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Old 02-26-2014, 10:19 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Dubai, UAE
Posts: 3
40G 2nd Tank - Advice needed

I'm pretty new to fish keeping and very new to the forum. Check out my member introduction here:

Aussie living in Dubai

I have just been given a 40 gallon quarter cylinder tank by a fellow ex-pat who's leaving town. I had been wanting to start a bigger second tank, and this was the perfect opportunity to motivate me to begin.

When I went to pick up the tank it was literally a quarter full of slimey, goop which was a mixture of algae, rotting plant matter, fish waste and who-knows-what-else! I have now cleaned the tank by hosing, scrubbing, drying, vacuuming, scrubbing again, and finally (after seeing advice to another person on this forum) bleaching and rinsing again.

After seeing the state my friend left his tank in, I threw away everything except for a few nice rocks and have so far purchased the following equipment new:

A 500G / hour outside canister filter with in-built UV light and 4 media trays
Purchased media separately. Bio Balls, Wool, Charcoal and Ceramic discs - installed in that order from in to out.
2 x 1/4 inch bulkheads
2 x 200w Heater
Internal artificial rock wall background
Fine gravel suitable for planting
Course gravel I'm planning on using as a top layer, purely because I like the way it looks (it reminds me of a creek bed on the property I grew up on back home).

I would love to get some Cichlids (is my tank too small for Discus?), some Tetras, and definitely live plants. I plan to start cycling the tank with a few Tetras.

I have some questions which I'd love to get some advice from more experienced people on.

  • With the outside canister filter, should I install a weir/ overflow or should I just use the plumbing that came with the filter?
  • I really want the life support to be as invisible as possible. My tank has glass sides and bottom (not tempered). Should I install bulkheads in the bottom of the tank with the filter I have, or is it not a good idea?
  • If I install the bulkheads, where are the best locations for a quarter cylinder tank for good flow?
  • Should I (can I) use an undergravel filter or not? I really want real plants so I'm guessing no.
  • How hard is it to clean the artificial rock wall? Does waste get behind it, or caught in it?
  • Would it be possible for me to run plumbing and air hoses etc, behind the fake rock wall if I seal it all really well?
  • With the mix of gravel, will it be a nightmare to clean?
At the minute I have a clean empty tank, and I'm itching to get started on it, but I think it might be best to seriously plan and think through before drilling holes, installing overflows, etc, etc

Thanks in advance. Any advice will be very much appreciated.

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