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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Agreed to purchase a complete, running 75 gallon setup from a fellow on craigslist, going to pick it up tomorrow! So excited! I'm planning on using this as a all-male Hap/Peacock setup. He had no idea what fish are in it currently, guess we'll just wait and see! It's like a surprise package, probably just little tropical community fishes but we could get lucky and find some cichlids or cats? Tank's been setup for a long time with no losses, so at least we know everybody is healthy.

Anyway, I think it is awesome that it is a established tank, so not much of a cycle to worry about. Though I do want to change out the substrate to sand. Should probably do that straight away before I set it back up. Don't have time to do a DIY BG now though.... Oh well... Project for another day.

I'm not ready to order my Malawis yet, and I still need to order a bigger filter (this comes with a HOB), so I'm just gonna try and be patient and run this with the existing fish for a while. I'm really stoked to be getting a second 'big' tank though!! :dancing:

Here 'tis:


Can't wait to tear it apart and make it my own. :lol:
 

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Sweet....enjoy :thumb:
 

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75G is a great size that offers lots of stocking options. I am sure you'll enjoy it!

One warning though, if the current setup only has one HOB filter, nearly all the nitrifying bacteria are going to be in the substrate and on the decorations. If you change out the substrate, you'll definitely want to run the old filter for a bit longer. When you put in your Malawis, maybe ad the bigger filter at the same time, and seed it with bacteria from your other big tank. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
fmueller said:
75G is a great size that offers lots of stocking options. I am sure you'll enjoy it!

One warning though, if the current setup only has one HOB filter, nearly all the nitrifying bacteria are going to be in the substrate and on the decorations. If you change out the substrate, you'll definitely want to run the old filter for a bit longer. When you put in your Malawis, maybe ad the bigger filter at the same time, and seed it with bacteria from your other big tank. :thumb:
Arg, I know! I did the best I could. Filter is running with its old pad, plus a bag of bio max from my other tank. Bag of gravel from my tank is sitting on the sand near the intake. I put all the decorations in as is (castles, yay! lol) , no scrubbing, hopefully some bacteria made the trip...questionable.. I pretty much expect it to have to go through a bit of a cycle. I'll keep an eye on the params and water change accordingly. I am most definitely going to wait until the tank is settled down, healthy, and completely cycled before swapping fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Went to pick up the tank last night. It was SO dirty! The smell reminded me of my childhood days keeping huge fancy goldfish in 10 gallon tanks. Ugh... death water!!

The fish were a surprise, and since I hoped for catfish I sure got CATFISH, lol.
Lots of big, fat, mature stuff. 9 swordtails, 1 yoyo loach, 1 6" Rainbow shark, 2 tetras (garnets?), 1 10" Pleco, and the ugliest, big, old, nasty Raphael I've ever seen. The owner (having inherited the tank with a business a year or so ago) had never even known the Raphael was in there! He's a nasty sucker, that's for sure (and this coming from a person with two other raphaels, I think they're cool). But only 5 1/2 inches or so.

Yoyo. Keep him and buy a few more? Or send him to the LFS and get Synos?


Monster shark


The most flattering pic I took of mr. humbug here...


Got the tank home at 8:30 pm. Fish got to hang out in a big bucket with an airstone and a heater for hours while I worked on it. Scrubbed all the algae out, then spent forever outside, in the dark, in 15 degree weather, rinsing 150 lbs of sand. Brr...and my aching back. I think I put too much sand in, it is pretty deep. It does look nice, but maybe an inch or so would be sufficient? I think I'll siphon some out. The sand is #30 silica sand from Lane Mt Co (Old Castle) bought from Home Depot for $7 / 100 lb bag. I am really really happy with it. It was quite clean, required little rinsing, and is the nice light, almost white color I wanted. Will keep you posted as to how it does re. algae and maintenance.



Here's my 'milkshake'. Not too bad!




The tank all assembled. A little cloudy, but the sand will settle. Is that cool decor or what? Lol. Don't make fun of me. I've never been one for ships and castles but it came with it and I needed to get the tank set up straight away so I just sort of stuffed everything in. Will be rockwork eventually. I need to go rock picking. I added the fake plants to give the fish more cover. I kind of like them, think I will try to incorporate them more artfully into my finally rock design. The shells came with, but I actually love them. My OH has been begging me for a reef tank but I'm just not up for it right now, so this is as close as he's gonna get for a while.

Finally was able to add the fish. The shark went to me CA cichlid tank, the tetras went to my lone Peacock's tank, everyone else went in here. I opened the bucket and the big plec came flying out and landed on my floor. Water and mad catfish everywhere! I got him cornered against a stand and tried to poke him into a small plastic box with a dustpan (I'm not touching that thing!!) He was so not cooperating!! He stuck all his fins out and stood up on his pectorals. My border collie helped of course. If you know anything about border collies....well..anyway... Finally maneuvered him into the box. It was quite an exciting little rodeo.

Here's my opponent


Here's the tank this morning. Almost clear. All the fish seem to be doing fine. Currently running a Cascade 300 HOB and an 1100 LPH powerhead for some extra circulation.


So, yes, lots more work to be done, plenty of changes will be made, but that is where it is at as of this moment. I haven't decided what, if anything, I am going to keep in there once the cichlids go in. They are just working on the biofilter for now. Think I should leave any of them in there?

I am concerned about all these fish in here with the compromised bio filter... Will have to watch params closely... :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Doing a bit of research on loaches. Maybe mine is a histronica, not a almorhae? I have no idea. Anyone know? He's 2" right now, extremely active.
 

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Yup, don't mess with plecos!
I had most of the water drained from my 75G, doing some fry-fishing and venting. I was scrubbing the back glass and forgot about the pleco in there. S/he was about 7" at the time. I have a 1x2cm scar on my forearm as a result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, the tank has been running for 2 days now. The swordtails have appeared very stressed, hanging out near the output of the powerhead, skimming the surface, etc.. Their appetite is still good. I was freaking out thinking they were dieing of poisoning or something. I put an airline on the powerhead to increase the O2 and I dosed the tank with Prime. I went out today to buy a couple new test kits but everything tested out really well.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: < 5
Temp: 80
pH: 7.6
gH: 11
kH: 9

So it looks to me as if I got enough bacteria into the filter that I didn't get a cycle. Or else, there isn't yet enough toxins accumulated to register? Or else I have bad kits? Or else the Prime is messing with my readings? (I have API kits ) I think I'm not being patient enough, give it a few more days and see what is cooking.

Whatever it is, my swordtails are still stressed, I've noticed one has been flashing. The oldest large female was acting very poorly from the beginning and she died today. The loach has been acting completely happy, but I removed him to another tank today. Catfish have been in hiding, but that's typical.

Current stock:
10" pleco
5.5" raphael catfish
9 ~2.5" swordtails

Did a smallish water change(17 gal) this evening while sucking waste off the sand, and also removed quite a bit of sand. Been feeding lightly 2x a day.

I'll keep testing the water. Very impatiently waiting for all to settle so I can get some cichlids in here!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes could be, their water was very bad. The raphael had a cloudy eye and a rather strange slime coat. Some of the swordtails looked good but some had sunken bellies or missing bits of fin. I'm hoping nice clean water will perk everybody up. Swords are looking ok this morning, all the fish I placed in other tanks look perfect, we'll see how it goes.
 

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goldcreek said:
Doing a bit of research on loaches. Maybe mine is a histronica, not a almorhae? I have no idea. Anyone know? He's 2" right now, extremely active.
I hace kept Yo-Yo's over the years and still have a couple in My Malawi tank because I didn't want to rehome them :) Yours is defintiely a Yo-Yo. You could add more (they say they are happiest in groups of 6 or more), rehome him, or simply let him live out his life as is. I don't think you can go wrong. The 2 I have seem perfectly happy together as a couple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The tank he is in right now has black gravel and WOW he looks gorgeous over it, bold black and gold. I'm in love. :) I think I will keep him in that community tank. But maybe if I find some more nice looking loaches in the future they can go in the 75. Definitely keeping this fella though.

 

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Nice pic and nice fish :thumb:

The nice thing about yo-yo;s is they don't get big like some others (clown's in particular). Mine are 4 years old and are 5 in or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, Day 3, the 75 gave me an ammonia reading finally, .25 ppm. We are going to go through a cycle. At what point should I water change to protect the fish? I've been vacuuming pleco poo off the sand every day. Keep this up? Or am I extending the time this is going to last?

Water is crystal clear and swordtails are looking happier than ever. :?

Also of interest, I am still getting a NitrAte reading, 5 ppm now. ?? NitrIte still 0.

I'm going to add some more seeded gravel to try to hurry things along. :p

It will be interesting to see how long this takes.
 

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goldcreek said:
So, Day 3, the 75 gave me an ammonia reading finally, .25 ppm. We are going to go through a cycle. At what point should I water change to protect the fish? I've been vacuuming pleco poo off the sand every day. Keep this up? Or am I extending the time this is going to last?

Water is crystal clear and swordtails are looking happier than ever. :?

Also of interest, I am still getting a NitrAte reading, 5 ppm now. ?? NitrIte still 0.

I'm going to add some more seeded gravel to try to hurry things along. :p

It will be interesting to see how long this takes.
Keep the ammonia under 1ppm, same for nitrite when it registers.
You'll be changing water if and when it does go over, so you can vacuum then unless it's an abnormally large amount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Added several more cups of used gravel. Took the prefilter off a powerhead and squeezed it out into the HOB. See if we can get some more bacteria going.

Will be ordering a Rena XP4 within a week or two, be good to get that puppy running along with this HOB. I have no faith in the HOB to handle this size aquarium, it seems woefully small.

Thanks for the tips GTZ, will do.
 
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