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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Jan 14, 2024
NOTE: I posted this elsewhere so as to get as much solid advice as possible. I'm not sure if this is the proper forum for this thread, so the mods can feel free to move it to the forum they believe would be the most appropriate. . .

So I’ve been out of the hobby for a while. The last tank I maintained seemed to be an old tank I grabbed from a garage sale back in the 80s. Guy said it was 60 gallon. It had a slate bottom. It was drilled for a drain at the bottom only. Probably for water changes. I kept it until around 1991 then gave it away to someone several years later when I was cleaning out the garage. Anyway, I’ve decided to delve back in with my nephew. Price isn’t going to be too much of an issue and I’m either going to opt for a 200 gallon or even a 300 gallon tank as there is plenty of space and the load capacity of the floor can handle it as it was a home that used to be an old dairy barn with multiple pieces power driven equipment being driven on them daily- including pickup trucks. The beams in the basement that will be supporting the tank are absolutely HUGE 12” x 12”.

I’m considering a tank (perhaps custom) from Custom Aquariums or perhaps another custom tank place folks here consider better. The tank will be stocked with small fish only. Nothing larger than 3 to 3.5-inches. That is all. Small fish only.

As for the equipment list I’ve been considering so far—with a focus on comfort, filtration and clarity—is as follows:

  • Dual Canister Filters (2 x Fluval FX6) along with spray bars (and I’ll note any recommendations on the spray bar brands as well). Yes, unfortunately a sump system is out of the question (for now). Also media type and amount recommendations for those canisters from folks that determined what works best would be greatly appreciated. I know there are upgrades and recommendations by folks, but I’m looking for what works.

  • Tank Heaters (preferably somewhere inline and out of the way) Aqua Logic, or…?

  • UV Sterilizer(s) (for clarity, bacteria and protozoa) I was thinking: Lifeguard 40-Watt Pro-MAX or the Aqua Classic UV (Stainless Steel models), Or some other brand considered top-of-the-line.

  • [Anything else you would recommend; especially for filtration, clarity and odor]

This is only a starting point.

Id substitute the biohome for whatever biomedia is your preference. Richard was at least partly responsible for developing biohome media and has a financial interest in selling it. His videos certainly push biohome.

I personally use biohome and find it a good, effective biomedia. It should last decades without needing replacement. But really, anything that provides surface area for microbes to live on will work. Ring type media like biomax, seachem matrix is very similar to biohome, getting a big bag of something like K1 and filling media bags and using that in your filtration will do a great job as biomedia and be cost effective for big filters. Dont get drawn in by the manufacturers claims that biohome and matrix will support anaerobic bacteria and consume nitrate. Ive never known anyone successfully demonstrate that these media do this, but other than that they are good media types.
Thank for all your help!! I welcome all the input. You are correct that I’m still in my research phase… I’d rather be meticulous now, and start with what works rather than be the guinea pig lol.
I should also mention that the tank will be well planted. At least that’s part of the plan. And suggestions with a freshwater plant list would also be welcome. It’s going to be a good size community tank.

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