Slowly Upgrading 55 To 75 Gallon

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by jenmur, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    Ok so I figured I might as well start a little thread for myself to keep my spirits up while I gather things for my 55 gallon community tank.

    I have the tank from my vet (no leaks!) I have a gravel vacuum and I JUST got a SunSun 302 canister filter (264gph). Used. Yes I know that's less than what I need but I bought it for more bacteria and back up.

    My ideas are get an AquaClear 110 HOB cuz paranoid hence 2 filters.
    Use Black Diamond blasting sand.
    Get at least 2 pieces driftwood
    Get heater rated for 75g or two for 55g. They will be set for 75*
    Glass lid.
    Metal stand from Petco
    Python water changer
    Osmocote Plus fertilizer and gel capsules.
    Live plants!!
    Java fern
    Amazon sword
    Water wisteria
    Banana plant
    Dwarf Saggitaria
    Val (Jungle, spiral)
    Temple Compacta
    Micromeria browneii
    Monte Carlo
    (Probably not all of these)
    Lights. (24/7 Planted Plus

    Bristlenose Pleco
    Black neon tetras
    Cherry barbs
    Panda cories
    @SuzanaBanana. @Soocold
    @Dave75g. @bizaliz3. @TexasDomer. (In case you are interested and you guys are pretty knowledgeable and Liz I'm getting one of your Plecos so only fair)

    My tank!


    My gravel vac


    My SunSun 302


    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  2. Dave125g Fishlore Legend Member

    And so I begins. What color background are you gonna use? What is the GPH on the aqua clear ?

  3. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    @Ed204. I will post pics of things as I get them. This is gonna be slow going sadly although I have a bunch of pet sitting jobs in June and July coming up!

    @SuzanaBanana. Neither can I!!! Hehe

    @Dave75g. Yep! Figured since I actually bought a canister filter might as well start and keep track of things! I think it's almost 500gph. Not 100% sure but it's enough to have it by itself o this tank. I hadn't even thought of a background.

    @KingD. Same here!! I'm gonna post a better pic of the SunSun today since it's daytime now.

    Ok so just took pics of the SunSun this morning :). Yay!!


    I was told the short hook is output and the longer one is intake. I'm thinking I could put a sponge prefilter on the intake tube??


    And the other side of the filter with guessing the prime button


    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  4. SuzanaBanana Valued Member Member

    Goig back to the idea of background, you dont have to have one. But it would be a good idea to pick something that will go with the theme of your decor. Or even a solid color to make everything pop.
    I went with a reef background since my big pieces are faux reef
  5. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    I've thought about it at random times but no clue how to put one on. Or which to pick. Umm mostly plants, thinking a sunken ship for a Pleco cave (shamelessly stolen from bizaliz3) maybe a skull if I can find a safe one for my fish, maybe something else or two.

    Oh cool! Oh any ideas on if I could attach a pre filter sponge on the canister intake? It's just an open tube currently although the guy have me two strainers I could put on so less chance of fish swimming up the tube.
  6. SuzanaBanana Valued Member Member

    Well i have one that i literally just taped to the back of my tank. I believe you can buy some that are sticker, but thats too permanent for me lol

    About the sponge, honestly im not too sure, ive never used one. Maybe someone else can chime in?
  7. lyfeoffishin Valued Member Member

    For background I'd suggest one of two things...
    1) spray paint the panel that will be against a wall black before adding water or anything into the tank (looks nice and won't get water marks etc.

    2) black plastic background paper from petco/petsmart. Can let you move tank to different position throughout time. Although sometimes will catch some water spots etc between it and the tank.

    Below is a picture of my tank tonight after adding some fish. It's option #2 because I didn't have the time to paint mine or I would have. Also I would have rather went with regular sand instead of black sand.


    As for the filter go for a sponge on the end most people do. I have sponge pre filters on my aquaclears
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  8. SuzanaBanana Valued Member Member

    i LOVE the way its SO dark with the background and sand, makes everything else POP!
  9. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    @SuzanaBanana alrighty. Cool beans :)

    @lyfeoffishin. Huh. I haven't seen a black background at Petco yet, blue yes black no. Your tank is beautiful! Im doing black sand in mine as well. Might throw in a bag of white for a mixture.
  10. Dave125g Fishlore Legend Member

    Ive got blue background with black sand. I'd rather have black background. My wife wanted blue. If you have dark fish there harder to see with black background.
  11. Soocold Well Known Member Member

    Having two filters is good for redundancy, but you only have as much bacteria as you do fish. And if a filter is used but dry, you'll still have to start a cycle like normal.

    I have ౩- 300w heaters for all my tanks. One on my my 56gal display tank with a digital controller, one in the fry 55gal using it's internal control, and a new in box spare.

    I don't like the worry of osmocote floating, but ive also never used. I'm a big seachem product fan, but got my dry fertilizers from I agree your not going to fit all those plants, and some won't thrive and spread without running a Co2 setup.
  12. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    @Dave75g. Hmm with a black background do you think I'd still be able to see my Black neon tetras and Panda cories?

    @lyfeoffishin. Oh hmm, I haven't looked at backgrounds in a while. Maybe if they have it they were put the day I looked?

    @Soocold. After Ninja died I am paranoid about making sure I have bacteria. Oh I plan on buying new media for the canister and doing a fishless cycle with ammonia.

    I was planning on using Aqueon Adjustable heaters in my quarantine tank and in my 55. The controller is on top of the heater. You would recommend using a 300w one?

    TexasDomer suggested the Osmocote Plus I believe. Says she puts it in gel capsules and puts them under the substrate. I will check out that site, thanks!!

    I'm going through my shiny plant phase. I did this with fish writing down all the pretty schooling fish I saw then I narrowed it down. These are plants both I want (Anubias, Java fern) and suggested or oh pretty. Gonna research them all of course! Which ones do you think would need CO2?

    Guys is my canister ok? I could set it up as is or was I taken for an idiot??

    Guy said short hook is output and long piece is intake. I would just have to hang them on the back of the tank.


    Here is the ends of the two pieces. The smaller one on top is output. One on bottom is intake.

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  13. Soocold Well Known Member Member

    Anubis and Java are just fine without Co2. I've got more Java fern than I have space for, and I don't run co2. I've donated chunks to my daughter's classroom for some frog tanks of theirs. Here are my biggest clusters that started as a single 5 leaf plant from the LFS about a year ago.[​IMG][​IMG]

    I have the cheap ViaAqua 300-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater with Built-In Thermostat : ViaAqua 300-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater with Built-In Thermostat : Aquarium Heaters : Pet Supplies that stay fairly accurate. I went large on my heaters because my tanks sit on an exterior wall, my top off water is 55*F in the winter, and I keep the house cool all year round. The heater can bring the temp back up on large water changes within a few hrs. On my display tank I have a finnex digital controller that keeps the temp more accurate and has a high/low temp alarm. And a secondary safety shut off should the primary switch stick on and overheat the tank.
    I plan to switch everything over to finnex stainless heaters but cost got in the way at the time.

    I've never had problems with seachem root tabs and just add a new tab every 3mo. I'm pretty sure you won't be able to do the MC without Co2 and high lighting.
  14. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    @Soocold. Beautiful plants! Oh wow! Hehe, and I wanna try Java fern in my 10 gallon betta tank. He already has an Anubias nana.

    Hmm I had to go bigger in my betta tank due to temperature in house in winter. But when I move neither tank will be near an outside wall. Yes want accurate temperature.

    Hmm maybe not the Monte Carlo. Hehe. I want low/medium light plants.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  15. ounderfla69 Valued Member Member

    What also works well for the background and is cheap and you get a lot is contact paper. For $5 you get enough to do 5 or 6 tanks.
  16. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    Oh wow! Hmm.
  17. Dave125g Fishlore Legend Member

    I couldn't see my meta Cory's with the black background they stand out way better with the blue.
  18. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    Hmm. Maybe go with the blue then. Blue could look like a water background? Or maybe get one with a design on back?

    I'm gonna have to build my own spray bar for the output on the SunSun. Luckily I have a very handy husband.
  19. Dave125g Fishlore Legend Member

    The white sand looks better with the blue background IMHO. I like the fact that the darker fish stand out. I don't like the blue with black substrate tho.
  20. jenmur Fishlore VIP Member

    Hmm, cuz I'll be using black sand although I have tossed around the thought of adding a bag of white or nutral colored sand and mixing it up.

    Hmm more I'm thinking of a design if I can find a river type design. My fish are found in rivers and tributaries so that could be a good theme.
  21. max h Well Known Member Member

    A darker blue background can look nice with the black sand. With a tank the size of a 55 I would just paint it on, a can of spray paint is a couple of dollars. Once the tank is in place and setup you really don't want to have to move it until you decide to sell it.