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Old 05-06-2013, 05:48 AM   #241
deaDFisHFood
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Time for a update

This setup has been running for almost 2 years now... along the line, there have been lessons that i've learnt along the way.
Some of these lessons have been painful
others have been dangerous
some have just made me feel dumb to begin with

To others who are intending to build a setup like this, here's a list of things to consider...

1. Location, location, location
Like choosing a new home for yourself, choosing the location for your tank is of paramount importance.

1.1 Sunlight
Sunlight is a double edged sword. Besides aiding in the production of Vitamin D for your fish, it also acts as natural tanning for aro owners. However, sunlight brings about another problem, algae on your viewing glass. No doubt plecos can clear them for you, bear in mind that as it grows, it loses its ability to do so. Factoring in the size of the predatory inhabitants, adding in smaller speciments is not an option. Tried numerous times, no success at all.

1.2 Size
Size is discussed here as most of us do not have such a large tank incorporated into the design of our houses. As such, finding the space to do it is important. If u have found the space, evaluate the area carefully, check for things like manholes and earthboxes. I, for one, had the option of extending the width of the tank by another 3 feet, but decided not to because of a earth box on the ground, and the hassle of having to move the earthbox elsewhere. Now, 2 years on, its the biggest regret to this project.

1.3 Water & Drainage
The proximity to water and drainage is extremely important for such a large vessel. Imagine having to fill your tank for 2 days, a rubber hose is not a good idea. The location of my tank is within 3ft to both, and is settled by simple plumbing.


2. Setup & Equipment

2.1 Wall Material
My tank was setup as a fiberglass tank. That, in itself, is not the best idea. The pressure from the water is tremendous, and the amount of reinforcements is quite substantial. On hindsight I should have just gone with concrete, for durability and ability of loading. I climb into my tank once a month, and its no joke when its 6 feet high and you are standing on fibreglass which might not be able to take your weight. Scary as hell sometimes. Also, with concrete, its easier to lay tiles and such over it, beautifying the exterior.

2.2 Viewing Panel
As mentioned, the pressure from the water is huge, and the viewing panel is the weakest link. Go for an overkill. Version 1 of my fgt had its front viewing panel explode one morning. This is extremely dangerous. The shards of glass dented my car which was parked in front of it, and HUGE shards were embedded in the tires. The force of the explosion was so huge it caused such a boom that my neighbors from 5 houses away in their rooms on the third floor came out to investigate. Imagine sitting in front of the tank when that happened. Also, almost all of my tanks residents went to fishy heaven... only my brooder male xb is with me today.

2.3 Filteration
Everyone wants low maintanence, but crystal clear water. Taking reference from koi ponds, a filter volume of at least 50% of the tank volume is recommended. Also, high turnover is important too. The more you overkill your filteration, the better the water gets. Invest in a good UV for prevention of green water. For the high tech, Ozone and other technologies can be used. For the traditional, like me, filter wool in the first chamber, lots of jap mat packed vertically and airstones in the second, coral chips and oyster shells in the third, UV and return pump in the last. But remember to overkill and cycle well.

2.4 Scape
With the space, the possibilities are endless. For 3D backgrounds, get it done in fibreglass to your tank wall. Bear in mind the colour, texture and design. For mine, it is a brownish color. It is pleasing on the eye, but not very flattering for my fish. As my tank base is the same colour, my fish kind of blends in with the tank. Take my kelberis for example. I often drool at other bros beautiful kimkim kels and wonder why mine are not so bright... Earlier this week, i transferred one of them into a black tank for treatment. This was my kenna bully by all piece, but it was already in a stunning gold. This compounded my sadness of never being able to see my beauties in their full glory in my tank. The same can be said for my aro... the ghxb in there doesnt show its nice shine, the bbxb in there doesnt show its blue base, the reds in there seem more orange than they actually do. This list goes on...

Next would be the hardscape. my tank is driftwood and large river rocks. A good place to go hunt for them is mainland at fw1. Always have an idea of what you want to achieve and always bring a measuring tape. What seems like a huge a$$ piece of driftwood becomes so small after putting it in the tank. Tricks to scaping such a large tank to follow...

2.5 Lighting
Lights are really important... With such a deep tank, the penetration of the light is affected. I would recommend MH lights for the tank, for shimmering effect, close replication to sunlight and penetration, but bear in mind the heat generated.


This part covers the ground work for setting up such tanks Next part would be the interesting part, livestock...
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:06 AM   #242
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Wahhh... just realised my previous post damn long.. Shall continue in snippets instead

3. Livestock
Before we build such tanks, we can already dream of its inhabitants. However, some of them, though beautiful, need certain considerations before actually adding them in.

3.1 Top Dwellers
A tank without top dwellers to me looks incomplete. Popular fishes such as arowana, gars are the first on our minds. These do not pose much of a problem, but these guys are aggressive. Bearing in mind that the tank is so big, catching them isnt going to be easy, should fights break out, separating them is no mean feat. Also, they are voracious eaters, so if you are adding them, bear in mind to feed more and in liberal amounts so the lower levels get their food.

3.2 Mid-Dwellers
Popular choices are peacock basses, pikes, tigers, GATF, VATF... They are deadly and fast, and eat like pigs. That said, the estimation of growth rates is important. Kelberi are beautiful fishes. but their growth rates are actually slower compared to their cousins after 1ft. My batch of kelberi were the biggest peacocks i added in, bar the orino, but right now, my azuls have outgrown them, and the peru mono has caught up. Temperament is also a important consideration. From my experience, for peacock bass of almost the same size, the most gutsy are actually the peru mono, followed by the azuls, kels and then orino. Therefore, should you have a preference of focus on specific species, choose these mid-dwellers well, or the side show might upstage the main act
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:39 AM   #243
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3.3 Bottom Dwellers

3.3.1 Catfish
Catfish are staples in most of our tanks. One of my favorite too. Here are some comments on those that I have tried or thought of trying

3.3.1.1 Tigs
One of the most popular cats at the moment, and a prime candidate for these sort of tanks. My bro's personal favorite too. Currently we do not own one We have tried 3 times, but none were successful... Tigs eat like crazy, and they don't know when to stop. Twice our tigs were gone to digestion problems, once was due to the inability to see that it was sick as it parked behind the driftwood. Would still love to have a big speciment in there, like Bro Marshy's... But not looking at the moment... a bit sian to keep seeing our tigs up lorry when they start morphing

3.3.1.2 Synodontis.
Also known as upside down cats... these fish usually hate each others guts, so if you intend to have them, more hiding places and several specific territories should be set out for them. I have 2 moustache cats from Daniel in there. Daniel had them tgt in his display tank with no issues, so had the peace of mind of them at least tolerating each other.

3.3.1.3 p.Irwini, p.Granulosus
These fish make fantastic clean up crews and are not fussy with food. On days where there is too much mp, they will eat up the mp. On days where mp do not reach the bottom, they take pellets. The ultimate vacuum cleaners for a tank where scooping out leftover food is impossible. Also, they spend most their time amongst driftwood, so like your vacuum cleaners, they are out of sight when u dont need them

3.3.1.4 Giraffe
Giraffe cats are an acquired taste, you either love them or hate them. So peculiar in their looks, most people who havent seen them before are often amazed by its hideous good looks Buying on is cheap and like the Irwini and Granulosus, they are good clean up crews. However, they are not driftwood cats and would often patrol everywhere.

3.3.1.5 Vultures and Lince Cats
Majestic cats that patrol the area. Very nice fish to have in there.

3.3.2 Rays
Should you want to keep rays, dont make it too high a tank. I clean my viewing panels by diving in. This is not possible with rays in there. Unless you have it indoors, where algae is no issue, rays pose a problem. Also, being slower eaters, they hardly get enough food. That said, a recommended setup for a monster ray tank would be that of AquaEmp. According to them, place a small step ladder in the water. Next, use a long algae brush to clean the glass while on the ladder. This keeps you out of the water and out of harms way

Hope that my long winded posts have provided and insight to owning such a tank Any other questions, please fire away
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:26 PM   #244
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super tank.swee swee
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #245
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Wah.. super long update indeed.. heh
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Old 16-06-2013, 06:05 PM   #246
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Same same like River safari....river is calling u.....
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Old 19-09-2013, 05:01 AM   #247
deaDFisHFood
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overdue update...
after all my hindsight and reflection... the next logical step was to do a revamp!
this time nothing much... just redid the scape and changed the lifestock...
previous comm was abit messy, coz apparently no schooling fish, then some here some there... den my orino too big, like very eye sore also...
so, all prev lifestock, excluding my uaru and aros have been harvested during a recent tank diving trip. All were relocated to the pond to swim with the koi...
past weekend added 4 big aros... 2 xb 20-22'' and 2 reds 22'' and 25''.
tanks look more organized now... next step to add in small schooling fish to complete the look... intend to try danio or tiger barbs... haha

here are the picts, inspired by my trip to sea aquarium today... please bear with the reflection though
DSC_1454 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

Last edited by deaDFisHFood; 19-09-2013 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 19-09-2013, 05:21 AM   #248
deaDFisHFood
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DSC_1467 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

DSC_1468 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

DSC_1469 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

DSC_1470 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

DSC_1466 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

DSC_1465 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

http://[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/26654811@N02/9806020565/][/url] DSC_1464 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 19-09-2013, 05:24 AM   #249
deaDFisHFood
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DSC_1473 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

DSC_1472 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]


and as usual, 1X dark dark cant see properly pict
DSC_1443 by Brandon!2008, on Flickr[/IMG]

Last edited by deaDFisHFood; 19-09-2013 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 19-09-2013, 09:06 AM   #250
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Hi, what is the thickness of the viewing panel that failed? Did the mentioned 19mm 10x4 panel hold up?
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