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Old 09-01-2013, 01:37 AM   #1
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my first tank. any advice welcomed

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Tank is 60" L x 18" D x 30" tall. So roughly 140 gallons. A cascade 1500 canister filter. A Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED light and a small 12" LED/bubble bar or whatever itscalled. I Did some reasearch before filling it up and did fishless cycle and just recently added the first tank occupants. 3 cory catfish a plechmosus, 3 clown loaches and 2 comet goldfish. I know goldfish shouldnt be in a tropical tank but they were going to be flushed while still healthy so figured this was a better option for them. So far they all get along fine and havent had any issues. I plan to add some cichlids and bala sharks in a week or so. I know bala sharks can get big and I do have a friend will a 300 gallon long tank that said when the time came he would take them in.

Any tips, advice or criticism is welcomed. Any Issues with my fish choices or recomendations for colorful fish that would work. Recommendations of the total number of fish I can safely keep. Equipment I still need or should consider getting. Anything at all as im new to the hobby and getting a headache from reading so much about stuff.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:53 AM   #2
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Hi scotty.

Is it cold water or tropical

How big is your tank? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?

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Old 09-01-2013, 06:17 AM   #3
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Tank size is at the beginning of the 1st post but its roughly 140 gallons. Luckly I did read all about the nitrogen cycle before getting started cause one LFS said I could throw fish in right away no pronlem. I was suprised when the petsmart by my house actually said not to buy fish untill I cycled the tank 1st.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:19 AM   #4
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Oh and its tropical. Water temp sits right at 78 degrees
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lscotty View Post
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Tank is 60" L x 18" D x 30" tall. So roughly 140 gallons. A cascade 1500 canister filter. A Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED light and a small 12" LED/bubble bar or whatever itscalled. I Did some reasearch before filling it up and did fishless cycle and just recently added the first tank occupants. 3 cory catfish a plechmosus, 3 clown loaches and 2 comet goldfish. I know goldfish shouldnt be in a tropical tank but they were going to be flushed while still healthy so figured this was a better option for them. So far they all get along fine and havent had any issues. I plan to add some cichlids and bala sharks in a week or so. I know bala sharks can get big and I do have a friend will a 300 gallon long tank that said when the time came he would take them in.

Any tips, advice or criticism is welcomed. Any Issues with my fish choices or recomendations for colorful fish that would work. Recommendations of the total number of fish I can safely keep. Equipment I still need or should consider getting. Anything at all as im new to the hobby and getting a headache from reading so much about stuff.
Quoting to see if it will make the op's first post visible
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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So that was weird. The OP didn't contain any (visible) text until I went to reply with quote. ???
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:40 AM   #7
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What kind of pleco do you have? Try and find someone with a pond, because those comets are going to severely limit your sticking choices and are going to add massively to your pwc routine. Same with balas.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #8
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Weird that the text didnt show up for you untill you quoted it. I see it but of course that doesnt mean much since I posted it.

I dont remember what kind of pleco it is and he is hiding so I cant get a picture right now. I'll ask the boss (aka my wife) later she knows the names of all of them.

My father in law does have a pond in his backyard I'm sure he wouldn't mind the goldfish if that would be better for them. I dont mind extra water changes. All the fish seem happy the loaches and goldfish swim around together all the time. ive read that goldfish are really messy fish and food hogs but so far there have been no issues. But if the pond is better for them I am open to that.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Just to clarify, how did you cycle the tank? If you let it run empty, it isn't cycled I'm afraid (which is what the pet stores tell you which is wrong).
What kind of pleco? If it's a common they can get very large. Clown loaches as well. I would do some research prior to adding more fish or you'll have some stocking issues, particularly as the fish grow.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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Hi scotty.

140 gallon is quite substantial. I'm not quite up on how big fish get and what fish to keep with what as I would research this before purchase. As you were mislead I know that could not be helped.

They say that your filters output flow should be around 4 times the volume of your tank per hour. As you have quite a large tank. Extra power heads might help keep the water moving and aid the filter. I read that goldfish don't like too heavy flowing water.

I general guideline for fish is one inch of fish per gallon as I'm sure you have heard. People say rule but I say guide. In my experience, If you have sound water parameters, lots of security such as plants and places to hide and good mechanical and bio filter you can overstock slightly.

It would be a good idea to google or API test you water supply so you know exactly what is going in when you do partial water changes. I do 25% once a week. Decaying plants, dead fish and overfeeding will upset your water parameters. If you want to start your stocking from scratch, most pet stores will be happy to take fish in. They usually quarantine the fish till they are certain the do not carry any disease or parasites.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lscotty View Post
Weird that the text didnt show up for you untill you quoted it. I see it but of course that doesnt mean much since I posted it.

I dont remember what kind of pleco it is and he is hiding so I cant get a picture right now. I'll ask the boss (aka my wife) later she knows the names of all of them.

My father in law does have a pond in his backyard I'm sure he wouldn't mind the goldfish if that would be better for them. I dont mind extra water changes. All the fish seem happy the loaches and goldfish swim around together all the time. ive read that goldfish are really messy fish and food hogs but so far there have been no issues. But if the pond is better for them I am open to that.
If your father in law will take them that would be great- they will live a longer healthier life there, and it will allow you to provide the tropical water conditions that are best for your other fish. And of course they won't get eaten when the comets grow
The balas don't just grow big, they also get aggressive as they mature, so you will be in for some losses there too. The pleco would be fine from that standpoint, but your future stock options will be limited.

I think most of the members here believe that the 'inch per gallon guide' is misleading as there are many factors it doesn't take into account. These include bio load, natural behaviours, tank dimensions, swimming style/speed. Eg as plecos mature they are not very active, but I have seen mine shoot from one end of its 6' tank to the other and it has had to pull up to avoid the glass before its even begun to enjoy itself. And it seems that many who do go by the inch per gallon guide, are actually using the volume of their tank when it is empty, and not accounting for substrate, decor, water level etc.

You can't over filter- 4x tank volume is a minimum, so for a heavily stocked and/or high bio load fish, you need more like 10x.
You don't have to have a raging current- spray bars diffuse the power of returning water, and strategically placed output nozzles will help move debris so that the filter intakes can do their job better. I get 10x by adding multiple filters (minimum of two). It gives me more options re filter media, and I can use one for surface agitation and the others to circulate the water column. It also means I always have a plentiful supply of beneficial bacteria, as I don't clean them all at the same time. With my bunch of poop machines I need as much bb as I can get- especially with my twice weekly thorough gravel vacs. Plecos can be a pain in the butt, but I love them anyway
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:28 AM   #12
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Just to clarify, how did you cycle the tank? If you let it run empty, it isn't cycled I'm afraid (which is what the pet stores tell you which is wrong).
What kind of pleco? If it's a common they can get very large. Clown loaches as well. I would do some research prior to adding more fish or you'll have some stocking issues, particularly as the fish grow.

I did a fishless cycle using ammonia following directions I found somewhere on this forum. I also used filter media from a friends tank that I knew was well taken care of and clean. Current test results were 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 20ppm nitrates. It is a common pleco. Right now I only have the pleco, 3 clown loaches, 3 peppered cory catfish and the 2 goldfish but I will do as the other post recommends and move the goldfish. The wife wants 4 cichlids and 3 bala sharks for the tank as well. Is this doable for awhile knowning they may out grow the tank down the road. If all goes well I would want to get another similar size or bigger tank in the future. I also have a friend with a 300 gallon tank he has room and would take in any fish when they get to big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactuspixie View Post
If your father in law will take them that would be great- they will live a longer healthier life there, and it will allow you to provide the tropical water conditions that are best for your other fish. And of course they won't get eaten when the comets grow
The balas don't just grow big, they also get aggressive as they mature, so you will be in for some losses there too. The pleco would be fine from that standpoint, but your future stock options will be limited.

I think most of the members here believe that the 'inch per gallon guide' is misleading as there are many factors it doesn't take into account. These include bio load, natural behaviours, tank dimensions, swimming style/speed. Eg as plecos mature they are not very active, but I have seen mine shoot from one end of its 6' tank to the other and it has had to pull up to avoid the glass before its even begun to enjoy itself. And it seems that many who do go by the inch per gallon guide, are actually using the volume of their tank when it is empty, and not accounting for substrate, decor, water level etc.

You can't over filter- 4x tank volume is a minimum, so for a heavily stocked and/or high bio load fish, you need more like 10x.
You don't have to have a raging current- spray bars diffuse the power of returning water, and strategically placed output nozzles will help move debris so that the filter intakes can do their job better. I get 10x by adding multiple filters (minimum of two). It gives me more options re filter media, and I can use one for surface agitation and the others to circulate the water column. It also means I always have a plentiful supply of beneficial bacteria, as I don't clean them all at the same time. With my bunch of poop machines I need as much bb as I can get- especially with my twice weekly thorough gravel vacs. Plecos can be a pain in the butt, but I love them anyway
I will arrange to move the goldfish to the pond then since it will be better for all the fish.

How do you control the water current with that much filtration? I did read that getting an overzied filter was better which is why I got the one rated for a 200 gallon tank. But I think its only rated at 350 gph which is like 2.5x and the current is pretty strong on the side with the spray bar. If you look at the picture you can see it on the top right side. It only reaches just past the middle of the tank so the other side has less of a current. There is a 6" and 12" air stone on the opposite side just to add a little extra water movement over there. Should I extent the spray bar the length of the tank? What about the intake? Should it be on the opposite side if I dont extend it? I was planning to get a 2nd small filter to have running so I can have it ready for a quarantine tank when needed. Probably will have a 10g for that. Do I need more fitlers to keep up with my planned stock?

Also Thank you all for the help and replies
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:08 AM   #13
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You want enough current that your plants move and there are no dead spots where detritus will accumulate. One of my 650L tanks is considerably under stocked, so for now it only has 6x filtration but I've also put in a powerheads and a turbo head on one of my outputs to create a more irregular current. There is very little plant movement, and my tiny gobies cruise around without effort.
My other 650L is filtered 7x and has 1 powerhead and two turbo heads. There really isn't enough current in that tank for my liking, because the hardscape breaks it up a lot.
My 200l tank until recently housed a comet and a pleco so it has 20x filtration. It now houses the pleco and 9 little olive perchlets who swim so easily in that current that were it not for the swaying java ferns I'd worry the filters weren't working. I must say, that one has a zeolite sand substrate, and I rarely ever see poop in that tank. And pooping is what plecos do best! When the comet was in there I had the tank bare-bottom, and did pwc every 2 days. There was always poop on the bottom!
I guess what I'm really rambling about is that the flow from the filter may SEEM strong to you, but it won't be felt that way by your fish. In fact, my cories love to swim against the flow from the hose as its filling the tank, and it blasts them backwards. when one gets blasted back another jumps in and has a turn. Cories can be hilarious.
The bala sharks will need a nice strong current.
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species...-melanopterus/
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:21 AM   #14
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Also, not sure how Cory cats will go with the very active clowns and balas. You could do some of the smaller, shorter lived cichlids. You want to avoid cichlids that grow large and live a long time so your tank doesn't become overcrowded as your balas mature.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:35 AM   #15
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140gallons as your first tank, nice. Good luck and keep posting.

Do a sterbia cory species tank lol.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:43 AM   #16
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140gallons as your first tank, nice. Good luck and keep posting.

Do a sterbia cory species tank lol.
Love those sterbais! I just added a couple more to my school
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:33 AM   #17
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Ok I have a headache now from reading for 2 hours about powerheads. Ill add 2 to start and see how everything reacts but im still confused as to where to put them. Seems the most recomended is one on each end wuth one aimed toward the middle of the front and the other toward the middle and back. How deep should they be placed? And is the placement I described ok? Or do you recommend something else or get smaller ones and more then 2?

Ya 140 gallons is probably a little big for a first tank but it was free and I've always wanted to do one. I spent the time the tank was cycling researching as much as I could so I didnt needlessly kill any fish.

So far the loaches have left the corys alone they seem to each have claimed their hiding spots and havent bothered eachother while out swimming around but I'll keep my eye on them.

It seems to be the consensus that bala sharks would probably be ok for awhile but are probably not a good idea. Any recommendations on something similar looking as my wife liked them and will want something that looks similar.

sterbia cory are cool looking maybe I'll add some if I decide against balas and cant find a similar replacement
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:37 AM   #18
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Powerhead placement will depend on what you want to achieve and how your tank is laid out. It's different for each of my tanks. So much trial and error!!
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:15 AM   #19
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How do you know if the powerheads are in a bad spot? Obviously you want to eliminate any dead spots in the tank and make sure the fish arent struggling to swim around but I guess what are the main keys to look for as to good or bad placement?
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:44 AM   #20
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How do you know if the powerheads are in a bad spot? Obviously you want to eliminate any dead spots in the tank and make sure the fish arent struggling to swim around but I guess what are the main keys to look for as to good or bad placement?
I figure if there are no dead spots, plants aren't being uprooted, and fish aren't getting thrown around in a whirlpool, then the power heads are in a pretty good spot. Lol. Oh and make sure the power heads are assisting the uptake of waste by your filter, and not forcing debris away from the filter intakes.
I know a lot of people don't like the look of hardware in their tanks, but my tanks are just for me, and I have tunnel vision- I don't even notice power heads, heaters etc unless I specifically want to check them for some reason.

If my fishies are happy, then I'm happy (and most likely broke too. Lol!)
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