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Suggestions wanted for re-starting my neglected tank
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tommo2
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Location: ireland

PostPosted: 2013.05.31(Fri)15:05    Post subject: Suggestions wanted for re-starting my neglected tank Reply with quote

Hi, I havent been on here in ages.
My 100gal tank has been neglected for the past 2 or 3 years, the filter impellers wore out and I never bothered with doing anything due to other priorities in my life (sick child/wife/work). All is good now.

Anyway, I have ordered replacement impellers and am going to start afresh.
My setup:
110 gallon in-wall tank, 8 foot wide, 2.5 feet high, 1 foot front-to back. The tank is flush in the wall. Rear and sides are painted a deep blue on the outside.
Filters are two external canister filters (penn-plax cascade 1000)
2 heater elements.
2 x 3ft flourescent beauty lights and 2 x 3ft blue flourescent lights.
Substarte is a mix of gravel and crushed coral.
Air pump with air curtain and various air stones.

I am well aware of starting the mitrogen cycle which was a great success in my original setup. I have a test kit for pH, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia.

The pH of my water is about 7.5 but was slowly dropping to around 5.5 so I added crushed coral to buffer it. This led to the pH slowly rising to 8.5, so I guess I had too much coral, maybe I should have just put some in a bag in the filter???

Substrate is plain peddles in sizes of 3-5mm.

Anyway, I am going to remove and clean the tank, so any suggestions are welcome. It is quite difficult to reach the bottom of the tank, so I intend to stick down artificial plants and decoretions with aquarium safe silicone before installing in the wall.
I would be interested in scenery background paper if I could get it in the right size (my tank is 2.5ft high)... suggestions please.

I will be stocking it with a large community of small fish... suggestions?

Thanks for your help as ever.
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450 litre custom built in-wall tropical tank. 2400mm(L) x 750(H) x 320(W)... or 110gallon 8'(L) x 30"(H) x 13"(W)
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.06.03(Mon)9:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all: super jealous of your setup. This is exactly the kind of build I always come up with when I'm dreaming big and ignoring costs.

pH adjustment depends largely on your fish selection, but for any community of smaller fish I can think would be appropriate in a tank that size, you're going to want your pH much, much lower (on the acid side, to be honest, down to about 6 or 6.5). The only fish I can think of that would be small community fish and tolerate those conditions are the livebearers, and I don't think you meant that small.

I can't suggest anything for background paper since I think that would actually ruin the effect - you're best to stick with blue or black. Solid backgrounds really make the colours pop and the depth of the tank more apparent, whereas a patterned background looks artificial from the get and serves only to distract - this is just my opinion, mind you.

If you want a large community of smaller fish, in a tank that size, but want to actually be able to see individuals and keep an eye on it all, I would recommend the barbs. More specifically (since I'm dreaming big!):

  • 12x Puntuis denisonii (Denison's Barb or Redline Torpedo Barb)
  • 12x Dawkinsia assimilis (Mascara Barbs, locally)


While you have the option to field larger loricariids in your system, they tend to get inefficient as they get larger, so, if you're looking for a cleanup crew and not a nice addition to the stocking, I would go with something more like the following for your clean-up crew:

  • 6x Sewellia lineolata (Tiger Hillstream Loach, Basal)
  • 6x Pomacea Snails (Glass, if no live plants are used), or;
  • 12x Nerite Snails


The temperature range on this tank should never exceed 25 Celsicus, and you're looking for a pH between 6.5 to 7.0.
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tommo2
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Location: ireland

PostPosted: 2013.06.03(Mon)17:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah thanks zac for your reply...

I will definitely look into your suggections on stocking etc. I heard before that it is better to keep the pH/temperature etc at a constant rather than fluctuating in and out of optimum range. I will look at options to stabilise the water parameters.
Please keep the suggestions coming... I set this tank up originally before the age of the internet, so was limited to a small set of advice. Everything I was told was spot on, but not specific to my setup. I always wondered if I missed out by not having a broader knowledge pool...
I just thought I would put out the questions before setting up my tank again, thanks so much for your advise and keep it coming folks....
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450 litre custom built in-wall tropical tank. 2400mm(L) x 750(H) x 320(W)... or 110gallon 8'(L) x 30"(H) x 13"(W)
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.06.04(Tue)8:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, sorry.

I meant that a stable point within whatever range I said was ideal is what you're shooting for, not fluctuations between the extremes of that range.

Personally, if I had a 110, I'd be doing larger species, but then you don't have the community you're looking for.
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Solving the Problem from the Inside - Proud Pet-Store Fishkeeper
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tommo2
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Location: ireland

PostPosted: 2013.06.09(Sun)19:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the reply once again zac. I have the tank ready to go.
Gonna do a fishless cycle for the net 10 days and then fully stock it.

Last chance for stcoking suggestions.. its gonna be a lot of small fish, plus a shoal of neons, a pleco and a red-tailed shark......
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450 litre custom built in-wall tropical tank. 2400mm(L) x 750(H) x 320(W)... or 110gallon 8'(L) x 30"(H) x 13"(W)
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2013.06.11(Tue)13:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you are seeding the tank forma a mature tank 10 days is not enough for a fishless cycle - three weeks is more likely.

Leave out the pleco - the tank is too narrow for it to not demolish decor. Bristlenoses would be a better option.

Don't fully stock after a fishless cycle when there is no urgency. Pick a couple of dozen hardier shoaling fish and start with them and add another shoal per week. Black neons and pristellas are tough and a dozen of each would be a good start.

The RTBS needs adding last.
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tommo2
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Location: ireland

PostPosted: 2013.06.11(Tue)15:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right, I just found my old notes and it took 20 days from adding tetra safestart to fully cycled. I then spent another 3 days doing water changes to reduce the huge level of nitrate built up, and to ensure that it was indeed cycled by adding ammonia daily and monitoring readings.
Anyway, I have the tank filled and heated etc. Just repaired my air pump and installed it. Test kit should be here on Friday, so I will start my cycling on saturday hopefully.
Thanks for the stocking suggestions, keep them coming.
BTW, my water is quite soft, I have crushed coral substrate which buffers it to ph8.
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450 litre custom built in-wall tropical tank. 2400mm(L) x 750(H) x 320(W)... or 110gallon 8'(L) x 30"(H) x 13"(W)
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tommo2
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Location: ireland

PostPosted: 2013.06.11(Tue)16:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a couple of pics so far with all the artificial plants in:




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