upgrading the 55, need some advice

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Aquarium Advice Freak
Apr 18, 2007
Houston, TX
Well, the time has come, the 55 is becoming too small. I have been researching bigger aquariums, but am at a loss of what size to go with. We are looking to upgrade due to some of our fish growing to a large size, those being our pleco's. I have decided at this time to go with either a 75 or 90 gallon tank, and the prices are pretty close between the 2. I can get a 75 gallon AGA tank with cherry stand and canopy, hood and lights for around 1300, a 90 gallon AGA with cherry stand/canopy, hood/lights for around 1400, or a 90 gallon oceanic ultimate with cherry stand/canopy, hood/lights for around 1500. I am going to verify what all comes with these, but what would you go with? I like the oceanic ultimate with the starphire front glass, but is that a good deal for the setup?

We are looking to transfer the 55 over to the new one, filters and all, tho we are undecided about the substrate at the moment. Thank you for the help,

I would choose the 90 gallon oceanic ultimate if you can. I have seen these tanks and they are beautiful. Good luck.
I would go with the larger one as well. Can you get any special order pricing from a LFS in your area?
Ok, went to the LFS to discuss the tank prices and what not, walked out with 3 quotes, tho only 2 are in consideration...LOL

After looking at various sizes and tanks we decided to go ahead and skip straight to a large tank, we are going to invest in a 150 gallon freshwater tank. The 2 setups we are looking at are as follows.

setup 1:
150 gallon A.G.A. tank and glass top set, 2 perfecto 36 inch double bright lights, 2 fluval 405 canisters, 4 50 pound bags of sand, rose Prestige canopy/stand combo, digital thermometer (battery powered), 250w stealth heater. total walk out price: $2193.47

setup 2:
Oceanic Ultimate 150 gallon tank w/ cherry trim, 2 glass canopies, cherry oak stand, 2 fluval 405, 4 50 lb substrate, 2 36 inch perfect double bright lights, battery thermometer, and stealth 250w. total walk out price: $2284.02

We are leaning toward the first one, not so much based on price, but more in that we like the idea of having the canopy to hide the light fixtures. The third setup was essentially the AGA setup with a different stand/canopy set for nearly 3 grand, we like the stand/canopy, but it's 1400 by itself...not this time...

Of these 2 options, which would you go for, I know the ultimate has the starphire glass and will look clearer. Our 55 is an AGA, and the new one will eventually be in the same room with the 55. We are looking to turn the 150 into a centerpiece tank, with the others placed around it.

Thank you all for the advice in advance, and thank you to those who already responded.

I'm convinced AGA tanks are better the Oceanic these days anyway. My 75g Oceanis sprung a leak at the seals. They were VERY good with the warranty, but I replaced with an AGA. Now, I do believe Oceanic bought AGA in recent years, but I keep hearing from folk that the AGA construction is better - at least there was a lot of discussion a few years ago.
I would get the first one as well because of the canopy. If you have any cats it is much easier with the canopy. I do prefer the AGA tanks as I have mostly AGA tanks.
Have you priced just purchasing the tank from the pet store and then ordering the rest online?

Most people do it that way. It will save you money.
I dont really like to order stuff online that I can pick up at the store, yeah we may end up paying more, but with no shipping costs and having it the same day...to me it's worth it. I'm not saying that it's a bad idea, but that it's not my thing. I do appreciate all the advice, I believe we will be investing in the AGA with stand/canopy
If you like to pay more and have it that day, that's fine with me. Just a recommendation as you mentioned. FYI, many retailers have free shipping if you purchase a curtain amount of product. IE Petsmart has free shipping if you buy more then 50 dollars worth of goods.

The reason for this post was to ask why you are only only going with a 250 watt heater? 3 to 5 watts per gallon is the normal range people purchase for thier aquariums. That being said, you are not even close to that number. I guess you are going to use the one that was on the 55 as well?

IMO, I would look into purchasing Hydor external heaters for both of your filters. Makes for a much cleaner looking aquarium.

And lastly, what type of sand are you talking about?
We are looking to transfer the 55 over to the new one, filters and all, tho we are undecided about the substrate at the moment.

Dont carry the substrate over. Too much trash. If it`s already sand you can carry over a cup or two to seed the new sand.
Dont carry the substrate over. Too much trash. If it`s already sand you can carry over a cup or two to seed the new sand.

No, we are going with an all new substrate, Going with sand this time. The current one is a gravel bottom, but with all the loaches, we wanted a sand bottom. We will likely tear the 55 down, and clean it up, then set it back up and transfer the semi-aggressive over to it. Once we get that down, I think we will be turning the 29 into a brackish tank.

I do appreciate all the help and advice,


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