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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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First tank looking for direction and advice.

Hey everyone excited to be here.

I picked up a deal on a marineland 75 gallon with an emperor 400 and also an eheim 4+ canister filter.

It also came with a 200 watt heater and a 36 in marineland led. Looking for upgrades on the light.

I bought 75 lbs of eco complete.

My question is. Can I go ahead and add the eco complete, fill the tank up and start cycling or should I wait until I pick out my rocks and driftwood and start my first hardscape?

How hard would it be to add my rocks and Manzanita wood a month from now, along with plants?

I know it's my first tank but it's in the living room and I want it to look half way decent so I'm really taking my time to plan how I want it to look.

If it's better to wait and do my hardscape that's fine I am patient , just want to make sure I do things in the right order.

Thanks for the help.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:19 AM
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Easier to do when it's empty. Especially with a larger/deeper tank. But you could. Just easier to get set up and move/change things around without the water to deal with. Also could always drain it some which won't mean that you're starting over again completely from scratch. But it would be a bunch of water to be moving. Not sure how you're set up as far as that goes.

Will depend too on what you want to do. If more simple that you can get to and arrange relatively easily, then not too bad. If you're trying to do something real intricate, then harder. Either way, especially with a first tank, you're probably going to end up moving things around some and you'll need to maintain things anyway when it's full so kinda get used to getting your sleeves wet.

No real big deal either way.

I'm not a big fan of the Eco-Complete myself. I'd save the money and just go with sand of one sort or another.

Last edited by Mike A.; 05-21-2019 at 06:31 AM. Reason: typos/add
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:39 AM
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It easier to start scaping now (while its empty). Sketch out your design on paper with colored pencils or crayon, then you can see how complex it is.

Note: Eco complete doesnt have a bunch of dust so you can technically scape later. The good bacteria will live on surfaces- inside your filter, and on all surfaces in the aquarium. Make sure you test you water NOW.
Then test your water LATER. Not just for ammonia- but for kh/gh/ph as your wood/stone could change things.

My process is always the same:
  • Put in substrate, rock formations, driftwood- all hardscapes as they are easier to do when its dry- but eco complete doesnt cause a huge dust storm like aquasoils- so it is prolly ok.
  • Fill and start running the filter; adding ammonia daily till my ammonia drops and nitraites drop and nitrates start to rise (I use old media and substrate so its usually about 2 weeks).
  • I then plant... (sometimes lowering the water to half if I have carpets, glueing moss, detailed work, etc). Then refill.
  • I continue to check water parameters until the cycle is over- adding a smaller amount of ammonia then I did before planting.
  • The first things I add are snails and shrimp-

Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful (as long as they cycle!)
10 gallon midwest bluffs I 10 gallon freshwater coral I 15 gallon custom I 2.5 gallon female tank I Vases I 7 gallon fry I all these critters to feed critters
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike A. View Post
Easier to do when it's empty. Especially with a larger/deeper tank. But you could. Just easier to get set up and move/change things around without the water to deal with. Also could always drain it some which won't mean that you're starting over again completely from scratch. But it would be a bunch of water to be moving. Not sure how you're set up as far as that goes.

Will depend too on what you want to do. If more simple that you can get to and arrange relatively easily, then not too bad. If you're trying to do something real intricate, then harder. Either way, especially with a first tank, you're probably going to end up moving things around some and you'll need to maintain things anyway when it's full so kinda get used to getting your sleeves wet.

No real big deal either way.

I'm not a big fan of the Eco-Complete myself. I'd save the money and just go with sand of one sort or another.
Thanks for the advice, Mike! Since I already bought the eco-complete I might use it towards the back and then some pool filter sand in the front separated by the dragon stones. I bought it this Saturday 5/18/19 at a fish store about two hours away from my home, not sure if they would be willing to accept a return now.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
It easier to start scaping now (while its empty). Sketch out your design on paper with colored pencils or crayon, then you can see how complex it is.

Note: Eco complete doesnt have a bunch of dust so you can technically scape later. The good bacteria will live on surfaces- inside your filter, and on all surfaces in the aquarium. Make sure you test you water NOW.
Then test your water LATER. Not just for ammonia- but for kh/gh/ph as your wood/stone could change things.

My process is always the same:
  • Put in substrate, rock formations, driftwood- all hardscapes as they are easier to do when its dry- but eco complete doesnt cause a huge dust storm like aquasoils- so it is prolly ok.
  • Fill and start running the filter; adding ammonia daily till my ammonia drops and nitraites drop and nitrates start to rise (I use old media and substrate so its usually about 2 weeks).
  • I then plant... (sometimes lowering the water to half if I have carpets, glueing moss, detailed work, etc). Then refill.
  • I continue to check water parameters until the cycle is over- adding a smaller amount of ammonia then I did before planting.
  • The first things I add are snails and shrimp-
This is exactly what I needed to know! When I add ammonia, do I add straight ammonia and how do I know how much to add to my 75 gallons?

I tested my tap water PH last night after letting a cup of water sit for a day. It tested 7.8 to 8.0 using the API PH test kit. So now I'm worried my tap water is not going to be great for a planted tank.

I am using Manzanita driftwood so I don't think it is going to lower my PH any once I set it up. Is it possible that once I get everything up and fully cycled would the PH drop closer to neutral?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 04:15 PM
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This will help . Go to the bottom for ammonia calculator.
Calculator

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkodom1 View Post
I am using Manzanita driftwood so I don't think it is going to lower my PH any once I set it up. Is it possible that once I get everything up and fully cycled would the PH drop closer to neutral?
I think you pulled the magic trigger.... people will start posting in droves now that you said 'my pH' ha!


The calculator is by ppm I like 4ppm to start, and then 2ppm after when cycling
Ammonia Calculator for Aquariums - Spec-Tanks
The wood will in fact lower your pH... mine did in every tank. I start with tap at 7.4ish, after degassing (sitting) 7.6... once my stone goes in who knows. Do you have a gh/kh test?

Then you can determine where your increase is coming from... You can grow oodles of things.... no problemo. Here is a tank that I was growing with pH of roughly 7.6-8 The tank is amazing now! gotta take another video at some point as this is a few weeks ago.


Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful (as long as they cycle!)
10 gallon midwest bluffs I 10 gallon freshwater coral I 15 gallon custom I 2.5 gallon female tank I Vases I 7 gallon fry I all these critters to feed critters

Last edited by livebearerlove; 05-21-2019 at 11:55 PM. Reason: added extra video
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