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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m planning my first ever tank — 75 g — of course in conjunction with a move to a new house (because why not??). Trying to think through the set up so I have what I need but don’t spend too much time deliberating over things that come later.... would love to hear if I’m missing or misunderstanding anything!

1) set up stand and tank. Check level!
2) put in substrate and hardscape — planning on inert substrate, probably black diamond blasting sand
3) fill with water, install filter (aquaclear 110), heater
4) start fishless cycle with ammonia etc - expect this to take a few weeks as I have no established filter media etc.
5) at some point during cycle plant my plants and add lights (does it matter when I do this?? I don’t have plants picked out yet and am thinking that I’ll be able to focus on this once initial setup is done and cycle is started)
6) also planning to add CO2 — I’m guessing I should do this before adding plants (??)
7) once cycle done, plants somewhat established, add fish (I’m estimating 6-8 weeks? More?)
 

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You can add plants when you add water to the tank. You can also do it later. Once you add plants into an inert substrate make sure you add fertilizer of your choice (I prefer nicolg thrive, but there are many options.

You can add co2 when you add the plants, or later (depending on plant choices). Since this is a first time for co2, I'd make sure you get that figured out pretty well before adding fish since having too much co2 (gassing the fish) is one of the easier ways to kill an entire tank.

Do you already own this tank? Honestly if it were me, I'd make sure you liked the maintenance on an aquarium before going for something as big as a 75 gallon. If you already own the tank... ehh its a toss up then whether to use it or put it in storage for a bit since some folk new to aquariums give them a try and love everything about them. Others make some mistakes (we all do, especially when new) and algae takes over, they get super discouraged and quit the hobby. Its a lot easier to recover from a big algae bloom in something like a 10 gallon then a 75 gallon.

Some other things to consider is your water parameters in your new house. They may be great for plants and the fish you want to keep. Or they might be incompatible. I'd definitely test for ph, gh, tds, and kh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice! I was actually gifted a (second hand) 29 gallon tank (minus any equipment) a while back and stared at it for a while. Decided that if I was going to do this I’d like to go big.... and now of course am having second thoughts but am also excited! Lots of conflicting advice about ease of small vs large tanks.... all I can say is I’m going to give it a proper try!
 

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Do you already own this tank? Honestly if it were me, I'd make sure you liked the maintenance on an aquarium before going for something as big as a 75 gallon. If you already own the tank... ehh its a toss up then whether to use it or put it in storage for a bit since some folk new to aquariums give them a try and love everything about them. Others make some mistakes (we all do, especially when new) and algae takes over, they get super discouraged and quit the hobby. Its a lot easier to recover from a big algae bloom in something like a 10 gallon then a 75 gallon.
I second this. Got a Waterbox 72 gallons and is work to do the 50% weekly water changes that some might quit after some time because all the work, not to mention the algae issue being a lot more difficult to control and get rid of in a bigger tank than a small one. Lost plants in the beginning but got more and still learning. Changed from PPS method to an all in one liquid fertilizer.

The only suggestion that I will make is that if you do not have experience with plants (newbie like me) stay away from salt fertilizers (Ei method, PPS) until you gain experience instead get an all in one liquid fertilizer like Thrive, Tropica, etc...

Good luck!!
 

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Thanks for the advice! I was actually gifted a (second hand) 29 gallon tank (minus any equipment) a while back and stared at it for a while. Decided that if I was going to do this I’d like to go big.... and now of course am having second thoughts but am also excited! Lots of conflicting advice about ease of small vs large tanks.... all I can say is I’m going to give it a proper try!
I think most of the advice for ease of keeping a bigger tank is either a) from saltwater, or b) from people interested in keeping fish first, second, and third, and maybe a plant or two as a distant fourth. If this is primary a fish tank and then you also just want a couple of plants to reduce nitrates. Then ya bigger is definitely easier. But if you are planning to replicate the amazing greenery you see in fully planted tanks then in no way shape or form is bigger easier to maintain then smaller.

The first month or two of a tank up and running is what I call the honeymoon period. You are super interested in everything going on in the tank and are actively watching everything AND algae is unlikely to get crazy. After that 2nd month is when things get real. If you have a balanced tank, (meaning your plants are absorbing fertilizer, light, and co2 in balance with their growth and you have enough plants for the amount of water volume) then you will have a good chance of the tank looking nice. If any of those things are out of balance, then the tank will not look nice, it will get overtaken with algae, much of which will require manual removal as well as adjustment of whatever is out of balance (which you won't know the identity of without a few months of experimentation). In order to plant a 75 gallon even to a moderate degree you also need to shell out a lot of money, easily 100 to 200 dollars, and possibly more if you want a lot of tissue cultures. And then if your tank is out of balance all your plants could die or get so hopelessly overcome with algae that they need to be ditched. And then you are left with a tank with no plants, lots of algae, and the need to buy the same 100 to 200+ dollars of plants to get it back to a starting position.

Thus getting this right on something like a 10 gallon is a LOT easier and cheaper if new. /shrug its your tank and only you know how committed you are going to be to making it look good. If it were me, I'd definitely start smaller and work your way up to bigger tanks. Changing 50 gallons of water a week in your 75 gallon tank is an ordeal just by itself and that's the easiest part of the process.
 
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