Hi, I am new to this blog and am hoping that you all can give me some help in setting up a 75 gal
show tank (not that it's "show" it's just a tall tank..36"W X 17"deep X 31" tall). Let me briefly tell you how I got hooked...about 4 years ago a young colleague (navy sailor) was leaving this area and couldn't take her fish...she had kept a female beta and 3 rosabaras in a little "beta cube" (which btw I HATE! no one should live in such a small area). Her beta had passed but she still had the rosies. Of course I took them and went out and bought a 10 gal
marineland with bio-wheel. Since she had had a beta I treated myself to a beautiful blue half-moon to join the group. I googled, I studied, I researched and thought I had everything under control....Well, I was faced with weeks of thinking everything was great then waking to horrible "blooms"...to the point that I couldn't see the fish!...crying and fretting and hoping my fish would survive...Thanks to a wonderful woman at PetSmart and her advice, getting me to add coral, bog wood, water testing, lots of water changes, etc. everyone survived.....including my marriage!!! Maybe I should tell you at this point that I am a huge animal rescue advocate and don't want to lose ANYBODY on my watch! Finally, my tank gained perfect conditions and I was so happy....25-30% water changes every week....plus a good vacum and cleaning of plants and gravel every 10 days.
Okay, after about 3 years my beautiful betta started to fail....spending alot of time in his log, on his leaf....and then he finally passed...I was sad but knew that he'd had a good life...but it was hard for me. So I thought "what can I put in this tank to add a little color"....PetSmart suggested a few little Platys, (I think they called them Tequila Sunrise?) so here I go. I bought 3. but then two paired off and I felt bad for the one little guy who didn't have a friend....so I bought one more. NOW I'M HAVING BABIES!!!! I have about 5 little ones....and about 2 others that are a little older...showing color and joining the 'herd'. oh my goodness! I do not want to breed fish but once they are here, I can't 'get rid' of them. But really I don't want to breed fish and personally, between you and me, I really don't even like the platys that much. I don't so much care for the rosies either but boy they are bomb-proof! Oh! and I also have a little bristle nose pleco that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!!!! I call him Sluggo because he just is so busy cleaning the plants etc. So, by now you know we have become enchanted with our fish tank and wanted to graduate UP to a larger tank. After alot of research I decided that I didn't want to just go up a few gallons....I wanted to go big....as I had learned that with the right filtration a larger tank is actually easier to care for than a small tank....and I wanted bigger, showier fish. Plus I wanted to be able to put my current fish into a bigger community tank. So my husband found a beautiful tank that would fit into our entryway. It was being sold by a cichlid breeder and came with everything including a Cascade 1000 Canister filter and some sponge filters too. I am not interested in raising Cichlids and I wanted to clean the tank so the filter has not been treated....it's just as it was. My first thought was that I would like to raise (not breed) DISCUS fish....I know...they are temperamental...but I was sure that I could do it with alot of care and I researched and found that I could pair about 5-6 Discus with some clown loaches.... But now, after looking into it, and understand I really want to do the discus! but for now, I need to create a place for the fish I have....and actually...I don't want to talk about it but I need something that would take care of the number of fry we seem to be getting (but it needs to happen before I see the little babies!).
SO NOW...this long story comes down to asking for your help in starting/cycling this new tank I have....please give me any advice you have I am looking at this big beautiful tank but starting it up is overwhelming!!! What should I do with the filter medium.....do I need to cleanse it? what type of water testing stuff should I get? WHERE DO I START?
Thanks y'all I want only to do the best for my little tank-mates!