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View Full Version : BIG Freshwater Aquariums??



awatkins
12-15-2005, 11:42 PM
Hey all,

We're considering the possibility of purchasing a 110 gallon tank. We have the room for it, but the one we looked at is so HUGE that there's no way I could maintain it--and I do most of our tank housekeeping myself. So we also looked at a 75 and a 90. Those seemed more manageable for me (and hubby will help, too).

What's the largest aquarium you have/have had in the past? Are the larger tanks a whole lot more work? Right now we have a 28 gallon and a 45 gallon, and they're pretty easy to maintain. I know we'll need extra filtration, so I'm prepared for that.

Thanks.

Lyra Jean
12-15-2005, 11:58 PM
My dad has a 150 gallon freshwater tank. It doesn't seem to take much maintance. He has newts, frogs and fish. He feeds them bloodworms. He has to watch water because he had to lower it for the island he built up for the newts and frogs.

Just go with what you feel comfortable with.

awatkins
12-19-2005, 03:20 AM
Hi Rosemerry,

Thanks so much for your reply! Your dad's tank sounds interesting. Does he have a lot of live plants in it?

Yeshanu
12-20-2005, 06:12 AM
Anne,

My biggest so far is about 35 gallons (can't afford bigger) but everything I've read indicates that the bigger the tank, the easier it is to maintain, because fluctuations in temperature, water chemistry, etc. that would quickly overwhelm a small tank are a lot less noticable in a large one. The hardest tanks I've ever had to maintain, in my experience, are the five and ten gallon ones. They're simply to small for anything except one betta (goldfish grow too large), and even my betta in his five gallon tank needs a complete water change every week or so.

Just my 2 cents.

Ruth

P.S. Be wary of the weight, though. Water weighs 10 pounds per gallon. I'll let you do the math... ;)

TheIT
12-20-2005, 06:17 AM
I know nothing about fishtanks, but I suddenly got the image of your parrot water skiing across the top and scuba diving in it complete with a little snorkel and flippers....

Lyra Jean
12-20-2005, 11:07 PM
Yes, my dad has live plants. For the little island and for underwater. All of his rocks and gravel are natural and he doesn't even have one of those fake backgrounds.

Some of his fish even started having babies because he had to use some of the larger rocks to help hold the gravel up and it created little pools and protected places for the babies to live. Although I think the newts ate them all. I told my dad you don't have a fish tank you have an ecosystem.

It's a community fishtank. It has newts, frogs, crabinses (sp?), neon tetras, placostumous (sp?) and various other fish.

My brother has a much smaller tank and has to change the water and fill it up much more often. He also doesn't have any live plants. I think living plants helps keep the water cleaner as they act like a filter.

awatkins
12-20-2005, 11:18 PM
Hi Ruth,

It does seem to be true that the bigger tanks are easier to maintain once you get them going. Our two tanks have been set up for years and with regular water changes and a little basic cleaning, have been problem-free. And you're so right about the smaller tanks! We used to have several 10 gallon tanks (for quarantine/hospital tanks, raising babies, and keeping a few really small species) and the water chemistry was much more delicate to balance.




P.S. Be wary of the weight, though. Water weighs 10 pounds per gallon. I'll let you do the math... ;)

Oh, yeah, that's my biggest freak-out!!! All I can think of (if we get that bigger tank) is, 'what if that sucker breaks....' Ack!

awatkins
12-20-2005, 11:24 PM
I know nothing about fishtanks, but I suddenly got the image of your parrot water skiing across the top and scuba diving in it complete with a little snorkel and flippers....

Hahaha! They'd probably try it if they thought they could get away with it! :D

Don't know if I've told this story here or not, but here goes:

Years ago I was cleaning one of the aquariums while Rio (my Blue-crowned conure) sat on the tank edge and watched. There was a brave male Betta in there who made it his job to get in the way while I cleaned, and he was swimming around near the surface of the water.

I turned my head to look at something else and when I turned back around, Rio had carefully gotten the Betta by the tail and was lifting him out of the tank! I screamed at him to drop the fish, he did, and the Betta high-tailed it outta there.

I don't know what Rio intended to do with the fish, but I shudder to think. :ROFL:

awatkins
12-20-2005, 11:39 PM
Rosemerry, your dad's tank sounds incredible. He must be doing something right if the egglayers are managing to have babies! I've heard that frogs will eat the other tank inhabitants, as do the newts--I've never kept them but those frogs look pretty cool.

Ecosystem is totally the right term for that tank! Tell your dad that I'm impressed with his set-up. Has he ever thought of putting freshwater aquatic turtles in it? I just turned in an article on them and they're very interesting.

Live plants would probably be a good addition for your brother's tank, along with a good mechanical filtration system. Does he have the same types of tank inhabitants as your dad?

Gee, all this talk about these sorts of tanks has me kinda wondering if I'd like one. Hmm....


Yes, my dad has live plants. For the little island and for underwater. All of his rocks and gravel are natural and he doesn't even have one of those fake backgrounds.

Some of his fish even started having babies because he had to use some of the larger rocks to help hold the gravel up and it created little pools and protected places for the babies to live. Although I think the newts ate them all. I told my dad you don't have a fish tank you have an ecosystem.

It's a community fishtank. It has newts, frogs, crabinses (sp?), neon tetras, placostumous (sp?) and various other fish.

My brother has a much smaller tank and has to change the water and fill it up much more often. He also doesn't have any live plants. I think living plants helps keep the water cleaner as they act like a filter.

Yeshanu
12-21-2005, 01:00 AM
Oh, yeah, that's my biggest freak-out!!! All I can think of (if we get that bigger tank) is, 'what if that sucker breaks....' Ack!


It isn't so much the tank breaking that's the problem, but a 110 gallon tank weighs more than half a ton. How strong is your floor? :D

awatkins
12-21-2005, 02:49 AM
The wall where it would go--if we get that bigger tank--had an old upright piano there for years, but I bet all that water would weigh more than it, huh?

Oh, here's a thought: we sleep in a king-sized water bed. How much would that weigh? The bedroom floor doesn't sag. Oh, the things to worry about....Thanks a lot, Ruth. :D

Lyra Jean
12-21-2005, 10:33 AM
My dad did get some turtles but they started to eat all the fish and was going after the newts and frogs. My dad really wanted the turtles too but they were eating all the fish.

We feed our fish/newts/frogs crickets and bloodworms. I don't even think dad uses flake food anymore. So the newts/frogs leave the fish alone.

awatkins
12-22-2005, 03:14 AM
I've never fed our fish bloodworms before. To tell the truth, though I've heard of them, I don't even know what they look like!

Yeshanu
12-22-2005, 04:24 AM
Oh, here's a thought: we sleep in a king-sized water bed. How much would that weigh? The bedroom floor doesn't sag.


The water bed would weigh much more than the tank -- sounds like your floors are okay to take the weight, Anne.

And you can get bloodworms, frozen or freeze-dried, from your fish dealer, usually. But I'm the one that ends up feeding them to the fish -- Ally found out she's allergic to them!

DaveKuzminski
12-22-2005, 05:00 AM
Last I recall, a gallon of fresh water weighs about 8.5 pounds.

CampCreek
12-24-2005, 05:40 AM
I'd love a huge aquarium, too, Anne! What kind of fish do you have? I have outside ponds and this time of year I really miss them. The fish have kind of slowed down in them, too. It'd be nice to bring part of that inside to have all winter long.

I have to worry about floors holding up, too, but from what I understand, so long as you get a tank stand that has a large footprint (lots of contact with the floor) instead of one on legs, you'll be okay. If you put all that weight on four little legs, then all the weight is on four small areas beneath the legs, but if it's a wooden stand that contacts the floor all the way around the bottom, the weight will be distributed better. Then it would be more like your waterbed (provided it's the more conventional type of waterbed on a stand instead of a frame with legs).

Overall though, since you've had a piano in there with no problems, I'd think an aquarium would be okay. A hudred gallon aquarium with stand and all would be close to half a ton. If the piano weighs that much, I wouldn't worry.

Also, I agree with the advice that a larger tank would be easier to deal with since the water doesn't make such wide swings in pH and such. That's what happens with ponds. My little half barrel ponds are a lot harder to keep healthy than my two thousand gallon one. The big one's a breeze.

So, are you into planted tanks? I've read a lot about them and want one with half a dozen bright yellow discus in it. Badly. Very, very badly. I've done so well with plants in my outdoor ponds that I've steadily given them away and have a waiting list for more come spring (too cold to get them out of the ponds right now). I'd think that a planted tank wouldn't be that much harder. I'd have to fiddle with CO2 if I wanted any color and unusual plants, but that doesn't seem so hard to deal with.

awatkins
12-25-2005, 01:37 AM
And you can get bloodworms, frozen or freeze-dried, from your fish dealer, usually. But I'm the one that ends up feeding them to the fish -- Ally found out she's allergic to them!

Good grief! I never thought about anybody being allergic to them! But, hey, lucky you, huh? You get to do all the handling of the creepy things. lol

awatkins
12-25-2005, 01:47 AM
Hiya Josie!

Our fish....lessee....We've got a bala shark ('bout 9" or so), a big old pleco cat, and two big fat clown loaches in a 45 gallon tank. In the 28 gallon bow-front we have four cory cats, two kuhli loaches, two otos, one new little clown pleco, a male betta, and two female platies. This tank is right beside my desk and I love having it there. :)

So you have ponds?? You need to meet Dave! Check out his pond thread here. He's got lots of cool stories. I bet you do, too--heck, with a two thousand gallon pond, I know you do!

I'd love to have discus, too. If I could have any color I wanted, I'd go for the blue ones. They are so gorgeous. For some reason, they're nearly impossible to find in our area.

No final decision on the bigger tank, yet. I'm hoping we don't go the 110 route; a 75 would be just fine with me. :D

Merry Christmas, everybody!!

CampCreek
12-27-2005, 11:08 AM
Wow! You've got quite the assortment, Anne! I especially like those kuhli loaches. I watched one in a doctor's office for an hour and never got bored. :tongue

My fish assortment is a lot more bland ~ just regular goldfish and calico shubunkins, though a few of the regular goldfish are white and white/orange mixed. They're fun to watch, especially the shubunkins. I've got some of each scattered out in all the ponds as well as in the horse troughs. They keep all the mosquitoes and most of the algae out of them. Handy! And really funny when a horse accidentally sucks one up ~ they spit it back out with much hurry. *snicker*

Yes, I finally finished reading Dave's thread and LOVED it! And I think I know what's killing his fish, but don't want to seem like a knowitall by posting it on there. I've been wondering if I should post my thoughts on that thread, or send him a PM. I'll figure it out. ;) But his stories of the frogs make me think I need more in-ground ponds, since the only one of mine that has frogs is the only one that's at ground level. There were three sets of eggs this year that hatched into tadpoles in that little pond. They're so cool to watch!! Yep, I think I need to sink that two thousand gallon one in the ground so I can have more frogs. ;)

Oh, those blue discus! Aren't they just gorgeous?! I'd love to have a small school of those as well. I know that aquariums are like horses and potato chips ~ you can't just have one. So I imagine I'll have a tank with the sunny yellow ones and another with the gorgeous blue ones, too. I can't wait! :D

Hey, have you ever seen the homemade aquariums made of plywood? Yes, I said plywood! Amazing! But they work. And are supposed to be not only lighter, but much cheaper than glass tanks. I don't know how "handy" you are, but here's the link just in case you might want to build one: Google Search Results. (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=plywood+aquarium&btnG=Google+Search) If you're a good painter and carpenter, they can look really nice. And it sounds crazy, but apparently they work. One of these days, I've got to try it and build one.

awatkins
12-29-2005, 05:50 AM
I've got some of each scattered out in all the ponds as well as in the horse troughs. They keep all the mosquitoes and most of the algae out of them. Handy! And really funny when a horse accidentally sucks one up ~ they spit it back out with much hurry. *snicker*

Hahaha! I'd love to see that. Wonder what the horse thinks when that happens? lol


Yes, I finally finished reading Dave's thread and LOVED it! And I think I know what's killing his fish, but don't want to seem like a knowitall by posting it on there. I've been wondering if I should post my thoughts on that thread, or send him a PM. I'll figure it out. ;)

Go ahead and post in the thread, if you want. He keeps an eyeball on it and always responds to comments.

I love his frog stories. Who knew they were so much fun to observe? And how cool that you got bunches of tadpoles in your ponds! I remember being fascinated by those things when I was a kid.

Re: plywood aquariums. Thanks for posting that link--I hope folks checked it out. Those things are supposed to work really well but I don't think I'd have the nerve to try building one. :ROFL: I used to hang out at a few freshwater aquaria forums years ago and the discussions about plywood tanks were really interesting!

Hope some of this made sense. I'm coming down with something and my mind is soooooo fuzzy. I had to keep retyping stuff! Did you know you almost ended up with 'pongs' instead of 'ponds?' :D