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Old 04-19-2013, 01:20 AM   #1
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Sandy's new 75 gal tank build journal

I'm so excited (and kinda nervous) because this tank seems huge to me compared to my other tanks! I would really appreciate any advice and help.

For now I am going to put my fancy goldfish in it and keep it simple. BUT later when I save up more money, I want to make this a colorful tropical tank with plants.

Got the tank from petsmart, it got 5/5 star reviews online so fingers crossed it will be a good one! (and the manager gave me a 35% discount cuz it had a few scratch marks on the black frame, but will be able to put that side to the back)

Top Finģ 75 Gallon Aquarium Hood Combo Item: 3804452
Black aquarium stand with doors
Fluval 306 canister filter, 303 gph

Tomorrow I need to go shopping for substrate.
Would it be ok to the pool store to get sand? Do they have just one kind/color? Or should I get it somewhere else? How much would I need for a 75 gal? What is a good way to clean the sand?

I haven't put the Fluval filter together yet. This is my first canister. Is there anything else I should buy for it or does it come with everything I need?

Could I just move my 2 cycled HOB filters to the 75 gal and run them with the canister to have an instant cycled tank? How long would it take to get the canister with bb so I remove the HOBs? (Sorry if I am using incorrect terms.) thanks!
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:25 AM   #2
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Oh, also I've been practicing with different paints. Painted my 5 gal, back, sides and bottom with foam rollers using acrylic water-based craft paints. Do you think it would look ok on the big tank? I used the dark blue on the bottom and blended to the lighter blue on top, like how it looks underwater, to create depth. What do you think? Should I paint the sides, or just the back?
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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Anyone?


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Old 04-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #4
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You're going to love your new tank! I love my 75. If I were you I would definitely paint the back at least, you've done a great job with the other tank, the bottom and sides are your choice. I wouldn't paint my sides unless it was in a tight space, I like looking at a side view of my tank. For the 306 I would take out the carbon pack and replace it with polyfill and I don't suggest buying any more "polishing pads" from fluval either, use the ones that came with it but don't waste your money when polyfill works just as good or better and is $3 for a large bag of it. For an instant, or almost instant cycle, I would take one HOB and run it along side the 306 then take the second HOB's cartridge and cut up the foam from it and but it underneath the ceramic rings(in the same basket) that was it cycles faster. Run the second HOB for about a month. Are you going to be using substrate? What are your plans/visions for the tank?
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great advice! Good stuff. I am going with pool sand for substrate, with a few large rocks, and hopefully can get plants to grow for aquascaping.

How much sand should I get? 100 lbs? Anything else I should add for substrate for plants?
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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And should I put any foam under the tank?
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:09 PM   #7
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Just at the pool store and they told me I shouldn't use filter sand cuz its silica. I bought 2 50 lb bags anyway. What was she talking about? Isn't all sand silica?
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Just at the pool store and they told me I shouldn't use filter sand cuz its silica. I bought 2 50 lb bags anyway. What was she talking about? Isn't all sand silica?
Obviously its okay if a ton of people have it in their tanks right now with out any issues haha. It is silica sand, so it wont have any nutrients or anything for your plants, but I have inert sand as well and my plants do great just takes a little fertilization. I think 100lbs may be okay, I dont remember how much I used in my tank
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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And should I put any foam under the tank?
Foam is recomended for stabalizing the tank and helping level it, I would do it if you can but I forgot to do it when I set up my tank so I wont until I move again
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #10
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Obviously its okay if a ton of people have it in their tanks right now with out any issues haha. It is silica sand, so it wont have any nutrients or anything for your plants, but I have inert sand as well and my plants do great just takes a little fertilization. I think 100lbs may be okay, I dont remember how much I used in my tank
I know right? Three people working there arguing and seriously were not gonna get it for me. Lol. What the heck do billions of fish in the ocean, lakes and river live in? Geesh.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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Don't forget to take pictures!
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #12
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Gunna look cool. Personally I would get a larger filter since you are going to keep goldfish
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:10 PM   #13
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Gunna look cool. Personally I would get a larger filter since you are going to keep goldfish
Thank you! I hope so!

That's a good point about the filter. Hoping that for now it will be ok and then I can upgrade when get more saved up and hoping to switch it to a tropical.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:28 PM   #14
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So if my dream is to eventually have the tank look something like the photo below (it's so beautiful, I'll be lucky to get remotely close) what would I need to do?

I've got:
bag of Flourite
100 lbs of pool sand
20 lb bag of white sand I got to put in the valley between the hills.

. My thought is to makes two piles of Flourite for the hills. Then cover the hills with 2" of the pool sand. then put the white sand in the middle which will be the valley. Eventually driftwood to mimic trees and roots. Attach moss to the driftwood to mimic foliage. Short plants in front that look like grass. Taller plants on the hills to look like bushes. A few large beautiful rocks on the hills. Deep blue background.

Any advice for using these products or this layout?
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SandyCheeks View Post
So if my dream is to eventually have the tank look something like the photo below (it's so beautiful, I'll be lucky to get remotely close) what would I need to do?

I've got:
bag of Flourite
100 lbs of pool sand
20 lb bag of white sand I got to put in the valley between the hills.

. My thought is to makes two piles of Flourite for the hills. Then cover the hills with 2" of the pool sand. then put the white sand in the middle which will be the valley. Eventually driftwood to mimic trees and roots. Attach moss to the driftwood to mimic foliage. Short plants in front that look like grass. Taller plants on the hills to look like bushes. A few large beautiful rocks on the hills. Deep blue background.

Any advice for using these products or this layout?
Any suggestions for what plants would work ok? Or anything I should do at this point in setup, like fertilizer and such?

My hills are not going to be so tall.

Next step, find rocks and driftwood . . . Maybe tomorrow I'll take a drive to Tahoe.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:11 PM   #16
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Substrate. . . .
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:24 PM   #17
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For really short plants to make a carpet you need pretty strong light and at the very minimum liquid carbon supplement, pressurized co2 would be better. Your best bet for grassy plants would be micro sword. At tank like that would be amazing though. I wouldn't sink too much money into it just yet, Goldie's love to eat plants or uproot them. When you make it a tropical tank that's when I'd go all out, if I had the money anyway. You've got a great plan and a good start though, can't wait to see it come together
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #18
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Oh, and to be sure your hills don't collapse and settle I highly recommend substrate dividers. Also if you end up making fairly tall hills personally I wouldn't use only substrate. I would put something else down to give hight then add substrate for the shape, that may minimize anaerobic pockets
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:56 PM   #19
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Oh, and to be sure your hills don't collapse and settle I highly recommend substrate dividers. Also if you end up making fairly tall hills personally I wouldn't use only substrate. I would put something else down to give hight then add substrate for the shape, that may minimize anaerobic pockets
What would work best for a good substrate divider?

What I found online was to use gravel inside pantyhose so I sort of followed that. Instead used nylon mesh around stones for the basis of the hills. Does this sound like it will be ok in the long run?
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:59 PM   #20
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So far:
basis for hills
sand over hills
Added water
Filter running
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