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New Tank

Author Topic: New Tank  (Read 8892 times)

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Offline Resa

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New Tank
« on: April 30, 2013, 11:23:12 PM »
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Hi Everybody,

I have decided to look around for a bigger tank, my current one is only 60L.
At the moment I have only got 1 Colisa Lalia, 4 male guppies, 3 blue marbled platys (and their offspring) and 2 otos.  I intend to increase my oto count to 6 and definitely want at least 6 panda corys as well.  I would also like to add another couple of fish...don't know what ones yet, I have to do my research on who will mix happily with them.  Or, a small shoal of something.  Anyone have any suggestions on best size tanks?  Also, would I be better to have just a sand substrate, could I have live plants in this?
My baby platys will be going, a local shop has said they will take them....I'm just hoping that it's not for food for their huge great piranha!  I was joking about that....but you don't think they would, do you???

I'm also assuming that I would have to cycle the tank from the beginning as I don't suppose my current filter is mature enough to take a sponge from?  It's an external Marine S15, and I actually don't know if all the sponges in it (there are 3) are the same or if they have different mediums in each one.  I don't know if I could put a new sponge in one of the slots and use the old one to help start off a new tank, but then, I guess it would need to be the same filter and there is probably a better one for a larger tank, although I would still quite like it to be an external one.

Anyway, just investigating at the moment, but all thought s would be most welcome....thanks

Resa
  :)

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Offline SteveS

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 12:41:18 AM »
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Most of the questions you ask have answers that are a matter of opinion rather than fact but I'll offer myself up for the slaughter as follows:
  • Tank Size: How long is a piece of string.  The best size is the one that fits the furniture you have or the space you wish to put it in or is big enough for the fish you wish to keep in it.  At the same time it should be small enough that you can cope with the water changes, unless you put some sort of automatic system in place.  It also shouldn't be too heavy for the floor.  You don't really give many clues, but probably the most common size is around 150-180 Litres.  These are about 100cm or so long.  The larger the tank the more stable the water conditions (all other things being equal).
  • Substrate: Sand is fine for plants.  Aquatic plants, generally, take their nutrients from the water column as well as their roots.  Root tabs will help there.  There are exceptions though so "research research".
  • Cycle: It's been a couple of months now and it will be longer by the time you get your new tank, so take a sponge and put it into your new filter.  It doesn't matter if it's a different filter, cut it up if you have to [the sponge not the new filter].  It's a huge shortcut on the cycling of a filter.
Anyway, good luck and don't rush in.  Try and decide what fish you wish to keep and then buy a tank to match rather than the other way round.  I see you have some ideas, try and flesh them out to a definite list and work from there.

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 07:43:24 AM »
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Wow - good news Resa.

I'd look to a shoal of mid-water fish to get that interaction that I find the best thing. I used to think it was colours and differences that would interest me most, but after a year I find that it's the behaviour that's the best thing. So a shoal of fish where the males would 'display' and they would group together and swim around would be my thoughts.

With that in mind then at least 80cm long would be good, and a decent height to allow the different levels to exist. I think these Rosy Tetras are great (link) but there is a 'nippy' warning if kept in small numbers. Round-banded barbs looked good in the LFS when I saw them a few months ago (link).

But Hey, the fun's in the research!

Do you intend to keep the 60litre tank running as well as the new tank?

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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 08:37:17 AM »
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If the plant experts say sand will be fine, go for it. It opens up more fish possibilites. Just wash it till you are sick of washing it to get rid of the dust. Put some in a bucket and run water through, stirring the sand, till the water runs clear. Repeat till you've done it all.



The marina S15 is classed as a HOB filter rather than an external. That's 'hang on back' filter. External means a cannister filter (as the Americans call them) which sits in the cupboard under the tank.
Looking at the manual for the S15, it has a strainer sponge and cartridges which contain biocarb or bioclear depending which ones you actually have. The carbon in the cartridges will already be saturated and colonised by bacteria.
If you don't keep the 60 litre, move them all over, cartridges and strainer sponge, into the new filter and fill in the gaps with the media that comes with the new filter. And move all the fish over at the same time. Check your ammonia and nitrite daily, doing water changes of you see either of them. Wait till you know that new tank definitely has zero ammonia and nitrite and get more fish a few at a time. Then after another couple of months replace one cartridge a month, then the strainer sponge till you have all new media.
If you want to keep both running, put one of the cartridges in the new filter (place it where the water enters the filter so any loose biofilm gets washed into the new media). Put some new media in the space in the old filter - a piece of sponge would be better than a cartridge. Then do a fishless cycle on the new tank. Getting the bacteria strarted is the longest part, if you add mature media it shortens the cycle considerably. Once the new filter has been running cycled for a couple of months, replace the old filter's cartridge with the proper media.

[If your new filter has carbon, put it in the cupboard and get more sponge or ceramic media or whatever instead]

Offline jesnon

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 10:18:56 AM »
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Exciting news about a new tank Resa! I'd love a bigger tank too but unfortunately in my small flat it's not too practical at the minute... maybe when I move house!

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 11:11:21 PM »
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Hi Guys,

So sorry for the delay in my reply, I've had some stuff going on which has caused me to be really rude and not acknowledge your helpful suggestions before now.
Hopefully, normal service is now resumed.

I am hoping to go and do some tank window shopping next week.....really looking forward to it! :)

Resa
  :)

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 07:59:03 AM »
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oooo - exciting. ;D


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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 12:25:55 PM »
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Just so I don't upset Steve replying in the Non-fish Section:

Resa -
Quote
Then, the other evening after doing Rafe's (my betta) water change, I managed to knock the corner of his tank against the worktop.....disaster!  Water came pouring out!  In panic, the only thing I could think to do with him until I could get a new tank, (not easy this month as May is one Bank Holiday after another!!!) was to drop him into the mini tank that hangs on the inside of my main tank to house fry or separate any squabblers.  I haven't had to use it yet, as all my fishies behaved so nicely with my babies.  I quickly put it in as I was so worried about Rafe not being warm enough or filtered enough.  I figured it was better he was sort of in a proper tank rather than just in a bowl.  Anyway, it seemed to work well enough.  Flockhart, my colisa, investigated thoroughly and bumped his nose against the little tank, though not really aggressively.
    Anyway, I did a water change and as I have now decided to do a 10% waterchange twice a week rather than a bigger one once a week, I lowered Rafe's mini tank so he didn't lose water depth.  All went well, tank refilled, everyone happy!  I decided I deserved a cuppa and sat down with one to watch my fishies......when, HORROR! Where was Rafe???? I figured I must be looking at an awkward angle and that I just couldn't see him in his little tank.....then there he was...happily swimming around inside the main tank with EVERYONE ELSE!!!!  I had forgotten to raise his pad up again!  My heart was in my mouth, my stomach lurched while I waited for a bloodbath to break out any moment. :o  Well, that was yesterday early evening, and he is still in there!  I have kept a very close eye on them...and so far, so good.  Do you think they will be alright until I can get him a new tank?  Or could they still decide to kill each other?
    The fish shop has either large proper aquariums (100L plus) or silly plastic ones designed for children at the moment, (for children to keep fish in, not keep children in! ;D ) so I have to wait for new stock or see if I can get one online.  If they would be ok temporarily, I would prefer to try and get my new larger tank and then Rafe can stay in the current 60L one.

    Well, sorry to drone on, but one last thing.....whilst I was at the fish shop, I felt the need for a treat to cheer myself up, so I got 3 little coral (yes, I know I don't like orange, but they were really cute) platies ;) and then, I saw him and it was love at first sight.....a little panda cory!  He was all alone and I know he needs at least 5 chums, but I figured he would be better in my tank with some friends than on his own in the shop, so I got him....and then I saw his little mate peeking out through the plants...so I got him too!  They are so sweet, I love watching them bumble about in the tank.  I hope they will be ok.  My nitrate levels have been really good lately, not getting above 25 so I think the plants must be doing their stuff.
    Next week I am going to try and find some more so they are up to full numbers.



Rafe - if he's in with a dwarf gourami there is the potential for one of them to suddenly snap. Both species are known for their aggression.
How good are you at sewing and how much time do you have spare? The answer could be in the photo. It's made from plastic canvas, with polystryene strips sewn round the top as floaters. With a fish like a betta, I would also put a bit of the canvas over the top as they can, and do, jump. Advantages - they can be made as big as you want; the water flows through the mesh; they float at the water surface so no need to worry during water changes.


The cories - it is hard to resist  ;D Make sure you get some more soon  ;D

Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 06:32:21 PM »
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Hi Sue,

Thanks for the floating tank suggestion.  Sewing isn't a problem...even better if I could make one from patchwork ;).  However, I was unable to do anything about it after your post as it is yet another bank holiday here!!!  Everywhere is shut until tomorrow at the earliest.  So, I shall probably see if I can find Rafe a new tank if the new stock has come in.  I also want to try and track down some more pandas and I will also be taking in all my baby platies to my local shop.

Now for some sad news.  On Saturday evening, my teeny-tiny panda died.  I was a little unsure about him, he was much less active than the other one....and very, very small.  He also had rather a stressful time being caught in the shop, so I don't suppose that helped.  There was one other in the shop with the two that I bought, but he was even tinier and looked very quiet, even the girl in the shop shook her head when she caught him and put him back in the tank.  I am hoping that it was just because they were very young and that they don't have any illness.  Bumble...my other one, is at least twice as big as the little one who died, and is very busy.....well, bumbling about the tank.  He seems very active so I have my fingers firmly crossed.....I adore him already! :)
My nitrates are low (I have checked that) so I am assuming that isn't the problem.  I will also give it a few more days to make sure that there isn't a sickness hitting them.  My own baby platies are fine so I'm guessing that my water conditions must be ok, although I suppose they are used to the water.
This morning one of the new coral platies was also dead when I checked them all.  He had no marks on him.  He came from the same shop that the pandas came from.  The platies are quite small as well.  The only other fish I have bought from this shop was Rafe, but he has been perfectly ok, but then he was in a jam-jar on his own.

On another subject, I forgot to ask if there were any particular makes of aquariums I should avoid for my new larger one?  Or indeed, if there were some that were particularly recommended?

Anyway, all thoughts welcome.

Resa
  :)

P.S. Oops...sorry Steve, I have just realised that this might not conform to just an equipment query.  I shall go now to chastise myself with a wet lettuce leaf  ;D ;D

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Offline jesnon

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 06:47:02 PM »
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So sorry to hear about how things have been Resa, I hope your friends are all coping OK.

And what a nightmare about Rafe's tank! At least things seem to be going OK so far.

Sorry to hear about your fishy deaths :-( Fingers crossed things improve and your other fishies are all OK

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 06:51:29 PM »
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Thanks Jesnon......things can only get better???


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Offline jesnon

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 07:01:17 PM »
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I definitely hope so! Definitely sounds like you've been having a tough time of it recently... some good news has to be heading your way!

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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 07:30:53 PM »
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You are having  bad time  :(

The cory could just have been a bit sickly as it was so small, but with the platy as well I'd keep an eye on all the fish from that shop.


As for tanks, I can't think of any make in particular to avoid. Personally, I wouldn't get the kind with a filter built into the lid - there is a risk of the media drying out in a power cut. That might be just me though, other people seem to like them.
Tanks that come packaged with the heater and filter - it is common for the filter & heater to be the smallest they can get away with. If the shop would upgrade a filter, say, for a small additional cost, go for it.

My 125 litre is a Juwel Rio. I removed the built in filter after a month or so because it was so noisy - though I've only heard of one other person with th same problem. Every other comment has been how quite they are  :-\ Other than that, I can say from personal experience they are well built. My 50 litre is an Eheim. They also make bigger tanks. The 50 litre (nominally a 54 l, but that's right to the top of the glass) is also good build quality.

Offline SteveS

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 07:47:42 PM »
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P.S. Oops...sorry Steve, I have just realised that this might not conform to just an equipment query.  I shall go now to chastise myself with a wet lettuce leaf  ;D ;D

I am ignoring that comment!

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 07:55:32 PM »
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ooo.....beam me up, Snotty! ;D ;D

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2013, 08:30:08 AM »
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Sorry to hear about your fish, Resa. One of my Cherry Barbs jumped out a day or two ago and we found him dead on the floor. :'(

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2013, 10:54:33 AM »
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Oh poor barb...sorry Colin.

I'm glad you're back.....I was a bit worried about you.

Resa
  :)

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2013, 10:33:27 AM »
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Cheers, me dear.

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2013, 03:42:00 PM »
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Hi Guys,

Some help needed, please.  We went tank window shopping yesterday, and I think I am settled on a Juwel Rio 180 in black.  Good idea?  Anyone have any negative experience of these?  I'm a bit unsure about the internal filter combined heater.  On looking at reviews most people say it is a quiet filter, although one person said it was really noisy, (and I think sue has said this as well :-\ ) Also, I am unsure if the heater can be removed from the filter or is it an integral part?  If it is, (integral, that is) would that mean if either the filter or heater failed, both would be redundant, requiring me to replace both items?  I'm also thinking that I would probably want to change the internal filter to an external one, or rather a HOB type, as I won't be getting the cabinet the tank sits on.  Would it be adviseable to change the filter or should the one supplied be ok? If I change, what filter do you all suggest and also what heater?

The other problem that has me scratching my head is, how do I change tanks?  The new one is going in exactly the same place as the old one, so I have the problem of removing the old one full of fish so that I can place and set up the new one! ???  I wondered if I bought some spare sponges for whatever filter I am going to use, and then put them in my current tank under the water (that returns in to the tank) would they start growing bacteria?  I don't know how to change the tanks places whilst keeping a cycled tank going until the new one is safe ??? ??? ???  If I could be sure that the new tank could be cycled like this, then I could potentially set aside enough time to:

1. Remove  say, 50% of my water.
2. Move old tank to temporary spot. Although, this would still be amazingly heavy. Put back old water.
3. Set up new tank with substrate, plants, rocks etc.
4. Switch on filter, heater and leave running to reach temperature.
5. Test water and temp, if ok, move fish over.

I would ideally like to leave the 60L up and running so Rafe can stay in there.

Anyway, I have thoroughly cooked my head, so I'm waiting for the genius ideas I know you will all have ;D

Many thanks, guys.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Panda Cory (11) - Otocinclus (2) - Platy (3) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (7) - Dwarf Gourami (2) - Red Phantom Tetra (5) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Guppy (male) (4) - Dwarf Gourami (1) - Platy (6) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (5) - Panda Cory (6) - Otocinclus (2) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (6) - Dwarf Gourami (1) - Platy (5) - Guppy (male) (4) - Otocinclus (2) - Panda Cory (6) - Platy (3) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (5) -
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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2013, 04:00:17 PM »
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The rio first.
The heater is not fixed inside, you can remove it. You would just need to buy a heater holder. The ones on the market here are like this

The filter is OK for non-messy fish. The pump is usually rated at less than 5 times turn over though. I've only come across one other person who thought it was noisy, most others say it is quiet. I removed mine after about a month. The only downside to that is that it appears to invalidate the warranty so make sure it doesn't leak before doing anything to the filter. It is held in the tank by blobs of silicone, four on each side. It is quite easy to remove - I did it with water and fish in the tank though it's easier without. You need a bendy knife to saw through the upper blobs on one side - very carefully, avoiding the corner sealant. For the upper blobs on the second side, ease the filter casing away from the glass for access. Then ease the casing further out and saw through the lower blobs. The traces of silicone left on the glass can be scraped off with a razor blade held at an angle to the glass - again be careful of the corner sealant and scatching the glass.
If you want a HOB filter, make sure it has more than just carbon cartridges, or that you can change the media to something more useful. The lid should be quite easy to cut to fit a HOB.

What I'd be inclined to do is set the tank up somewhere, fill it with water and turn the filter on. That would check for leaks and allow you to hear how noisy the filter is. You may decide it's OK to use. There will be a carbon sponge included. Leave it in the cupboard.



The fish currently in the 60 litre - are they all going in the new tank or will some be staying in there with Rafe? And does Rafe have a cycled filter in his tank? The answers will help with the way to get things set up  ;D

Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2013, 04:39:12 PM »
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Hi Sue,

Thanks for your speedy reply.  One other thought, on reading up on the Rio, it says that it is PVC as opposed to glass and that this is ok for clarity but to be careful not to scratch it.  Is glass or PVC better, or is it just personal preference?

At the moment, as you know, Rafe is in the 60L with everyone else, so yes, this is my cycled tank and the one I would like to keep going so that Rafe can stay in it. I was thinking that at some point, some fishy friends can be in there with him, perhaps some corys. I was wondering if Rafe stayed in there initially on his own, if I could use more of my filter media in the new filter to kick start it.  I realise this is not ideal, but that Rafe is probably not so dependent on a fully cycled filter.
I agree with you that I should set the new one up to test for leaks etc.

Before I put the fish in, should I leave the tank for a few days for the water to settle, or even keep some of the old tank water to put in the new tank as I read that it is bad to have completely new water because of all the minerals etc?

I am hoping to get my new tank maybe tomorrow or Tuesday if they're not open tomorrow,  (Most shops are shut here on Mondays) so I want to make sure I buy the right one. They still didn't really have the right tank for Rafe, so I figured it was probably just as well to forge ahead with the bigger one so he can keep the 60L.

Thanks for your help...

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2013, 04:56:21 PM »
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Sorry, another question.....I read that the two 45 watt bulbs that come with the Rio 180 are fine for lighting the tank and fish but probably should be changed if you have live plants....is this right?  I don't want to buy the tank and then find I've got to change everything.

Cheers...

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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2013, 07:20:41 PM »
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I started replying about 2 hours ago, then my husband decided it was time for dinner  ;D

Rios are made from glass. I've never heard of a tank being made from pvc, the only plastic I'm aware of for tanks is acrylic. You can tell the rio is glass as it is made from panels joined together. Acrylic tanks are made from a single moulded piece (I think!)
Have you found this rio 180 manual

If the bulbs are 45 watts, they are T5 rather than T8. T5 are better for plants.  Juwel use an odd sized tube in the hope that you'd be tied to their make. But Arcadia make Juwel sized bulbs as well. I don't know about the T5s but the T8s Juwel used made the water look yellow, a very unattractive shade. I swapped to Arcadia bulbs which are much better. If you find your tank water looks like someone has relieved themselves in it (I said it was unattractive  ;D ) replace them. original tropical tubes is made in Juwel size, the T5 starting with code J


I'd forgotten about the betta tank problem  :-[


There are 2 ways to set up the new tank, the safe way and the not quite so safe way.

Both ways will necessitate the complete emptying of the 60 litre I'm afraid. It is not safe to move a tank with any water in it. Tanks are designed to be strong when just sitting there. Any water, even an inch, will slosh around and twist the tank and could well lead to tank failure ie 60 litres of water on the floor.

The safe way:
Move the 60 to it's new position, fill it back up with as much water as you can save and top up with new and put all the fish back in. Put the new tank where it is going, fill the new tank with completely new dechlorinated water. Then when everything is ready take some media from the 60 litre and put it in the new filter. And do a fishless cycle on it. It is safe to take about a third of the media out of the 60 litre, but give the fish less food for a day or two before and a few days after.

The not quite as safe way:
Get the two tanks to where you want them. Divide up the media in the 60 - the proportions of the two batches should be the same proportion as the bioload of the fish going in each tank. Put the 60 litre's worth of media back in the 60 litre together with some of its water and the fish which will be staying in there. And the 180 litre's worth of media into the 180, together with the rest of the 60 litre's water and the fish that'll be going in the 180. Top up both tanks with new dechlorinated water. Again, don't feed as much.
This is the not-quite-so-safe method as it's difficult to estimate the bioload of each species and get the division of mature media absolutely correct. You could find yourself in a mini-cycle in one of the tanks.



With both methods, fill the spaces in the filters with new media. The mature media should go first in the direction of water flow. For the built in Juwel filter that would be right under the white pad - instead of the carbon sponge is the ideal place.

Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2013, 09:40:06 AM »
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Hi Sue,

Thanks for that.  I will use the first method, I don't want to take any more chances with my fish than I have to.  It's very exciting....but very scary too!

Enjoy your Bank Holiday!

Resa
  :)

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2013, 09:53:20 AM »
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Hi again, Sue,

I forgot to say, it was while I was looking for any feedback on the tanks.  I typed in, 'Juwel Rio 180 reviews' and one of the sites I looked at was a 7 point product review, (that was what it was headed).  It was on there that it said the Juwel was PVC....I thought it strange myself, but figured I know squat, and they knew what they were talking about!  I'm glad I mentioned it though as I was wondering whether to not go for the Juwel after all, as I was worried about scratches etc.

Thanks again.....

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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2013, 09:55:20 AM »
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My several year old Rio is glass  ;D I'll have to look for that review.


Have I mentioned that it's not fair you getting the Rio 180 when I had to get the 125  ;D I was just about to say, yes I'll take the 180 when my husband got cold feet and reckoned it might not fit if/when we move to a bungalow, so I had to get the 125  >:(

Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2013, 10:26:43 AM »
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I've found the review. I don't think they know what they are talking about  :-\

"Only a couple of medium sized fish" Well, I suppose it does depend on how you define medium. To me, medium includes things like 3-spot gourami and you could fit more than just a couple of them.

"pvc" Again, I've never heard of a tank being made of pvc. My rio is definitely glass. Even if you google 'pvc aquarium' all you get are things to go in an aquarium made of pvc, not the tank itself.

The lighting. It comes with T5 tubes, the ones that are recommended for plants. They stopped using T8s a while ago. Mine has T8s but it is a few years old.

The suspended base - aka floating base - it is not the base that stops the tank leaking. It's just that flat bottomed tanks can crack without a base mat or polystyrene under them, and floating bases do away with the need for base mats. In fact, using a base mat/polystyrene invalidates the warranty.


I think it sums the site up when you notice that:
  • In their best available tank page, it gives the Fluval Edge as the best beginner tank. (sorry Jesnon  ;D )
  • On their 8 top accessories page, it says the lights have to on for 12 hours then off for 12 hours to mimic the sun rising and setting or the fish will get depressed. They've obviously never heard of algae  :-\ 
  • They say you need a pump and a filter (though since the site is mainly about marine fish, you might need both for them)
  • Remove the fish when cleaning the tank and when you've finished cleaning the tank let it run for several hours before putting the fish back in (unless that's what marine fishkeepers have to do)
  • Clean the filter at every water change, and no mention of the type of water to use (some people will assume to use tapwater)



I think I'd be inclined to say they don't know what they are talking about with pvc tanks  ;D



Edit to add - did you read their choice of the 3 cheapest tanks?
Fluval Edge - generally reckoned to be expensive compared to plain rectangular tanks
Fluval profile 850 - it's usual price is only 920 euros  :o That's cheap?

Offline jesnon

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2013, 11:01:54 AM »
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Fluval edge is definitely not cheap or generally a good udea for beginners... though it's been fine for me! I really want a biggee tank already though!

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Offline SteveS

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2013, 03:29:46 PM »
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PVC may relate to the trimmings and/or the hood. It is possible to make rigid, even transparent, PVC but it is quite fragile.

"Plastic" tanks are usually made of acrylic, lucite, plexiglass or perspex or something similar (they are all trade names of methyl methacrylate). They can be moulded or cast in one or more pieces and/or "glued" together. The "glue" is in fact a chemical catalyst that reassembles the polymers at the join. It sort of welds the two pieces back into one like magic!

It is more expensive than glass and is susceptible to scratches, although they are easy to polish out, unlike scratches in glass. It is also stronger and lighter and "more transparent".

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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2013, 03:49:16 PM »
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Thank you for the clarification Steve. I didn't think it was possible to make a tank from pvc, but you never know what people do these days. The only acrylic tanks I've seen in person have been small ones made from a single moulded piece but it makes more sense that larger ones would be made of panels joined together.

Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2013, 07:47:23 AM »
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Morning Guys,

This is my 4th attempt at replying, because for some reason the new site wouldn't let me post....it seems to have woken up now ;)

Anyway, thanks for your advice, Sue and Steve.  A few more questions I am afraid.
Sticking with the Rio for the moment, would you advise to change the filter anyway?  You say, Sue, that it is rated at less than five times turnover and ok for non-messy fish.  What do you consider non-messy fish? :-\ Would I be better to just get a more powerful filter anyway?  If so, any advice on what one that would keep a 180 nice and clean?

I'm glad it wasn't just me that thought that review site was a bit wonky. I had told 'Him Indoors' that we had to get a tank that had T5 bulbs fitted because I have live plants and knew that the Juwel had these....only to read on that site that the bulbs with this tank were no good for plant growing ???  It doesn't take much to confuse me and I thought I had got completely muddled somewhere about the lighting I need.  So, that's good now, as long as I get T5's plants will be OK.

Steve...stupid question no. 532...I would have thought that acrylic tanks would get that kind of dull, opaque look after a while, and that glass would be clearer?  Or am I thinking of old-fashioned perspex stuff?  Also, wouldn't it be harder to clean algae off of acrylic, certainly if you have to scrape it at all?
Would you recommend glass or acrylic?

I haven't googled any acrylic tanks yet, but I shall as soon as I have posted this.

Another thought about the Rio....is that lid quite strong?  I only ask as Alice, one of my cats, has been known to lay on my current lid in order to experience that 'under-fur heating' effect!  I could do without suddenly finding I have a new 'cat' fish in my tank! ;D ;D

Thank you for your help, I'm sure there will be more questions...I don't want to get this purchase wrong...I'll never hear the end of it..... ;)

Resa
  :)


PS. If you think about it, it is actually fair that I get 180 tank, as you have more tanks than me, so will probably still have more litreage (is that a word?) .  Also, it was actually H.I. idea to go bigger as him and my son keep going on about the fish they like just for me to keep saying, "can't have one, the tanks not big enough".  They now actually say, "oo, we like that fish....no, don't say it....the tanks not big enough" in some sort of strange voice that is supposed to be me ???
Of course, it doesn't mean I will allow them their fish choice, but I shall be keeping that quiet until after I have my new tank ;D

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Offline Sue

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2013, 09:32:25 AM »
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I have 125 + 50 + 25 = 200 litres. You will have 180 + 60 = 240 litres. So I win in number of tanks, you win in total volume  ;D


Messy fish are things that poo a lot (eg plecs, goldfish) and fish that eat meaty food, and leave a lot uneaten to rot (eg oscars, but they wouldn't fit anyway). Fish like tetras, gouramis etc are not classed as messy, though from what I know of platies, they do poo a lot (though they aren't usually classed as messy). The 'messy' fish need over-filtration.
So long as you don't have any of these messy fish, the built in filter would cope - though I think you can upgrade the pump to one with a bigger flow rate. If you run the filter before starting cycling you can tell if you have a noisy one.I would be inclined to go with the built in one unless you can't stand the noise. But I'd probably get a more powerful pump - though that could wait till you got more fish, you could still cycle with the one that comes with the tank.


It is not obvious from the manual which version of the filter is in the 180. Depending on the version, it will have some or all of: fine blue sponges and coarse blue sponges, cirax (a ceramic medium), a green nitrate removal sponge (see later), a black carbon sponge (see later) and a white pad.
The green nitrate sponge doesn't work that well at removing nitrate. But it is a very good sponge for housing bacteria, treat it like a blue one.
Do I need to say that you don't need the carbon sponge on a routine basis  ;D
The white pad collects the debris before it gets to the sponges. It clogs quickly and will only wash a couple of times before falling apart. Juwel pads are quite expensive, get a roll of generic filter wool/floss (even pond stuff) and cut it up using a Juwel pad as a template.

Offline SteveS

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2013, 01:11:57 PM »
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Steve...stupid question no. 532...I would have thought that acrylic tanks would get that kind of dull, opaque look after a while, and that glass would be clearer?  Or am I thinking of old-fashioned perspex stuff?  Also, wouldn't it be harder to clean algae off of acrylic, certainly if you have to scrape it at all?
It gets that opaque dull look because it's scratched. Lots of tiny scratches usually caused by incorrect cleaning. It is fairly simple to polish these out. Cleaning algae shouldn't be a problem but you have to use the right tools.

Would you recommend glass or acrylic?
Yes I would. ;) I'm not sure I have much of a preference except that glass is cheaper and more easily available for 180 litre tanks.

PS. If you think about it, it is actually fair that I get 180 tank, as you have more tanks than me, so will probably still have more litreage (is that a word?).
The word is volume.

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2013, 03:44:40 PM »
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You're so funny.. ;)

Thank you also for my new word of 'volume'....in my defence, it was early, and for every new french word I learn, I lose an english one ;)

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2013, 03:48:42 PM »
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I like 'litreage' - I'm going to try and drop that into a conversation and see what people say.  ;D

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Offline Resa

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Re: New Tank
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2013, 04:02:12 PM »
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Thanks Colin....let's start a litreage campaign :D

That Steve is always picking on me ;D ;D ;D

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