My New 65g Setup

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Barry Wilson, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    I've asked so many questions lately I thought it would be fun to post the details on my new 65g setup.

    T-Minus Four Days. I bought an Aqueon 65 gallon tank with stand, hood, and LED light for $199.00 ($213.99 including tax) at a big box pet store. The retail price was $399.00 so I was quite pleased with the price. Then I went to my LFS where I got 30 pounds of natural gravel for $5.00 per 5 pounds, which was a dollar cheaper than the big box store. I knew this wasn’t enough but I like to give my LFS business whenever possible and would have bought my tank from her but she was not able to come close to the price of the tank/stand/light setup at the big box store. I took the tank home and rinsed it while it was still on my truck bed, then placed the stand and tank in the spot I had already prepared for it. I used a large glass measuring cup to level the stand. I live in an old (1929) farm house and the floor isn’t level so I used a pair of carpet protectors to make the tank level.

    T-Minus Three Days. I bought 50 more pounds of gravel at the big box store then went looking for something with which to make a black background. Poster paper is only 28”x22” and the tank is 36” wide so I ended up having to pay $5.77 for a sheet of foam board (sometimes called art core) at a hobby supply shop. I cut the foam board down to 36”x20 and 7/8” inches which made it fit perfectly between the upper and lower frame pieces. I taped it down with Gorilla Tape. Then I rinsed all the gravel and installed it with a back to front slope.

    For a few days I had been scrounging around for rocks to serve as temporary decorations. Purchasing plants will have to wait. I did the white vinegar test on them and boiled them.

    T-Minus Two Days. My AquaClear 110 filter and Aqueon Pro 200 heater arrived. I hooked up a garden hose on the faucet outside my office window and let the water flow until I felt certain the hose was cleared of bugs and spikers. Then I ran the hose through the window and my wife turned on the water, gradually. I used a colander to break up the water flow it didn’t disturb my gravel a bit. A few minutes later I had a full tank of water. The initial water temperature was 68 so I waited a while for the heater to become acclimated before plugging it in.

    T-Minus One Day. After the filter had been running 24 hours I did my first API tests and got: Ph/7.6, Ammonia/Somewhere between 0 and .25 (I have trouble discerning subtle changes in the color of the tests.), Nitrite/0, Nitrate/Somewhere between 0 and 5 so I’m calling it 5. The temperature was up to 80.2 and seems to have stabilized there. I live out in the country and get my water from a well so my water is not treated.

    Day One. It is my understanding that before adding fish to an aquarium the tank has to go through the nitrogen cycle. Traditionally, there are two ways to do this: with and without fish. But I had read about Tetra’s SafeStart Plus and decided to try it, so I poured a large bottle of Tetra SafeStart Plus ($27.81) directly into the filter then cut the bottle in half and rinsed it in the tank. I bought four quarter-sized angel fish from my LFS (because that’s all she had). One appears to be a “gold”. Another is a marble veil-tail and the other two are marbles. I got the fish into the tank within two hours of setup, as per the instructions.

    Day Three. After 48 hours the fish are still alive but my API kit says there is no ammonia present for the cycle to work. I added 4 male guppies and 2 neons in the hope that these will increase the ammonia to start the cycle. I posted a question to the Forum about the ammonia and the responder believes the SafeStart did its job and the tank has already cycled. Wow! When I added the guppies and neons the angels were very curious and one nipped at them, but they quickly determined the new fish were not food.

    Day Four. Ever since setting up the filter it had been noisy so I contacted Aqueon Customer Service through their web site. Within a few hours I got a detailed reply suggesting some possible solutions including taking the filter apart and checking the impeller for damage. I found no damage and when I reassembled the filter the noise was gone. Evidently I didn’t get the intake tube seated well during initial assembly. My bad.

    The instructions for SafeStart said to watch the chemistry carefully for two weeks and, if nothing bad happened, to do the first partial water change at the end of two weeks. That was today. The chemistry has stayed stable so I did a 10% water change. While I was at it I tinkered with the decorations and moved one of the male guppies to another tank populated with just females. I hope to have some feeders for the angels soon.

    Over the years I’ve cycled new tanks with and without fish, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the Tetra SafeStart Plus worked. It was expensive, but if I ever set up another tank I’ll use it again. Eventually I plan to add live plants to this tank but live plants are both expensive and have their own set of challenges.

    Thanks to all the Fish Lore forum readers who answered my questions along the way.
  2. wrs2Well Known MemberMember

    Aquaclear filters are some of the loudest I have ever owned! Everyone says they are so good but I can’t deal with mine as I hear it even when I’m downstairs and the filter it up in my room!

    Also if you ever need more TSS chewy always has it for much Cheaper than at other locations or stores!
  3. Barry WilsonNew MemberMember

    Isn't that odd? My Aquaclear 30 on my 15g tank is absolutely silent, but I'm still hearing the new 110 on my 65g. But it's better than it was.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice