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Author Topic: The big tank upgrade  (Read 4022 times)

Offline zoon

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The big tank upgrade
« on: May 28, 2010, 09:03:06 pm »
 *yahoo*  Yesterday I managed to get myself a bargain - a Juwel Vision 450 (the 5ft one) and cabinet with Tetratec1200, various other filters and heaters, lots of bogwood and rocks.  Picking it up tomorrow, so will take some pics to start this project log off. 

The tank was a marine tank with sump, so cabinet has been modified to fit this in.  He has all the original pieces though, so just a matter of screwing them back in after removing the supports he's added in.  It's also had the light unit removed and had a luminaire over the top.  So light unit will need to be ordered and fitted.  Think he's going to throw the luminaire in as it doesn't have a light unit.  How much do you think I could sell that on for?

So now my whitespot is on it's way out (unfortunately one of my fat cherry barbs didn't make it  *cry*) I can plan the move from 250 litres to 450 litres.  This may mean the addition of a few more fish, so think I'll have to set up a quarantine tank as my lesson is most definately learnt.  Lack of space has stopped me doing it before, but if it needs to go on the floor then so be it!  So this log may also include cycling of that tank, hopefully quickly as I can seed it with media from my filter.

My first dilema is what light unit to buy???  My options are -
standard T8s
T8s with reflectors
Upgrade to T5s
Or go whole hog with T5s and reflectors!

Obviously price goes up as we go down that list!  I don't grow live plants as never had any luck with any form of plant (except the 4ft peace lily in my lounge affectionally known as the triffid)  So I'm thinking I may just go with bog standard T8s, but what I want to know is - does upgrading to T5 give you a massive difference in appearance to the tank?  Does it make your fish look better?

Current occupants to my 4ft tank  are silver dollars, lyretail swprdtails (that I am hoping will not breed, but one of the males has a particularly straight and short gonopodium despite his long flowing fins), cherry barbs, black phantom tetras, rummy nose tetras, kuhli loaches, corys and otos.  To be honest i regret buying the swords as they have sort of messed up the look of the tank, but you live and learn!  I want to increase my silver dollars from 2 to 4 (I have found some unusual spotted ones I have never seen before - like this fine specimen http://www.junglemouse.net/ani/spotted_silver_dollar.html), and increase my rummy shoal from 10 to as many as I can get away with without it looking ridiculous - what do you think?

Planning to go for an amazon river look.  Need  to find some tall pieces of wood that I can put in to look like roots coming down from a tree; so they'll go from the floor all the way out of the waters surface.  I was considering trying rreal plants again, but since the silver dollars will probably just eat them anyway I figured stick with silk ones.  So any idea on how to achieve a good amazon river tank will be greatly appreciated.

450L
Zebra Angels
Black Phantom Tetras
Rummy Nose Tetras
Cardinal Tetras
WCMM
Cherry Barbs
Corydoras Arcuatus
Kuhli Loaches
Yoyo loach
Dwarf loaches
BN Plecs
Apple Snails
Amano shrimp

35L
Otos
RCS
CBS
Bamboo Shrimp

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    Offline LoobyLoo

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 09:12:50 pm »
    Please do keep a log - I have been looking at the new 450 one too but would be going from tiddly 96 ltr  *frantic*
    In the 96
    6 Dwarf neon Rainbowfish (did have 8)
    5 Neon Tetras
    6 Ember Tetras (2 were in with the Rainbowfish so got 4 more to keep company)
    5 Amano Shrimp (bought 4 biggish, one little one came with new tank plants so rescued)
    1 Dwarf African froggy

    Offline zoon

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #2 on: May 28, 2010, 09:15:44 pm »
    That would require some serious fish shopping!
    450L
    Zebra Angels
    Black Phantom Tetras
    Rummy Nose Tetras
    Cardinal Tetras
    WCMM
    Cherry Barbs
    Corydoras Arcuatus
    Kuhli Loaches
    Yoyo loach
    Dwarf loaches
    BN Plecs
    Apple Snails
    Amano shrimp

    35L
    Otos
    RCS
    CBS
    Bamboo Shrimp

    Offline LoobyLoo

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 09:22:16 pm »
    I know but ace or what!
    In the 96
    6 Dwarf neon Rainbowfish (did have 8)
    5 Neon Tetras
    6 Ember Tetras (2 were in with the Rainbowfish so got 4 more to keep company)
    5 Amano Shrimp (bought 4 biggish, one little one came with new tank plants so rescued)
    1 Dwarf African froggy

    Offline Adam

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    • Ka' Poww
    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #4 on: May 28, 2010, 10:39:44 pm »
    Looks good Zoon!
    Personally I'd drop the Silver Dollars if they're damagin plants. Silk plants, amazon look in a big tank seems a bit iffy to me. I think Vale! has an Amazon biotopey tank.

    I'd go with a giant shoal of rummy's 20+ and plenty of kuhlis, they do well in amazon biotopes.
    We didn't start the fire
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    Offline zoon

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 09:06:58 am »
    I already have 2 dollars and don't want to get rid of them just because they munch all the plants.  But I know what you mean, the silk plants to ruin the look a bit.  What plants should I go with for an amazon look?  

    I really don't want to go to the hassle of CO2 for the plants, so are there any plants that I can literally just bung in te substrate and leave to grow?  I want a sand substrate with sections of gravel.

    This is the sort of this I am going for -
    http://travel.mongabay.com/animals/california_academy/cas_082.html

    Also love this guys tank, so may go for a mixture of the 2
    http://www.frankmgreco.com/Amazontank.htm
    « Last Edit: May 29, 2010, 09:57:15 am by zoon »
    450L
    Zebra Angels
    Black Phantom Tetras
    Rummy Nose Tetras
    Cardinal Tetras
    WCMM
    Cherry Barbs
    Corydoras Arcuatus
    Kuhli Loaches
    Yoyo loach
    Dwarf loaches
    BN Plecs
    Apple Snails
    Amano shrimp

    35L
    Otos
    RCS
    CBS
    Bamboo Shrimp

    Offline Atargatis

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #6 on: May 29, 2010, 12:45:03 pm »
    Agree they're lovely looking tanks but y'know, sd eat everything and in pretty short order. Anubia and java fern are supposed to be 'immune' but mine destroyed the anubia ---- never tried java fern!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

    Offline zoon

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #7 on: May 29, 2010, 09:51:13 pm »
    Maybe some angels would be a good plan.  OH prefers them anyway.  Might go and look what they have at LFS.

    How easy to look after are amazon sword plants?  How big do they grow?  What other plants would anyone recommend?

    I have a massive grape vine and a passion flower in my back garden - do you guys think branches from either will be safe in the tank (minus leaves obviously)???  Would it be possible to cut branches off and dry in the airing cupboard?  At the moment, the branches are only just starting to grow leaves and quite a few of them have no buds or anything on yet.

    Also, if I want leaf litter on the floor, it it oak leaves that are safe to use?
    450L
    Zebra Angels
    Black Phantom Tetras
    Rummy Nose Tetras
    Cardinal Tetras
    WCMM
    Cherry Barbs
    Corydoras Arcuatus
    Kuhli Loaches
    Yoyo loach
    Dwarf loaches
    BN Plecs
    Apple Snails
    Amano shrimp

    35L
    Otos
    RCS
    CBS
    Bamboo Shrimp

    Offline drain_bamaged

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #8 on: May 29, 2010, 10:06:00 pm »
    Grape vine can be used but it should really be dead wood that has been sun dried for several months and quite a few that have tried it have said it sometimes produces a peculiar white/clear jelly like slime which though apparantly is harmless to the fish it looks a bit unsightly and yes Oak leaves are safe to use but these should be collected fresh fallen in the Autumn after they have dried and fallen off the tree not picked fresh.

    John

    Offline Kaz10

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010, 03:08:23 am »
    Would have thought grape vine would be a fab idea, but I have no idea how long you should leave it soaking before adding to the tank?

    My dollars are big veggie eaters, but they do not eat the java fern or my vallis spirallis they seem to be the only plants fighting in my tank.

    Offline zoon

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #10 on: May 30, 2010, 09:28:40 am »
    Picked the tank up yesterday.  We have a giant 4x4, so took all the back seats out and off we went.  OH and very kind seller carried it out to car (including down a flight of stairs - queue a very nervous Nina who kept saying "don't drop it!" "oh, be careful!").  We put it in the car and the bloomin thing wouldn't fit!  After a big of jiggery pokery and a lot of stress from me it went in at an angle, just!

    Got home and then OH and myself had to carry it around the back of our house and into the back garden - involves a long pathway about 4 houses away that goes up the side of the houses and around the back (long row of Victorian terraces!)  Either that or go through the maze that is the doorways in our house!  Well, I managed about 5m before I dropped it! 

    Luckily caught it on my leg and managed to lower slowly to the ground.  But now sporting a very fetching bruise on my leg!  I then went to find a generous neighbour ro help strong OH carry it around as I am clearly a weakling.

    Tank is now sitting in my back garden full of water (you would not believe how long this took to fill up using the hose!  I managed to watch the whole of Britains got talent and eat my dinner in that time!)  Had to check it didn't have a leak before we try to bring it in.

    So here is the first pic for you all -


    Full of bogwood that he gave me and also the baskets from the Tetratec - to give it all a clean.  Considering the tank was a marine tank full of rock and coral sand it is suprisingly scratch free.

    Got the task of rebuilding the cabinet later and trying to remove some of the little rust spots from the door handles.  The cabinet had been modified to allow a sump to fit in so although we have all the original bits of wood it may be a bit of a mission.  I'll be sure to update you!

    I have found some brilliant bigs of bogwood that will go right out the the waters surface (will have to saw the top off of them infact to be able to put the hood on!  So when I've collected them I'll start setting it up!

    Look how tiny the tetratec casing is in the tank (soaking as it was very dirty).  That's a tetratec 1200!  Shows how massive the tank is.  Once it's empty I may sit inside it and get a photo to show how giant it is!
    450L
    Zebra Angels
    Black Phantom Tetras
    Rummy Nose Tetras
    Cardinal Tetras
    WCMM
    Cherry Barbs
    Corydoras Arcuatus
    Kuhli Loaches
    Yoyo loach
    Dwarf loaches
    BN Plecs
    Apple Snails
    Amano shrimp

    35L
    Otos
    RCS
    CBS
    Bamboo Shrimp

    Offline Kaz10

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #11 on: May 30, 2010, 10:30:51 pm »
    Nice tank!!!!  Well done, sounds like a bit of a mission just to get it home, but the enjoyment it will bring in the end will be well worth it!!

    Offline Adam

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    • Ka' Poww
    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #12 on: May 30, 2010, 11:16:53 pm »
    How easy to look after are amazon sword plants?  How big do they grow?  What other plants would anyone recommend?

    I'd avoid swords with the silver dollars in there, amazon swords don't repair damaged leaves, so once it's damaged the leaf slowly dies off - eventually you'll end up with a leafless sword.
    We didn't start the fire
    It was always burning
    Since the world's been turning
    We didn't start the fire
    No we didn't light it
    But we tried to fight it...

    Offline Kaz10

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #13 on: May 30, 2010, 11:45:38 pm »
    I agree,  I bought 5 beautiful swords - quite large and very healthy, and they are supposedly are easy to keep, but whether it was my dollars munching or my bba I am not sure but they only lasted about 5 weeks!

    Offline zoon

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    Re: The big tank upgrade
    « Reply #14 on: May 31, 2010, 09:47:01 am »
    Tank is now empty and clean and waiting to come inside!  Went ooutside yesterday to start emptying the water out after I'd seen that is has no leaks and it smelt like a sea side.  Obviously as an old marine tank it has dried salt inside I assume, which had dissolved int he water and made it stink.  Now totally scrubbed out and clean.

    I am going to keep a running cost total for the project, just to see how much the big tank bankrupts me!

    So we'll start now...
    Juwel Vision and stand - £200
    Extra Tetratec 1200 external filter - FREE
    Extra heater - FREE
    Small bogwood - FREE
    One Juwel light unit (as tank was stripped of its lights) - FREE

    Bargain so far  *grin*
    450L
    Zebra Angels
    Black Phantom Tetras
    Rummy Nose Tetras
    Cardinal Tetras
    WCMM
    Cherry Barbs
    Corydoras Arcuatus
    Kuhli Loaches
    Yoyo loach
    Dwarf loaches
    BN Plecs
    Apple Snails
    Amano shrimp

    35L
    Otos
    RCS
    CBS
    Bamboo Shrimp