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Old 09-03-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4
Starting up a new 180 gallon tank, need some advice.

Hello everyone,

I'm sure it's a common story, but I had a tank while I was younger and I have wanted to get back into the hobby for a really long time now. I finally have the space to do it and rather than constantly itching to upgrade, I have decided to go all in with a 180 gallon freshwater tank. I just picked up a stand and canopy off craigslist last week so I headed over to my local Aquarium store and ordered the tank the same day and it's there waiting for me now. That is all I have so far and that's why I am here.

Having been out of the loop for so long, I need some advice on what equipment to buy. I am trying to decide on what I will need for filtration, lighting and heating. I can't say for sure what route I am going as far as fish yet. I am trying to decide between doing a large community tank with schools, or possibly a Cichlid tank.

1. I wanted to have at least two canister filters on this tank. I have my eye on the Fluval FX6 but the price tag is a bit hefty. I figured two of these would easily "over filter" a 180 gallon tank. Is there any other options someone can recommend? I certainly want to get one FX6, but maybe something else a bit cheaper as a secondary?

2. As far as lighting, with a 180 tank being 24" deep, would I need to do two full rows of lighting? Then do I get 6ft long fixtures, or two shorter fixtures for each row? I like the idea of LED lighting to keep the electricity costs down. If I end up going community tank, I would probably only do low maintenance and low light plants and not right away. I want to get the tank up and running first.

3. What wattage heaters would be good here? I plan to get two heaters and a controller as well. I live alone so in the winter I am used to lowering my heat down to low 60s since I am at work most of the day and no one is here. I probably will not go so low with the tank here now.

That is all for the moment. Still in the planning stages right now so I'm sure I will have plenty more questions as I fumble my way through. Thanks for reading.


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Old 09-03-2014, 09:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 92
I have a 110 tank, still pretty big, that I am setting up for Cichlids. My specs are as follows:

Aqueon 48" LED light with 2 day, 1 blue.
2 300W Fluval Heaters
Marineland 530 Canister Filter

I am pretty happy with my set up so far. Still doing a fish less cycle.

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Old 09-03-2014, 10:45 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2008
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Thanks for the reply. Nice looking tank so far. I'm torn with spending the extra on two FX6's. They seem to run about $340 each.. It's not like I expected this to be cheap when I decided to go with a larger tank but maybe I will keep my eye out for a used FX5/6 to cut the cost a little bit.
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