September 16, 2010

Aquarium revamp part one

After Herb, my 8 or 9 year old albino Tiger Oscar died, I decided it was time to consolidate down in tanks once again, and get rid of my 90 gallon and keep the larger tank, which is approximately 134 gallons according to "the Google" - 31104 cubic inches = 134.64 gallons, though I think it is actually closer to 125 internally.

This tank is currently full of rocks and has been set up as an African mbuna cichlid tank for several years, and it is time for a change (though once I'm done it will resemble the 90 gallon Amazon tank, I think).  It currently houses 1 Deep Water Hap, 2 Ps. Acei, about 5 Electric Yellow Labs, and 1 9" plecostamus.

The plan is to convert it to a Central American cichlid tank with some interesting characters, which I will get to eventually.

The reasons for this are a few:  First, I like having BIG fish and since my Oscar is gone, I need some new ones.  I also figure if I have an aquarium that is 6 feet long, it should have some larger fish in it to show off instead of 9 rinky-dinky fish.  Second, the current "rock-heavy" look of the tank (above) doesn't even really let you see the fish that ARE there, half the time because they all hide in caves and behind rocks.  And finally, the tank just never really looked as nice as my 90 did, and is in need of better appearance and aquascaping.

So, the first step is a little bit of planning.  What am I going to do with this aquarium?  To satisfy the "big fish" requirement, I have selected Central Americans (which are a bit larger and have a couple of nice colorful options that I plan to go with so I have a few large wet pets in the tank).  As far as the design goes, all the rockwork will disappear and I am going to put just enough driftwood in there to break up line of sight, along with some large-scale fake plants (and perhaps some easy cheap live plants like Java Fern or Anubias) since the cichlids and remaining pleco will most likely tear up any other live plant additions.  I'm leaving the black Tahitian moon sand substrate (after a thorough cleaning) but adding an "old river bed" path of grey river rock through the middle of the tank (from the 90g) and then putting a few larger river rocks out randomly across the sand.

So... first I'll sketch out a plan for the tank in Google Sketchup or something, and then it's on to step two... removing all of the rocks from the 125g.  When doing that, I'll have to keep refilling with water each time, since the rocks take up so much volume in the tank.  Once they're all out it is on to heavy duty cleaning and eventually (whenever Dallas North Aquarium accepts my trade-ins) catching and removing the existing African crew.

1 comment:

75 gallon aquarium said...

Great! I love aquarium!