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New Loach Tank

Posted By: Judy <jmz@capital.net>
Date: Sunday, 30 January 2000, at 4:51 p.m.

Hi everyone. I've been reading the forum now for quite a while and would like to ask for your help. I'm going to give myself a present with my tax refund. It won't pay for the whole thing, but I think I can make up the difference. Anyway, I'd like to get a 120 gallon tank and fill it with clown loaches. I was originally looking to get a 90 gal but decided on the 120 for the larger surface area. I did post to 2 newsgroups but got no posts (too long??). Anyway, I need some help in choosing the filter, gravel, heater, etc. Also, my water out of the tap has a pH of 8.0 (can I still keep clown loaches without adjusting the pH)? If the answer is no, I'll have to find another fish. Right now my 55 gal is running about 7.6 - 7.8 pH with no intervention.

This tank will be against an outside wall in front of a bay window (with vertical blinds). I will probably have algae buildup unless I can get some good algae eaters that like this pH. The couch is coming out to make room for this tank & it is the only wall space I can make available.

Looking to get the All Glass 120 gal 48 x 24 x 24 on the oak stand with a glass canopy. I am planning on a double-bulb strip light. I will not be using a UGF.

Filters: Aquaclear 300 (3 of them) or Aquaclear 500 (2 of them) or Emporer 400 (2 of them) or Aquamaster 600 (2 of them?) or Whisper 5 (2 of them?) or any combination of any of these filters?

Questions: Efficiency & job performance? Expensive/inexpensive to replace cartridges/media? How often should cartridges/media be replaced? Ease of cleaning/replacing cartridges/media? Substitutes for cartridges/media? Also, what is a pre-filter sponge & where does it go with these filters.

Heating: I am planning on getting 2 Ebo Jager 250 watt submersibles. Considering the location is this a good/poor choice, overkill/underkill?

Biological Filter: I am looking at a fluidized bed filter that hangs on the back of the tank. Do they work & how well? Products I am considering: Lifeguard Rainbow FB 300, Sea Storm 100 powered by Mini-jet 606, Quicksand I Filter (with pump), and Merlin FB.

Questions: What size powerhead or mini-jet does the Lifeguard and Merlin need: Are they easy to service (i.e., how easy is it to add media as it is lost & how often does this have to be done?

Gravel: No UGF so how many lbs for this tank. Also size. My lfs has some nice dark black gravel in 2 sizes (5 lbs @ $2.99). Small size = approx. 2-3 mm and the larger size = approx. 4-5 mm. Should I get all of 1 size (the small looks really nice & I would think the clowns could dig better in it) or should I do half & half? Or doesn't it matter & I can get what "I" like. What about vacuuming (sp) the different gravel sizes? I originally wanted black sand but the lfs said it was hard to clean & if I ever wanted live plants it wouldn't work well.

One last question. I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I want to make sure. I have a 10 gal hosp/Q tank. Can I quarantine up to 13 one inch loaches in this 10 gal until my 120 is cycled (up to 6 weeks?)? If so, how often should I do a water change (10% or 20%). Or should I wait until the 120 is cycled before buying the fish (by then they will probably be twice as much as they are now). Are 13 loaches to many for a 120? Ooops, that's 4 questions.

Well, that's about it. I know this was long. Thanks for reading and any and all input will be greatly appreciated. TIA



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