New tank - a few questions

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by SarahD1988, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. SarahD1988

    SarahD1988Valued MemberMember

    So iv come across a 200L tank for sale from a work friend. It's 101 x 42 x 51cm I work that out to be a maximum of 207L at the very max.. But please do correct me if I'm wrong for dosing reasons!
    its been running for 12 years and was resealed with receipts in June 2011.
    its in a bad way at the moment, gravel is a state and overrun with algae. The filters only cleaned once every 6 months n I think that's the way the waters been changed too. The filters inbuilt and it's a jewel aquarium. They have all new filter media in a box so il begin to change that gradually when it's in possession.
    They insist I keep the fish which isn't a huge problem, there's not many. But there is a huge silver shark in there and a few bristlenoses along with the biggest swordtail I've ever seen! He must be near 5 to 6 inches!
    anyway this will be a work in progress n I plan to take most of the algae eaten ornaments out over time and heavily plant the tank. I don't want to get into c O2 but I might stretch to better lighting. I. Not sure what it has at the minute.
    so as if I'm starting from scratch, can anyone reccomend a good substrate for live plants in the uk? And value for money lighting?
    end goal is to have 2x dempsies, 2x tiger oscars and a few corydoras, although I'm aware I could have the original fish for years to come.
    i really am open to any suggestions about any of the above as I'm fairly new to fish keeping and this will be my biggest tank!
    oh one last thing, any good ideas for a centrepiece? Original or quirky!
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Harlebleondora

    HarlebleondoraWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, I'm sorry to disappoint you but you can barely keep one oscar on it's own in a 55g and it will need a lot of water changes and will not have enough space. I would say a minimum of 75g for one oscar.
    While you can keep one jack dempsey you will need a larger tank for more. Remember these fish are predatory and a fully grown one would snap up smaller fish such as corys in one bite. Even a younger fish could hurt smaller ones if it wanted to.

    I love heavily planted tanks and keep two myself. A jack dempsey or oscar would tear most plants and uproot them. As for light led is good for beginners and I would recommend T5HO for the more high tech tank.

    In response to your light and co2 question, if you don't want to deal with co2 than choose a low light setup. The problem with this is you can't keep a very wide variety of plants and may struggle to get that heavily planted look. If you use high light than you will need to inject co2 and dose fertiliser or you may experience algae issues. I learned this the hard way after almost losing all my plants to black beard algae.

    Next time you go to your local fish store have a look at their fish and take some photos and write down the names of the ones you like. The fish lore community can then advise you on which ones will be suitable for your setup.
  3. OP

    SarahD1988Valued MemberMember

    My dads kept dempsies for years in about the same tank as this one and successfully bred tiger oscars in with them. One of his tiger oscars in 24 years old! I think il go against the fish stocking laws on this occasion just because my dad has done it so successfully.
    however you right, iv read today about them ripping up plants so don't know what alternative hides my be? My dad uses lots of fake plants but I really hate that look :( I'm sure people might be reluctant to help because of my stocking choices but I'm not dead set yet. This tank is gunna take me along time mainly because it already has fish in it and I'm gunna struggle to fund setting up such a big 4th tank!
    so yes next advice requested is decor...
    Also, what about bulb plants? They can't be torn up from rooting, but will they be eaten!?
    Thank you for your wisdom!

  4. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    I have been told to use John Innes no.3 for planting aquariums. I haven't used it yet but it is on order. @Coradee suggested it to me, maybe she has some advice here :)

    Also, depending on the aquarium hood. Juwels tend to have T8/T5 fittings or a juwel twin light. I find the sun glo T8 bulbs very effective (if it is a T8 fitting, I know the monolux hoods are) but I also have one with one of these T8's in a different juwel tank which is 1000k rather than the standard 7500k so it is a better bulb for plants. The Korallux hoods have the twin light and I have just kept the bulb it has in there and that tanks plants grow really well :) xx
  5. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Most Oscar keepers I know tend not to have plants, it's not so much that the Oscars eat them it's because they like to dig & uproot them especially if they're in breeding mode.
    If the bulbs are planted deep enough they might survive, & you could put rocks around them to protect them a bit more, it's worth a try & at least the John Innes is a lot cheaper than specialist aquatic compost if the experiment fails
  6. OP

    SarahD1988Valued MemberMember

    John innes thank you il remember that! I'll have a look around.
    Yeah the reason I was looking at bulbs was more because they do t have to be buried. But then I suppose this defeats the object of using plant substrate... Confusing!
    thanks for the info on the lights! I'm hoping they will have some sort of number or label for me to indentify which lights are already installed. I'm new to lights never really thought about them before.
    iv read around ALOT today. I realise now 2 of each was a ridiculous idea! But one of each could have a happy ending since the aggression of spawning will be absent.
    but I'm puzzled as to how I'm going to provide adequate hiding places without being able to use live plants... Any ideas?
    also I plan to either take a couple of my dad's juvenile oscars or buy very young ones. Will these be ok with corydoras?
  7. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    If it is a Juwel hood it will have the name on it so it should be pretty easy to look up what bulb fitting it has on the Juwel website :)

    I have no experience with the fish you are planning but would caves work? That's what I use for my Rams... Not that they use them but they have the option!x
  8. Fishboy123

    Fishboy123Valued MemberMember

    For the short term I think the Cories will be fine. But as soon as the Oscars grow big enough to eat them, I feel they will harass the cories. I would recommend a bristlenose pleco or something. Good hiding places I would say is some rock work or driftwood pieces and maybe fake plants???
  9. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    I wouldn't put corys with an Oscar, even if the Oscar isn't big enough to eat the cory it may try.
    Corys have sharp spines on their pectoral & dorsal fins as a defence mechanism & these could get stuck in the Oscars mouth with the possibility of losing one or both of the fish
  10. OP

    SarahD1988Valued MemberMember

    Yes thanks coradee iv recently read that and it's a daft idea to put Cory's in! I suppose its slim pickings for tank mates but they need the room anyway so I think just one plec will be fine :) better get looking for some hides...
  11. OP

    SarahD1988Valued MemberMember

    Oh iv also found tetra plant complete substrate for a good price on amazon. The john innes stuff requires soaking a lot and contains limestone so will bring up the hardness if I'm right.

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