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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All.
I will soon be getting a 75 gallon aquarium to meld my 10 gallon and 30 gallon tank into.
In both tanks I have...
3 Angelfish
2 Bala Sharks
2 Skirted Tetras (one black skirt, one gold skirt)
2 Dwarf Gouramis (one powder blue, one red flame)
1 Rubberlipped Pleco
2 Blue Paradise Gouramis
2 Sunburst Mollies
and 1 lone Tiger barb

The person selling the tank to me is leaving 3 fish in (as a gift)... a 6" pleco and 2 "bottom feeding "catfish" type fish"

I am interested in giving the aquarium a "natural" look, instead of the store bought stuff (although.. I will keep a few plastic plants and one new deco that I bought.. the rest will be sold...)
What sort of large rocks could I use in the aquarium? Where could I get them? Are there anything like coral rocks that go in fresh water?
What live plants do you recommend for the fish that I do have?

In other words..
Does anybody have any good advice on how to make my tank as natural as possible?
Thank you!
 

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Good rocks for a freshwater setup are lava, sandstone, slate, granite, basalt, and quartz. Make sure you get the rocks from a good source, not just from your yard. Pesticides and other contaminants can leach into your tank.
 

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I like the river rock gravel with different shades of brown and whites, etc.
Driftwood is nice as are different rocks. Slate looks great.
Consider doing a biotope tank and replicate some natural environment found in some particular area. There are many good books that serve as a guide to help give ideas and show you the different styles.
 

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Hey great choice to go natural. With the fish you have I would suggest a riverine set up with drift wood and plants. If you have a powered filter use a sand substrate. Then set a nice long piece of wood that runs along the lenght of the tank about 2 inches from the rear glass. Keep the sand uneven then plant with vallis along the back and sides with a few crypts in the forground. So it creates a open area in the centre just like a sand bar in the river. With you fish it will look stunning and will be easy to maintain. Good luck
Neil see Bombina fish blog and podcast for more Bombina. Co. Uk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And would my LFS have drift wood and specialty rocks?
I was told by Big Al's to NEVER use sand. in fact, he refused to sell it to me.
Could river rocks work instead? or some sort of brown rock (mine is currently blue)...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Would it be possible to use floor tiles, just carved to a natural shape, for an aquarium?
Would floor tiles hurt the fish?
 

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If you want live rocks I would suggest using a substrate that provides them with iron, potassium, and other nutrients instead of just rock gravel. Substrates like Flourite, eco-complete, Laterite are good substrates that you can use alone or in combination with gravel.

Your biggest problem as far a live plants go are the plecos. One is already 6" and both can get bigger than that. Their size alone can displace a lot of plants before they can even get a chance to root in.
 

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Here's my idea. Nix the blue gravel and get about 75 pounds of either a natural colored gravel (brownish, or grayish) and put some live plants, larger rocks and driftwood into it.

Rocks can be found anywhere. look around your local area. Granite is great as well as numerous others. Just wash it scrub the surface, boil it, and let it cool. then scratch an underside surface and put some vinegar on the scratch. If it foams, sizzles, or bubbles its no good for the tank. If not you should be ok. You can also try local landscape supply places often they have broken or small pieces of rocks that can be sold for cheap or free that can be a great addition to any aquarium.

-Brandon
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got some playsand from a local hardware store, my dad gave me a piece of driftwood from his pond, and I bought a few rocks from a local fish store.
I am no where near where I want to be with rock supply, but it will have to wait for a while.. I want to see how the current supplies look in the tank.
I will also be getting live plants to put into it. start off gradually then add more from there.
 

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you'll need to clean the sand very well and take extra precautions with using sand in the tank (i'm sure someone else can touch in on this).

As for rocks and Drift Wood (DW) check out local water ways. if the water isn't infested or polluted it can be a good place to collect rocks, DW, etc. Sometimes you can also find local plants that might do well in your tank.

Try local landscapers supply places for more rocks or do like some of my friends and I did in the past... look at what your neighbors have in the yard... maybe nick a few here and there. But I wouldn't revert to this... nor am i condoning (extremely) petty theft...

Its nice when others can help us getting started... I know all of my tanks were given to me by someone... (hmm now i need someone to give me a big tank!)

Keep up posted and maybe shoot some photos so we can see ow things are trucking along.

-Brandon
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, talk about frustrating!
I basically need this tank right away, because the current tank is getting to small for my growing sharks.. they are constantly hitting their heads on the sides..
So I have dipped into "emergency" save mode and have all the money 2 months ahead of schedule (for the safety of my loverly sharks)
but the people who I am buying the tank from won't give me the time of day.
I ask them if they are available one day... first they ignore my e-mails, so I call 2 days later and they say "yeah, got your e-mail two days ago. not available that day"
they said maybe this Thursday and would call me earlier today, but no call...
I'm beginning to question this?

its frustrating, why offer to sell a tank if you are not willing to make a time to do the old exchange-a-roo!!


as far as rock and such, my dad has a pond and said I could take some of his.. but just a few, and there is also a waterfall of sorts near a pond in my old neighbourhood..
problem is, they are all still frozen and covered in 5 or 6 inches of snow..
so I must wait until the summer.. who knows, while I am working my summer job, maybe I will find some grand rocks :)

thanks for all the advice, Brandon!

I finished the stand today, and I am quite proud of it!
It was a lot of work, but completely worth it. I just hope it has a tank on it in a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well,
the deal fell through.
The people were not willing to put some time towards selling it...... they said maybe next month
(thing is.. my sharks need it now - they are swimming into the glass like crazy because there isn't enough room!)

So,... out shopping I go!
 

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Maybe if you upped you anny a it they might get to hoppin...

Its possible you are just dealing with some grade A a-holes...

so i know it will be more expensive but, it beats dealing with jerks.

everyone has time to sell something (HOW LONG CAN IT TAKE?) thye just want you to give them more money... i've dealt with this kind of stuff before through craigslist and etc.

I know its not worth it for your sharks but you have to realize that if this is an established tank you will be ok its going to take a week or two to get the newly purchased tank cycled anyhow...

maybe wait another week or up your offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well,
The tank he is giving me is completely bare. The filter is not in use.. so all bio-colonies are gone.....

The sand that I am using as a substrate has been cycling for 2 weeks now..... (set up in a cooler with a circulation)
and I will be using my filter from now, as well as a used filter from someone else...

I will be going to the pet store tomorrow to talk to the people there.... so if the couple doesnt write back by today (I told them exactly why I need the tank this week) then I wil lget a new one.

Plus they approached me, I never approached them.
They set the price.. Not me.

I just am sick of dealing with them! Lol
 

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oh LOL thats weird!

I wonder what their problem is...
Cold feet?

yeah i'd just say that you should go get a new tank then. Its probably not worth buying it from them if they are going to hassel you!

plus you know that the seals are good on a new tank and is reliable and undamaged!
-Brandon
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Exactly.
And with a new tank, if anything does go wrong with the tank then there is a return policy. it would suck, but there would be a replacement issued if there was a problem with the tank.

we'll see what happens.
 
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