very generous of your boss to gift you all the goodies. Can you ask him/her how some of this stuff was used & how to set them up? If nothing else, you might be able to sell them if you know what they are...


AC Members
So, where the overflow is, I'm going to have a pre-filter. In the first section I'll have carbon in a filter bag, the second section will be a flugal foam filter pad, the third will have blue bio balls and that will have a drip filter over it that has another filter with carbon in it. Should be enough filtration. If not, I also have that reef octopus that I could easily turn into another filter setup with the other water pump I have.