Jason's 75g CA Cichlid Community
I'm going to try my hand at journaling my new 75 gallon Central American cichlid community. Bear with me, this is my first journal
To give a little background, I had purchased this tank from craigslist for $200.00, it came with the lighting and filtration (sump). After much research I finally figured out how to get the sump flowing, then proceeded to give all the equipment a nice vinegar soak (this was originally used for a salt-water tank, so I wanted to get rid of all that residue).
Some of you have probably already seen much of this (at least the early phases) and I wanted to thank you all for your help!
Here's what I got from the guy:
And my little diagram trying to figure out how this all works!
I then pieced it together how I thought it should go
Turns out I was right! (After much help showing me where my diagram was all wrong, haha)
I then went to my LFS and talked to a guy there for about an hour about how to get it flowing (just to make sure my research was right and get it cemented in my brain) and what else I might need. I bought a pump from him (so it wasn't a complete waste of his time) as I saw this picture online:
And figured I'd need something like that... He told me (same as I was advised by members here) it was to help maintain the siphon in the overflow/intake... so I figured why not. It also helps with water movement, which is good
Throughout the next few days I spent my lunches scouting the river by my work looking for rocks. It took three trips to gather rocks in my backpack (longboarding with a backpack full of rocks is a different kind of experience... speed gains wayyy quicker than I was ready for going down the hill along the river!)
Here's the puzzle pieces I collected from the river
And the bogwood I wanted to use
All was scrubbed, had boiling water ran over it, and vinegar tested. All was good!
Now, time to start getting the substrate ready and begin thinking about my scape… so stoked!
My two fish (male firemouth & female honduran red point) are waiting not-so patiently in a 10 gallon tank to the left of this main tank (they were removed from their previous 40g) and after doing a thorough substrate clean I begin adding the black sand:
Once all the sand is in I begin adding water and the rocks:
I have also saved some of the old tank water to use for the sump. As fate would have it, the media from the old tank's AC 110 HOB fits PERFECTLY!
I had cut a few other pieces of foam from the large white roll you can see in the first post, but this greatly restricted flow and the pump worked faster than the water was trickling in.
I decided to remove the extra foam, so I've got a filter sock, a small piece of white foam in the bottom center section, then the bio-media, then the foam from the AC 110, and it seems to be working better. Hopefully that'll hold true over time... I really don't want the pump to out-run everything else!
I should also apologize for these photos. The only camera I have is on my crappy phone...
At this point (I should point out that it's getting near 2 AM at this point and the wife has long since gone to bed) the new water has all been added & treated, the sump has been filled with old tank water (well, not "filled," but you know) and water is flowing through the sump! I begin acclimating my fish to the new tank water, adding the water into their holding tank in littles over the course of about 45 minutes. I'm watching both thermometers to wait until the new tank reaches the temp that their holding tank is, and in the meantime finish my scape.
As stated, it's near, 2AM at this point, so my main goal is to just get everything in the tank so I have the right displacement levels, so it's not perfect, but here's what I come up with. Again, sorry for the quality:
This is what my little light that was on the old tank
Then I put the lid with the light on. Here's the light if anyone knows anything about these bulbs
Here's a shot with the blue light
I did discover a little leak, fortunately not in the tank itself, but this guy is leaking... and I'm not too happy about it!
Somehow the leak is trailing down the power cord, and doesn't appear to be coming from the tubing... so that's a little wierd.
Just for fun, here's one last shot (for now) of the tank in it's final resting place. Again, I apologize for the crappy quality. I hope to get a better camera soon!
Thanks for reading! The scape does need some work, and I'm open to any feedback or suggestions you may have. I think the first thing I'm going to do is take out some of the rocks. I'd like to get rid of the ones that aren't quite as grey and try to create a little more separation of space.
I'll also put up a black background until I can come up with something better.
Also, a question for the sump users out there... I have a little HOP on this thing in case I need to quickly set up a quarantine tank, will that mess anything up with the sump?
My future plans are to add 5 rainbow cichlids (Herotilapia multispinosa) and 1 female nicaragua cichlid (Hypsophrys nicaraguensis)
Looks like your off to a great start, thanks for sharing, looking forward to seeing it stocked.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. -Vince Lombardi
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ― John Wooden
Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep
Great log. Bet all that took a lot of time and effort. I'll be following too
Special thank you to mommy1, KevinVA and slaphppy7 for all the help, it has not been easy!
"I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday"
Planted tank log
Planted tank video