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75g Upgrade

7149 Views 155 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Virtus
So I'm super impulsive and should not be given money and free time. I've been really frustrated with our 55g peninsula tank because the combination of 21" height with only 12.5"ish width makes it difficult to scape and incredibly difficult to perform maintenance.

I happened to notice today that PetSmart was having a sale on aquarium stands and Petco a sale on tanks and my local stores had stock of both! With the addition of some other discount codes and a gift card I've had laying around I picked up a Top Fin stand and an Aqueon 75g tank for about $250 out the door.

Sweet deal right! It's only an extra 6" of width but that's a 50% increase and I think will make a world of difference. Also will be doing away with trying (and failing) to layer soil and sand again and will be going with 100% pool filter sand. I've got 150lbs of HTH from Ace to start; I want to build up one end a little higher and think this will be enough but may pick up another 50lb bag.

Will move my current light, heater, and Fluval 407 over to the new tank and be good to go there. Plan to sell the 55 and stand so figure I can get another $100 or so back on that making it an even better upgrade.

I will post pictures throughout the process. I hate to even mention this because I will not come close but I very, very, very loosely want to somewhat, sort of, kind of mimic @EmotionalFescues Malaysian driftwood tank but with a much less impressive piece of Manzanita and Dragon stone. More so just mimicking the layout with one side being scaped/planted leading to an open beach on the other. We'll see what happens. 🤞
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Sweeeet. When it comes to aquariums, I'm in the bigger is better camp. I think you'll really appreciate the extra volume and working space.

We've all been inspired by the tanks of others, so there's always a lot of that going into a new build. It will very quickly become entirely your own. but I'm flattered to have provided some inspiration for your next project. Can't wait to see what you come up with!
 

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Nice. I went with a 75 over a 55 for the exact same reason. Footprint.

And, yes, @EmotionalFescue has the best tank here.

If I could do it all over again, I’d likely just go with a 120U or similar 4’x2’x2’ tank and stand. Aside from water change volume/time and number of plants, bigger is actually easier, IMO.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nice. I went with a 75 over a 55 for the exact same reason. Footprint.

And, yes, @EmotionalFescue has the best tank here.

If I could do it all over again, I’d likely just go with a 120U or similar 4’x2’x2’ tank and stand. Aside from water change volume/time and number of plants, bigger is actually easier, IMO.


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Yeah, I would urge anyone considering a 55 to go with a 75 instead after my experience. If I had unlimited budget I'd get an even bigger, fancy, rimless tank but I'm looking forward to the additional options this upgrade will allow.

I got the stand put together tonight and I'm pretty impressed; especially for what I paid for it. It was one of the smoothest flat-pack furniture builds I've done - excellent directions and all of the hardware was individually labelled. Even my wife was impressed, at least more than she was when I told her I bought a "fancy" stand at Petsmart ha. It will be nice to have some storage for supplies near the tank.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Took about 6 hours of work throughout the day but the big move is complete. Poor fish have to be stressed as can be; hopefully everyone fares okay and quickly acclimates.

I'm decently happy with the new scape but may have made the "beach" a little too long. Curious others thoughts as I'm still really new to this. The extra 6" of width of the 75 over the 55 makes a WORLD of difference.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Might need a bit more plants to balance out that transition from under the wood and rocks out into the negative space on the one end. Or maybe even more rocks, but really it looks good the way it is too since it is viewable from both sides.
I think I can gently "stretch" the entire scape without disturbing too much. Going to give things a few days to settle before making any more changes though. I made the mistake of getting the spacing how I wanted with just the rocks not realizing how much the plants would fill in.

What shorter plants would be good around that transition? Don't really want to do any more dwarf hairgrass. Maybe more dwarf sag or Monte Carlo? Maybe some anubias petite on rocks out on the beach?
 

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Looking good! Having a big beach isn't a bad thing, especially for a peninsula tank you'll be viewing from both sides. My only suggestion would be to honor your gut. If you're not satisfied with it after a day or two, change it. In my experience that nagging feeling never goes away. Best to make it right before you go too far.
 

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I would agree with EmotionalFescue to give it a couple days to let the scape grow on you before changing it too much.

If you do feel you need some more plants in there maybe go with something with a different texture like a tripartita or ranunculus. I havent personally used either so not sure how they are maintenance wise but they are ones i want to try in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would agree with EmotionalFescue to give it a couple days to let the scape grow on you before changing it too much.

If you do feel you need some more plants in there maybe go with something with a different texture like a tripartita or ranunculus. I havent personally used either so not sure how they are maintenance wise but they are ones i want to try in the near future.
That's the plan and scape has already grown on me some. Thanks for the recommendations; I love the look of ranunculus but unfortunately doesn't look like it would do well in a low tech tank.

Does anyone have experience with staurogyne repens? Would a row of something like Monte Carlo along the open side look odd?
 

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Thanks but holy expensive batman!! Do you think a small breeder box or specimen holder with some holes drilled into it would work or would the roots still find their way out?
Yeah, I hesitate to recommend it for just pothos because it's pretty spendy. Its purpose in my tank is primarily as a planter for the Monstera, which has truly gnarly and all-consuming roots. Now that it's rooted well, the Monstera is growing upright without support just like it would in a pot. that's just not something that you need for pothos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I hesitate to recommend it for just pothos because it's pretty spendy. Its purpose in my tank is primarily as a planter for the Monstera, which has truly gnarly and all-consuming roots. Now that it's rooted well, the Monstera is growing upright without support just like it would in a pot. that's just not something that you need for pothos.
Do you think something inexpensive is needed at all for just a pothos? I don't mind the roots as they are now but don't really want them to spread much deeper.
 

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Do you think something inexpensive is needed at all for just a pothos? I don't mind the roots as they are now but don't really want them to spread much deeper.
If it were me, and it was just pothos, I don't think I would try to contain the roots like I'm doing for the Monstera. You can periodically trim the pothos roots to keep them from taking over, and just focus on securing it to the rim of the tank. I have used the potho-carry 3-d printed pothos holders for this in the past and would recommend them.
 
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