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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had been planning on starting off with a 29 gallon SA habitat for a pair of blue rams. Ended up buying a 55 gallon tank instead so all my research is out the door. Still planning on blue rams but with the larger footprint I'm thinking of getting six juvies and seeing what happens. Tank will be heavily planted plus driftwood and some stone. Probably Beckfordi pencilfish for dithers, not sure what else.

So what sort of filtration will I need for this setup? Will a single canister do the job or should I have multiple filters such as a canister and a hob? What size should they be? I've heard that rams and other SA dwarfs don't like a lot of water movement - is that correct?

We have been looking at Flourite for the gravel since that seems to be good for plants and we like the color but do we need something with a smaller grain size for the rams? Sand of some kind perhaps?

Thanks, all advice appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Any suggestions on where we could get a dark sand to use as a substrate instead of the Flourite? How well do the inline heaters work and which filters can utilize them?
 

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I use Eco-complete in my planted tanks and have been very happy with it. It's black. I also mix is with some small black gravel to stretch it a bit (it's pricey).

I'd personally use a Marineland C-360 on a 55. I use one on my 58 and it works very well and is very quiet.

If I had a planted 55 gallon tank I'd do something like this:

1 pair of angels
2 pair of blue rams
8-10 rummynose tetras
6-8 pristella tetras
6-8 black phantom tetras

1 albino bristlenose pleco

I love cories. I would think your footprint should be large enough even with rams to have 4-5 small cories, maybe panda or false jullis
 

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I think hollyfish nailed it, except for the albino pleco, I'd get a regular colored one.
 

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I'm a big fan of the albino BNs. They are a heck of a lot easier to find in the tank when doing a head count!! I also recently went gaga and got a long-finned albino BN. She (?) is like a little fairy princess in my tank. I wuv her! (I probably need to get a life!)
 

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I think the Eheim 2126 thermofilter would be a good option for you. It is better than putting a heater in the tank or using an inline heater. If you have plants in the tank they already do a lot of what you want your filter to do but the Eheim is up to the task of really keeping things clean.
 

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hollyfish2000 said:
I'm a big fan of the albino BNs. They are a heck of a lot easier to find in the tank when doing a head count!! I also recently went gaga and got a long-finned albino BN. She (?) is like a little fairy princess in my tank. I wuv her! (I probably need to get a life!)
I had my eyes on a long fin at the LFS, $45 kept me from getting it right away, a week later it was dead in their tank...
 

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richlindsey

You did yourself a favor by buying the bigger tank, so congrats on doing what you would have wished you had done to begin with. :thumb: You can never overfilter so if it were me I would look into a canister good up to 100 gallons. *** heard the inline heaters work well and keep the clutter out of your tank. Good luck with your fish and post pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone. We got a used stand with the tank and are nearly done refinishing it. Just some light sanding and a final coat of spar varnish to go. Then we can start setting it up. We have decided to use the black Eco-Complete substrate, thanks for that suggestion. I was planning to buy a C-360 canister filter but like the looks of the inline heaters so I will probably get a Rena Filstar XP3 instead.

I have been told to avoid tetras as dithers if I want the rams to be able to raise fry in the tank. That is why we are looking at pencilfish instead. I have also been told that corys will eat the ram's eggs, assuming the rams spawn. I really like corys though so I am not sure what we will do in that regard.

We have some driftwood and are going to the rock store in a few days to see what we can find. We have also been collecting some oak leaves so we can put some leaf litter on the bottom of the tank. Things are coming along and we are getting pretty excited.

I have been looking at RO units online but we are not happy with the amount of water wasted in the RO process. Are there any other good alternatives for producing the very soft, very acid water that we will need for rams?
 

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with the XP3 you can get a rena smartheater for the intake instead of an in-line...

Then the XP3 intake will be black instead of blue almost like the background of this forum. I wished I went this route but when I bought my marineland stealth I did not know the rena smartheater worked with the XP3...

Maybe a small household water softener instead of the RO unit?

My tap water is softened and its pH 6.4 out of the tap... Too bad I keep african cichlids, I have to get my water elsewhere...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! I did not know about the Rena Smartheater. I will definitely give that a look since I am planning to paint the back of the tank black.

I need to test my water. Years ago I was told that we have very soft water but recently I was told it has lots of silicates and phosphates in it. I definitely will need to get rid of the phosphates if nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, after reading everything I could find on the web about canister filters I ended up ordering an Eheim 2028 with the optional inputs and outputs. Got a pretty good deal I think. Ordered the Hydor ETH 300 to go with it. So I think I am set for filtration. Also ordered some Eco-Complete Planted. This thing is starting to come together!
 
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