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Hey Guys,

First time poster. I had a 75 gallon tank that I bought and set up in my living room but my wife hated it there and refused to leave the shade down next to it. I couldn't keep up with all the algae blooms and eventually I let it get out of control. I had 3 fish in there that survived by the time I was able to figure out a solution. My wife compromised and let me get a smaller tank in the family room and I decided on a 37 gallon tank. Its up and running and looks great. I moved the Eheim 2217 filter I had to the 37 gallon tank and now I'm left with an empty 75 gallon tank that's going to go into the basement I plan on finishing.

I have plenty of time to plan out what to do for the new cichlid set up. I'd like to set it up "right" this time. I'm relatively inexperienced with the hobby and am looking for advice on what to do with the tank as far as a from scratch set up. All I have is the tank, the stand, and the hood light fixture.

I'm going to need a new filter and I like the Eheim's. I see all sorts of people doing multiple filter combinations, hobs, canisters, sumps, and I guess its confusing me. I have limited technical skills and though I like the idea of having a really neat setup with overflows and additional filtration, under gravel flows, but its a bit overwhelming. Given enough time, I can figure anything out and time I have. I want to learn about this stuff and I don't know anyone else in the hobby with significant skill. Nor is there a good aquarium store near Dekalb, IL I have found.

My first question is going to be:

What's an ideal set up for a 75 gallon tank starting with filtration? Money isn't really the issue, its more a lack of skill with tools, combined with the curiosity of a nerd. I like things to work well and efficiently and don't mind paying more for quality. I also like the idea of having a tank that requires less upkeep.
 

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In most people's thinking, The Ehiem is a really good filter. The price is sometimes a sticking point. I have seven tanks with mostly different filters. They all have good and bad but by far overall I like my 2217 best. It takes far less maintenance than other filters I have. With the variety of media I use in it, I feel free to rinse any part of the media and know that they will be plenty of good bacteria left to do the job. I just like it in all ways other than price. I got what I paid for with it as well as the Cascade 1000. Of the two, I will buy the Ehiem next time. I only run one filter on each tank except when moving/ changing things around and it serves me well with no complaints. To each his own.
 
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