and so the MTS begins...

  • #1
Having had my 65g tank set up for quite a while now, I was starting to get interested in getting some different fish but quickly realising that I didn't have the space nor the compatibility for them. Unfortunately a complete lack of funds have left me unable to do anything about this until now, however whilst having a look through the classifieds the other day I came across the solution. I found a guy giving away his marine tank, stand and lights, along with a few other bits and bobs.

Anyway, a quick drive across Suffolk and I am now the proud owner of;
55g custom built marine tank, already drilled and plumbed for a sump filter setup.
Stand and hood
2 x Geisemann Razor T5 lights (both 2 x 24w)
An Eheim 3100 pump
2 x Hydor Koralia powerheads
2 x Aquaray 600 LED lights plus controller
V2 UV steriliser
Automated water topup thingy
Another smaller water pump
Whisper Air pump
A few other odds and end (syphons tank scrapers etc)

All that for the grand price of absolutely nowt!

Anyway, here she is, in all her salt deposited glory;


I haven't really decided exactly what the plan is for this tank yet, I need to build a sump as that was pretty much the only thing not included and I'm going to be running it as freshwater not salt so don't need things like the UV steriliser. However the very first thing to do was give it a good clean, so about 3 hours and lots of vinegar and razor blade action later, it now looks like this (and this is only with the T5 bulbs and not the LEDs);


You'll have to excuse the photo's being taken in my bathroom, it's the only place we have space for it until I rearrange the office and it gets a permanent home.

Anyways, I was hoping you could help me out with a couple of questions. Firstly, it has come with pretty blue lights as it have coral stuff in it before, whilst I appreciate this probably isn't going to be ideal long term, would this cause any problems in the short term in regards to any fish and plants that go in the tank?

Also, once I've built the sump and got it up and running, can I take some media from my existing filter and put it in there to kick start the cycle or am I going to have to completely cycle it from scratch and sit there trying to be patient?

I'll try to keep this thread updated as things progress however it may all take a while due to lack of funds but will hopefully eventually progress to something good.
  • #2
Great find! Beautiful tank now that' you've cleaned it up, too!

The blue lights won't grow plants.

You can definitely use seeded media to help your cycle get going.

Do you have any planned stock for the tank?
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I'm not really to sure on stocking yet, I was thinking maybe something like;
6 x Albino Cory*
6 x Silver Hatchets*
2 x Pearl Gourmai*
10 x Cardinal Tetra
10 x Rummynose Tetra
Some RCS

*fish I already have

That would then leave my kribs, BN and convicts in the 65g tank but this depends how many of the convict fry make it and if the kribs and convicts can continue to co-exist as they are currently.
  • #4
Nice! I think you could increase your hatchetfish and cory schools too!

I wouldn't count on peace in the 65 gal. Convicts are usually very aggressive when breeding.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Whilst I'm not counting on peace, so far they've been okay, the 65g has a lot of hiding places and they seem to have decided the kribs get the left side and the convicts get the right, there's also quite a large piece of driftwood down the middle dividing them - but at least now I'll soon have the extra tank available if it does kick off.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Now that I've had a few hours sleep, I had another thought about this tank setup and stocking. I wondered about keeping all the existing fish in the 65g apart from the convicts which I'll move to the 55g.

Would I then have room in the 55 gallon for any additional cichlids that would be able to get along with the convicts, I've heard people mention Green Terrors, Jack Dempseys and that a cichlid only tank should be a little over-stocked to prevent territorial aggression, figure this tank is also going to be very over-filtered which would help towards this.

Any thoughts on this strategy?
  • #7
What are the dimensions of this tank? Breeding convicts don't go well with other cichlids unless it's a very large tank, and I don't think this tank is near big enough.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Sorry, I've only just seen your reply.

The 55 gallon is 30x18x24in. If they can't be house with other cichlids what other species can they go with or would it have to be a species only tank? I presume the BN would still be fine in there.
  • #9
You could try a small dither fish for the top too, but watch them closely to make sure the convicts don't go after them.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I've already got the hatchets which could act as dither fish, the convicts don't really seem to pay them much attention, they might occasionally have a quick chase of them but I've never seen them bothering them much.

Also wondered if the convicts will be as aggressive if I separated the sexes, I currently have 1 male and 2 females and this could be split across the 2 tanks if they'd be calmer like that. I'm not too bothered by having them breed, it's nice and all but not my priority.
  • #11
You could try the two females in one tank and the male in the other. Watch the females though, they may bicker a bit.

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