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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya Folks,

I need some help in starting up my first aquarium, beginning with cleaning the aquarium. I just got a 65 gallon aquarium from a friend. It had been sitting in his storage for the last 4 years. He got it from somebody else where again it had been in storage. So my guess is the aquarium has been empty and just collecting dust for about 6 or so years. It looks dirty. So what's the proper way for cleaning a dry aquarium. I read that you are not supposed to use soap or any ammonia based stuff because that might hurt the fish later on. Is that true?

Also couple other things. The tank came with what looks like coral. Can I clean and reuse them as decoration. What would be the right way to clean them also.

Second thing, the tank came with the stand but no cover. The aquarium is strange shape (I have attached a drawing with dimensions) perfect for a corner. I need to buy a hood cover for this. I looked online but have been unsuccessful so far. Anyone can suggest someplace i may be able to get it.

aquarium.jpg

Any suggestion are appreciated.

p.s. I will attach picks of the aquarium and the coral soon.
 

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the last time i cleaned a dirty tank like the one your talking about i did use soap but i then spent the next 15 mins rinsing to make sure i got it all out although i wouldnt really recommend it, i have done it and my fish didnt die. but if you dont want to use soap just get to scrubbing, it will take a while but will be worth it in the end

i have seen people soak there decorations over night in a solution with some sort of bleach but i really really dont think that sounds like a good idea though i may be wrong other than soaking them all you can do is spray them real good and scrub

as far as the hood goes you might have to get one custom made i have never even seen a tank that shape but it does look like it would make for a nice setup
 

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I would take it outside and set it up and make sure it is level and then fill it with water to leak test it first for at least 3 days and even better for a week. I would then pour about a 1/2 gallon of white vinegar in it and run power heads and or you filter with the vinegar and that will help clean the filters and power heads if you have any and it will help clean the tank, then drain it and rinse very good. I would get some cardboard and cut it to fit the tank and then go to a glass shop and have them cut you a piece to fit then cut the front 8 inches off so you can remove that piece and get into the tank and depending what type of filter you use you will need that section cut out. I would use a cannister filter then just cut off about 4 inches off the back point for the filter tubes. HTH
 

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I would fill it with water as stated and let it set for a few days. This will soften up some of the dried gunk. Then you can use some vinegar, soap water, or bleach and a razor blade to help clean off the glass.

Rinse it real well a few times and maybe let the water sit in the tank over night to make sure you have diluted out any of the chemicals you used above.

As far as a top goes, as long as you don't get fish that jump, you really don't need a top. My 75g is "topless" I just have lights mounted about 6in over it. You just have to keep an eye on your water levels and top it off ever few days. If you are really set on getting a cover, you can get a piece of plastic from your hardware store and cut it to size (while the peel is still covering it), then just re-enforce the middle so that it does not sag. Leave gaps on the back for equipment and on the front for feeding/cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions for cleaning. Looks like I'll be making a custom hood. As for he filters and other things go, this tank came with nothing. That's going to be next question. What kind of setup you guys would suggest.
Walmart and pet stores have these aquarium kits I can buy. Are these kits sufficient? Or a home built filtration? From what I have read in the forum so far it looks lie lot of people have setup some elaborate systems to keep the tank clean.
 

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IMO most of the stuff in those kits are a waste. I would look into a cannister filter and maybe a couple small PH's to put down near the bottom to help keep things suspended for the filter to take out and a API Master Test Kit. I dont feel it makes any difference on the lighting unless you are going planted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yea I plan to put real plants. It probably means more work but I think it looks far better then the plastic artificial stuff. And of course lots of fish (I have no idea which and how many yet). So in that regard I think I would need a hefty filtration system, and lights. I am not sure if I need a lot of aeration if I put live plants????
 

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Discussion Starter #8
IMO most of the stuff in those kits are a waste. I would look into a cannister filter and maybe a couple small PH's to put down near the bottom to help keep things suspended for the filter to take out and a API Master Test Kit. I dont feel it makes any difference on the lighting unless you are going planted.
So would you suggest something like the Rena XP4. Even with this system do I need aeration systems etc too or is this system powerful enough keep all the nasty stuff out of the water?

What's the difference between canister and other types of filter?

I apologize if these question seems too basic. This is my first aquarium and I have no experience. I don't want to make any silly mistakes.
 

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With a cannister you could put it in your stand and run the 2 hoses out the caninet and up to the tank and HOB filters need to be mounted on the back of the tank and IMO the cannister would be plenty of filtration and work the best for that shape of tank. I would also like to suggest a T-5 light system and with that you should be able to keep any plants you might like I think. I think I will let some others help you from here because I am not up to speed with the FW planted tanks as I am into reef tanks and simple FW setups. I never find questions too basic so always ask before doing something, there are only silly mistakes never silly questions so just keep asking and have fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks for the vote of confidence Archer.

Some of these abbreviations are new to me. IMO? HOB? FW? :fish9:

So far Rena XP4 seems like a good bet from the foums i have read. but How often do I hav to clean/change the filter?
Cost becomes another issues if I have to change the filter media very often.

What about UV light. Can I integrate that with the filter?
 

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i guess i could shed some light on this.

FW=fresh water
SW=saltwater
IMO=in my opinion
PH's=powerheads
HOB=hang on back

first good luck with making a top if thats the way you go but like archer said you dont have to use a top i run one on my 55gal FW tank because it came with one but i dont on my SW
as far as a filter system goes canisters are the best besides a wet/dry sump if you ask me, but they can get pretty pricey
personally i run nothing but AquaClear HOB filters on my tanks, they are like a HOB canister, you get three stage filtration with them and dont have to do any plumbing
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, Its like a someone just turn on the lights. Thanks. What about the price/cost of replacements and maintenance. How often I do that?
 

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Regarding tops... There's pretty much two and half reasons I can think of to have a top.

1. It keeps jumpers in the tank.
2. It helps keep heat in the tank. I know my house can get pretty cool in the winter, and it's nice to have the help of the top to keep in the heat.

And the "half" reason, it just helps keep dust and stuff out of the tank. Not a biggie, but it's something.

You mentioned "lots of fish". Try to follow the 1"/gallon rule. For each gallon of water in the tank, you can have 1" of fish. Being a 65G, you'll have plenty of room for fish, but it is easy to overstock - even a large tank like that. Also, add your fish slowly so as to not spike levels in the tank.

Finally, for a good list of abbreviations, see this link:

http://www.aquariumforum.com/f2/common-fishkeeping-abbreviations-90.html
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, Price based on how often I have to replace the filters bio media etc. Since I have no idea how often I have to do the cleaning and replacement.
 
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