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kiwikacey

Questions about possible new tank

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Hi everyone -

I'm home for the summer, and have established with my mom that I'd like a 75gallon tank as a birthday gift. My stepdad is building me a stand for the tank, which I'll then stain and seal to be waterproof.

My question is this: lately (as in, for the past few weeks or so) the fish have been surface breathing. It used to be only after they ate, but now it's nearly all the time. They don't seem to be sick in any other way - just the surface breathing. I have treated for flukes, salted the tank, fasted them, added plants, and I have an airstone always going. The tank is completely cycled. They're perky as ever but the constant surface breathing is starting to worry me.

I would be able to get the 75gal tomorrow ( my mom is going to give me my b-day gift "early") but it will be sitting directly on the floor for 2 months, until I move out. This wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't going to switch to sump filtration - I'm new to the idea, but it seems a lot more efficient and cost effective in the long run. I'll be buying the sump (because I don't trust myself to make one that works correctly) along with a new (appropriately sized) heater, air pump, and pond pump for the sump - that's where all the fish portrait funds are going :)

Can a sump operate on the same level as the tank, or does it have to be located below the tank?

My mom is upset about the water changes because it's affecting her water bill (I don't know if this is true because she hasn't actually gotten one yet since I've been home) so...how often would I have to change the water in a cycled 75gal? Right now I'm doing 50% 2x a week...and she's upset about that.

In addition to the fish, I have 5 small nerite snails in the current 30 gallon tank. New baby is still in QT.

What do you guys think? It's really an "I buy all of it now or I wait until I move out" deal...I'm not going to buy HOB filters now and then when I actually have a stand...go get a sump. I only want to spend the money once, ha :P

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Is it correct to assume that you have 4 fish? How big are they, not including the tail?

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Is it correct to assume that you have 4 fish? How big are they, not including the tail?

Yes - I have 3 fish in the 30 gallon: 1 black moor, 4in; 2 ryukin, both ~ 3in not including tail. The baby is in QT, a ryukin, ~1.5 inches not including tail.

Of course, now that I made this post, all 3 "problem fish" are happily NOT surface breathing, staring at me from across the room....UGH!!! :rofl

The "baby" in QT doesn't surface breathe at all.

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Also wanted to add that I turned the temp. down from 74 to 72, maybe that will make a difference? In any case, thanks in advance for any help...and sorry for the weird question :P

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I don't know anything about sumps but wanted to congratulate you on getting a bigger tank for your fish. Happy Birthday. And, what a wonderful gift from your mom and step dad.

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Thanks! I'm really lucky - my stepdad worked in construction for years and owned his own business, so I definitely know the stand will hold up. I couldn't think of anything else I wanted for my birthday - besides rent money - HA! My mom's gift will help me a lot...without that, I probably would have had to wait a lot longer before I could afford a tank and proper filtration equipment/heating....not to mention a stand.

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I think the weather may well have something to do with the surface breathing. Newton has been much nearer the top of the tank since it 'warmed' up. You can probably go down to 1 water change a week with the larger tank but I don't think that will save you any on the water bill. How is your rain water?

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I agree with MRC fully.

I don't think that you will be able to save on the water bill going upsize, and it's still recommended that you do at least one 50% WC weekly for indoor aquaria. The sump will need to be at a (much) lower level than the tank, because the overflow water return to the tank is based on gravity return (most if not all of the time).

I would wait until everything is put together before moving them over. :)

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I agree witout too.RC fully.

I don't think that you will be able to save on the water bill going upsize, and it's still recommended that you do at least one 50% WC weekly for indoor aquaria. The sump will need to be at a (much) lower level than the tank, because the overflow water return to the tank is based on gravity return (most if not all of the time).

I would wait until everything is put together before moving them over. :)

I Agree with this and it will keep mom from freaking out too.

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If you want to save water then get a smaller tank. With a 75G tank at 50% PWC that's 38G/week. You can calculate how much this will cost using a bill from the water company. Since keeping goldies my water bill has more than doubled.

If your Mom waters her lawn or flowers you could offer to water them with used tank water, which is laced with nitrogen that the plants will love. If she uses 38G/week then you might argue that she will break even with the water bill and her grass and flowers will look much nicer.

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Thanks everyone! Based on what you've suggested, I'm going to wait until I move. Since I turned down the heater temp. they've stopped surface breathing as much...so maybe that did have something to do with it, after all.

I had a feeling that the sump needed to be lower than the tank - it will be, once I get the stand finished and set up!

The place I'm moving into includes water in the rent, and they're okay with me bringing my fish. So, there it won't matter. While I'm at home, the fishies are mooching off mom's water bill and she's not too happy about it (understandable)...that being said, she also has a large garden and that takes a lot of water, daily. I'm interested in what you guys are suggesting about watering the plants with tank water - I have a python, so I'm not sure how feasible that is, but it seems like a great idea.

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