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Six-Footer, What Have I Done?


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#1 ShinySideUp

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:26 PM

I have a small house but have managed to persuade TOH that we needed to rehome the clown loach fraternity so bought a six foot 640 litre tank.

It weighs a lot, 248 kg -- tank and stand + 600 litres of water. Not too far off a [metric] tonne!

Here is the basic tank Posted Image complete with aged Collie dog

And it's massive FX5 filter

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Then I fitted the black backing using Juwel Poster Fix; the picture had many reflections but you can see properly it in later pics. Note the fluffy, yellow, cuddly fish. Getting all the air bubbles out of the backing was a nightmare and took three attempts at placing the backing paper in position.

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Here is the new tank in the place that the old one was in -- which is now on the left foreground. Once the the tank is running all the fish in the smaller tank and all the fish in the even smaller tank upstairs will go into the six-footer. Then we will get our living room back as all the furniture is crammed into one end (behind the camera) at the moment.

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The new gravel is on the left of the tank. The dividers are made by Juwel and have also some small pieces of plastic strategically placed to prevent the gravel moving into the empty area which tomorrow will be filled with sand from the old tank. I couldn't decide -- gravel or sand -- so I'm going to try both!

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#2 ShinySideUp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:16 AM

The doors have to go, at least the colour does ((please stop telling me, aqcentre [sic], that I spell 'colour' wrong, colour has a 'U' in it what ever America thinks) and centre is spelt just like that!).

There was no other option to white doors strangely, but there was an option in the tank surround, odd.

The doors will eventually be painted a darker colour.
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#3 Pisces

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:27 AM

I'm sure the clown loaches will love their new tank if you will move them there. X))

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76L: Linda [longfin sword], Pepper & Rosy [homebred swordies], Ghost (white swordtail), Kitty & Musti [Hoplos].

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#4 ShinySideUp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:56 AM

That's what it's for. If I knew when I was a newbie how big clowns got I would never have bought any, but I have and I will do my best for them.
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#5 Pisces

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:08 AM

 ShinySideUp, on 30 June 2013 - 12:56 AM, said:

That's what it's for. If I knew when I was a newbie how big clowns got I would never have bought any, but I have and I will do my best for them.
But they're so cute! O.O I wish I could fit such a huge tank in my house, lol!

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76L: Linda [longfin sword], Pepper & Rosy [homebred swordies], Ghost (white swordtail), Kitty & Musti [Hoplos].

RIP Tzuppy [Hoplo] 2003-2016


#6 Crossfire

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:12 AM

Can I have the tanks you're not using? :hyper:


Hahaha, just kidding my parents would boil me alive :pinch:

Good to hear you're clowns are getting a bigger tank! Scape is looking very nice!

Edited by Crossfire, 30 June 2013 - 01:16 AM.

20 Gallon: It's a mess
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#7 Akasha

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:21 AM

the white doors would have to go for me too ... not my taste either! I keep looking at my 180 (in the pale wood effect) and thinking "Blue Peter! Sticky back plastic! Here's one I prepared earlier!" Not got round to it yet though :lol:

Out of interest ... the Juwel background glue stuff ... worth the money or not? I'm having issues with my black background on the 800 and I was looking at the Juwel glue a couple of weeks ago and wondering if that was the answer.


I'm sure the loaches will love the extra space and I'll be following the progress of this tank. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it :D

#8 Alm0stAwesome

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:29 AM

Looks brilliant and I love the white doors! As far as the background goes, I just put mine on my new 4 footer last night and yeah, it's no fun. I used vegetable oil for mine and it worked a charm. There are quite a few diy methods for putting the background on, including hair gel or soapy water. I opted for cooking oil, time will tell if it was a good idea or not lol.

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#9 snazy

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:19 PM

The tank looks very nice.

#10 ShinySideUp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:21 PM

The Juwel background fix is easy to apply but then you have to get the backing material in place with as few air bubbles as possible. My first attempt was truly abysmal with huge airpockets everywhere so I peeled it off and started again. A third attempt was the most successful so I left it at that. There are still small air bubbles but now the water and a few plants are in (pictures to follow) you can barely see them. I tried using my hands then I tried a wallpaper roller to get rid of the bubbles but none was as successful as an old credit card.
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#11 ShinySideUp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:20 PM

The tank is now half full and a few plants have been added which were taken from the old tank. it is a balancing act because I want to use the same plants as they are mature but I also want to use the same sand, the same media and of course the same fish. So, today I half-filled the tank with fresh water + Prime, switched off the old filter and moved the media to the new one. I then took as much water as I could manage from the old tank and put it into the new one to lower the pH as far as I could to avoid shock. New water here has pH of about 7.2 but tank water has pH of just over 6 due to wood, fish-poo (possibly) and age. All that was achieved and then it was a matter of catching all the fish and without any acclimatisation at all, dumping them into the new tank (sorry fish, just no other way to do it). Clown Loaches, even five-inchers are immensely powerful and throw water everywhere when they are trapped in a net -- also, mind the suboccular spines under their eyes as they can do you a nasty.


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#12 Alm0stAwesome

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:27 PM

Gonna be lovely.

Oh and it looks like you need more giant vallis....



(wink wink nudge nudge - check the classified section :shifty: )

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6 x Angelfish, 3 x Bolivian Ram, 2 x Bristlenose Plec, 10 x Sterbai Cory, 3 x Espei Rasbora, 4 x Rummynose Tetra, 2 x Nerite Snails


#13 Pisces

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:28 PM

The day I did my fish moving, I threw in almost all of my old tank's water in, and plopped the rest of the fish in.
I've had a male swordtail in to test the tank first though, as it was brand new (and i mean it was created just a week before I received it, on order).
Pretty much no acclimatizing, all fish did well, lol.

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76L: Linda [longfin sword], Pepper & Rosy [homebred swordies], Ghost (white swordtail), Kitty & Musti [Hoplos].

RIP Tzuppy [Hoplo] 2003-2016


#14 ShinySideUp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:28 PM

Since the last picture was taken I have done all the things of which I spoke. All the fish from the main tank are now in the new one and seem to be responding favourably, The morning will tell to see if I have lost any due to the move.

The FX5 filter makes the occasional bumping noise which I hope is not a fault or a foreign body in or near the impeller, water flow seems unimpeded.

I will upload a picture of the tank, so far, tomorrow evening after I have moved the last of the sand into it's new home on the right of the tank.

After that, my next task is to ensure the chemistry remains stable and then introduce the fish from my smaller aquarium. The gravel that is in that one will help bulk out the gravel in the new tank and will be more nutritious for the plants as it is old gravel not the new stuff I have already put in.

Once everything is stable I shall look into more plants and then a breeding program perhaps, for my BN catfish. But that is in the future. For now I'm just concerned with keeping my existing stock alive and healthy.

Edited by ShinySideUp, 30 June 2013 - 10:34 PM.

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#15 ShinySideUp

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:34 PM

 Alm0stAwesome, on 30 June 2013 - 10:27 PM, said:

Gonna be lovely.

Oh and it looks like you need more giant vallis....



(wink wink nudge nudge - check the classified section :shifty: )

I started with two vallisnaria and they have sent out runners and I have six plants now. What you see in the tank is a cut-down version as the old leaves were becoming a little sad-looking and had algae growing on them. Before I cut them back, some of the leaves were five feet long. In the new tank I have put the Vallis at the tank input end of the filter system so hopefully they will spread out across the water. In the old tank I mistakenly put them at the other end so there was nowhere for the leaves to go and they ended up in an unhealthy clump.
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#16 Akasha

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:29 PM

Your managing to keep and grow vallis in a low PH? That rules out my reasoning behind mine rotting. I was blaming the low PH (mines about 6 in the 180 and 6.4 in the 800) but it just won't grow in the 180. It just seems to rot half way up the leaves. I have a small amount in the 800 and that's not doing too bad - no signs of it rotting anyway and there are signs of the odd new leaf. Perhaps I need to consider the substrate. The 800 has unipac black sand and the 180 has Argos play sand ... perhaps vallis doesn't like the play sand ...???

What kind of sand are you using Shinysideup?

#17 ShinySideUp

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:26 PM

 Akasha, on 01 July 2013 - 12:29 PM, said:

What kind of sand are you using Shinysideup?

I have been using sand that I bought from my LFS. It was quite expensive and I had the devil's own job washing it but it seemed ok.

The vallis has now been moved into the new tank and I have planted it in 2-3 mm gravel as gravel is the substrate at the upstream end of the tank with sand at the downstream end. I don't know how well it will do since I have completely uprooted it (it was doing that anyway though as the clown's and the khuli's did their dastardly work). I expect it to die off quite rapidly since the gravel is new and ther is no nutrient in it.

I shall be (and previously have been) dosing with TNC and Flourish, perhaps it likes the mix?

Edited by ShinySideUp, 01 July 2013 - 09:36 PM.

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#18 Akasha

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:40 PM

I use easylife's profito and all the other plants do well on it, it's just the vallis in the 180 that is poor. Perhaps the play sand doesn't hold enough nutrients for it. I understand vallis is one of those plants that likes to be fed from the roots up and also have some kind of fert on top too (if that makes sense). If I could start over I would think about adding some kind of nutrient rich base fert you can get to go under the substrate but then I'd also have the issue of digging cichlids making a mess.
I guess we can't always win. I may have to give up on vallis entirely in the 180 and put what is left (that hasn't rotted away) into the 800 :hmm:

#19 ShinySideUp

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 11:04 PM

Well, I have almost everything in the tank now and here is a photo of how it is going so far.

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The drainpipe that the clown loach use will be coming out soon as I have a massive piece of bogwood that has a huge cavern underneath presently soaking in a water butt outside and waiting to go in.

I am having a bit of an emergency at the moment though as my media didn't like moving to the new filter and I have a nitrite spike. So far the ammonia is within tolerable levels but also my pH has risen dramatically from it's normal 6.2 to well over 7 so the ammonia is becoming more toxic.I don't know why the pH has risen, it may be the much larger volume of water is not being so affected by the present bogwood. I'll do another 200 litre (!!!!) water change tomorrow (I'm on a meter!) to keep the nitrites tolerable and on past experience of cycling I would expect my filter to pick up the pace by the end of the week. Tomorrow I shall put the new bogwood in then expect to do anotyher water change at the weekend to get rid of all the brownness that will no doubt come out once the wood is in warmer water.

I'm afraid the tank doesn't look very big in the picture, take my word for it, it is.

I think my combination of gravel and sand is working OK so far with very little spillage, certainly the different species of fish have their favourite ends but so far, the Khuli's don't leave the gravel end, probably because there is no cover for them yet. The big piece of bogwood I hope will span the two sections.

Two more points.

I managed to cure the bumping noise coming from the filter (can't remember if I've already posted this fact) by making sure the outlet from the tank is fully immersed as there was a slight air leak at the join. The join is now under water and the filter is pretty quiet, just a faint hum.

Lastly, and take note if you ever use background fixer like Juwel Poster Fix or Clearview (Seaview or whatever it's called): If you use it in a big tank before warm water is put it it will look fine at first then it expands! I have a two inch wide bit right in the middle of the tank that has bowed away from the glass due to expansion. There is no way I can get to it so it'll have to stay, hence the tall plant right in the middle. I'm not emptying the tank just for a bit of background.

PS Note the Otocinlus catfish on the right, they love it in the big tank and race around all over the place in a school. I have six but until they got into this tank I have never seen them all together, so much so that I always thought I had five!

One more picture to come when the bogwood is in. Let's hope the nitrite spike doesn't so any damage to the fish in the meantime.

Edited by ShinySideUp, 11 July 2013 - 05:24 PM.

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#20 Akasha

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:12 AM

hi! Unfortunately the picture has gone ... says it's been moved or deleted ...

Your PH - I've had problems with PH changes myself and I've found substrate is the problem/cause. Sand seems to lower it, gravel increase it. The playsand buffers it down in my tank. It comes out of the tap at around 7 but it drops to 6 in the tank with playsand. The other tank has aquarium sand as a substrate and it settles at 6.4. When I had marina pebbles it was 7 - it didn't buffer it either way. The p@h gravel increased it a bit to about 7.4. My Dad's gravel buffers his PH up to 7.8 and it's 7 out the tap (same as mine)

Could it be possible that your substrate has buffered it up? Just a thought :) The new bogwood would technicly drop it again though?

Hope you get on top of that spike soon. Good luck :)