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Old 07-12-2006, 10:18 PM   #1
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New 120 Gallon need advice

Ok so I am selling something this weekend (hopefully) that will fully fund my 120 gallon purchase with stand brand new. I have decided to go with a Rena XP3 filter and will add my current filters which are a penguin 170 and an AC 20 more less to get the ball rolling on the cycle. I currently have 6 Elongatus mpanga and 2 babys a pleco and 3 algae eaters all of which are rather small.

Dimensions I was given by the LFS are 618X26 sound right ?

I am wondering what else I may need set up wise (other than a heater of course)

I want to get demasonis what other fish can i keep with the ones i have and plan to get I am also thinking salousi how many different kinds should I keep in a tank this large and how many of each at maximum.

what is the best sand ( I have had aragonite in the past)

and the biggest question:

I know for a fact where the tank is going to sit is sloped it is going to be in my basement and the floor slopes for the drain hole what is the best way to level out the tank I am guessing it will be at least an inch off front to back.

???

Any help here would be appreciated I am not new to keeping fish or Cichlids but have never had a tank this big I am very excited but also leary.

Thanks

Dylan
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:13 AM   #2
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I've been thinking about expanding my "fish zone" in the basement, and figure the best way to level the uneven concrete floor would be to build a sand box. I'm thinking a row of bricks for a border, held in place with some kind of construction adhesive, and enough sand to level out the contained area. Any water spilled will drain out, if slowly, to the floor drain.
Alternatively, you could use wooden shims to level the stand when you set it up. That's what I used under the two basement tank stands.
As for the stocking, I'd post the question on the Malawi board at cichlid-forum.com. I keep mostly Tanganykians, not much help on mixing mbuna.
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Old 07-13-2006, 12:03 PM   #3
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I would consider getting a different tank size, just for practical reasons. Almost none of the lighting or other accessories are made for the 60" tanks (I know, I have one). If you are willing to DIY the hood/lighting/etc., then don't worry about it.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:27 PM   #4
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Moogly, I just set up a 125 Mbuna tank and yes, accessories for that will be much easier to find. Plus you get 5 more gallons!! Haha. I put 2 of the XP3s on it, but it's only been up about a week and I had a cloudy bacteria bloom so it's hard to say "how" they filter. I can tell you that they are very quiet and easy to install, etc. Drs. Foster and Smith has a great deal on them right now too. As for sand, I just used pool filter sand from Home Depot. Seems to be fine...just be sure to rinse and rinse before putting it in. Wish I could help more, but I'm still in the setup and cycling stages of mine too. Good luck.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:07 PM   #5
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Thanks guys well going from memory it comes with either 2 or 3 smaller lights so I am not too worried about that really I like the length of it which is one of the key features I am buying it for kinda.

Do i shim under the stand or under the tank on the stand ? I currently have a 29 gallon and shimmed under the stand but it is much smaller and I am not so worried about it 120 gallons spilling out is a bit of a concern for me.

Thanks again and any more Ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:16 PM   #6
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This is probably a horrible idea, but I’m just throwing it out there to see.

How about figuring out how much your floor slopes from the front to back of the tank and cutting the bottom of the stand to fit the slope. If you ever sold it you could cut it level again. I know for smaller slopes people shim, but for about an inch I have no idea what people do. An inch is an awful lot of shimming.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:29 PM   #7
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Could work, but then I'd be worried about the integrity of the stand. Maybe if you built a platform for the whole stand to sit on - maybe out of 2X4s - then you could cut those or have the front legs shorter/longer than the back legs, etc.

Hard to say, I've always gotten lucky with level tanks.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:51 PM   #8
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If you shim anything, shim the stand, not the tank. Shimming the tank would produce uneven stress on it, and could lead to failure.

As to the tank length, just be prepared. 30" lights don't fit right (I know, I have 2 that came with it from the previous owner). 30" glass tops don't fit it (ditto). 48" lights are too short to light it well, and 72" lights are too long.

Be prepared to do a LOT of digging to find the right accessories. I'm building my own canopy top to hold my DIY lights, and I will be having a local glass shop cut the pieces for the top.

It's almost as bad as buying a homemade tank. There's just nothing on the market that fits right.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:25 AM   #9
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Glass tops aren't difficult, I bought a used 55 with broken glass in the lid. I bought some hinge and back strips from the lfs, and had some glass covers cut to size. It actually fits better than the commercial glass tops on my other 55. I epoxied a couple of spare drawer pull knobs on for handles. They are much better than the cheap plasic handles that came with the other set.
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