Aquarium Setup • New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

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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New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:04 pm

Hello Everyone,

I"m starting the build on my new fish tank. I have been doing research for the past couple of weeks and gathering pricing and pieces that I think I would need for my Cichlid tanks.

Fish: Malawi Peacocks - Not sure what Else, but they would be the ones I want most.
Tank: Red Sea Reefer 425 XL - 88 Gallong Rimless Tank - I really like the way this looks cosmetically.
Filtration: The tank comes with an overflow and a sump - I would add a GFO/Carbon Reactor.
Power Heads: Vortech MP40wQD Quiet Drive
Return Pump: Syncra Silent 5.0 Pump (1321 GPH)

Lighting: Since my tank is rimless, I haven't been able to find the right lighting for the setup. Most lighting that I have seen are for Rimless Tanks are mostly Saltwater Type Lighting. Need to do some research here, because lighting doesn't seem to as important in saltwater tanks.

Substrate: Still thinking about this.

Rocks: Still thinking about this.

I'm holding off to 4th of July to see what kind of sales/deals I can find on the equipment.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

thanks!

-tired
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby Deeda » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:44 pm

Hi tired and Welcome to C-F!!

What are the dimensions of your tank in L x W x H?

Rimless tanks are becoming more popular and many people opt to hang the fixture from the ceiling or to make arching pipe brackets that mount to the rear of the stand.

The other issue with using a rimless tank is keeping the fish in the tank, especially if they get spooked or a bit frisky. Are you planning on adding a glass lid (canopy) or wood canopy above the tank?

Pool filter sand is a popular and cheap option for a substrate but usually comes in tan or white, depending on the brand. If you are looking for colored sand types, check for a local distributor of Estes Permacolor quartz or Aquagems which are considered architectural floor/pool aggregates. I use the Permacolor Quartz by Estes in the Trowel-Rite size for all my tanks and like mixing colors to achieve my desired substrate.

Rocks can be purchased cheaply at landscape supply places or companies that sell rocks such as quarries, stone and gravel.
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby somebody » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:07 pm

First off let me welcome you to C-F. Formalities out of the way now down to brass tax. Nice tank by the way. I've seen a few at sushi restraunts around here. I like em.

tiredboymike wrote:Hello Everyone,

I"m starting the build on my new fish tank. I have been doing research for the past couple of weeks and gathering pricing and pieces that I think I would need for my Cichlid tanks.

Fish: Malawi Peacocks - Not sure what Else, but they would be the ones I want most.

Mbuna, Tanganyika, Victoria, SA/CA, discus. Plenty to choose from question is what are you looking for? Color, breeding/fry raising, etc.

Tank: Red Sea Reefer 425 XL - 88 Gallong Rimless Tank - I really like the way this looks cosmetically.

Could you post the footprint. I'm too lazy to look up on my own. This will help late with stocking and equipment recommendations.

Filtration: The tank comes with an overflow and a sump - I would add a GFO/Carbon Reactor.

Best kind of filter, sumps :). Carbon isn't necassary unless you run a lot of chemicals in your tank and need to remove them. Maybe a good piece of standby equipment to have but don't think it's necessary for everyday use.

Power Heads: Vortech MP40wQD Quiet Drive

Very powerful circulation pump. I had one on my 6' 125 and I had to return it.

Return Pump: Syncra Silent 5.0 Pump (1321 GPH)

Not familiar with this brand so no info from me. I use a taam rio hf series pump for my return.

Lighting: Since my tank is rimless, I haven't been able to find the right lighting for the setup. Most lighting that I have seen are for Rimless Tanks are mostly Saltwater Type Lighting. Need to do some research here, because lighting doesn't seem to as important in saltwater tanks.

I run "saltwater" lighting (current usa orbit series led). My tank is planted so I went with the more powerful lighting option that was still within budget and had lightning mode. Check out their satellite series strips, know a lot of people here use them so maybe someone will chime in for you.

Substrate: Still thinking about this.

Pool filter sand. Stop thinking. Lol. PFS is a cheaper option and lots on the forum here use it due to its availability, cheapness ($4/50#) and aesthetic value.

Rocks: Still thinking about this.

Keep thinking.

I'm holding off to 4th of July to see what kind of sales/deals I can find on the equipment.

Good idea!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Look up incase you missed it.

thanks!

You're welcome

.
125 gal. partially planted peacock and hap with custom 55 sump
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:43 pm

Hi Deeda,

Thanks for the nice welcome and time spent on your response.


What are the dimensions of your tank in L x W x H?
88 gallons
Length 47
height 22
width 22.6

Rimless tanks are becoming more popular and many people opt to hang the fixture from the ceiling or to make arching pipe brackets that mount to the rear of the stand.
They just look so cool. I was looking at this one:
Kessil Mounting Arm for AP700, A360 and A160 LED Light
They are kinda expensive so I'm not sure about them yet.

The other issue with using a rimless tank is keeping the fish in the tank, especially if they get spooked or a bit frisky. Are you planning on adding a glass lid (canopy) or wood canopy above the tank?
I never thought about this. The rimless thanks so cool without anything covering it. Can't I just let the cichlids know not to jump? But do you think this might be a serious issue if there is no cover?

Pool filter sand is a popular and cheap option for a substrate but usually comes in tan or white, depending on the brand. If you are looking for colored sand types, check for a local distributor of Estes Permacolor quartz or Aquagems which are considered architectural floor/pool aggregates. I use the Permacolor Quartz by Estes in the Trowel-Rite size for all my tanks and like mixing colors to achieve my desired substrate.
I will definitely go take a look, any cost saving would be very helpful. I really like the white sand beachy look,but also something that won't scratch the tank so easily.

Rocks can be purchased cheaply at landscape supply places or companies that sell rocks such as quarries, stone and gravel.
Excellent idea, rock a the LFS are so expensive. What do you think about man molded rocks. I saw man made holie rocks made by universal rocks. It is kinda like a mold of texas holey Rock, but lighter weight.

Cheers!
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:52 pm

Hi Somebody,

Mbuna, Tanganyika, Victoria, SA/CA, discus. Plenty to choose from question is what are you looking for? Color, breeding/fry raising, etc.

I like colorful fish. I really like to watch them interact and relieve daily stress after a long day at work.

Could you post the footprint. I'm too lazy to look up on my own. This will help late with stocking and equipment recommendations.
88 gallons
Length 47
height 22
width 22.6

Best kind of filter, sumps :). Carbon isn't necassary unless you run a lot of chemicals in your tank and need to remove them. Maybe a good piece of standby equipment to have but don't think it's necessary for everyday use.

awesome to know!

Very powerful circulation pump. I had one on my 6' 125 and I had to return it.
Did you have to return to it because it was too powerful? Maybe I should get something not so strong. Maybe I will get a lower end model. It is so cool that part of it is in the tank and the other part is outside.

I run "saltwater" lighting (current usa orbit series led). My tank is planted so I went with the more powerful lighting option that was still within budget and had lightning mode. Check out their satellite series strips, know a lot of people here use them so maybe someone will chime in for you.
Totally thinking of a saltwater one as well, the Kessil AP700 with arm mounts. I've been reading that it has a "shimmer" that no other lights have. Since it's really made for saltwater aquariums i think, It has a hefty price tag.

Thanks so much Somebody!
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:43 pm

Yes the fish will jump out of the tank regularly. Weight of rocks is not an issue and real rocks are so much better looking and cost effective. The fake texas holey rock is hollow inside, defeating the purpose of having lots of spaces in the rock pile for the fish to hide. Also the white will get some algae...making it look dirty.
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:19 pm

DJRansome wrote:Yes the fish will jump out of the tank regularly. Weight of rocks is not an issue and real rocks are so much better looking and cost effective. The fake texas holey rock is hollow inside, defeating the purpose of having lots of spaces in the rock pile for the fish to hide. Also the white will get some algae...making it look dirty.


Thanks for the advice. I just found online aquarium cover DIY KIT.
DIY Aquarium Screen Top Kits
Watching the video makes it looks pretty simple. Think that would solve the fish jumping out of the water problem.

Looking Dirty! Can't have that. They did mention that the surface is actually sprayed with crushed holey rock. Do you think that would make a difference with the algae growth on the surface?

thanks!
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby somebody » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:33 pm

Don't underestimate the value of a good coat of algae.
Image

For colorful fish and positive interactivity I suggest mbuna. For peacock and haps you need males for the color your looking for. If your in no rush buy the fry and grow them out, males have the color. If you are impatient like me you will pay a pretty penny for the guaranteed males. P/H are dimorphic. Mbuna males and females are both colored and they color up young. Species where the males and females look similar in coloring are called monomorphic. If you're not intrested in fry that's fine you don't have to seperate females when they are holding or you can get sydontis for fry control.
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:36 pm

Algae will grow on anything...real rocks, fake rocks, glass, etc. I go for the shapes of the rocks...not the colors. Because the color is not in my control.
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:20 pm

somebody wrote:Don't underestimate the value of a good coat of algae.
Image

For colorful fish and positive interactivity I suggest mbuna. For peacock and haps you need males for the color your looking for. If your in no rush buy the fry and grow them out, males have the color. If you are impatient like me you will pay a pretty penny for the guaranteed males. P/H are dimorphic. Mbuna males and females are both colored and they color up young. Species where the males and females look similar in coloring are called monomorphic. If you're not intrested in fry that's fine you don't have to seperate females when they are holding or you can get sydontis for fry control.



Your tanks looks very nice. I like the color of the blue peacocks. I think I'll probably get the them already sized maybe 2-3 inches. Do you recommend a place online? Also, are those real plants?
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby somebody » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:32 pm

Thank you! Actually in that picture there are no peacocks. The bluish purple with the yellow tails are mbuna called Yellow Tail Acei (Psudeotropheus sp.). There is a hap though, the red empress, left of center with the blue face and barring.

Standby for a PM on retailer(s).

Yes, the plants are real. They are jungle vallisneria. Don't remember who on ebay but from ebay.
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby Deeda » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:42 pm

A DIY screen top would be doable but will also detract (IMO) from the look of the rimless tank AND you will probably lose water daily due to evaporation. Another option may be to use a glass canopy and make or buy the stainless clips to support the glass. You can do a search online for the type of clips used on smaller size rimless tanks. More than likely you would need to use a local glass company to fabricate the glass lids similar to the ones made for standard trim tanks.

I also agree that real rocks definitely look more natural than the man made ones and will allow you to tailor the structures based on the species of fish you decide to stock. I find that all rocks acquire some degree of algae, diatom or general dirt rather quickly and it's a pain to maintain the original colors.

Peacock cichlids (Aulonocara) are an attractive fish but only the males have the stunning colors, the females are more silvery. Also you don't want to mix the different varieties of Peacock males and females as you will never be able to tell the females apart ever again and any fry that are produced won't have any value if you decide to sell them.
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:48 pm

Deeda wrote:A DIY screen top would be doable but will also detract (IMO) from the look of the rimless tank AND you will probably lose water daily due to evaporation. Another option may be to use a glass canopy and make or buy the stainless clips to support the glass. You can do a search online for the type of clips used on smaller size rimless tanks. More than likely you would need to use a local glass company to fabricate the glass lids similar to the ones made for standard trim tanks.

I Actually Saw A Video where on someone put 4 plastic thing connected to the tanks by a suction cup. This would allow the screen to be flush instead of being an eyesore.

I also agree that real rocks definitely look more natural than the man made ones and will allow you to tailor the structures based on the species of fish you decide to stock. I find that all rocks acquire some degree of algae, diatom or general dirt rather quickly and it's a pain to maintain the original colors.

I agree...definitely going to go with some kind of real rocks. Still thinking about the aqua scaping.

Peacock cichlids (Aulonocara) are an attractive fish but only the males have the stunning colors, the females are more silvery. Also you don't want to mix the different varieties of Peacock males and females as you will never be able to tell the females apart ever again and any fry that are produced won't have any value if you decide to sell them.


I'll definitely ask more questions when I start picking out fish.

thanks!
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:52 pm

Updated List: 4th of July is here, and I've been shopping around looking for some discounts.

Tanks/Stand/Sump:
Red Sea Refer 425 XL (Rimless Glass Tank) 88 Gallons (47x 22x 22.6)
Return Pump for Sump:
Multifunction - Syncra Silent 5.0 Pump (1321 GPH)
Powerhead:
EcoTech Marine VorTech MP10wQD Propeller Pump w/ Wireless QuietDrive Driver
Lighting:
AquaticLife EDGE LED Aquarium Light Fixture - 48 Inch
Substrate:
Caribsea Instant Aquarium Tahitian Moon Reef & Marine Substrate (Black Sand!) (Maybe 50lbs for 88 gallons?)
Equipment:
Python 50 Ft No Spill Clean And Fil

Things I still need to think about:
1) What to put in the sump.
2) What real rocks to put in.
3) Aquascaping
4) Fish ( need to do some more reading) - such a complex subject.

thanks everyone! Happy 4th!
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Re: New Tank Setup - Red Sea Reefer

Postby tiredboymike » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:50 pm

Purchased Tank And Equipment Today:

Here is the final list:

Tank: Red Sea Refer 425 XL (Rimless Glass Tank) 88 Gallons (47x 22x 22.6) -in White

Tunze Recirculation Pump Silence 1073.060
Sump - Comes with Fish Tank -All in on Kit

EcoTech Marine VorTech MP10wQD Propeller Pump w/ Wireless QuietDrive Driver

AquaticLife EDGE LED Aquarium Light Fixture - 48 Inch

Python 50 Ft No Spill Clean And Fil

Caribsea Instant Aquarium Tahitian Moon Reef & Marine Substrate (About 50lbs)

Eheim Feed Air Automatic Feeder

Carbon - AquaMaxx Carbon One Activated Carbon Filter Media - 4 Quart

Matrix - Seachem Laboratories Matrix - 2 Liters

Media - Bag - Boyd Chemi-bags - 2/pk 8.5 in x 4.5 in

Hoping it comes soon!!! Excited....

Will post of pictures as a move along... Thanks!
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