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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I needed a bigger tank for my cichlids and found a used one that was about right for me...

Tank was $50 with stand, was found used via craigslist. Said to be a 55g long, actual dimensions are 47.5 x 12 x 19 which makes it just short of 47g...

It came with a dilapidated stand, so I fixed it up with 2x3 supports, wood putty and some glossy black paint and it looks good as new. ($20 for wood paint & screws)

Right now I have 2 yellow labs, 2 p. socolofi, 2 m. estherae, and 12 half inch yellow lab fry.

My plan is to just stock with these fish, and eventually either

a. trade the estherae out for more socolofi... or

b. trade both the estherae and socolofi our for P. acei and p. demasoni

The setup
Rena XP3 ($129.99)
Quietone 2200 ($36.99) powering
4 under sand jets ($10)
tahitian moon & marine sand mixed 50:50 (paid $8.92 and $11.99 a bag respectively)
black slate rocks until I find a cheap rock source...

Still need:
Light fixture and aquarium lid
200w heater
sponge filters for quietone and XP3 inlets

Hopefully the tank will be up and running by the end of the week and I will move the XP3 and fish to the new tank from the old.

I wanted to do a rock background w/styro & cement, but I need to get the tank rolling and I think that would turn my possible project into an impossible one. Maybe I can install acrylic panels with a background attached later on...

Any thoughts? suggestions? criticisms?
 

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Sounds neat. I'd love to see some pics when you get it setup. Personally, I like option B, but I like Demasoni and yellow labs together =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·


You are right, pictures do speak a thousand words soo...

Here it is, got it mounted in the stand tonight.

Still working on getting the top frame re-glued.

the UGJ system is in place, just need a sponge for the pump...

5 days and counting!!

and the fish I plan on keeping in it...






 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·



Okay, got everything set up today...

Moved my XP3 into the tank along with all the rock I had.

Still need to get more rock for sure...

Had some problems running my Quietone 2200 upside down connected to my USJ... it barely makes any noise when running unconnected in the middle of the tank, but as soon as it gets close to the sides of the tank it starts making a bunch of noise. Once its hooked up to the USJ, its way too noisy.

So for now its in place but not running... maybe I'll have to run tubing and plumb it outside of the tank...

Dont really know what to do about a light hood, since my tank is not 13" deep like a standard 55 I cant use a normal 48" light hood.

I'm thinking just getting the all glass flip lids and cutting a 1" strip off the back vinyl to fit it...

The tank also has a 12" glass pane on the top center, so I thought just DIY acrylic panels on each side too...

Any thoughts there?
 

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Your "estherae" look closer to yellow lab/red zebra hybrids... Actually, one looks like a female/juvi saulosi, the other like a hybrid.
The bala shark will rapidly outgrow that tank, as well.
I think a socolofi and yellow lab tank could be neat. Looks nice so far.
 

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Looks real nice but I would suggest maybe getting some lava rocks or other rocks and building caves up halfway in to the top of the tank all along the back to provide caves for hiding, also the caves usually look pretty nice when the tank is finished with fish! Good luck!

-James
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On the red zebras, they could be hybrids for all I know...

I cant say I've seen a true red zebra, but these I have look more like the red zebra pictures on this site than any other fish... :-?

I am going to be getting more rock soon... I've drove by the local landscaping place and have spied about 5 different kinds of flat rocks I could use to stack, just need a truck to get it...

I plan on building lots of caves, its hard to do with the few rocks I have now....

My lab female looks like she is ready to explode...

Fingers crossed I get to see her spawn this time but I gotta work today so who knows...



Still need to clean the hard water drip stains off the sides of the tank....
 

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you have no Red Zebras! :?
Red Zebras are extremely common. They are not yellow or yellow-orange, they are orange or males may be pinkish

You may have a Red Zebra/ Yellow Lab hybrid
youy have some M. Msobo
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
xenergyx said:
That is the best I can do to show the smaller one of the 2 'reds' and how it is orange... it looks orange to me at least... The picture doesn't really grasp the true color with my point&shoot style camera...

I would call the female lab yellow-orange maybe, she would be the one at the top of the picture...

then of course, my other lab, very yellow...

The one 'red' in the above picture has a small blue stripe on the dorsal fin, you cant see it unless he fans out his fins...
The other 'red' not pictured has a faint dark broken stripe on the dorsal...

I bought both 'reds' at the same time, and I remembered one costing a dollar more than the other. it turned out the little guy w/blue on his dorsal cost more, and they did come out of 2 separate tanks...

thats all the info I can provide, I am indeed no expert...

they definitely look similar to female m. msobo or female p. saulosi but only if the females of those species are very orange and sometimes have the blue dorsal stripe...

Who knows what kind of hybrids the LFS gets? :-?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


xenergyx said:
The setup
Rena XP3 w/aquaclear sponge prefilter
H.O.T. Magnum 250 w/ Tom's Aquatic skimmer attached
CaribSea tahitian moon & white marine sand mixed 50:50
Marineland Stealth 200w heater
Hikari Cichlid BioGold+ mini pellets crushed

Still need:
48" Light fixture
dual glass aquarium lids
rocks rocks and more rocks
custom spray painted background
So I about have the tank finalized...

I ditched the USJ because not only was my Quietone 2200 pump way to noisy, the jets blew the white marine sand everywhere...

I put in replacement a HOT Magnum 250 w/ skimmer attachment for extra water flow/polishing and to keep the surface clean as I had an 'oil slick' as early as the 2nd day...

Works great to clean the surface of the water after feeding of any uneaten floating crumbs, and the output of that filter alone is enough to keep the surface well agitated...

The the magnum's skimmer and the XP3 intake are in the right back corner, along with the heater. The magnum's output is fixed at the rear of the tank about 1 foot from the right side, with it pointed across the top of the water surface towards the front left corner. The XP3 has the spray bar on the left side of the tank, pointed 45 degrees down into the tank blowing towards the right side of the tank where the inputs are...



I had to keep one of the Socolofi's separated after the initial switch to the 47g...
Originally my pairs were working until I took my female lab out who was holding in the old tank, then after that the soco's (both male I'm guessing) switched places in terms of dominance. The newly dominant one became overly aggressive to the other, more so than the other male would be when he was the dominant one. Even when I put the female back in a week after I made her spit the dominance stayed the same and the newly dominant soco was ruling over everyone with an iron fin.

I took him back and donated him to the LFS...

Now the lineup is:

1 P. Socolofi
2 L. Caeruleus
2 possible hybrid M. Estherae
2 Tiger Barbs
1 Bala Shark
1 common pleco

The Tiger Barbs have great color, I had them to cycle my original 25g tank and they have faired well for the last 5 months...

The bala shark is just a total dunce... I guess its cool to watch it blow sand through his gills all day as he scans the bottom for food...

The pleco is still small, but he does his job efficiently... I hope he doesn't have a growth spurt anytime soon... I saw a 16" pleco at the LFS the other day... No thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is the latest look of the tank after adding around 130 lbs of loon lake ledge rock....

Condensed most of my equipment into the back right corner to hide with rocks and plants...

Now I just need to paint the XP3 intake black, get in my black background, and then find some black prefilter sponges to get everything to match and blend in...

 

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Really interesting thread and the end photo of your tank is certainly looking nice and heading in the right direction.

My one question is the 5 day period between your last post of your empty tank and your first of it populated with fish - did you cycle with established substrate / filter material / additives etc? How did you manage water chemistry through the cycle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks!! I got my black background in yesterday, so I am just a light fixture and canopy away from completion...

I made such a sudden switch after talking to a few people here about cycling/existing tanks & filters...

Basically the way I understand (and now have experience with) is that if you have filters on a fully cycled tank and move just the filters and fish to a brand new tank, the new tank should not need to cycle so long as the filters had a proper bacterial colony to begin with...

So after the switch, I used API liquid testing to confirm no ammonia no nitrites and near zero nitrates for the first week...

Now the nitrates are starting to increase but the other levels have remained perfectly 0 so either the test doesn't work (not likely) or the tank never had the chance to cycle..

I bought a rena XP3 for my big tank, used it on my 25 gallon to get it seeded, then moved both it and the original whisper 30 along with all the fish from the 25g to the new tank once it was filled and warm.

Lucky for me my algae bloom did not follow with the filters as my new tank is still perfectly clear with only a few smaller water changes... Maybe not being by a sliding glass door helps too, and not getting any direct sunlight.

So I now know if I ever need to upsize my tank again there is no waiting period as long as my tank is still running strong :D

I would definitely recommend this method as it was recommended to me, even if you want to keep both tanks running not just replace one like me...
 

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xenergyx said:
Basically the way I understand (and now have experience with) is that if you have filters on a fully cycled tank and move just the filters and fish to a brand new tank, the new tank should not need to cycle so long as the filters had a proper bacterial colony to begin with...

So after the switch, I used API liquid testing to confirm no ammonia no nitrites and near zero nitrates for the first week...

Now the nitrates are starting to increase but the other levels have remained perfectly 0 so either the test doesn't work (not likely) or the tank never had the chance to cycle.
Exactly, you don't cycle the tank, you cycle the filters. Your measurements indicate your filters are fully cycled for your bioload.
 

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That is sensational! Seems so simple but an angle I had not thought of before.

As I'm thinking of setting up a 40g to put in a colony of Afra Cobue I might go and get a big HOB this weekend to put on my current tank and have ready in 3-4 weeks when I set up the second one.

A lot easier than what I thought was the case - which is that much of the bacterial mass was in the substrate and not in the filter medium.
 
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