75gal Need Tons Of Help

BiggerIsBetta
  • #1
Alright guys, strap in, cause this is gonna be a long one.

At my school, the freshman often have to do the "make your own environment" project, and then they bring hundreds of fish/shrimp/snails/frogs/turtles etc and watch them slowly die in jars, bowl, and water bottles. One of the science teachers kept a couple fish in a 10gal tank. This was 4 female bettas and a three-spot gourami. Eventually I got sick of hearing about these poor things and went on to talk to the teacher, and he's since been letting me take care of them, which is wonderful and I'm eternally grateful for his cooperation. As it turns out, the teacher in the next room has an empty 75gal ( complete with light, gravel, some old filters, stand with room for a sump, and two pipes, already drilled into the glass and siliconed, coming down from the back) that they're willing to let me set up for these fish.
So I need your guy's help in doing this. Of course I've set up tanks from scratch and such, but my largest is only a 20gal, and this is 75. It needs a lot of work. I can handle cleaning it up (it's exceedingly crusty and there's dead fish lost in the gravel...) But I need some help in stocking and the filtering. I plan to have a sump, as the tank is already built for it. The teacher also has a 20tall on hand that I can use for it. My dad has voluntereed to cut some sheets of acrylic to size and help me silicone everything in place, but I need your approval of the design, and tips to make it better and easier to maintain, as I can't be there 24/7 and the teachers will need to occasionally help clean it, especially once I graduate (which is a time away, but still, good to plan now). I also need tips to make this as cheap as possible, as it's the underpaid teachers buying everything. We plan to get donations and old supplies from students though, so I'm hoping that will help.
Then comes the stocking. I need to get that gourami in there, and possibly the bettas if they'll handle it. I want to keep it relatively lightly stocked with peaceful fish, but of course it's gotta be flashy and very pretty. I've got a pair of German Blue ram cichlids that I haven't been able to do my best with recently, so if they decide to get along, I may keep one or both in that tank. I'm going to plant with everything cheap I can find, one thing I think I'll do a lot of is underwater Lily plants, as they're super cheap and readily available where I live. If you have any suggestions for fish/plants, please tell, as I need everything I can get.
 
Thunder_o_b
  • #2
The first thing I would do is approach the manufacturs of aquarium equipment and see if they would be willing to sponsor equipment for a school aquarium. I am thinking of filters (you need 750 GPH flow for that aquarium) and heaters (you really want two)

The next thing I would find out is who besides yourself will be involved with the care and feeding of the fish. This must be coordinated. Other wise the fish will starve or be over fed.

As for plants crypts, java ferns and Amazon swords are a good choice. But they still need to be fed and have the proper light. The GBR's need very good water conditions to live let alone thrive.
The Gourami is hardy and should be fine. As for bottom feeders I would go with bronze corys. They are hardy for corys. As for an algae eater I would say a bristle nose, but keep in mind that they can live over 20 years. My boy Beast is 8 years old.

Give me the dimensions of the aquarium. I may be able to help with the lights. We are switching all of our aquariums over to new gen LED's so we have several LED light strips that are no longer in use. I just asked Sunhawk and she agrees that donating them to a school project would be a good thing.

EDIT: A couple of angles would be good. I would also have some swordtails (males) they are flashy hardy fish.
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I just bought a 300watt heater for his current tank which will be used for the 75 paired with another of them same kind. The teachers as well as myself will handle feeding, and I'll post a schedule on their desks so if I miss a day or something they can do it for me. I'm iffy about angels, as I've heard they grow nippy as they age, but if they're really a good option, I think it'd be nice. I don't have the exact dimensions, but I'd say 4' long, 2' deep, 2-3' high. I'll be at school tomorrow and will get measurements. It'd be awesome to get little donations like lights, and we'd all very much appreciate it.

This is my plan for the sump. It's a bit messy, but it gives the idea. The question mark are where I need ideas on what the put there
 

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Thunder_o_b
  • #4
I just bought a 300watt heater for his current tank which will be used for the 75 paired with another of them same kind. The teachers as well as myself will handle feeding, and I'll post a schedule on their desks so if I miss a day or something they can do it for me. I'm iffy about angels, as I've heard they grow nippy as they age, but if they're really a good option, I think it'd be nice. I don't have the exact dimensions, but I'd say 4' long, 2' deep, 2-3' high. I'll be at school tomorrow and will get measurements. It'd be awesome to get little donations like lights, and we'd all very much appreciate it.
Angels can be assertive, they are cichlids. But in a 75 gallon that is not over stocked it would work out. You could go with just one. I had to separate Prissy to the 44 with a Gourami, two gold rams and a twin tail sword because she turned mean to other angels after the death of her mate.

Prissy.

_MG_0681 copy 2.0.jpg

This is my plan for the sump. It's a bit messy, but it gives the idea. The question mark are where I need ideas on what the put there
I can not help with the sump as I have never used one. I use a combination of canisters and HOB on all our aquariums. Hopefully others will be of more help.
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Awesome! I just wanted to make sure as there's no backup plan for any of these fish other than being returned to the store, so I want to ensure everybody will work out fine. I was hoping for a couple medium-sized fish that are peaceful, so the other students could name them and other fun stuff.

I can not help with the sump as I have never used one. I use a combination of canisters and HOB on all our aquariums. Hopefully others will be of more help.

That's alright, I think I've got it I'll ask some of my other buddies for help on that.
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #6
I am like Thunder, I don't know any thing about sump, but there are lots of good videos on youtube that you can look up for help.
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I am like Thunder, I don't know any thing about sump, but there are lots of good videos on youtube that you can look up for help.

I've been watching quite a few lol, that's how I was able to put together that sketch to hopefully work. Thank you tho
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #8
I've been watching quite a few lol, that's how I was able to put together that sketch to hopefully work. Thank you tho
No problem, I like your avatar, its funny....

If you need a heater, I can donate a new one. It was way to big for my tank, so yesterday I picked up a more appropriate size heater. and I really will never have a need for it except to maybe use it to heat my bath water...lol....It is a 300 watt and 19.9" Long and should be just what you need for a 75 gallon.....

It really looks funny in my little 29 gallon tank...
 

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BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
If you need a heater, I can donate a new one. It was way to big for my tank, so yesterday I picked up a more appropriate size heater. and I really will never have a need for it except to maybe use it to heat my bath water...lol....It is a 300 watt and 19.9" Long and should be just what you need for a 75 gallon.....nk
It really looks funny in my little 29 gallon tank...

I would totally love that!
 
Achilles
  • #10
I agree with everything that has been said... let us know if you have any other questions!

I mostly just wanted to reply to this thread to tell you that this is a really cool idea and I'm glad you're helping the fish out
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I agree with everything that has been said... let us know if you have any other questions!

I mostly just wanted to reply to this thread to tell you that this is a really cool idea and I'm glad you're helping the fish out

Thank you I'll definitely be asking about a thousand more questions, especially once I actually start doing this. He's letting me come during spring break in the first week of April to start working.
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #12
If you need a heater, I can donate a new one. It was way to big for my tank, so yesterday I picked up a more appropriate size heater. and I really will never have a need for it except to maybe use it to heat my bath water...lol....It is a 300 watt and 19.9" Long and should be just what you need for a 75 gallon.....

It really looks funny in my little 29 gallon tank...
, just let me know where to send it an I will put in the mail tomorrow. I still have the original box and packing from Amazon.

Sometimes in the future when you get the 75 gallon setup, post us some pictures here.
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Sometimes in the future when you get the 75 gallon setup, post us some pictures here.

Definitely!
 
Nataku
  • #14
Being as you already have 4 bettas and a 3 spot going in here, why not just plan for a betta sorority? Bettas are colorful enough on their own that thwy aling with the gourami, can occupy the top of the tank. After all, that three spot will get big in time. You could even get more three spots, they come in multiple color morphs.

Plant the ever loving daylights out of this tank! Lush green plants not only massively help cut down on the needed water changes as they keep the water cleaner, but also provide many hiding spots for the inhabitants of the tank. Which will be important with bettas and gourami in there.
However you will need lights to grow plants. If you can get those donated, great. If not Nicrew brand on amazon is cheap and grows low to medium plants.
When you have the tank set up and lights, let me know! I can mail you some plants to give you some variety. I can send you some jungle valisneria, four leaf stargrass, guppy grass, hornwort and even some dwarf salvinia if you want a surface floating plant.

Cheap substrate: black diamond blasting sand (if you want black) or pool filter sand (if you want white). Bdbs you can get at a Tractor supply. Pfs can be from most any home depot lowes or even walmart. Both are great cheap options for aquarium substrate that will work well with plants.

You will need to put in root tabs for fertilizing the root feeders. But osmocote root tabs are super cheap. A hundred off amazon will run you maybe 8 bucks. And you'll only be putting a few in the tank once a month. If that. There are some tanks that I have I only put root tabs in every other month. These are super easy to use, just stuff them into the sand under the plant that needs the ferts. Done.
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #15
Being as you already have 4 bettas and a 3 spot going in here, why not just plan for a betta sorority? Bettas are colorful enough on their own that thwy aling with the gourami, can occupy the top of the tank. After all, that three spot will get big in time. You could even get more three spots, they come in multiple color morphs.

Plant the ever loving daylights out of this tank! Lush green plants not only massively help cut down on the needed water changes as they keep the water cleaner, but also provide many hiding spots for the inhabitants of the tank. Which will be important with bettas and gourami in there.
However you will need lights to grow plants. If you can get those donated, great. If not Nicrew brand on amazon is cheap and grows low to medium plants.
When you have the tank set up and lights, let me know! I can mail you some plants to give you some variety. I can send you some jungle valisneria, four leaf stargrass, guppy grass, hornwort and even some dwarf salvinia if you want a surface floating plant.

Cheap substrate: black diamond blasting sand (if you want black) or pool filter sand (if you want white). Bdbs you can get at a Tractor supply. Pfs can be from most any home depot lowes or even walmart. Both are great cheap options for aquarium substrate that will work well with plants.

You will need to put in root tabs for fertilizing the root feeders. But osmocote root tabs are super cheap. A hundred off amazon will run you maybe 8 bucks. And you'll only be putting a few in the tank once a month. If that. There are some tanks that I have I only put root tabs in every other month. These are super easy to use, just stuff them into the sand under the plant that needs the ferts. Done.

Pool Filter sand or black diamond blasting sand are both great to use. I use Pool Filter sand from Ace Hardware, 50 pound bag for 12 dollars. Just don't get Play Sand, it is way to fine a grain and will really cloud up your tank, I know I tried it and ended up using it to fill holes in the yard that where dug by my little dog... Really I should of named him Digger.
 
Crafty Cichlid
  • #16
Where in CA are you? I'm looking to put a volunteer bullet on my resume, and this would be a great one, because I wouldn't hate checking on the tank at least once a month long term, spending time in the tank, educating, and making small donations here and there. The only thing I really couldn't do is bring it home over breaks. My LFS gives discounts whenever he can for teachers and students doing class projects, I'm certain he could help us set up!

Maybe this can replace the teacher's "create an environment" with "research an environment, and help with what should/shouldn't go in this tank."

As for plants, since it's in a school, and may not always receive the best care, I would stick with plants that won't drop a bunch of leaves, and won't grow out of control. I'm thinking anubias, because it doesn't require much more than water, fish poop, and cheap lighting. It can also maybe turn into a rate of growth study. At the beginning of the year or something, groups/classes can pattach it to different things - rocks, driftwood, pvc pipe, flower pots, etc. - or plant it in different areas - low light, high light, sump, near the surface, on the bottom, in pots w/ different substrates - and see what conditions are best.

Your sump plan looks good to me - someone who's never made one. I agree with Nataku, a sorority would be great, and with 75g, you could really satisfy that "one of each" urge that happens when a fish person approaches the betta rack at Petco, LFS, Pet-not-so-smart, etc. Another educational opportunity could be guppies, and seeing how having different patterned males and females will produce interesting fry. BONUS eduction, the bettas will help keep the fry under control! Food chain much?

Also, I can't lie, I just really want to get elbow deep in a 75 that I don't have to buy, haha!
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I have AWESOME news that's AMAZING and I've been FREAKING OUT about all day: it's actually a 90!!! I took measurements today and plugged them into a volume calculator. 4'x1.5'x2'. This is awesome! More room for fishes! I'll keep the title the same tho so people can still recognize the thread lol.

Where in CA are you? I'm looking to put a volunteer bullet on my resume, and this would be a great one, because I wouldn't hate checking on the tank at least once a month long term, spending time in the tank, educating, and making small donations here and there. The only thing I really couldn't do is bring it home over breaks. My LFS gives discounts whenever he can for teachers and students doing class projects, I'm certain he could help us set up!

Maybe this can replace the teacher's "create an environment" with "research an environment, and help with what should/shouldn't go in this tank."

As for plants, since it's in a school, and may not always receive the best care, I would stick with plants that won't drop a bunch of leaves, and won't grow out of control. I'm thinking anubias, because it doesn't require much more than water, fish poop, and cheap lighting. It can also maybe turn into a rate of growth study. At the beginning of the year or something, groups/classes can pattach it to different things - rocks, driftwood, pvc pipe, flower pots, etc. - or plant it in different areas - low light, high light, sump, near the surface, on the bottom, in pots w/ different substrates - and see what conditions are best.

Your sump plan looks good to me - someone who's never made one. I agree with Nataku, a sorority would be great, and with 75g, you could really satisfy that "one of each" urge that happens when a fish person approaches the betta rack at Petco, LFS, Pet-not-so-smart, etc. Another educational opportunity could be guppies, and seeing how having different patterned males and females will produce interesting fry. BONUS eduction, the bettas will help keep the fry under control! Food chain much?

Also, I can't lie, I just really want to get elbow deep in a 75 that I don't have to buy, haha!

That's a cool idea! I'm hoping to convince them to implement something like that instead of the jars and such, I'm not very hopeful but perhaps we can work something out. I don't know if I'd be able to get you in to help and such, but I can ask. I think me and the teachers will be able to handle maintenance, as I have 3 years until I graduate, but thank you so, so much. I'll talk to them. If you email me I can give a few details to maybe work that out further.

Being as you already have 4 bettas and a 3 spot going in here, why not just plan for a betta sorority? Bettas are colorful enough on their own that thwy aling with the gourami, can occupy the top of the tank. After all, that three spot will get big in time. You could even get more three spots, they come in multiple color morphs.

Plant the ever loving daylights out of this tank! Lush green plants not only massively help cut down on the needed water changes as they keep the water cleaner, but also provide many hiding spots for the inhabitants of the tank. Which will be important with bettas and gourami in there.
However you will need lights to grow plants. If you can get those donated, great. If not Nicrew brand on amazon is cheap and grows low to medium plants.
When you have the tank set up and lights, let me know! I can mail you some plants to give you some variety. I can send you some jungle valisneria, four leaf stargrass, guppy grass, hornwort and even some dwarf salvinia if you want a surface floating plant.

Cheap substrate: black diamond blasting sand (if you want black) or pool filter sand (if you want white). Bdbs you can get at a Tractor supply. Pfs can be from most any home depot lowes or even walmart. Both are great cheap options for aquarium substrate that will work well with plants.

You will need to put in root tabs for fertilizing the root feeders. But osmocote root tabs are super cheap. A hundred off amazon will run you maybe 8 bucks. And you'll only be putting a few in the tank once a month. If that. There are some tanks that I have I only put root tabs in every other month. These are super easy to use, just stuff them into the sand under the plant that needs the ferts. Done.

I actually may do a betta sorority, but I'm slightly concerned on the that gives the students. I'm all about giving the best possible to people who don't know any better. Because if they see a bunch of betta fish in a tank, they may not put together the fact it's a large tank and how well planted etc and might try to stuff a bunch of poor bettas in a bowl together, which obviously is not good. But still, it may promote the idea of "betta fish are not evil", and maybe they will put together the details, how's it's all females, etc. It's a gamble. Thank you for your advice. There are stores that sell root tabs, liquid fertilizer, and if we have leftover cash I may mix in some of that biological soil or something, or just have some actual organic potting soil, as I know that's usually okay. I also may not be able to get as many live plants as I want to at first, because they're rather expensive, but if you would be willing to send a couple plants to start it off that would be infinitely wonderful.

I've also asked all my teachers to start mentioning in their classes how we need equipment and ask students of they have any supplies from old tanks and such that they'd be willing to bring in. Hopefully through that I can salvage from heaters, some fake plants, hides, filters, lights, etc to add to this project.

Just wanna say thanks so much to all of you for all your advice and help, it means a huge deal and is gonna definitely pay off when this tank is set up and helping promote proper fishkeeping to the students
 
Crafty Cichlid
  • #18
Any progress?
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #19
Mailed the heater, its on the way....:jimlad:
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Any progress?

No, they haven't had me come in yet to work on it. April 2-6 I'll be going in and doing the majority of the work, then coming back every couple days to do more. I have a bunch of buddies coming with me so we should be able to get a lot done. I'll start taking pictures when we get there.

Mailed the heater, its on the way....:jimlad:

Great!
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #21
No, they haven't had me come in yet to work on it. April 2-6 I'll be going in and doing the majority of the work, then coming back every couple days to do more. I have a bunch of buddies coming with me so we should be able to get a lot done. I'll start taking pictures when we get there.



Great!

If I remember right the box says for up to 265 gal so it will be good for your school aquarium. It has an adjustment on it so that if the setting for temperature that you set it on doesn't heat to that temp then you adjust it, two controls on top. I found on this one adjusting it was not necessary it came set on 80 and that is right where it heated the water. It was crazy how fast it heated the water in my little 29g. If I set just right, then I could actually see the heat coming off the thing, no joke....
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
If I remember right the box says for up to 265 gal so it will be good for your school aquarium. It has an adjustment on it so that if the setting for temperature that you set it on doesn't heat to that temp then you adjust it, two controls on top. I found on this one adjusting it was not necessary it came set on 80 and that is right where it heated the water. It was crazy how fast it heated the water in my little 29g. If I set just right, then I could actually see the heat coming off the thing, no joke....

Sometimes that happens with my heaters too; it's really interesting to watch!

New question, how am I to cycle this? Of course it's going to be fishless, but I'm under the impression the size of the tank changes how it should be cycled. Should I buy a large bottle of TSS and then add a bunch of food + media from one of my tanks? If so I'll start preparing media
 
r5n8xaw00
  • #23
Sometimes that happens with my heaters too; it's really interesting to watch!

New question, how am I to cycle this? Of course it's going to be fishless, but I'm under the impression the size of the tank changes how it should be cycled. Should I buy a large bottle of TSS and then add a bunch of food + media from one of my tanks? If so I'll start preparing media

Wish I could help you better with this, because there are others here with way more experience in cycling than I have.
I just setup my second aquarium a 29 gallon, and have already successfully cycled my older one a 10 gallon.
What others have said is to take the media from the cycled tank and place inside the filter, HOB or canister of the new tank. This will seed with beneficial bacteria needed to jump start the new tank.
Otherwise pickup pure ammonia, like Janister's strength 10% ammonia at Ace Hardware which is pure ammonia. You don't want anything other than pure ammonia.
Add just enough ammonia to bring the concentration to 2% to 4% ammonia in the tank to feed the bacteria.
Monitor the concentration level and keep it at those numbers, until you start seeing Nitrites.
Then start slowly backing off on the ammonia and let the cycle happen.
But I have not done this, so hopefully others well come in and give you experienced advice.
 
EddieL
  • #24
I’ve had great luck with wisteria in my 60 gal tall tank. The plants easily reach the surface (24”) and they are extremely easy to propagate. All you need to do is trim and replant. I started off with root tabs, but the fish poop alone has sufficiently fed them. I run basic fluorescents and no co2.
 
BiggerIsBetta
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Hey so I started another thread to get further into on this, here's the link 90gal Help
I'm about to give an update and show some pics of what we have done so far!
 

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