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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2019

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    Default Newbie needing advice. Hopefully taking things one step at a time

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    Hey guys n' gals, Nice to be among you.
    Yesterday I placed an order for the Aqua One 135 litre tank and cabinet with external filter.
    I already have a 60 ltr tank sitting on the kitchen worktop and a 28 litre starter tank in a bedroom.
    It all started with grandson with a fishing net, 4 sticklebacks and a pyrex dish ............ Oh, if only I'd known then........

    So, the 28 litre is untouchable at present as I have moved my smaller fish into it, ie CPD's Ember Tetras and 3 guppies. I have noticed 2 very small fry swimming about which must be CPD's as the others haven't long been introduced into the tank. So for that reason I don't want to touch that tank as even cleaning it out may well suck out the fry which are probably survivors of many more.

    The 60Ltr tank has a number of species in it and to be honest I regret having bought what I did, or at least in the mix of fish that are now swimming in there.

    I have 9 neon and cardinal tetras that shoal together, 2 golden mountain minnows, 2 rummy nose, a pair of cherry barbs, 2 black mollies (soon to be a lot more as the female is massively pregnant) 2 platies (with another birthing due in around 20 days) 2 zebra loach, 1 yoyo loach, 2 cory julii that appear to be make and female, 4 odessa barbs that look amazing but frighten the hell out all the other fish with the dominant one dashing around like it's tail is on fire, and finally 4 cory sterbai. I guess I sort of fell into the trap of "ooh, that looks nice, must get a couple...." I now know better. The tank is also heavily infested with Assasin snails now as well from the original 2 bought 5 months ago, which is the reason for the Yoyo loach. The tank is well planted and water changed a couple of times a week however I'm not overly pleased with it.

    Oh, and I have another 12" by 7" tank full of baby platies that will be despatched to the local Aquarist shop (Fish Alive) in Durham. The staff there are immensely helpful.

    Anyway, I don't want to make mistakes setting up the new tank. I want one that is easy to hoover the bottom for detritus and leftover food for a start. So let's start there then.
    This is the important part for me right now. I want good plant growth with ease of cleaning so hoovering the tank doesn't suck out the plants.
    As I will be keeping the corys, or at least the 2 julii and swapping the serbai for another couple of julii I guess a top layer of fine substrate will be best. I intend to put that on top of quality earth from molehills that has been baked to remove any stuff not wanted. On top of that I think a fine mesh of some sort would probably hold the earth in place and allow rooting into it by the plants. Problem is though, fine sand material isn't best suited to be hoovered as I guess lots will be sucked out. Before that though, to make things easier, what are your thoughts that I make some sort of sump-hole be made on the substrate surface where the stuff I want to hoover out can collect? That is, a hollow in the surface where it can all float down to. Would seem to be one option at least.

    So taking things one step at a time can we address the substrate issue, best options for plant growth with ease of maintenance after it's all up and running.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2019

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    Picture of 60 ltr tank.IMG_20190406_094803.jpg

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Southeast Texas

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    Welcome to the AC
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  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

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    0 Not allowed!
    Welcome to the AC.

    Would you consider just using sand for your substrate? You can wave the water vac above the surface of the sand and the resulting small current kicks up the detritus so that you can suction it up the tube during a normal water change.

    I know nothing about drilling a hole for a sump, but am sure that other members here could advise on that.
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