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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I’m new! I currently have a 46 gallon planted aquarium but just purchased a 125 and Eheim 2229 wet dry filter and have plans to set it up at a peacock and hap tank. But, now that I have the aquarium I don’t know where to go from here and seeking guidance. I have several questions.
What is the best substrate?
What rocks are best for building caves and where is the best place to acquire them?
Must the rocks come from a pet shop?
When I started my planted tank I did a fishless cycle and it took quite some time dosing with ammonia, and then fully stocked the tank. For this one I would like to start off with a handful of juveniles and slowly build by stock as I find that extra special fish now and again. How do I go about doing this?
While at my LFS I was told that there are some smaller species of cichlids that I could also add to the tank. Which ones are safe to put together? I would love to have larger peacocks, and also have some smaller fish as well, for a more natural feel.
My filter has a spray bar, is a power head needed, I do have one, should I use it as well?
Any other tips would be greatly helpful!
Thank you everyone!!!
 

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For substrate, I use Pool filter sand, its cheap and looks good too.

I personally would never by rocks from a pet store, you can get the same rocks at a fraction of the cost at most landscaping yards. they usually have a much better selection.

In regards to the cycling question Ill let a more qualified person handle that one, since I usually cut corners on this and surprisingly have never had any problems, never done a fish less cycle yet.

smaller fish I'm not sure, my general rule of thumb is , if another fish fits in the mouth of another fish you may taking a risk.

I find using a power adds more movement to the water thus adding more oxygen.

another helpful hint, when ever your looking equipment check the local online classified add sometime you can get awesome deals.
 

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Pork chop is right. Pool filter sand here, rocks from my back yard and local roads too. Just be sure to clean them well first with bleach water and scrubbing. If you had already done a fishless cycle I would suggest doing it again. It takes the same amount of time with or without fish. Thus time however you can take some established media and/or substrate from your 46 and add it to the 125. This should help speed up the process. As far as stock, im not an expert. Having a hap peacock tank myself I can tell you its hit or miss with what works. If you are planning an all male tank sexing juveniles is extremely difficult. Be prepared to demove females or troublesome fish. Also you may what to add more filtration than you plan on using. Ideally you want to try to get 10x water turnover rate. So for a 125 you're looking around 1250 gallons per hr. Good luck and post some pics when you get it stocked up.
 

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Regarding rock, come on down to Wilmington in a week or two when the KKK river is lower. You won't even have to get your feet wet unless you want to. Its is only a 45 minute drive from DT Chicago and I will be happy to help you and show you what I have found to be the best way to use them. And while the gasolene is not, the rocka are free. :lol:

I might be able to help answer your other question also, and if you like set you up with some L. Tanganyika juvies.
 

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You will find advise from one end to the other but what works for me is going slow and being ready to change when needed. Saves lots of worry and expense. Definitely do not need rocks from shops. Landscaping supplies are cheaper than driving very far and have a wide range that work. For safety, always do a bleach soak before putting anything in the tank. Something like washing your plate before eating? There might not be anything there, but why chance it. For soaking I often just do it in the tank but if you have your tank cycle started use a bucket, etc.
Add a half cup or so of ordinary household bleach and let it soak for 24 or so hours and then rinse it and let it all air dry totally. Since the cycle will take much longer, it does not slow you down to bleach soak things. If you spot a shiny film on the soaking water, I ditch those rocks as they may have oil, etc. but other wise rock is very safe.

For stocking, use some study but don't limit your thinking too far. Many things work that are not ideal. I find nothing wrong with placing mbuna in with some of the milder hap or peacocks. Given adequate space to move and hide, I find the mbuna use the rocks and know to duck and cover and the haps and peacocks generally ignore them. With a 125, you have lots of options. For me, I would go with rocks in parts of the tank and open spaces in other areas. For fish I might go cyrtocara moori for a slow growing open water type, yellow labs for a nice yellow, and add a few of the milder types as I found them. At first avoid the more aggressive like Melanochromis and Metriaclima. No need to start with the more aggressive. Avoid the urge to buy "Mixed Africans" as they are often the more aggressive rejects. Good luck and keep asking those questions when in doubt.
 

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rgr4475 said:
Just be sure to clean them well first with bleach water and scrubbing.
I wouldn't use bleach it's very hard to get the residue off. I don't like using bleach under any circumstances. I bleached my texas holy rocks once and almost killed my fish when I put it back in the tank. Eventough I rinsed them to death. Rocks can be very porus and difficult to get rid of all the residue. No offense just trying to help the noob out from killing his fish.

I've purchased rocks many times from landscaping companies and a good rinse was all they needed.
 

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You need to use dechlorinator to remove chlorine bleach completely. Rinsing won't do it if the rock is porous. After soaking in water with a little bleach for 24 hours, drain and refill and add a double dose of dechlor. Let it sit for another 24 hours, then drain and rinse. If there's any bleach smell, repeat the dechlor step.

If you pick up rocks from local streams, etc, then it's a good idea to bleach. One time I didn't and introduced snails even after scrubbing. Otherwise, I just scrub them.
 

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jd_7655 said:
rgr4475 said:
Just be sure to clean them well first with bleach water and scrubbing.
I wouldn't use bleach it's very hard to get the residue off. I don't like using bleach under any circumstances. I bleached my texas holy rocks once and almost killed my fish when I put it back in the tank. Eventough I rinsed them to death. Rocks can be very porus and difficult to get rid of all the residue. No offense just trying to help the noob out from killing his fish.

I've purchased rocks many times from landscaping companies and a good rinse was all they needed.
I've used bleach water for years to clean rocks, old filters, used decorations etc and never lost a single fish. I don't pull it out of the bleach water bucket and drop it in the tank. I follow the steps prov356 explained.
 

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I don't understand the thinking that bleach water will some way soak into a rock but putting the rock in clean water and letting it rinse will not let the clean water dilute the bleach. Some type of special gates on the pores so that only bleach can enter but not clean water? All the cases I've found will let both in and out with equal ease. Since chlorine is a gas by nature it will also gas off into the air when given a chance to dry. Most expereinced fish keepers who have tried bleach soaks, use it routinely without harm. Those who have not tried it, don't like it. Those who don't understand, are afraid of it. No use trying to explain it much further.
 

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rgr4475 said:
jd_7655 said:
rgr4475 said:
Just be sure to clean them well first with bleach water and scrubbing.
I wouldn't use bleach it's very hard to get the residue off. I don't like using bleach under any circumstances. I bleached my texas holy rocks once and almost killed my fish when I put it back in the tank. Eventough I rinsed them to death. Rocks can be very porus and difficult to get rid of all the residue. No offense just trying to help the noob out from killing his fish.

I've purchased rocks many times from landscaping companies and a good rinse was all they needed.
I've used bleach water for years to clean rocks, old filters, used decorations etc and never lost a single fish. I don't pull it out of the bleach water bucket and drop it in the tank. I follow the steps prov356 explained.
It's just my personal opinion I don't like bleach. Sure it might have it's uses but I try to avoid telling noobs to use it. Especially without elaborating on the hazards of it. Most household bleaches are made up of other things besides chlorine that declorinators won't work on. Bleach isn't something people should get in the habbit of using on thier aquariums. **** I won't even use dish soap.
 

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jd_7655 said:
rgr4475 said:
Just be sure to clean them well first with bleach water and scrubbing.
I wouldn't use bleach it's very hard to get the residue off. I don't like using bleach under any circumstances. I bleached my texas holy rocks once and almost killed my fish when I put it back in the tank. Eventough I rinsed them to death. Rocks can be very porus and difficult to get rid of all the residue. No offense just trying to help the noob out from killing his fish.

I've purchased rocks many times from landscaping companies and a good rinse was all they needed.
I agree, I used vinegar to clean the used tank and decorations that I bought. I diluted the vinegar and used hot water and rinsed for like an hour lol. I let them dry then rinsed them again, I wouldn't chance it with bleach.
 

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lil_gold_ram said:
I agree, I used vinegar to clean the used tank and decorations that I bought. I diluted the vinegar and used hot water and rinsed for like an hour lol. I let them dry then rinsed them again, I wouldn't chance it with bleach.
Vinegar doesn't sterilize, so doesn't accomplish the same thing. I'm not sure what using vinegar on rocks wuold even accomplish at all. You might as well just use water.

If anyone is fearful of using bleach, that's ok, but you're spreading that fear without cause or justification. It really has been used by aquarists for decades very safely. Think of it as concentrated chlorine. It can be very safely and easily removed with a dechlorinator. Chlorine is very unstable and will easily gas off. And I have tested dechlorinating a strong concentration of 'bleached' water. It does work very well. And I've used it often to remove algae from rocks, etc. There's nothing to fear if done properly. And I think it was fair to assume that if the newcomer to the hobby was going to take up the suggestion to use bleach, they'd have asked for more info. There was no reason to go into all the details at that point.

jd_7655 said:
Most household bleaches are made up of other things besides chlorine that declorinators won't work on.
That's just not true.

jd_7655 said:
It's just my personal opinion I don't like bleach
And that's ok, but again, please don't exaggerate the dangers to support the opinion.
 

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I use bleach regularly when cleaning rocks, tank equipment and even plants. It works great for cleaning things effectively and safely. It's also a good way of keeping snails out of your tank.

I added some anubias to my tank a few weeks ago and did a 1:20 bleach dip followed by a dip in water that was heavily dosed with dechlorinator when I brought them home from the LFS. The guy in the store assured me they had no snails and cautioned me about using a bleach treatment as it could kill the plants. I did it anyway and am really glad I did because even though the plants looked fine before the dip, several tiny snails, killed by the treatment, were left behind in the bleach bucket. The plants were a little worse for wear from what I put them through but two weeks later they've recovered and have even grown noticeably.

You want to be careful that the bleach you use doesn't have any added scent but heavily dechlorinating and/or drying will eliminate anything from a bleach treatment that could harm your fish.
 

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The problem with bleach is not the bleach but the myths used to support not using it. Reading the label on a jug will tell you what is in it. If you go for the rosy lemon flavored pricey stuff, then it may not be right for aquarium use. If your shopper is prudent with the money and only buys a product for what it does, it will be the unflavored variety. Even if you have to invest the $1.50 for a jug of your own, that seems reasonable to me. Once you get it home you can read the label and find it is only a 5% concentration. Not like you are going to die from a toxic gas. The government and business are pretty careful about not letting their products kill people.

If all the information about bleach is still not telling you anything, try your own experiment. Mixed a batch of 50% water and 50% bleach. That's a real strong mix but should show you obvious results. Place half the mix in an open glass container and half in a glass container with a lid that closes tightly like a jelly jar, etc. Set both back somewhere that has good air circulation and no metal nearby. Wait a week and put a test strip of bright colored cloth in each container. You will find the open container is no longer bleach. The closed container still works. The reason for not storing it near metal is that the chlorine gas coming out will rust your metal things as it gasses off into the air.

On the other hand, if you want a simple test, just place an open container of straight bleach under your tool rack with your best tools and wait to see what happens. I think you will find the chlorine comes out of the bleach and finds your tools real well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for the info!

I went to my local pool suply store (Leslie's) and bought 150 pounds of pool filter sand. How well does this need to be cleaned?

I plan on going to the local rock suply places near me to get get rocks on your advice this week when they are open.

I plan on using 1 tray of media from my current tank to use in the Eheim 2229 to help get things started. I also have 2 pieces of slate I will move to the new tank for a short while and could also use some plant clippings. Thinking of also adding about 15 gallons of water from my old tank to the new one. What is the best media for the Eheim 2229? I plan to buy online since the prices are so high in pet stores.

Also, I have found something called bio-sporia? Does this work? I want to get my tank up and running asap, like most people, so I can add fish. What would be the best and fastest way to cycle?
 

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MandyBlue said:
Thank you all for the info!

I went to my local pool suply store (Leslie's) and bought 150 pounds of pool filter sand. How well does this need to be cleaned?

I plan on going to the local rock suply places near me to get get rocks on your advice this week when they are open.

I plan on using 1 tray of media from my current tank to use in the Eheim 2229 to help get things started. I also have 2 pieces of slate I will move to the new tank for a short while and could also use some plant clippings. Thinking of also adding about 15 gallons of water from my old tank to the new one. What is the best media for the Eheim 2229? I plan to buy online since the prices are so high in pet stores.

Also, I have found something called bio-sporia? Does this work? I want to get my tank up and running asap, like most people, so I can add fish. What would be the best and fastest way to cycle?
I'm sure it depends on brand, but the pfs I use is very clean right out of the bag. However you should rinse it first. Watch this - http://www.cichlid-forum.com/videos/rinsing_sand.php.

I've don't really use Eheim so I'll let the owners chime in there. As far as bio spira there is debate if it works or not.

For cycling I found, the easiest and best way is fishless cycling. Read about it here - http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/f ... ycling.php There are alot of posts on the site about fishless cycling if you search. Just make sure to get ammonia without surfacants. Ace hardware sells it if you have one near you.
 

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Hope we didn't get too strident with our bleach discussion. The pool filter sand may vary slightly but most will be pretty clean. Just run some water through it and if the water comes out too dirty to see through, it is worth getting it clean before putting it in the tank. Just much easier than fighting with cleaning filter and such after it goes in. I use the Eheim 2217 and just go with their standard setup on media. It is a form of ceramic barrels first at the bottom, a type that looks like gravel to provide bacteria colonies and then a blue foam pad and finish with a white pad for final filtering of the water. As the pads wear out, I will most likely convert to a DIY cut to fit blue/white bonded pad but they seem to last forever and I have not made that switch yet.
To me the best way to get a jump on the cycle would be to build the new filter and start it working on your existing tank where it can build the good bacteria while you are getting the rest together. I'm undecided on the bacteria in a bottle. It would seem to depend on how the container might have been treated in shipping and storage. Did it get too hot or cold or other problems that might have killed the bacteria? I'm not sure, there. I have bought brine shrimp eggs that were no good and it would seem to be much the same only more tender????
 
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