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TOPIC: Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions?

Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 2 weeks ago #72296

  • ohern4ever
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Hi everyone....well 2 years have gone by since I declared myself back in the fish hobby, and two years have gone by without a fish tank in my home. We finished my basement last year and it turned into a bit of a nightmare. The work was supposed to take 4 months and ended up taking 8. My contractor declared bankruptcy towards the end. Long story short, we got it done without going over the initial quote but it was a super pain in the butt.

After all of that I just want in no mood to start my dream tank build. I just wanted to relax and enjoy the new space for a while. Here we are a year later and I am ready to move forward. I sent the deposit for a custom acrylic tank this week. The tank is going to b 66" X 24 X24. This will give me about 166 gallons of water to work with in the tank. Add the additional water from the sumps and I should have over 200 gallons of water all in.It will have two corner overflows. I am also going to have an extra bulkhead installed in one of the corner overflows so I can run a hose into a drain in an adjacent room to make water changes take as little time as possible on non gravel vac days.

With that said to start, I am 99% sure I am going to do some kind of Oscar tank to get started. I mean, Iv'e never had them and its a scratch I need to itch. Once I have had the tank up and running a few years, assuming I can find a good home for my soon to be Os and whatever else I add, I will get the Discus I have wanted forever. This topic is for another thread however.

I am hoping for some equipment suggestions. I am going to create a 2 wet-dry towers ala King of DIY, out of Sterilite bins and storage towers. I was thinking of using a mag drive model 9.5 for each since my tank will have 3/4" returns.

Do you guys have any suggestions for heaters? I was thinking a 300 watt heater in each sump..

For the bins I will have three bins in each tower. Filter pad would be the top, for the second layer I was thinking plastic pot scrubbies and then for the final layer I am looking for suggestions again? Maybe bioballs? Bio max? Any other ideas?

Also I would like lighting suggestions. LED lights that lend to adding a element of shimmer is what I want. I know flow rate, light height from the water and surface agitation all play a part in that as well but I am hoping to find a economical options based on someone's experiences.

Last, does anyone know of a 3D background maker in the US. I got a quote from Aquadecor but man alive they are expensive. If I can not find something comparable I will probably bite the bullet and get it from them but If I can find another option that would be preferable.

Thanks all and thanks for the suggestions in advance.
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72297

  • Oscarmon
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It's good to see you're back! :welcome:

Nice to know I'm not the only one who watches those DIY videos too :)

I'll have some better prepared answers for you tomorrow when I have the time.

Thanks for your understanding.
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72298

  • Aquamoo
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With a five and a half foot tank, you definitely could go with an Oscar and several other fish. Besides an Oscar, was there any other fish you wanted to add to the tank? Personally, I would go with an Oscar, a smaller Pleco (like Bristlenose or some sort of fancy one that gets at least 6 inches) and maybe some firemouths OR a Severum / Salvini. Others would probably recommend Silver Dollars and Convicts but I don't care for Silver Dollars very much and when convicts breed they get plain nasty. You could also attempt to have an Oscar/ Jack Dempsey combo but often these two fish are incompatible although many have gotten them to work out.

The mag drives 9.5 (950 GPH x 2) seem to be a good choice. I'll respond with recommendations towards heaters and lights later. As far as biomedia goes, ceramic rings are great, they have a very high surface area and you can find them for cheap. I am not versed with 3D backgrounds, I'll have to do some research.

- Aquamoo
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72299

  • ohern4ever
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Hi Aquamoo and Oscarmon. Thank you for the replies so far. It feel really great to talk fish again.

I wanted to add a Tiger Oscar and Lutino Oscar if I can find one. For a third resident I was thinking a severum but I almost forgot about Salvinis. I can not recall the last time I saw one of those in my LFS and the other not so local fish store. I will have to research those more. Do you know how quickly they grow?

I actually do like silver dollars but if I am going to keep Oscars I want to be a bit lazy with feeding the fish and stick the fish that eat the same pellet(s). I believe Silver Dollars in addition to become basketballs in time need a fair amount of veggies in their diet. I would give my Os some shelled peas and blanched lettuce from time to time but I don't want to make it a regular thing.

Convicts and Dempseys are not my cup of tea. I've seen them get to aggressive for my taste. A chocolate cichlid is another option I would consider. The decision will probably come down quite a bit to availability.
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72300

  • FreshyFesh
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Sounds like some great plans. Nice sized footprint on that tank as well. In terms of stocking? Lots of options. I am certainly not the 'stocking police' given I keep an oscar and a green sev in a standard 75g. Going on 5yrs now.
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
55g community tank with plants
55g goldfish tank
29g community tank with plants
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72301

  • Oscarmon
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FreshyFesh, and I thought I was bad with 1 Oscar in a 49 bowfront :lol:

ohern4ever, I got some brands for heaters.

For heating I would recommend both titanium and cobalt. The only drawbacks for the titanium is that it needs a controller (purchased separately).
www.amazon.com/dp/B0199W72IW/ref=twister..._encoding=UTF8&psc=1
The only downside to the cobalt is that it gets pricy.
www.amazon.com/Cobalt-Aquatics-31007-Neo...s=cobalt+heater+300w I'm pretty sure this is the 300watt size, just make sure to check.
There is also fluval heaters that work fairly well. www.amazon.com/dp/B001VMSK0I/ref=twister..._encoding=UTF8&psc=1

There really are quite a bit of different heaters that do the job pretty well. If you want something on the cheaper side I'd go with the fluval, or maybe the Aqueon Pro series
www.amazon.com/dp/B003GKN12A/ref=as_at?c...g=aquariumadviser-20.
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72302

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Okay, now I got the lighting.



I noticed earlier in your comment that you wanted a shimmering effect. This, I believe, can be achieved by pretty much every LED light. It's created when you have lots of surface agitation from either an output or even a strong bar airstone. The light does through the ripples and makes everything look good. Well, that's my explanation anyways.

So it really depends on budget and sometimes time. You can either buy a good LED or build your own from Mr. King of DIY.
If you haven't seen it, here's the DIY kings build on homemade LED lights.

Now as for purchasable lighting. I'm assuming you're going with LEDs because of the whole energy efficiency, good looks, and color choices.
Some brands I'd recommend include Current USA, Finnex, and BeamWork.
All three have pros and cons (especially price).

www.amazon.com/Current-USA-Satellite-Fre...92ZV3QW5M2HC3M59EW5T The Current USA lights are real fun to mess around with due to the amount of color combos and extra add-ons. A timer is available for it but I doubt you'll need it. It's a bit more pricy though...

I have something like BeamWorks. www.amazon.com/dp/B019YXYNXS/ref=twister..._encoding=UTF8&psc=1 It's cheaper and still has a variety of colors suitable for a cichlid tank.

Finally, some Finnex lighting www.amazon.com/Finnex-Stingray-Aquarium-...&keywords=finnex+led The only downside is that it won't fit perfectly on your tank. I'm pretty sure they only go up to 48in in sizes.

If you want something with less diversity you can go with KOVAL www.amazon.com/KOVAL-Aquarium-Extendable...eywords=aquarium+led This simple LED system has less modes than the others.

REMEMBER: never keep any light for aquarium on for over 8 hours. This is for health. I keep mine for no more than 7 hours a day and he's happy as can be. ALSO, some lights come with a night light mode. I would never recommend using this over a whole night. Just use it after the fishes last feeding to signal the days end (30 mins or so).

Many LED brands are quite good so add more if you please :)
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72303

  • Aquamoo
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Salvini's typically max out at around 7 inches, and if your not afraid, you can order them online (I know many people have taboo's about ordering fish online). They also grow relatively fast and if you introduced them with an Oscar while they were both juveniles, you would probably have a pretty good chance of making it work. If you were to get 2 Oscars, there would be a fairly high chance that they don't get along. When young, Oscars can be really accepting of tankmates including other Oscars, but as they mature many people have found aggression issues.

You could also feed multiple pellet types, one with a high veggie content and one as your main staple like Bio Gold.

Most people would probably recommend getting the Eheim Jagger, I live in California so I don't have to worry about heating to much. As far as lights go, I wouldn't stress it to much unless you plan on growing plants. Any decent LED light will produce adequate shimmer for your fish IME. Everywhere I've looked 3D backgrounds are pretty expensive so your wallets definitely going to take a hit no matter where you get one.
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72304

  • Northstar5
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If two Oscars is your game plan, I would not try for any other fish. As stated, two Oscars can be very difficult to get to co habitate long term. If you want one Oscar and a couple of mates, look for mild mannered South Americans. Severum, Uaru, different species of Acara. Saums etc. If you dont like the aggression of Cons and Dempseys, Salvini is worse. A Sal with a chip on its shoulder could kill an Oscar twice its size, no problem. A CA cichlid that I have had success with in community tanks is the Nicaraguan. Stays relatively small, beautiful markings. Not a killer goon
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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Finally Ordered My Tank - Equipment Suggestions? 3 months 1 week ago #72305

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Aquamoo, Yup, they're all pricy.

ohern4ever,You're also able to make these backgrounds yourself if you want. I don't know if I'd do it but you could try.
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