I finally finished both my large tanks and I have to say I am very happy with it all. The first tank video is in the hall next to our spiral staircase. I have just changed the lighting to full spectrum lights that are automatic, so they do the full sunrise, sunset and thunderstorms. Mostly large fish in this tank, and some odd buggers including horse head loaches. I also managed to get two dolphin fish after my last one died due to the large catfish, which have now got their own tank. The second video is of the lounge tank, this one is full of livebearers, snails and various shrimp including a large Cameroon.
Today I planted out the tank with 11 plants, treated the water again with biological bacteria that will help stabilise the tank, help the plants utilise light, water, and nutrients from the fertiliser I add each day. This products also helps the breakdown of waste and nitrates. Once this was done I added 10 of my fish to the tank and left it there for a few hours. Again after a few hours added another 10, then finally this evening I transferred the final 10, 30 in total.
List of Fish
- 2 x synodontis catfish
- 1 x bala shark
- 1 x tiger barb
- 2 x tiger loach
- 1 x weather loach
- 2 x angelfish
- 1 x pleco
- 1 x blue dolphin
- 2 x blue gourami
- 2 x dwarf gourami
- 2 x kissing gourami
- 3 x sunset gourami
- 2 x pearl gourami
- 3 x cory
- 1 x silver dollar
- 2 x golden panchax
- 2 x rainbow fish
Now that is done, I have turned off the heater, lights and the 2 reef wave makers to the old thanks and on Thursday I will drain it and start the cleaning process in order to get it ready for starting a marine tank. Although I know that the cleaning will take a good few weeks to ensure everything is spotless and free of any residue from the previous set up. Thankfully I have an aqua vacuum which means that side is easy enough, but the buildup of algae especially in the weir will be a tough part to clean. If you have never seen a weir, it is a closed off part of the tank at the back that water flows into before leaving the tank to flow through the sump tank and back up into the main tank. As mentioned I have had to leave the pump and air pump running as I do not fancy the water turning stagnant before I can empty and clean it.
I have 2 electric blue acara’s on order and with luck, I can collect them this weekend. Once they are in I do not think that I will be adding any more to it. Unless I can find something really special. I did fancy a disc fish, but they need a very quiet and peaceful tank. I also found freshwater stingrays, but apart from them starting at £300 and ranging up to £1200, they need very different tank mates, so that is out. I may put a snail or two in the tank as mentioned mine are breeding, so that would be a good relocation move. Although I would rather have my apple snails breed as they get rather big, and would suit the tank.
Today I decided to pop to one of the reliable aquatic shops and look at tanks and was looking at a nice tank, but the sales guy Graham told me of another tank that was £50 more, but it was bigger, the filter heater and lighting was better, and all round a better-looking tank. I had a good look and it was rather stunning, so threw caution to the wind and bought it. I could have gone for shaped tanks, corner tanks, and orb ones, but decided to stay traditional.
I built the cabinet this afternoon, placed the tank on it and added the river sand, but need to get more for it as 10 kilos does not cover much. Everything is in position, so tomorrow I will go back and get some more river sand and 100 litres of RO water, then when home mix with another 100 litres of tap water, then leave all the equipment to run for a few weeks until it has fully cycled and all the levels are perfect. When this happens, I will remove about 20 litres of water and add 20 from my current tank to the new one, and let cycle for a few days and then move all the fish over.
Once this is all done then the hard work starts with the old tank. I will need to do a full clean of both the tank and the glass sump, get rid of all the stones install plastic “egg box” grid to support the rock features, add ocean sand, live rock, RO water, and more equipment. I also need to replace all the sump media too so it will not be cheap, but when it is done it should be stunning. I estimate it will take about 4 to 6 months to get it perfect, but I am more than happy to go slow, get it right, and most importantly no lose any livestock, anemonies or coral.
Once I have transferred the fish to the new tank I will post some photos, and of course, write about my experience of building a reef tank.
This week I went to the aquatic shop and got a few more fish for my large tank, and whilst there M and I had a look at all the marine fish, coral and anemones. What an incredible sight it was to see. I have visited this place many many times but never gone into this side as I had no reason as my tanks are all tropical. However, M decided to go and have a look, and when I had purchased my livestock called me through to have a look at some of the fish. As I mentioned, they were amazing, and it started me thinking again about setting up a marine reef tank.
The large tank I have was originally a marine reef tank of my Mum’s, however, I decided to use it for tropical. So, with that I have been thinking of getting another standard tank and putting it in the hall next to the spiral staircase and transferring all the fish to this, then cleaning out my reef tank and setting it back up as it was originally intended. I have found a few tanks that I like that come with cabinets. Some great bargains too, but wouldn’t you know, out of stock. I am going to visit a few of the aquatic stores to see what is available. I am not going to rush things either as the fish are perfectly happy in their home, so there is no need to make decisions in haste that I may regret at leisure.
Watch this space, who knows where this may go.
I like having projects to do, not only to keep me busy, but it keeps depression at bay. If it is a large project then all the better. This, however, is one the huge side. I decided to start a new aquarium tank. But, not the usual type of tank you see in most houses, this is a massive 250-litre job, complete with 65-litre sump below the tank, hidden in a cabinet.
I have had 2 tanks running in the house, one in the lounge and the other in one of the halls, but I wanted to combine these two tanks and create a larger one. Three weeks ago I started the project firstly with the tanks and getting them installed in the house and ready for use. This sounds easy enough, but I had to prep the tanks, silicone glass and install all the pipework from the weir to the sump in the cabinet below, and make sure everything was completely watertight. After a few leaks and many pipe problems, I managed to get everything sealed, watertight and all in the right place.
The sump is gravity fed through a weir at the back of the tank, so to be on the safe side in case it ever gets blocked, or I forget to turn the flow tap back on after cleaning out the sump, I fitted an overflow pipe to the sump, and of course a return pipe connected to a 600/4000 litres per hour pump back into the tank.
The sump has three compartments complete with baffles. The first compartment (right) where the water feeds into has three grades of pond sponge, the super fine floss. Below that is a double set of biological balls where the water feeds through into the baffles and into the next compartment. The second compartment (middle) has K3 media, a skimmer and three aeration stones to make the K3 rotate and develop the required nitrification bacteria and an aquarium bacterial bomb. The water then flows to the final chamber (left) through the baffles and is heated and returned via the pump to the display tank.
I have used an iLumenAir V2 for the lighting which has automatic sunrise, sunset and lightning storms, which is quite cool.
Today I added transferred the fish to the big tank. So far I have 24 fish in the tank including 3 Corydoras, 12 Tetra 2 Goldfish, 2 Plecos, 1 Siamese fighter, 1 Platty, and 3 fish I cannot remember the name of. I am hoping to get quite a few more including giant fan shrimp, but depending what I can find and what will live with the other fish will determine the outcome of the final fish family.
Now this project is close to completion, and summer is finally over, I will be going back to my knitting, so more projects to come.