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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Postby Shahlvah » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:06 pm

I love ghost shrimp, I have 3 that got into the bag when I bought the cardinals, they are awesome, but in this big tank and with so many hiding places, only God know where they are, I saw one yesterday he was eating fish food.

ON regards with the tank, I think I am going to stop spending money on it...my next "pennies" will go towards start stocking the tank. Right now I have the cardinals, about 14 diamond tetras and some 20 glow eye tetras, plus the Cory's. I haven't bring the L0260 since they were pricey and I want to make sure that the tank is fully established before anything else. Those will come at the same time that I will bring in the first couple of discus.
Today I am installing a UV system. This will go outside the sump, I got a 36 watt that I know is an overkill but hey, "WE" are having discus in here, right? I know that in filtration and protection for your water's "health" there is never too much. And I rather spend the money now that I am making so much over time at work that later when they decided that we can not do any....and I will be missing that $$$

You never told me....did you like the tank with the drift wood?
240g- 50 g sump + FX5 Tetras , Discus, Fancy plecos
100 g FX5 .
8 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli)
10 Labeotropheus trewavasae ''Red Top''
10 Metriaclima sp. Long Pelvic Mdoka
10 Pseudotropheus socolofi
10 Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

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Postby Woodworm » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:10 pm

it is a beautiful tank
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX

Postby Shahlvah » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:20 pm

Thank you WoodWorm I appreciate your comment, lots of work have gone in it (and pennies..). :o
Today I was joking that every time I work on it I have to gear up and put on a swimming suit...I always end soaking wet....that is the problem when you are 5'5" and the tank is 2 foot tall, I need a ladder to reach the bottom...but it has been so rewarding because I have done it against all odds.
I just sent the pictures to my husband in Afghanistan. I am waiting to learn what he thinks about it.

And yes!!! I have a 100 cardinals swimming there.
:fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish:
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

Postby matt121966 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:25 am

kool
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Postby moneygetter1 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:58 am

You never told me....did you like the tank with the drift wood?


:popcorn: Shame on me!! I LOVE your driftwood. I too am almost done w/ spending. This week

4/5 freshwater clams
12/15 X-Ray Pristella Tetra

Next week 03/30

2 x Blue Pigeon Blood Discus 4 Inch
2 x Santarem Discus Fish 4 Inch
1 x Marlboro Red Discus Fish 4 Inch
1 x Brillant Turquoise Discus Fish 4 inch
2 x Cobalt Discus Fish 4 Inch
Will update at that time. Continued success w/ your fantastic project. "T"
Cardinal, Neon & Pristella Tetra - Raphael Cats - Stendker Discus
125gl TENECOR, Rena XP4, Eheim 2075, 2 A/C500s,2 300w Jager
"KNOWLEDGE GAINED & NOT SHARED IS KNOWLEDGE LOST"
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Postby ridley25 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:26 pm

Wow, shahlvah, you're just killing it with your design - I've seldom seen fake plants look so good.

As much as I love mbuna, it's always cool to see massive schools of tetras.

kevin
Malawi 125g: Labeotropheus fuelleborni, Labidochromis sp. "Hongi SRT," Metriaclima sp. "Msobo," Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei," Pseudotropheus sp. "Williamsi North," Syndodontis njassae
Tanganyika 15g: 'Lamprologus' multifasciatus species tank
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Postby Shahlvah » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:50 am

Thank you Kevin, I do have4 a Mbuna tank, I love it, it is full of activity and always fun to watch.
I really appreciate your comment, thank you so much.
My husband did answer from Afghanistan and his words were that I can do aquarium design for a business if I get tired of my job...and I think that was also a complement.
The tetras look awesome, it is incredible to see them school, and all of them do, the cardinals and the diamonds and also the glow eye. The tank has come together very nice, much nicer than I expect, and the plastic plants, trust me, they didn't look so good outside of the water, but that was all I could find, but once in the water it was a different story.

This is my mbuna tank: (100g)
Image
Image
Image
Image

These are all juvies I have in there, acei, socolofi, mangainos, red top trewasi and long pelvic mdoka the are all starting to color up now so soon I will be sheeding some since I got 10 of each, I will be keeping 1 male 4 females except fot the mangianos that I will keep 1 to 7 ratio.
240g- 50 g sump + FX5 Tetras , Discus, Fancy plecos
100 g FX5 .
8 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli)
10 Labeotropheus trewavasae ''Red Top''
10 Metriaclima sp. Long Pelvic Mdoka
10 Pseudotropheus socolofi
10 Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

Postby Shahlvah » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:03 am

This is one of the babies Long pelvic Mdoka, the picture is not so good and he lives in my 100g, but you can see here how he is starting to color up, he is going to be gorgeous, he is chunky and all the females follow him like he is the king of the tank.

Image
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

Postby jd lover » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:54 pm

looking forward to your update
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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Postby Shahlvah » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:31 am

Well this is the update, I have been unable to lower the PH on the 240 g, I have 3 large pieces of drift wood and peat granules in the filter, on top of that I added seachem neutralizer to bring the PH to 7.0 in preparation for the discus...nothing, the PH is holding steady on 7.8. Saying this I can tell you that my cardinals are stressing, the diamonds and the glow eye are doing fine, but the cardinals are all day hiding in between the plants. I have the temperature at 81.2 steady and I am running the sump and the FX5, I have the 3 250 watt heaters running in the sump plus a 36 watt UV system....I guess my next step is to go and buy a buffer and start treating the water, I wanted to lower the PH in the most natural way possible not to stress the fish more than the necessary....any ideas?

Because I am not bringing in any discus until the PH is correct and steady....so for now my discus tank is a "tetra" tank..... :(
240g- 50 g sump + FX5 Tetras , Discus, Fancy plecos
100 g FX5 .
8 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli)
10 Labeotropheus trewavasae ''Red Top''
10 Metriaclima sp. Long Pelvic Mdoka
10 Pseudotropheus socolofi
10 Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

Postby Shahlvah » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:33 am

Ah and despise what my signature said the tank is cycled, readings are:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrites - 25
PH - 7.8
Temp 81.2
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

Postby jd lover » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:53 am

ok first things first bump the temp up to roughly 82-86 degrees. discus do best at 82+.

secondly DONT (DO NOT) mess with the ph your discus should be able to handle 7.8 with no problem. mines at 7.8-8 and theyre thriving.

thirdly the diamond tetras (depend on how many you have) might stress the discus out. i had 25 in my tanks and they were schooling and swimming non stop so i removed them.
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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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:47 am
Location: AZ, USA

Postby Shahlvah » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:24 am

Thank you jd lover, I have 14 diamonds, they swim but then they like to hang out in the far end of the tank where the output of the sump and the filter are, I think they like the current that the outputs make, the glow eye...I don't know with those dudes, I have around 22 but they like to stay pretty much in the higher part of the tank were there are plants also where the outputs are, you can just see them like in formation hanging back there. The cardinals school
So 7.8 is good, I would think specially with discus raised in this area, they should be used to the PH, make sense. (there is so much material and everybody says this and that...gets confusing...so I REALLY, appreciate you giving me all these advise because I am going to go with it, since you are housing discus and having success.)
Since my tank is a new tank and I have it running for about a month now, and even though I seed the tank with media from my 100 g and also I got the Dr. Tim's one and only to cycle quicker the tank (which happen really quickly, in about 7-10 days max) Do you think I should still wait for a little while so the water is more "seasoned" and the aquarium more established before bringing the discus? I found a breeder that has very nice fish, all ages and sizes, and his prices are not bad, since I been buying the cardinals from him he told me that he will work in the price with me because I told him I did not want very young individuals but more mature ones, like young adults (I told him between 4-6 inches) (I hope this size is right.)
I also made contact with Jack Wattley discus in Fl, and Mr. Posada sent me a ton of pictures of the discus they have available at this time, my concern is again the PH since the water in FL has completely different characteristics than here in Texas where we have hard water right from the faucet.

In the case the diamonds prove to be too much for the discus, my local dish store will take them back and give me store credit, maybe I can exchange one of them for one discus or something,,
240g- 50 g sump + FX5 Tetras , Discus, Fancy plecos
100 g FX5 .
8 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli)
10 Labeotropheus trewavasae ''Red Top''
10 Metriaclima sp. Long Pelvic Mdoka
10 Pseudotropheus socolofi
10 Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

Postby jd lover » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:36 pm

never buy discus from pet stores.

since that is said if your breeder is a reputable one and has nice stock its a good idea to start with him. if you dont mind paying the 60-80 dollar on shipping jack wattly would diffinately be my first choice. very respectable seasonal in the discus world. (he even made a few strains =]). no matter where you get them make sure that the are healthy specimen and to buy them all at once from the same source to reduce the chance of cross contamination.

discus like all fish prefer a stable water condition appose to ideal ones. i get my discus out of state and through proper acclimination i have had no issues bringing in discus that are bread in water of 7-7.5 to adjust to my 7.8-8.

with discus it does gets confusing with the material you hear. theres not a certain way to raise them so there is no hard fast rules to follow so experience is the best way to tackle it. what i tell people who wants to dive into discus is this:

feed multiple quality high protein food in small amounts multiple times a day.
keep the water condition stable
and always do water change.

it really isnt that complicated.

as to whether to keep your tank going for a bit longer or not im not expert in the whole chemistry erea so my advice to you is when youre performing massive (75-90%) water change a day, if your bio isnt ideal yet you can still get away with it. but with it already been running for a month with a seeded filter id say youre ready. i would still do massive water change the first few days you add the discus in just so the bio can catch up.
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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Location: AZ, USA

Postby Shahlvah » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:13 pm

That is great, I think that when you are investing money in the fish you really like, might as well get the best.
I am not sure I will be able to get them all at once because of the price, so what I might do is just wait a little and put a couple of checks aside so I can at least get them in two batches. Now my first intention for now is not to have a breeding program but more focus on an awesome show tank, that will blow my husband's mind when he comes back from Afghanistan, I think I have been super careful selecting everything that has gone into this tank, from the sand, the size of the sand, the quality and color, to the plants and driftwood not to talk about the equipment I have in the bottom running or this tank, I have done a lot of reading on regards not only the discus, but also the best tank mates.
On regards to the water quality I am ready for the water changes and to improve the quality of my water even though when I first filled the tank I did it with tap water, I have been replenishing it with RO water, I have a 6 step RO system that I use solely for this tank. Of course my reservoir is not such a large one that I could replenish 75% out of the 240 gallons, but I have a good 5 gallon tank, that everyday I add some to the sump, a little to compensate for the evaporation.
I am very excited about getting this tank together, because this was my first choice before I even started with my mbuna tank, and then I though that I could just settle with just the mbunas (that I absolutely love and they are so fun to watch)) but when this tank got along and I was able to get it, I could only think on setting it up for my discus...and now I am so close.
I appreciate all your words of advise, I will still probably be making a lot more questions as I go, but I've been taking notes.
Thank you so much.

Do you know what type of discus is this one?

Image

Is this a blue diamond or a blue cobalt...or something else?
240g- 50 g sump + FX5 Tetras , Discus, Fancy plecos
100 g FX5 .
8 Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli)
10 Labeotropheus trewavasae ''Red Top''
10 Metriaclima sp. Long Pelvic Mdoka
10 Pseudotropheus socolofi
10 Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos Maingano
Shahlvah
 
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:29 am
Location: Texas

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