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Thread: Setting up a 75 Gallon Tank for the first time?

  1. #1

    Setting up a 75 Gallon Tank for the first time?

    My boyfriend got me a 75 gallon tank for Christmas. We have water in it, the filter going, and we put the recommended dosage of Prime in the water as well. It's pretty clear but also cold and I don't plan to add fish for at least another couple weeks. The thing is, I've never had anything bigger than a 20 gallon tank, so I'm not sure how to initially set up a bigger tank. Is there anything special I need to do? I've heard of cycling but I know it can be complicated. Is there maybe an easy way to do it?

    Then there's the fish themselves. We have an eclipse catfish that we rescued from a friend when he was a baby, but he's now too big for the 20 gallon we have him in (he's the reason we have the 75, and I am aware we'll have to upgrade again too). He's probably about 4 inches? Maybe 5? We also have a striped Raphael catfish that's pretty big (3 inches) that we plan to put in there too. I would really like some clown loaches. I have had three but over the past couple years I'm now only down to one (two inches). And of course I was thinking a bristlenose pleco for the bottom and algae control.


    So yeah. I would be very grateful for any advice about setting up the tank itself first and then stocking it second, please.
    Last edited by rosexknight; 12-19-2013 at 10:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    What kind of filter is on the 20? Move the filter and all the fish from the 20 to the 75 at the same time. The "cycling" bacteria are in the filter. When you move the filter to the 75, it is cycled. Done deal... no worries.
    Ron VanZant

  3. #3
    Oh okay! I didn't realize it was so easy.

    The 20 has a Top Fin 20 filter, and the 75 has an Emperor 400 Bio Wheel filter that's big enough for a much bigger tank. But I'll do that once I'm confident that the water is warm enough. My boyfriend is getting a thermometer tonight, and I plan to maybe get another heater.

  4. #4
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    There is no need to wait two weeks to put fish in your 75 gal tank. If you have treated with Prime just get the temp. right and go for it. What are you going to do with the 20 gal? If it has any decorations or gravel in it then it has the good bacteria in it also. Maybe leave one small fish in the 20 to keep it cycled also (maybe the loach). Plan to attend our next club meeting at Fernbank Science Center on Jan 18th and you can probably pick up some cool fish a lot cheaper than at a fish store.
    Ron VanZant

  5. #5
    Oh cool! I'll definitely try to do that! I'd love to come to a club meeting. We have a local store called The Fish Garden that usually has good deals, but I do love variety.

    We got two Gorumis with the 75 gallon (They're about 2 inches long). I'm not sure what kind they are exactly. They're blue with red tipped fins? Anyway I planned to put them in the 20 gallon with some Panda cories. That will probably happen tonight since I don't have to wait as long as the temp is right ^_^ thank you!

  6. #6
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    Don't go too fast with adding new fish. The nitrifying bacteria are all in your 20 right now and only enough to support the fish that have been in that tank for awhile. The way it works is the bacteria will multiply to meet the demand so there are exactly enough bacteria to consume the waste produced by those fish. No more and no less. These bacteria are spread out over the entire aquarium. They are attached to any hard surface. Most are in the filter because they are also need oxygen and the filter provides a good supply of both ammonia (from the fish) and oxygen. When you move the filter and some of the fish, you have disturbed the balance in both aquariums and it will take a few days to overcome this. Any time you add a fish, no matter how small, the bacteria will need to multiply to consume to additional waste produced by that fish. You will never notice this if you go slow but if you add too many fish the bacteria will not be able to catch up quickly enough to avoid ammonia poisoning.
    Ron VanZant

  7. #7

  8. #8
    I see. Well there are only 2 fish in the 20 (the Eclipse Cat and Striped Raphael cat) so I will add them, their decorations, and their filter to the 75 gallon tonight. That way the fish are big and hardy and will be able to be okay and also have the bacteria multiply accordingly. I won't be able to add more fish to the 75 till after Christmas when I have money anyway, so by then the bacteria will adjust to them and I'll have plenty of time to think of how I want to stock it and the 20 gallon.

  9. #9
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    So where is the loach and the two gourami?
    Ron VanZant

  10. #10
    Those are them exactly! Thanks so much! I didn't know much about Gorumis at all. Never had them before.

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