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Squirtle

Tank dilemma, Advice?

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Hello all, I am just finishing up one wall in my room & hit a road block I guess.. I was planning to use 3ft wide tanks for the bottom bays of my tiers for cichlids but I did not measure it first

In short I can go 750mm with room to play or 800mm playing it risky! my concern is I already have more then enough 2ft wide tanks sitting outside which I was about to sell. (8 x 4x2x2s)

Just wondering what you guys would do? Keep the 600mms or go for the 800mm depth, the tanks will be 4ft long and 2ft high. Main purpose is to keep solo / breeding pairs of the more aggressive American cichlids I.E umbee, hornet , dovii , red terror etc, I know for the dovii & umbee id love a 3ft wide tank (800 I guess I should say) Do you think the extra 150-200mm is worth the move up?

Whilst I am at it... if you could filter these tanks with any reasonable method what would be your suggestion? Sump would be easy & cheaper to run imo but theres the issue of disease & fine tuning pushing me at canisters but this option is going to cost a bit more & I dont think I would get the same flow / filtration as I would from a sump.

Thanks all.

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750 wide would be ok but I would go longer tanks for breeding umbee and dovii, they grow to 2ft if kept in a big tank.

I would use 7ft minimum (which is why i haven't tried breeding these myself).

Not sure what a hornet is?

Definitely sump, sure fine tuning is a pain but we'll worth it.

If your worried about disease use a uv light.

Hope this helps.

Cheers mick

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Thanks mate, Yeah I was thinking longer too but sadly I cant.... I feel bad also as the dovii is currently in a 8x4 & umbee in a 8.5 x 3 so they will be going to a fairly reduced size tank.

Umbee I most likely will not breed. Dovii I only mention breeding as the male has paired up with 4 girls at the time 2 are quite nice so wouldn't mind keeping them but size later down the road may become an issue. I am leaning towards keeping them solo due to the potential size. I think solo I should be fine with a 750-800mm, not ideal of course but it will have a decent SA for singles?

Hornet is a buttakoferi, Large convict like fish... very aggressive. His currently in a 4x2 and going well so I know he will be more then fine in a large system.

My understanding with a UV is there is still a chance disease can spread? I use them currently but never looked at them as an 100% defense. Think a sump is the way to go I just cant be bothered plumbing it all up I hate doing multi tanks singles are fine but multiply tanks always cause me headaches.

Thanks for the advice.

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Uv isn't 100% but if you quarantine, don't feed live food and keep the water good these no start for disease.

Buttakoferi aren't allowed up here so no experience with them.

keep an eye on the umbee and dovii after moving to the smaller tank as it can make them more aggressive or turn them off food.

At 750 wide they'd be ok for singles.

Running separate tanks is expensive in the long term and water changes take longer but it comes to personal preference.

Cheers mick

Edited by smicko
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On breeding tanks, I prefer 3 foot tanks - front to back as the fish do like their privacy when spawning. Fish are always up the front looking for food when not spawning so the extra space doesn't make it harder to see them and the extra water volume provided adds stability against fluctuations. However if you already have 60cm wide tanks and can only go 80cm then I'm not sure the extra inconvenience is worth it. If these are breeding tanks, I would only go 45cm high and pack in an extra tier of tanks. The glass will be cheaper as well.

Regards filtration, you can increase tank turn over internally (with air or a small powerhead) but have a slower sump turn over. If these are breeding tanks, they won't be highly stocked anyway. However at the end of the day, the decision on tank size and filtration is up to you. Only you will know what suites best and there is no shame in making mistakes via trial and error

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On breeding tanks, I prefer 3 foot tanks - front to back as the fish do like their privacy when spawning. Fish are always up the front looking for food when not spawning so the extra space doesn't make it harder to see them and the extra water volume provided adds stability against fluctuations. However if you already have 60cm wide tanks and can only go 80cm then I'm not sure the extra inconvenience is worth it. If these are breeding tanks, I would only go 45cm high and pack in an extra tier of tanks. The glass will be cheaper as well.

Regards filtration, you can increase tank turn over internally (with air or a small powerhead) but have a slower sump turn over. If these are breeding tanks, they won't be highly stocked anyway. However at the end of the day, the decision on tank size and filtration is up to you. Only you will know what suites best and there is no shame in making mistakes via trial and error

Thanks aquaholic, Yes its hard to decide on that extra 20cm or leave it as is.. I do literally have 8 x 4x2x2s sitting outside all black silicone, overflow boxes, beveled glass so its tempting. I cant have another tier, the stand is already 2 tier, 8.5 x 3 x 2.5 on top tier with 2 spaces under for 800mm wide tank OR can go with a 700mm 8.5ft tank under also, planning to do a second stand the same size to go next to this one so having 4 tanks under for the cichlids would be ideal. Just deciding the size.... Almost feel like getting one 800mm wide and having a play.

Thank you also Mick, My umbee is already a nut job but I have larger fish with him so his kept in line but I am getting worried, I know he will have to be solo soon..... the dovii I am half tempted to keep with my mixed cichlids and try removing some females but its a risk I am not quite willing to take.. theres 8 dovii in that tank all different sizes 3 males rest females, he has no issues with the other dovii, the females fight a fair bit but he seems to keep them in line and breeds with them all at different times which I find quite weird, was under the impression Americans will chose one female and pair up not "sleep around". He has started to get into a few fights with the jags and red devils though as his catching them size wise hence the worries... I assume his just under 1ft if not is 1ft. I remember selling one of the small males at 10cm... caught it out measured at 22cm so I am pretty hopeless with this ha.

Shame about buttis also, are they banned to own or only import? Is 100% my favorite of my more aggressive cichlids.

I also had a look @ that fish room thread... made me think of setting up a few more tiers again =(

Edited by Squirtle
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Yes I understand. My fish shed has 3m walls and top center pitch is 5m just so I could go 4 and 5 tiers high. The cost of slab and room heating is the same so the extra tiers become more economical. You have unusual sizes though. This makes cost of manufacture higher and potential resale lower. For example, you would be able to sell your 4x2x2 tanks much easier than a 4.5 x 2 x 2. If you make your own tanks, it's actually pretty easy to join adjacent tanks so fish can swim through but again any customising will reduce the resale value.

I would just keep what you have unless of course those extra inches of missed tank space are going to eat away at you until you do.

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I agree with Winston, and given that you already have those tanks it would be costly to move up to larger tanks. Unless you are looking to burn money you could probably better spend it elsewhere.

I have been looking at a similar issue myself - I was hoping to slide a 6x3 tank onto a rack, but I already have a 6x2. I could always do away with the 6x2 and make a larger tank, but money is not unlimited and the extra I would be looking at to upgrade would much better be spent on filtration etc. If it really gets to me in the future I guess I can always upgrade then, but for now it seems exorbitant in the face or more pressing needs.

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Yeah I think it is eating away already.... Its hard to say no to tanks... I have so many unused tanks and I am constantly trying to fit them into my room but at the same time I like to keep more of a gallery effect, meaning no tanks in the center of the room so you can stand in one spot and view every single tank.

I hear you on the tiers, I used to have larger tiers also but I am more interested in large fish & getting multi tiers with long lengths / widths is not as simple theres just too much weight in some tanks... not saying its not possible but it was not an option for me personally. Yes most of my tanks are odd, I have weird luck with that... even my so called 4x2x2s are not really 4x2x2s... they are just under 2ft wide & 72cm tall those tanks were actually imported from china... amazing build quailty though I cut 2 of them down and on one the glass shattered before becoming separated even after a good 30mins of cutting at the silicone.

I dont make my own tanks... I can seal them and have helped my tank builder make tanks in the past... we even did some fiberglass tanks, 12x4x4 was 1 inch thick double glazed viewing panel. I remember popping open those silicone tubes like no tomorrow I think it was close to 20+! I do get good discounts though.. he quoted me up for a 4x3x2.5 for 400$ to my door. drilling is normally free so its not too deer but its still money!

I remember talking to you on another forum a few years ago in regards to joining tanks, you were explaining how you connect 2x 6x2s together to make a single 12ft tank. I have been considering doing this ever sense.... come to think of it I actually have a few 6x2s outside and some double tier stands for them :peep:

Edited by Squirtle
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I agree with Winston, and given that you already have those tanks it would be costly to move up to larger tanks. Unless you are looking to burn money you could probably better spend it elsewhere.

I have been looking at a similar issue myself - I was hoping to slide a 6x3 tank onto a rack, but I already have a 6x2. I could always do away with the 6x2 and make a larger tank, but money is not unlimited and the extra I would be looking at to upgrade would much better be spent on filtration etc. If it really gets to me in the future I guess I can always upgrade then, but for now it seems exorbitant in the face or more pressing needs.

Thanks Matt, I feel the same way right now, but like I mentioned theres that little voice saying DO IT DO IT! I think your method is a good one though.. I could use the money to setup my other tier for next to the existing one & also some for my saltwater tier (10x5) then once this is all setup and running and the cichlids have grown a bit I can view the setups and decide what I would like to do. The filtration will all be there also so it could even be a matter of swapping them out one by one.

I definitely have some type of tank addiction though... I get more worked up over the tanks / layout then the actual fish xD!

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Hey guys, figured I would update this here as I did get a lot more advice then my other forum :D

So..... I decided to go nuts and just set up 2 more tiers this gives me 2 x 6x2x2s and 3 x 4x2x70s (70cm) I will then add two more 4x2x70s under my 8.5 x 3. hopefully tomorrow! I also did all this by myself.... its very hard to get friends over to move tanks as they all know I am nuts & they have already moved so many tanks, lucky I can manage large tanks solo I even move my 8x4x3 alone its not fun but I get stuff done and a lot of swear words out, having a trolley that jacks up to 1.8m is a major must when doing this alone... getting the foam straight was really getting to me as had to lift the 4x2 with one hand then try to pull the foam with the other not fun at all. Very happy with the out come though :D

Pretty much started the day moving a 2 tier 4x2 system, painting and sanding the stands as there were X saltwater stands once that was done lifting & leveling. Tomorrow I will start plumbing maybe... but defs be cleaning the tanks

Friday after work I had a mate come over after a 10 hour shift and we moved the 6x3x3 on the stand into its new spot also this was quite hard lucky he is a power house but there were time we would both be pushing and lifting and nothing would happen we just stared at one another laughing. I had to support my floor a bit also as have a man hole as such used to hide the dead bodies I accumulate over the years :3 ( not really... its for pool pumps )

Anyways here are some pictures hope you all enjoy and thanks for the advice!

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Uhhh cant upload some pictures they are too large sorry, I have no idea how to "shrink them"

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Thanks mate, Its been a long bumpy road but I am finally getting there!

Am I allowed to post links to other sites? I have a more detailed thread of it all on another site if its allowed? I also got the other pictures up there.

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Yes the hydraulic sissor lift trolleys are great. Plenty of room for more tanks I see!

If you tape the polystyrene sheet from the front with clear tape, it won't move when you slide tanks on. Then rip tape out when your done or just leave it.

Or if your very prepared, silicone it down the night before with a flat smear of glue.

When you want to shift a rack later on, just use a car jack under one end of the metal stand and lift high enough to slip a platform trolley under. Then repeat for other end. You can shift 3 tier racks around without having to remove the tanks. I made up 4 wheeled plates for this because I do it so often.

If you want an easy (right click) image resizer for windows, try this one - Image Resizer for Windows - Home or host photos your on photobucket.com and just paste image links here.

Edited by aquaholic99
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Thanks Aqua, yes they are the best !

Tape... why didn't I think of that! I normally use liquid nails (water based) and that holds them well but as I started it in the morning with nothing the option was not there. I have to try tape next time... I found jamming wood from the wall to the foam works well too but its a pest to get it at the right widths.

I am a bit put off with platform trolleys to be honest, I know they are not all like this but we tried this once and the trolley just snapped in half, most of my stands allow the hydraulic lift to go under it which can lift all my tanks up then you just push the stand, turning is not the best but I find this the easiest ( will attach a picture of the 8x4x3 being moved like this, did that solo too haha)

Where would you suggest putting more tanks ;d I have thought about a rack in the middle of the room, but I dont want it to block the view out from the window (pond) meaning it would have to be pretty low which kind of puts me off. whilst we are on the topic.... if I was to setup a saltwater rack in the center, what are the chances of the salt finding its way to my other stands? as Id love to have another saltwater setup but I am put off from the salt rusting out all my stands again and I cant really protect the stands as getting the tanks off is too much effort.

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Hopefully the pictures work, I linked them from the other site!

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So can I cause some chaos ? :D

What would you do if you had this option...

2 x 4x2s OR 1 x 6x2 & a 2.5ft or so.

I am thinking the 6x2 would be nice to do larger setups with but the dual 4x2s work well for aggro fish which I have a few off....

One big plus for the 6x2 is I could use it to grow a mangrove up.

Any ideas? I need to sell the rest of the tanks sitting outside :( the ladies have had enough!

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For moving racks, I use custom made little trolleys like these. These have the wheels very close to each other (but not able to touch) so the wheels are right underneath the weight and can spin on the spot which is necessary for fine tuning positions on large tanks. I've shifted 10x3x3 tanks and stands by myself with these and up to 6m long racks (3 and 4 tier) - use about 8 of them on longer racks . Plywood won't split as easily as solid wood. I made them as low as possible as well - 75mm off the ground. Cost about $8 each to make. I do have some platform trolleys for moving empty tanks too but these are re-enforced and have carpet on top.

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Your room isn't finished yet but I can see wasted space due to odd sized tanks and single height stands. If you wanted to put more tanks in but keep the room centre empty then I would redo the room with smaller 3 foot tanks racked end in. And if you go for shorter height tanks, you can go 3 tiers high. 3 x 2 x 18" tanks for example as these will hold almost as much as a 4x2x2. I like 4x2x2 tanks for actual breeding and working with but not for just housing fish. So for me a deep tank like 2.5 is a waste of valuable real estate in a fish room. Great for an individual display, but not suited for a fish room. This is all personal preference though. I wouldn't add a saltwater tank in a metal rack room and getting your metal rack legs off the ground will greatly lengthen their life. I do this even for wood racks and I use humble house bricks underneath because I had a pallet of them left over and they match the house ( ha ha). A lot of people use plastic chop board for this. It just keeps the stand feet out of any pooled water which can last for days under a stand leg. If you have tanks outside that your not able to bring in then I would set them up outside! I've put up polystyrene walls and shade mesh roofs using tank racks for structural strength.

I also would not bother about keeping your view of the pond. I have ponds too and prefer to set up a garden bench outside to enjoy them. Again this is all personal preference. I will let others comment about which tank size to keep. Looks good though. Nice to have before and after photos.

Edited by aquaholic99
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Thanks aqua. Neat trick with the diy trolleys if I do end up with another 500g plus I will sure be copying that idea.

I hear you with the tiers also I used to have three but as I fancy large fish I found 18s to be too shallow they were great for some fish but all my larger fish couldn't move well so I sold them off. I wouldn't mind one rack some where of 18s though just think I am out of floor space Haha never thought I'd say this..

I am planning to pu t my 5x2x3 in center of room right on the floor hopefully that works. Tanks outside would be great but it gets far to cold here for anything I can't keep in the pond. I can't cover my pond view nothing beats setting at my desk with the coffee and being able to look out and see the goldfish ... Maybe a shark fin Would... There's Too dreaming.

Toilet wise I have an actual toilet room lol used to have a shower there too near the pond in a Sep room from toilet also but I turned that into the tool room as I had far too many power tools laying around . It's great having one close bye when your working.

Il try post some before pictures when I wake up for work if I get up in time... There's a few stages. That second room you maybe able to see in some pics was added on by myself I used to only have the first area. At the very start a good 2/3 years ago it was just two 4x14s on bed slates right on the floor and a bunch of junk around lol. I was 15/16 when started pretty much 20 now . Good way to stay out of trouble none the less and scored me a sweet job now as I always needed the money back then lol.

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