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thatcichlidguy
01-04-2010, 02:10 AM
Well I sitting here thinking it might just be fun to keep a journal of my latest project, getting my 125 up and running again. Right now their isn't much to speak of as it is sitting empty in my in-laws garage. But here's what I've been thinking of doing with it.

Gymnos gymnos gymnos. Currently the better LFS in the area has been keeping lots of these guys in stock. Since I have been wanting to keep eartheaters again for a while now and haven't had the opportunity to do Gymnos in the past, I think I'll bite the bullet and go for it. Right now I'm leaning toward G. Balzanii and G. rhabdotus or G. labiatus for a second species. I will need to find some suitable schooling fish for these guys as this will be an unheated tank. While I'm not shooting for a biotope as such , I am trying to stay with fish that come from the same general habitat . Basicly Uroguay, southern Brazil, ect where there is a winter cool down and lower summer temps.

Right now this is all dependent on what's available once I get the darn thing cycled.

Northernguy
01-04-2010, 02:43 AM
Sounds great!
Have you a line on those particular fish yet?

thatcichlidguy
01-04-2010, 12:37 PM
Yes as a matter of fact, The LFS that has the Balzanii , has the other two species as well. Right now it's just a matter of waiting for the chance to get it set up and cycled. The schooling fish are gonna be a bit of a challenge though.

Oscar_freak12321
01-04-2010, 02:25 PM
:worthless:

thatcichlidguy
01-05-2010, 12:18 AM
Well unless you want pics of an empty tank sitting in a garage.........

'Till we move in a week or two, I wont be making any real headway on this project. Once it gets rolling I'll be posting plenty of pics. Right now it's all planning.

thatcichlidguy
01-22-2010, 02:39 AM
OK I have a bit of an update. We finally got moved into the new house and the tank is on it's stand . That's as far as I've gotten with setting it up. The floors may require a little extra support to hold the tank. It's up against a load bearing wall and I plan to put a section of 3/4 plywood under it to help spread out the weight a bit . Hopefully I'll be able to avoid having to put jacks under the house.

I have settled on PFS as a substrate. I liked the playsand in it before but wanted something a little finer and more uniform since the fish I plan to keep are substrate sifters. Other decor will be pretty simple, a few rocks and some driftwood possibly a few plants. Definately gonna be more open than before. More of a generic SA rivine setup. I'm also thinking that for now the G. balzanii are out. They get kinda big and males can be bullies . I'm looking for a peacefull tank so for now I'm leaving them out of the plans. Thinking more towards G. rhabdotus and G. labiatus with some cool tolerant tetras and maybe corries . Lots of species from southern Brazil and Uroguay to choose from.

Northernguy
01-22-2010, 02:44 AM
Sounds great!
Can't wait to see it!thumbs2:

MCHRKiller
01-22-2010, 03:03 AM
Awesome! Cant wait to see the tank and the layout :22:

domjd05
01-23-2010, 12:58 PM
PFS is great, however after 2 weeks or so, unless you like to sift through your sand everyday, it very well may start turning very green... you may want to consider using estes brand that has a polymer coating, I've used sand several times and I've used several types, PFS was the only one that I found gave me some algae trouble, and its too bad because it's by far the best looking.

thatcichlidguy
01-23-2010, 01:44 PM
I've had some degree of algae with the regular playsand too. Not anything bad but like you said you have to stir it fairly often. Fortunately with the Gymnos I may have a little help with that.

thatcichlidguy
02-28-2010, 01:10 AM
The wetdry and sump have showed up today so I've been busy setting things up. I've still got a lot of cleaning to do on the tank, so I know what I'll be doing for the next few week ends.

thatcichlidguy
03-22-2010, 02:14 AM
So I have finally had enough free time between getting stuff done on the house , cars, kids,getting some teeth pulled (man I love pain pills) and marathon sessions of MW2 to actually get some work done on the tank. I got the filter and pump a few weeks ago and got them plumbed in but got busy and didn't do much untill this weekend.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/009-2.jpg
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/011-3.jpg

First of course went the sand with some of the old rocks from the previous setup. I found some nice light colored wood in the backyard and cleaned it up and in it went as well.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/014-3.jpg

I went with play sand over the PFS. This particular sand was very fine (I lost alot during the cleaning because it is so fine) and seemed better suited for an eartheater tank . Next I put a level on the tank and well, not exactly level. Actually it was way off. I spent an hour under my house with a Jack , bunch of pavers, and a piece of scrap beam leveling the floor. Still not perfect but way better and well within acceptable limits. It's only off by maybe a degree or so.

thatcichlidguy
03-22-2010, 02:20 AM
Next I found some of my old plants and added a few.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/016-1.jpg
I might add some real plants in their place later on but for now these will do. Mostly I'm unsure of adding live plants to an eartheater tank because of them digging them up but we'll see. If anyone has suggestions on that let me know, I'm all ears.

With that done it was time to fill. Nice and slow at first to see if the thing would hold water. It did so I cranked up the fill and....
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/017-1.jpg
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/019-1.jpg

thatcichlidguy
03-22-2010, 02:25 AM
So now it's time to start the cycle and wait, and wait, and wait.......

Here are some randoms from the set up.
The JBL canister.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/006-5.jpg

more of the wet/dry.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/008-2.jpg
the pump. Mag drive 950 GPH
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/010-3.jpg

thatcichlidguy
03-22-2010, 02:28 AM
A few more randoms.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/018.jpg
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/020-1.jpg
And just incase someone wanted to know what a durso type stand pipe looks like.
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/012-3.jpg

Cliff
03-22-2010, 02:31 AM
That's going to be a great set-up with both a sump and a canister filter

I'm looking forword to the pics after you have your fish in there

domjd05
03-22-2010, 02:38 AM
That's a lot of filtration! Tanks looking greatthumbs2:

Hailey
03-22-2010, 02:49 AM
Looks great! Your lighting must make it look so...i dont know the word, but nice, lol.
I dont know anything about the fish you want in there, but my vote is for live plants of course.

I love the light coloured wood in there too, and where did you get it from in your yard? was it live, you cut it then it goes in there? or just sticks lying around?

thatcichlidguy
03-22-2010, 02:54 AM
That's a lot of filtration! Tanks looking greatthumbs2:
It is but it's still less than the last time this tank was set up. Once the losses are calcutated it's maybe 750 GPH on the sump and 175-200 for the canister. With cichlids though it's hard to have too much.

thatcichlidguy
03-22-2010, 02:59 AM
Looks great! Your lighting must make it look so...i dont know the word, but nice, lol.
I dont know anything about the fish you want in there, but my vote is for live plants of course.

I love the light coloured wood in there too, and where did you get it from in your yard? was it live, you cut it then it goes in there? or just sticks lying around?Just sticks from the backyard. It's a mess back there , lots of old branches lying around. I need to have a bonfire to get rid of all the old limbs and logs the previous tenants left for me.

The lights are just two standard 36" flouresent aquarium lights. The light colored sand helps make it look brighter.

hockeyhead019
03-22-2010, 01:53 PM
Mostly I'm unsure of adding live plants to an eartheater tank because of them digging them up but we'll see. If anyone has suggestions on that let me know, I'm all ears.


if your going to have eartheaters in the tank i would get the plants going now... that way they have time to set roots... however this could take some time for them to develop a strong root network so if you're itching to get the fish in you might wanna go for a java fern b/c you can attach it to rocks where they won't be bothered by the earth eaters.

Northernguy
03-22-2010, 03:56 PM
The tank looks fantastic! thumbs2: I love the that sump set up too.
Is it a silent run system?
It must be killing you not having fish in it yet!lol

thatcichlidguy
03-22-2010, 11:57 PM
if your going to have eartheaters in the tank i would get the plants going now... that way they have time to set roots... however this could take some time for them to develop a strong root network so if you're itching to get the fish in you might wanna go for a java fern b/c you can attach it to rocks where they won't be bothered by the earth eaters.
That was where I was leaning with the Java fern. Tough, undemanding, and almost cichlid proof. Just what I need since I'm a complete noob with aquarium plants .




The tank looks fantastic! I love the that sump set up too.
Is it a silent run system?
It must be killing you not having fish in it yet!lol Thanks , and yes it is. Still makes some noise from the overflows but not bad. I only notice it when there are no other sounds to cover it up. Much quieter than my DIY sump was. The things been down since last August and I'm totally ready to get this thing going full tilt again. It was really starting to drive me nuts just sitting there empty for so long.

hockeyhead019
03-23-2010, 01:52 PM
if your new with plants like i was a couple months ago haha then i'd say java fern and amazon swords (java ferns are just tough plants and swords grow extremely fast and cover a good area quickly) however some body else feel free to comment on whether swords are cichlid proof as i don't know haha

thatcichlidguy
03-28-2010, 02:34 PM
Went to the LFS and got plants . Anubia's in pots X2. figured that would help keep them from getting torn up too bad from the fish foraging through the sand.

I also broke one of my cardinal rules. I got caught up in the moment and ended up buying fish. Now I also got some Tetra safestart too. For those unfamiliar with this product it's Bio-spira reformulated (allegedly geneticly modified) so it can store on a shelf rather than be refridgerated. Otherwise it's the same product of live Beneficial bacteria. So far so good . I'm keeping a close eye on the situation since this is my first time using this product.

The fish are Gymnogeophagus labiatus. Which variant they are is questionable at this point. They were labled as "tarapae" but I cant verify this particular variant as legit. They are settling in well though and I need to get back down there to get a second female. The male and female are paying too much attention to each other. They do better as trios anyhow. I was just getting impatiant so just got the two . Pics coming.

octoxpuss
03-28-2010, 02:37 PM
Safestart is amazing i always use it and i always will. A little pricy here but i think it works wonders and you only need to use a little.

thatcichlidguy
03-29-2010, 03:10 AM
As promised here are some pics of my new fish.
The male and one of the females
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/Gymnos/Gymnos001.jpg
the other female I picked up today
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/Gymnos/Gymnos012.jpg
Better shot of the male
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg203/joelsfish/Gymnos/Gymnos011.jpg
Not the best pics , but they're still pretty shy and hard to get good pics of. Hopefully in a week or so I can get some real stunners of them.

domjd05
03-30-2010, 01:21 AM
Thanks , and yes it is. Still makes some noise from the overflows but not bad. I only notice it when there are no other sounds to cover it up. Much quieter than my DIY sump was.

Once I built my canopy and put it on my 125, I could barely hear the overflow- just thought that may be of interest to you..

thatcichlidguy
03-30-2010, 01:31 AM
My standpipes are adjustable, so the other night (at my wifes request) I did a little experimenting and got the things almost dead silent . Now you really have to have no other sounds at all to hear it. Funny thing is I kinda like to hear them a bit. Kinda reassuring that everything is working correctly when I can hear the sound of it.

Northernguy
03-30-2010, 03:24 AM
Those are real nice looking fish!thumbs2:

A canopy does a nice job of cutting any sounds.I am thinking about making some for the smaller tanks too.lol

thatcichlidguy
04-04-2010, 02:52 PM
It's a week on now with the tetra safe start and everything is going well. Tested the water last night and came up with 0 ammonia,0nitrite, but also 0 nitrate. The Test (tetra laborett) uses one set of reagents for both ammonia and nitrate (leave one out or use all depending on which test) and leaves something to be desired for nitrate testing. I've probably got a reading too low for the test to show.Other than that, seems like this SafeStart stuff works pretty good. The Anubias are doing well and I've got a new shoot growing. Considering I know nothing about plants (the aquarium variety at least) I'll call this a success LOL.

The fish themselves have had a few issues. Mostly my fault. Since I added a second female seperate from the first two I kinda set myself up for this. Basicly the first female and the male claimed the entire tank, then on day two when I added the other the two females started fighting. It got so bad I had to divide the tank for several days. I removed the divider last night, now they seem to at least coexist. Way better than before. The females still flair and chase a bit but nothing like a week ago. The male on the other hand has been very calm and peacefull and I have had little issue with him. Infact he's been displaying to both females so maybe I'll se a spawn in the near future. Not holding my breath for it to happen soon though.

I also removed the wood. The fish looked to be stressed at one point and even though the water tested fine, I went ahead and removed it for trouble shooting purposes. They instantly perked up. Not sure exactly what would cause that but it worked so.....

Next goal is some dithers. The fish arent particularly shy but it's pretty empty in there with three relatively small cichlids in a 125. My research into suitable species has yeilded only a handfull of SA schooling fish that are compatable with an unheated Gymno tank. Most of the tetras from Uruguay That I've found are of the large and or predatory variety. I have come up with a few that will work however. Serpae's, Green fire, Black neons, Blood fins, Colombians, and glass tetras round out my short list for possible dithers for this project.

One other note, since this was planned to be a two cichlid species tank, I've decided for now to put that part on hold. I think I'm going to concentrate on dithers and adding more plants for the time being.

thatcichlidguy
04-11-2010, 06:50 PM
Well 16 days or so with fish in the tank. Added 6 columbian teras and 10 black neons earlier in the week with no issues, and today the Gymnos spawned! Pics are posted in the general forum.