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75 gallon set up from scratch

Linda is pretty well set on a Blood Parrot Cichlid as the star of this tank. We understand this is a Cichlid. We also understand there were, or are, some ethical questions about the fish's development. Linda says she looks at it as rehoming a critter that already exists regardless of its history. I tend to agree, and besides, my main life motto is happy wife happy life. We will stick to a solid orange from a reputable seller to avoid an animal that has been injected with dye.

Research indicates the following basic water needs and they fit well with our current system of doing things.

Temp 76°F to 80°F
PH Level: 6.5 to 7.4
Hardness 6 to 18 dGH

From Linda's research rocks and wood are fine for this species but I am open to that being incorrect. For plants she says Java Fern, Anubias and Hornwort which I have read are easier plants to deal with. That may well have been the thrust of her research on the plants. Favored substrate seems to be fine sand, not what I want to choose but will if necessary.

The Honey Guorami, (Thank You Colin_T) and the Emperor Tetra are two of the recommended mates. The basic water parameters appear to be a fit. A shoal of about 8 each to go with a single Blood Parrot?

Am I missing anything on the selection of finned buddies?
 
From Linda's research rocks and wood are fine for this species but I am open to that being incorrect.
Wood and rocks are fine but you don't want too much in the tank otherwise the fish won't have as much room to swim around. The blood parrot cichlids can get to a decent size (8 inches) and they are high bodied fish too. So you can end up with a small dinner plate sized fish in the tank and they need to be able to move around without hitting rocks or wood. If the rock or wood is big, maybe only have one rather than both so there is more room for the fish.


For plants she says Java Fern, Anubias and Hornwort which I have read are easier plants to deal with. That may well have been the thrust of her research on the plants. Favored substrate seems to be fine sand, not what I want to choose but will if necessary.
Sand or gravel is fine for plants. I have always used small gravel that is around 2-3mm diameter.

Hornwort is not a good plant for tropical aquariums. If you get it during summer it's not too bad and usually settles in. However, if you get in in winter and you put it in a tropical aquarium, it normally dies very quickly. This is due to the plant being kept outdoors in coldwater ponds and being unable to adapt to the warmer water.

Anubias is a slow growing plant that should remain in the garden. It doesn't use much light in an aquarium and will get covered in algae if it's under bright light.

Java fern likes light but can also grow in moderate to low light, albeit at a slower rate.

You need some floating plants if you have tetras and gouramis because they both like shaded areas. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is a good floating plant and it can also be planted in the substrate if you get too much.

The following link has more info on aquarium plants.


The Honey Guorami, (Thank You Colin_T) and the Emperor Tetra are two of the recommended mates. The basic water parameters appear to be a fit. A shoal of about 8 each to go with a single Blood Parrot?

Am I missing anything on the selection of finned buddies?
You will have to mix the well water with rain water at about 50/50 mix so it's soft enough for the tetras and gouramis.

Honey gouramis are small fish and might be stressed by a big fish like a blood parrot cichlid. The emperor tetras could also stress due to its size. If you get a small cichlid and they all grow up together it's less of an issue compared to putting small tetras in with a full grown cichlid.
 
The bloods at the fish store are about 4 inches. The fella told Linda they normally have them in about that size.

If not the two mates we are considering there is a more appropriate one or two?
 
If the emperor tetra and honey gourami are not appropriate tank mates for the blood parrot perhaps another grouping could be identified.

The previous ost by me was a bit garbled. Shorthand in my brain got garbled by my fingers.
 
Mollies or swordtails but I would deworm these before adding them to a tank.

Rainbowfish like Melanotaenia lacustris, herbertaxelrodi, or some of the other species. You wouldn't need to soften the water for rainbows or livebearers.

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Congo or African longfin tetras, filament barbs, giant danios. These fish need softer water so you would have to mix rain water with tap water to get a lower GH.

Most of these fish are pretty quick when it comes to swimming and feeding so you will have to make sure the parrot gets enough food.
 
I think HOB is a comfort thing. I am familiar with them. A cannister is a distinct possibility but I will need to learn a bit about them. I have recently began adding sponge filters in our other tanks and really like them, but have just stuck them without really knowing how they are doing. As I said, filtration is a mystery to me.
In truth, filtration is something of a mystery even among water experts. Sponge filters are exellent, albeit ugly. You just need to make sure you an adequate amount of filter media. For a 75 gallon tank you'd need something like this:


The most important thing to know about filtration is that more is better, and foam filter media (20-30 ppi) is better than all the other options except K1.
 
Mollies or swordtails but I would deworm these before adding them to a tank.

Rainbowfish like Melanotaenia lacustris, herbertaxelrodi, or some of the other species. You wouldn't need to soften the water for rainbows or livebearers.

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Congo or African longfin tetras, filament barbs, giant danios. These fish need softer water so you would have to mix rain water with tap water to get a lower GH.

Most of these fish are pretty quick when it comes to swimming and feeding so you will have to make sure the parrot gets enough food.
Interesting, especially the Molly and Swordtail part, at least to me.

We have a steady supply of Molly, three litters of fry including one currently in the grow out tank. Linda is completely enamored in a male Lyretail and a Black Molly and has repeatedly hinted that we should purchase a 30 or 40 breeder tank so that she can purchase like females. I admit they are beautiful fish but have frankly gotten a bit tired of the serial babies. Linda however really likes to raise them and has found people to give them too so far. Also have swordtail in the 37 with the angels, one male and two females, one of which had child. The Angel made short work of those fry before Linda could go into save mode, but she did manage to save two one of which is quite stunning in coloration at this time.

So, Molly and Swords are a definite option and we do not need worry about worms as they are home grown.

I will pass along the list of other options to Linda for her to delve into. She has taken the lead on stocking going forward.

Many Thanks for the suggestions.
 
In truth, filtration is something of a mystery even among water experts. Sponge filters are excellent, albeit ugly. You just need to make sure you an adequate amount of filter media. For a 75-gallon tank you'd need something like this:


The most important thing to know about filtration is that more is better, and foam filter media (20-30 ppi) is better than all the other options except K1.
I wonder, is there any reason the sponges could not be hidden under rock piles by making artificial caves with cap stones?

We are now leaning toward the 90 gallons, almost certain in fact. The 24-inch width will be more functional for how we want to scape it. I envision using 8 - 10 inches wide by 20 - 25 inches long down the center for rocks and wood with some suitable greenery. Smaller plants extending to the 48-inch sides and mossy "boulders" and short plants strewn about the remainder. Will also use some floaters which might be a concern from the vertical current caused by the sponge filters. I could easily incorporate a sponge or two within the mountain, I think.

We want to avoid any artificial distractions along the 48-inch walls because this tank is visible from two rooms. The 24-inch sides can be used for any necessary equipment piping.
 
You just need to be sure you're not inhibiting water flow through the filters. You might want to consider doing a matten filter.
 
You just need to be sure you're not inhibiting water flow through the filters. You might want to consider doing a Matten filter.
The Matten filter looks interesting and quite easy to make. Will do some further research.

I think if we go with sponges under the rock. I should be able to ensure adequate water flow to them by making several small cave-like openings that look like crevices leading to hollow areas, or by elevating the structure a bit above the substrate with "legs".

I prefer hiding the mechanicals but appreciate the heads up on the Matten and will look into them.
 
Fish will be a single Blood Red and a single yellow. We have been told both these colors are not artificially injected.

Next will be Molly. We have an orange Molly male and will buy a couple matching girls. We also have a black Molly male that will get a shotgun wedding with a couple gals. We will purchase a 40 breeder tank and start a cycle this week with seeded sponge filters. Will also make a final decision on a 75 or 90 and purchase at the same time.

Linda has agreed the new 40b will be set up in the kitchen. I can have no more tanks in the current dining room. They are going to be a nightmare when construction inside the room begins.

Anyway Linda will try to breed the Mollies and perhaps the swords to achieve the color she wants. We will see what turns out.
 
The tank will be viewable from all sides but predominately the two long sides.

In that case, I would get a canister filter such as a Fluval FX6. You will only see the two hoses running up the tank. Do you really want to look at a huge HOB filter on the side?

To get good circulation, put the input/output hose on opposite ends of the tank.
 
In that case, I would get a canister filter such as a Fluval FX6. You will only see the two hoses running up the tank. Do you really want to look at a huge HOB filter on the side?

To get good circulation, put the input/output hose on opposite ends of the tank.
Good point on the HOB. They are not pretty.
 

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