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NorthernBoy
09-29-2006, 09:47 PM
So I am about to start my tank and I am in the planning stage. I go alittle nuts about it....paper diagrams...list of products for a new type of tank...plants...type of substrate...ect.

So I have decided to start a 55 gal with either Blue aureum's or Firemouth's(my personal favorite)or both. I should in that tank have at least 2 sets of breaders and possible 6 fish. I will also have to add a algae eater of some kind but I am not too worried about the safety of the other fish as most Blue aueum's and Firemouths have a pretty good temperment.

Questions:

1) I would really like to have either a bio substrate rich in planting minerals or a gray calcium carbonate such as aragonite. I am leaning toward aragonite because my water is super soft and I would like them to breed. Anyone have experience with Central American plants in these substates?

2) With a 55 gal size, I would like to heavily plant one side of the tank and leave some slatestone, mudstone to encourtage the fish to breed one the other side. I will add some crushed shells to raise the pH some more as I would like it to be between 7.5-8. I am worried it will be too crowded. Suggestions would be appreciated.

3) Finally, I am going to buy a new filteration unit for the tank and am looking at the following. If any one has used them please tell me what you think. I will use this with a bio wheel plus.
- Marineland Magnum 350 Deluxe Filter System--On sale right now. 350 gal/hour. Will this suck up my fry. Do I have to use a under gravel with this?
-I have a hot magnum canister but it always "eats my fry"
-I am leaning towards this canister filter...Hagen Fluval 205 Canister Filter. I like this one but am unsure.

Thanks and any insight would be GREAT!

kimmers318
09-30-2006, 12:12 AM
Can't help you with the plant information....brown thumb here. But I can give you some insight on the magnum 350 biowheel filter.....I have one on my 64 gal and love it...hubby has one on his 90 gal and is pleased also. We are running a fluval 403 on the 75 gal and it is a PITA...don't know if the newer models are better. The magnum has quick disconnects for changing/cleaning the filter canister/media which is real nice. It can be a pain to put together so I would suggest hose clamps for each area that a hose attaches to tubes just to be on the safe side....we had a couple of leaks early on and plan on putting them on when we next clean hoses.

NorthernBoy
09-30-2006, 06:17 AM
thats a bummer to hear about the fluval. I was getting excited to get a floor canister. mmmm. the magnum is alot cheaper too and if you think its better i may have mu next buy. thanks

kimmers318
09-30-2006, 06:32 AM
I have heard good about the fluvals, don't get me wrong, supposedly they have much improved their designs, but I DON'T like the older fluval we have. Both our magnums came with enough hosing to place the canisters on the floor, to the side of the aquarium so don't worry about that. Another feature I like about the magnum is that it has 2 biowheels and my 29 gal used the same size biowheel, so I was able to start it right off the bat by using 1 biowheel from the 64/magnum filter in the 29 gal and didn't see so much as a hiccup in either tank.

NorthernBoy
09-30-2006, 06:38 AM
ya i have an old double bio wheel with a hanging canister(hot magnum) but i want ot on the floor and I guess the new model runs "with" a new type of bio wheel that is connected somehow to the canister. I have only looked at it a little because I wanted teh fluval. I will go back tomorrow. the owner of the lfs is supposed to be in and tell me if he can get the crushed shells that I was thinking of getting. He left me a message and it sounds like he thinks it willl raise my ph above 8 though. he said he can ge the super fine aragonite sand i want though.

Lady Hobbs
09-30-2006, 01:45 PM
Mike says that Eheim Pro 2 is an excellent canister filter. Read up on that one a bit.

NorthernBoy
09-30-2006, 04:39 PM
who's mike?

William
09-30-2006, 07:17 PM
Sorry that I haven't been able to look at tho thread sooner. (my internet died when we talked yesterday)

You shouldn't have any problem keeping both blue aureum's (Which I never succeeded in finding in the trade) and fire mouths without any problem and the algae eaters should as you say be safe almost regardless of the type you choose. If you want something else in the setup I think Honduran red points would look good. It is a wonderfully beautiful cichlid (at least in the wild) But let's get down to your questions.

1) Central American cichlids to well with just about any setup and both the ones you suggest should be okay. I have seen those cichlids in the wild on everything from clay to rock bottoms. They do breed in soft water as well but harder what still is better.

2) Planting the tank on one said with a lot of rocks on the other will not make the tank more crowded. The fish will be able to hide better which will make it less crowded. I would however suggest an alternative setup if you don't mind. Put stone on both sides of the aquarium and the planted area in the middle. This will help the fish breed and reduce tension. F you do it your way there will only be one suitable breeding area in the tank which the fish will have to fight over reducing the chances to breed. By creating areas on both sides both pairs can find a breeding territory and breed when they are ready regardless of whether the other pair is breeding at the moment and occupying the only breeding territory. In short it helps promote breeding and reduce aggression.

3) I never recommend under gravel filters. 350 gal/hour can likely suck in fry (depends on a number of factors such as the amount of food given to the fry etc) the other filter seems like a better choice but I am really no equipment expert. I always try and use as little equipment as possible.