Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally found a nice looking tank used from someone locally. I'm going to view it tomorrow. It is a 90 gallon with a nice stand, top, and lights. The seller has "mixed africans" in it right now, possibly some labs (hybrids maybe), an albino zebra (maybe from the picture), possibly some acei, and 2 plecos. The filter is a magnum 350. There is one small fry that looks like a zebra hyrid since it has vertical barring.

I want to have time to setup a new filter (FX5) and build an USJ system, but don't really want any of the fish unless some are acei and maybe the plecos. I don't have a tank yet and would like to keep the 350 running so that the bacteria doesn't die. Is the old Magnum worth keeping in conjunction with the FX5 once the FX5 is established?

Should I get a small 10 gallon at Walmart and set it up with a couple of the fish to keep the filter going? Which fish should I pick? I guess I'd have to take the rest to the LFS and hope for credit.

A lot of questions, and I've been reading everything on this forum for months now... just getting anxious now that the time is near :D



oh, I'd build a nice wood top for this also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
I say take everything home and set it all back up the way it is, fish and everything. The rocks don't have to be stacked the same though. When transporting the filter media make sure to keep it wet so the bacteria doesn't die. After everything is back up and running connect the fx5 to the tank and let it run for a couple weeks to build up the bacteria into the media.

During this time you can build your USJ system and get it all ready to go. I take it you are going to be using sand so rinse it out really reaaaaaaally good. After about two weeks of the tank running and you are ready - post an ad on Craig's List saying "free cichlids" and have someone come and remove the fish. You then take out the gravel and other decor. Leaving the water in the tank put in the USJ system and the sand. Make sure to turn off the filters when you add the sand. After the sand has been added do a 50% water change and if the water isn't cloudy from the sand turn the filters back on and add the fish you want. You should be good to go.

You can keep the magnum running after the fx5 is seeded with bacteria if you want. The more the merrier. You can also have the magnum performing different filtration than the fx5.

How much is the guy asking for the setup if you don't mind telling?

Also, take a tape measure and make sure it is a 90 gallon - 48" long X 18" wide X 24-25" high. A lot of times people think they have a bigger tank than they actually do. Take a couple weeks ago for example. Someone was selling a supposed "90 gallon fish tank" locally and they just lived down the street so I get there and it was a 55g. No big deal but needless to say it's frustrating at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I went to see it today. It is a nice quality stand with a few salt stains from when it was a salt setup. The tank looks new still. It is really a 75, I measured (she didn't believe me). I still want it though. We settled on $275 for the whole deal. It also included a complete overflow setup with a 30 gallon sump/wetdry thing and a really nice lighting setup (black acrylic box with 3 48" tubes in it) that I have no idea why she isn't using. There was also an enormous protien skimmer.

I'll pick it up on Sunday I think. Most of the fish looked pretty bad, there were a few aggressive fish I would say, about 7 were full grown 6"+ Mbuna and the rest were in the 2-4" range. There was one fry swimming around. The Labs she had looked like hybrids except for one. The Acei I saw didn't look that great, not even certain that is what they were. In any case, they were some of the large fish. I am going to start with fry, so I am going to get rid of the fish. I'll take them all to the LFS for credit.

I'll try to keep the magnum going with some amonia if I can find it, or else I'll throw some frozen shrimp in there to rot until I get it setup completely.

I'm shopping foster-smith right now for equipement, and bidding away on the FX5 on ebay. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
Consider keeping a couple of the origional fish to keep the tank cycled instead of ammonia.
Turn them into the lfs a day or so before your new fish are scheduled to arrive.
HTH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Would that work better than ammonia or a few dead/rotting shrimp? Isn't ammonia, ammonia?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Ravenatnm said:
Would that work better than ammonia or a few dead/rotting shrimp? Isn't ammonia, ammonia?
Yes and no - You need to make sure it is 100% ammonia and does not contain any soaps.

I would do like alicem said. Just keep a few of the original fish to keep the filter and tank cycled. This would be a lot easier and safer. Get rid of those fish when the new ones arrive. A LFS may take them or put an add on the forums or Craigslist for free fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
SOLOSHOOTER said:
....I would do like alicem said. Just keep a few of the original fish to keep the filter and tank cycled. This would be a lot easier and safer. Get rid of those fish when the new ones arrive. A LFS may take them or put an add on the forums or Craigslist for free fish.
Well if you want to get technical.....I told them to do that in my post at the top.

But needless to say you'd be better off just keeping the fish in the tank until you decide what fish you want. Then you won't have to mess with adding ammonia or cleaning out shrimp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok, cool. The problem is she has about 15-18 fish in the tank right now. The only LFS that does credit is about 40 minutes away. I could take some initially to the LFS for credit, keep a couple, and keep them in a 5 gallon bucket with the old filter attached. When I have the 75 all setup I can just attach the old filter, my new filter, and get some fish. Then I'll take the fish I saved for cycling to my nearist fish store which doesn't do credit, but would take them free.

How many fish would create sufficient ammonia to keep the filter cycled? I assume I should keep some of the smaller ones if I am going to keep them in a 5 gallon (new & clean) paint pale.

-Ben

p.s. I won the FX5, it is on it's way. I am going to use the Ehfisubstrate, Bio-Glass, and quilt-batting for filter media.

I just put an order in to foster/smith for:

Siphon Kleen Large $7.49 x 1 = $7.49
Prime 250 ml $6.29 x 1 = $6.29
Bio-Glass 3 liter $29.99 x 1 = $29.99
Ehfisubstrat 2 liter $32.99 x 1 = $32.99
Master Test Kit Freshwater$15.99 x 1 = $15.99
Stealth Heater 250W $18.69 x 1 = $18.69
Therm. 2-1/4" x 1-1/2$6.99 x 1 = $6.99
Self Media Bags 12" x 15" $5.99 x 2 = $11.98
RioAquaPumps 1700 Plus $38.99 x 2 = $77.98

Subtotal = $208.39
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Um why not just fill the tank immediately when you get home?

The tank can be full to build a USJ system. Do a bare bottom tank if you don't want to deal with pulling out the gravel again.

I would keep all of her fish in the tank so that there will be enough beneficial bacteria in the magnum filter to support the 15-18 new fish that you want. That way when your fx5 and all the media gets to you then you can hook it to the tank with said 15-18 fish and it'll not take as long to seed the new filter.

It is easier do that then to have to drive 40 minutes to get credit and keeping the fish in a bucket. When you can make 1 trip and take all of the fish to the LFS for credit in 2-3 weeks.

That's what I would do because it doesn't matter if they are not good looking fish. They will still cycle the system the same as pretty fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I received the order from F/S today and also stopped by the pool supply store and got 2 50# bags of white silica sand, it looks really nice and clean. The filter is on it's way.

Regarding the fish, I really want to get the tank setup perfectly without worrying about fish/water until everything is the way I like it.

So you don't think that 3-4 fish would keep the filter bacteria going or you just thought it would be easier to keep all of them going until I bought mine?

Sunday @ 1PM is the pickup :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Well 3-4 fish running on the filter will only provide enough beneficial bacteria to break down the ammonia created by 3-4 fish. So if you kept all of the fish until you were ready to add the fish you wanted you could add 15-18 new fish to the tank without fear.

Plus it'll save you that drive to the LFS.

I would still rinse out the sand regardless of how clean it looks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
alright Irked, I guess you convinced me. :oops:

What I'll do then is put down the egg crate, enough sand to fill in the holes in the egg crate, then add the fish.

Then I'll put the USJ system on top of the egg crate and put more sand down. I haven't found any rocks yet. I have to visit the landscaping stores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
IrkedCitizen said:
I say take everything home and set it all back up the way it is, fish and everything. The rocks don't have to be stacked the same though. When transporting the filter media make sure to keep it wet so the bacteria doesn't die. After everything is back up and running connect the fx5 to the tank and let it run for a couple weeks to build up the bacteria into the media.

During this time you can build your USJ system and get it all ready to go. I take it you are going to be using sand so rinse it out really reaaaaaaally good. After about two weeks of the tank running and you are ready - post an ad on Craig's List saying "free cichlids" and have someone come and remove the fish. You then take out the gravel and other decor. Leaving the water in the tank put in the USJ system and the sand. Make sure to turn off the filters when you add the sand. After the sand has been added do a 50% water change and if the water isn't cloudy from the sand turn the filters back on and add the fish you want. You should be good to go.

You can keep the magnum running after the fx5 is seeded with bacteria if you want. The more the merrier. You can also have the magnum performing different filtration than the fx5.

How much is the guy asking for the setup if you don't mind telling?

Also, take a tape measure and make sure it is a 90 gallon - 48" long X 18" wide X 24-25" high. A lot of times people think they have a bigger tank than they actually do. Take a couple weeks ago for example. Someone was selling a supposed "90 gallon fish tank" locally and they just lived down the street so I get there and it was a 55g. No big deal but needless to say it's frustrating at the same time.
are you guys blind this is the way to go he got everything worked out i'd say that this is your best option :idea: this is also the easiest and less fidley option. :wink:
just thought id have my say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got the FX5 on my doorstep today. Man that thing is huge! It looks like a shopvac. I have all the equipement that I should need now except the tank. . . I found some pot scrubbers at the dollar store, 6 for a dollar. I also picked up some poly-fill from Walmart. Is this the proper order for the media?

Top: Pot scrubbers ontop of polyfill
Middle: Bio glass rings (cylinders)
Bottom: Efisubstrate

remember, water flows from the top down on the FX5.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I picked it up today. It wasn't that difficult to take it down. The people I bought it from were very nice. They even gave me lunch! I have been working all afternoon getting it all cleaned and new looking again. The tank itself was pretty surprising, it is an all-glass 75, built in 1993 by Scott. The silicon looks ok, there is some algae stuck on/under it at parts, but that is most likely due to the magnetic algae scrapper. It holds water.

I put a sponge filter they had been using on the top basket on the FX5 to help seed it faster. It should work out well.

Here is a picture of the room and fish tank.


Here is a closeup with the doors open so you can see the filters.


I have all of the fish in a 18 gallon bucket waiting for the 75 to warm up to the same temperature as the bucket water. I am going to keep it as a naked tank until I start building the USJ system. Once all the aquascaping is done, I'll take the old fish back to the fish store/order the new ones.

I did a test of their old water and my new water:

Old:
Ph 7.2
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 50

New:
Ph 7.6 (they gave me some crushed coral, should I put that in the FX5 to get the Ph up a little?)
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5

More updates to come as I progress.

-Raven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is a pic with all of the fish in. I felt bad for them without any rocks so I threw in a few of the nicer ones.

Man they're pigs, I couldn't believe how much they ate today. 4 pinches of the smaller pellets, the pleco ate an algae wafer.



I don't know if I'll keep the pleco or not, he seems like he is healthy and is interested in eating algae. I heard the bristle nosed ones were better.

Here are the cichlids I'll put in, in a few weeks:

8 - Labidochromis caeruleus (Lion's Cove II) http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1665

8 - Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli) http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1460

6 - Cynotilapia afra (Jalo Reef) http://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/species.php?id=1733
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well, I just got back from vacation - the fish-sitter fed them every other day. It looks like the tank has completed a "super-mini cycle".

Water stats on 5/22 (before I left):
ph - 7.6
amm - 0.2
Ni - 0
Na - 8

Water stats on 5/31:
ph - 7.6
amm - 0
Ni - 0
Na - 10
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I finally got some time to do the USJ system, put the sand in, and decorate a little. I haven't been able to find holey rock, lace rock, or lava rock anywhere locally so I stuck with the rock that came from the original owner. I think I'm going to visit lake Michigan this week and pick up some nice rounded granite boulders (6"-10") for the left side of the tank.

The parameters are definetly stable now.
Temp 80.3F
Ph 7.5
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 7.5

I am a bit stumped as to why the nitrate isn't going up faster than it has been, but that isn't a problem :thumb: I have been doing 10% water changes weekly and it is pretty much stagnant at 7.5.

Here is a picture with my setup, the fish seem happy. There aren't enough caves yet, but it is funny to watch the big fish try to get into the small caves.

I am still going to take back these fish and get the Labs, Aceis, and Cyn Afras, but the pleco is staying. He's the hungriest pleco I've ever seen. He mows on everything in site.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Right on right on. Looks like everything is working out nicely. :thumb:

Once that pleco starts getting bigger it will become lazy. After having bushy/bristle nose Ancistrus I will never again buy/have a regular plecostomus. And seeing how a guy in my local club has a breeding group of them I can pick them up any time of the day.

What do you have powering your USJ system? If they are those powerheads in the top corners I would suggest lowering them a bit. Because when you have to do a water change of more than 10% like you are doing you will have to unplug the powerheads or they'll run dry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I could take him back, he isn't so big that no-one would buy him yet. He is a nice size for the 75, maybe even a 55. I had some 2 plecos before when I had a 30 gallon tank and they were the laziest I'd ever seen, they didn't eat and died. I was happy that this guy was doing his job.

Good point about the Rio 1700's, I have them on a seperate surge protector that is hooked up to a high capacity timer. They run 3 times a day for 2 hour stints, it cleans up the tank nicely and gives the fish a good workout. I will remember to have them off when doing W/C's. I like them up on top. It keeps them out of view and also helps get the freshly cleaned top-water to the bottom.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top