South American Cichlids • general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

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general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby tjcharnley » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:16 pm

So my 75 gallon tank has finally finished the cycle I believe.
One Oscar, and one smaller Jack Dempsey.

current levels-
ph -7.0 to 7.2
nitrite- 0ppm
ammonia- 0ppm
nitrate- 10-20ppm

Tank temp- 78 degrees

Just did a 30% water change yesterday and the nitrates are still at that level. Tank is crystal clear and both fish seem to be very happy now and showing growth, with great appetite.
Feeding medium pellets twice daily and occasionally throwing in cichlid frozen food, crickets, meal worms, and brine shrimp all various times trying to get a well balanced diet.
Tank took six weeks to cycle with media from the old tank.

My question is now, are those levels okay or is there anything I can do to lower the nitrates more? do I need to be doing bigger water changes, or is that level fine and when do I need to start worrying about it getting too high?

I haven't touched the filters yet as I was waiting for the tank to finish the cycle, when can I change the filters to new ones without it being an issue? first time with a bigger tank, the HOB filter I have has to large media filters in it. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as id like to keep these guys happy.
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tjcharnley
 
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Oscar6 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:36 pm

Nitrates are lowered with water changes. Yes, more volume per change.75%. Pls explain what you mean by changing filters? Your beneficial bacteria lives and grows in the filter bio media. You don't change that, you gently rinse it in tank water. What is the filtration on this tank?Also suggest planning on a bigger tank. Oscar will outgrow JD by 2or even 3 to one. Fish look beautiful, tank is great as well, it's just not big enough.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby tjcharnley » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:44 pm

well I have the aqueon 75 in my tank now and you have the charcoal filters inside, and then you have the foam pads on the front of the filter.
The plan was to upgrade to a bigger tank in the future, but these guys were kept in a 30 gallon tank together so this was already a huge upgrade for them, already understanding that a bigger tank will be needed in the future.
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Oscar6 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:50 pm

Very soon that filter won't keep up to bioload. Filter"ratings" don't apply to tanks holding large messy cichlids. suggest you look into a large canister asap. You will protect fish as they grow, and be better prepared to set up a bigger tank.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby tjcharnley » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:53 pm

Is there a certain recommendation for any special size or brand?
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Oscar6 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:00 pm

I use Fluval FX series and API Filstar cans. Both quiet, reliable and efficient. Can't go wrong with Eheim Classic line. Model 2217. Another cheaper option is Aquaclear 110 hob. My tanks are all filtered with canister/Aquaclears combos.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Oscar6 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:04 pm

To be honest, those cartridge style filters are useless on a cichlid tank. No bio capacity, limited options for cleaning and maintenance. Shouldn't have carbon as a regular media component either.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby tjcharnley » Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:42 pm

Just upgraded to a fluval fx4. How should I go about getting it good to go ? Do I have to leave the hold hob filter going for a certain time ? I’d assume leaving them both go for a while would be the best way.
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby fishboy75 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:32 am

Yes, leave the HOB filter on there for at least a month while the FX4 grows beneficial bacteria. But there's also no reason to get rid of it. More filtration the better.
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Auballagh » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:43 am

Hmmmm... :popcorn:

Oscar6 wrote:Also suggest planning on a bigger tank. Oscar will outgrow JD by 2or even 3 to one. Fish look beautiful, tank is great as well, it's just not big enough.


Yep.
-
Plus, I hope you've already purchased a quality Nitrate Test kit? Those two growing cichlids in there are gonna build that stuff up fast. They're both sensitive to it, and if Nitrate levels get up past 20-30 PPM, toxic stress and all kinds of trouble are sure to follow for you. To counteract that, be ready to start pushing a lot more water soon in water changes to dilute the Nitrates out of your water. (in larger tanks = more water volume, those Nitrate levels will build up more slowly).
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Oh, and as for the cheap HOB....

fishboy75 wrote:But there's also no reason to get rid of it. More filtration the better.


As they say, "GO WITH THE FLOW".

The additional water flow will help oxygenate the water and keep a bio-film layer from forming on the surface. And definitely, put a foam pre-filter on the intake of that HOB filter. Plus after a few weeks, pull the cartridge out and fill the reservoir area with filtration foam or a small net bag of matrix rock. You'll get quite a bit more biological filtration performance out of it. :thumb:
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby tjcharnley » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:43 pm

Is there any recommendations for what I should be having in my canister? Or just keep it the way it came?
So far both fish seem to be absolutely loving the current off the filter and are going around the tank crazily.

Nitrates right now are between 10-20ppm. Anything I can stick into the canister to aid on removing nitrates ?
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Auballagh » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:29 pm

I'm not surprised about your Cichlids reaction to the new water current in their tank. Riverine, esp. New World Cichlids, may rest a lot in areas of quiet water in the wild. But sooner or later, they will definitely seek out current. They definitely DO NOT like stagnant water... And, your Apex Predator in there (Oscar!) definitely knows all about those yummy (helpless?) things that sometimes get swept up and sent downstream in riverine water currents! :D
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As for your new canister filter? If it's full of filter media? Everything in it will colonize with the beneficial bacteria you need for biological filtration purposes. I would just leave everything in there pretty much, as is. (Place a foam pre-filter on your canister intake though!).
-
Now, when it comes to the De-Nitrator thing? Ummmm... no. Nothing will work for placement into canister filters that I personally know of. And, the techie/gadgety De-Nitrator things that you can purchase, just always seem to be much more work to operate and utilize than they are ultimately worth.... :?
But....
Do not abandon hope quite yet! Outside of just doing those water changes, your best friend in EATING those toxic Nitrates may well be - AQUATIC PLANTS!!!
And well, despite the limited options your Oscar will give you in setting up a heavily planted aquarium.... Digging, ripping and interior decor-rearranging - while charming - are NOT conducive to keeping planty things, y'know? You could try placing some sturdy aquatic plants into the aquarium, sited in actual in pots. Or, you could even go with a kind of hang-on-back plant 'refugium' kind thing with floating plants in it and a strong plant light. Providing such things may not eliminate the Nitrates out of the water (the buildup will be too fast), but it could help to extend the amount of time it takes for those Nitrates to build up to unacceptably high levels in the aquarium. :)
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby tjcharnley » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:38 pm

what about doing salvinia natans? would that be a better idea ?
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Auballagh » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:51 pm

Sure! You may even be able to get away with a pretty decent crop of live 'floaties' in the tank itself. I DO KNOW, that both your JD and Oscar will appreciate the shadowing effects and dimmer light conditions in the aquarium - courtesy of the floating plants.
You must provide some really good plant lighting for those plants. Floaters are notorious for requiring a strong, direct lighting source. So, if you want strong plant growth (that means hungry Nitrate eaters, right?), then you must not skimp on the lighting source for your plants.
And, it's pretty easy to see if things are working correctly with plants.... If you're doing it right, you will be culling-out a (LUSH!!!) overabundance of those plants growing in your aquarium. :)
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: general questions 75G Oscar/JD tank

Postby Oscar6 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:03 pm

I run all my FX filters the same. The wrap around sponges it comes with do a good job of mechanical cleaning. Fill both baskets to the rim with quality bio media. Unlikely the filter came with enough to do that. Add more Fluval Biomax or Seachem Matrix. No carbon. Using any sort of fine pads or polishing floss will call for more frequent opening of the can to replace or clean that media. You want to open canisters as infrequently as possible. Here lies the advantage of the Aquaclear 110. A great mechanical filter with decent bio capacity, it moves a lot of water and takes a lot of mechanical filtering off the shoulders of the canister. You can rinse an Aquaclear sponge in two minutes. Canister cleaning.. half hour. See the benefit? As for plants, yes they make for a healthy aquarium. Floaters may get pulled into filter intakes. Rooted plants almost always stand no chance in an Oscar tank. Also realize, there is more to a water change than lowering nitrate. Messy cichlids urinate and deficate constantly. You get phosphate and silicate buildup over time. Plainly, there is no substitute for water changes. The more frequent and more volume the better. Get the fish acclimated to large volume frequent changes, nothing but benefit for them.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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