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Old 01-19-2017, 07:11 AM
AOA AOA is offline
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Default 150 gallon stream bank

I'm working on a huge hardscape tank and want to make it suitable for beginner darts. Heres some specs.

6' x 2' x 2' acrylic reef tank
tiny flowing creek: 47 inches
False bottom: 4 inches
water section: 8" x 11" x 3 " deep
3 drip walls

Any suggestions and criticisms welcomed

JD
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

I'm worried about hard water stains on the front of the tank where the small water section is. My glass paludariums are easy enough to scrape with a blade but not the acrylic.

Should I go with an RO unit or run my 2 distillers?

I have always just used distillers for my other tanks, but the consumption has never been this much and I am worried about keeping up with water changes and the like.

I might be getting a grant to finish the tank as it resides in my biology lab. I have my fingers crossed but am not holding my breath if ya know what i mean. I may be able to purchase more distillers or a nice RO system.

I couldn't help but add some detail work to a small section of the build even though the the tank isn't even ready for the final fitting. I still need to drill the tank and work out all of the plumbing.

Been reading about beginner darts and I'm not sure if the amount of water is detrimental in housing them. The river will be flowing but not too fast. it will be very shallow and easy enough to cross I think. The water section is small in comparison to the overall size of the tank and I can shrink it down if necessary by adding substrate and such.

any thoughts??
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

That is a very promising setup, natural look. Don't overplant it - most tanks have way more plants in them than the natural habitats.

Don't worry about the water part. Frogs are used to water (think heavy rain) in their environments.

Can advice you on RO vs distilling, but the effect should be about the same.

Keep us posted!
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Old 01-19-2017, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Good job and welcome to the board! I would love to see a description of how you have built the tank so far. The detail work looks great. What materials are you using?

As for distilled vs. RO, I am usually a fan of the former, but you are right that, for a tank that size, it might be tough to keep up. An RO unit might be more appropriate. You can get a float valve that would allow it to run automatically and keep a reservoir topped off.

I would think some Ameerega might do really well in a tank like that. Epipedobates anthonyii would love it in there, too (though not both together...).

Well done!

Mark
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Old 01-19-2017, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Looks good so far. I can't wait to see how this develops.
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Old 01-20-2017, 12:48 AM
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this looks like it going to turn out really nice
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

thank you all for the encouragement. darts can seem a bit daunting when you commit to doing it right. very tankful for this forum, its amazing. been lurking for years to learn about building vivs but this is my first go at it for darts.

The tank was set up for leopard geckos so i could have a low maintenance tank but nocturnal critters are less fun when you only get to see your tank during the day. Been a blast building it so far.

I'll do some more homework on the RO and the floater. would love to have something top off the tank for me.....wonder if i can make that work. Any good direction for me to start my research? That should cut down on the mineral deposits on the tank right? The RO would remove most everything and the floater would keep the tank at a fairly consistent level...am i thinking right?

I live in Alaska so getting frogs might be tricky and keeping my FF cultures on point is going to be very important. If i have a crash in winter (-28 ambient temp this morning), i don't think ill be able to get a shipment for a fresh start. I'll be looking for advice on that in the coming months. I plan on getting frogs next fall so the tank will be completely dialed in and rooted.

more to come
thanks again
JD
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

[QUOTE=wimvanvelzen;2822649]That is a very promising setup, natural look. Don't overplant it - most tanks have way more plants in them than the natural habitats.

I don't plan on a ton of plants at all. I have some ficus trees that I want to make my centerpieces. I have three of them. I won't use the term bonsai as I am not nearly knowledgable enough and I don't want to offend anyone. I did purchase them a year ago as 6 six year old trees already trained. I am going to try and keep them under control and try to grow a bunch of arial roots to compliment the hardscape. One of them already has a beautiful long root ready to dig in!

The difficult thing with comprehensive hardscapes is that you don't always have expansive areas for substrates to plant like crazy. You have to plan way ahead and create spots for each plant. Easy maintenance is the up side IMO, at least for me. If I have a problem with a potter i can usually fix it without monster trucking the rest of the tank. that and i just really like to build the darn things.

I added small, LED black lights to the cave today and I think i am going to keep them. I think they kind of look cool! I am no electrician but they are running on a dimmer and they seem to be functioning just fine. iPhone gives a crappy view but its all i have. the one bright spot isn't nearly as prominent in real life. Whaddya think? cheesy, unique, cool??? Shouldn't bother frogs right?
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

the base of the hardscape is pink foam and the rest is great stuff. both are super easy to work with.

I cover all my scapes with drylock waterproofing. It is awesome and super easy to work with. my newt tank paludarium has been submerged for years and still looks great. it out gases over night, doesn't jack up your water chemistry for weeks like concrete, and is a breeze to color. any concrete coloring will work and it has a white base for easy mixing and dry brushing. 2-3 layers is enough. Down side is its a bit pricey in comparison. Once you have the basic color scheme your looking for, let it dry for at least a few hours and then dry brush it to give it that weathered look. Super easy: dip your brush in the white dry lock and then brush it off onto a little piece of cardboard. It should look like there is none left on the brush. then lightly brush over the whole tank. each little bump will grab some of the white and give it that old look. voila

accents are fun too. the 3 mm Kon tiki gravel from caribsea is sprinkled over a thin layer of smeared silicone (brown). lightly dab the area to seat the gravel and its done.

the mud look is titebond III mixed with coco husk/fiber. again kinda pricey cause it takes a lot of titebond and that stuff aint cheap either (especially up here). But if you really get the fibers completely soaked and then press it on, it will last for quite some time. only a very small amount has come off of my 5 year old newt tank (even when its submerged). It must be completely inert once dry because we did a bunch of water tests on all of the products. we even put fertilized coho salmon eggs in separate tanks with the silicone, GS, titebond III, gorilla glue, and dry lock to see if they would hatch and develop properly. each substance was smeared all over and then monitored for 4 months until they hatched. 98% hatched and were good to go. normal development and growth. was a cool experiment.

There are some serious tank builders on this site and i now many of them use concrete and other methods. this is just how i do it.
heres a few pics of the development
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Old 01-20-2017, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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As for distilled vs. RO, I am usually a fan of the former, but you are right that, for a tank that size, it might be tough to keep up. An RO unit might be more appropriate. You can get a float valve that would allow it to run automatically and keep a reservoir topped off.
I can certainly say setting-up an R/O system + float valve reservoir for my misting system was very easy. I got a hose splitter for the *cold* water line going to the washing machine and then ran tubing to the R/O system and a plastic garbage-can I drilled with a float valve.

You can get a good r/o system for $150-$200, add another $30 for a float valve and reservoir bucket. You can consider how much that compares to the price of all the gallons of water you'll also need to carry across the Target or Walmart parking lot if you go the distilled water route.
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Old 01-20-2017, 09:50 AM
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This looks great, it has a lost Mayan or Inca temple vibe to it!
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Old 01-21-2017, 06:21 AM
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This looks great, it has a lost Mayan or Inca temple vibe to it!
awesome, that was part of the inspiration for the build!

thanks
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Without a doubt this will look awesome when finished.
Congrats!
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Old 01-25-2017, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Very cool. Your students are lucky. I like the long low profile for the more terrestrial darts. Subscribing to this one.
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

you have inspired me to do a bigger tank i have laying around
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:26 AM
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i had to bite the bullet and put the hardscape back into the tank for one last fitting. I need a better plan before i foam it all in and seal the junctions. There are 17 pieces all together and they are tighter than a snare drum now that the pieces have all been dry locked. Even just the few layers must've added 1/16th or so to each piece. Im going to have to trim some to make it work for the final fitting. not fun getting that beast all put together...its like a damn rubix cube.

I put the ficus trees in today to see what the splash of green will look like and i think they look pretty good. Might be harder than i thought to keep them from out growing this thing. My original plan was to keep the trees in their pot so I could attempt a bonsai -like approach to keeping the growth in check. theory seemed good but I'm now just going to take my chances and hope that i don't have to pull them once a year to trim roots. Always an experiment in the viv world!

finally have all my plumbing parts and hope to get the tank drilled very soon.

more to come

JD
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Old 01-26-2017, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

The force is strong with this one

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Old 01-26-2017, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Wow, very cool looking and inspirational! Can't wait to see this one progress.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:27 PM
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This is one amazing build. I can't wait to see it finished. I bet gametophyte ferns would love it in there.
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:35 AM
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you have inspired me to do a bigger tank i have laying around
awesome!! how big is it......i love big vivs!!keep us posted
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:16 AM
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Wow, very cool looking and inspirational! Can't wait to see this one progress.
Very inspirational indeed! great job so far!
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:43 AM
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I've been doing a bunch of reading on the species i want and its time to ask the questions that I'm sure have been answered a thousand times. every build is different and every new comer likes to ask their own questions i guess. thanks again for all your help. forgive the neophyte

I am placing the following in order of importance:

1. frogs that move around during the day. bold is good for me since their behavior will be studied by lots of students.

2. Frogs that will live in groups. I can't imagine having only 2 frogs in the big ole tank.

3. frogs that are easy enough to breed. The breeding will be amazing for my students and raising new generations will greatly add to my genetics class.

Im a beginner to darts but a stickler for mil spec detail in the environments!

i really like the following frogs:
leucomelas, which is termed a mid sized frog. still easy enough to find and view? not a thumbnail right?
auratus, skittish??? will they be harder to watch in the tank??
Azureus, seems like they can be tough to group up.

how many frogs can i put in this thing?? species dependent i suppose

thanks again
JD

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Old 01-31-2017, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Hi JD,
Here is my take on your frog situation. I am kinda in the same boat right now. I have a big tank I need to put frogs in and am trying to decide who's worthy ;-)

Of your options, leucs are by far your best option. Auratus would do great in there, but for me, they have always been hiders. That would be a shame and it might tempt you to add another species in that big ole tank, which would be unwise. Leucs are fantastic group frogs that have a great call, are easy to breed and rarely hide. They are also pretty inexpensive, which would be a boon considering you could put a dozen or more of them in a tank that size.

Going off the menu, there might be a couple of more frogs to think about. With all of that water, Epipedobates anthonyii would do great in there. They are fun frogs that have many of the same characteristics as leucs. There are also several varieties of them. Adelphobates galactonotus are good group frogs and would enjoy all the space, too. Phyllobates terribilis/bicolor/vittatus could do well in there, but I would make sure that the substrate stays really dry. Finally, I don't have any experience with them (yet! but soon...), but I would think that Ameerega would really do well in a tank that big with a water feature in it. They are really large, athletic frogs. They are also gorgeous. I can imagine a group of chrome bassleri or something like that in there. Again, take that last recommendation with a grain of salt because I have never kept that genus. If someone else thinks they wouldn't do well in there, listen to them :-)

Best of luck in choosing your new roommates.

Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by AOA View Post
I've been doing a bunch of reading on the species i want and its time to ask the questions that I'm sure have been answered a thousand times. every build is different and every new comer likes to ask their own questions i guess. thanks again for all your help. forgive the neophyte

I am placing the following in order of importance:

1. frogs that move around during the day. bold is good for me since their behavior will be studied by lots of students.

2. Frogs that will live in groups. I can't imagine having only 2 frogs in the big ole tank.

3. frogs that are easy enough to breed. The breeding will be amazing for my students and raising new generations will greatly add to my genetics class.

Im a beginner to darts but a stickler for mil spec detail in the environments!

i really like the following frogs:
leucomelas, which is termed a mid sized frog. still easy enough to find and view? not a thumbnail right?
auratus, skittish??? will they be harder to watch in the tank??
Azureus, seems like they can be tough to group up.

how many frogs can i put in this thing?? species dependent i suppose

thanks again
JD
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

great ideas! i'll look into those for sure. thanks for chiming in! appreciate the advice.

a dozen leucs!! i was thinking a half dozen...more the better if theres enough space.

how many flies per week would that be???? wow. new to darts, still a bit worried about culturing ff......

i run a fishing business in the summers up here and its non-stop crazy for 2 months. very limited time for tank work. Tourism in AK is such an amazing sight to behold. our little towns grow exponentially and the midnight sun keeps everyday a 15 hour one!! I'll be able to feed regularly and the tank will be well regulated. If i plan ahead, will i be able to stock pile flies or is the maintenance not too bad?? the videos seem easy enough but whats the real scoop with a dozen frogs? I have to have a contingency plan for crashes right? living up here means i have one petco, 50 miles away.....thats it. Can i even get a culture shipped quickly in the dead of winter????

JD
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:42 AM
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Don't forget terribilis. They will work with leucs and azureus.
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:38 AM
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I would suggest P. terribilis as well, large and bold. Several styles to choose from!
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:11 AM
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i think i am leaning towards leucs after reading about all the aforementioned species. thanks for all the good choices. They just seem to fit and are reasonably priced for a beginner. and since i will possibly do the dozen or so, might be a smart choice for the checkbook!

man there are a lot of really cool darts out there!!

how many small caves should i have to support that many frogs?? will they share hideouts? the big cave could house many if thats the case. Ive seen many folks add specific places built in for egg laying...is that something i should look into doing? if so, now is the time for me to do it.

thanks again

JD
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:40 PM
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I think it'd be fun to start with fewer frogs than the viv can house, and that way as they begin to breed you can keep some the offspring in there too.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:57 PM
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i think i am leaning towards leucs after reading about all the aforementioned species. thanks for all the good choices. They just seem to fit and are reasonably priced for a beginner. and since i will possibly do the dozen or so, might be a smart choice for the checkbook!

man there are a lot of really cool darts out there!!

how many small caves should i have to support that many frogs?? will they share hideouts? the big cave could house many if thats the case. Ive seen many folks add specific places built in for egg laying...is that something i should look into doing? if so, now is the time for me to do it.

thanks again

JD
I think leucs would be a great choice. As for the caves, the frogs will almost certainly just choose their own places to rest and hide (though that's why you are buying leucs - they don't hide much). My experience is that the harder I work on making a super cool hiding place, the less likely they are to use it :-) They will find their own spots.

For breeding locations, mine have always preferred coco huts that I put butter/margarine under. They lay their eggs and I can take the lid out and put another one in its place. No need to build a special place for it or anything. See my comment above :-)

Mark
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:33 AM
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I think it'd be fun to start with fewer frogs than the viv can house, and that way as they begin to breed you can keep some the offspring in there too.
really like that idea!!!! I was thinking about that today. Is introducing a small group later on after frogs have already settled in a bad idea for leucs?
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:41 AM
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thanks Mark, do you think i can just put a petri dish lid inside the big cave or do i have to have a separate hut? I wasn't planning on a coco hut. I made two small removable caves behind the river, neither of which will fit a dish very well at all.
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:55 AM
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just looked at an older pic of what the tank used to look like. housed 2 leopard geckos.
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:34 PM
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thanks Mark, do you think i can just put a petri dish lid inside the big cave or do i have to have a separate hut? I wasn't planning on a coco hut. I made two small removable caves behind the river, neither of which will fit a dish very well at all.
You can try to put petri dishes out and they may take you up on the offer. They seem to like some privacy, though. The big cave may not offer what they are looking for. You can add flat, removable plastic pieces anywhere you have that offers said privacy. The coco huts seem to work well. Anyplace you have that is similar (small area; smooth, removable floor (for taking eggs out and waiting for them to hatch in separate container), and a relatively small opening (up to golf ball size?)) could work. For the plastic pieces, you can just cut from a butter lid whatever size and shape fits in the holes. If you don't provide a place for them to breed, they will probably still do it, but may use leaves or other flat spaces that you may not want to (or be able to) remove. I have had tons better luck pulling the eggs than leaving them in place and letting the male carry the tads to water. It would probably still work, but you won't get as many offspring. This could be a good thing :-)

Mark
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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You can try to put petri dishes out and they may take you up on the offer. They seem to like some privacy, though. The big cave may not offer what they are looking for. You can add flat, removable plastic pieces anywhere you have that offers said privacy. The coco huts seem to work well. Anyplace you have that is similar (small area; smooth, removable floor (for taking eggs out and waiting for them to hatch in separate container), and a relatively small opening (up to golf ball size?)) could work. For the plastic pieces, you can just cut from a butter lid whatever size and shape fits in the holes. If you don't provide a place for them to breed, they will probably still do it, but may use leaves or other flat spaces that you may not want to (or be able to) remove. I have had tons better luck pulling the eggs than leaving them in place and letting the male carry the tads to water. It would probably still work, but you won't get as many offspring. This could be a good thing :-)

Mark
exactly what i needed to know . thank you

JD
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

wondering if i should build in a fan system. originally i was going to and then i figured i would wait and see. goin back and forth now. its a show tank for sure so now I'm leaning on just going for it. any suggestions on brand and size or set up??
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Contact tropical breeze that is in classified and on fb explain what you have and can make suggestions
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:36 AM
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Contact tropical breeze that is in classified and on fb explain what you have and can make suggestions
they look nice. wondering what the CFM is on their units??

some great threads on here but a lot of the links are now expired and show nothing. james67 had a great thread and grimm suggested silverstone. i think I'm gonna give these a try.... SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION?AP81
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Thats awesome, can't wait to get something that large set up as well. Like others have said Leucs would be great but I would totally get a group for Terribilis to fill that up. Always entertaining watching those big chunky guys hop around and call. Either way its a great display tank!
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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Thats awesome, can't wait to get something that large set up as well. Like others have said Leucs would be great but I would totally get a group for Terribilis to fill that up. Always entertaining watching those big chunky guys hop around and call. Either way its a great display tank!
i have a while to decide, but now I'm really not sure what to get. i was set with leucs and now the more i hear from ya'll, I'm starting to waiver.

terribilis sound bold and fun to watch.....even more so than leucs.....

I like the colors of the leucs better........ is one easier than the other to keep??

do all new comers go thru this torture...hahah, good torture i guess.
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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i have a while to decide, but now I'm really not sure what to get. i was set with leucs and now the more i hear from ya'll, I'm starting to waiver.

terribilis sound bold and fun to watch.....even more so than leucs.....

I like the colors of the leucs better........ is one easier than the other to keep??

do all new comers go thru this torture...hahah, good torture i guess.


Leucs are very easy to care for in my opinion never had terribilis


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