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Tank Setups ? ?


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Hello ,

I was thinking of upgrading to some bigger tanks as i really want to breed some cichlids(mouth brooders) , i was thinking along the lines of 6 ft tanks , but how would i set them up ? ,

and i want to breed really nice fish , so if anyone has any suggestions pleaze tell as your info will be very helpful ,

Lil DraGon

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You have a number of options according to your budget and also what you want to achieve:

- Sump filters


Very efficient filters

Minimal cleaning


Tank must be generally be drilled to take either weir of standpipe

Can be a little noisy, with the water gurgling (can get around by using a different types of standpipes) and the pump (dependant on brand)

Can be costly, ie. pipe work, holes drilled, sump tank, bio balls, spinning arm, etc (maybe cheaper to get one second hand)

- External canisters


Efficient, also not as far as above

Neat and tidy.

Good brand are virtually silent


Likely to be same cost or more than above, dependant on brand, etc.

Likely to need a couple of them.

- Drop side filters (two glass plates one or both ends of tank, with a 3-4mm gap, water runs through the gap over media and then an air pump is used to push the water back through PVC pipes; hard to explain)


cheapest option

low power consumption


Arguably, the least effective of them


Take up internal tank space

- Internals

for that size tank use as a supplementary filter, not efficient enough

Well thats a quick down and dirty from me. All of the points can be argued, and likely will smile.gif , but just my opinion. I have all three types running; but use only the sump filter on my 6 foot tanks.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask questions.

With regards,


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OK, Just some Questions first?

Do you want a budget/middle/or ideal setup?

Because there are many many options you could take.

Filtration options:

1. Cannister

2. Wier/sump/trickle

3. Hangon

4. DIY

Heater options:

1. Heated room (gas)

2. Traditional 300w

3. New style hydor external heater

4. Heater built into cannister (Eheim Professional)


1. Standard Reflecors

2. Double reflectors

3. Hanging Spotlights

4. Metal Halies


1. Sand

2. Gravel

3. Buffer and sand mix (i.e. coral sand)


Depending on species


1. Mbuna

2. Peacock

3. Large hap

4. Cyathopharynx Foai/furcifer or other feather fin species

5. Plecos

6. Synodontis

Ummmm.....i've probably missed alot of things but just a general over view of some options

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Most likely i will just use the basic , canister filter , good heater , normal light , probly crushed coral as substrate , but with breeding should i use pots or just build caves and hiding spots for a more naturual home for the fish ?? fish - i was thinkin like mabye a solousi colony, somehting along the lines of that or an acei coloni , ??

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I can see why PIJAC loves you guys LOL.gif If its a breeding setup you cant go past the humble sponge filter, put 3 large ones in a 6fter and away you go all for $45 per tank plus $60 for a hi-volume air pump, the surface area of these sponges are almost equal to that of a large cannister and maintainence is a breeze. They're almost as good as my matrix filled corner filters yes.gif but they dont trap fry. no.gif

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hey DanceswithDingoes, I agree with you. I got sponge filters in my fry tanks. BUT they drive me nuts with the bubling.. Then again, I have them in my living room and in the kitchen. LOL!

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You can keep a small saulosi (1m/4f) colony in a 2x2x18(h). I have mine in 2x18x18 but I have lost 2 girls in the last week as the guys are getting toey again and the girls were not interested as they had only just released their fry, it it cost them no.gif . As Acei I think you need a little bigger tank probably 3x2x18 but I don't keep them yet so I have no idea. I will have 2 largish colonies of yellows maingano probably msobo and something else in my 6x2x18's when they are up and running.



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Sorry to be critical but i disagree. Small Salousi colony's grow into big salousi colonies (physical size). IMO these guys grow too big for a 2 x 2 x 18. I've seen a 4ft x 18 x 18 with 1 male and 6 females and that tank looked almost crowded with a hyper dominant male taking 3ft of territory.


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I currently have a 4ft setup , with 2 colonies in it , albino zebs and red zebs not to sure on there scientific name , i have had acei before but all of them were males , and i have a trio of johanni in a 3ft tank but i want to get rid of them because i need some more room for other fish ,

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G'day Brendon,

I have to agree with DWD, If it's just breeding your into with the 6ftr, use 3-4 Large sponge filters. The one's AOA sells are fantastic, the reason I say 3-4 is, the idea of a well setup breeding tank is keeping the broods together and bringing them to a saleable size with the minimum of cost. If you partition the tank into 4 compartment you have a sponge in each area, your fry don't mix and makes it very easy to observe what type of fish works for you and what doesn't. I've done my breeding tank this way and it's cost effective and very reliable. One thing I do is have a BN in each compartment, they keep the sponges clean to an extent and are pretty good at general cleanup without annoying the fry. It works for me anyway.

PS: the partitions I use are home made with a plastic tubing frame and some fine mesh siliconed to it, I bought for a few bucks at a fabric place. I just silicon some sponge strips to the edges to wedge the frame in place, no fry get through, water movement is uninterupted and they are easily removed when you want to.



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