My brother-in-law has a 90gal saltwater tank and he is obsessed. Needless to say he got a killer deal on it and it has turned it his number one hobby, its pretty bada$$! From talking with him, you need alot of room and need to know about a little bit of science because of the water but im sure its something your local saltwater fish tank people can tell you.....Ill get you some pics of it soon.
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My wife and I used to have a 75 gal freshwater tank. We initially had a pair of Oscars in there, and man are those things messy. Even with two Magnum canister filters it was still a weekly task to clean them. We eventually turned it into a Leopard Gecko terrarium before selling it.
I would recommend only an inch or so of substrate, more than that and you are just asking for stuff to get built up in it. If you are doing African cichlids remember they like alkaline water which usually requires some rocks or woods to help regulate the pH.
It's also a good idea, for a tank that size, to let it cycle for at least a week before adding any fish. Check the levels daily and make sure things look alright. Once the levels have stabilized for a few days, then slowly add a couple fish. Even a couple small fish in a large tank can change the levels.
Good luck with your 75 and be sure to post some pictures after you get it up and running.
I had a 125 gallon tank with 6 red bellys. Got them when they were the size of a quarter and almost see thru. 2 years later they were 10+ inches long. They could easily eat 200 feeder comets a week.
My suggestion is dont use any under gravel filters, they trap more debris than they clean. Get a python siphon cleaner, it really helps in vacuuming and water exchanges in larger tanks. It sounds like you have built in skimmer boxes on the 75. Personally I like to use an oversized wet/dry filter. They are mostly used in saltwater tanks, but I use them in freshwater tanks as they filter so well and filtration rates don't drop like canister filters when they get clogged up with waste.
On a larger tank, cycle the new water for a couple weeks to help build up the biological filtering, you can buy a bacteria pack to speed things up. Add some cheap feeder fish the second week to help boost the bio filtering even more. When the cloudiness disappears, add your better fish.
Its similar to your 10 gal, just more chemicals and more to clean.
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Without fish, there is nothing to cycle. If you have chlorinated water, use a dechlorinator. You probably already know that. Not a bad idea to take a sample of the water you intend to use to fish store to see if the pH hardness etc will work for the fish you plan on keeping.
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Buy a good test kit for the water, I always use a handful of feeder goldfish to cycle my tanks. It could take up to 8 weeks depending on the water you use to fill it. If you are using your tap water test it. That way you know where your water is to begin with. I have a 45 gallon mixed African cichlids tank and soon as it cycles a 55 gallon jack dempsy cichlid tank. If you let the tank cycle with some cheap fish it will save you a lot of frustration. Oh yeah, cichlids and plants don't go well together. They chew and dig them up.
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Do a fast cycle, throw a few fish in there, wait a day go to a local pet store and ask for a handful of gravel from the bottom of a well established tank. Stick that in the bottom of your filter, Done. Been doing this for 10+years
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