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Old 02-07-2004, 09:43 PM   #1
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In need of shopping list

All right. My money is here...and I've picked out my tank. It's a 75 gal tank - 48 x 18 x 20. I want to run a fishless cycle on it if this is possible and logical, etc.

Can I have some help putting a shopping list together so I can get most of everything (except the fish) at one trip to the store instead of twenty? I'm going to stick with artificial plants in this one for now, because I can't afford a decent lighting system on a tank of this size.

I know I will need substrate, decorations, plants. A bio-wheel filter I am guessing, but what size for a 75 gal? A heater, but again what size for a 75 gal? A thermometer. Glass canopy (I guess?) and light fixture & bulbs(something cheap to start out with since I'm not having real plants).

What type of chemical should I buy to make the fishless cycle happen?

Anything I've forgotten to think about or don't know about on a larger tank like this? I'm so excited but nervous. I want to take my time and do this right. TIA.
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Old 02-07-2004, 10:10 PM   #2
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Heater: I remember the rule of 5W per gallon -> 325W heater should work.

Do *not* use a cheap fixture with bulbs. This is not a good idea since it will heat up the water unnecessarily. I am also not sure you can even find any light fixture with bulbs for a 75 gallons tank. Use fluorescent light. You can use a "simple" one if you have no plants.

Chemical: pure ammonia, i.e., ammonium hydroxide. If you take some bottle of cleaning saying "pure ammonia", make sure it is not foaming when shaken. That would kill everything. It really has to a simple, ACS grade, ammonia bottle.

Others: chemicals to test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The two first *are* needed for the fishless cycle. Do you have a good biological and mechanical filter (canister, etc)? That is necessary. What about an air pump?
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Old 02-07-2004, 10:35 PM   #3
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Hey! As far as a heater goes...submersible heaters are the best you can buy. Marineland makes great heaters yet expensive. As far as a filter...I would go with an emperor 400 which is of the marineland line...designed for aquariums up to 80 gallons. Personally I would also get an air pump plus a sponge filter...but I'm a big time supporter of sponge filters just because they increase the amount of the benefical bacteria sooo much. With the emperor and its bio-wheels...I would think theres no need for an air pump but you will eventually need one down the road.

As far as lights...your LFS should carry flourscnet strip hoods...which shouldn't bee too horiably expesnive.

The best thing for an instant-cycle that acctualy works is bio-spira. You buy the amount of fish you want and dumb them in with the bio-sphira...all done at once. Make sure if you can find it , that it was refrigatreted and keep it cool...or it will NOT work.

Make sure to have a liquid test kits that have ammonia, nitrate , PH , and nitrite!

HTH - TJ
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Old 02-07-2004, 11:05 PM   #4
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Kerrine, I'm also in the process of setting up a 75gal tank, and here's some advice I was given on this forum.

Filtration: for a tank that size, it was recommended that I get two filters. So I ended up buying a Fluval 404 cannister filter, and a Penguin 330 Bio-Wheel power fitler. Bought them both over the internet at a huge savings over the Pet store prices. (It was like getting the Penguin 330 for FREE!)

Heater: again it was recommended that I go with two rather than just one, so I'll probably go for a pair of submersible 200Ws.

Cycle: I was also planning to go the fishless route, but have since found a LFS that carries Bio-Spira. The 3oz size (about $20), will treat a tank size up to 90gal. Seems like a bargain to me to get an instant cycle!

Substrate: I read somewhere that you need a one to one-and-a-half pounds per gallon. So I'm going to start out with three 25 pound bags and see if that gives me the coverage that I need.

Other stuff: for large tanks it seems like most people highly recommend a Python siphon system (or a similar home made equivalent), so I picked up one of those as well. (Again, online it was about 40% cheaper)

HTH
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Old 02-07-2004, 11:26 PM   #5
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Orca has it down pat . In the case of filters and heaters on that size tank, 2 is better than 1. As long as you are being patient Kerrine, it pays to buy them on line at a place like bigals.

The Fluval and Penguin filters will work well. I'd likewise buy a pair of 200 watt heaters. My Ebo Jagers work great but lately I've been hearing lots of good stuff about the Wan titaniums.

Good luck and have fun!!!!
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Old 02-08-2004, 01:12 AM   #6
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And Kerri? Definitely do some of your shopping online if you can. Even with shipping, you can save beaucoup bucks and it'll save you some time in the store *grin* I find www.bigalsonline.com to have great prices, although lately their shipping has been slow.

If you definitely want to go the fishless cycle route, even if its just to see if you can do it (I did that LOL), besides the pure ammonia (I got mine at the supermarket), throw an extra sponge into the filter in your mature tank now. Then put it in the new filter after a coupla weeks, along with the new filter's stuff. It will help by adding some of the good bacteria (they will colonise it in the mature tank) and jump start the cycle.
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:53 AM   #7
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Kerrine, I'm curious about what fish you're going to keep .
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Old 02-08-2004, 02:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses so far! I really appreciate all of them. I already have freshwater test kits, python siphon, and general supplies as I have two tanks already. So those are no problem. I do have a few questions though.

1) What is a canister and what does it do?

2) What is an air pump? Doesn't the hob filter generate air?

3) Are sponges filters? Or are they...sponges (can only think of dish sponges right now...has been cleaning all weekend)?

4) I seem to remember some people not liking Biro-Spira for some reason. Is my memory defunct or would this product result in some detriments to a tank down the road versus using ammonia?

And finally, Brian - I am probably going to have some livebearers and cory cats along with the existing stock of my 10 gal and a few more tetra to make a school for the ones I currently have.

Mother swears I must get an angel fish as she used to have one with her guppies and mollies and loved it, but I just can't see wasting a minimum of 10 gal of space in my tank on one single fish. :P
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