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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I have decided to get another tank going to go along with my 55gal. I have decided on a 75 gallon. Now I have a few ideas on the equipment but I am not sure about it. Here is my list so far:

2x Emperor 400's or 2x Fluval C4's
Aqueon Pro 250 Heater
Lace rock
Black Background
White PFS for substrate
On lighting I am using some 24" Deep Blue Professionals Single T5HO with the blue led for moonlight full hood. I dont know if I want to keep them or go with another fixture. Id prefer not to use a glass canopy but I wouldnt mind going full LED.

I am thinking about going with some Haps and Peacocks. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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It sounds like your headed in the right direction. I have a C4 on one of my tanks, and it is a GREAT filter, the people who criticize them have never even seen one out of the box. The C4 is quieter than a 400, and the media is rinse/re-use (other than the carbon, but I plan on ditching the carbon, and filling that tray with more bio-max anyway)

For the lighting, you might consider a twin tube fixture, it will do a better job lighting the 18" of front to back space, and allow you to change bulb combo's to get the exact look you want. I have a coralife aqualight dual T5HO, and I like it, but it requires the use of a glass top, so it might not fit your needs. LED is a good option too.
 

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Does the light fixture come with separate switches/cords? If not, check out catalinaaquarium.com fixtures. They will put in extra cords/switches for like 10$ each, which gives you lighting options. Much better to have the option of one bulb or two. I have their T5HO 3x54W on my planted tank, I use the two outta bulbs 8 hours a day with one bulb on for a mid day burst. For a cichlid tank, even lightly planted, 2 bulbs will be plenty. I just bought their T5HO 2x80W with moonlights, for my 125g. If I find it's too much light, I can always cut back. Just a thought....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok so I ordered the Emperor 400's and the Heater. I am thinking of using Carib Sea Eco-Complete Cichlid sand and I am almost 97% Positve I am going to use the Aquatic Life daul T5HO lights. I was looking at some of the 3d Backgrounds and was wondering if they are possble with HOB Filters?
 

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Charden said:
Ok so I ordered the Emperor 400's and the Heater. I am thinking of using Carib Sea Eco-Complete Cichlid sand and I am almost 97% Positve I am going to use the Aquatic Life daul T5HO lights. I was looking at some of the 3d Backgrounds and was wondering if they are possble with HOB Filters?
Absolutely, and they are a great way to hide equipment. My 20 Long has a half background (DIY). I have the Aquaclear 200 intake behind the background, and the output so water is returned outside of the background. The heater is behind the background, but the filter pulls enough water to heat all the water in the tank. A powerhead helps it, but I've tested it and it works just fine with only the filter running.

Click on my tanks & look at my 20L for more detail. It has required a few tweaks but is now working well.

My 75g has a canister filter with the intake behind the BG and spray bar outside it, and an Aquaterra background. There is an overflow with screen notched in the top left corner, plus a couple of other intakes hidden in the caves. It also has 2 powerheads that run undergravel jets. So around 800 gph gets pulled from behind the BG and returned outside it. Temperature is uniform throughout the tank. If I were setting it up with HOB filters, I'd just put them behind the background (intake and output) and rely on powerheads behind the BG to circulate water through the undergravel jets. If you don't want to fool with undergravel jets, just put a powerhead behind the BG and run a piece of tubing through it to discharge water outside it. Something that circulates around 300 gph should be adequate, but you'll want to test and tweak before you add fish.

FWIW, the Aquaterra backgrounds look really nice, but $50 at Orange Depot will get you enough materials to build 3-4 for a 75 gallon. I've built around 5, and I have yet to rival the detail of the Aquaterra. That said, the DIY backgrounds are more customizeable so you can build them around your plumbing. I also really enjoy building them.

If you get an Aquaterra, don't get the Malawi Rock like I have, unless you are prepared to heavily modify it. I takes up far too much space in your tank. I will be taking mine apart in the next couple of months and modifying the BG to set it back a bit. Go with something like Canyon Rock if you go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK silly question but if you have your intakes behind the background then how does it filter the water? Also I see you are from Nashville. I live about 45 minutes away. Where do you go to get your fish?
 

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Charden said:
OK silly question but if you have your intakes behind the background then how does it filter the water? Also I see you are from Nashville. I live about 45 minutes away. Where do you go to get your fish?
The filter takes water out from behind the BG, and the output is in front of the BG, so the water level behind the background has dropped relative to the main tank level, which causes water to spill over the overflow & flow through the other openings into the BG compartment. It works sort of like an overflow in a reef tank with a sump.

When I redo the 75, I'm thinking about putting the foam prefilter for the UGJ's in the cave, but in front of the background to hopefully pick up some of the detrius, as I seem to vacuum a lot of it up when I do water changes.

The setup definately works, because the heater is behind the BG, yet the whole tank stays at 78 degrees, and I've not had ammonia since I cycled the tank.

I will PM you where I get fish, since the Mods frown on that in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok so I went with the Coralife 48 in. Aqualight T5 HO Dual Lamp Light Fixture - 2 x 54W. Will this be enough light for a 75gal? Any pics using this fixture?
 
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