350 Litre Upgrade!
Ok, this is a little earlier than planned...mainly because my LFS messed up the delivery day and delivered the tank this Friday instead of next Friday! I had to rush home from work early to meet the driver. Eek. I didn't have anywhere to put the tank so it had to sit in a bit of the hall.
Jeez, it's a lot bigger in real life compared to on the website! Here's the cabinet...yet to be built.
So, I had a few jobs today. the first one was to go pick up a piece of plywood cut to fit the base of the cabinet. I didn't want the cabinet resting on the laminate flooring in case the feet of the cabinet warped it, or left marks. Our flat is rented so I want to be sure we don't damage the floor. I got the plywood and got them to cut it to a few cm larger than the cabinet. I'm not too fussed about the look of it.
With that job done (plywood carried home on the bus!) I had to get working on the current 120 litre tank and get it moved to the spare room as a temporary measure whilst the big tank is installed and "run in" for a while. I'll be using new ADA Amazonia substrate so it will leech a lot of ammonia in the first week or two.
Here's the old tank, background removed, ready for draining.
Once drained and de-planted the fish were caught (two net method) and housed temporarily in this tug-tub with a heater and bubbler. I normally put them in one of the orange water buckets I have but I bought this tub today for the purpose. It worked really well and I had no jumpers. The barbs always try to jump out of the bucket - I think they are far calmer in a black container so this worked really well. I didn't even bother covering it.
Removing the substrate was really messy! I have it in another tub and plan to sell it as I think it has at least another year of goodness in it for anyone who wants to plant their tank up. ADA Malaya is slow release.
So here's the tank all cleaned up and ready to move.
And here it is all moved. The plants spent a few hours in a bowl of water in the bath, likewise the wood was held in the bath and showered every half an hour or so to keep the plants/moss wet. I've just dumped the plants in to float for now...they'll be ok for a few days like that I hope.
When I was returning the fish to the tank I was absolutely mortified to find that an oto was still in one of the nets I'd left on the side! I can't believe I missed it. I thought it was dried up and dead for sure, having been out of water for TWO HOURS but when I plopped it back in the bucket it began to wriggle and very quickly appeared to make a full recovery. I was amazed. AMAZED!
I did a proper head count whilst returning the fish to the tank:
28 cherry barbs
7 peppered corydoras
5 sterbai corydoras
9 otos (including miraculous survivor)
Back to the empty space, here's the plywood in place for the stand.
Dragged this in...required my other half's assistance for lifting this thing onto the cabinet...nearly put his back out
And here it is...looking bloody huge!
I was a bit scared I'd made a mistake buying this thing at this point as I realised that I need a step ladder to access it. The top of the tank is eye-level!
First water test...this is at 120 litres (the capacity of the old one!) I don't think I'll be able to do 40% water changes quite as frequently as I used to. I might have to cut back to 20% and stock this one a bit lighter. This thing takes nearly 30 buckets to fill!
...and that's where I've gotten up to so far. I'm shattered now. Should sleep well tonight though.
I'll be draining it tomorrow if all looks sound and starting the scaping with some rockwork and the substrate. I've realised I need a new syphon as the one I have is too short! Whoops.
That looks really cool so far. You will not regret having a bigger tank.
If your new substrate is the same stuff as the old could you use the old with some new? Then you could sell the new in bag stuff for lots more money. And can you get a python or an aqueon water changer to make the water changes easier?
We still use a standard syphon when draining the big tanks because it gets better suction but it is nice not carrying buckets to fill too.
Oh and that tank looks super clean for just having the substrate come out of it.
No I won't be reusing the old substrate as it is a different colour. I could have bulked out the bottom with it, but for the sake of one more bag I didn't - mainly because I didn't know how degraded it might have been until I removed it. Over time it can turn to silt.
Here's the tank, full, with filter going, heater in, lights on. I think the lights are pretty decent. Certainly an improvement on my old bulbs. I suppose that's a good job with the depth of this thing.
The internal filter box (heater is in here too). I was in two minds whether or not to keep this or cut it out. I thought I'd try it out for a while and see how it goes - it'll be an addition to the Eheim Pro 3 anyway.
NOW, I'm going to bed. If I wake up with water lapping at my feet, I'm in a lot of trouble!
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
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It looks like you got alot accomplished cosidering your new time frame.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. -Vince Lombardi
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See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep
Awesome! Can't wait to follow this thread Firefly. I have a Juwel Rio 240 (has the same footprint as yours but shorter) and a 400 -- they are such nice looking tanks! (mine are Beech not black tho).
I did away with the filter box in both of my tanks and run 2 canisters on each. They took up too much room.
Not done a huge amount today, mostly I've been tidying up and cutting up all the cardboard from the boxes for recycling!
I drained the tank the lazy way. Airline out the window and directly into the drain (seven hours later it was half empty...so I finished the rest with the syphon (also out the window!)
Dried, I added the substrate.
I'm going to be moving the wood in from the other tank but I can't do this until I decide to fill the tank because there's lots of anubias and moss attached to it. I'll have to put that in last.
I'm not sure yet, what to do with the rest of the space. I've been thinking about using some of my best pieces of slate to hold back some of the soil (as my cories will be all over it and have it flattened level in no time) in a kind of terrace. I'm not sure how effective this will be though. These are the pieces of rockwork I have set aside.
They're sat on cardboard that matches the footprint of the tank. Any thoughts? I suppose I could put the rockwork under and around the base of the wood and get a second piece of wood for the lefthand side.
Shall I get another piece of wood? I'm very undecided but I do think the tank will need some height inside it once it's refilled.
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