Aquarium Setup • Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

New to the world of cichlids? For discussion on how to set up new tanks, including placement, filtration, substrates, water, etc. No stocking discussions here.

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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby jd lover » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:14 pm

what it sound like is normal domanince the 3 big ones eat the most so they get bigger faster and has more strenght to fight off the small ones for even more food. its an endless circle. however once in awhile you get the small ones fed up with it and fights back for food and becomes the new domant fish. if the small ones still gets fod and arent forced into the corner i wouldnt worry.
no medicine works better than clean water.
no such thing as too much clean water, so go do a water change now.
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby MbunaReef » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:31 am

Shahlvah,

Nice job on your tanks. I too just acquired my first 240 (largest before was a 210). It's also my first acrylic tank. I haven't decided yet what to do with it. I'm thinking about either an Amazon theme with angels, tetras and some small cichlids (maybe silver dollars too), or going Malawi. I really like the substrate in your African tank. What is that? Also, I cannot recall ever seeing a 3D background attached to an acrylic tank. Anyone know of any reason why I couldn't do one. I've never done one before so this should be fun.



TIA
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Shahlvah » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:33 pm

Thank you, the substrate I used in my mbuna tank is ceramic coated silica sand, black and white (50% white and 50% black) I mixed it my self to get the salt and pepper effect, I really like it because if brings out the colors on my fish, it is small enough and round it and the mbunas swifter around, while doing their matting "nest" also the plecos can easily just get it out of the way by batting their tails supper quick,, it is smaller than the food pellets so the fish can easily pick up the food that in fact make it to the bottom. I bought it at a local industrial flooring company, they use it as it main compound to make the floors. it is inert, don't change the ph, and the fish love it.
This is also the same substrate I used for my 240 and 12 gallon tanks, only the colors I used was buff and light beige......to give it a more natural effect.
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Shahlvah » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:08 pm

I have updates on my 240 gallon.... sadly I have to inform that my golden panda commit suicide. the tank is covered and the lids are closed, but there is a little opening where the sump line is,,,he manage to jump off the tank, unfortunately I was not home to rescue him, when I came from work he was all gone....I am so sad, he was gorgeous. I did my readings thinking that maybe there was something bothering him, but all the readings are fine, the 6 other discus are acting normal, eating good, and following me around like little puppies wen I am in the room. I wonder what came into his head.... I am keeping up with all my water changes to keep them happy and thriving. Most of them have grown a lot, I can said that most are almost 5 inches except 2 leopard skins that are a little smaller. those are the ones the big ones bully around at meal times, I put food in both sides of the tank so everyone can have their share and when I feed them worms or shrimp they literally eat it from my fingers. Their color has also improve a lot....I guess as they grow older. I feed them NLS for discus, Tetra for discus (pellets), brien shrimp and black or blood worms, depending what I find these are frozen once or twice a week, they love this treat), my discus are slow eaters and what I do is feed the other fish first and in the other side of the tank, to keep them busy over there, and then I feed the discus, they have time to eat before all the tetras come and investigate the discus food. If there is anything left after they finish, the cories take part i n the banquet. I have 17 corie julii in this tank, 2 striated loaches( I got these pair because all of the sudden I got an infestation of small snails, I don't know where they came from since I don't have natural plants, but they erupted one day, I am assuming that I had some eggs probably in the driftwood that did not die with all the soaking and cleaning I did...the loaches took care of them, these loaches do not grow as big as the clown loaches.) and 7 fancy plecos.

Then going back to the diamond tetras those are thriving, I have 12 babies that now are about 2 inches long, they are schooling with all the adults now, they look gorgeous. all in total i have 29
My cardinals are looking as handsome as ever, they have all achieve their full size and the colors are just awesome, the red super red and the blue is beautiful, and depending on their mood, the blue changes from blue to a shade of bluish green,. those have prove to be more difficult than even my discus, I lost some on the way and now I have a school of about 65 (remember the sump massacre? I lost a lot of baby cardinals then) I might add some more to complete my 100 cardinals that I always wanted, but for now the tank is very stable and the discus are thriving, and I feel that it is fine now...later I might add another 3 to 5 discus too complete the number that I want to have there. I also added a small school of Rosalyn sharks (7) they where babies when I did, now they are about full grown, they look awesome all schooling together.
All my shrimp commit suicide (literaly) when my air conditioner broke and the house was almost a 100 degrees inside, I was cooling the tanks with bottles of frozen water, but the temperature just got to 92.6 degrees...only a loach died and all my shrimp crawled out of the tank (amano shrimp and ghost shrimp) I replaced the ghost shrimp and I have 14 roaming around...
The thing I like the most about my 240 gallon is that all the fish in there are schooling fish, just sit and watch is so soothing, peaceful....
I am doing service to all my tanks today, I will take some fresh pictures as I am done and post some in here tonight.
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby austings » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:21 pm

Very nice tank!

Would you mind telling me where you bought the 5 F1 L260's? Shoot me a PM if its not allowed to be posted here. Thank you, and again great job on the tank!!!
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Shahlvah » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:42 pm

Upgrade my tank to natural plants, I have never seen my fish so happy. The tetras are breeding, and I think my discus are starting to pair up...I have to read so more in the pairing process for the discus.
Photos will come soon with the new arrangement with the natural plants.
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby TnAWill » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:12 pm

I'm so jealous!! If i had that tank the first words out of my mouth would be Arrowana!!!! A few bigger cichlid bottom dwellers and done! That's the tank I would love to have but haven't found a good deal on a 250gal tank or bigger and can't even think of an Arrow in anything less than that! GL with whatever you decide to go with on this one, should look amazing!
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby car0linab0y » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:29 pm

You can use Plastidip to paint the back of the tank. If it ever gets messed up, just peel it off and do it again.
Demasoni
Yellow Labs
Yellow Tail Acei
Rusties
Taiwan Reefs
Albino Reds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmnBMkO ... ata_player
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Stussi613 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:05 am

That's great to hear!

As I was reading this thread from the beginning I almost replied in a few places that you would be better off with real plants. I kept discus in my 135 for years with two filters, heavily planted, 60 cardinals, 40 rummy-nose, some Cory's and one pleco. I grew the discus out from 1" to 6"+ in that tank and I could stretch water changes to a month when it was fully matured without my nitrates going over 10. Allot of discus people think bare bottom with 50% daily water changes is the only way to grow big, healthy discus. I think some of them forget that a healthy planted tank is the closest thing to the conditions this species inhabits in the wild.
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Shahlvah » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:17 pm

I agree with you. My tank is heavely planted and it is now that my discus are breeding, in the tank. I have 2 formed paird and both have lay eggs. just a couple of days ago.
I have another couple that swims together but I am still not sure if they are pairing or not.
it is interesting to see how different an aquarium behaves when you have natural plants.
I do 30 to 50% water changes, basically to remove debry every other week. I have diamond tetras, glowlight tetras, cardinals and lamp eye tetras in the tank along with cory julii and some rubber nose plecos and some queen arabesca plecos., I also have some loaches, striade and clown. This is a huge tank. and I have a huge sump and an FX5. It is now with the natural plants that the nitates - nitrites are at it's lower ever.
All my tetras with the exception of the cardinal are breeding also in this tank. The cory's have babies too.
I am saving for a CO2 system. I have been buying part's and pieces and I am almost about to install it.
I will take some pictures and share.
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Stussi613 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:58 am

Sounds like you've found a bit of equilibrium with the natural plants.

One word of caution for you, from experience...when your discus start laying eggs it's really exciting. When you see wrigglers, its even more exciting. Seeing them going free swimming is about as rewarding as it comes when you keep discus, but don't get too attached to the baby fry because your tetras will figure out there is free, easy to catch food in the tank and decimate them in pretty short order. If you end up with a couple of confirmed pairs that get to free swimming stage and you want to breed them and try to keep fry, move them into their own tank.
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Shahlvah » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:15 pm

Yes..I have secure a 150 gallon tank...that I will use for the discus alone...Still need to cycle it...etc
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby mbunas4me » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:15 pm

that is my "dream tank" 240 gallons of pure bliss!! now if i can just hit 6 numbers in the lotto :dancing:
they say i`m a lot like my cichlids...i have a funny personality,and i`m hungry all the time!
75g 2- penquin 350`s,100+lbs of lace rock,gravel bed. yellow labs,yellow tailed acei,ob zebras,elongstus likoma`s,afra mbweca`s,afra white tops, and some snails
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Shahlvah » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:42 pm

You don't need the lotto....you just need a little bit of luck and find the person that can't have a dream tank no more and needs to ghet rid of it right now..for pennies on the dollar.
That is how I got mine.... 8)
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Re: Setting up my 240 gallon, step by step

Postby Shahlvah » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:46 pm

Another thing..I just told my loving husband that we are getting the 150 gallon and placing it....in his office also.
I even was bold enough to ask him to ask his friends if they can go and pick it up...since we are going to need musle power to move it.
He just smile and said that they way I said it was "smooth"
I thinks there is only one way to said things....just as they are....right?
So it will be my discus breathing tank. (I told him that too) :dancing:
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