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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I will be setting up my mbuna tank next week and was digging up the equipment from my last setup (over two years ago). I want to know if you guys think it would be safe to use even though it's been such a long time.

The filter (fluval 404) seemed in pretty good shape, other than the crust around the motor area and the fact that the starting lever snapped. my biggest concern is the lever, although I heard that the filter can be started by sucking on the intake tubes.

My other question is about the heater. It looks fine, and there were no cracks/scratches on it, so i assume that it's ok to use.

The tank housed my sister's snake for a while after my first tank setup, and after she got rid of it the poor tank sat outside for a few months. I just cleaned it out today using dish soap and a thorough rinse with hose water. Is that enough? Or should I be rinsing it more? Also, is there a chance that the seals could have been weakened by being out in the sun so long.

Finally, I want to know if I should replace my old test kit. The dates expired about a year ago, but I'm not sure if that's a big issue or not.

Thanks!
-Cody
 

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Cody,
My heater is 8 years old and works perfectly, as long as you took care of it when it was in use and you stored it correctly, it should function properly.

I am not sure how old it is though I suspect it to be older than 2 years, but I got a Rena XP3 second hand in pretty poor shape, but after some tlc it looks and runs brand new.

You sound like you cleaned the tank well. If you have a garage or some other place that can get wet without heartache, take the tank there and fill it completely for a few days to test the seals, they could have been weakened, but this will test that. Resealing a tank isn't that hard though :thumb:

My test kit is a few years out of date but reads perfectly compared against brand new dip strips or drop kits. Just do a few control tests to make sure it still reads okay and you should be good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
alright thanks man! I'll do all of those things. Any suggestions about the filter though?
Also, if I do need to fix the seals, would I be able to find more silicon at Home Depot or something?

Thanks!
 

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To be honest, I have a Fluval 204, but I've not used it yet! It came with the XP3 along with a bunch of other stuff that I haven't had a chance to play with. I assume if you can start it another way than the plunger looking thing then it would work.

I would wait until someone with more experience answers the question about silicon. I just don't know. My best advice would be to get it from a pet store or pet supplier but we all know how expensive that can get! Recently switched to PFS as a substrate and decided to change out some hoses for my return pump in my wet/dry- for the cost of the tubing at my LFS, I got the tubing at lowe's and 100lb of PFS at a pool supply store!

From my understanding silicon is one of two extremes: fish safe and your fish died yesterday. But I don't know what makes the difference. If you have to reseal it, post on DIY asking their advice, there are some guys there that know everything about building tanks and will steer you in the right direction. Best of luck to you!
 

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No problem, the only stipulation is you don't keep your tank to yourself and post pictures when it's set up and looks amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh, here's another question: where can you get the ammonia needed to do a fishless cycle? I went to the lfs today and they didn't have any. (they also said that i should use african cichlids to cycle it...odd). They also showed me a product that has bacteria in it which is supposed to speed up the cycling process. Does anyone know anything about this?

Thanks,
Cody
 

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A hardware store would have it most likely. On another post, a member brought up that "generic" products were better because they rarely have additives.

No experience with bacteria starter, I just use seeded filters or a few pounds of used substrate to cycle.
 

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hey if you have trouble with older suction cups being dried up. drop em in a coffee mug and microwave for a minute or two. works GREAT to get some much needed life outta the old plastics. other then that treat it like you would a used setup. just clean it all out really well and set it all baack up. glad that cichlid bug bit u again haha o and Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tanks guys! So i could probly find ammonia at home depot or something, an then see if petco or the lfs could just lend me a handful of used substrate?

Hey, thanks for the tip anthrax! i will definitely be doing that with my old suction cups haha
 

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FWIW ammonia without any surfactant seems to be pretty tough to find. I know I couldn’t find it at HD, Lowe's, Walmart, Wallgreen's, Fry's, Albertsons. So to save you some time driving, the ONLY place I found ammonia without any additives was at an ace hardware. Their house brand is what I used and worked perfectly.

For reference this is what the bottle looked like. It was only a couple bucks. The link is for a 15 pack.

http://www.acetogo.com/product/ammonia-quart-ace-1.html

I’m going to try the microwave old suction cup trick too. THANKS!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info cdavitt, there's an ace hardware not too far from me :). Still wondering about where to get the bacteria though, as i do not have any other tanks established at the moment.

Thanks for all the help guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Haha don't get mad guys, i have another question. When you fill the tank with sand, do you put it in before the water, or have the tank partially full, or filled all the way? i this the last time i did it i had some water in there already which made it kind of hard to get all the sand where I wanted it. What do you guys do?
 

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+1 on using sand :thumb:

When I clean my PFS for a new tank I pour it in with the bucket I rinsed it in plus some water. It makes the sand a lot easier to smooth out and you end up with an inch or two of water above. Then I fill it up to roughly the height of my tallest rock, and then I resmooth the sand and put the already cleaned rocks in. Then aim the flow from the python onto a rock and sit back and play guitar while it fills up.

You don't have to do it this methodically but I flooded my sump real bad once and when that happens you take every step to make it gradual and never let it happen again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
haha i hear you bro, i like to do stuff like that slow to make sure i dont miss anything. I like the idead of leaving a little water in there too, the only hard part will be maneuvering the sand around my big rocks, and i was lucky enough to have some BIG rocks :D.

I found some sick sand too, it's pre washed play say from home depot, that's a little coarser than silica or normal play sand, and the grain colors range from dark tan to light so I'm hoping itll look very realistic. As long as I can get some good algae growth on the rocks going, I think it'll be dope!

Thanks again for all the help guys!
(don't be surprised if i ask more questions :p)
 

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Ha, it's cool man.

Huge rocks *are* awesome. In my 75 gallon, I have 3 >20lb boulders of live rock that used to be where I grew all my coral. Then I have like another 40-50ish pounds of smaller live rock that create tunnels and caves between the three. I'd post a picture but for now one of my CPF bulbs burnt out and I'm waiting on the replacement in the mail.
 
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