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> Help with setting up 55 gallon shell dweller tank
post May 29 2012, 12:59 AM
Post #1
harvrad

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I will be getting some pool filter sand soon + wanting to add some black sand to the sand so I can see them a bit better, Petco sells the black sand in 5 lb. bags should I get one or two bags for the 55 gallon tank? Also with my filtration I will be using an AC 110 and AC 70, I have aproximately 8-10 sponge filters that I bought brand new for 75 cents each and was wanting to know if it would be a good idea to put a sponge filter over each of the AC filter intakes to restrict the suction and protect the babies when they come. Last of all I was wanting to know if it would hurt the ph or water quality if I put a few large pieces of mopani drift wood and some java moss into the tank, I also do have at least 3-4 dozen good sized shells for the shell dwellers when they arrive. I will be using some of the media from my 25 gallon tank which is being cycled by an AC 70 filter at the present time, it will probably be at least 1-2 weeks before I'll be able to buy the sand or until I am able to get a job, I will probably then add some of the fish in my 25 gallon to help cycle the tank a bit better, I have some danio's and some platies that I bought for 1.00 each at Petsmart and will add them to the tank along with some of the media from the 25 gallon tank's filter. I'm probably looking at late June to mid July before really getting serious about adding the multi's to the tank. I was also wandering if the moss balls that are sold now at the pet stores would be a good addition to the tank to help with ammonia and oxygen levels. Thanks.


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post May 29 2012, 09:49 AM
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neutrinoman

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Hard to give a definitive answer regarding the amount of black sand, kind of an add to taste situation from what you describe. As far as sponges over the intakes, not a bad idea, especially if intakes are near the bottom.

As far as driftwood goes, a lot depends how well it's been cured before you add it. If it's small enough to boil in a pot you can remove a lot of the tannins quickly. If it's too large for that, you can remove them gradually in a tub by soaking in very hot water, but it takes time.

Once you get your filters cycled you shouldn't need anything extra for water quality or O2 levels. That's more than enough filtration for a 55 without needing anything like moss balls to help. With that much filtration it's just a matter of maintaining the beneficial bacteria in your filter media, no need to add something else unless it's for aquascape, etc. I'd do some reading on moss balls before using them. They have their pros and cons. For example, they need maintenance as they tend to attract debris and need to be rinsed if you don't want them looking dirty (I've seen them looking almost black). Some say they can become a nuisance, fibers getting into filter intakes, etc. And not everyone ends up liking the look of random balls of algae in their tank. I'm not being pro or con, just saying they have pros and cons.


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post May 29 2012, 12:29 PM
Post #3
harvrad

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QUOTE(neutrinoman @ May 29 2012, 10:49 AM) *
Hard to give a definitive answer regarding the amount of black sand, kind of an add to taste situation from what you describe. As far as sponges over the intakes, not a bad idea, especially if intakes are near the bottom.

As far as driftwood goes, a lot depends how well it's been cured before you add it. If it's small enough to boil in a pot you can remove a lot of the tannins quickly. If it's too large for that, you can remove them gradually in a tub by soaking in very hot water, but it takes time.

Once you get your filters cycled you shouldn't need anything extra for water quality or O2 levels. That's more than enough filtration for a 55 without needing anything like moss balls to help. With that much filtration it's just a matter of maintaining the beneficial bacteria in your filter media, no need to add something else unless it's for aquascape, etc. I'd do some reading on moss balls before using them. They have their pros and cons. For example, they need maintenance as they tend to attract debris and need to be rinsed if you don't want them looking dirty (I've seen them looking almost black). Some say they can become a nuisance, fibers getting into filter intakes, etc. And not everyone ends up liking the look of random balls of algae in their tank. I'm not being pro or con, just saying they have pros and cons.
Thanks for the help, on the driftwood I know some like the brown tannins water and some people don't, I mainly like it clear but my main concern was that if the tannins would hurt the shell dwellers in any way, I'm figuring it won't since in the wild they come across all types of situations. I do have some small or medium size pieces of drift wood, bought them in Pa. a few years ago, they normally ran for around 10.00 or so a piece and they were on clearance for 1.00 each, I gobbled 11 real nice pieces, I have 13 pieces all together in storage. Have a large boiling pan that was bought at a yard sale that holds 2 pieces at a time or 1 of the larger ones, I haven't boiled them in a while but I normally boiled them for two to three days for approximately 4-6 hours at a time, irritation to my wife but at least I didn't use her pans. Since it may be another month or so before I'll be able to add shell dwellers it may not be such a bad idea to boil the pieces I want to go into the 55 gallon for a couple of days and then soak outside for the rest of the time, that way the wood should be good to go and maybe boil another day or two afterwards. Thanks again for the input, moss balls will probably not be put into the tank, always thought they were cool but do not have alot of time to mess with them.


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