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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So originally i had my tank set up a couple years ago, gave it to my parents because i moved to virginia, all the fish eventually died. they cleaned it all out and *** been tinkering with putting it back together. i made a 3d background over the summer, and got around to concreting it about a month ago. i had gotten pea gravel from home depot and cleaned the **** out of it back in the summer as well. but i think i want to go different route.



the tank is a 29gal bowfront. right now i have a bio wheel for the filter, but im not sure if i should switch to undergravel. the only reason im thinking about this is because of the background and water flow from the filter. this is why i am going to be adding an undergravel jet to help with the water flow. i have a maxijet 600 for that. i need to get the plumbing done. the pump will be placed out of tank.

at the moment the tank as been filled and drained once after putting the background in. i have water in it now and i will drain it again probably this weekend. the background was siliconed in a few weeks ago so im not worried about the water all that much. in a week or so i want to start cycling it and prepping for fish(im thinkin malawi cichlids) but havent decided on that either.

but what should i do about the substrate. im thinking either something white like crushed coral or a small gravel that looks like it. or use something black. i was looking at the caribsea african cichlid mixes or the arag-alive stuff. im not sure what to use.
 

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first off i love the background im thinking of doing one for myself once i have the time and money second pool filter sand is white and is roughly around 5$ for a 5o lb back and u could also use playsand which i have in my 10 gal community tank and is doing fine but its all up to you but when ur done update it plz i would love to see it complete :thumb:
 

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To me that tank is screaming for sand. Either white or dirty looking play sand. I think black substrate would be too much with such a good looking light colored background. Though I'm one who likes a natural and not all people do. I'm guessing since you got the background and all that you do, so I would choose something that matches the rocks, as in, nature isn't going to make black sand from light colored stone.

I picked up play sand from Ace Hardware that was kind of dirty looking, and I love it. I had to clean it real good but I think it would be a great match for your background, so long as you add a few darker colored things in the tank like rocks or plants to break up the color some. Heres a pic of my tank with that sand in it so you know what I'm talking about.



This pic shows better the dirty look I'm talking about.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yea i went with a white sand. got it from the lfs. i didnt feel like washing anything like i did with the gravel. it cost me 12 bucks so i think it was worth it saving me from the hassle of cleaning more substrate

i also made the undergravel jet system. and i just read that dwarf cichlids do not like current or water interference in the tank?

i cant decide on fish tho. im think sa/ca cichlids. need something smaller. would like about 5 fish so one or two cichlids and then a small school of something.

id prefer a more rocky habitat with plants, im not a fan of driftwood.
 

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keyhole cichlids are amazing im warning you tho they are not as colorful as others but make it up in personality they come up to the glass when im close to it and since i have a 55 gal i feed the whole tank on one side the right side and they think there getting fed every time i walk by they are funny little guys im thinking 4 keyholes and some cory cats and you have an interesting tank my friend
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
im thinkin kribs right now. arent keyholes a little to big for my tank?

oh and on a side note, when i filled my tank last night i noticed a bigg crack in the filter casing. Today i tried twice to putty it with waterweld. still kept leaking so i picked me up another biowheel 200 and this one is noticeably louder than the last.

and my concrete is raising the pH in my tank horribly. Out the tap is ~7 and in the tank its between 9-10. Because of that i purposely filled and drained it a few times before hoping to start my cycle. I picked up some nutrafin ph adjust and added that. Tomorrow I will recheck and probably do a 30% water change. Lots of bumps in the road working on getting this up and running but i think it will be worth it.

I also got some rocks from an office complex nearby my house. that was a a fun adventure and they are soaking in a bucket with a little bleach at the moment. Should turn out well once i get them in the tank and a couple of caves formed.

I did get sand in the tank, i got 20lbs of white sand and 5lbs of black and mixed them. It gives a nice effect. Overall im happy with the point im at. I still havent added the artificial plants *** had from the past. still deciding on them. I want to get the rocks in first before i figure those plans out.

heres some pics..


 

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9 to 10 is soapy water. You sure you didn't add any soap-like chemicals?
 

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we get tap water with a Ph of 9-10, and it only feels soapy when it gets close to 10. From the DIY forum it seems pretty usual for concrete to raise the Ph. Most people seem to do what is being done, lots of big water changes until it evens out.

Never hurts to rule out soap, though :)

Tank is looking to be a real beaut, by the way. Hope you figure out stocking soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
*** never used anything with soap when it comes to the tank. and everything i have for cleaning is tank dedicated...buckets, sponges etc that never touch soap. i know it is the concrete. *** been using the ph down and water changes. *** done 3 complete drain and refills and will do a smaller one tomorrow.

this bio wheel is pissing me off tho. im gonna try to take it back to the lfs along with a 20 gal kit i bought for my girl and she doesnt want. i gotta fight they dont charge me a restocking fee as i bought it yesterday
 

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i have been toying with the idea of a diy background and have been doing alot of reading. the one thing i think that you missed is you should fill and drain your tank at least 8 times. this will be a pain the @** but it will be well worth it. good luck let me know how it goes. (very nice job on the background) looking forward to seeing your tank with fish.

Mcnagy
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mcnagy said:
i have been toying with the idea of a diy background and have been doing alot of reading. the one thing i think that you missed is you should fill and drain your tank at least 8 times. this will be a pain the @** but it will be well worth it. good luck let me know how it goes. (very nice job on the background) looking forward to seeing your tank with fish.

Mcnagy
*** done it 3 times. i never read an actual number on doing it. but the tank background was concreted probably two months before water touched it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so today i finally put the rocks in, and also did a 75% water change. hopefully the ph will be good enough to start the fish. i have a 70 dollar store credit to the lfs so im gonna buy some new plants and whatever else i might want. any suggestions? haha. wish i could get a new filter but the bio wheel will only fit the background i made :(



 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
update. got so tired of the new biowheel i bought and how loud it was i finally replaced it with a fluval c3. definitely noticeable quieter. also got rid of the ugj system. will be getting some tiger barbs within the week to help the cycle
 
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