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  1. Default My new adventure in aquariums...


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all. I have recently purchased "my" first tank, its a 130gal (72x18x24.) The plan is to stick with freshwater in this tank and maybe go up in size and to salt once I feel comfortable maintaining this and when my basement is finished. Right off the bat I've decided that my end goal with this tank is to have 1 or 2 freshwater rays (obviously one of the smaller species.) So I will be decorating and buying fish that are compatible with that plan.
    Essentially the plan is to have community fish that are too large for the rays to eat and also like the same water parameters. I have been and will be doing a lot of research in order to accommodate my goals before I add any fish to this thing.
    Also I will be building my own tank décor for the most part that way I can get the look that I want in the tank by having a rock formation but it will be more of an arch with a limited footprint as to give rays adequate floor space. I would really like to switch the gravel (smooth pea size) that came with the tank to sand for rays and may eventually do so but the tank came with am under gravel filter setup so I think I'm going to run that at least for the time being.
    The stand is something else I've given a deal of thought and I am thinking that my plan is to put a 20gal quarantine tank in the bottom. Again this is to accommodate the rays since I feel a 10gal is far too small even for short periods of time. Also under the main tank my stand will incorporate a minifridge to keep all those meaty treats that the carnivores like so much, you know so I don't have to keep worms next to the milk.
    Any advise or criticism is welcome and will promptly be ignored, jk but for real I'm hoping that some of you experts out there will be able to offer some knowledge to help me achieve my goals...
    Sorry for the long winded intro but I wanted to be thorough. Here are a few picks of the the new tank and the stand so far.


    The stand will eventually be covered with a façade to be more visually appealing, but for now this was the easiest and cheapest way to get a stand rated for the weight of my tank (the shelf is rated for 2000lbs before I added the center support.)

    My girlfriends daughter testing the strength of the stand...


    And finally just for laughs, this is how we got the tank home.

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Welcome to the AC, it will be fun watching this project develop!
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal

    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal

  3. #3

    Default


    4 Not allowed!
    Welcome!

    Err.... hmmm... how to put this.... let me say this is with the best intentions.

    I think your plans might be a bit on the ambitious side. The smallest species ray is Potamotrygon scobina and even with that you're looking at a 14 inch disc for an adult minus the tail. These fish should, like any ray species, be handled with care since they carry a venomous stinger.
    Your tank is NOT big enough for these fish because it's too narrow. If it was wider it would be bare minimum for a pair (rays are social animals). Most rays I've seen in captivity are kept in either a bare bottom tank or one with fine sand. Neither is an option with an undergravel filter.

    With a pair of rays you'd be looking at a 1000 gallons/hour of filtration.
    Water quality is another concern, these come from neutral or slightly acidic waters, they cannot handle ammonia or nitrite at all and have a relative low nitrate tolerance. Wild caught fish (unlikely since the last time I checked there was still an export ban on these) need careful acclimatisation. Captive bred species are usually raised in water of slightly higher Ph, ask the breeder and realise that you will need to start with almost identical water and work from there to your tap water. Now I don't know where you live but most people here seem to live in the US of A. I've seen water analysis for parts of that country and a lot is just not at all suitable to keep fish as sensitive as these so possibly you'd be looking at an RO unit and salts.
    Even with adequate filtration you still need to count on changing 60 gallons of water each and every week.

    Decoration is likely to be limited to a few pieces of wood. A rock formation would need to be siliconed together and to the tank to prevent it from toppling when the fish dig. Tank mates need to be calm and too big to eat, another challenge right there.

    Perhaps sign up and have a read here: http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/fo...?116-Stingrays

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the info. I do indeed live in the US, Michigan to be exact. I do have well water so no crap like chlorine that they put in city water, I also have a quite extensive water softener and RO system in my home already. I do hear where you're coming from on the width of the tank and it is a concern of mine. Filtration as I've stated the tank came with an under gravel system and I know while sand is ideal I've read a lot of ppl that say that gravel is ok as long as it's smooth. The system so far consists of four powerheads and more can be added or I can supplement that system with something else too. Décor the plan is kinda like a rock arch that gives me cover for other fish but has a minimal footprint in the tank. When I get the picture in my head sketched out onto paper I'll post the pic. I know that my plan is very ambitious, especially for my first real tank, but this is what I want and I'm not really building it for others.

  5. #5

    Default


    5 Not allowed!
    Considering what talldutchie mentioned about the size of your tank - if rays are indeed what you desire, perhaps you should reconsider the tank size from the very beginning so the rays have sufficient space. I don't think you'd want them to be cramped.

    It sounds like they are as sensitive about water parameters as discus fish are - hope you are able to achieve this.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  6. #6

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Well, since you're set on this, please do your research! Have a look at that monster link at least.

    As to water softeners, as you know most just exchange calcium for natrium which is a bit pointless for aquarium usage. If you got RO might wanna get yourself a TDS pen and a PH pen.

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Well, since you're set on this, please do your research! Have a look at that monster link at least.

    As to water softeners, as you know most just exchange calcium for natrium which is a bit pointless for aquarium usage. If you got RO might wanna get yourself a TDS pen and a PH pen.
    Thanks for the advise. I really don't mean to come off as an ass but to be fair I did warn you that any advice given was welcome and would be promptly disreguarded I will definitely check out the monster fish site, I've already been on there a little bit as well as the ray lady site.
    Today I'll be heading out to the fish store to purchase water testing supplies after my buddy helps me to put the tank up on the stand. I plan on having water in it this weekend to start the cycling process, I'll be doing the fishless method.
    Last edited by audioscience10; 11-01-2013 at 02:47 PM.

  8. #8

    Default


    4 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by audioscience10 View Post
    Thanks for the advise. I really don't mean to come off as an ass but to be fair I did warn you that any advice given was welcome and would be promptly disreguarded
    Today I'll be heading out to the fish store to purchase water testing supplies after my buddy helps me to put the tank up on the stand. I plan on having water in it this weekend to start the cycling process, I'll be doing the fishless method.
    You don't come across as an ass (I've seen plenty of those here) just someone who's set his mind on a very ambitious plan.

    With your plans in addition to a liquid test kit an electronic PH and TDS meter (check ebay!) make sense since you will need to do very frequent testing of those parameters.

    Fishless cycling, glad to hear that, cycling with rays would be a very expensive way to fail.

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    You don't come across as an ass (I've seen plenty of those here) just someone who's set his mind on a very ambitious plan.

    With your plans in addition to a liquid test kit an electronic PH and TDS meter (check ebay!) make sense since you will need to do very frequent testing of those parameters.

    Fishless cycling, glad to hear that, cycling with rays would be a very expensive way to fail.
    Oh that ebay company has everything! I will for sure check that out. Oh no there is no way at all I would try to cycle with rays. I don't even plan on having them in the next say 6 months give/take. I would like to establish the tank with the community fish before introducing rays, giving them time to grow and me time to prep, then when the rays come hopefully no one is small enough to be lunch. Also I intend on starting the tank with temporary décor and building what I want over the next couple months. That was a question I have, will that be an issue with the cycle if I change out the décor after a couple months? Like will it throw it off?

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Regarding the pH pens/meters. Get a liquid test kit (API makes a good, comprehensive test kit) instead. If you also want the pens as a quick BU, make sure you have plenty of reference solution to recalibrate your pH meter before each use! The pens/meters lose calibration like you would not believe, even the expensive ones we use in chemistry labs.

    Also -with a child potentially around the house, you may want to consider securing the stand to the wall in some way to reduce any tipping danger. Not likely, but the taller the stand, the more risk it can be pulled over accidentally.
    Last edited by DKRST; 11-01-2013 at 03:08 PM.

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