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Planning on upgrading to a big tank. Either a 125 or 175. Are their any good articles on here on what is needed for tanks of this size? Can anyone list from me what i will need to purchase (besides fish!)? Hoping to find a tank/stand on craigslist, but after that, what else will I need?

Thank you in advance.
 

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Do you mean a 180? I haven't seen a 175g. But I would go with the larger one. They take up the same floor space and in the long run you'll wish you got the bigger one.

You now need to decide on filtration. You first need to find out if the tank is drilled or "reef ready". If it is you will want to go with a wet/dry sump system. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-wet-dry-filter.htm These are very good filters and probably the best set up for larger tanks. If the tank is not drilled, you can drill them yourself or have someone drill them. However if you don't want to get involved with drilling you can run other types of filtration. For example, I have a 180g. It is not drilled. My filtration set up is a Fluval FX5, marineland C360 and 2 empereror 400's. I am a firm believer in overfiltration but with cichlids you want to try to have 10x the tank size turnover. So for a 180 you want to try to get close to 1800 gallons per hour turnover.

Again depending on what type of fish you plan on keeping will depend on what you need. You need to choose a substrate. Assuming you will be keeping African cichlids, then sand is the best choice. Many types of sand work. I use pool filter sand. It's cheap and pretty clean right out of the bag. Decorations are personal preference but I always try to keep it natural. Larger rocks with the sand substrate seem to work very well.

Not sure what the tank is coming with. Assuming it's just an empty tank, you need some type of canopy or glass top. I have 3 2' glass tops where I can sit my light fixtures right on top. Next would be lighting. Again this is personal preference and you may have to experiment with different bulbs to get the lighting that you like. If you search the forum there are tons of posts referring to lighting.

For a tank this size, a good stand it very important. If you are lucky you can find one on craigslist. If you are handy, you can build one. Check the DIY section or just google "180 gallon fish tank stands" and you will find blue prints to build one. Also with a tank this size be sure your floor can support the weight. Ideally you want the tank sitting perpendicular to your floor joists so 4 or 5 of them can distribute the weight. If not, you may have to have your floor supported so it doesn't sag over time.

You will need a heater as well. There are also many posts on this topic in the forum. You want the lowest wattage you can get that will keep your warm at the proper tempature. This is because when heaters break, they usually do so and stay on and cook your fish! With a 180 I run 2 smaller wattage heaters, so if one breaks they won't over heat the tank too bad.

I would also suggest buying a good water testing kit. Specifically tests for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I'm sure, i'm missing some little things you might need but this is a good start. There is alot to read in the library section and literally will tell you everything you need to know. Specifically read every article in this section...
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... y_list.php

Good luck and post if you have anymore questions
 
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