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Author Topic: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!  (Read 836 times)

LittleTinca

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220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
« on: February 12, 2017, 08:37:47 pm »
Hi everyone. I kept aquariums of all shapes & sizes for over 15 years. A house move & job commitments away from home forced me to sell my beloved tanks just over 2 years ago.

Recently, I inherited a 220 litre aquarium from my Grandfather; due to a freak accident, he's unable to maintain this tank anymore. The tank is 4ft wide, 2ft high & 1ft deep.

It's in a bit of a state. All decorations & gravel were thrown away prior to the tank coming to me. I have a large external filter, a pump & a heater, that's it. It was cleaned & set-up quickly for the welfare of the fish during the relocation.

Currently, there are the following in the tanks;

- 4 x Common plecos ranging from 20 to 40cm long.
- 2 x Bronze Corydoras
- 4 x Tortoiseshell Corydoras
- 2 x Female Guppies
- 4 x Male Guppies
- 2 x medium sized Angelfish
- 3 x Clown Loach
- 1 x Red Tailed Black Shark
- 1 x Rainbow Shark
- 1 x Three Spot Gourami

My absolute priority is re-homing 3 of the plecs. 3 are over 25cm long & it is way too overcrowded in there for them. I'm going to keep the smallest fish which is 15cm. I've had some interest but nothing solid - I'm giving them away for free, I may have to contact some of my local pet stores.

I also need to re-home 1 of the sharks, & balance out the Guppy population.

As for the tank itself, I'm going with a sand bottom, & I'm going to do my aquascaping around bogwood & live plants - I've seen some cracking tanks on here.

At this point, I haven't thought too much about the fish population in the long-term. I'd like to keep everyone updated with the tanks journey - I'm hoping to turn this neglected old tank into a real aquarium I can be proud of.

Thoughts, comments & suggestions all welcome!

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    Offline Martyn87

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 10:09:38 pm »
    Hi and welcome! I look forward to reading...

    My preference is defiantly for those two nice angels and the gourami! With the length and height of the tank you could do a really nice Amazonia bio type. Wood coming down from the top of the tank with some nice floating plants and a woody sandy base...I am bias though this is my favourite bio type.  *applause*
    Tank 1: 125l planted
    Venezuelean Corys
    False Julii Corys
    Neon Tetra
    Celestial Pearl Danios
    Golden Lyretail Kilifish.

    Tank 2: 55l Amazon bio type
    Apistogramma Agassizii
    Green Neon Rasboras

    LittleTinca

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 10:49:28 pm »
    Thanks Martyn.

    Those angelfish really are beauts. The gourami hangs about with the angels, although I do intend to get him a couple of friends somewhere down the line.

    Plan for tomorrow is to tidy up the cabling & try get the plecs rehomed. Going to try my local stores as there hasn't been much interest from other keepers.

    Offline Newbie fishkeeper

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 12:30:15 am »
    If you have a Maidenhead aquatics near you they should take them, well they took my platties but that is no guarantee that they will take those river monsters.
    I would say get a dark sand, if you don't then somewhere down the line you will find yourself wanting it. Also, if you have a "the range" near you they do the best value bogwood around.

    LittleTinca

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 12:46:32 am »
    Thanks newbie fishkeeper.

    First of all, wanted to say I've had a lot of enjoyment reading your own tank log this evening. It's the first time I've logged in for a while , & I read all 40 pages of your tank log.

    I'm going to make some phonecalls tomorrow, I will keep you updated. We do have a "range" close by, I've often been impressed with their aquarium stocks.

    Offline plankton

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 08:47:13 am »
    Can I ask what your water ph and hardness is?
    I have kept fish similar to you, but I have a ph of 7.0 and a hardness of about 7.9dGH
    Sent from my PC as I still don't understand the the logic for mobile internet usage ;) *grin*
    I really hate "autocorrupt"!!!

    "We found this spoon sir"

    Take it easy
    Ian

    LittleTinca

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #6 on: February 13, 2017, 03:52:58 pm »
    Hi plankton, just looking on the Yorkshire Water site. Apparently my pH is 7.4, although I would like to test this myself when I get my testing kit. The water is hard, 90.3mg/l calcium supposedly...

    I've managed to re-home the 4 plecs. Only 1 inquiry from a classified ad, so rang around my local fish stores. Third store I called are happy to take them - not looking forward to catching those monsters again!

    Also I think the heather has stopped working. The temperature had dropped down to 20.9 celsius this morning & it's not climbing. Will look into that this evening.

    Offline plankton

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 04:20:28 pm »
    The guppies will be ok then, it's the rest that won't like it long-term, but keep the water pristine and you can't do any more, unless you got rid of the guppies and slowly went to RO water split/cut with the tapwater to lower the hardness.
    Sent from my PC as I still don't understand the the logic for mobile internet usage ;) *grin*
    I really hate "autocorrupt"!!!

    "We found this spoon sir"

    Take it easy
    Ian

    LittleTinca

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 08:17:39 pm »
    Thanks for that Ian. I've never really considered water hardness before, I'll certainly do my research on what suits each species going forward.

    Had a look at the heater, I made sure it was on 26 celsius, it's on now & the water temp is increasing, we'll see if it gets to what it should be.

    Been to the local pet store this evening, looking at substrates, plants & fish. No purchases made, I just went for some ideas. Found some lovely black sand, I think I'm going to go with that. It was £7.99 for 2.5kg in the store, but found a 25kg bag online with free postage for just £19.99. Also had my eyes on some lovely rocks with moss growing, I quite fancy those.

    As for fish, there were some cracking Red Line Torpedo Barbs. I wouldn't mind a nice shoal of Penguin Tetra's too. My Mrs was fixated with these large wood shrimps, & also wanted to get one of those black goldfish with the goggly eyes  *blink* she was quickly told no!

    I have a quick question - would my Angelfish eat Neon Tetra's or Cherry Shrimps?

    Offline plankton

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 11:30:16 am »
    Not long enough for torpedos (it's not really long enough for the loaches, but that's an inherited problem, not of your making).
    Penguin tetras may be ok, x-rays are better with hard water.
    Angels will eat anything small like neons, and especially shrimp.
    Sent from my PC as I still don't understand the the logic for mobile internet usage ;) *grin*
    I really hate "autocorrupt"!!!

    "We found this spoon sir"

    Take it easy
    Ian

    LittleTinca

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 09:02:04 pm »
    Update on what I've been doing over the past few days in between work...

    Finally, the 4 Plecs have been re-homed. I nipped them to the local store this evening. The manager hadn't told the other guy they were taking them on, his face was a picture with the size of them! It does feel good to have them out of there, I couldn't believe how much mess they've made in less than a week.

    I'm not convinced the heater is working properly. The tank never got above 22 Celsius even with the heater turned up a few degrees higher than that. There was a plastic casing on the heater which seemed to have melted onto it, I carefully removed this earlier today & have turned the heater on full. The tank is currently on 24 celsius, but the heater keeps turning on for 30 seconds then turning off. I'm going to carefully monitor this, but I think a new heater will be on order soon.

    I was also having some problems with the filter. It's an Aqua One Aquis 1050 & I didn't think there was nearly as much flow as there should be. I cleaned all the pipes today as well as the rotor blade, it has increased the flow by maybe 10%, but I still think it should be more powerful - maybe I'm wrong. Has anyone else had one of these filters?

    Was having a look at some fish in the store, I saw some beautiful Golden Tetra's, I'd love a large shoal of them. I worked out my water hardness as being 7.8gDh - is that adequate enough for this species? I don't want to house any fish which aren't suitable to my water conditions. When I read up on these Tetra's, it said they require hardness of 2-15gDh.

    A few things on my list for this weekend. I did a 50% WC this evening, I'll do another one on Sunday. It's pay day on Monday so I'll be going back to the store for my substrate, some new air tubing & a master test kit. Time to find out what my water readings are & get that addressed. My air pump also has a port that isn't working so I'll have that in pieces. I'm going to see how the tank settles but I think the Clown Loach, Angelfish & one of the sharks will be re-homed too.

    It's going to be a big project, but, one step at a time!


    Offline Suelo

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #11 on: February 16, 2017, 10:04:14 pm »
    Gosh, it seems you are making good progress already. Well done on getting those fish rehomed. I shall be looking forward to reading about the next stages.

    Offline Pilgrim89

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #12 on: February 16, 2017, 10:21:25 pm »
    Very well done on re-homing those Plecs  *blink* I was kind of freaking out a bit at the thought of FOUR of them being in that tank haha ... Phew! Glad that's over  *2116* aaaand breathe  roflmao
    They do create a lot of waste, which is what puts a lot of people off them as you need a fairly efficient filtration system to deal with it all so I'm not surprised they created a load of waste within a week. I have two Gold Spot Plecs and they create enough piles of waste for me to have to siphon but that's all part and parcel of keeping Plecs :)

    As far as I'm aware, the heater shouldn't need to be on all the time. No heater I've ever had stays on permanently. It'll be on for a few minutes and then it'll be off for a good 20-25 minutes sometimes and then come back on once the temperature drops below the set temperature :)

    With the filter, you might be better off going with one of the big names like Fluval or Eheim :)
    http://www.swelluk.com/fluval-external-filters/?gclid=CM-fnvTSldICFQsR0wodDgEBLQ
    http://www.fishpetsreptiles.co.uk/eheim-products-parts-/eheim-aquarium-filters/eheim-external-filters/eheim-ecco-filters/eheim-ecco-pro-300-2036-external-filter?gclid=CMO827HTldICFY8K0wod10UBmQ

    Good luck on your new adventure! :)
    « Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 10:25:35 pm by Pilgrim89 »
    4ft, 140L:
    14 x Pentazona Barbs
    10 x Golden Barbs
    2 x Kribensis (m&f)
    1 x Albino Rainbow Shark
    3 x Bristlenose Plecs

    3ft, 60-80L:
    1 x Musk Turtle

    2ft, 54L:
    8 x Glowlight Tetra
    3 x Otocinclus

    3ft, 100L:
    3 x Red Hump Eartheater Cichlid (Geophagus steindachneri)
    1 x Bandit Cichlid (Guianacara stergiosi)
    10 x Bristlenose Plec Juveniles (approx 1"+)
    4 x Lemon Bristlenose Plec - 2 breeding pairs
    2 x Tiger Plec (L002) breeding pair

    50L grow-out tank:
    50+? x Bristlenose Plec fry and Lemon Plec Dad from 3ft, 100L tank.

    LittleTinca

    • Guest
    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #13 on: February 16, 2017, 11:02:57 pm »
    Thanks for the advice Pilgrim.

    I'm happy with the heater now. The tank is currently sitting at a steady 25.3 degrees. I use a digital thermometer as I don't trust those strips on the outside of the tank. I think I just expected the heater to turn on & remain on until the set temperature was met.

    I'll certainly look into those filters. As soon as I mentioned the filter problem to the guy in the store, he asked if it was an Aqua One, so I'm assuming this is some sort of common problem.

    Really keen to get going with building the tank up. Can't stop looking at fish & plants, but need to address the needs of the tank & current stock first of all - the welfare of the fish comes first :)

    Offline Pilgrim89

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    Re: 220l Tank Project - complete makeover required!
    « Reply #14 on: February 16, 2017, 11:30:41 pm »
    It can get quite overwhelming looking at all of the possibilities and researching the freshwater species that are available out there :) If you ever need a second or third opinion then please, please don't hesitate to ask around on here :) we're always more than happy to help someone who's going that extra mile to do plenty research :) heck! I need to get back on the research wagon with my database that I'm making, I've gotten a bit slack with it over the last few months :(

    I've just watched a video of someone by the name of 'PondGuru' on YouTube putting together the filter media on an 'Eheim Professional 2' I think it was. It looked as though it does EVERYTHING you need it to and then more with the media he puts in there, I'll link the video :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szrUlHTW5Zo&feature=youtu.be
    4ft, 140L:
    14 x Pentazona Barbs
    10 x Golden Barbs
    2 x Kribensis (m&f)
    1 x Albino Rainbow Shark
    3 x Bristlenose Plecs

    3ft, 60-80L:
    1 x Musk Turtle

    2ft, 54L:
    8 x Glowlight Tetra
    3 x Otocinclus

    3ft, 100L:
    3 x Red Hump Eartheater Cichlid (Geophagus steindachneri)
    1 x Bandit Cichlid (Guianacara stergiosi)
    10 x Bristlenose Plec Juveniles (approx 1"+)
    4 x Lemon Bristlenose Plec - 2 breeding pairs
    2 x Tiger Plec (L002) breeding pair

    50L grow-out tank:
    50+? x Bristlenose Plec fry and Lemon Plec Dad from 3ft, 100L tank.