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Old 07-21-2021, 03:31 PM   #1
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Starting over after 20 years...

And my tanks were running for probably ten years before that.


I've had freshwater tanks and also reef tanks. And like I said in my intro, things have certainly changed.


So anyway, I visited a local aquarium shop and looked at some stuff to set up a freshwater tank.
Then a couple hours later I got back home and tried to look up similar items online, as that's where I purchased quite a lot of my saltwater stuff from, but I'm not finding similar products. Everything looks much fancier. Or maybe the local shop is trying to get rid of it and it is actually priced pretty good.


I didn't write down prices, but basically what I found locally was:
A 72" long tank for $500. I'm going to guess it was about 24" hi. Not a real deep tank.

And an ugly black wood stand for 376. That seems high for what it is.

Some kind of blue canister filter that sits in the stand for 300 something. He showed me one running and I couldn't believe how quiet it was. It comes with a heater built in.
Some LED lighting with "pods". The staff said I would need 2-36" lights and I could also add more pods to the lighting strip if needed. Those were 90 a piece.


Obviously lots more to get, but that gave me an idea of where I was headed.


Does that seem good?
I seem to only be able to find fancier tanks online and many of the kits were in the $4000 to $8000 range and were not as large a tank. But like I said, maybe the store is trying to get rid of it. Probably not a lot of call for a 72" long tank, but I own a business and have some wall space I want to fill. The idea of a big aquarium appeals to me rather than a couple smaller tanks.


Any advice/guidance?
Links to online sources?


And man, freshwater fish today are what I was paying for saltwater fish back in the day. Online was typically a third the price.



I need help

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Old 07-22-2021, 11:59 AM   #2
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Starting over after 20 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freds View Post
And my tanks were running for probably ten years before that.


I've had freshwater tanks and also reef tanks. And like I said in my intro, things have certainly changed.


So anyway, I visited a local aquarium shop and looked at some stuff to set up a freshwater tank.
Then a couple hours later I got back home and tried to look up similar items online, as that's where I purchased quite a lot of my saltwater stuff from, but I'm not finding similar products. Everything looks much fancier. Or maybe the local shop is trying to get rid of it and it is actually priced pretty good.


I didn't write down prices, but basically what I found locally was:
A 72" long tank for $500. I'm going to guess it was about 24" hi. Not a real deep tank.

And an ugly black wood stand for 376. That seems high for what it is.

Some kind of blue canister filter that sits in the stand for 300 something. He showed me one running and I couldn't believe how quiet it was. It comes with a heater built in.
Some LED lighting with "pods". The staff said I would need 2-36" lights and I could also add more pods to the lighting strip if needed. Those were 90 a piece.


Obviously lots more to get, but that gave me an idea of where I was headed.


Does that seem good?
I seem to only be able to find fancier tanks online and many of the kits were in the $4000 to $8000 range and were not as large a tank. But like I said, maybe the store is trying to get rid of it. Probably not a lot of call for a 72" long tank, but I own a business and have some wall space I want to fill. The idea of a big aquarium appeals to me rather than a couple smaller tanks.


Any advice/guidance?
Links to online sources?


And man, freshwater fish today are what I was paying for saltwater fish back in the day. Online was typically a third the price.



I need help

Longer tanks are good because they are shallow which means the surface area to volume ratio favours better gas transfer at the surface which maximises oxygenation.

In reality you donít need a filter at all. Just an air stone or bubble wall will help move water around, disperse heat and oxygenate the tank. You can just carefully vacuum the substrate to pick of any debris and change water occasionally to clean the tank.

Canister filters are too powerful for most fish in a small aquarium, they collect waste and the sponges clog reducing oxygen to your biological filter. The microbes responsible for keeping everything in check are airborne and will colonise the tank in time anyway for free. But they rely on oxygen.

The lighting doesnít need to be fancy either. Itís all marketing jargon written on the side of those boxes. Just pick a relatively bright bulb that accents the fishes colours nicely. These will often be tubes or LED lights that have spectral peaks in the red, orange and blue ranges. Spend your money on nice decor like natural looking rocks and a big piece of driftwood. You can use an ordinary potting soil under the gravel to feed plants if you were to go down the route of a planted aquarium. These will be a fraction of the cost of any commercial substrates.

Just remember most aquarium manufacturers are constantly trying to think of ways to extract your hard earned money from your pocket. Call me cynical but itís true.

Stick to the fundamentals. Stock slowly and sensibly, feed sparingly, keep oxygen high and replace water occasionally and you should have very few issues.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:18 PM   #3
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Thanks, @Caliban07 !


No filter needed? Perfect! That will save me a chunk of change.
When I had my reef tank all I had was a Remora protein skimmer in a smaller tank within the stand. Everything was done more naturally with the live rock, deep sand bed and all that. More naturally than the saltwater aquarium shop wanted me to be doing anyway.



I mentioned Maxi Jets to the sales guy and he said those were for saltwater tanks, but I don't know why... What's wrong with moving water and currents in a freshwater tank?


I'll probably go with artificial plants. I seem to remember having a snail problem and the plants growing haywire in one of my freshwater tanks years ago. That can be alleviated with fake plants, right? Maybe make up for the oxygen with some air stones?


I'm not sure I know what you mean about potting soil. People use regular potting soil in tanks? I was thinking about the usual aquarium gravel. I always favored the look of brown and yellow gravel.
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Old 07-22-2021, 02:23 PM   #4
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Starting over after 20 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freds View Post
Thanks, @Caliban07 !


No filter needed? Perfect! That will save me a chunk of change.
When I had my reef tank all I had was a Remora protein skimmer in a smaller tank within the stand. Everything was done more naturally with the live rock, deep sand bed and all that. More naturally than the saltwater aquarium shop wanted me to be doing anyway.



I mentioned Maxi Jets to the sales guy and he said those were for saltwater tanks, but I don't know why... What's wrong with moving water and currents in a freshwater tank?


I'll probably go with artificial plants. I seem to remember having a snail problem and the plants growing haywire in one of my freshwater tanks years ago. That can be alleviated with fake plants, right? Maybe make up for the oxygen with some air stones?


I'm not sure I know what you mean about potting soil. People use regular potting soil in tanks? I was thinking about the usual aquarium gravel. I always favored the look of brown and yellow gravel.

Nope. You do not need an expensive filter. You can use one. They they are by no means necessary to run a healthy system.

I prefer gravel to sand. The gravel allows waste to fall in to the lower portions of the substrate where it can either be siphoned or left to mineralise in to mulm which is the aquatic version of terrestrial humus. Basically what makes undergravel filters so effective. There are more ways than one to run a tank only the fundamentals need to be constant. Some people are very protective over their gadgets and will swear by the canister and that is fine.

Plants will offer a much more diverse suite of microorganisms that contribute towards over all stability but are not necessary. They give you a safety net for oxygen and they take up harmful nitrogen compounds such as ammonia which give you more margin for error. Their roots also oxygenate the lower parts of the sediment which support a whole host of important microbes, but they are not necessary.

Gravel is fine. People do place a think layer of soil under their gravel to give their plants important nutrients to grow. If you have hard water with plenty of minerals and change it regularly there may be no need to supplement nutrients at all. Again, there are many ways to run an aquarium but the fundamentals remain.

Iím not familiar with the maxi jet but I do prefer gentle water movement. If you have lotís of rheophilic fish then lots of flow will be beneficial.
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
Nope. You do not need an expensive filter. You can use one. They they are by no means necessary to run a healthy system.

I prefer gravel to sand. The gravel allows waste to fall in to the lower portions of the substrate where it can either be siphoned or left to mineralise in to mulm which is the aquatic version of terrestrial humus. Basically what makes undergravel filters so effective. There are more ways than one to run a tank only the fundamentals need to be constant. Some people are very protective over their gadgets and will swear by the canister and that is fine.

Plants will offer a much more diverse suite of microorganisms that contribute towards over all stability but are not necessary. They give you a safety net for oxygen and they take up harmful nitrogen compounds such as ammonia which give you more margin for error. Their roots also oxygenate the lower parts of the sediment which support a whole host of important microbes, but they are not necessary.

Gravel is fine. People do place a think layer of soil under their gravel to give their plants important nutrients to grow. If you have hard water with plenty of minerals and change it regularly there may be no need to supplement nutrients at all. Again, there are many ways to run an aquarium but the fundamentals remain.

Iím not familiar with the maxi jet but I do prefer gentle water movement. If you have lotís of rheophilic fish then lots of flow will be beneficial.

I really appreciate the help I'm getting from you.
Thank you very much.
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