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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Both my tanks are acrylic but have separate sumps. After looking at dreamfishtank site I like the idea of the attached filtration, for smaller tanks anyway (~90 gallons or smaller). For larger tanks I'd want more flexibility. I'm sure you can replace the sponges with different media that you choose.

I read some of the reviews on the site, one mentioned that the width of the filter was too narrow for his arm to reach down into it. Not sure what size tank he had. Otherwise the reviews were generally very positive.

Good luck.
 

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Quick reaction:
1-Expensive
2-I don't like acrylic, it scratches too easily. Also the cost. For a 75G I would buy used for $75.
3-How do you remove the apparatus for cleaning? It looks like it is permanently attached, which would be awkward.
4-What if one of the components needs replacing...do you have to buy a whole new set up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a local store selling the 75G model for $600. I plan on putting the bio balls in media bags so I can easily pull them out for cleaning. The pump is a standard part that can be replaced. Not sure what components could fail that are not easily replaceable. I live in CA with earthquakes so I would like to avoid glass at all cost. Seems reasonably priced since I do not need to buy separate canister filter.
 

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emusnes said:
I have a local store selling the 75G model for $600. I plan on putting the bio balls in media bags so I can easily pull them out for cleaning. The pump is a standard part that can be replaced. Not sure what components could fail that are not easily replaceable. I live in CA with earthquakes so I would like to avoid glass at all cost. Seems reasonably priced since I do not need to buy separate canister filter.
Nice. I recommend that you get a replacement pump to keep on hand as a ready backup when/if needed. I do this for both my setups.
 

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I had a similar one of these about 20 years ago, though it was only a 40 gallon version. My only problem was the width is drastically reduced because the equipment is housed inside, so while it might say 18" on the 75 gallon version, the usable space is probably only 12" or so. I had a tough time finding rocks that would fit in the smallish opening on the top, and then when I did find some, they basically touched the front and back walls of the tank at the same time. Once I got it situated though, it worked perfectly fine. I used it for a couple different single species breeding groups of mbuna for a solid 10 years before I gave it to a niece when I upgraded to something bigger. She's still using it as a freshwater community tank in her dorm room, though it does have its fair share of scratches these days.
 

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Understanding that the requirement is acrylic for strength, the rounded corners give me pause. I would imagine that they would be hard to clean without scratching. I've been a glass guy all my life, but up until recently I've only had small aquariums. I got a large acrylic tank, and I was definitely struck by just how EASY it scratches. The Mag Float cleaner I bought (yes, it's the acrylic version) left micro-scratches/clouding in the tank. I now cover it with a microfiber cloth front inside and out to clean it to keep the scratches down.

The issue that I have is the light growing algae on the glass that has to be scraped or cleaned off - I honestly don't know how I'd clean the corners without scratching them, but I've only thought about it for a few minutes now. I bet I'd come up with something.

For the built in sump, you're basically going to have to stock it like a 55 and not a 75 - this has been mentioned before. Also, you'll be limited in beefing up the filtration if you ever need to, so stocking is way more limited in this tank.

I honestly think you'd be way happier over time if you went with a traditional sump under the tank. I get the acrylic for earthquakes, but why the integrated sump design?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My last few tanks have all been acrylic and I am extremely careful with them. I only use an algae mitt to clean it and have had very good luck in the past keeping them nice looking.

Regarding the integrated sump, I really want something super simple to get started with before making the next step. These uniquariums have almost zero leak or flood potential. (I have had a canister o-ring fail before). When I move to a bigger house I want to get an 8ft tank with an actual sump so I am not against them or anything. All of the possible sump designs and configurations have me a little overwhelmed too. This will give me more time to learn for the next setup.
 

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emusnes said:
My last few tanks have all been acrylic and I am extremely careful with them. I only use an algae mitt to clean it and have had very good luck in the past keeping them nice looking.
Once you realize how easily the acrylic can scratch and take proper care, then I've had no problem keeping my acrylic tanks. I use a soft wash cloth to clean the inside walls.
 

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ken31cay said:
emusnes said:
My last few tanks have all been acrylic and I am extremely careful with them. I only use an algae mitt to clean it and have had very good luck in the past keeping them nice looking.
Once you realize how easily the acrylic can scratch and take proper care, then I've had no problem keeping my acrylic tanks. I use a soft wash cloth to clean the inside walls.
To both Ken31Cay and emusnes, For those of us who are acrylic newbies, would you tell us what proper care is? What other tips and tricks can you share to keep things looking sparkly and new?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The two tank maintenance activities where I am most cautious are moving/inserting rocks into the tank and cleaning inside acrylic (algae, etc). When handling rocks take extra time/precaution to not hit the sides. For algae, never use scrapers or those magnetic cleaners from the outside. Only use soft cloth or mitt and be sure to move sand away from area if you are cleaning near bottom. For outside I only use soft cloth and water, no chemicals of any kind.

After 4 years my main tank had no visible scratches when full of water. When empty you could see some faint blemishes but they were not visible when full.
 

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What emusnes said above. And be aware of some dogs and younger kids: dogs tend to stand up and scratch the acrylic with their nails when trying to look at the fish inside, kids can scratch it with toys/other objects.
 

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Scratches in acrylic tanks can easily be fixed, assuming its just a surface level issue. Gouges need a little more work, but can also be dealt with.
 
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