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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I am picking up a 135 gallon tank(72"X19"X24) on saturday and thought it would be fun to start a tank build journal.

This new tank will replace my 65 gallon and my gf 36 gallon bowfront. So unfortunately my fish choices must be ok with her as well.

Now to start things off, what the heck do I do with this thing?? I have never had a tank even close to this big. Feels a little overwhelming having such a big space to play with.

I am thinking of doing a somewhat planted tank with low light plants as both our tanks right now have plants in them. I am not really a fan of all cichlid tanks so I'm thinking plants with some oddballs and a few active larger fish.

Filters will be FX5 and probably one or both of eheim 2213 and 2217 that are currently on my 65 gallon.

The current stock in both the tanks is:

1X gold severum - very aggressive to other cichlids fine with other fish that don't look like him. Loves to eat any plants unfortunately
1X banded leporinus - bought this guy 2 weeks ago on impulse. Sounds like it will be too aggressive for my liking and I will probably rehome it. Only about 1.5" right now.
1X red tail shark
1X black beard algae eater
5X black skirt tetras
1X kribensis
1X albino bn pleco
1X glass catfish
2X pearl gouramis


The only fish I know I want to keep are the severum, black beard algae eater, pleco and glass catfish. Maybe have some torpedo barbs, some sort of colourful plecos, some type of eel the fire eels looks really cool. I'm open to suggestions for stocking. My only concern is the severum can be aggressive to fish that look like him. He bullied a blue acara I had really badly.

Other than stocking does anyone have some good lighting suggestions for a tank this big. Looking for lighting good enough to grow low light plants, LED would be great, but I don't want to spend a fortune on it. And where can I find a lid for the tank? The tank comes with DIY lids, but I don't think they will stand up to my 15lbs cat.

Pictures to come on saturday!
 

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Most of the fish are from SA. So if you want to do a SA biotope, you are half way there. You can do wood with low light plant. However, with your severum, you might not like how it will eat or destroy your plants...

Leporinus is a hit or miss. I have the more exotic one, the Leporinus brunneus. I have them with triangle uaru, acara, black bar silver dollars, albino pacu and it has no problem. Though my tanks setup are either 1 Leporinus brunneus or 8 or more. Never 2-3 fish at one time. THe banded leporinus are more aggressive in my opinion.

Red tail shark can be aggressive towards other catfish. But if you are going to put a fire eel with it, sooner or later, the red tail shark will become food for the fire eel.
Same thing about the black skirt tetra, kribs, glass catfish, and gouramis.

So your choice is either medium and large fish fish setup. Or small and medium community tank setup. But not both.

You can go glass store to get glass cut for a lid.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I currently have java fern, anubias and a random fast growing plant in with the severum and he doesn't destroy those too much. Any other plants it seems to destroy/eat within a day.

Ya the Leporinus will have to go. I think it will be too aggressive for what I want in the tank.

I have had redtail sharks before, so I know how aggressive they can be. I don't want it to be eaten by a eel though.

I think I am leaning more towards medium and large fish set up.

I think I am going to try and stock around the severum and fire eel or a smaller species of eel. Would angels work? The severum seems to be aggressive to similar shaped fish to itself. Not sure if it would get along with angels or not.

What would be some suitable plecos? I like plecos so I want a couple nice and colourful ones.
 

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any plecos will work. There are not many colorful plecos out there. Anything with color, in general, equal more money; excluding green and blue phantom.

Anything with red like L24, L25, L114, L600, L273 are usually in the hundreds range.

If you choose a smaller type of eel, you can keep Angels, plecos, severum, geo., even rainbow fish in there for the dash of color.
 

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L25 like the one in Charles' avatar would be amazing in a 135.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unfortunately spending hundreds of dollars on a fish is way out of my price range... maybe one day though!

I Picked up the tank yesterday and got it all set up and filled it with water. I didn't have enough water conditioner for the tank so I just filled it up with tap water. How long before does it take for the chlorine to evaporate?

The tank came with two marineland LED lights, one flickers after being on for a few minutes. I tried opening it up and checking the wires, but I couldn't find any loose wires. What are some good lighting options that won't break the bank and be good for some low light plants?

When I go to a glass store for a lid, what do I ask for? the tank is 72" X 18" with no center brace. I need to make something strong enough to stand up to a large cat jumping on it.

For stocking I am thinking
1X gold severum
5X Angel fish
6X denison barbs
1X Leopard Ctenopoma
1X smaller eel species
3X plecos - BN, gold spotted, green phantom

I am not sure if this would be too much stock or not. Thinking I might have to choose between the denison barbs and the Leopard Ctenopoma. Would the combination of BN, gold spotted and green phantom pleco work?

And here is the picture of the tank while the two lights are working.
IMG_20150905_202146.jpg
 

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Without a center brace I am not sure you will be able to find a store bought lid. In fact that aqueon tops require 2 separate braces as it's a 3 section top for a 6 footer. What are you looking to accomplish with the lid? Evaporation, keeping fish in....?

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Discussion Starter #8
Without a center brace I am not sure you will be able to find a store bought lid. In fact that aqueon tops require 2 separate braces as it's a 3 section top for a 6 footer. What are you looking to accomplish with the lid? Evaporation, keeping fish in....?

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
Ya so far I'm having trouble finding a lid. I'm looking to keep fish in. Looking to get a smaller species of eel and I read they are escape artists. And I need to keep the cat out of the tank.

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm using one of these right now on one of my tanks. DIY Aquarium Screen Top Netting Kits - Bulk Reef Supply. Not sure if it could keep a big cat out but works fine to keep jumpers from getting out.

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I had something similar to that on one of my gecko cages... It did hold up to the cat for very long.

I went to king eds because they told me they had one in stock, but when I got there they actually didn't have it. They said they could order one for me. Not sure if it would be easier to make my own or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I ended up having more time over the weekend than I thought I would so we started the process of moving some fish over.

I went out and bought some more water conditioner and added that. Then I took all of the plants, decorations, rocks and plants from the 65 and 36 gallon tank and put them in the new tank. I still feel it looks a little empty so I will be searching online to find some cheap driftwood and rocks to add to the tank.

For lights, I moved a light I was using on a small exo terra tank onto the fish tank. It has a 6500K CFL bulb in it and works pretty well. On the other side I have the one working marineland LED. I will see how they do at keeping the plants I have in there alive.

We moved the fish from the 36 gallon into the new tank. I am hoping the bacteria on the driftwood, rocks and plants will be enough to start off the tank without anything bad happening to the fish. Tank inhabitants are:
1x albino BN pleco
1x red tail shark
1x kribensis
1x glass catfish

Next weekend I may move a couple of the fish from the 65 gallon over. Depending on how water tests come out. So far the 4 fish haven't been able to make enough waste to measure any ammonia in the tank, but I will continue with daily water testing to make sure there are no ammonia spikes.

For tank lid I think my only option is to get the glass cut and make my own. MY 65 gallon tank is 18" wide so my plan is to use the same width of those pieces of glass and just have the length as 6ft. Anyone know of any good glass shops in coquitlam?

Future stock list so far is:
1X gold severum
5X Angel fish
6X denison barbs
1X zig zag eel
1X BN pleco
1X gold spotted pleco
1X green phantom pleco

And picture of the tank with all the rocks and plants.
IMG_20150907_150617.jpg
 

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Ink said:
When I go to a glass store for a lid, what do I ask for? the tank is 72" X 18" with no center brace. I need to make something strong enough to stand up to a large cat jumping on it.
It looks like you already have glass lids. What you need is a canopy! You can find lots of instructions for DIY canopies online.

Your tank is coming along! Some wood will help fill it up and give it a more natural feel. It's looking good so far. I'm super happy and envious for you! I hope to start my own 135/180 this fall.
 

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Have a look on craigslist for driftwood - I saw some ads recently. It will make a huge difference to the tank landscape if you can get your hands on the malaysian hardwood type.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It looks like you already have glass lids. What you need is a canopy! You can find lots of instructions for DIY canopies online.

Your tank is coming along! Some wood will help fill it up and give it a more natural feel. It's looking good so far. I'm super happy and envious for you! I hope to start my own 135/180 this fall.
Thanks Daryl! Good luck with your upcoming tank!

The tank did come with glass lids, but one is broken and they don't cover the entire tank well and if I plan on getting a eel, I would need the lid to be tight. A canopy is a good idea though. I think I will look into that as well.

Have a look on craigslist for driftwood - I saw some ads recently. It will make a huge difference to the tank landscape if you can get your hands on the malaysian hardwood type.
I have been keeping my eye out on craigslist for wood. I will be looking to add a few more pieces as well as some more low light plants.
 

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Do the lids leave a 2" gap at the back? If so, you can pick up some plastic strip that goes along the glass at the back and fills that gap. It's super easy to cut precise holes out of the plastic to get a super tight fit around filter hoses etc. that run into the tank..

I bought a 6 foot strip of the stuff from Rogers Aquatics in Surrey a little while ago... They probably sell it in a lot of LFS though.
 

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Do the lids leave a 2" gap at the back? If so, you can pick up some plastic strip that goes along the glass at the back and fills that gap. It's super easy to cut precise holes out of the plastic to get a super tight fit around filter hoses etc. that run into the tank..

I bought a 6 foot strip of the stuff from Rogers Aquatics in Surrey a little while ago... They probably sell it in a lot of LFS though.
Actually that might work. I think there is about a 2" gap at the back. I will have to double check when I get home. The glass on the one side is broken so I will have to get that replaced, but if I can get the plastic back part from Rogers aquatics then that might be a easier option. Then I can build a canopy and that should keep the cat from jumping through the glass or knocking the glass into the tank.

On another note. Still not seeing anything on the water tests, so last night I added the two pearl gouramis to the new tank. They are about the same size as the little kribensis that was already in the tank and it took after both gouramis chasing them around for quite awhile. It wasn't until the gouramis started hitting it with their long fins?.... antennae? I'm not sure what you call them. It was interesting never seen gouramis do that before. All in all it worked out. They all calmed down and no one was hurt.
 

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Glad to hear! I've found that some gourami's can be quite tough little things - I used to have a 3 spot gourami (I think that was what it was called, it was kind of blue, with a few spots), and that fish used to steal fry from right under the nose of a breeding pair of convicts! He was bold & brazen!

I wouldn't be surprised if your gourami's put the krib in its place!
 

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We have nitrates!

Finally saw some nitrates yesterday when testing the water so I am slowly moving over the rest of the fish from the 65 gallon.

Not much else for updates. Still looking for some good pieces of driftwood and maybe a few more plants. Going to try and get started on a new glass top this weekend if I have time.

Glad to hear! I've found that some gourami's can be quite tough little things - I used to have a 3 spot gourami (I think that was what it was called, it was kind of blue, with a few spots), and that fish used to steal fry from right under the nose of a breeding pair of convicts! He was bold & brazen!

I wouldn't be surprised if your gourami's put the krib in its place!
Mine aren't quite that brave, but it seems like the gouramis and the kribensis have worked out their own little areas of the tank. The red tail shark though comes out once or twice a day to chase everything in the tank and then return to it's cave.
 
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