Mark, Braden River

 I have a 260 Gal. fresh water tank that I want to se t up. Tank is 4’4″  wide 2’4″ deep 3’6″high. It has a 6″w, 14″l, 3’4″h over flow in 1 corner which I plan on using as a sump/canister filter. I plan on putting 1 or 2 , 1000 gph pumps on the bottom with a perforated platform about 1/2 way up to support the biohome ultimate and coarse, med. and fine floss.

I have 2 large fish (5-12lbs)(Peacock Bass/Pacu) to put in this tank. How much biohome ultimate would you recommend? It’s a unusual set-up.

Here’s his current tank and his two buddies. I gave him my advice and Mark responded with more info on his setup.

fish 4 fish 1` fish 2 fish 3

I’ve had fish tanks for about 15 yrs. now but am far from being an expert. It all started when my 8 yr. old son came home with 300 tadpoles and we ended up with 200+ tree frogs in our car port. It was interesting for a couple of days, stupid frogs jumping on my head.

From there we slowly graduated up to a used 180 gal. tank. As we lived on the Braden River in Florida, it became “The Bayou Tank”. Which at one point housed 8 different “Native” Fl. fish species. (Large mouth bass, speckled cat, shell cracker, gar, etc) It was very educational and interesting to watch the interaction. Of course the best part was that if they grew to big for the tank I just threw them back into the river. I was pretty firm about “If it ain’t in the River, it ain’t in my tank” . Great!

Until my Buddy that worked at Petland called and said “Hey Mark you still got that 180, I just had somebody turn in a Peacock Bass that out grew his tank. Want Him? That’s how I ended up in the predicament I’m in today. Sorry to ramble on, but just wanted to give you some history on my Aquatic Expertise.

Anyway I still have the Peacock and the Pacu in the 180 gal. and rather then get rid of them (because my wife won’t let me fry them up) I just needed to get a bigger tank. I came across the 260 gal. tank, which I believe was originally a custom reef tank, it wasn’t what I was looking for but for $200 I couldn’t pass it up, I’ll make it work.

Seeing it is tall instead of wide, I can only put it on a stand about 16″ high, or I would need a step ladder to maintain it. I came up with the idea of using the drilled/over flow portion, that would be wasted space for me anyway as my filtration. I will seal the bottom/drilled part.

Thank You for suggesting that 1000gph to 2000 gph may be too much!  (Some people recommended more, Holy Crap be like having a rip tide in the tank). I’ve been running a Penn Plax Cascade 1500 canister filter, about 500gph, with 3-4kg of Seachem Matrix in it for about 1+year and with frequent water changes has done just fine.

OK enough BS’n for now.

–  I’ve been a canister filter guy. With a canister the suction is from the bottom of the tank and the return is across the top. Which helps with aeration.

–  As I’m using the overflow as intake to my “filtration system” should I pipe the return to the bottom of the tank?

– The other concern you mentioned is that the water enters buy overflow how will I keep the bottom clean?

I see you have a “Foam Filter Set, coarse, med. and fine, approx. 12″x12″ that I can cut to fit.”  Will go this way; Coarse layer on top, Med. next, fine, then BioHome Ultimate in bags sitting on top of a removable, perforated platform. Pond Pump will be on the bottom, probably about 12″ below platform. As I can view through the bottom thru the glass, I can remove all filtration and suck the bottom as I would the bottom of the tank.

– I planned on using the 3-4 kg of Seachem Matrix that has been in my canister for about 1yr.(good bacteria already built up?) plus about 5kg of BioHome and some starter balls. You suggest I use much more than that. Seeing that I have yet to use a “water test kit, and have been able to keep these guy’s alive for 8+ yrs. thru pop eye, fin rot, cooties, etc.

I’m either very lucky or the Fish Whisperer. (The Pacu is my brat teenage kid, he looks at me like “What! I didn’t break the glass lid on the tank the Peacock did” That’s why it’s plexi glass now.

– The other question I had was this 260 gal. is in excellent condition except it has some build up on the glass where the reef must have been. I’ve tried Vinegar and Muriatic acid, better but with water in it still looks like smudges on the glass. Any suggestions?**  – Can You tell Me more about your airlift system!! Sounds like something I wouldase get back to me when you can, no hurry, there might be something else I need to order

Thanks Again, Mark Sheppard

P.S. I watched a You Tube video from one of your customers that had a problem but you must have resolved to the point he made the video raise you. Hard to find!!