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Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setup

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:03 pm

Well I finally broke down and bought my dream tank..or at least a tank big enough that I won't need another one for a very long time. I had limited out my two 55g tanks, my 29g and 20g,..to the point that all are working perfectly but no way to add any more fish or species at all.

I found what I think is a great deal for the tank (72" x18" x 24") and stand in great condition, an Eheim Professional 2 filter..like new, another whisper HOB filter (i won't be using), 2 Eheim 300w heaters..like new, 3 or 4 powerhead pumps, tons of Eheim substate and filter pads, test kits,..various meds etc. for $500.00. I just couldn't pass that up even though I have to do some major arranging to make room for it. I will also be adding a 3D background (Aquaterra slimline gray canyon rock wall).. and sand substate. I will be ordering the fish from Dave's RAF.

I would really like to plan this tank out carefully,..so my main questions would be stocking ideas,..along with the best way to cycle it. It hasn't been up and running in a few months. I have plenty of time to fishless cycle if neccessary..and definitely need advice on that..OR could I possible cycle a big tank like this by using media..or actual filters from my tanks that are currently running. I would like to add all juveniles..and add them all at once if possible.

I am looking at most likely doing an all Mbuna tank, since there are so may great species that I've not been able to keep due to tank size restrictions. I had also thought about a Hap and Mbuna species setup (not an all male) but I haven't read alot about that,..other than a group of yellow-labs along with Haps. Any advice on stocking or pointers on maintaining a large tank is greatly appreciated,..i.e. water change requirements, rockwork setups, etc.

Thanks!

Kevin
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby DJRansome » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:15 pm

I would say maintenance is the same big or little. Yes I would run the new filters on the exiting tanks for 2 weeks to avoid a cycle.

What great mbuna species have you been unable to keep?
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:56 pm

DJR.. thanks for the reply! With maintenance I was mainly wondering about water changes. I currently just use a gallon pitcher, a 5g bucket..and syphon occasionally. I won't have close access to a hose hookup,..so just wondering how many buckets I'm going to be carrying per week?? Also, filtration...I've read really good things about the Eheim pro2 that came with it,..so I will likely add another smaller canister filter or a Hagen/Fluval HOB..or both.

For the stock.. So far I've done Mbuna only and a 20g shell-dweller tank. You can see the ones I have now in my signature, so there are lots more that I haven't kept yet. I love the Mbuna tanks the I have,..the color, action, breeding behaviors are great. I love the looks of alot of the Haps but don't really want to move away from Mbuna just yet. Is there a combination of Mbuna and Hap species that could work together? If not, then wondering how many species of Mbuna and how many of each, m/fm ratios etc. I was looking at the cookie cutter section but it only goes up to a 75g tank.

I really want the main species to be Metriaclima,.. I love all 4 of these..

Metriaclima sp. ''Elongatus Chailosi'' Chitande
Metriaclima sp. ''Elongatus Chewere'' Chewere
Metriaclima sp. ''Hajomaylandi Pombo'' Pombo Rocks
Metriaclima sp. ''Msobo'' Magunga

Then maybe either..
Yellow or White Labs,
Polits (maybe), or Saulosi (if I don't do the Yellow Labs or Msobo)
Cynotilapia zebroides Cape Kaiser ''Black''

..any additions or suggestions or thoughts on these?
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Location: Lexington Ky.

Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby snorkel3 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:06 pm

Kevin, how far away is the closest tap or in what room of your home will the tank be? I can't imagine using the bucket method on tanks anymore, especially a 125G.
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby pjn36 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:21 pm

Congrats on the new tank! $500 is a heck of a deal.
I also have a 125 gallon and love it. If you think this tank will solve your problem of needing/wanting other tanks good luck! This hobby is more of an addiction than a hobby.

Any way, onto your question about water changes. I would seriously suggest investing in a python hose gravel cleaner system. they come in lengths of 25 ft. up to 100 ft.
My back hurts just thinking about carrying all the buckets you would need to do a water change. For example if you wanted to do a 25% water change every week that is approximately 31 gallons. That would be (14) 5 gallon buckets a week. 7 buckets of dirty water and 7 buckets of clean water. The python system has an adapter that will hook to any faucet. (kitchen or bathroom sink) No more hauling buckets. I bought one for my tank and never looked back.

For rockwork I would suggest Texas Holey rock. It is a pricey option but one I think you won't regret. The piles of different type rocks I see in some tanks make me nervous to think what might happen if they fell over. Cichlids are diggers so make sure to position your rocks on the bottom glass before adding substrate so they do not unearth the leaning tower of pisa. 125 gallons of water on the floor is a big mess to clean up!

I have peacocks and haps in my tank. So I'm not much help on the mbuna species sorry. Although I do have yellow labs mixed in with mine.
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:29 pm

This tank will go in my office,..and I just checked and it is around 50 feet or so to the closest hose hookup, which is actually closer than I thought. Is there a way I can work with that?
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Location: Lexington Ky.

Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby Kevin in Ky » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:32 pm

pjn36 wrote:Congrats on the new tank! $500 is a heck of a deal.
I also have a 125 gallon and love it. If you think this tank will solve your problem of needing/wanting other tanks good luck! This hobby is more of an addiction than a hobby.

Any way, onto your question about water changes. I would seriously suggest investing in a python hose gravel cleaner system. they come in lengths of 25 ft. up to 100 ft.
My back hurts just thinking about carrying all the buckets you would need to do a water change. For example if you wanted to do a 25% water change every week that is approximately 31 gallons. That would be (14) 5 gallon buckets a week. 7 buckets of dirty water and 7 buckets of clean water. The python system has an adapter that will hook to any faucet. (kitchen or bathroom sink) No more hauling buckets. I bought one for my tank and never looked back.

For rockwork I would suggest Texas Holey rock. It is a pricey option but one I think you won't regret. The piles of different type rocks I see in some tanks make me nervous to think what might happen if they fell over. Cichlids are diggers so make sure to position your rocks on the bottom glass before adding substrate so they do not unearth the leaning tower of pisa. 125 gallons of water on the floor is a big mess to clean up!

I have peacocks and haps in my tank. So I'm not much help on the mbuna species sorry. Although I do have yellow labs mixed in with mine.


Thanks!..I will start looking in to those. I already carry alot of buckets..and definitely don't want to add 14 more a week!
My right arm would look like Popeye
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Location: Lexington Ky.

Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby tanker3 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:29 pm

I know people that use a Brute can on wheels to change water, so that an idea. Not even sure if they still sell those anymore, but .....
75gal Tank White Labs, White Top Haras, Met. Membe Deep
58gal Tank Ps. Saulosi , Lab. Perlmutt
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby Prognathodon » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:15 pm

tanker3 wrote:I know people that use a Brute can on wheels to change water, so that an idea. Not even sure if they still sell those anymore, but .....


They're available. IIRC the wheeled base and the can are sold separately. Check food service suppliers, or industrial/janatorial.
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55G Mbuna
6 Labidochromis caeruleus
8 Cynotilapia "hara"
3 BN Plecos
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby snorkel3 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:27 pm

Kevin in Ky wrote:This tank will go in my office,..and I just checked and it is around 50 feet or so to the closest hose hookup, which is actually closer than I thought. Is there a way I can work with that?


Kevin, I use a 50 ft RV hose which is labeled for potable water to refill my aquariums and just hook it up to the laundry sink tap, adjust the hot/cold to temp and I'm good to go. I did make a PVC pipe hook with ball valve shutoff that hangs on the tank rim so I don't have to run back and forth to shut it off. I have well water so don't need to use conditioner but if you have chlorine/chloramine, just follow the product dosing recommendation on the bottle or jar.

I do not drain with the RV hose, only fill. To drain I am using sump pump hose found in home improvement stores either directly outside or to a dedicated floor drain. You may be able to use a drop in the tank water pump hooked up to the hose to pump water out to a convenient drain or a water bed fill/drain adapter which is similar to the Python device without the hose.

Is this your personal office or are you in a commercial setting? The reason I ask is that you might be able to get creative and run necessary drain/fill plumbing above the ceiling panels (if any) to avoid dragging hoses around the office.

I also have the Brute can with wheeled base and it worked great for water changes until I added more tanks. I did have to refill it a few times for 50% water changes on the 220G tank which is when I changed to using a hose only.
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby DJRansome » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:07 pm

For mbuna I like 5 species 1m:4f of each as a starting place. Choose one blue barred species as always.

For all the Metriaclima on your list except msobo females are drab. Cynotilapia as well. IDK if that is a factor.

Msobo and white labs. Maybe the Cynotilapia if you don't mind the drab females.

Polit are tricky and need to be dominant to display well. Might work with those 3. Drab females as well.

I'd probably take the acei out of the 55G and move them to the big tank.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby Kevin in Ky » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:53 am

Thanks for all of the great suggestions for water changes, very helpful!

Deeda- It's a commercial setting,..a nice big office on 1st floor level. It's a construction business (Glass contractor ironically) and my office is close to the front door with a parking lot that I can drain water directly in to. It sounds like a python system to drain water out,..then a long industrial hose and/or a big can on wheels (great idea..i had forgotten about those) might be my answer. So with a 125g, roughly 30-35 Mbuna, plenty of filtration..what would be a good (typical) schedule and percentage of water change per week (or 2 weeks..or more)?

For the stocking,..very good to hear that I can do 5 species..and a school of catfish (8-10 maybe)

I have always wanted to keep Msobo,..so I think I will go with those as one. (is the Male considered blue-barred??)
The White Labs will be a definite.
A Cyno group will be one

I will have to really look in to the other 2. Any other suggestions to go with those 3 species?
I like the thought of moving the Acei from my 55g but the Male is full grown and I guess he could possibly eat the new fish if they were small juvies. I have a month or so to plan and get the tank ready so plenty of time to decide.
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Kevin in Ky
 
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:09 pm
Location: Lexington Ky.

Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby tanker3 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:15 pm

Kevin in Ky wrote:I have always wanted to keep Msobo,..so I think I will go with those as one. (is the Male considered blue-barred??)
The White Labs will be a definite.
A Cyno group will be one

I will have to really look in to the other 2. Any other suggestions to go with those 3 species?


A "Blue fish with bars" is called a "Blue-Barred" fish.

White Labs and Cyno group makes 2. What third species are you asking about?
75gal Tank White Labs, White Top Haras, Met. Membe Deep
58gal Tank Ps. Saulosi , Lab. Perlmutt
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Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby Kevin in Ky » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:29 pm

Tanker,..the first species I was considering was the Metriaclima Msobo. I was asking if the Male Msobo was considered blue-barred?..I know they are blue but didn't know if their markings were considered "barring"?
125g Met Msobo - White Labs - Acei (White Tail) - Troph Elong Boadzulu - Cyno Jalo Reef -Petricola Catfish
55g Demasoni - Yellow Labs - Acei
55g Cyno Hara - Met Estherae - Rusty
29g Ps Saulosi - Rusty
20g 'Lamprologus' ocellatus ''Gold''
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Kevin in Ky
 
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:09 pm
Location: Lexington Ky.

Re: Finally bought a 125g tank and need some advice for setu

Postby tanker3 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:23 pm

Oh, OK. I would not consider the Msobo a "Blue-Barred" fish, and the females are a nice yellow too.

IMO, the Msobo with White Labs, and a Cyno group (depending on which Cyno) would make a nice tank (Except that most of the Cynos have ugly females.)
75gal Tank White Labs, White Top Haras, Met. Membe Deep
58gal Tank Ps. Saulosi , Lab. Perlmutt
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