Aquarium Setup • 90 Gallon Mbuna Tank Build!

New to the world of cichlids? For discussion on how to set up new tanks, including placement, filtration, substrates, water, etc. No stocking discussions here.

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90 Gallon Mbuna Tank Build!

Postby Vadimshevchuk » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:02 am

I currently have a 55 gallon with 9 yellow lab cichlids and i realized that its butt ugly and i need to upgrade and go seriously on an 18" wide tank. I found a 90 gallon saltwater tank 1.5 hours away and I convinced my dad to drive and pick it up. (I'm still in high school :oops: ) We broke down the tank and got it home with out anything cracking. I hope to keep this thread to keep track of progress and see how the tank develops. Today we have a snow-day so it's a perfect opportunity for me to use some elbow grease and clean out the 90 gallon and such.

i have a couple of questions that hopefully guys/gals can answer!

1) I am weary on the stocking plan. What would be a good stocking plan? I have this in mind so far.

7 yellow lab cichlid (2m/5fm)
7 acei cichlid (2m/5fm)
7 ?????????? something that would look nice
3 bristle nose pelcos

How does that sound? Also, should i go with a fx5 for filtration or an eheim pro 2078? Thanks in advance and hopefully you won't get bored by this :( journal.

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Old ugly 55
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Postby JimA » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:37 am

Just take your time and do it right. I just started up a 110 gallon and I have 4 yellow labs, 1 demasoni and will most likely get many more, 6 acei and 4 Rustys that should arrive today.

Anyway I think it will be a nice combo of color and for the most part peaceful fish with exception to the Dems.

One question who's paying? It can get spendy pretty quick. I am sure others will advise on equipment, I am running 2, penguin 250 hob's and 1 ehiem cannister 2236 I think seems to be working well.
The only difficult day was yesterday.
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Postby ridley25 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:47 am

Although some will tell you one is awesome and the other one sucks, you can't go wrong with either of those canisters.

As for your stocking, 3 BN plecos is overkill. You don't need that many to keep it clean, and plecos are absolute poop factories. Having said that, if you want three, go with three.

If you're going with Labs & acei it would be nice to have a striped or barred species.

Pseudotropheus demasoni are very striking and both the males and females look the same (not the case in many of the barred species).
Labeotropheus fuelleborni or L. trewavasae would also look good - especially if you got some "marmalade cats," which have a blotched pattern.

Have a look at this African cichlid Gallery and see if anything catches your fancy - then ask about your suggestions.

kevin
Malawi 125g: Labeotropheus fuelleborni, Labidochromis sp. "Hongi SRT," Metriaclima sp. "Msobo," Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei," Pseudotropheus sp. "Williamsi North," Syndodontis njassae
Tanganyika 15g: 'Lamprologus' multifasciatus species tank
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stocking

Postby The Novice » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:17 am

My grand-daughter and I started a tank in November. We started with 6 Labs (1 now holding) and added 6 Iodotropeus spenglerae. The "Rustys" are peaceful, friendly, and stay out front. Great fish. Friday we're adding 1/2 a dozen Socolofi for some blue. I highly recommend the Rustys, peaceful, active, and so far, very non-agressive (still, barely, juveniles).
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Postby Vadimshevchuk » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:01 pm

JimA One question who's paying?

Well i am paying for some of it and dads also helping out too. I have a planted tank with pressurized co2 so that tank takes up money to... Im selling an eheim 2213 and eheim 2215 and a magnum 350 to get money for an fx5 or an eheim pro 2078. I am going with a 3D background and UGJ. I have two magnum 5 pumps and 3 powerheads to use in the new tank. :thumb: Still cleaning hard
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plecos

Postby The Novice » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:46 pm

I have two 4" plecos in my 125 (12 Mbuna, all herbivores). I feed a fresh lettuce leaf (romaine or redleaf) every day, and what the Mbuna don't eat during the day, the plecos clean off at night. And the have [almost) as much personality as the Mbuna!
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Postby Vadimshevchuk » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:07 pm

I chose three pelcos because 21 fish total isnt that much for a 90 gallon and three pelcos gives me a chance of having a male and female. I hope to get this tank done by spring time and after i sell my 55 gallon. I decided the lighting will be 2x 54 T5HO with 1 Giesemann PowerChrome Aquablue and the other bulb is gonna be either atinic or midday giesemann bulb powered by an ice cap 660 ballast. Right now i am removing the overflow and it sucks! O well, can't wait to start making my own 3D background in the coming month!
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Location: Cortland NY

Postby Dauthi » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:00 am

Huh, I'd have left the overflow. You could have set it up "Herbie" style, got a cheap 20g long for a sump, and a ~900gph pump for way less than the cost of either of those canisters.

Would have allowed you to hide all the heaters and such and be almost totally silent with great flow.



What are you going to do to plug the holes?
90g Mbuna
8X Labidochromis caeruleus
10X Metriaclima callainos
1X Pseudotropheus Demasoni

40g Long Tanganyikan
2x N. Brevis breeders and lots of fry (looking to sell some local. Check my ads!)

10g Fancy guppies
(for the 5yo :))
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Postby Vadimshevchuk » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:43 am

Well i didn't take out the overflow yet because we ran out of razor blades. Can you please give me a link to "Herbie" style? I already have a mag 5 pump and a sump like this [http://www.thatpetplace.com/images/presentation/241432.jpg]

Still looking for advice on the third fish group in the tank. So far its 7 yellow labs and 7 acei.
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:25 am
Location: Cortland NY

Postby Dauthi » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:08 am

No problem: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showt ... p?t=344892

Basically you should have 2 bulkheads in the bottom of the overflow. One (larger) is meant for out flow and the other for return. In a "herbie" overflow, named after the guy who came up with it, you use both as outflow to the sump. Returns go over the side like with a canister.

The larger one you set up as a regular open standpipe. This is your backup pipe and has only a tiny bit of flow under optimal conditions. You set it's height at about the max water level you want in the overflow box.

The smaller one is your main out flow. It's height is set at the minimum water level you want in the overflow box. It runs full siphon unless the water level drops. There isn't any air mixing so it's very quiet. The trick is to use a valve on this pipe to match the flow of your return pump from the sump. I adjust mine so that just a trickle is going into the open pipe. it's a bit of fiddling at first to get the flow just right. A gate valve as opposed to a ball valve makes adjusting easier, but either will work.


With the sump you linked it should work awesome and get all the peripherals out of the display tank. You will probably need more pump than the mag 5 for a 90, but it should work ok to start. I have a mag 9.5 throttled down a bit with mine.

Hope that gets you started!
90g Mbuna
8X Labidochromis caeruleus
10X Metriaclima callainos
1X Pseudotropheus Demasoni

40g Long Tanganyikan
2x N. Brevis breeders and lots of fry (looking to sell some local. Check my ads!)

10g Fancy guppies
(for the 5yo :))
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Location: Farmington, NY

Postby Dauthi » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:08 pm

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/brs ... ing-videos

really explains it well, and they sell the plumbing parts such as gate valves.


And to correct myself, upon rereading the thread I switched the recommended jobs for the holes. It seems like they use the 3/4" bulkhead as the backup and the 1" as the full siphon. I don't have to choose myself as I drilled my tank and put 1" bulkheads on both.
90g Mbuna
8X Labidochromis caeruleus
10X Metriaclima callainos
1X Pseudotropheus Demasoni

40g Long Tanganyikan
2x N. Brevis breeders and lots of fry (looking to sell some local. Check my ads!)

10g Fancy guppies
(for the 5yo :))
User avatar
Dauthi
 
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:04 pm
Location: Farmington, NY

Postby cantrell00 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:57 pm

Dauthi...

First of all - thanks for the link...

Secondly, 1 - 3/4" & 1 - 1" would make sense because that is what is typically inside of an overflow, with the 3/4" being the return...

I am going to try their method on my next tank,,, I can't stand the gurgling on mine & I can see how that using a gate valve to synchronize the return & the drain would remove the noise caused by air in the line...

I assume it works well on yours?
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Postby Dauthi » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:56 am

It's working quite well. I had originally drilled my 90 for this setup and I liked it so much I drilled a 40 long and set it up the same way.

I have a ball valve on the 90 and it is fiddly but you eventually get the balance. When I did the 40 I went for the gate valve and things went much smoother. The ball valve seems to overshoot on adjustments because the force required to get the ball started moving ends up moving it too much. What I ended up doing was fashion a lever so I could apply the same force but with much more control and viola!

The loudest thing on my 90 right now is one of the timers for the lights, the overflow is that quiet.
90g Mbuna
8X Labidochromis caeruleus
10X Metriaclima callainos
1X Pseudotropheus Demasoni

40g Long Tanganyikan
2x N. Brevis breeders and lots of fry (looking to sell some local. Check my ads!)

10g Fancy guppies
(for the 5yo :))
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Dauthi
 
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:04 pm
Location: Farmington, NY

Postby Vadimshevchuk » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:57 am

Thank you for the link. I am seriously starting to think about going with a sump since i could save a couple hundred dollars and get an aquaterra 3D background instead. I also think I ccould get away with the mag 5 because i will use another mag 5 on the UGJ system so i should have decent water movement. Maybe I will even add a powerhead to get even more movement.
Vadimshevchuk
 
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:25 am
Location: Cortland NY

Postby Vadimshevchuk » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:46 am

Since I live in my parents house, i want to keep electrical consumption to a minimum where possible. If i go with a sump, a mag 5 will be 45 watts and a mag 9.5 will need 90 watts to run! While an FX5 will take 50 watts and an eheim pro 2078 will take 30 watts. :roll: what to do? Dauthi- thanks for all your help, maybe in the future you can stop by and check out this set up and critique it :lol: since your only 40 minutes away.
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:25 am
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