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Old 06-15-2005, 12:15 PM   #1
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Should I use styrofoam under my tank?

Hello! I am setting up a 45 gal tank. The bottom measures 36 x 12. I would like to have africal cichlids so I plan on using alot of rock. I already have the egg crate and I know from reading other threads that this is a good thing. The tank will be in a semi-high traffic area and I have read that putting styrofoam under the tank can help but heres my question(s).

How thick of a sheet should I use and what size should I cut it?

My best guess is to go 3/4 inch and cut it 38 x 14.

Could I put it just under the glass and not sticking out from the sides?

I have searched the posts but couldn't find a definative answer. I appologise if I missed something obvoius

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Old 06-15-2005, 12:30 PM   #2
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When we set up the 55 gallon tanks, we put the styrofoam under the tank and then just trimmed around it with a sharp knife after the tank was settled. I think we used /2 inch foam, but 3/4 would be just fine.
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:52 PM   #3
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I have a 125 gallon tank with 150 lbs of holey rork, and 100 lbs of gravel with no styrofoam under the tank. This was the manufactures suggestion for the warranty to apply if need be.

If you still have a need to use it though, make sure that it is not just under the glass, and that it covers the entire bottom of the tank. I like Hara's method.

Good choice in the African Cichlids though.
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:08 PM   #4
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Wow, plus the h20, HEAVY!! It is amazing that the tanks stay together!! Glad they do though!
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:10 PM   #5
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Aha! Thank you so much! I will definitely go with Hara's plan.

I'm super excited about doing african cichlids and I want everything to be as perfect as I can get it.

I really like the look of the Lake Tanganyikans. I would like to have a few Altolamprologus Comprecissep (Bright Orange) and a few Calvus (Black)

Any ideas on how many of each I should get and if these are easy to find?
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:21 PM   #6
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3 of each. 1 male and 2 females. But you should be aware that they can crossbreed. I don't put too much concern into it though in my tank. I have too many predators taking care of any "crossbreeding" issues.

I got most of mine from www.armkes.com
I did not mail order them though. I live a couple of hours away so I just drive on down every now and then. They do have great fish. High quality stock.
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:25 PM   #7
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Thank you mentallylost! I just got done looking at you gallery and you have very cool fish and beautiful pictures!

Should I get them all at once or is it safe to get on kind first?
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:29 PM   #8
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It is always better to add as few fish at one time that you can. Less chances of a ammonia spike. But it probably be ok to add 3 and then 3.

How long has the tank been set up?
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:48 PM   #9
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No styrofoam for me. Chances of cracking is high in long term..
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:20 PM   #10
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I haven't even added water yet. I had to completely reseal the tank. It was a garage sale find and they had hedgehogs in it. I followed the DIY instructions and tested it this morning and it is holding water perfectly. I have't puchaced the filter or anything yet but here's what I plan on buying:

Aqua Clear 300
Jager 200 watt submersible heater
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master test kit
Play sand from the HD
Already have the egg crate

Don't have any rock/shale yet. I like the look of the holey rock....is it expensive?

What do you think? Any suggestions?
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:26 PM   #11
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No styrofoam for me. Chances of cracking is high in long term..
Hmmmm.... is the styrofoam necessary? The tank is on a wall in the living room. I live on the second floor and it does bouce a little (very little) when we walk around but we don't really go in there much. The stand (3 rows of cinder blocks stacked 2 high with a 18 x 40 piece of 3/4 inch coated mdf on top) is very stable. The floor is off by a little less than 1/8 inch but I put a shim under the front of each row of cinder block and now its perfectly level.

What do you think?
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:32 PM   #12
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Be sure to cycle the tank first. Don't do what I did and needlesly kill your fish because you thought that cycling a tank isn't that improtant.

It's kind of expensive. But for the Africans, especially the Lake Tanganyikans who like their ph leel above 8.0, it's worth it. Texas holey rock is limestone and naturally raise the ph to the levels that these fish need without the use of chemical additives. Between that and all of the caves that it gives them to swim and breed in... well you can't really ask for a rock better suited for an African Cichlid tank.

If you are looking to get some, look on ebay. Do a search for Texas Holey Rock. It's some of the best prices that you are going to find without digging it up yourself. (Done that too)
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:50 PM   #13
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I definately will do a fishless cycle. I really really don't want to hurt my fish. I probably won't get the fish for at least 2 months or so.

Thanks for the tip on the Texas Holey Rock.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meaile
Quote:
No styrofoam for me. Chances of cracking is high in long term..
Hmmmm.... is the styrofoam necessary? The tank is on a wall in the living room. I live on the second floor and it does bouce a little (very little) when we walk around but we don't really go in there much. The stand (3 rows of cinder blocks stacked 2 high with a 18 x 40 piece of 3/4 inch coated mdf on top) is very stable. The floor is off by a little less than 1/8 inch but I put a shim under the front of each row of cinder block and now its perfectly level.

What do you think?
I live in second floor. Both of my 10 Gal and 29 Gal are there. I never faced any problem.. the water makes ripples when we walk near them.. But It never gave any problem.. I will try to keep my four year old away from it (I guess most of the time).
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