Aqua One AR-620T Support Forum

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6th July 2004:

Way back in February last year, when this blog was still a baby, I made a comment about the search terms that people had put into search engines to come to my blog. One of them was "ar-620t". A couple of people made comments and this entry is now number one in Google for ar-620t. Since people seem to be posting to it more and more often, I thought I'd better put up this little header paragraph to welcome you all. Apologies for the long page, you may have to search a bit for anything useful.

Here's the original entry from last February, scroll down for the forum:

Below are the keywords that people typed into search engines to bring them to my blog in January 2003:

27 17.76% kazza
21 13.82% sentinal csiro
8 5.26% kazza movies
7 4.61% sentinal hotspots
5 3.29% csiro sentinal
4 2.63% csiro fire sat* image sentinal
3 1.97% ar-620t
3 1.97% fish tank lights
3 1.97% strictly aquariums
2 1.32% fish tank stuff
2 1.32% growing plants movies
2 1.32% kazza little
2 1.32% kazza news 2003
2 1.32% rockdale plaza
2 1.32% sentinal

The first column is the number of times the keyword/phrase was used - I only showed ones with two or more repeats. The second column is the percentage and the third column is the keyword/phrase.

"kazza" was the biggest drawcard to my site, thanks in no small part to the fact that people are *stupid* and can't spell to save themselves. It's KAZAA people *NOT* KAZZA!! Sheesh! Get it right! actually used to have someone's personal page, but now it's run by the producers of kazaa for all the stupid people out there in the world.

"sentinal" also brought in a lot of visits because I actually mistyped it when I wrote it - it's meant to be "sentinel" referring to the CSIRO Sentinel page which shows bushfire hotspots in Australia.

There were also a bunch of referrals from my fish tank references. My blog is the only page indexed by Google to contain "ar-620t". This is the name of an aquarium tank made by Aqua One. Aqua One is a company that does not have a website, and obviously relies on resellers and retailers to promote its products. In this day and age if a company doesn't have a website they are seriously behind the times. At least that's my opinion anyway.

So I've not been able to find out a single thing about this fish tank that I now own, because there is not one single webpage out there dedicated to AR-620T fish tanks that can give me the specifications of my tank. The leaflet that came with it was just as useless, so if anyone out there has one of these tanks and their specs, maybe they could pass them along!


dbrewington said:

this is not kazza u fool get a life dude

April 18, 2003 2:38 PM


Jas said:

I am wanting to buy an AR 620-T but like you said can't find any info on the web.. have you had any luck?

August 11, 2003 10:26 AM


kazza said:

nah they don't have a website that I've found. Strictly Aquariums sell the tanks in Australia.. Aqua One tanks are distributed by a mob called Kongs - but their website is useless also.

August 11, 2003 10:27 PM


Goldy said:

I just purchased a AR-620T (T stands for Tall) and have also been looking for info on this product.
I found some info (not necessarily relevant) at the following links...
They seem to be talking about an AR620 which is a smaller model - whereas the pet shop owner told me that the specifications for the AR620T holds 130litres of water. Believe me it does - back and forth a dozen times or more to fill it with a 10 litre container.

I also found some info here on the AR620 that might be helpful with the AR620T with regard to water changes and changing the filter wool etc.

happy fish keeping.
kind regards

October 29, 2003 7:51 PM


kazza said:

Ah thanks for those links!
Yes the AR620/620T are certainly nice looking tanks, although the tall ones are devils of things to maintain - my arm isn't actually long enough to reach the bottom!

October 31, 2003 9:31 PM


Dakoda smith said:

get a life loser! I'm not stupid you are!
kazaa kazaa kazaa

November 7, 2003 6:46 AM


timbo said:

yes i got an ar620t the other day and it seems to go fairly well, i have also been told it holds 130 litres of water and have also measured it. i my self have not had much luck on the web and found useless, oh well.
the only other thing i have to say is haha kazza u have short arms, one other thing how do u mannage to wipe ya back side.

December 14, 2003 11:40 PM


Goldy said:

Hi again
Here is another link I came across for supplies for the AR620 type tanks.

Kind Regards

January 26, 2004 11:53 AM


wayno said:

hi looking for info on ar 510 and what sort of heater

February 5, 2004 7:19 PM


Bec said:

Are you looking for a tank and live around Bondi area (eastern sydney)? - Try this small shop at the back of Bondi (177 Glenayr Ave). The dude there will do AR510 or AR620 for under $300. One small problem - he doesn't have any stock and has no information on the models, you need to tell him exactly what you need and pay a deposit before he can order the tank.

February 7, 2004 12:12 PM


shae said:

i was wondering if anyone is selling a jebo r331 or a aqua one ar620 or similar smallish - medium tank with a built in filter and possibly a heater..located in victoria..?? please reply as i need a tank urgently

March 11, 2004 2:24 PM


Adam said:

My god. This is the only website on earth that seems to meantion the tank i've just bought

The AR-620T. Does anyone know how to put the filter together? I'm a little uncertain. At this point in the left hand side of the filter i've got a fine sponge, the doo-hickey ball things and then the course sponge. in the right hand side, I've just got another fine sponge. I think the doohickey bits might need to be in the right hand side.

Any help from a fellow owner?

April 18, 2004 9:08 AM


kazza said:

yeah tragic isn't it.. i've ranted about that fact a couple of times on my blog :)

I have the doohickey bits on the left side also. I used to have the fine filter underneath them, but it made it painful to get it out to clean it, so now i have the doohickey bits on the bottom, then the fine filter, then the course filter. Seems to work ok :)

April 18, 2004 9:19 AM


Adam said:

I'm proud to say my AR-620T is working a charm. Water quality is perfect and i've started to stock it a little.

I will do a AR-620T set up website, I feel so sorry for anyone who buys one and thinks the answers are all contained in that half-assed booklet from Aquaone.

Just one question Karen, Have you ever replaced the filter sponges or noodles? I'm wondering what would initiate that.

Kongs want to sell me a spare impeller in addition to spare sponges, Dunno what that's about.

April 25, 2004 1:42 PM


kazza said:

I've had my tank for a year and a half and haven't needed to change the powerhead. I have changed one of the fine white filter wool pads, but I didn't want to pay $16 for the pre-cut pads from Aqua One, so I paid $3 for a big sheet of it, and cut it to size myself :) I haven't needed to change the noodles either.

April 25, 2004 5:39 PM


mark said:

so this is appentley the only known place in the universe where the word AR620T is known

thanks guys youve answered all my questions without needing to ask one

i bought a 620 t and an ar380 yesterday
the 620t is giving me some dramas but hopefully no ill try out your suggestions and fix them up


April 27, 2004 12:15 PM


Myles Hawkins said:

Was reading the comments above and was wondering if anyone was interested in buying a Aqua One AR 620 still. I realise that was old but thought it worth a try.

May 24, 2004 12:31 PM


Patrick said:

I have had an AR620 for around 12 months now. Currently set up as a nano-reef with some marine fish, coral, and lots of live rock.

It's been dead easy to run and maintain with samll regular water changes. My only wish is to boost the light power (without building a new hood). To this end I am looking at importing an Icecap electronic ballast from the US to double the output from the standard flouros.

I have replaced filter media twice in that time.

Biggest issue has been finding suitably sized quality replacement bulbs.

Thumbs up on the AR620.

May 28, 2004 1:38 PM


Nero said:

Hi all,
I just got an ar620 :) It looks AWESOME! what I was wondering tho, where do you put the HEATER? At the moment I have it crammed in just to the left of the uplift, and the cord is trailed over to the motor, and up one of the holes there??? Its OK, but I had expected somthing more... The aqua one heaters arent fully submersible are they..

June 6, 2004 9:21 PM


Patrick said:


I have the heater installed on the left side of the tank about 2.5" in front of the uplift. The cord goes up one of those holes as you say. This is reasonably standard practice as far as aquariums go.

I don't have the Aqua One heater it is another brand (name escapes me for the time being)and it is fully submersible. I would expect the A1 heater to be too, but check the instructions before electrocuting your livestock...

Another alternative is to lay the heater into the trickle filter compartment, though I doubt this is all that reliable (anyone for melted plastic?).

June 22, 2004 4:15 PM


Wilko said:

Hey, got a AR850 myself not long ago, think little bigger then the AR620, anyway, if people want general info on maintaing aquariums, try and go to their faq's page, as has heaps of details on setup, operation, disease, plants etc. and most useful website i have found. After playing around with a smaller 24x12inch tank for past 2 years, enjoy the larger, and easier to maintain aquaone setup. Have fun!

June 25, 2004 9:35 PM


louisa said:

i am buying an aquaone620 pretty soon, i phoned around to all the shops in brisbane and got the lowest possible price i think ($275). i'm pretty excited, as i almost bought a jebo aquarium but apparently they are crap. good to hear you all are happy with your aqua1 aquariums.

one question however, i need to sit it on something fairly strong. have you guys all bought the proper stands? or just a regular table from else where? any ideas?

June 28, 2004 9:58 PM


kazza said:

I'm using the proper stand that matches the tank. It looks nice and has a cabinet underneath that you can store stuff out of the way

June 29, 2004 6:13 AM


Patrick said:

I use the stand also. It looks good, and gives me a place to store some of the junk associated with the tank. I beefed up the lighting in the hood so that I could keep some live corals and other invertebrates with some small marine fish - the gear for this is in the stand now also.

Just remember that the tank holds 80L, therefore will weigh at least 80kg + weight of tank itself + any rockwork = 90 to 100kg. Whatever you put it on should handle at least this much weight.

If you want to see what it possible with these tanks and similar sized units visit and check-out some of the tank set-ups there.

June 29, 2004 12:35 PM


louisa said:

hi again,
i got my ar620 tank the other day, and as it was a display stock model, i got no instructions.
can anyone fill me in on the filter bits and what to do with them?
(i understand that the instuctions i should have gotten weren't that helpful anyway)

July 5, 2004 7:11 PM


Patrick said:

There's no 'standard' set up. Every shop seems to do it differently, but here's how I did it while it was a freshwater setup:

The ceramic noodles (or alternatively Bio-Strate) is filled into the longer compartment. Lay the black filter foam over the top. The spray bar (plastic tube with plenty of holes)goes over the top of that. In the second compartment lay the shorter white foam bits - I weighed them down with some stones.

The logic behind this setup is that black foam catches the larger detritus (eg dead plant matter) where it is easily cleaned. The smaller particles go through to the noodles where the bacteria develops to 'eat' the ammonia and nitrites. The water then finally passes through the white filters to give it a final scrub and catch any break down of the noodles.

Ideally you would have a pad under the noodles too, but there is not enough room and the resistance to flow causes the water to back up.

July 6, 2004 6:08 PM


louisa said:

thankyou patrick for your help!
a few questions:

1. do i put all the noodle things in, or just one layer/other amount?

2. how long do the noodle things last, and can you easily buy them when needing replacement?

ok... i'm sure i will have more questions later, i finally got my table made, so i'm ready to start setting up (blindly).
thanks again!

July 8, 2004 11:01 AM


kazza said:

I have mine setup with the left well having: the noodles, then the larger white filter wool, then the black filter pad, then the water sprayer. In the right well I have the smaller white filter wool.

I used to have the white filter wool under the noodles, but it made it harder to replace (or pull out and give a thorough rinsing).

I also found that the original filter wool that comes with the tank is really hard to rinse out, and when I replaced it with some fluffier stuff it was a lot easier. You can buy big sheets of it from any aquarium shop and then cut them to size, and it works out a heck of a lot cheaper than buying the Aqua One replacement pads.

I put all my noodles in, and they've been going for a year and a half without disintegrating - but they're less disturbed by having them under the filter wool, so I don't need to move them to get the wool out.

July 8, 2004 11:18 AM


louisa said:

i've put together the pipes so the holey one is suspended out over the filter medium/noodles from the powerhead with the elbow, and the long one with the basket thing is pointing down from the powerhead into the tank.
i have one piece left, and i'm not sure what to do with it.
it's black and not see thru, it is L shaped, and small, one section of the L is round, and one section is rectangular.
i hope someone knows what i'm talking about!!
thanks. going to buy gravel in about an hour. any suggestions guidlines? i was thinking of some sort ofbasic aquarium gravel tht looks natural. someone told me to put coal chips in it to make it darker.... does this sound strange to you/

July 8, 2004 12:09 PM


Patrick said:

Put as many noodles in as can fit (with the other bits on top). The limit is really the fitment of the spray bar since it can only reach so far up.

The noodles should only need replacement when they disintegrate. If & when you do change them, only change 1/2 at a time. The idea is that you don't want to throw out all the bugs you've been culturing in there! The old 1/2 will seed the new noodles.

Same thing goes for the filter pads. Depending on how much matter (fish and plants) you have in the tank, give the filters a rinse once every month or two months. Do this when you are doing a partial water change on the tank, and rinse the pads in the water you have just taken out (you'll be amazed how much sediment will wash out). This way you will preserve the bugs in the pad, and won't introduce chlorine from the tap water into the tank.

That left over piece you have goes into a hole on the water return to the tank (far right hand side - 3rd well with no filter medium.) This helps to create and direct current in the tank. Mine was already assembled into place.

Gravel is really a matter of personal choice and how into the whole 'natural biotope' thing you are. Some folks will try to replicate the natural habitat of the fish they keep to the extent of the gravel colour and plant types. Personally I would go for natural looking gravel (not white, it won't stay that way for long). You may want to put a layer of sand under the gravel, as this will help plants to root.

The caveat is this: Freshwater tropical fish have differing needs for water hardness and PH. Many (incl. tetras, loaches, gouramis, catfish) are pretty tolerant - but the cichlids are fussy: Angels and Discus like soft and acidic (low PH) water, the other cichlids like their water hard (lots of calcium carbonate) and basic (high PH). If you intend to keep any of these, you need to choose the gravel carefully to help maintain the high PH and calcium. For soft water you can choose plants rooted to river wood that will help to soften the water (also tends to stain the water a tea colour).

July 8, 2004 1:15 PM


louisa said:

thanks for that

with the water chemistry, are you saying that gouramis and tetras are tolerant in a way that i could keep discus and angel fish with them if i catered for their special needs? ie. that they don't care either way about pH?

also, with my tank, i'm aiming for a community tank, so i'm not choosing aggressive fish, but some require a shoal. exactly how much is a shoal? 5 fish? or more?
say for my tetras and stuff...

July 8, 2004 3:09 PM


patrick said:

As far as chemistry is concerned that is right. As far as personality and nervous dispositions go, that's another issue entirely. Discus in particular aren't very tolerant of active or aggressive tank mates. In the 620 one discus with say 5 or 6 tetras would pretty much be the limit on fish numbers. BUT Discus do well with tetras. Clown loaches, tiger barbs and other fast moving/active fish will will stress them out.

Tetras aren't that needy of a schoal. 5 or 6 is a good number. Once they settle into the tank and are comfortable you'll notice that the schoaling tendency will slowly disappear - schoaling is a security mechanism.

Couple of really important tips:
(1) research the fish and make a list of what you want to keep. Check that they are compatible personality and water chemistry wise.
(2) add fish slowly, and add the least agressive fish first. This avoids the possibility of poisoning your fish through a large ammonia spike and any conflicts over territory.
(3) go for a small number of hardy fish while you are cycling the tank. Be prepared not to add anything after the first couple of fish for 6 weeks until the ammonia and nitrite readings are zero.

July 8, 2004 5:41 PM


louisa said:

thanks patrick for your advice. i haven't moved any further forward with my tank (i.e. it's still empty), i want to wait till i've got a few days to spend in a row on it, and we are half way thru painting out apartment atm, and i'm worried about how that will affect my water if i do set it up, also i've been away on holidays since i last posted - to the whitsundays, and i went and did some snorkling on the reef, which has made me keen to get a marine tank, but baby steps and all that.
so patrick, how many fish do you think i can put in max? what if i got a quite small discus, (i know it will grow but how fast?)
i have a beta splenden at themoment, who i will put in there first while i am aging the tank water (he will probably have a heart attack from being able to swim around after having to sweat it out in a vase for the past 6 months).

July 15, 2004 12:59 PM


Constant said:

Am am looking at purchasing a AR850 or AR980 and want to connect a chiller and UV sterilizer for a reef system. Has any one got experience with setting this type of system. If so how did you do it?


July 17, 2004 7:19 PM


Patrick said:


It's a good idea to wait for the fumes to settle.

From personal freshwater experience in the AR620 keep the stocking light. The tank was happiest with 3 clown loaches, 1 dwarf gourami, a small pleco, and four neon tetras. Basically 5 medium to small fish and some small. I ran into problems whenever I stocked more than this. For a little while I ran the system with two small discus, the pleco, and some neon tetras and that seemed ok - though I know that I would have to sell one discus at some point. As it happens, I sold them all, went marine, set up the tank again from scratch and have not looked back.

The beta splendens, while adding to the bio-load is neat because these fish do not take their oxygen from the water. Rather they breathe it directly from the atmosphere, which is why people are able to keep them in tiny little jars. So these fish don't load your system as much as say a similar sized loach.

July 19, 2004 4:20 PM


Patrick said:

Post your reefing question here:
IMO, this is the most knowledgeable group of hobbyists on the net in Australia when it comes to building and maintaining a mini reef aquarium. If they can't answer and you don't find it in the archive then there is a fair chance it can't be done.

July 19, 2004 4:25 PM


Louisa said:

this must be the longest period of tank set up anyone has done, but i only got gravel and put water in today. it's a bit cloudy, but it all seems ok. the filter is on, but nothing much is happening. i can hear the water moving through, but no water is coming out of the spray bar onto the noodle bit.
am i stressing out about nothing? or should there be water coming already? sorry but i'm new at this.
thanks for all your help with fish numbers Patrick btw.... hopefully i will get that far!

July 19, 2004 9:28 PM


Louisa said:

it just started working! (12 hours later). i'm not sure what the problem was, but it's working now...

July 20, 2004 9:47 AM


Constant said:


Thank for your feedback.

On the 29/6/04 you mentioned you have a tank with some live corals and other invertebrates with some small marine fish. How is your tank going? what diffficulties did you encounter set up a reef system. How many fish are in this tank?

I am interested in your experience relating to 620T and marine set-ups.


July 21, 2004 6:44 PM


Gina Ybabao said:

Does anyone have a Aqua One RS120 Tank with stand and wishes to sell in Sydney? Just bought an AR620 tank but realised that it might be a bit small for our growing population of fishes (bristlenose, loaches, tetras and Discus). This is a great site. Been scratching our heads as to how to setup the tank. We were not given the filter pads, just the noodles and was wondering why our filter is not filtering the debris from the water. Your site has answered our questions. Thanks alot.


July 22, 2004 8:35 PM


Allan said:

To Louisa
I have had the same problem with the pump and found that:- If the pump is turnt on before the water level is high enough to fill the section where the propeller is it won't pump. Pump needs to be off and only turnt on when water level is high enough. Do not keep filling tank with the pump on as it won't pump even when level is high enough to fill the propeller section. If you happen to turn pump on before level is high enough turn off and fill (if required) then turn back on. Hope this helps.
Also trying to track down a stand and price for an AR620 any ideas? So far i have had no luck.
Happy fish keeping to all

July 23, 2004 8:18 AM


kazza said:

How difficult is it actually to convert a 620T to marine? Do you need an external sump/protein skimmer setup? Or can you run the whole lot in the existing hardware?

July 23, 2004 8:29 AM


Jenna said:

Ha ha, this is so cool, i
got my 620 a year ago in brisbane and has the same problems as everyone here! As far as when the pump is turned on and nothing comming out of the spray bar, ive found that pulling off the bar and sticking a siphon tube on the water outlet with just a little suction gets it going and sames time and frustration. For product information, you can try looking up Via Aqua rather than Aqua One, the company uses another name in internationally. But still info is minimal. My quandries have increased somewhat in that i have moved to canada and need to get a powerhead and new fluro bulbs that run on 120 volt plugs rather than 240. Whether to rewire or just get similar items is plaguing me. If you have any tips, id love them. Any way, good luck to all!

July 25, 2004 1:58 AM


Patrick said:

My 620 has been running as a marine (nano reef) for almost 12 months, and is doing well. The tank is healthy and happy - I think a success. So, in response to a couple of the questions regarding the Marine set up, here's how I did it.

Hardware: If you do not have a heater already, then get one, preferably two (in case one goes kaputt - marine critters a relatively expensive, so it is cheap insurance to have a backup). You also will need additional flow through the tank. The powerhead for the uplift is not enough - I added a Rio 200 and a Rio 600 located to give some turbulence in the water. Nothing cooler than watching the coral sway in the current. A skimmer is NOT required - infact for nano-reef setups (less than 20 gallons)it is generally discouraged as they are considered to deplete various nutrients and compounds required by the corals to thrive. Instead, I do a 10 to 15L water change each week with filtered natural sea water (NSW) that I buy from the local fish shop.

Lighting: This is the critical issue if you intend to keep any corals or anenomes. The two flouro tubes are ok for fish only tanks. You might want to buy a full spectrum and an actinic (blue) tube - looks good. For corals these are the minimum, I use a 10000K and 20000K tube (20 watts each). With these you can keep certain soft corals such as zoanthids, mushrooms, and leathers, and some hard corals like bubbles, and some brains. You can keep them, but they won't thrive. I bought and installed an Icecap 430 ballast on-line from the US (in 220VAC). This roughly doubled the light output from the tubes, allowing me to keep a wider range of corals and they are thriving and growing. Unfortunately, for the 620, short of building a new hood the pricey Icecap is your only option for increasing light output since compact flourescents don't fit. Some folks ditch the hood and filter assembly alltogether, put a hang on the back filter system and suspend a metal halide lamp over the top, but I reckon that ruins the good looks of the tank and is little too hard core for what should be a simple system.

Setup: Have patience. It will be 6 - 8 weeks before you can add fish. Unlike a FW tank, you cannot cycle the tank without the likely loss of the fish you are trying to cycling it with.

I setup my tank with about 1" fine and medium grade coral sand. and landscaped this with 18 to 20 kg of live rock (live rock is rock/dead coral from the reef fringes teeming with micro-organisms, algea, and hitch-hiker coral or other critters - you buy from the local fish store). Order is water first (not all the way since the sand and rock will displace volume). Then sand, which you have already rinsed thoroughly. Preferably wait 24H for the cloud to settle. Meanwhile heat the tank to 26-28 deg C. If you used filtered NSW then you are fine. If you mixing it up check salinity (1.026) and PH (8.0 - 8.2) is in order. Then aquascape with the LR. LR is cool. LR does most of the filtration in a marine setup - and is key if you intend to keep any inverts. I credit LR for the fact that the water remains crystal clear between changes, when in the FW setup it would slowly turn yellow. Even if you don't intend to keep coral I would still recommend LR - it is very cool to watch the purple algea grow over the rocks and new life develop.

Cycling: You can cycle with the LR only, or you can try to accelerate it with some bottled live bacteria (mixed reports) or some decaying matter - eg 1/2 a raw prawn. You want to induce an ammonia spike to stimulate the development of the ammonia munching bacteria. Once the ammonia has dropped to zero (6 to 8 weeks) you can slowly start adding life to the tank (eg one or two hardy fish, such as a clown). During the cycling phase, the tank will look like a disaster and probably smell like the ocean. This is the die-off period. A white mucus will appear to form over some or all of the rock - some of the organisms in the rock are dying off. You can minimise this by changing 50% of the water every couple of days and sucking the white film away, but you won't avoid it all together. Eventually it will settle down and become pristine, so DON'T PANIC.

Live-stock: For marines, this is a small tank. Deal with it. You can't cram 10 or 12 fish in here. Amazingly, though I found I did not want to either - many marines are very mobile, characterful, and have the personality of 5 FW fish. 3 to 4 small fish is max, and some would have me hung for suggesting more than two. Small means max size of 2 to 2.5" grown. If you are intending to keep corals, you must also buy fish that don't depend on them for nourishment - otherwise your fish will be having more expensive dinners than you are. Research thoroughly on-line and add all live stock SLOWLY. No more than 2 critters at a time. I waited 2 - 4 weeks between additions. If you do this, keep stocking light, and circulation up you will (1) avoid death and (2) avoid the dreaded outbreak of red algea or fine green algea (very, very ugly and reportedly near impossible to get rid of). Red algea if you get it will eventually disappear, providing you keep the feeds and stocks light.

I have a percula clown, 6-line wrasse, gramma loreto and a coral beaty pygmy angel. Google these to see what they look like.

You will need a clean up crew to keep unwanted algea at bay, eat food that is left over, and clear away detritus. I have a team of two trochus snails, and two orange legged hermit crabs, plus a redline cleaner shrimp (very cool chap).

About 6 months in I added a bubble tip anenome,who found his home under one of the powerheads. The clown hosts with it and spends most of his time swimming in and out of the BTA.

I slowly collected corals over time from the shops with a couple of casualties along the way. Corals need to be really carefuly chosen. Fortunately there is plenty of advice out there to help (books and on-line). The shop is often not the best place for advice - get independent and competent advice first.

Now the tank has matured, it looks great and is full of life and interest - a real little eco-system. I highly recommend it for the patient. Don't do a nano-reef if you are going to tear it down after 12 months, these things continue to develop new features for years.

General tips: (1) Feed very lightly. In a small tank like this it is too easy to over-feed, creating a massive supply of nutrients in the water and causing an algal bloom. If a bloom occurs, do regular large water changes (30%) to export the nutrients. (2) Use NSW, NSW is easy and chemically right from the start. Less chance of a mistake. $6 gets 25L. You're in Australia - it's ok. US sources will advise against it, but they have geography and a polluted coast line against them. (3) Research on-line. This is part of the fun. See some of the sites I mentioned earlier on this page. (4) try it, don't be put off by talk of expense (because it is not that much more expensive than a FW setup), or difficulty. In many ways marine is easier than FW - for one thing you don't need to worry so much about the PH and temperature compatability of the various fish.

Cheers - hope this helps!

July 26, 2004 10:24 PM


Patrick said:

Some final thoughts. I dumped the ceramic noodles and replaced with a product called bio-strate. This gets set-up in the same way as the noodles. Also near the filter outflow I a have a 100g bag of Purigen at the last weir. Purigen removes many organic compounds while not stripping the coral of what they need. Unlike activated carbon, it also does not leach phosphates into the water (phosphates = algea)

Tip #5: You may want to consider setting up a small quarantine tank if you are going to keep corals. Corals will be killed by any medication you use to treat sick fish.

July 26, 2004 10:31 PM


louisa said:

thanks patrick for that very informative description of your reef setup, it will be invaluable if i ever decide to do it.
i have a few questions for anyone who has an opinon regarding my freshwater setup....

1. why are their two lights? is one especially for the plants (with appropriate wavelengths?) or is it just to enhance the fish colours?

2. how long should i have the lights on each day to keep my plants healthy?

3. do you guys fertilize your plants? if so what details can you tell me regarding type/brand/frequency?

4. i am interested in getting some bamboo for my tank, i've got a few store bought plants, but i know where i can get some free bamboo. is bamboo for fishtanks different to regular bamboo? or can i get land bamboo? (sorry if that is a silly question).

thanks alot!!

July 28, 2004 10:06 AM


Patrick said:


1) Two lights because (a) it is rather dim with only 1 light, and (b) so you can use one light with a pink tube to promote healthy plants and the other to balance the colour to your eyes. You can buy special tubes for aquatic plants.

2) You should adjust your photoperiod to suit yourself, your plants, and to minimise algae. Leave them on too long and the algea will love you for it (especially if the water temperature is at the higher end). Typically 10 hours will do the trick, but watch the algea. One trick with fresh water setups is to interrupt the lighting period with a 2 hour break in the middle - Reportedly typical fw algea needs several hours of exposure to light to start reproduction. If you interrupt this process then their growth is strongly reduced. Don't quote me on this, but it did seem to work for me at the time.

3. I did. Read the packet & talk to the shop. I don't remember what I used, but I do remember that some plants are more needy than others. Also note that fertiliser releases nutrients into the water feeding not only plants but promoting the growth of less desirable algae.

4. No idea.

August 2, 2004 5:15 PM


kazza said:

Another thing with the lights is that when they start to die they go dim, then don't light the bottom of the tank very well. The ar-620t tanks are very deep and there's a lot of water between the lights and the bottom of the tank. The plants will fail to thrive with old bulbs and will even start to die back. You don't realise how dark the tank is getting until you replace the bulbs with new ones!

The other big problem with the older 620ts (I don't know about new ones, they were talking about changing the design) is that the lights get very hot because there's not a lot of ventilation. This means a shorter bulb life. Strictly Aquariums recommends not running the lights for more than 6 hours at a time.

One more thing, the degenbao bulbs *suck* hardcore. Don't buy them as replacements *ever*. I have some atmans at the moment from Strictly Aquariums, hoping they'll do ok. The Sylvania lights are also good, but don't fit the 620 tanks (too big to fit in the non-standard 620 sockets)

August 2, 2004 5:22 PM


Patrick said:

Temperature is an issue on the lighting. Mine run very hot - I have melted one light cover. One solution is to install and run a low voltage DC fan (like from a PC case) in the hood. This will also help to keep water temperature low during summer. I think this will be the next project.

Imperial tube lengths are a p.i.a, but in desperation you can stretch the endcaps apart a little - I have done this occasionally and it works fine, but definitely not ideal.

I don't reckon 6 hours is enough for plants to thrive, but I'll bet you don't have an algae problem.

August 9, 2004 12:56 PM


ray said:

hi all,

just stumbled accross this little thread.

Has anyone tried retrofitting more powerful lights into this system? I was thinking that either 2*55w compact fluoro's or a 130W power compact may fit. If anyone has had a shot at either of these i'd be interested to hear how you went.

thanks in advance

August 20, 2004 10:32 AM


Patrick said:


you'll see further up where I fitted the Icecap to boost the light output. This is one way. PCs don't fit easily into the hood, you'll need to build a new light cover somehow to accommodate them. Otherwise I reckon it's a good idea.


August 23, 2004 7:17 AM


Glen said:

Hi folks,

I have a AR620 which i purchases last year.
I use it for a nano reef. And yes if you replace the 6800K fluoro with a 12000k actinic, it will keep most corals alive.. except torches.

So what i did was... went to Bunnings, and purchased 2 LFD16 Crompton Slim Line fluoros..

Yes! they fit into the light chamber on either side of the original 20w bays. Simply screw the brackets up into the plastic roof and snap them into place. They are 6400k each but its the cheapest way out. The best part is, you can bridge them together with a linking cable.
They cost about $44 each.
Just run the power cable out thru the back where the main cable exits.
Also you cant use the main perspex cover, so toss it... as i find the snap on lugs rust near saltwater anyway.
I simply pay $5 to get a piece of 6mm glass to cover the area of the lighting bay. The glass sits perfectly inside the rim of the tank.

So i end up with...
1x12000k 20w actinic
1x14400k 20w white
2x6400k 16w daylights

72watts for about 70 displaced litres = 18gallons
Min of 4 watts per Gallon... Perfect.

All for under $100 bucks...

Anyone wanna buy some coral frags? they're going nuts!

August 25, 2004 3:40 PM


Glen said:

Hey Patrick,

Sounds like your reef is doing aswell as mine.
I find the standard noodles work a treat.
The Live rock makes the big difference.
I have 2 Oscellaris and 1 royal dottyback. 2 turbo snails and a Sea Cucumber. few shrimps.
Sea Cucumber is named Edgar Hoover as he vacuums the sand perfectly of detritus. I didn't bother with hermits as they tend to turn on the snails, and do a lazy job anyway.

In protest! i will not purchase an anenome as the clowns in the oceans need them more than clowns in aquariums... for every anenome that gets taken from a reef, 2 clowns may not survive. And they need them out there for protection, and a place to host eggs.

My clowns are hosting a catalphyllia quiet comfortably. They'll host most lps corals if and anenome isnt present. eg torches or hammers.

Clowns in aquariums only need protection from their owners.. (in most cases) I dont think too many people would keep a pair of clowns in with a lionfish? do you?

Personally, I think the govt should ban the sale of anenomes.

Down in SA, they fine you for keeping a blue swimmer crab with eggs for god sakes. But up there they allow people to remove anenomes from reefs.

Anyway that's my bitch session for today ;-)

August 25, 2004 4:10 PM


Glen said:

Aqualina do a 120cm light which houses 2x55w 50/50 power compacts = 110w That's 50% 10000k and 50% actinic.
If you pull apart the unit, the lights are 550mm including sockets, thats about the size of the 23.5" fluoros.
All you need to do is remove the original AR620 lights and ballasts. and replace them with the aqualina numbers.. if you're electronically minded.
You can buy the unit at for about $200.00

August 26, 2004 11:20 AM


constant said:


The info on marine tank setup was very useful.


August 27, 2004 8:45 PM


ray said:

thanks for the replys guys!

i have been looking at those aqualina numbers and think they look pretty good. i think there is also a double 2 foot unit available too which i was thinking could (with a bit of work) be squeezed into the hood.

could somebody tell be how much space (ie width) would be available to put these lights into the existing hood?

cheers again


August 28, 2004 3:47 PM


Patrick said:

Ray & Co,

I learned yesterday that Aqua One now sell the light hood complete with two 18W compact flourescent fitings. You can buy as a spare, cost for complete hood with fitting and bulbs approx $150.

September 7, 2004 1:18 PM


Lolo said:

Hi all,

I've just bought an AR-37T from Aqua One. As you may know it is quite similar to AR620T. I have some questions:

When filling with water, which is the recommended level to make the pump work properly?

My pump is marked with a white point. Does this point indicate water level?

Should the water return split above water level?


September 9, 2004 6:28 PM


kazza said:

So long as the water level is above the top of the pump when you start it up it'll work. In fact once it's running the water level can drop quite a lot and continue to run. I regularly do my water changes without turning the filter off, because the powerhead is good enough to keep the water flowing. But if it's stopped, the water needs to be above the top of the pump to start up again.

September 11, 2004 12:51 AM


Troy said:

Ive have a new ar620 not a the T version, it came with two compact fluros not tubes, I filled mine to the white dot of the power head as there where no instructions and it started straight away no problems. Ive set mine up for tropical fish and have the filter setup as follows 1st bay noodles/white foam/spraybar 2nd bay white foam / charcoal bags(came with the unit). Question is how much are replacement compacts ?

September 13, 2004 1:40 PM


Patrick said:


the 18W replacement compact flouros are between $19 and $30 each. This depends on the kind of bulb you are buying. $19 should get your regular white bulb. Actinics or 50/50 combinations cost more.


September 14, 2004 3:11 PM


Troy said:

Thanks for the prices Patrick are these ok of plants?
What sort of plants do best in the ar620 system? or what plants have people have the best success with in general? or what plants do you recommend?

September 16, 2004 10:09 AM


Patrick said:


those are for 14000K and daylight/actinic combinations which are useful for marine setups. To be honest, I don't know how plants will fare under the 14000K white. You'll need to check some of the aquarium sites around for better information. eg or

Others here can give better advice on plant choices than I can.

September 16, 2004 12:41 PM


Dean said:

Hi, i was wondering if anyone could give me the name of an Aquarium Shop that sells the AR620 tanks as where i live (Mackay) that want a rediculous amount of money for them. Any info on this would be most apreciated. Thanx

September 21, 2004 3:11 PM


Adam said:

It appears you have stated one of the most useful sites on the net for aquarist who own an aqua one tank, i've been wondering for months if i had setup my 620t correctly and now i know the manufacturers didn't have a clue.
i do have one question.
how much do anenomes move around(sorry glen)?
and how much if any do you suppliment there diet?


September 23, 2004 11:02 PM


Cassie said:

I live in Tassie and the Pleco fish are hard to find in petshops, do you know where I could purchase one or two from in Australia?
Cheers Cassie

September 24, 2004 8:55 PM


Patrick said:


Pleco's are found in most Aquarium shops in Australia. Your biggest issue in Tassie is that live imports are very tightly regulated and require some form of license or consent + quarantine. Importing them in from the mainland will be very difficult. You might want to try calling a few of the shops in Melbourne to see if they are able to export them into Tassie - don't don't raise your hopes too high, chances are they are banned imports.


BTAs can move around quite a bit though generally if they are happy with food, neighbours and light then they will settle into one spot for a while. I feed my BTA once to twice a month with a small amount of fresh prawn.

September 27, 2004 2:48 PM


Paulie said:

In the last couple of months I have purchased a 620T and was following a "foolproof" method that an aquarium staff member recorded to help me cycle my tank. I decided goldfish were the go until conditions were right to start a tropical fresh water environment. After 2 losses of harty goldfish I have decided to drain the tank and start again. I get the guilts whenever a fish dies! I had massive amounts of ammonia in the water and it was clouding after only 30 hours of my weekly water changes. Staff at several different aquariums have given me contradicting advice on how to clean the tank and I'm aprehensive to start again until I know where I went wrong. Was I to thoroughly gravel vac the bottom of the tank each week or focus on only draining the water with each change? Also, through reading your comments, nobody has yet mentioned the use of coal in our media filters. Is it right to have it in seperate chambers to the noodles and include coal from the initial filling of the tank? I recently purchased some goldfish food from a supermarket with the brand Penn-Plax. It was called Pro Balance. No aquarium staff have heard of this brand before. Could this be my culprit? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I hope other 620t owners would agree that the dimension of these tanks are teriffic and look beautiful when filled.

October 3, 2004 9:55 PM


Patrick said:


Golden rule #1: Do not believe what the LFS tells you.

It is an unfortunate truth that many, even most, LFS know little about keeping fish. Some don't know, and others are 'motivated' to sell you certain products.

There are excellent shops out there - but until you find one, you should seek independant advice and read books/internet.

Golden rule #2: Everyone has an opinion.

And here is mine.

The ammonia spike is a part of the tank cycling process - and yes it is deadly to many fish. But the ammonia spike may not be what is killing your fish. If you are intending to keep tropical freshwater fish don't start with Goldfish. Start with one or two hardy tropicals (eg a clown loach or a tetra). Make sure you have all the equipment and it is working at the right setting(eg a heater). Ensure the water has been dechlorinated and is at the right temperature before adding to your tank (chlorine is also deadly to fish, and is present in all tap water).

Feed sparingly, massive feeds will cause cloudy water, high ammonia levels, and algea outbreaks.

I recommend you read this:
An excellent source of reliable information.

Yes, in a fresh water tank you should be vacuuming the detritus from the gravel to control ammonia and algae.

Coal/activated carbon is excellent for keeping the water clear and free from a 'yellow' stain. You place it into one of the chambers in a sealed porous poly-ethylene sack. It is however not necessary, and needs to be renewed every 4 - 6 weeks. You also need to remove it when medicating the tank.

Good luck.

October 5, 2004 10:36 AM


Troy said:


I had the same problem, I went on holidays and had a family member feed my fish, came back and the the water was murky and had an algea bloom, the culprit was to much food. I clean the tank by vacuuming the gravel into a bucket and then allowing the water to settle and placing the water back into the tank, then I did a 30% water change, cleaned the filter media and the water is clear and the fish look happy again.

October 7, 2004 12:09 PM


kazza said:

Aqua One have finally gotten their act together and put up a website -

Mind you, this is after changing their product line from AR-620 to Aqua Vital AV-620 etc (I think .. I was at Strictly Aquariums today, but that was hours ago!)

October 10, 2004 12:36 AM


Patrick said:

... their effort is only slightly more useful than no website at all ...

October 11, 2004 12:45 PM


zx6r said:

I bought an AR-850 about 3 weeks ago and I've had no problems getting everything to cycle the correct way , all the values are correct and the temperature has been spot on until today. I've been running the tank at 24-24.8oC since I got it until today when I got home it was 26.8. It's was a hot day but it's only going to get hotter this summer. Can anyone tell me what I can do to keep the temp correct when I'm not home?


October 11, 2004 7:36 PM


kazza said:

Yeah the website is next to useless. But at least they have a picture of their different styles of tanks!

zx6r - not a lot you can do except get air conditioning. The water will match whatever the air temperature is, so you really need to keep the air temp down. Or at least consistent. My fish survived quite happily at 28C for a couple of months last summer, but it was fairly consistent, as I didn't have aircon so there was no fluctuation in temps. The only other alternative is to get a water air conditioner which will cool your water down, but they're a couple of thousand dollars give or take.

October 11, 2004 8:19 PM


zx6r said:

Does anyone know of a good web site that can tell me what fish are hardy and what fish will go good with other fish. I found a book that's does that but I don't feel like paying $64 for a book.

October 16, 2004 7:39 PM


edindoune said:

zx6r: has a lot of info.

October 17, 2004 5:38 AM


Lachie said:

In the tradition of participating in the only decent aquaone aquarium resource on the net, I just bought an ar-620! I�ve got it all up and running, just been monitoring the ph and temp levels since yesterday, but wondering about what sort of tropical community fish I should get. I like the idea of Angels or perhaps Discus for medium sized fish, but also would like a variety of small fish species. About how many smaller fish and medium fish (and water plants) can this tank handle if it is well cared for?

I also like Siamese fighters (one male and a few females?), however because of their nice finny bits they�re prone to nips from larger fish and have different pH to some other species I�m interested in. Does anyone know specifically what species of medium/large size fish are compatible with Siamese apart from maybe catfish? I�m interested in other people�s community lists and numbers for a tank this size (90L).


October 18, 2004 2:56 AM


Lachie said:

Reply to zx6r: Another great website i just found (and already mentioned on this page) is Should be of use to you.

October 18, 2004 2:07 PM


kazza said:

I had a siamese fighting fish (betta) in my ar-620t with four angels, glass catfish, cory catfish, a siamensis, neon tetras and danios, and he did just fine. Although he got a little lazy in his old age and more often than not flopped on the bottom of the tank. Aside from the baby angels and danios picking on him in the first couple of weeks he *thrived* in the tank.

It's not recommended to put a discus into a tank until it's well settled (and you have more experience looking after fish :) ). Discus apparently are very fussy fish and get stressed out and die easily - *poof* there goes $50.

October 18, 2004 8:17 PM


Lachie said:

Sweet. Cheers dude. I started my community today - some baby angels, some peppered catfish and one male coral blue dwarf gourami (I like this dude). Next installment due later in the week!

October 18, 2004 10:05 PM


kazza said:

You might want to leave it a few weeks before putting in any more fish - let your nitrogen cycle start up with a smaller number of fish. If you put too many in at once the ammonia spike is likely to cause casualties.

October 18, 2004 10:07 PM


Patrick said:

Some hints on keeping the tank cool on those hot summer days:

1) On a really hot day, leave some or all the lights off. Your fish and plants (or corals if it is a reef)will be fine for one or two days.

2) Open the hatches (feeding and filter) and leave them open. You will lose more water to evapouration, but evapouration leads to cooling, and you can always top up.

3) In conjunction with (2), if you have a small desk fan or standing fan, orient it to blow accross the top of the water in the filter compartments and the main tank. For best effect you may want to remove the lighting hood alltogether on very hot days.

4) A more permanent solution is to mount one or two 12VDC PC fans into the hood to extract the warm air and encourage air flow over the water's surface. You could run these off batteries or use a cheap power supply (see Dick Smith or similar) I have not done this myself, but it is common in other tanks, and there is probably room in the AR620 hood for at least one fan, if not two either side.

5) Get a chiller, and Chill Brother.

October 28, 2004 1:07 PM


Troy said:


What is the best way to clean the dirt/dung from the filter bays after cleaning the sponges ? first attempt I tried to carry the whole thing to the sink to empty the stuff down then drain, but water drop over the floor.


November 3, 2004 10:30 AM


Patrick said:

Whenever I find it necessary to clean the trays I usually siphon the water out with a tube after the filters have been removed (pump is switched off). If necessary, I can then lift the filter compartment out of the tank and give it a rinse and a wipe in the laundry.


November 4, 2004 12:30 PM


zx6r said:

Has anyone put a skimmer on their tank. I have an AR-850 and I want to put a skimmer on it. I have heard it has been done but I don't know how or with what skimmer.

November 8, 2004 8:25 AM


Claire said:

I have recently bought a AR980 and can't for the life of me work out how to assemble tohe power head, its a different set up from the 620. Anyone have any ideas?

November 12, 2004 10:08 PM


louisa said:

hi everyone,
i've had my tank for almost 6 months now, and i've got it fully stocked with
- 1 aging beta
- 5 neons
- 6 glowlite tetras
- 1 blue gourami
- 1 kissing gourami
- 1 white/albino gourami
- 1 lace gourami
- 1 bristle nose catfish, which i intend to breed once i can find stock in a shop that's old enough to sex
and my most recent purchase,
- 1 discus.

they are going ok. adn i know it is alot of fish, my main issue at the moment is algae
my tank is going great. i've got alot of alge, i've got a lot ogf plants that sort of don't always look good at the same time (some are always looking shabby, then they perk up, and the other one's look shabby). also need to buy a gravel cleaner.
can anyone recommend a gravel cleaner? and also a way to control the algae (feed less?, clean the gravel?)

November 14, 2004 2:18 PM


Janet said:

Hi from Christchurch, New Zealand. We bought a 620T and stand 3 weeks ago to put our 8 goldfish into after our old tank sprung a leak - another story and ruined new wooden floor. Anyhow we kept some of the old water to put into the new tank with our fish - they seem happy but the water is very cloudy. We did a 1/3rd clean last weekend and suction cleaned the gravel in one part of the tank, cleaned the plastic plants etc and filters in the water we were throwing out to retain natural bacteria etc. After 3 days it is cloudy again - the fish seem happy though and the Ph balance is 7 - exactly right according to our pamphlet. Any advice - should we just clean our the water by a 1/3 and leave the gravel alone - not sure exactly as we always seem to get different advice from pet shop. We added the water cleanser product when replacing water as well for the chlorine.

Thanks for the info on this site - helped with the set up of the tank and we also had problems with filter starting but once going is great. Our setup came with ceramic noodles in both sides of the filter, white filter and black filter for both sides as well so this is how we have been using it with the white filter on top of the ceramics and then the black on the very top. Is this right or should we just have one side of the filter where the spray bar comes out? We are novices but fortunately haven't lost any goldfish yet 3 months into this so keeping fingers crossed this is just the tank settling in.

November 16, 2004 6:39 AM


Janet said:

Hi guys - is there anybody out there. Still having problems with clouding - the water looks green in the tank but when taking a glass full it is clear and ph reading still on 7 or 7.5. Have replaced ceramic noodles on one side of filter with charcoal bags which the pet shop said they were supplied with in the next shipment after ours of 620T's but again no difference - clouding after about 3 days. Can hardly see the fish if they are in the middle of the tank. Is the water too clean - should we not do anything and just leave it for a couple of weeks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

November 29, 2004 6:24 AM


Al said:

Hi Guys,

Just bought 620t from auburn aquariums am pretty happy with it after forking out an arm and a leg for all the other stuff to go with it! Got a couple of questions i like to throw out there to you all as i seem to get a diffenent answer at every shop (drives me crazy)

1)Jaubert style Plenum Cavity ? have set this up in my 620t on the weekend just wanted to know if anyone else has tried this and the results???

2)Just Started the cycle (2nd Week) with 13kg of live rock, any hints or tips at this stage??

3) Are blue tangs really a bad fish?? A few places have told me not to touch them due to white spot desease other places tell me they are fine !

4) Anybody got a blue star fish??? Am planning on getting one to go with a pair of clowns , clown wrasse and a cleaner shrimp once my tank is cycled �. Will there be any problems???

Any help would be welcome



November 29, 2004 3:18 PM


louisa said:

hi janet,
did you rinse out the gravel/substrate before you used it. i rinsed mine under the tap for hours before setting up, and still had alot of cloud to begin with, this seemed to settle over the first 24 hours or so, and mine has been clear ever since.
just a thought. seems a bit obvious though, so i'm sorry i can't be of more help.

November 29, 2004 5:10 PM


louisa said:

if i were you i'd probably do frequent water changes to see if that helped at all (30% or something at a time).
see if it reduces the problem at all, or if it begins to return... just as somewhere to start.

November 29, 2004 5:13 PM


Janet said:

Thanks Louisa - have been doing water changes once a week at about 30%. Have taken a sample of water in today to get tested at local pet shop so will see if there is something missing that we need to look at. The local rep selling the Aquaone setups is meeting us next week at the pet shop where we bought the aquarium from to run through setting up and to answer any specific questions we have so that should be interesting. At least we will know if the water is ok after having the test done. The gravel was washed in the water that the fish had already been in which we were told to do so it retains some of the bacteria. Thanks for your reply - will post comments from the rep once we see him next week.

November 30, 2004 6:27 AM


steven said:

Hey does anyone know how many Litres the AR 620T hold some people have said 90Lt some even 150Lt does any one know. thanks

November 30, 2004 9:03 PM


Alex said:

Thanks for all your great input on the only site on the web to address such issues.

We have had an AR620T for about 3 months and have always had a bit of water round the base of the tank where it sits on the stand. Last week this became quite wet to the extent that it looked like the tank was leaking. After watching it continue for a couple of days we bit the bullet and emptied the tank and the commununity into large buckets and took the tank back. The shop was originally going to send it back to the manufacturers for a replacment but decided overnight to fill the tank to identify the source of the leak. Of course they couldn't find one and now ascertain that the water is a build up of condensation between the bottom of the tank and the stand. Sounds reasonable, but it is a heck of a build-up and no-one here seems to have had a similar problem. Are they pulling my leg and do I have another tank change to look forward to. One lost 1 tetra in the transfer luckily and the fish don't seem to stressed at the moment. The temperature is a constant 28C to keep the Siamese fighter happy. Thanks for any input.


December 1, 2004 12:29 AM


Al said:

Ar620t holds 130 L

December 1, 2004 9:10 PM


kazza said:

I had the same problem as you recently, after I'd had my tank a year and a half. Just a small amount of water under the tank above the stand. I don't think my tank was actually leaking, I think somehow it was wicking it's way over the top and seeping down the back seams. I partly emptied the tank (by about five centimetres), which stopped it. Since then I've been keeping it a couple of centimetres below the "full" level and it's been fine ever since.

December 1, 2004 10:46 PM


Andrew said:

Janet, the way I set up my AR850 was to have the black filter sponge on top of the ceramic noodles and the white filter mat underneath the noodles, that way the water goes through 3 stages,1st a sponge to remove any large debris,2nd the biological filter itself and 3rd a final polish through the white filter. Have you tried leaving the lights off for a few days as algae needs light.Is your tank in direct sulight?.
The goldfish will be fine and you say you only have plastic plants. Algae needs nutrients in the water, so have your water tested for Nitrates and Phosphates. Keep up the weekly water change, but dont vacumn your gravel every week.Just syphon any debris that is on the surface of the gravel.
This is a link to a post on another forum. It gives a lot of info on algae.

Hope this helps

December 10, 2004 5:39 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


I have a 620T now but prior to that I had a 380 which also leaked when it was filled up or near to the black frame (as the retailer advises you to do). On closer inspection (which is easier with those smaller tanks) I noticed the leak was near the top (at the black frame join) which, unfortunately, was right where the filter overflow section was so water was dribbling out through this leak as it trickled down from the overflow (even if I did lower the water level to below the leak). I just spent $6 for some aquarium glass sealant at Bunnings, lowered the water level for 72 hours while it was setting (to make sure the fish & snails didn't try & eat it) & then topped the tank back up. Worked like a charm. Maybe this will help.

Also, I'm so glad I stumbled upon this site! I bought a 21 litre rectangular tank in July, then upgraded to a A1-380 in September & again in November to a A1-620T. My only real regret is that if I'd started with this tank in the first place, I would've taken the plunge & gone for a salt water set-up in the first place.


I know this sounds really stupid but have you tried using a different tap? I used to have my tank (the same as yours) in the kitchen & whenever I did a water change with the kitchen tap, it always cleared right up in a few hours but when I moved the tank into the hall it was always cloudy no matter how many water changes I did using the laundry tap. But when I tried it again - tank still in the hall but using the kitchen tap - it cleared up again. I know that seems like an obvious thing to try which would normally be the first thing I would try but when you live in a house that was only built eight years ago you don't expext the water quality to differ in each room. And all the bloody pipes are plastic anyway so that rules out pipe degradation.

My problem is amonia!!! I have had it in all my three tanks thus far & my new one is certainly not overstocked & I have live plants, an amonia ball, going through a huge bottle of Stress Zyme each week, regular water changes, etc. etc., etc. but still can't budge it! Grrrrr!!!

Also I just want to say how glad I am to find this site & read all the comprehensive information supplied by you good peoples.


Your tank sonds AMAZING! I'd love to see a picture of it sometime. I often thing about having a crack at a salt water set-up but had no idea where to start so I enjoyed reading your advice. ~��

December 11, 2004 2:16 AM


steven said:

hi, does anyone know if the Ar620T contains a blue flurencent light any feed back would be helpful thanks

December 11, 2004 7:46 PM


kazza said:

You can get Aqua One Marine Blue lights for the 620/620T.. although it may take you some searching to find a store that has them! The tanks normally come with a white and a pink light.

December 12, 2004 10:01 PM


Janet said:

Thanks guys for all your helpful comments. The sales rep for Aquaone wasn't much help as his first comments were "Well - I don't actually know much about fish at all realy" - just sells the gear. He said the correct way to put the filters is ceramics on bottom, black filter and then fine white on top. This is totally different to the book (as I pointed out) but he said this is the correct way. We tried it and just about had a water overflow as the water seemed to build up and not flow away quick enough with the white filter on top. Have gone back to our old way but will try Andrews method of setting up - this is how the booklet describes set up. The rep did say the green water was definitely algae and the green implies too much light. We don't have direct sunlight but the room is definitely light so I am not sure how we are going to counteract that other than pulling our curtains across for the entire summer which doesn't appeal. We tried 'Alge Rid' last week with absolutely no improvement at all after a 1/2 water change without disturbing the gravel.

Our latest is that tonight I have a 'fish man' coming around to assess our tank to see if he can advise. He actually services the fishtanks that shops, offices etc hire (Live Environment) and they use natural methods of keeping the water clean etc so after a fascinating talk with him (actually saw him cleaning one of the tanks near where I work) and finding out all this interesting stuff he said he would be happy to come and look our tank and check light, tank, water etc. He talks about starting the tank with water and huge amounts of rock salt and leaving it to soak for up to two days before replacing fish and doing away with charcoal and any of the water conditioners etc as he feels they do more harm than good in certain types of water. We apparently have pretty good water here in Christchurch. Will keep you posted.


December 13, 2004 11:48 AM


Patrick said:


Regards your new marine setup.
Generally plenums are now regarded as old technology with some significant drawbacks. In the Nano-tank setup (which is what the 620 is) it is very uncommon to use this style of filtration and I would not recommend it. Research the web on nano tanks. About 20 kg of live rock along with the tank's trickle filter should be sufficient with regular water changes to export excess nutrients. Tangs of any description are a no go on these tanks - they WILL very quickly outgrow them and these fish need room to swim to be happy. Blue Tangs in particular are susceptible to whitespot and are stressed very easily. Don't do it, unless you have another larger tank ready to move it into.

The fish selection you noted I think is fine. The clowns are particularly hardy. Wrasses are great - though personally I'd go for the pyjama (6 line)wrasse (great character fish). Blue linkia starfish are fine too.

Above all - take your time. Your tank will take 12 months to mature so it's a work in progress. Don't rush the addition of fish.
Trust me it's worth it.

Something I have now noticed is that with the tank matured, it seems to thrive on fewer water changes. I was changing about 10L/week - I am now doing this every 3 weeks and the corals have never looked so good . . . I can't explain it, but it seems to work.


December 15, 2004 5:19 PM


Al said:


Thanks for the info! I have been researching the Internet tirelessly for sometime now and haven�t really found a great deal of info on a plenum style setup, I have set it up using a undergravel filter plate with a 1.5 inch layer of coarse coral with a layer of fly screen on top then a 1 inch layer of coral sand on top of that with no uplifts, so its just a static cavity, The guy who owns Auburn aquariums says he uses it in all his tanks and couldn�t stop going on about, I�ll let you know in a couple of months how my nitrates are !

As for patience, yes a lot is needed have just finished my cycle after 4 weeks using live rock and have just added a pair of clowns yesterday which seem to be loving the tank, They can�t stop swimming and moving about and don�t seem to be scared of me at all compared to my old fresh water setup where they seemed to hide, was freaking out thinking my first fish would die but there all good!

One last question pat are you in Sydney? �. Which aquariums do you go to get your marine fish?



December 16, 2004 3:10 PM


Patrick said:


I wish you all the best with your setup. There are many solutions to this part of the hobby, and there is no reason why you can't be successful with the plenum setup too. Also, if you are going to add more live rock, do it now before the tank becomes too settled with fish and inverts. Major additions of LR will cause an initial ammonia spike that can wreak havoc in a small setup.

Auburn Aquarium have a geat reef display, I bought my Royal Gramma from there, so as you can guess I am in Sydney. I normally buy from three shops: Paramount on Willoughby Road in Willoughby - they have a small but high quality range of corals and marine fish and are reef tank specialists, I also pick up my seawater from there. Strictly Aquariums in Beverly Hills - have an excellent range of marine fish and corals and are generally knowledgeable. Finally, Hi Tek aquariums in Gordon - never bought fish there but they occasionally have some good corals.

All the best.

December 17, 2004 3:12 PM


Patrick said:


regards your algea;

Algae needs 3 things to thrive (1)Nutrients, (2)Light, (3)Temperature. Address each of those and your system will come back to normal.

(1) Nutrients may be due to overfeeding your stock (small tank, therefore feed lightly - not 2 or three times a day but once every day to three days). Other sources of nutrients include the water you use for your changes, it is not uncommon for algal blooms to occur with water changes. Finally, not vacuuming the detritus, dead plant matter,excess food from the gravel regularly (FW tanks only, not applicable to Marine tanks).

(2)Light - reduce the lighting period on your tank. 10 to 12 hours max. While you are eliminating algea reduce it and break it up into two lots of no more than four hours with an hour break or more in between. Algea needs to gain enough energy from the light to start reproducing, by interrupting the lighting period you handicap this process.

(3)Temperature - Algea seems to love temps around 28 degrees or higher. Below 26 degrees you'll probably find your algae will start to die away.

If you suspect excessive nutrients start a series of water changes to export the nutrients out of your tank's water. If you are concerned with the quality of the water you will need to find some way to treat it first.

Good luck.

December 17, 2004 3:33 PM


steven said:

Hey does anyone know how the filter on the Ar 620T works and how to put it together thanxs.

December 17, 2004 5:53 PM


Al said:


just to let you know the aquarium near the willoughby hotel has just started stocking with marines and there cheap to!! the guy says he gets his fish from the same place as Hy-tek in pymble do but sells them a lot cheaper. I haven't bought fish from him so i can't tell you what they are like

i ended up buying my clowns from Paramount they where $$$ but i think they are worth it , they have very nice colours !

Thanks for your help!


December 19, 2004 11:50 PM


Janet said:

Thanks Patrick. Light does seem to be the problem. We had a man around to look at the tank and it appears we were supplied with 2x14000kw lights and have ordered lower volt through the Pet Shop we bought the tank from. He partially emptied the tank (said it was the greenist water he had ever seen) added a lot of crushed rock salt. Added some plants (not sure what sort but he said the fish won't actually eat them as they are bitter but good for the water), added some blue dye that is unobtainable from the shop for us but he uses for his work in tending aquariums around the city, replaced our existing filters and put all the ceramic noodles in the first filter, and in the second one we put a substance called Efisubstrate (about 250gms). He also put in some sort of tablet in that filter but not sure what that was. Anyhow after 5 days of turning the light off and really only have it on for two lots of 3 hours with the stronger light (we have turned one set of lights off so just working with the one) the colour is now a light green but almost see through again. He is coming back for a check and yesterday we did a partial 10% water change with water left standing with salt added. We are also down to every second day feeds of a very small amount of food he left me with which he says is better than the shop bought stuff. It was $50 for this check up but well worth it as I was due to buy new water condition etc which is expensive so feel we have had our monies worth. Hopefully the water will clear even more once we get these new bulbs and get the lighting right.

Whew! that was a lot to write!

December 20, 2004 6:41 AM


Patrick said:

Janet, I'm guessing the 'blue dye' is a copper based algicide similar to what you might use to clear a swampy swimming pool. Anyone out there tempted to do this to their mini-reef, don't - it'll destroy your corals if dosed incorrectly (very easy to do on such a small tank). Your lighting is probably 14000K (Kelvin) referring to the colour temperature, rather than kW which would make your house the brightest in the street. If you're using the compact flouro bulbs the watts will be 18W each (total 36W)or 20W each for standard flouro tubes. I doubt this is too much light to cause algae issues - many systems use 150W of light on this size of tank (albeit marine). However, the colour temperature could be an issue since different organsisms respond differently to the colour of light and 14000K may be the 'sweet spot' for freshwater algea growth. Glad to hear it's working out for you.

December 20, 2004 11:12 AM


Patrick said:

Al, I figure I don't buy many fish for the tank (4 in total) so I don't mind paying above market rates for quality healthy specimens. Trust me, there's nothing worse than having disease rampaging through your tank. I made those mistakes on the freshwater tank, so with the marine it's been careful selection and quarantine with every fish and so far no problems 14 months on. The clowns at Paramount are excellent.

December 20, 2004 11:18 AM


Patrick said:

Sad news today, my Coral Beauty passed away yesterday. Though 'himself' on Sunday morning I found the two hermit crabs and the shrimp hard at work picking his bones clean when I got home last night. Other fish are fine, and water parameters were fine - though temperature had risen to 30.2 deg C. Cleaner had disconnected the fan to plug in a vacuum and then not reconnected. My theory is that a couple of days of elevated temps was too much for the poor blighter . . . :-(

No plans to replace him at this time.

December 21, 2004 9:06 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Hello again guys & Merry Christmas to you all! ~��

As I mentioned on an earlier posting, I am considering converting my 620T from a cold-water set-up to a nano-reef but am concerned as to whether this would be an advisable action so would like to pick your brains if I may.

It sounds like some of you guys have a brilliant nano-reef yourselves in your 620s & I, given the fact that my tank is a 620T which has about 40% extra height, wonder if it would be possible for me to do that same.

Regarding the extra 40% height, would there still be a way to get sufficient lighting all the way to the bottom of the tank for the coral & anaenomies?

I realise that I will have to get a pink & a blue light bulb but would rather not "ditch" the whole hood section & replace it with some other means unless absolutely necessary as this is a major part of the appeal (& in my opinion a fundemental reason for buying) an Aqua One aquarium.

Here's hoping Saint Nick buys you all lots of fantastic aquarium gear!

December 25, 2004 12:42 AM


Patrick said:


Read up on marine lighting. No pink bulbs are used in reef aquariums. The deeper 620T may be an issue in terms of lighting for some corals at the bottom of the tank, however many coral species do well under lower light conditions (eg corals that live deeper in the ocean). Careful selection is required as for the 620 - but this does not mean a beautiful tank is out of the tank, far from it. You may not be able to grow SPS corals and acroporas, but few do anyhow. Corals that are more senstive to lighting may do ok placed higher in the tank on the rockwork. Just be sure to do your research on species and their preferred lighting. Will post a link to a picture of my nano soon.

December 28, 2004 10:07 PM


Al said:

While we are talking bout marine lights does anyone (pat?) know where I can
buy full spectrum and an actinic (blue) lights for the 620 which are quality
bolt in lights no mods? Also price?

One more thing I am kinda keen on adding a bubble tip anenome to my fish
only setup so my clowns can host with it, anyone know what light combo would
be the best for the standard set up if indeed I can pull this off???? , i
know they require a good light source and circulation

Ps 620T tank is looking really nice now!, stats are below. Only problem I
have is with my pH, it seems to fall requiring attention every couple of

4 weeks to cycle, tank is now 8 weeks old
Static cavity (nitrates are zero, thinking my cavity is working)
Landscaped with Coral sand
15 Kg of Live rock
Seachem - phosguard pouch (filter)
Seachem - Purigen pouch (filter)
Bio-strate (ehiem) filter substrate
Aquaone 403(1200L/h) - powerhead
Aquaone 404(2000L/h) - powerhead from Ebay $27 bucks soon to arrive, to
replace shark internal filter (600L/h) which I currently have in there
Standard lights

Live stock

Pair of Clowns
1 yellow tailed damsel
1 blue linkia starfish

Any help appreciated


January 4, 2005 10:25 PM


Tim said:

Hey all,
This may seem like a stupid question but hot high should i let the temp in my tank get. Ive had a 620 for about a week now and have stocked it with plants and 2 small "platies" i was told that these would be best by the guy at the shop (strictly aquariums at beverly hills) rather than tetras which are apparently not as hardy.

It has been running at about 26 degrees since i put the water in but today was hotter and the temp has spiked to 28 degrees, im a little freaked out as i dont want to stuff up this early on.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated?

January 5, 2005 10:31 PM


Janet said:

Hi guys - remember our green water. It is now clean and pretty much clear. Still haven't managed to get correct bulbs yet but are monitoring the light carefully manually.Lovely to be able to see everything so clear now. Just doing a 10% water change with water left overnight with rock salt in it so that is much easier than adding chemicals etc. Happy New Year all.

January 6, 2005 8:21 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Hey again & thanks for the information Patrick.

I know that this really IS a stupid question this time but because I have read & heard so much conflicting information, I would like to ask you about your cleaning & maintenance procedures for your nano-reef.

Apart from the water change & cleaning the inside of the glass & powerhead/uplift pipes & spray bar etc., what else do you need to do to keep the tank clean? Some of the matter I've seen says you have to clean the sand & some say that you don't. If yes then how as it would be much to fine to siphon without sucking it up. If no then how do you keep it clean?

I know that this all seems pretty naive but, remember, I am still a novice & would like to find out all this stuff first before I go any further. 8-)

January 6, 2005 4:22 PM


Patrick said:

An earlier reply to Al and Janet seems not to have made it onto the server so I'll summise here again.

Al, your tank sounds like it going well. BTA shouldn't be a problem. Mine has been in the 620 since Jan last yr under various lighting conditions and is a happy chappy. Though, wait until the PH is stable - leave it for a few months. Full spectrums and actinics are available between $18 and $20, I used to get mine from Strictly Aquariums in Beverly Hills - a variety of brands. Phosguard and purigen are good additions. Did you have much die off from the live rock during cycling?

Janet - good to hear things are clearer now.

Regards cleaning and and maintenance on the nano:
Water change every 2 to 3 weeks (around 10L). clean any algae off the glass (not much normally). That's it. The rest I leave to the hermits, snails, and starfish. I don't touch the uplift or spray bars. I haven't touched the wet-dry filter media for over three months - and I now have a variety of organisms growing in there that I don't want to disturb - so I may not change for quite some time. Easy huh?

Picture of tank at:
click on aquariums

January 6, 2005 6:08 PM


Al said:


Had a little bit of die off( white mucus looking stuff) on one of my rocks,
but all in all was a success except for a number of pesky crabs and a few
worms which made there way in with the live rock . All my water
parameters at the moment are perfect which got me on to the idea of getting
a BTA and now im thinking to go nano-reef after seeing yours !

Found out today that Aqua one don�t sell actinic lights in the compact
fluorescent type that I have, They only sell them in the old tube style for
the older Aqua ones �. Bit disappointing however I have been told that they
will be coming in a couple of months, am trying to think of a way around it
without taking the lid away which was partially the reason for buying the
tank, think i'll be waiting a couple of months before i get any get corals
I checked your nano, looks very nice esp the purple coraline algae growing
every where and the size of your corals as sooo big!!,


January 7, 2005 12:37 AM


Al said:


I think if your tank is over 30 then your going to start running into problems , all depends on what type of fish you have.
to cool your tank get a fan onto the surface water ,always seems to do the trick for me


January 7, 2005 12:45 AM


Patrick said:

Al, there are other manufacturers of actinic compact flouros. Strictly's in Beverly Hills has them, and you can order them in at Paramount in Willoughby. I've been happiest with the 50/50 bulbs (1/2 actinic), rather than having one full actinic and one full spectrum, since the spread of light is more consistant accross the tank.

Coral sizes, especially mushrooms, are very deceptive in the store. You think you are buying some rock with a few small mushroom polyps, then when settled in your tank they grow to four times the size!!! Mine have been busy multiplying too. Anenomes are the same story.

Cooling: leave the filter compartment lid open, evap here will help keep the system cool.

January 7, 2005 8:37 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


What can I say? Your nano-reef looks simply superb! And sounds like a lot less work then my cold-water set-up! Don't you ever have to clean the uplift & water pumps as mine get pretty grubby I must say! My Rios 400 & 180 start to sound really grumpy when they want a clean too!

My cycle period has gone through the amonia period as that test comes up clear now but I still have to clean it every week as it gets a bit grubby. I mainly get brown gunk on the glass, the water pumps & on the plastic leaves of the ornamants. I read on the Adelaide Aquariums site (not a bad site that) that this is common to the nitrate cycle which takes place after the amonia cycle. I was reading about marine aquariums at the time but I assume that is also what's happening here.

Cleaning is a MAJOR headache! I have to do it every week; cleaning the glass, 1/3 water change, cleaning the ornaments, cleaning all the filter pipes, rinsing out the sponges & replacing the fibres (as they're always just about falling apart), cleaning the little sponges in the water pumps, taking out the ornaments, live plants, air-stone, mussels & snails out so that I can syphon the gravel properly & then having to put them all back afterwards, cleaning all the dead foliage out of the spray-bar to unblock it! I-Ya-Ya-Yi!!!

If I'd known that I'd eventually end up with a tank this size I'd have gone for a nano-reef in the first place. Sounds like they more work in the beginning & take longer but a lot less work thereafter! And they truly look amazing! Not sure if I'd have the knack to make one that looks as good though...

With filtration, have you added a protein skimmer (see I have been doing some research), cannister filter or a bubble stone or do you get by with just the bulit-in uplift/sump filtration?

January 8, 2005 3:13 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


Just looking at your picture again & I think I have another stupid question for yah.

Wouldn't that purple stuff growing on your uplift & water pumps eventually block them up & cause them to become resticted, seize up or overheat?

You must have a bugger of a time trying to clean all the glass with so much stuff so close to the sides (either that or have really small hands). ~��

It'd be horrible if you ever had to move house! I mean, what would you do? It'd take months (possibly) to get your tank back up to the standard it was previously running at & you'd lose all your stock! 8-(

January 8, 2005 3:27 AM


Patrick said:

That's one hell of a cleaning routine! Yeah, I remember the FW tank getting grubbier more quickly - and the problem with leaves blocking intakes etc. Once properly established the reef is a micro-biosystem - organisms living in the substrate, the filter media, the live rock, and the creatures selected for the tank do a good job of breaking down waste. The cleaning crew of hermits, snails, starfish and shrimp take care of residual food and algea. The snails have a major impact on limiting the algae growing on the glass.

I don't use a protein skimmer, though on larger tank I would agree they are a must. Their role is remove dissolved organic nutrients from the tank's water - on a small tank it is practical to achieve the same with regular water changes. Also, there is plenty of discussion to indicate that a protein skimmer is detrimental to a nano setup as it may remove too many desireable substances. I am happy not to have one, and it has worked so far. On a larger tank one benefit is that a skimmer reduces the frequency of water changes - this is good if your change is 100L.

So my filtration is the system's wet/dry trickle filter+ 18kg of live rock (that's the main bit) + water changes + purigen pouch in the trickle filter compartment. Water is always crystal clear even at change time.

The purple coraline algae has not been an issue so far in terms of blocking intakes, and I encourage it's growth since (1) it looks good, and (2) green or red micro algea does not grow there. I have only had to worry about cleaning the heaters in this regard (hot spots). Growth rate of the coraline algae is slow so it is no major drama.

Pictures are deceptive, there is enough room of the magnet cleaner or a brush to get to visible areas of glass when necessary - but this is mostly handles by the snails.

Moving house? Forget it. It can and is done with systems much larger than this without stock losses, but I'd rather not contemplate . . . I wouldn't recommend a nano if the system isn't going to be intact for at least 12 months.

January 8, 2005 2:17 PM


Al said:

Has been a very frustrating couple of days, finally found someone (paramount) who can order me some 50/50 lights, everyone else in Sydney told me that they don't exist and i mean nearly every fish store. Two reputable stores even told me that the plain actinic where not available, which was the reason for my earlier comments a few days ago. I have come to believe that the majority of ppl who work in aquariums give ill informed answers to nearly everything,

With that said i have broken the cardinal rule of not rushing things and went out and bought a "Radianthus Anemone" from the moment i got it things where not right, i placed in on my live rock so the base of it was in a shallow hole the size of a golf ball so the top would sit flush on the rock, it seemed only one side on the base was attaching itself to the rock. This led to it falling on its side despite trying to correct it upright so the little bugger could attach all of its base .............long story short woke up this morning and it was on the bottom of the tank on its side shrunken up and the base all swollen up ......gave him one last chance on the rock but he didn't respond at all and the tentacles where still 1/4 of the size, To prevent contaminating my tank I removed him.

Little unsure what went wrong all my water parameters are fine, I feel bad that�s it happened since from now everything has been nearly perfect. The only troubles I have had is my pH falling although the last week it seemed to have stabilized

To add my true percula clowns didn�t want anything to do with it when it was in my tank, infact they seemed scared of it!


January 9, 2005 12:55 PM


Al said:

Meant to say False Percula clowns

January 9, 2005 1:11 PM


Patrick said:


Take the anenome back to the shop. At worst they'll give you 1/3rd back on what you paid for it.

Note that anenomes have a mind of their own and are very mobile in the tank. They will find a home that suits them, not you - so you will need to live with that. Also Anenomes will drastically and continuously change their shape through the day and when adjusting to change. If the parameters were ok then I doubt the anenome is dying, however one reason you should wait before buying one is that the long term survival of this creature in captive care is dependent on tank maturity and the presence (or absence) of elements not measurable by the standard marine water quality test kits.

Clowns may take weeks to associate with an anenome, or may not associate with it at all - it is not a guaranteed relationship.

January 10, 2005 9:09 AM


Phill said:

Hi all,

Im thinking about getting the AR-620T but just have a question about it.

I want to have the light on a timer.

If I have the light on a timer will switching off the light from the powerpoint also swith off the tank filter system as well?

Or is there a seperate powerpoint for the light and filter system?

Thanks all.

January 16, 2005 8:20 PM


kazza said:

Phill: There's a separate power cord for the filter pump and the lights so you can have the lights on a timer and not affect the pump.

January 16, 2005 8:29 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Hello again guys!

Someone here (I can't remember who) once posted the idea of having your light on for two lots of four hours with a two hour break in the middle, rather then the whole eight continuous hours as algy blooms need a seven hour light period to get established.

After reading that I thought that sounded like a great idea so set my light timer to do just that!

Well, I just got back from the fish shop & the man there told me that that was a bad idea as plants need an eight hour continous light period & that having that break means your turning the light off just as the plants are "waking up".

Now I'm REALLY confused!

What do you guys reckon?

January 19, 2005 7:06 PM


Patrick said:

That was me.

I am not a botanist, so bear that in mind. Different plants require different amounts of light - this is obvious when you see the diversity of plants and their habitats. Some plants may respond poorly to a break. Turning off the bulbs during the day does not normally meaning turning out the lights - we still have daylight and artificial room lighting to contend with.

Plants are more highly evolved organisms than algea, and synthesise light into engergy via chlorophyl more rapidly than algea. i.e. they are capable of synthesising more quickly and on lower energy levels than algae. Ever notice how algea just happens to snap to life when temps rise, or the lighting is at certain levels?

It worked for me, and it has worked for others. Perhaps it will affect some of your plants, though I doubt it.

In the end the decision is yours not the LFS or some bloke you don't know from the internet. Try it out, and if it does not work then try something else.

January 20, 2005 1:21 PM


Troy said:


I too would like to know people experiences with plants, Varieties in a ar620 tank, and more to the pc fluro side experience?

my plants:-
anubias barteri on wood- just flowered. since sept 2004 (good)
anubias small leaf on wood. since sept 2004(good)
crypts very small leaf. since oct 2004
medium leaf. since jan 2005 (change color)
and large brown leaf. since sept 2004.(good)
Vallisneria corkscrew. since sept 2004(ok)
java moss on wood. since sept 2004
java fern - just placed in tank. since jan 2005
some sort of sword plant.since oct 2004

others removed / died
sword that look nice at purchase,then started growing very large leaves to the surface of the water- removed.
parrot feather- turned brown- removed.
red lotus- died.

No plant fertiliser used. no vacuum of gravel. no carbon. 10% water change weekly.

At the moment I have my lights on for two session at 5hrs, Iam running pc fluros 14k. and at the start i had the lights on for 12 hrs no breaks, but some of the crypts changed color and so I went to 12hr with 3 breaks. At the moment the crypts are changing to green again so maybe I am back in the right zone? still have green spot algae. Maybe later Ill try 2 lots of 4hrs?

January 20, 2005 1:49 PM


Josh said:

I have recently bought the AR620T and i have put 4 platies, 10 neon tetras, 2 angelfish and 4 rosy finned tetras in the tank.

The tank is fairly well planted, with plenty of spots to hide.

Do you guys think the tank is too crowded?


January 23, 2005 8:15 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

It does sound (to me) like you have a lot of fish for a recently set-up tank. How long have you had it set up for? The tank has a biological filter which means that it takes about a month for it to start to become fully functional. It's generally recommended to have just a small amount of hardy fish until the cycling process is complete when the nitrate & amonia stabilise. You may be okay but just keep a watch on your amonia & PH levels.

If you do happen to get a major amonia spike then I'd recommend regular 30% water changes (possibly every third day) & adding generous amounts of something like Stress Zyme daily to help the nitrate colony in your filter media get started.

January 23, 2005 6:47 PM


Josh said:

I got the tank for Christmas but i only started to put fish in on the first week of Jan, but the filter had been running for two weeks.

After my first fish purchase, i lost four but the guy that sold them to me said i could have a siamese fighting fish in with them and when i found them dead, their tails and finns were nipped and cut.

Then in one weeks time a purchased the neons from a local aquarium and they all survived.

A week from then i purchased 2 more platies and 2 angel fish, and they seem OK.

January 24, 2005 9:08 AM


Leigh said:

Hi all,

I am looking at purchasing a 620T or an 850 for a marine set up. One shop is saying that I definitely need a protein skimmer while the other is saying I don't. As the price difference is $400,I would appreciate some advice. I am new to Nano reefs and any advice on setting up would be most appreciated.


February 5, 2005 5:50 PM


Al said:


I have 620t which i originally set up as a fish only marine tank, this was short lived after seeing pictures of nano tanks and decided thats where i wanted to go. 620t arn't the best for nano's as they are very tall ,just means you need to buy more live rock to fill up the tank or at least stack it high so your corals can get some half decent light, its a long way down in a 620T but in saying that i love the look of the high 620T's and my corals seem to be doing ok on the light source i have (50/50 compact actinics), I supplement them each week with seachem reef complete,
In answering your question a skimmer is NOT required for the 620's as for the 850 im not sure but that is heading under the umbrella of a reef tank and not a nano , Patrick might be able to tell you
sorry i can't give you a clear cut answer you will find a lot more of that as go on but i guess the best advice i can give you is to research the internet and decide exactly what you want and then go about buying it in a fish store rather then them giving you advice and buying something you didn't want


p.s check this site out -

February 5, 2005 9:12 PM


Shaun said:

Hi there I'm Shaun from Sleaford in the UK. I just bought a 620T at the weekend and have now had it up and running since Sunday night. I've added some of the water out of my smaller tank to help speed up the cycle. I'm planning on putting my Tetras in there tonight. When I've had a loss of power to the filter i.e. switching sockets I seem to have the same problem that was mentioned at the top of this page. No water seems to run through the filter. I shall try switching off and putting more water into it tonight. I'm just concerned that after a power cut my filter might not start working again.

February 16, 2005 12:49 AM


Patrick said:


There is no requirement for a skimmer on this tank. As I have explained elswhere on this page, you will be exporting the dissolved organics with your routine 10 or 20L water change. The shop advising you to purchase has his eyes firmly on your wallet.

Skimmers are good on larger systems, especially when you are performing fewer changes, and where those changes tend to be large.


make sure your tank is filled up to the bottom edge of the plastic frame. You should than have no problem with the water pumping through.


February 21, 2005 10:15 AM


Patrick said:


I just realised I did not fully answer your question. No skimmer on the 620, but I would recommend a skimmer on the much larger 850. Do your research on skimmers too, there is plenty of rubbish on the market.


February 21, 2005 10:19 AM


Leigh said:

Thanks for the reply Patrick, I appreciate your advice. The skimmer that the shop wants to sell me is a Prizm skimmer that sits at the back of the tank where the filter system is. He says that you can do away with this filter system and any other type of filter if you use this particular skimmer. At around $430 it isn't cheap and I don't like the idea of removing the original filter and leaving the top of the tank open. Apparently the A850 holds 150litres.
One thing the shop owner did say was that using this skimmer, you only need to do partial water changes every 4-6 weeks. Your thoughts?

February 21, 2005 1:28 PM


chris said:

I just wanted to post a quick message. I've just brought a 620, and was worried a bit about the water level...filled it right up however and was very happy to see Patrick had as well in his images. They must be covering themselves to say not to fill past the filter head, was only going to stock with goldfish and cold fresh water fish, but might try to be more adventerious.

February 21, 2005 7:45 PM


Shaun said:

Thanks for the advice Pat the filter is working fine now. My tank has been up and running problem free for a week now. I moved all my fish in and they've never been happier.

February 22, 2005 12:38 AM


Rama said:

Wow!, you find the most unexpected things on the net. Yet another AR620 information Nomad has discovered this site after months of fruitless effort. Here is my experience at converting the AR620 to a Marine setup for anyone interested.


AR620 Standard. No skimmer, no additives of any sort except salt, no test kits. Noodles and activated Carbon in filter.
Marine Nano-reef setup.
1 Maroon Clownfish, 1 Bicolor Angel, 1 Blue Linckia starfish,1 Torch Coral, 1 Mantis shrimp ( WAIT- Don't Panic!, I know Mantis have a bad rep, and yes he is a basher, but he is a Haptosquilla Trispinosa , a variety of stomatopod that seem a bit more sociable- Actually busted the Clown carrying him around by the butt the other day despite the shrimps outraged protests)

Been running for 8 weeks only, my first effort at marine.
Tank cycle time was 4 weeks, done first with live rock ( containing a Mantis shrimp and a pistol shrimp and a couple of small tube anemones as hitchhikers)and then with a Maroon clownfish. Things looked decidedly dodgy at the 4-5 week mark with brown hair algae absolutley ruling the tank
Pisol shrimp and one anemone did not survive the ammonia cycle along with numerous polychaetes.

Now at the 8 week mark, after numerous water changes and substrate cleaning, Algae all gone, tank looks beautiful, everybody happy and feeding well.

My wife desperatetly wants a Blue Tang (She has a bad case of "Finding Nemo" syndrome, an embarrassing , apparently incurable condition that leads to a depressing predictability in naming fish).I am very nervous about raising one of these fish as I know of numerous LFS that have had theirs die of white spot (the LFS in Upwey lost all 8 that they got in two weeks ago).

Has anyone got an established tang that they could give me an opinion on?. I say established meaning a few months.

Also I'm running the standard lights 2X18W 14000K
with the torch and anemones up high, can anyone suggest a good cheap lighting upgrade?
Apologies for the long post.

February 22, 2005 12:06 PM


Patrick said:


yes with a skimmer you typically can reduce your water changes. I would however not recommend going skimmer only, some form of mechanical filtration should precede the skimmer in my opinion. While the trickle filter incorporated into the AR620 would not do the trick for much bigger setups, on this tank with a good stock of live rock it works great in my experience.


Do not get the blue tang (1) tank is too small, (2) tank is reasonably well stocked already, (3) it is far too early in the tank's life.

They are very susceptible to disease and I would guarantee a very short life in your tank. In addition, more so than with FW tanks, you do not want to start a parasitic cycle in your tank. With corals in there, the treatment becomes difficult and likely to fail - even with a quarantine tank. Better to avoid introducing problems into the tank in the first place.

Regards lighting, there are several good suggestions further up this page. ctrl-f will reveal all. Note that more light = more heat, and this will need to be addressed in some way.


February 23, 2005 1:09 PM


Rama said:

Thanks Patrick,
I have decided to bow to popular opinion and forgo the tang, nanos are hard enough as it is.
Unfortunately my Angel was obviously not well after 1 day(LFS tanks were all cloudy and I couldn't see the velvet on him) and died within 4 days of adding him (grrrr)- got a refund from LFS tho'.
Personally I didn't think this tank was too well stocked as the shrimp was quite small, leaving only the Clown,Angel and star loading the tank.
With the Angel gone , I was thinking of adding a Gramma Loreto, a goby and a pygmy resplendant angel ( ie to have 1 large and 3 smalls) . I have added a Hammer Coral since I last posted , as the Torch is very happy. Do you reckon this plan will be too much for the tank? I thought I this sounded similar to your own stocking level?.
By the way does anyone know if Linckia stars are tolerant to stings from Hammers and Torches?
Would also be cool if somebody already has some spec on the "relative" output of the standard 18W PC's that come with the 620 compared to a standard flouro.I have two slimline flouros like Glen was talking about back in August, and I'm trying to decide whether to add them or not ( I can't seem to find any actinics or anything that fit them , just the good ol' cool whites)

March 2, 2005 2:32 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Hey guys I'm back!

I've been gathering as much information as I can about what sort of complete lighting set-up I'd need if I were to convert my tank into a nano-reef.
As you know, I have a 620T which is a very deep tank for its size (ie: about 22") but have never been told that it would be "impossible" to do so. In fact, a lot of advice I have got is that it isn't recommended to grow coral in a tank over 20" deep (which is only 2" less than mine).
I'm now throwing it to you good folk to hear your opinions & advice on what sort of lighting set-up I'd need.

Ta muchly!

March 6, 2005 5:17 PM


Patrick said:


I guess you could call opinion strongly divided on stocking levels in small tanks. If you do your research you'll find many experts claiming 2 fish as max along with the corals and other inverts you might typically own. My opinion is that the tank is pretty much maxed out with four carefully chosen small (2" or less) marine fish, along with corals and a maintenance crew of shrimp, snails and hermits.

Sitting at this sort of level you are left with little margin for error. ie. if the fish are socially incompatible, or temperatures are high (esp. under stronger lighting), or water conditions are out of spec - that fourth fish just makes the tank a more stressful place to be. And disease loves stress.

The fish you have mentioned (clown, gramma, and goby) will make good resilient tank mates and should cause you little heartache. Angels are trickier to select and even good breeds will have rogue members. I'm not sure about your choice of Angel. My advice would be to work your way slowly through your list over a period of 6 months giving the tank plenty of time to mature. Order of addition should be in order of dominance. Given that you have a clown - follow with the Goby, then the gramma loreto (if you can find one), and finally a pygmy angel. That should minimise arguments in the tank and maximise survival rates.

Note also that colour is a very strong social indicator. Eg when I added a Coral beauty to the tank it had quite a few fights with the gramma - they are both purple and yellow even though markings are very different. No issues when I replaced the CB with the Flame though - the flame is bright red.

My lighting is now like Glen's also. I changed the hood to the compact flouros due to the heat issues generated by the ICEcap ballast and the short tube life. I run 2 blue compact flouros plus I have the two crompton slimlines fitted. AFAIK the cool white is the best you will do. The 6400K temperature is 'just' ok - along with the blue compacts the tank has an overall slightly blue cast. Currently I am running with just the one slimline turned on due to heat issues.

An 18W compact flouro is the same output as an 18W NO flouro - it is simply more compact in size. Total available watts in my setup is now 68 which should be plenty.


Yes, if you intend to put more light demanding corals at the bottom of your tank then the demands placed on the lighting will be higher. However, you can consider putting the demanding corals up high in the tank closer to the light source, and populate the bottom of the tank with varieties that do well under low light conditions.

Otherwise, you can consider ditching the hood alltogether and suspending a 150W metal halide lamp over the tank to really pump some power in...

March 7, 2005 4:42 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

G'day Pat,

Thanks for the advice. I just had a look at some of the aliminium 150W DE Halides on the 'net that seem to vary in prices quite considerably depending on which site.
I'm actually thinking, as another option (so I don't have to lose my hood), to boost the power going into the light with something (might ask the guys at Bunnings or Mitre 10 or somewhere) & replacing the two 18W standard globes with more powerful ones. It could be interesting finding more powerful globes that will still fit in the hood & a suitable booster but one can only try...

March 8, 2005 5:39 PM


Patrick said:


Good luck with your search. Also check-out some of the US on-line aquarium retailers - they have a much better range than we do here.

Boosting the power of the existing tubes requires installing a special kind of ballast. Do a search on line for Icecap 660. This is very effective (& pricey) and virtually doubles the output. If you go down the Icecap route you'll need to ditch the plastic light cover (it melts) and install a sheet of glass between the lights and the water.

With NO tubes more power = longer and/or fatter tubes and this is the issue in the hood for the AR620T since there is little space. If you can find HO tubes you will need to replace the ballast in the hood to suit. As far as tubes and ballasts go I would talk to a good Aquarium shop and also some lighting retailers rather than bunnings.

March 9, 2005 9:21 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Hey Patrick,

I just got a reply from Adelaide Aquariums regarding the same lighting matter I also asked you about. This is a copy & paste of their reply as I thought you might've been interested in seeing what they had to say too.


Thanks for your enquiry. I assume from your description that the tubes in
your model are actually the power compact (also known as compact
fluorescent) rather than standard fluorescent tubes. These tanks originally
came with two standard fluorescent tubes but more recently with the power
compacts which are a shorter but twin or U-shaped tube. Power compacts
actually produce a much greater light intensity per watt than standard
fluorescents do, so your two 18W tubes actually produce the equivalent of
approximately 100W of normal fluorescent lighting.To the best of my
knowledge it is not possible to further boost the output of this type of
tube - they already have inbuilt the boosting that can sometimes be applied
to standard fluoros (hence the higher output per watt). In terms of
performance, you are not going to get much better without making the leap
to metal halide. These tubes should be sufficient to grow nearly all the
available types of coral, there are really only a very few types that do
require the very high intensity light provided by metal halides. Hope this helps - please feel free to ask if you have any further questions Kathryn


Haven't had a reply from Seaview Aquariums yet but will keep you posted...

March 11, 2005 6:59 PM


Patrick said:


Prepare to be confused as you research this topic further. I can guarantee you though that 36 watts of compact flourescent lighting does not equate to 100W NO lighting, that statement from Adelaide Aquariums is very misleading in my opinion. Having seen it first hand, it does not look anything like 100W or even 50W. It looks like 36W. From my research the consensus has been clearly that 36 watts is insufficient for most corals in this size tanks even in the form of power compacts.

You will find the best and most accurate information here:

This is the Aussie marine reef forum. You won't find more relevant & knowledgeable answers anywhere. This topic has been discussed many times there & I recommend searching their database on this.

March 14, 2005 9:44 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Starting to become full of adverts this place...

March 22, 2005 1:57 PM


kazza said:

Yah I was noticing that myself. I was tolerating the australian ones, but the overseas ones are a bit much ..

What do people think? Should I remove all advertising, just overseas ones, or not worry?

The other thing is, this is a personal blog, and I don't think movable type was ever designed for this sort of application! :) I realise it might be hard for people coming along to find stuff amongst such a huge page, and was considering installing a proper bulletin board program for it. The advantage is it's a bit better suited for this sort of discussion, but the disadvantage is that all the information is not on one page, so it's a bit harder for search engines to see it all (if google even indexes bulletin boards properly). There's also the issue of do I only open it to people that have registered, or everyone, and if everyone then will it get attacked by comment spammers?

Feel free to email me at with opinions, rather than posting here, or the discussion will get off topic very quickly, and make it even harder to find stuff on this page! :)

March 22, 2005 2:07 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Far be it for me to say how one should structure one's own web site but I can tell you that the reason that I frequent this one instead of the others I came by is that I preferred its format as it is. The idea of breaking it up is more organised (in theory) but can take a lot more protracted investigations to obtain specific information. Having it all on one page is easy enough as all one has to do is click EDIT & FIND then type in the word/s they want the information on & it goes straight to it.

Insofar as the advertisers, this is something I do have an opinion on in that I think it's a hell of a cheek for corporates & business opportunists to use someone's private & personal website to get in some free advertising opportunites of their own without even having to pay a fee or even having the decency to ask your permission first! I mean they are seeing this as an opportunity to create more business & more profit but did they contact you first & work out a deal first (ie: paying for advertising space, paying towards your internet fees or possibly even offering you a few free aquarium supplies)?

March 23, 2005 2:19 PM


Brenton said:

hey, im in sydney, and i was wondering about mantis shrimp.....although from what i have heard they are "Bad tempered" and "Anti social" i was thinking of getting 1, on its own in a tank, i was wondering on what price i am looking at to set a tank up for one, and the prices of a mantis shrimp ( although im starting to think that if i want one, i better start learning to dive or something ) i cant find anything about how to keep them or where to get them, only "To remove pesky mantis shrimp" etc.......

any info would be appreciated

March 24, 2005 6:19 PM


Jane said:

Hi All

Found this forum v interesting. Just purchased an Aqua One and running it in before adding a few fish. It does look spectacular, mostly rocks with coral sand & shells, adding a few plants for a Tang Cichlid Tank. But has anyone found the filter noisy and if so what have they done to rectify this. Ours does make a buzzing noise and being in the living room, is a bit annoying.

Thanks Jane

March 25, 2005 12:05 AM


kazza said:

Another advert tonight. And since we only had one comment voting against the ads (and I'm inclined to agree), they're going


And I have to agree with skaven, that one page, while being slow to load, makes it ultimately easier to find stuff. I know there are plenty of aquarium forums out there, but by their nature, they're really hard to find things in because they're always changing their layout.

So this page will stay as it is :)

March 29, 2005 10:25 PM


Patrick said:

Regards ads: Delete them mercilessly.

Regards format: Leave as is as long as you can handle it. There are plenty of Aquarium bulletin boards out there. At least this one is easy to find. The main downer currently is repetition, but it's not too much of a drag (yet).

Brenton: Mantis shrimp are usually obtained as hitch-hikers when you order large quantities of live rock. As this is unlikely for this tank, you will need to special order one from a place like Strictly Aquariums. Shouldn't be too hard as they are considered a pest. Keep it on it's own in a 'predator tank'. Note that they tend to come out at night so if you want to see it try not to give it any hiding places. Prices should be $20 or less I would figure. Tank setup can be minimal (no special lighting required).

Jane: The uplift pump on mine is generally quiet, but I have had powerheads that buzz. This has usually resulted from a restricted inlet or outlet - sorting that out has always quietened them down. So as a start, check that there is nothing restricting flow into the pump or out of the pump/spraybar assembly. Check the spray bar is properly fitted to the pump. Also check your water level is high. The more water in the tank the easier it is for the pump to work.

March 31, 2005 4:00 PM


Fester said:

Just bought the Aqua One UFO-880 and from what Kongs tell me is a 345L. Was a demo model in Seaview Aquariums Adelaide. Very nice unit, am very happy with it. Just found this forum, was extremely hard to find anything on any Aqua One tank! Today thought I would swap out the hood lighting with the Hagen Powerglos I had in the old tank (before I looked here!). Wouldn't fit would they! I can't believe they have non standard tube lengths.

March 31, 2005 6:28 PM


Saiya said:

For the people who have the Aqua one 620 and 620T, how much are the replacement fluro lights?

April 1, 2005 11:34 AM


Patrick said:

These tanks are made for the much larger US market where these bulb sizes are standard. Small price to pay for a nice looking tank IMO.

Saiya: Anywhere between AU$18.00 to AU$25.00.

April 1, 2005 1:04 PM


Fester said:

I agree Patrick, it is definitely a VERY nice tank! It was just that I like the look of the Hagen Powerglo and Aquaglo tubes over the Altman tubes that come with the unit.

April 1, 2005 5:27 PM


Sam said:

Can somebody tell me what type of wet/dry filter the aquaone620 uses and if it is possible to fit the tank with a sepearate hangon filter?

April 3, 2005 12:31 PM


Lesley said:

Really pleased to discover this website. I live in cornwall - UK, and Aqua One tanks have only just got here. I got an Aqua 80 a few weeks ago and have just had a disaster, and wondered if anyone could comment. I bought the whole lot set up (including the base cabinet), and left my other half to install the filter. He did it OK, I 'm pretty certain,but one of the handles was either loose or worked loose and the filter leaked through the back seam of the cabinet onto the floor, and then soaked up from the bottom into the wood of the cabinet! It hasn't sagged and still seems solid.but eh wood was wet enough to swell,as I can't find an official site..anyone solid is this cabinet?

April 4, 2005 7:51 AM


Katherine said:

Wow, this site is an aquaone oasis!

I have a 620 (recently upgraded from the 380). Easy to set up and looks the part etc etc. Fish seem to be happy - my problem is plants. I can't seem to keep them alive! I think a lot of it is to do with the heat as the temp was 28+ during summer. If anyone has anymore info or can point me in the direction of an article about adding a small fan to the tank I would appreciate it as that sounds like a good plan. My LFS suggested adding bottles of frozen water which did the trick a bit but difficult to maintain when you're at work all day. Also that became less effective now I have a bigger tank. Water is still around 26 after a warm weekend in Sydney and I have some brown looking plants. talks about working out your watts/gallon to work out the best plants for tank lighting. Does anyone know the wattage of the bulbs in the 620 as the aquaone website is useless and I can't see anything on the bulbs themselves? Or can anyone recommend some hardy plants that flourish in a (warm'ish) freshwater 620?

thanks for your help!

April 5, 2005 12:00 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I have the 620T which has two 18W power compact fluorescent tubes.

Insofar as the plants, are you giving them some plant food each day?

If you are then maybe your water has a low carbon level. If it is that then a packet of that powder doesn't cost much from your local

I once had the same problem with plants but this did the trick & haven't lost one since. They're all thriving actually (even though I do give my eight hour lights on time a two hour break in the middle) & it gets pretty hot here - being the driest state in the world & all that...

April 5, 2005 5:36 PM


Katherine said:

Thanks for that.

At the moment I'm not putting any plant food in as I thought I read somewhere that plant food can mess up your PH and other readings. I'm very new to this fish keeping business so I might have just made that up. Does that sound right? So if I add plant food I should consider adding carbon powder too?

I might try that break in the lighting. How do you stop the water from overheating in the summer months? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!


April 6, 2005 9:33 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

We have ducted air-conditiong here so on hot days, I just leave the feeder tray of the hood open.

You need to feed your plants or they will die. I almost lost my whole lot at one stage.

Just take a water sample to your LFS & tell them what's happening to your plants & ask them to test your carbon level.

It may be okay as it might just be because your not feeding them.

I always put about 1/2 tsp of it in at each "grease'n'oil change".

April 6, 2005 4:27 PM


RK said:


I just bought an AR620 today. Now i need to build a stand. I was gonna buy the AquaOne stand, but I couldnt for 2 reasons.

1) Everything in my room is Redwood coor, and they only offered Silver, Black and Beechwood.
2) My dad is a woodwork teacher, so he said he'd built it. He is also Indian, which means he's a tightass and would kill me if i paid money for furniture :P

I was wondering if someone could take a pic of their stand and show it to me, so i know how to build mine. I cant seem to find detailed pics on the net. Just anything that wcould help me build this would be greatly appreciated. I dont wanna build a dodgy stand that collapses or causes the glass to crack.



April 6, 2005 7:34 PM


Fester said:

This website has some pics!

April 6, 2005 9:05 PM


Fester said:

Woops, sorry, don't know what happened there!
Didn't accept my post at first then posted the
three of them!

April 6, 2005 9:08 PM


RK said:

Thanks :) I'll check it out.

April 6, 2005 9:53 PM


kazza said:

Fester, I deleted the first two for you :)

RK, there's a couple of pics of my stand - the very first few photos at

They're not great pics, as it's all black, and well, it wasn't really the stand I was interested in :)

There's a slightly nicer one of my friend's tank/stand at

April 6, 2005 10:54 PM


RK said:

Hi Kazza. thanks for those links.

You know what sucks? Its that AquaOne made the 620 JUST less than 2feet. I wanted to buy one of those 3D rock backgrounds (the ones made of plastic and look like a wall of rock). But i'd have to cut it. and if i cut it, then i cant stick it on porperly with silicon :(

Do you guys know if Aqua One themselves make any of these for the tanks?

April 7, 2005 10:31 AM


RK said:

Got the stand. now i need to buy and put in that Rock Formation background thingy.

April 7, 2005 1:30 PM


Shaun said:

Hello Everyone from Dunedin, NZ. Am looking into getting a AR620T but as i live in a flat i have to think of how much power the use. Power is not cheap in NZ at the moment. I will not be doing a tropical set up but would like to here if anyone knows how much power the use, even rough estimate would be helpful. So glad i found this site, they only one one the web. Everyone has been a great help with information.

Thank you

April 7, 2005 5:20 PM


shadow88 said:

Hi I know this is about AR 620 but i have a few questions:

I bought an Aqua One AR-850(site says 150L but its more like 130L), Im looking to set up a reef tank. I replaced the filter with a HOT protein skimmer but I dont know what to do about lighting. It doesn't have PC, it just has NO flouros 2 x 20w and 1 x 25w.I was wondering if i should just remove the lighting alltogether and get PCs or if i could get away with the NOs(replacing one of the tubes with an Actinic). I only want to keep soft corals and some macro, do you guys have any suggestions on what I should do or where I could buy lighting online because the LFS is hopeless? Can I buy from the US because I thought the electricity isn't the same here and it would fry anything electrical bought from the US?

April 8, 2005 5:45 PM


RK said:


How did you guys put the heater in the tank?? There is no hole for the power cable to go :(

April 10, 2005 12:37 PM


RK said:

nevermind, tore a chunk of flesh out of my thumb, trying to insert the powerhead back in. and then i realised i can just loop the wire up from the gap in between the filter/lights comparetments. damn this hurts!

April 10, 2005 12:51 PM


RK said:

Hey, how do i navigate this forum?
I.E how do i view threads and such?

April 11, 2005 10:53 AM


kazza said:

Shadow: Yeah watch out for electic stuff from the US - they only use 110V there instead of our 240V, and most things won't work.

RK: Ctrl-F :) There's no threads, everything is here on this page. It's probably why this page ranks so well in Google, because google has no trouble indexing it. I think there are other forums out there, but they're harder to find things in.

April 11, 2005 6:08 PM


RK said:

ahh okay. gotcha!

April 11, 2005 10:04 PM


kazza said:


Please be advised that my blog is changing address - to I've sold my soul to the devil (again), and am renting out my domain name to a kazaa clone. and will both stop working in a few days. Please update your links/rss feeds/bookmarks.

The new url for this entry will be

I'll try and email anyone that's posted here recently so you know.


April 12, 2005 7:06 PM


Patrick said:


Reef lighting on the Aqua Ones is a real weakness. 65 watts for 130 litres is not a good ratio. However for corallimorphs you may get away with just changing one of the tubes to an actinic and ensuring the others are full spectrum tubes.

There are some alternatives however to inject more watts into the system:

(1) see if you can retrofit with a series of PC bulbs to give you a higher total wattage. Bear in mind that when someone tells you that an 18W power compact is equal to 100W regular, they are comparing to incandescent lighting (which is far less efficient at converting watts to light). 18 watts PC = 18 Watts NO, it's just smaller so in theory you could fit more in.

(2) boost the supply to the bulbs using an Icecap ballast (search on this page and on the net). This will double the output, but in my experience also shorten bulb life and cause temperature rise issues in the tank with the odd melted component.

(3) Install some crompton micro flouro lights (also on described this page elsewhere). This is cheap simple and quite effective.

April 18, 2005 10:43 AM


Feralgirl said:

Hi all, I've had a tall AR380 running successfully as a freshwater tropical tank for about 5 months now and I want to upgrade the lighting and improve my planting scheme. I got an 11W bulb with the tank but I want something a bit more powerful. I'd rather not rip out the original fixture if I can possibly help it coz I'm not much for the D.I.Y. Does anyone know of a UK website that does 20-25W bulbs that are compatible with the tank (or a site elsewhere that won't charge the earth for shipping)? I've spent ages googling with no joy at all!

May 2, 2005 7:52 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Hey guys!

Just made a rather gruesome discovery. My chocolate orando is missing an eye. His fins are still up & he's eating & swimming around happily enough. It's just a little disconcerting to look at.

I don't know how that could've happened seeing as I have no aggressive or predatory fish. I only have 8 other fairly small goldfish, 6 zebra danios, 6 medakas, 6 white clouds, 3 snails & 2 mussels. Maybe he was like that when I bought him & I only just noticed. Who knows...

May 7, 2005 5:05 PM


RK said:

have you guys had any problems with water overflowing back down into the chamber where the powerhead sits?

Not heaps, but trickly down, cos its not flowing through the filter compartments quickly enough.

I have the white filter at the bottom, then sponges, then black filter on top of that.

May 14, 2005 7:00 PM


OLI said:

Hello fishy australians.

Just wanted to say ta very much for the info on this forum. I had the same problem as a lot of you having followed the 'so called instructions' that came with my ar510 i filled the tank so that the water level did not come into contact with the power head of the water pump.. this of course means that the water does not get pumped at all. so i disregarded the advice of aqua one and took that of you good people. it works fine now.

all the best from a fishy englander.

May 15, 2005 7:59 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Does anyone here know much about danios?

I try to maintain 6 zebra danios but have lost three now, each about one month apart with the same symptoms.

One day it looks healthy & happy, then the next you see a big red gash (what looks like an open wound) on one side of his ribcage, a couple of days later - dead!

This seems strange to always happen once every few weeks or so to only one breed of fish which is always a danio.

I also have the same number of white clouds & golden medakas but it never happens to them.

The only other fish I have are all goldfish so there's no aggressive fish in there that could be attacking them.

Maybe it's not an injury at all & just looks like one...

Any ideas?

May 16, 2005 1:29 AM


Shaun said:

Hello, do you need to install a air pump into a AR620t or is the flow from the filter enough to airate the water. Also i want to set a up a freshwater tropical tank, what is the ratio of fish to litres of water for the tank.


great website

May 16, 2005 1:57 PM


Troy said:

RK - yes when i clean the powerhead and havent cleaned the filter sponge.

May 17, 2005 3:04 PM


RK said:

how do you the powerhead?
And also, how do you clean the filter?
I just rinse the filter under teh running water, but it still appears brown.

also, where does water flow down into the tank for you guys?

here is a pic of mine.

Before it used to flow to the left hole (the one with the black L shaped director attachment. And this was super quiet and good. But now its starting to flow through the 2nd hole (on the right) too. And now its really noise with bubbly sounds.

May 17, 2005 8:31 PM


tara said:

RK check that the fitting is not loose.I have a AR 380 and is working just fine.I understand that the less gravel you put in (except for an undergravel filter)the better it is for the aquarist.Is this right ?Does the tank stay cleaner?Any comments would be helpful.

May 18, 2005 2:23 AM


RK said:

the connections seem to be fine. but i'll check again when i clean the tank this weekend. im guessing maybe i have to lower the water level a bit, so that it doesnt cover the breather hole on top of that black director attachment.

regarding gravel. i've got about 1-1.5" of it in my AR620.

May 18, 2005 8:05 AM


tara said:

Is it OK to keep three goldfish in a ten gallon tank.My fish are happy /eat well and the tank is super clean.

May 18, 2005 8:56 PM


tara said:

Is it OK to keep three goldfish in a ten gallon tank.My fish are happy /eat well and the tank is super clean.

May 18, 2005 8:58 PM


tara said:

By the way is the black sponge ,the carbon filter? Has anyone manged to fit an extra sponge in the filter? Thought it would keep the water even cleaner.Any thought?

May 18, 2005 11:19 PM


debj404 said:

Has anyone tried to set up a chiller in an ar620t? I am looking to buy a new tank for my seahorses but they require a chiller 24/7 during summer as the temp can't go over 20 degrees

June 1, 2005 8:20 PM


vince said:


I own a 620T marine setup. I want to add metal halide lighting for corals etc. Does anyone now if aqua one has a metal halide system for the 620?


June 5, 2005 10:44 AM


UK said:

I live in Devon, UK and I can not find an Aqua One AR980. I've searched the whole internet and all of the websites that sell them end with .au. Are there anyone out there that come from Devon and have one? Please reply.


PS. sorry I didn't enclose my email address as my computer's a bit vunerable at the moment.

June 6, 2005 5:50 AM


UK said:

Also, could someone tell me what type of aquarium in order from easiest to hardest please? e.g. Tropical, then tropical marine, then temperate marine etc.


June 6, 2005 5:57 AM


Ally said:

Same here! I can't find one any where!


June 6, 2005 6:16 AM


Daniel said:

hi ive got an ar620 and my filter overflows from one compartment to the other. is this meant to happen and if not wat am i doin wrong? in first compartment i av got the white pad with the noodles on top and the black pad on top of that and the second compartment just the white pad. any help would be great.

June 13, 2005 5:45 AM


Daniel said:

also does any one know where to buy the flourescent tubes in the UK or on line that post to UK

June 13, 2005 5:47 AM


Janet said:

To Daniel - I had trouble when first setting up tank with the filters as they seemed to go too high when I had the white one, noodles and black one all together and the water level was very close to the top - made me nervous. After consultation with a guy who has a lot to do with fish tanks in general he advised to just put all the noodles in the first compartment, get some thick but fine wool filter go go on top and change the filter once a month. The filter isn't expensive for a big sheet which I cut into the right size for the compartment. In the other compartment I have a product called Efisubstrat an Eheim product available from pet or fish shops and our water stays really clean since we did this. The substrat wasn't cheap - cost about $50 but doesn't have to be replaced. The water from the first compartment runs into the second compartment over the substrat and then back into the tank. The water levels always stay the same in the compartments and flow really well.
Good luck

June 13, 2005 6:33 AM


Huhness said:

i'm running a FOWLR (Fish only with live rock) AR 380 and i tell you what its the most fun i have had with fish.. i only have a pair of barrier reef clown and a hermit crab..

has anyone else been told their crazy having a marine tank under 30 gallons..?? every other forum i visit ridecule me because they think i need to change water every day.. i just do a 20% water change each week and the levels of all the chemicals and such are great..

i have upgraded the lighting though i have placed a 24w compact fluro which is much much brigher than the old 10w fluro which was pathetic.. anyone thinking about upgrading their lighting really should you can obtain all the materials and know how from a electrical supplier.. and i upgraded mine for only $16!

June 17, 2005 12:07 AM


lennai said:

I'm looking at buying a magnet cleaner for an AR620. Anyone know how thick the 620 glass is, as the cleaners are for up to 5mm and up to 10 mm. Thanks

June 17, 2005 12:51 PM


Libby said:

Hi Kazza, I beleive I knew you at SNASM, St Matts

Has anyone out there tried the sun sun all-in-one tanks? Found a display model on special and am very tempted tto buy it (even tho is v. ugly colour)

June 17, 2005 7:33 PM


steve said:

Hi fish people,
i am thinking of buying a 640t, I have no experience, my young son(2yo) likes fish and I think it would be a nice present for him, me and the house.
Is it a good idea? Is the tall version worth the extra dollars and where is the best place to buy in Melbourne.
thanks Steve

June 21, 2005 9:32 PM


RK said:


This is what i wanted to do to mine. The bits in Blue is the existing system, and Red being the bit i want to add.

Basically, i want the water from the filter exit at the bottom of the tank. There are 2 reasons why i want it like this.

1) It will cause a current just above the gravel, towards the filter inlet. Thus carrying bits of poop from the gravel to the filter.

2) At the moment, the current at the top causes the taller plants in that corner to sway and bend away. Leaving a blank empty space.

Do you guys think this will work? Its just a simple bio filter which uses gravity to fall back down. So im not sure if there will be enough force for the water to travel down the tube and exit at the bottom of the tank :?:


June 23, 2005 1:29 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


In a word: no. The reason being, as you say, the outlet water is release back in via a narrow tube by the force of gravity alone. If the tube did run all the way to the bottom, I believe you'll most likely find that the force of the water going up the tube will far exceed the force of the water coming down, thus merely causing the trickle tray to overflow & spill outside the tank.

To get a water outlet through a tube to the bottom you'd need more than just gravity alone. To compensate & overcome the force coming back up it'd have to be pumped down. Similar to the device they built on "Myth Busters" a few weeks ago (if you watch it).

I have 30 plants in my 620T which includes a giant vallis & a millfoil - both very "soft" plants & quite near the outlet so they do "bend" at the top. However, this doesn't matter as long as you have a decent bed of gravel at the bottom so that they are well planted & anchored & the beauty of such a tall tank is that one can actually afford to have a very thick gravel bed.

If the "gap" bothers you from an aesthetic perspective, it may be easier to just move the plants elsewhere in the tank & place some stronger & more rigid plants (swords, anubias, etc.) which won't bend near the outlet.

Insofar as creating a current near the bottom, you could always buy one or two Eheim water pumps & strategically place it/them to help with that.

However, in my experience, there really doesn't seem to be much benefit in doing this as regular tank maintainance alleviates the "poop" build-up problem & having the water pumps won't decrease the frequency in which you will have to do this. The gravel will still have to be syphoned just as often. Even with an aquarium that is as heavily planted as mine, where syphoning the gravel is obviously impossible (it's all good food for the plants anyway), you still have to syphon around the plants regularly to remove the detritus.

I may be wrong but if you're still looking for opinions, well, that's mine. ~��

June 24, 2005 3:50 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Actually, here's a thought...

Grab your gravel syphon, stick one end of it right down to the bottom of the tank (the end without the suction/vacuum bell). Then hold it straight & try pouring some water into the bell end - simulating the same water-flow rate as with the trickle tray - & see if the water goes in or not.

This'll answer your question once & for all for sure!

June 24, 2005 4:05 AM


Steve said:


In the process of cycling a newly bought 620T, was wondering if it would be possible if someone could link or email me some pics of the Crompton Slim Line fluoros fitted into the hood ?

cheers in advance

June 25, 2005 3:52 PM


Manaz said:

Hello all,

I've just bought an AV-980 (Strictly Aquariums are bring in the Aqua One range from the OEM with their own branding). I've noticed that there's quite a few people here considering a marine setup - I bought a book with my tank which I think is just brilliant (in theory - I haven't put it into practise yet!)

The book is called "The New Marine Aquarium - Step-by-Step Setup & Stocking Guide", by Michael S. Paletta. The ISBN is 1-890087-52-1. I highly recommend it (if only as a read from a library until you are sure of its value) for anyone considering running a marine aquarium. There is a section specifically on smaller marine setups, such as the AR-620T which so many of you seem to have :)

June 29, 2005 1:25 PM


Pete said:

A very good site for info on our newly purchased 620T. Could someone pls tell me how much water it holds?
We have had it for 3 weeks now and have a beautifull looking tank. I need to know how much water it has because i need to administer some multi purpose remedy (medicine) for white spot noticed on a 10cm long shark fishy. (cant remember real name). we have 18 fish all together, cant remember all of there names but have a catfish, 4 x Guaramis, 1 x silver dollar, 3 x small angel fish, 2 x baby sucker fishy things, 2 x banded skin looking snaky fish that we never see...except when we wake up, 4 x neon tetris.
I have noticed the shark fish gradually getting more and more white spots on it's body. So i am thinking of giving the "tank" medicine. So i need to know how much water it holds!
Any ideas, comments, suggestions are mostly appreciated as we love this tank and the fish we have.

Cheers.....Pete and Mandy (Queensland Australia)

June 30, 2005 5:58 PM


Manaz said:

The AR-620T tank holds 130 litres according to the brochure I have on the Aqua One/Aqua Vital range of tanks.

Is 18 fish a few too many for this size tank?

July 1, 2005 8:40 AM


Pete said:

I suppose it's a question of what type of fish and size we have.They are quite small.
They all seem to get along well and, believe it or not, the tank does not look over-crowded.

Thanks for the 130trs!

July 1, 2005 1:58 PM


kazza said:

I had 29 fish in my 620T at one stage, although a dozen of them were neon tetras :)
Two and half years later and only six of those originals are left - three angels and three glass catfish.

July 1, 2005 2:13 PM


Manaz said:

Yeah, I guess the size of the fish does matter - you'd get a lot more neon tetras in a tank (as kazza has mentioned) than you would discuses for instance :)

As long as they all get along, and as you said, the tank doesn't seem crowded, that number must be OK.

I'm about to set up a marine AV-980 - you get a lot fewer fish in a marine setup for a given tank size unfortunately - and even less again if you want to have corals (which I'd like to look at later).

Finally, I can type out the specs for all the Aqua One/Aqua Vital tanks from the brochure I've got if you'd like...

July 2, 2005 2:23 PM


Pete said:

Hi again guys,

We would like to enhance the colour of our fish with different lighting. Maybee a blue tube of some sort. Does anyone know if we can purchase a blue tube to enhance the colour of our fish? And if so should we use 2 of them? And if so how much do they cost and where can we find em?...
We have a AR620T (aqua one).
We bought a neon light thingy that looked like a vibrator that constantly changed colours but it was looked good in the store with the particular fish they had in the tank.
Any info appreciated..


Pete and Mandi (Queensland)

July 3, 2005 1:38 PM


Pete said:

Specifications for the AR620T would be greatly appreciated!

Thx heaps

Pete and Mandi

July 3, 2005 1:44 PM


Saiya said:

I heard that the blue lights are only for marine setups.

I was talking to my fish store and she was saying because the blue lights are more powerfull they can damage the eyes of freshwater fish.

July 3, 2005 10:37 PM


RK said:

so anyone added more lighting to their AR620/T tanks?

July 5, 2005 11:27 AM


RK said:

I just talked Kongs (Makers of AquaOne) and they said that they have 'Cool White' tubes for the AquaOne tanks. These are made specifically for plants and are brighter (though still 18W). Anyone tried these?

July 5, 2005 12:56 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Lighting is always an issue with deeper tanks. The 620T is as (& often deeper) than the very large display tanks you see as displays that use the suspended 150w Halides.

I have just replaced both my bulbs with new, seeing as I now have a very heavily planted aquarium (& the twelve month repacement period was almost due). I replaced them with another standard bulb of the same & one Osram. They're both 18w cool whites but the Osram has more of a RK,

yellow hue. This means that I have two bulbs with different spectrums therefore increasing the overall light spectrum. Plenty of light! 8-)

If you want to know more about lighting
adaptability, boostage, performance, I suggest scrolling further up this message blog as Patrick & I discussed it to some detail, as well as a few earlier discussions where other people explained what modifications they made regarding lighting.

Did my information regarding your filter query assist?

July 5, 2005 5:39 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Lighting is always an issue with deeper tanks. The 620T is as (& often deeper) than the very large display tanks you see as displays that use the suspended 150w metal halides.

I have just replaced both my bulbs with new, seeing as I now have a very heavily planted aquarium (& the twelve month repacement period was almost due). I replaced them with another standard bulb of the same & one Osram. They're both 18w cool whites but the Osram has more of a RK,

yellow hue. This means that I have two bulbs with different spectrums therefore increasing the overall light spectrum. Plenty of light! 8-)

If you want to know more about lighting
adaptability, boostage, performance, I suggest scrolling further up this message blog as Patrick & I discussed it to some detail, as well as a few earlier discussions where other people explained what modifications they made regarding lighting.

Did my information regarding your filter query assist?

July 5, 2005 5:40 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


Lighting is always an issue with deeper tanks. The 620T is as (& often deeper) than the very large display tanks you see as displays that use the suspended 150w metal halides.

I have just replaced both my bulbs with new, seeing as I now have a very heavily planted aquarium (& the twelve month repacement period was almost due). I replaced them with another standard bulb of the same & one Osram. They're both 18w cool whites but the Osram has more of a
yellow hue. This means that I have two bulbs with different spectrums therefore increasing the overall light spectrum. Plenty of light! 8-)

If you want to know more about lighting
adaptability, boostage, performance, I suggest scrolling further up this message blog as Patrick & I discussed it to some detail, as well as a few earlier discussions where other people explained what modifications they made regarding lighting.

Did my information regarding your filter query assist?

July 5, 2005 5:43 PM


James said:

I have a group of four Neon tetras but I'm not sure if one is a Male or female. The odd one has a florescent blue- green straight stripe from head to tail but unlike most neon tetras, it hasn't got a red area around the tail. can you help me out?

July 6, 2005 4:38 AM


RK said:

Hi �K�\/�|\|,

Yeah the filter thing did help. I tried and it would just overflow into the 2nd hole. I've given up on that idea and have now moved onto modifying it for a CO2 reactor setup. Hehe. I'll try and make it this weekend and get pics. I tried a dodgy method last weekend and ended up almost overflowing the tank (1mm more and i'd have a flood in my room:).

Regarding the lighting. I've read what patrick wrote and talked to him via email. The ballasts isnt really a viable idea cos of the heat produced. I'll try and get specs of the bulb and compare it to bulbs offered by Maybe see if they have any reflectors that could fit out tank. Unfortunately no form of CO2, nutrient suppliment will help my plants UNTIL i increase the light output to at least 3watts per gallon (atm its 1.5wpg).

P.S I have an AR620 (not the Tall version).

July 6, 2005 10:29 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Yeah, there's not a real lot you can do increase lighting in a factory-made hood.

The only options that I can think of are:

(1) Use a ballast (as Patrick did),
(2) Ditch the hood section altogether & replace it with a suspended halide (you can get some with little legs that rest on the sides of your tank so you don't have to suspend it from the ceiling), or
(3) Take the hood section to an electrician or lighting specialist & have it modified for higher wattage bulbs. This will possibly mean redesigning the wiring for a higher capacity as well as the actual inside fittings. The plastic lense may also have to be replaced with a glass one if you go much higher.

I am curious to know as to why you need more light. I have a 620T (which is over 40% higher) with two 18w bulbs & over 30 plants that all seem to be doing well. If your plants are suffereing, is it possible it may be for another reason such as iron or carbon levels?

July 6, 2005 6:31 PM


RK said:

Hmm.. do you have pics of your tank? and list of plants? Maybe my plants are high light types. Also, do you have MSN or anything?

July 7, 2005 3:01 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Okay, here we go...

I have: anubias afzelli on driftwood, anubias emerald heart on driftwood, anubias lisa on driftwood, radical sword, marble queen, anubias lanceolata, rubin sword, anubias hybrid, red tiger lily, telanthra, ludwegia, macrandra, rotalla wallichi, millfoil, ambulia, java fern, pongol, 2 giant vallis, 3 dwarf pongol, 3 hygrophilia corymbosa & 4 java moss.

No photos or MSN sorry.

The lighting I described in an an earlier post seems to be working well if you want to try it for yourself.

You'll need to get a water hardness test kit & some carbon powder. The test kit includes testing solution for both the general (GH) & carbon (KH) hardness. I find that the tap water here (Adelaide) GH hardness is always quite (but not too) high but the KH can be a bit low so I always have to dissolve some carbon powder in hot water & then add to the tank whenever I do my 30% water change. Having a lot of plants also means that the carbon in the water will drop so you'll need to monitor that. Not only is a healthy carbon level needed for plants but a low carbon level will cause the PH level to fluctuate which is bad for the fish.

You'll also need to get an iron test kit as iron levels that are too low are bad for plants & levels that are too high are bad for fish. If the iron is low then a good quality plant food is the Dupla Plant 24 drops (which you use daily) & the Dupla Plant tablets which you use after each water change. Some Duplaroot Sunbstrate Fertiliser balls are good to bury into your gravel bed once a year if you (like me) have a lot of plants but this will significantly increase the iron level for a time. I put them in about three weeks ago & (even after a 30% water change), the iron level is still quite high. It's just as well I didn't have any fish in there but several periodic water changes would've been needed if I did. Plant food just puts even more iron into the water so I won't need to use any until the iron level drops & makes this necessary.

PS: I now have two clown loaches to get rid of a baby snail outbreak & they both seem healthy & happy to have all those plants to hide & play in. 8-)

July 7, 2005 4:53 PM


RK said:

Wow thats a lot of plants for a 620T tank! Wish i could see pics :(

I've just modifying my filter outlet a bit so i should now have better CO2 levels. I've added gravel nutrient tablets and i'm going to start to add 5ml of plant food after every water change. The hardness kit i bought only has KH test :( So youre keeping all those plants, with standard 620T lights, and no co2?

July 8, 2005 10:18 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Just the same two bulbs I said on an earlier strand.

Bearing in mind what I just said about using plant feriliser liquid & substrate fertiliser, make sure you watch your iron level.

It may be easier to maintain a constant & healthy iron level if - through trial & error - you figure out an accurate daily fertiliser dosage. As I said, too little iron won't help your plants but too much can harm your fish.

July 8, 2005 5:43 PM


Alex said:

Can some tell me the correct method of setting up the filter system in a 620. I got with it in the left side noodles black filter and then a white filter. In the right side it came with the same again .
I have set it up this way but water flows back through the water srayer cut out the pump.
Next question is do you need an air supply for the tank?

July 10, 2005 7:17 PM


Twoshirts said:


I am in the process of setting up an nano reef on my new AR620. Having just read through the whole forum (!!!), I would like to thank everyone for the huge amount of information and especially Patrick for the inspiration from his photos.

One topic that I have not seen covered is power distribution.

With 4-5 mains cables going into the tank, it is a likely mess. My first solution was to tie the cables together with cable ties, but this makes removing a single item very awkward and lasted only for a few days.

The only other idea was to mount (glue) a power distribution board to the back of the hood.

Any thoughts?

July 10, 2005 9:27 PM


kazza said:

I have a power board sitting in the bottom of the cabinet, and all the cords just run down to it there. Looks pretty neat from the front because only one power cord from the wall goes into the unit. I also use one of those switched power boards so I can simply flick the switches to turn things off, rather than pull them out which is a pain :) Don't forget to leave a drip loop of cord so that if water runs down the cords it doesn't run straight into the power outlet.

July 10, 2005 9:31 PM


stef said:

HI all, just purchased a aquaone ar850 tank.
Also bought 20kg of aqua one black fine Silica gravel for bottom of tank, as i saw a demo tank with it in the bottom with a black background on the rear of the tank. Intend on keeping freshwater tropical fish. Is the black silica gravel going to be a problem?
Please help

July 11, 2005 9:00 AM


RK said:

I have the same gravel, stef. And it looks beautiful! Its really good for bringing out the colour of neons and gouramis. I dont think its good for plants though. As you need a substrate with nutrients.

And 20kg only? I think it took me 20kg for my AR620.. im guessing you'll need more.

July 11, 2005 11:43 AM


RK said:

Hi �K�\/�|\|, I've added a co2 reactor and nutrient tablets and now im adding 5ml of plant food a week. I'll see how this goes for a while.

I thinking the swords dont get enough light cos theyre at the back of the tank, and the light kind hits mainly the middle and front (cos the trickle filter at the back).

July 11, 2005 11:47 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

All my swords & other large leaf plants are at the back. My tank has the same lighting hood as yours but the tank is 40% higher so the light has even more water to filter through.
I've seen some display tanks that only have one suspended light at the centre of the tank - leaving the rest of it quite dark - but swords throughout the whole tank.

July 11, 2005 12:31 PM


stefan said:

thanks RK. I should have added i bought 4 x 20kg bags.Another quick note does the ar850 require the foam under the tank, or can it sit straight on the aqua one cabinent.

July 11, 2005 1:58 PM


twoshirts said:

Thanks Kazza. Now I realise why I have a problem with power that maybe others don't. I didn't buy the stand, it is on a work surface in the Kitchen.

July 11, 2005 11:11 PM


RK said:


Well my swords are jsut retarded then :P Dunno how and dunno why :\ I'm gonna try and built my own reflect anyway. either that or i'll just buy new swords :)


The AquaOne tanks have foam built into the tank assembly. So just place it on that stand and youre good to go.

July 12, 2005 9:42 AM


Manaz said:

Silica can be a problem with some salt water algae, I'm not sure about fresh water.

I'll find the details on all the Aqua One tanks and post them.

July 12, 2005 1:05 PM


Twoshirts said:

Has anyone seen this compact flouro?

Seems like a a lot of power! Wondered if it would fit in the 620 lid. I have emailed the company for dimensions.

July 12, 2005 9:48 PM


RK said:

Built in ballast? Hmm.. that sounds promising!

Only issue would be heat. I dont want my tank to melt and the house to catch on fire while im at work :S

July 13, 2005 11:46 AM


Fretty said:

Hi, I have bought an AR850 today, and with the ABSOLUTLEY shocking instructions that came with it, Decided to turn to the internet, thanks to you good people the tank is assembled fully but one problem, the water pump...

It worked for about 2 minutes pumping water into the filter tray thingys, then as i added more water (already way past the white mark on the power head) It completely went dead, now I'm not entirely sure what to do, I've tried checking the fuse, switching it on and off, with no avail.

Has this happened to anyone in the past?
If so could you tell mehow to overcome it?

Shaun J

July 16, 2005 7:29 AM


John said:

hi everyone,
I know that this isn't an aqua one AR-510 website but this is the only site that even mentions aqua one. I was wondering if anyone knew what the lighting of the AR-510 is like? Is it good enough for a marine setup and how many watts and globes does it have. I want to set it up for a nano reef with a small amount of fish and i was wondering what the filter system is like. Is the filter the same as the AR-380. Any help would be appreciated and any links with pictures and extra info on AR-510's would be even better.

July 16, 2005 4:40 PM


twoshirts said:

Fretty - Try opening the filter pump and see if there is any dirt or grit in there. I have had a similar problem and it is easily fixed.

July 16, 2005 11:04 PM


Fretty said:

went back to the pet shop this morning, with the pump, they said it was faulty, so they changed it, brought the other one home and everything is good to go, so far, this is my first tank so not really sure what fish to get for it, got in mind 2 guppys, 2 platy and 2 tetras (most likely neons), to initially cycle it, any objections/comments on this choice?

Thanks for the reply twoshirts :D much appreciated if it happens again i will try that before whining to my LFS ;)

July 17, 2005 2:48 AM


twoshirts said:

Over the weekend, I have added 2x 16W Crompton strip lights to my AR620 lid.

these are the lights:

This was reasonably straightforward:

- Removed and discarded the plastic cover for the lights from the lid, and replaced it with a rectangular piece of glass the same size as the lights area (resting directly on the top of the tank).
- drilled two holes for each strip light in the back plate of the light box and mounted the plastic brackets for the lights.
- Drilled and cut a hole on the edge for the wire to pass through.
- these lights chain together in series are are provided with a short link cable to connect them. If you mount them in opposite directions to each other, you can connect the two ends together an only need one wire to both lights.
- I chose to rewire the new lights to one of the switches, the connect both of the existing lights to the other. If you are not eclectically inclined, you can just take the lead from the new lights out of the lid and connect the plug to your power board.


the new lights mounted:

Wiring before:

(I had already added the small connector block in the centre).

and after:

I added the red wire from the switch to the connector, and the thick white wire from the new lights. I would not recommend you wire like this unless you are an electrician or very handy. You can still take the new lead directly out of the back of the lid.


- Much more light! I now plan to swap the existing lights for either blue or Actinic or a mix.
- Easy and neat. If you look at the finish, you would not know that it is a mod.
- The whole job is well under A$100. Lights are readily available from Bunnings.


- Gets quite hot. I think it is not excessive, but I will keep an eye on it.
- Tight. The depth of the lights only just fit the space and almost touch the glass. So the glass also gets quite hot. Does not seem to be a problem.
- The light is quite loose in the clips. It tends to pop out when you lift the lid.

Tanks is now loaded with light, rocks and a new clean-up crew of 5 snails and couple of crabs. Waiting for it cycle (seems to have started) before adding some corals.

This is where it is up to...

July 17, 2005 10:53 PM


RK said:

Fretty: neons arent that hardy and 'generally' its not a good idea to cycle with them. zebra danios or white clouds are very hardy and can take the nitrite spikes and ammonia etc.

Twoshirts: seems like a good mod that.

July 18, 2005 10:42 AM


SJK said:

I've just taken delivery of an AR850 and can't understand the instructions that came with it at all!! This is my first tank & can't work out where the power head should go or what most of the plastics pieces of tubing are for. Can anyone help?


July 20, 2005 2:41 AM


RK said:

Powerhead should go on the hole on the left. It snaps in place. Check out this picture for a rough guide.

July 20, 2005 1:54 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I actually find the way I've set my filter media up works better.

The supplied noodles in both of the resevoir tanks & topped up with plenty of extra ceramic noodles, the fibre pads on top (one on each resevoir) & the filter (black) sponges on top of them...

July 20, 2005 7:30 PM


RK said:

I've set up mine similar to that.
One the first compartment i have Noodles on the bottom. Then white pad on top of that. Then black pad on top of that.

On the second compartment, i have white pad, then black on top, and then noodles on top of that. I found that if i had the noodles at the bottom, then the pads would be too high up and the water would sometimes escape from under the pads.

July 21, 2005 10:26 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I'm not sure what you mean by "escaping" as the water is supposed to come out of the second resevoir to go down the trickler.

Don't you find putting sponges underneath the noodles is a dreadful nuisance when you need to clean them (the sponges)? I would've thought that if the sponges were at the bottom & taken out & cleaned, you'd lose a lot of the "good stuff" that would be breeding in your noodles & disturbing your filter media more than is necessary.

I have them on top so whenever I do the water changes I rinse the black sponges in the drained water & replace the white fibre sponges with new ones (they're not much use after a couple of weeks).

July 21, 2005 3:45 PM


SJK said:

Thanks RK - all set up now!

July 21, 2005 9:19 PM


kazza said:

I leave all the ceramic noodles on the bottom so that I can pull the filter sponges out to clean them easily. Call it laziness :)

July 21, 2005 9:41 PM


RK said:

By escaping i meant the water flows out from underneath the sponges. Because its elavated so much, the water flow pushes the spongers up and water seeps out.

On another note, where do you buy the white sponges from?

July 23, 2005 3:49 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

That's odd. I have my sponges very elevated (right up against the spray bar) because I have it so packed with noodles & don't seem to have that problem. Where exactly does it seep out from & to?

You just buy the fibre in big sheets & cut it to fit.

July 24, 2005 1:52 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


I was just pondering further about your problem with water spilling over the sides of your filter.

Is it both sump compartments that this happens?

I don't see how it could happen in the second sump (the one next to the trickle compartment) as the wall that divides if from the trickle compartment is lower than the other three so all the water should spill over that & into the trickler before it even gets high enough to spill over the other three sides.

If it is only the first sump (the one with the spray bar over it) that has the "spilling over the sides" problem then this would suggest to me that it is filling up with water at a faster rate than it is filtering it into the second sump.

The divider between the two sumps has a gap at the bottom that allows the water to travel from the first sump to the second sump. If the first sump overflows then that could only mean that the water is coming out of the spray bar & into the first sump faster then it is being released from the first sump into the second sump (& then subsequently the trickle compartment).

You could try sliding the divider up a bit to allow more water to travel through which, I think, may be what is leading to your problem...

Because you have the sponge at the bottom of your second sump instead of noodles & given that the water travels from the first sump to the second sump along the bottom (underneath the divider), it may actually be that sponge that is blocking/resticting the water from travelling from the first sump to the second - slowing the transfer down, causing the sump to over fill & "escape from under your sponges" as you put it.

Like I said, I have the noodles at the bottom jam-packed with lots of extra noodles, fibres on top of the noodles & black sponges on top of that & every drop goes from the spray bar, through the filter system & all the way through to the trickler without sneaking out anywhere else along the way.

July 24, 2005 5:32 AM


RK said:

Oh its okay in the first compartment. Cos you can go as high as you want. but in the second one you cant go high, cos the exit point is low. know what i mean?

July 24, 2005 10:51 AM


RK said:

Woops. i didnt realise you had posted again. I'll go put my noodles on the bottom in the 2nd compartment and take apic if it overflows. overflow is a bad word. what i mean is, that is flows into the trickle bay under the sponge. i'll take a pic soon.

July 24, 2005 10:53 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Mines flows from the second sump into the trickle compartment under the sponges too. Not much can be done about that unless you make the sponges lower than the divider wall level but that would mean reducing your noodles.

However, I don't think that this point really matters as all the water in the second sump has already been strained through the sponges in the first compartment when it first came out of the spray bar.

In fact, I always make sure there's a bit of clearance between the edge of the sponges in the second sump & the wall to the trickle compartment so that all the water can "spill" over at the speed it was designed to without being hindered.

July 24, 2005 3:26 PM


RK said:

i just figured 2 times filtration is better than one. my second set of sponges get quite dirty too, so im assuming they do some work too. youre right about the speed of flow though, mine is considerably slower like this.

July 25, 2005 10:05 AM


Shinglis said:


I am fairly new to all this fish keeping business but have a AR620 tank setup for a few months now. No major issues and have checked this info on this page for specific guidance on the AR620. My question is regards cleaning the filter. When I complete a water change I also clean one of the black foam sponges, but usually when I do this the tank fills up with waste from the filter (Pump is swicthed off). Should I be conerned, is this a problem, the tank is clear within a few hours of the pump being started again.
Just a concerned newbie fish keeper.
Also anyone now any UK stockists for replacment sponges.

July 26, 2005 9:24 PM


Shaun said:

Downtown superstore in Grantham Lincs stocks Aqua one tanks and accessories. I live in Sleaford just up the road and have bought stuff for my 620 from there.-

July 26, 2005 10:31 PM


andy said:

having just purchased a ar850 tank and cabinet i am really pleased with the overall look however i was very dissapointed with the instruction manuals
the instructions for the cabinet were a total joke and in the end i threw them and worked of my own initiative, the same went for the filter assembly.
the suppliers were as helpfull as you would expect having had their money.
perhaps aqua one could put proper instructions one their website (once they sort that out)
but to be honest the best thing they could do would be to put a link on their site to here.

anyhow to the point
does anyone know of any aqua one suppliers in the north west of england or good mail order for spares for the power head.
can anyone tell me what type of powerhead is usually supplied with the ar 850 as thisone doesnt have a name on just a model number which is 1215.
hope someone can help
and so glad i foud this site on my first attempt

August 1, 2005 7:54 AM


Slic said:

I own a Ar620 and i mite have a few idea some of you will be interested in. I've replaced the original lights with 24inch compact tubes, one 55w 10,000k white and the other is actinic blue 55w, total 110w of lights. Also added a protein skimmer into the end of the filter box. Recently i;ve added an Aqua one CF1200 Canister filter, this thing is great!! I'm running all marine setup, corals, fish, inverts, the works. Any one want any info just email me.

August 3, 2005 9:21 PM


James said:

Hi again!
Can anyone tell me how to get rid of the most menacing of all aquarium pests...SNAILS! There's at least 50! They breed faster than I remove them! If I leave just one left then in just a week then I have as many as I started with. Also, I'm very annoyed with the aqua one website. It is really stupid so if anyone would like to send an email to them like me then lets give them a piece of our minds!

August 9, 2005 5:50 AM


Alan Richardson said:

hi there, we have just bought a AR620 aquaone tank that has no instructions whatsoever... does anybody here have a photo of how to set up the filters etc in the top compartment? I'm pretty new to all this.


August 19, 2005 1:41 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I'm pretty sure this "setting up" query has already been asked & answered a few times on this forum but here we go.
Place all the noodles in the two sumps in the filter. I recommend you also buy some more & fill them up as much as you can.
The fibre sponges (white ones) you get with it are pretty crap so I recommend buying a big sheet of thicker filter fibre & cutting it into pieces. You can keep the two supplied pieces to use as guides while cutting up the sheet. Then place the cut fibre pieces in the two sumps on top of the noodles.
Place the two black sponges on top of the two fibre sponges.
Attach the small duckbill nozzle to the underside of the trickler (where the water comes out & back into the tank) & turn it to direct your preferred waterflow direction.
Slot the filter power head into position at the side opposite to the trickler (& make sure the magnetic propellor is inside). You slot & twist the power head from underneath.
Attach the uplift pipe & strainer to the underside of the power head.
Attach the elbow pipe to the top side of the power head.
Slot the spraybar pipe (the one with all the holes) into the elbow pipe (but make sure you don't insert the end with the stopper).
Make sure the water is filled right up to where the top of the glass meets the edge of the top frame & turn on the filter - not before!

August 19, 2005 2:44 PM


darren said:

can someone tell me where the two net bags of what look like black carbon go in the filter system in the ar620t setup. Thanks Darren

August 31, 2005 7:13 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

It doesn't really matter which sump you put them in. I have one in the first sump but if you want to use both of them now, rather than keep one for later, why not just put one in each sump?

Just remember to take it out if your ever using some kind of anti-fungus treatment.

August 31, 2005 8:22 PM


Darren said:

Thanks for that

August 31, 2005 11:46 PM


Matt Adams said:

Hi Guys - Excellent site - very releived to hear i wasn't the only one to purchase a 620T for marine setup.

Patrick - quality tank setup. V.Nice!

Just stocked my tank with 12kgs live rock - ammonia and nitrites = 0 and nitrates climbing, presume nearing end of cycle (got brown algea on coral sand and rock? anyone know about this stuff???)

Regards to lighting - I'm from England and this is my first bash at fish keeping. Any specific info as to what i need to buy eg model numbers so i can get my ideal nano reef.

I was advised to run a air lift skimmer (with air pump) as well as a external filter - 3 stage basket. Also dumped original powerhead and upgraded.

Cheers in advance.........

September 1, 2005 6:12 AM


Patrick said:


thanks for your kind comments. A well set-up tank is a great feeling and absorbing to watch.


can you post some details regards your compact tube setup to 110W? How are you managing the water temperature issues? Are you in a hot or cold climate?

September 5, 2005 4:37 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Welcome back, Patrick.

September 6, 2005 12:27 AM


Slic said:


In regrads to the lights i've replaced the entrie internals of the original hood, starting with a new 3mm alloy plate, i put a 2x 55w electronic ballast in and i am using the original light sockets. I have Catalina Compact brand 22 inch Compact fluros, one 10,000K and the other is Acintic Blue.

To combat the heat i installed 2x 80mm fans the run in conjunction with lights, fixed the problem.

If you or anyone want any more info just send me an email, i can send pics and details if interested.

Catch Ya

September 6, 2005 9:46 PM


Patrick said:

Thanks Skaven. Nice to see this page has continued on to attract more interest.

Life gets busy sometimes, but the reef is still doing well. Am now thinking about setting up my AR380 Q tank as another nano reef . . .

It may be worth considering setting up a bulletin board style discussion forum somewhere?

September 7, 2005 12:50 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Are you a member of Aussie Celebs?

It's a free site which I jpined recently & there is a section in there called Aussie Hobbies.

We could all start an alternate forum there on aquariums. You can post pictures & stuff with your message too.

It should fit the task very well & we'll be able to use this one & that one.

September 7, 2005 3:28 PM


RK said:

Hey :)

There are some aussie fish forums out there. I'm a member of and also (more cichlid based but more active then ausfishforum). I'm sure given the enourmous interest and sales of AquaOne tank, we can ask the admins to setup a new section for us in their forums. I know for a fact some uses of those forums have asked about modifying their AquaOne tanks, and i've had to refer them here.

Btw, i got rid of my wet/dry filter and isntalled an Eheim Ecco external canister filter :D I was losing too much CO2 from the wet/try filter. It was fairly simple to do. i'll try and post some pics soon. And now that the filter bay is empty, when i get the time, i'll install some fans for the lights in there :D

September 7, 2005 6:03 PM


RK said:

Sorry thats
Theyve got a marine section too :P

September 7, 2005 6:05 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I just suggested the Aussie Celebs hobbies section because you can create yout own forums so don't need to ask a moderator to do it for you.

It's pretty easy to upload pictures there too.

My latest two additions BTW are a small black ghost knifefish & a sniny eel.

Unfortunately, the knifefish didn't make it but the eel is having a lovely time. He rarely even hides & swims merily all over.

September 7, 2005 7:05 PM


RK said:

ooh. Eels would be SO cool!
Its a pity you cant get pics of it :(

September 7, 2005 7:43 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Yeah, I was just then watching him swimming & poking around at the front of the tank.

You can see pictures of them by googling spiny+eel.

He basically has a pointed head like a seahorse & a few spots & stripes down his flanks.

September 7, 2005 9:01 PM


trev said:

I have a 620T I have set it up as follows:-
ceramic noodles under the filter plate( the one that runs the length of the filter itself (bought small noodles for this). Then first filter box from bottom up more noodles, white filter pad then the black filter. For the second filter box I have two bags of carbon however this is where I wanted to mod.
My plans were to install something along the lines of the bio wheels as I have heard good things about the O2 levels available to these.
So has anyone tried this or a similar idea?
I would be interested to hear from you.Also has anyone uprated their pump for this filter?

Ps havent actually filled the tank with water yet have just tested the flow rate with the pump and filter in the sink!

September 9, 2005 7:13 AM


Patrick said:


I don't have a clue about the bio-wheels (bio-balls?). Regards the filter pump, this is more than adequate on the 620/T models. If you need more water movement through the tank (eg for a marine nano-reef setup)you would install one or two addional powerheads in to the aquarium to create the current.

September 12, 2005 1:14 PM


Matt Adams said:

Hi guys thanks for the lighting info earlier in posts. For all those UK owners

I've decided to purchase 2x Dual Daylight/Actinic 55W compact high power T5's and a twin starter ballast unit for my tank. It will require some mods to the tank but nothing really excessive. (slic gave me the kick up the butt to do it!) I originally bought 2x24W dual comapct T5's thinking they would plug straight in. They do but you have the problem that you are running original 12W ballasts which isn't good! New setup will give me my 110W power. Total cost for lights and starter ballasts �50 delivered - great value if you ask me.


Cheap as chips!


September 13, 2005 6:25 AM


Patrick said:


Are you able to use the original plastic lamp cover, or do you dump this component and use a sheet of glass?

September 13, 2005 11:05 AM


Matt Adams said:

Partick - Slic came up with a perspex guard which he made that replaces the cowl (looks good). I'm in two minds as to which to choose as i read somewhere that perspex lets more light through than glass? Anyone comment, glass would be easier to clean and won't scatch...

September 14, 2005 8:12 AM


trev said:

Ok have got my bio-wheel spinning in the 620T filter so hopefully that will do its job. Next I'm looking to add a blue cold cathode to the existing lights just for effect really. My aim is to keep chiclids looking for some peaceful blue chiclids (thats the reason for the blue cathode) nothing too large and other fish that would be compatible has anyone got any thoughts on this or recommendations. Also would the standard filters on this tank cope with chiclids as I have seen a aqua one model 4 external canister 1000 l/h for �80 in a local shop if that would help things as I have heard that these type of fish put a big load on filtration.

September 15, 2005 9:46 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Well that's weird...

Probably about a couple of months ago I saw a really nice little fish called a Bolivian Butterfly at Seaview Aquariums.

I talked to the guy in there about them & read a bit about them on the Internet & what I could surmise was that they are a peaceful non-schooling fish.

I decided to get one male & one female. Not for breeding but for compatibility as two males may fight. They gave me one male & what they thought was a female but she looked three quarters dead & was completely dead by the next day so I was left with one.

I saw that Unley Aquariums also had some in. Based on some Internet information I had at the time, I decided that mine at home was female & decided to buy a male.

However, when I got him home, they both looked exactly the same so were the same sex.

Further reading & discussions with people made me realise that they were in fact both male. They were both brightly coloured, coloured pectoral fins & an elongated dorsal fin that tapers to a point.

They seem to have this funny relationship where they are constantly clashing & facing each other off but, oddly, never far away from each other.

I have been waiting for some females to turn up so I can swap one of my males as Seaview Aquariums, Unley Aquariums & The Goldfish Bowl have all said they would be happy to do a swap when they get some.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I added some more plants at the front. I didn't worry too much about flattening all the gravel back down after as gravity always does that anyway.

A couple of weeks later, one of the new plants at the front was almost completely gone & the ditch I left in the gravel had actually gotten deeper.

I went to The Goldfish Bowl, got a new plant, planted it & leveled the gravel out myself. As I was doing this, I felt a very strange sensation on my fingers. I looked down to see that one of these Bolivian Butterflies was attacking me for filling in his hole. I couldn't even push him away as he was totally relentless!

When I was finished I noticed that, not long after, he started removing bits of gravel again - one or two at a time.

Why two (or one of the) males was building a nest when there was no females was unknown to me.

Anyway, when I was doing their afternoon feed today I noticed all these white bits in the water near these two fish & the hole. I thought it must be stuff they dug up with all their digging but I noticed that they seemed to be moving on their own.....

Yes, these two "males" had babies. Hundreds of them. Tiny little white microbes. And oh boy are they protective of them. No other fish is allowed near the bottom front of the tank & any human that gets to close to the glass to have a look is also a target.

Now, what the f#ck am I going to do with them all?!!!!!

September 17, 2005 7:41 PM


Yoharn said:


I've stumbled on quite the Aqua One community. Hey I have a question, I've just bought a AR620T and I had a few questions:

1- I was wondering how long I should leave it before putting fish in there.

2- Also how long should I wait before putting more fish in there?

3- What's the maximum amount of fish I could eventually keep without problem? I wanted some angel fish, tetras, molly's etc.

I�ve currently got a little 23ltr AA "Fish@hotel aquarium with a bristle nose catfish, ram, 4 guppies and 5 tetras and it's been going great. I'm probably going to keep it running with the AR620T as well. I guess I've caught the bug :)

Many thanks.

September 17, 2005 8:40 PM


Stefan said:

Hi All. Ihave my aqua one 850 setup with tropical freshwater fish for about 4weeks now. I like a lot of plants in the tank. Problem is the plants are turning yellow at the tops near the top of tank. I have the 3 lights that come with the 850 on for approx 12hrs a day.
Is the lights burning the tops of the plants?
Is 12hrs to much and should i leave all 3 on

Please help

September 23, 2005 8:42 PM


Chris said:

12 hrs is fine, u should leave all light on to get maximum intensity. Do u use fertilizer? With stock light, u shouldnt put too much plant

September 24, 2005 12:37 AM


Patrick said:

Skaven, too funny!

I'm sure the little blighters will make great fish food for the others in the tank.


you need to cycle the tank first. With a FW setup you can cycle with a couple of hardy fish, and then wait for ammonia and nitrites to drop to zero before adding more livestock. This can take 2 to 4 weeks. If you have a friend who also keeps fish you can shorten this dramatically by taking 1/2 a cup of his substrate and some of his filter media.

I recently set up a marine reef in an AR380 using water and a well aged filter pad from my 620, as well as some of its substrate. I achieved an instant cycle using this method and experienced zero die off from the 5kg of fresh live rock I put in there. Corals and fish populated the tank 1 week later, with zero cycle effect. I call this a Pico Reef.


I converted the AR380 from 10W NO to an 18W PC using a tridonic.atco electronic ballast and a PC lampholder to good effect - perfect fit and a simple conversion. That tank looks terrific now. With that under my belt, I've now ordered two tridonic.atco 55W electronic ballasts which I will use to convert the hood of the 620 to give 110W. The two ballasts will allow me to control each tube individually. Given the dimensions I'm pretty sure that I can use the existing sheet metal and light cover.

September 24, 2005 1:49 PM


Matt said:


I am currently using the existing light cowl and have got my two 55w Power Compacts in. The only reason i upgraded the plate was a) it looks better and b) it tidys it all up as i am using an external dual electronic ballast. I presume i could take this unit apart and find two separte ballasts therefore essentailly being able to control both sets independantly. (running another power cable and plug) I thing the light upgrade was essential for reef type situation. I still want more actinic light though as i've got 2xdual actinic/whites - it gives a nice blend, however for night viewing i'd prefer a bluer? tank. Not sure if the actinics are dtrong enough for cerain corals at moment.

I've just added some pulsing Xenia coral frags and added another powerhead so i've got loads of flow.

More marine posts from people please!!!!!


September 27, 2005 4:01 AM


Matt said:


I am currently using the existing light cowl and have got my two 55w Power Compacts in. The only reason i upgraded the plate was a) it looks better and b) it tidys it all up as i am using an external dual electronic ballast. I presume i could take this unit apart and find two separte ballasts therefore essentailly being able to control both sets independantly. (running another power cable and plug) I thing the light upgrade was essential for reef type situation. I still want more actinic light though as i've got 2xdual actinic/whites - it gives a nice blend, however for night viewing i'd prefer a bluer? tank. Not sure if the actinics are strong enough for cerain corals at moment.

I've just added some pulsing Xenia coral frags and added another powerhead so i've got loads of flow.

More marine posts from people please!!!!!


September 27, 2005 4:02 AM


Vinay said:

Hi ,

Just finished putting an additional 2 X 16W T4 fluoresents into the canopy of my AR620T ( thanks for the information ). I'm setting up a reef tank ( I also have a hang on skimmer unit fitted into the filter box - quite a mission but it can be done )

September 29, 2005 7:00 PM


James said:

Hi! I have a pair of dwarf gouamis and I am trying to breed them. Please answer me! No one is answering my questions! Quickly before its too late! They are depending on you! PLLLLEEAASSE!

October 4, 2005 3:57 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Are you sure one of them's female? A lot of places only sell males because females are colourless.

October 4, 2005 12:22 PM


James said:

Yes. She's a bluey-grey colour. Also, they keep chasing each other but the male hasn't even built a bubble nest.

October 5, 2005 5:53 AM


Yoharn said:

Hey many fish do you guys keep in your 620T? I don't want to overcrowd it.



October 7, 2005 10:26 PM


Joe said:

I am thinking of buying a 620T but am a little concerned with the supplied filter water pump.It says on the pump it does 550 liters per hour @7 watts..This seems not very powerfull as i will be using it as a marine aquarium.
Can a external canister filter be fitted without modifing the back of the hood?


October 8, 2005 9:54 AM


Indy said:

I've just purchased an AR850 tank & cabinet, as an upgrade from an AR380 tank.

Managed to connect it all up but I can't work out how to install the filter outlet "lip" thingy on the right hand side of the filter tray. It fits into the hole where the water drains back into the tank, but doesnt seem to "lock" into place.

Can anyone help me and suggest where I might be going wrong? I can only think its something very simple.


October 10, 2005 9:41 PM


James said:

I had a problem setting up mine too. You should have two translucent plastic objects. On the underside of the filter tray, there should be an indent about 5cm in diameter. Then, fit the two translucent plastic things together. What I think you're doing wrong is you are putting the wrong end of the tube-transparent-plastic thing into the indent. Keep trying! Also, does anyone have names of UK mangrove sellers. I'm desperate to put some in my tank.Hope you get the tank together! Once it gets going, it's amazing!


October 12, 2005 5:28 AM


Indy said:

Hmm pretty sure I'm not putting the wrong end in the indent. It fits, but the plastic things need to be fractionally wider to fit snugly into the hole and hold it in place.

James can you contact me via my email address? Maybe we can sort it out via photos or something, and compare tanks too ;-)


October 12, 2005 12:35 PM


James said:

Check your inbox for an email by me. It'll contain a photo of my tank.


October 13, 2005 6:18 AM


Indy said:

I got your email James thanks. Tried to reply but it bounced back to me.


October 17, 2005 12:31 PM


Alan & Julie said:

Just bought a 620T and as many of you have had problems setting it up but because of those problems discovered this Great website and informative information. (was good to see patrick back with your knowledgable comments)

Whats anyone's thoughts on using (PiMag) filtered water which is very mildly alkaline and oxygenated - it has taken us days to fill it up so hope we are doing the 'right' thing.


October 23, 2005 6:21 PM


Danielle said:

Does anyone know where in Australia I could purchase some replacement bulbs for an aqua one light

Actinic coral star 18w and 24w power compacts

October 24, 2005 1:46 PM


Patrick said:

Hi AJ,

Not sure what you mean by (PiMag) filtered water. However, in setting up a new tank from scratch, the basics of water quality count most. That means (I have assumed a freshwater setup) eliminate chlorine, ensure the water supply you have (if purchased) does not contain trace metal ions (copper etc), balance PH and alkalinity. If these things are ok then your tank cycle should not be adversely affected.

In general Reverse Osmosis water is regarded as being the best, with tap water about the lowest acceptable quality (once chlorine is removed).

I'm back off the air for another 7 weeks. Hopefully there wil be no fishy tradgedies to tell when I get back!

October 24, 2005 4:56 PM


Alan & Julie said:

Thanks Patrick yes we are setting up for freshwater. We are fairly new to aquariums and although very tempted to have a marine tank thought we would initially see how we go with freshwater and then move onto marines - really love your tank too it looks fantastic.

It was great to be able to check out how other people have set up their aquariums ... amazing!!!

From what we have read (We are quoting this from a pamphlet) PiMag Filtered water is actually better than reverse osmosis which doesn't remove lighter weight volatile organic chemcials and apparently it tends to remove all of the minerals from water, leaving it acidic.

PiMag water filtration process is through a Pi ceramic filter that filters to 0.2 micron and neutralises the pH, then through multiple carbon filters as well as stages with ion exchange resin and zeolite. It also provides far infrared energy. Like in river beds and mountain streams, mineral stones provide final filtration and enrich the purified water with essential minerals (calcium, magnesium, silicon, iron, phosphorous) - this is only a basic overview which I am quoting from a pamphlet. Hope those minerals are ok for fish?

Local fish shop gave us 3 goldfish to help 'age' the tank and build up essential bacteria, they seem pretty happy so far, but its only early days i guess.

Really is a great website forum .. well done Kazza.


October 25, 2005 9:46 PM


Mark Winter said:

Hello all, well what a website, i am amazed.

We are actually the UK distributors of Aqua One. If anyone has questions they need answering on the AR range of aquariums, or any other model in the Aqua One range or if we can help on fish keeping questions in general please feel free to use our technical support.

What i would like to add is i think the idea of this site is fantastic and would realy reccomend keeping it going. We will visit on a regular basis and if any questions are unanswered or if we can add to the advice give we will be delighted to do so.

the Aqua One Team.

October 26, 2005 5:01 AM


James said:

Dear Aqua One UK distributors,
I live in Plymouth, Devon and have found aqua one tanks in only one shop.Are there any more shops in the south west that have them? Most importantly, I am planning to have a brackish water tank and if I get the water level below the power head, the filter will not work. Can you help me please? Finally, can you set up a website that unlike the main one, shows the price, a description and other details on each item?


October 28, 2005 6:37 AM


charlotte said:

Hi, am thinking about buying a aqua one 620 for a mini reef tank. could someone tell me what is the total wattage of the bulbs supplied with these tanks? thanks

November 4, 2005 2:05 AM


dex said:

Just set up 620t....oads of useful hints & tips here. Found that condensation/bubble splash builds up then trickles in unsightly fashion down side of tank (down righthand side). Anyone else found this& resolved? Iguess easy answer maybe to lower water level but it looks better full!

November 11, 2005 10:44 AM


James said:

I've got a mangrove seedling with roots and leaves for my AR-850. The seedling's bigger than I thought and i was wondering if anyone here knows if they can be made smaller.


November 13, 2005 4:45 AM


Ben said:

I have really enjoyed reading everyone's comments. So much so that I have taken the plunge and set-up an AR620T.

Loving every minute of it.

I have about 6kg of live rock in there at the moment, sat on a 2 inch foundation of Red Sea's Reef Base. Not only does this look good but it is a good buffer.

I have added a 'wee' Red Legged Hermit (Sebastian) and a Blue Legged Hermit to keep him company. I also have a Painted / Cleaner Shrimp, which is great to watch.

About 24 hours after the initial set-up ph was 8, Kh was 8, Salinity 1.021, NO2 and NO3 were 0. It's not really changed since then.

Off on holiday next week, then will start looking for some live stock.

Any suggestions gratefully received. I like the flash backs and the 6 line wrasse.

November 15, 2005 2:55 AM


charlotte said:

Hello again , have just ordered my 620 tank. I am a bit puzzled about the lighting on these tanks. The shop owner asures me that I can keep a variety of corals with this standard wattage, but keep reading so much conflicting information. He seems to be running his 620 minireef display tank on the same lights provided.

Have had experiance with marines, had a four and a half foot fish only tank, but this is going to be quite different, so would be grateful for your advice. I understand three small fish would be suitable for a tank this size, but what about inverts ? any recommendations.

Also would be interested to hear some suggestions on some corals that would be good for a first timer.

November 17, 2005 12:50 AM


charlotte said:

oh , tank has two compact florescents, .. thanks

November 17, 2005 1:14 AM


Mark Winter said:

Answer for James and the brackish tank
your right the water level does need to be up to the powerhead for it to work. I suggest the only way you can make that work is to move the powerhead down in the tank. Off the top of my head i think removing the pump from its bracket and fiting a length of 3/4 inch hose over the spray bar connector which will allow the pump to be moved down into the tank is the way to go. It would be useful to have one in front of me to see how that would work. if youcall 01794 516717 during working hours ask for Mark W we will work it out for you. We can also give you details of several excellent stockist in the area.

November 17, 2005 10:11 AM



Charlotte - the standard power compacts that come with the ar620 are not suitable for corals at all. You will need to change the standard bulbs to a white and an actinic.

I've been running my ar620-t for about 3 months and have upgraded my hood so it retains the power compacts as you get alot of wattage for the small size but i've changed them to 2 55w white and blue (actinic) bulbs.

This allows me to keep soft corals eg a few species of colourfull xenia, star polyps, finger corals, geogonia, mushrooms, pussey coral.

I currently have a flame angel, 2 !nemo! clowns, and a blue fiji devil. I will get 1 more fish and that will be it. I have inverts as well. 2 cleaner shrimps, 1 red star fish, 6 reg legged hermit crabs, turbo snails and loads of animals from worms to clam shaped things that came in on the live rock.

If you want to keep xenia etc you could try changing the bulbs for direct replacement wattage and you can get white/blue bulbs to go straight in but you need to remember the wattage per gallon rule.

I use a berlin skimmer - just an air stone in acrilic tube essentially - but it works. My nitrate stays at 10ppm and all is thriving.

This info is what i have picked up and learnt over the past few months as i am new to fish keeping. Hope it helps - e-mail if you have any more questions.

November 18, 2005 5:53 AM


charlotte said:

Thanks for the reply matt! very useful!

still a bit confused on the lighting though. You say you upgraded to power compacts, I think the tank I ordered comes with them...?

Yes have also arranged for the fish bloke to give me the white and actinic bulbs.

But am I getting this right you can then get them in different wattage as well.?

Is about 4 watts per gallon right, Again have had alot of different views on this.

Anyway cant wait to get my tank, is coming from Australia and im in England so have to wait till mid December!

Matt - do you have any pictures of your tank?

November 19, 2005 12:21 AM


Matt said:


I'm from the UK and i bought some lights (power compacts) 2 x 55w. I also bought a twin external ballast to run the lamps.

Go to google and type "surry pet supplies" for the bulbs - cheapest i've found. You need to match the wattage of the bulbs to the ballasts. Yours will be standard power compacts with 2x18w and matching internal ballasts.

If you want to upgrade the wattage you will need to modify your hood to accomodate. Not too difficult. Best to do it all before you fill the tank and start to stock.

4 watts per gallon is good. I've been told that i could even have some hard corals nearer the top of the tank with my lights but i've not tried yet. All the softies are growing well though.

I've sent some pics to your e-mail.

Any more help needed - just sling us a mail.

November 19, 2005 9:31 PM


brad said:

I manufacture & distribute power compacts on the east coast of australia. our hoods fit right on to the Ar,s and most other aqua one tanks, this was discovered by strictly aquariums in sydney & now most marine shops on east coast know how its done. i have found the best formula for lighting is 0.6 watts of compact flouro per litre. you will be able to grow even the most demanding corals if you keep them near the surface.I have been watching this site for about 2 years its a great resorce. i will continue to check & will start to answer any questions if thats o.k

November 21, 2005 9:34 AM


Tom Lohdan said:

Found this great website on the AR-620T and will be picking up my tank on Saturday.

Does anyone have any thoughts/recommendations on a tall center structure for a freshwater tank?

I was thinking something along the lines of a castle tower type object, with openings at various points up to the top, and maybe something like little sticking out balconies to grow some plants in.

While I refer to a castle, I would rather something not looking like a castle, but you get the idea using that object.

My reasoning on this idea, is so some fish can live at different levels, rather than all at the bottom, and gives the fish a place to call home in the tank.

Well done kazza, for having the only decent site on the internet for this tank 8-)

November 24, 2005 5:42 PM


James said:

Thanks Mark! Im sorry I took ages to reply (stupid computer viruses). By the way , I just want to ask if anyone in the UK has seen the snow lately. We're in for a cold winter! I agree with Tom! Without this site, I would still be trying to put my tank together!

November 28, 2005 8:13 AM


Tom Lohdan said:

Has anyone modified their filter box to support a canister filter?

I'm using a Hydor Prime 20, with a inline Hydor 300watt heater, which seems to be clearing up the tank really well.

For the moment I have left it off, but I'm tempted to make it just a hollow shell, as the auto fish feeder will sit nicely inside, and maybe some extra lights.

For those looking to buy the AR 620T, it fits nicely in a Ford Falcon station wagon taxi with the rear cage, even with the stand assembled. Mine was a shop display, never used.

December 3, 2005 4:50 PM


dean crow said:


I have just purchased the Aquaone AR980, with the bad instruction supplied I finally got it together, but with these instruction you always feel is that correct!, I spoke the shop I bought it from, my power head sits under the filtration tray in the corner with a tube and strainer, this is attached to the filtration unit by a block with rubber mounts, the guy in the shop says he has only ever known the power head to sit in the filtration system with the tube and strainer passing through and into the tank, my question is can I submerge the power head to allow me to fill the tank right to the top!! and has any one else got the set up I have!



December 13, 2005 11:29 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

Most power heads need to below the water to operate. Under the filter tray

Both my Jebo 338 and AR-620T requires that.

Does it pump water above? if not sink it, and then see if it runs.

Power heads are nothing special when you rip the lid off the block. My Jebo 338 is already starting to make afew noises I can only hear at night when in bed.

Personally I went with a cansiter for the 620T, works like a dream, plus has on/off on each in/out tube, to allow me to remove the canister to the sink for cleaning.

December 15, 2005 7:02 PM


Dean Crow said:


i filled the tank to max and tried it, it works fine and pumps alot of water, the pump its self is very quite, but the water from the spray bar and outlet back to the tank is loud, but i enjoy hearing the sound of the water moving, it feels more natural and quite relaxing, i missis would disagree,
what is this canister! and how does it work quite a few people talk about it, personally never heard or seen it

December 15, 2005 10:57 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Hey guys!

I've got a cracker of a mystery on my hands that even the experts I've asked thus far can't answer!

Okay, as we all know, to maintain a neutral PH level the water must have some KH buffer. Water that has no KH buffer has a very low PH. Basic science.

Now, I have absolutely no KH buffer in my aquarium for over a week now & my PH level remains neutral.

If I try to put any KH buffer in (even a very small amount), my PH goes high & remains high (even if I acid buffer it 2-3 times a day) & stays high until all the KH buffer has gone & dropped back to naught.

Of course I would be happy to have a naught KH level if this is what I have to do to maintain a neutral PH (even though that is technically scientific impossibility) but I have a very heavily planted aquarium so really should have some KH buffer.

Also, whenever I untroduce some KH buffer (even if only a small amount) it causes my aquarium to cloud.

This problem started a couple of weeks ago right after when, after a series of problems (long story) I was forced to use some Lysofoss.

Any ideas...?

December 19, 2005 7:15 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

Dean, sorry kinda long...

I actually put my powerhead back on the tank over the weekend, worked out that I can run the canister through the extra holes on the filter box.

It was abit noisy with the water at the back, but I've found if you fill it abit more, it's almost silent apart from afew trickles every now and again.

Canister filters are better than the powerheads. I have a Hydor Prime20 and a 300W inline heater, which reduces tank clutter. URL's below, not cheap either. Mine is dead silent, I have it in the cabinet, and cannot hear it with the door shut.

So I run both the canister and the powerhead filter. Overkill, but it works well.

While I need lid on the back of the filter box open to support the canister, it's not a big worry, as the auto fish feeder, feeds onto the 2nd bay of the filter box and flows into the tank perfectly, even splitting large flakes to the L shaped outlet, and the smaller ones to the over flow, so the tetra's get a decent feed and don't fight with the mollies/swords/platies.

Fish are very happy, and live plants are going through the roof with the red sea co2 kit, need to prune them once a fortnight.

Even the riccia grass on the bottom of the tank is growing out of control, and I get that warm fuzzy feeling when I watch my fish do sideways swims, brushing themself on the grass. I have another 4 plates on order early Jan.

If you are hearing water, I would fill the tank abit more, but not too much, keep it below the seal at the top of the tank, but enough to put the L shaped and overflow outlet just under.

When I stop spending money on the tank I should buy a decent camera 8-)

December 21, 2005 9:11 PM


dean crow said:


cheers for that i have been looking at the canister and it looks like a good system, its kind of what is on the back of the AR980 but more compact and tidy, for now i am concentracting on gettting some good plant growth and looking into the co2 kits, as my tank has only been set up for a short time, i want to make sure it right before i bring home my pride and joy, you might say my baby, 6 year old synodontisis, i have had the beauty since he was as small as finger nail absoulte beauty now, also i have a pair of cribs, albino plec and a pair of moonlight gorarmui to get back into my new tank

i must say the friend they are with at moment, has huge tank so dont know if they would like to come back, its 6ft x 2 ft x 2ft massive! got to try to catch them yet. looking at doing this before the new year

merry christams have happy new year

December 23, 2005 7:02 PM


Lars said:

Hi there! I recently bought the AR620 second hand. The filter makes quite a bit of noise, and the guy at my LFS suggested that I clean out the motor, which I did with no effect.

I then tried to run the filter in a bucket of water, and discovered that the filter is completely silent. The noise is created by the vibration in the top plastic cover of the fish-tank!!

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Do you have any suggestions how I can overcome this? I have tried different positions of the filter, motor head and plastic cover. The only thing that seem to work is to unscrew the filter from the top plastic cover and make sure the filter does not come in touch with the plastic cover. However, the plastic tube that brings water from the motor head up into the filter is not long enough...

December 28, 2005 9:11 AM


Tom Lohdan said:


Sounds like the filter shaft is bent, you would need to replace the powerhead.

Mine is silent apart from the water trickle because I have the lid open.

January 1, 2006 9:43 PM


Tom Lohdan said:


Depending on the plants I'm rethinking the need for a CO2 kit, I bought a cheapy Red Sea kit and the plants are going crazy, I'm constantly having to trim my plants. I bought a refill online anyway (age of aquariums) as my current one is 1.5 months old. I was looking at a Dupla $400 gas system, but I'm going to hold off for another month or 2.

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year too, been away for a week in Sydney, cat minding, and the tank looks great on my return, thank god for auto fish feeders! So happy I can go away and the fish live, I was worried all week about them.

I got a Canon 350D Digital SLR for Xmas, love my babe! so I'll take some pictures tomorrow. The buggers ripped up my grass bed while away, so I spent most of the evening re-straping it.

If you want to make sure your tank is fine, run some fish in the new tank for a week first, this will help make the tank cycle. Get some small Neons, that way you can keep them, only you need 6 or more to keep them happy.

I was suprised how much my single swordtail fry has grown, almost the size of a small tetra.

Blue Stricta is a great plant -

But stay away from the Colombia, only sold in Vic, as it grows too fast and is rather messy. Pruned 1/2 of it away tonight.

Good reference for plants is -

They have some photos of what they have in stock, and if you are in Vic close by.

Still after my Pagoda -

But I'm not going to buy $150USD of product to get it shipped.

Maybe someone here can help me buy it and ship it?

January 1, 2006 10:16 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

Dean, with auto feeder

Not the cleanest set up, but I'll work on that over time.

As you can see the Blue Stricta is on the left, ricca grass on the right and the Colombia behind the ricca grass, I normally don't have a net at the top, it's just there collecting grass shreds. The only fake plant in there is infront of the ship, it's a place holder for more grass I have growing my old 40L tank

I bought some more fish this morning, 4 Electric Yellow 's (to control the snails) 6 rather small tiger barbs, and 2 spotted catfish. The redtail shark is not very happy, chasing the electric yellows around, hopefully he will settle down.

I'm still getting the hang of taking pictures of the tank, think I need a smaller lense, and the mollies always race over and want to be in every photo!

If you want some other pictures let me know.

January 2, 2006 2:48 PM


dean crow said:


hope you had a happy xmas and new year, i have moved my fish back to the tank, its great to see them all again, they seem to have settled very well which is good.

i have tried to get some of the riccia grass but none of the shops around me have it at the moment, so i have to keep my eyes open, seen it in your photo's it looks fantastic having a grass floor, the photos you have taken look good, its good to see the set up you have, the canister looks preety big, are you using the spray bar to put the water back into the tank! i would take photos to show you my tank but dont know how to post them on the internet,

does that riccia grass detach from the bed you have weaved it to, or does it attatch its self, i did see on the internet a step by step method of how to attatch the grass it looks simple.

January 4, 2006 11:05 PM


dean crow said:


hope you had a happy xmas and new year, i have moved my fish back to the tank, its great to see them all again, they seem to have settled very well which is good.

i have tried to get some of the riccia grass but none of the shops around me have it at the moment, so i have to keep my eyes open, seen it in your photo's it looks fantastic having a grass floor, the photos you have taken look good, its good to see the set up you have, the canister looks preety big, are you using the spray bar to put the water back into the tank! i would take photos to show you my tank but dont know how to post them on the internet,

does that riccia grass detach from the bed you have weaved it to, or does it attatch its self, i did see on the internet a step by step method of how to attatch the grass it looks simple.

January 4, 2006 11:07 PM


Spike said:

Hello everyone. I got a problem. I just moved and while setting up my AR-620, realized I am missing one really important piece. It is the tube that goes from left to right, that is supposed to be attached to the filter, inside the hood. Does anyone know what that part is called?

January 6, 2006 7:11 AM


dean crow said:


It sounds like its the spray bar that trickles the water onto your filter medium, a long pipe with a series of hole, and blocked at one end, i have the AR960 but they work exactly the same,

i would contact the shop you purchased it unit from a ask them to supply it.


January 6, 2006 10:42 PM


Tom Lohdan said:


I'm actually running both the canister and the powerhead/spray bar, abit of over kill but doesn't seem to do the tank any harm.

I run my own webserver (Apache under WinXP) at home and sync it with the laptop, which is why it is slow during the daytime as I don't get full iBurst signal at work. If that happens, try again at night and it should be quicker. I also need to make my photos smaller in size, trying 50%.

I've added some of the grass that was growing in the other tank.

I went to a $2 shop and found some glass from a cheap photo frame $1.50, fisher at work gave me some fishing line. Basically you lay the grass over the glass and just strap it down. It will take a week or 2 and then you will not be able to see the fishing line.

Riccia grass will float if detached from the fishing line, I just catch it in a fish net at the top, then use that to grow more on the surface of my other tank.

Works out good, as the Black Knife fish in the other thank don't like too much light, and the grass grows on the surface.

I'm regretting having white gravel, as it is starting to look dirty, I gravel clean it during water changes, but all the fish gather around/get sucked up while trying to clean the tank, cheeky buggers.

If you are in Vic, Boronia Aquarium can get riccia grass in, $12.50 per square plate, like my first 2.

January 7, 2006 3:36 PM


Jo said:

Hi, hope someone can help. We have the AR620T, had it for 4 months and its been running really well. Today my son decided to get a couple of tropical frogs to go in it, but we were warned to block up all holes in the top of the tank otherwise they'd try to climb out and would die. So I mucked about with it, plugging holes with cling film (was this OK do you think?), and now I think I have a problem in the filter thingy at the top. A fair bit of the water isn't going from left to right as it should be - its going back into the left hand compartment. I can't remember if it was like this before I started messing around with it or if I've dislodged something... does anyone have any idea?
Many thanks

PS My water has gone cloudy - could this be the above possible problem, or could it be the fact that I put some PH adjustor in today as my PH level was slightly high?

Thanks again! :)


January 15, 2006 7:45 AM


James said:

Have you accidentaly knocked the spraybar off and put it back on the wrong way? If not, I have no idea whatsoever.

Can I keep coral in brackish water? And has anyone ever kept mudskippers?

January 15, 2006 7:58 AM


Lars said:

thanks for that information regarding the power head.

Another (probably silly) question regarding air pumps. Are they really needed? Is the water flow from the filter of the AR620 enough to oxygenate the water? I have several plants as well in the tank. It is just that I find the pump (Stellar W-60) too noisy. I understand there are more quiet pumps on the market, but they are really expensive...?

Any input is appreciated.


January 15, 2006 10:38 AM


Tom Lohdan said:

> So I mucked about with it, plugging holes with cling film (was this OK do you think?), and now I think I have a problem in the filter thingy at the top. A fair bit of the water isn't going from left to right as it should be - its going back into the left hand compartment.


I would be worried about the cling wrap putting chemicals in the tank, you could use filter wool to block the left side, however the right side is the over flow, so I'm not sure if it will drain quick enough. Do the frogs have any where outside the water to sit?

My tank I noticed the other day flowing to the left as well, did a complete clean of the filter system, and it's working normal again.

As for the cloudy water, mine goes abit white after doing a water change and filter clean, it normally goes back to normal after 6 hours.

January 15, 2006 11:04 AM


Tom Lohdan said:

> Another (probably silly) question regarding air pumps. Are they really needed? Is the water flow from the filter of the AR620 enough to oxygenate the water? I have several plants as well in the tank. It is just that I find the pump (Stellar W-60) too noisy. I understand there are more quiet pumps on the market, but they are really expensive...?


I run a bubble wall, well I tried running it under the gravel, but it just kept floating up, so I coiled it and stuck in the equipment corner on its side. No idea if it's needed or not, I have live plants in my tank as well.

I run a small air pump with 2 outlets and backwater blockers - cheap for $15, it runs my 620T and the 40L Jebo tank perfectly. It has an air adjuster, so I have turned down to almost nothing and it's pumping well. The backwater blockers require some decent air to start things, but once started you just turn down the pump. Sound wise, it sits on my desk under the monitor and can not hear it.

I also installed a UV steriliser in my tank - and the water looks perfect, the neons have lit up bright red/blue, and the other fish generally look brighter as well.

January 15, 2006 11:23 AM


Josh said:

Hi guys. I have 2 completley unrelated questions for you. It would be great if you could provide some advice. Firstly i was wondering if you thought it was nessicary to install a CO2 system to help with plant growth? I was probably only considering a cheapie (tablet form). I have just changed the light on my tank and i think that will help a fair bit.

The second question is, do you guys always buy the expensive filter pads sold by Aqua One, or do you buy big sheets of filter wool?

Thanks for your help.

January 15, 2006 11:33 AM


Tom Lohdan said:


I run a Red Sea, Turbo C02 Bio System, which set me back $75, it uses warm water, a mixture, and has a pump head.

The plants love it, and I'm always pruning my tall ferns, it also helps the grass grow. Expect an explosion in plant growth if you use one.

I always buy the big sheets of filters and cut them to size. Cheaper and I use the off cuts on the magnetic glass cleaner, which works a treat!

January 15, 2006 2:09 PM


Jo said:

Thanks Tom, you've been a big help. As far as the clingfilm goes, I've taken it all out and put filter wool instead as you suggested, don't know why I didn't think of that, much more sensible!! But I'm afraid that the cloudiness may be due to the clingfilm... so anyway, I've done a partial water change to help with that, cleaned the filters which solved the other problem - the water is now going the right way!

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.

Oh, the man in the aquariam shop where I bought the frogs (much respected aquariam shop, he does know his stuff) said that these frogs don't come out of the water and that if they do, they'll dry up and die.


January 15, 2006 10:17 PM


Tom Lohdan said:


What type of frogs are they? I'm pretty sure most frogs need to breath air, and can not breath under water. If you can find out the name, the internet will have a wealth of info on the breed. Might be a nice addition to my tank as well.

I've had no exposure to frogs in enclosures, only the wild ones, mainly the massive green tree frog that lives at my brother farm in the shower. But all the frogs I've seen in the wild live in wet area's, but not under water all the time.

Could this be a reason they are trying to escape?

You could attach some platform to the filter head, don't use wood as it would have been treated with chemicals, maybe a plastic slate from a photo frame.... $2 shops are a wealth of home idea's, or something that floats, and then drop the water level abit to see if they spend their time on the platform. As it's close to the lights they will enjoy the heat as well.

I must admit, keeping frogs in the tank is a new one to me, normally people keep crays and turtles if they want to be different 8-)

January 15, 2006 11:21 PM


Jo said:

Thanks again Tom. They're African Dwarf Frogs, and having just done some research, I've discovered the man in the shop was right - they're 100% aquatic. They like to be in a tank with gentle fish and no strong water currents, like lots of plants to hide in, and are fantastic escape artists. Let hope I've covered up those holes properly!

January 16, 2006 2:05 AM


martyn said:

i have been keeping 6 african dwarf frogs in my ar620 for the last 6 months and have had no problems with them trying to escape,i can confirm they are 100 percent aquatic although they need to take a breath every now and then.
they sometimes go up the hole by the powerhead and sit in the shallow water above it but thats only coz i keep the water level so high.
they are great fun to keep and seem to be in every fish stockists in the south east of england at the moment.
they can be a bugger to feed as they only use smell,bloodworm is best but make sure enough sinks and your fish dont get it all.
i would recomend them to anyone (it is most comical seeing them swim to the surface to get a breath.

January 18, 2006 8:27 AM


Josh said:

Hello again. I have a quick question for Tom, what does your CO2 system use to disolve your CO2 into the water. I am researching building a DIY system and am wondering what to use.


January 18, 2006 9:27 PM


lurch said:

hi i am just about to buy an AR-980 i am wondering if some one can help me with any info ill be needing iv been looking around and there isnt much on the net and i was wondering what is the around about normal price to buy a tank and stand is about $1020 with filter and all that aready there i dont think there is a heater but for this price should there be one i live in perth australia and if u recament some good shops please let me know
thank you

January 20, 2006 2:50 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

>I have a quick question for Tom, what does your CO2 system use to disolve your CO2 into the water. I am researching building a DIY system and am wondering what to use.

It has a pump head that moves the water, and at the top of it goes the tube from the mixture container.

January 20, 2006 7:32 PM


Tom Lohdan said:


Thinking about it, you could buy a Red Sea Kit for $75AU, then just make your own mixture up as required for the container, rather than the monthly $25 refills. This way you have the container, tube and pump head ready to go.

You can also make your CO2 last longer by not having it run at night as plants will not use it.

BTW, I added some more ricca grass to my tank this morning, need to restrap the plate looking abit bare, I have a stack of grass grown in the other tank ready for strapping.

I also bought a new Blue Stricta bush, this stuff grows nicely like the plant on the left, and the electric yellows love sitting on the leaves.


tn_IMG_0872.JPG through to tn_IMG_0884.JPG

January 21, 2006 1:21 PM


TheTeh said:

Just bought an AR510 tank today. It came with two 11W PL bulbs but for the tank size like this (75L/20G) the light (total 22W/20G=1WPG) is too week for plants. My question is whether I could change the bulbs to higher watts (eg 36W or even 55W)? Do I have to modify the ballasts in order to use higher W bulbs? How high could I go without having to change the ballast?
Any info would be greatly appreciated indeed!


January 22, 2006 10:59 AM


Steve said:

Hi people,

Thank you all so much for contributing to such a wealth of information about AR620T tanks! I got one for Chrissy, and I'm so glad I found this site. Really helped me with my setup.

I've got a freshwater tropical tank with 12 neons, a female betta, a kuhli loach (unbelievably cool fish), and a common pleco. They're all well and happy.

I have a question: I researched all the fish I wanted before I got them, and thought I'd be ok. However, I've just found some information that suggests that plecos can grow BLOODY HUGE, and I'm worried that he might outgrow my tank. Anyone kept a pleco in an AR620T? Reckon it's big enough? Anyone know how fast plecos grow? Should I be going out and buying a new bigger tank for him?

Incidentally, he's brilliant! My heater had some serious algae before I got him, and within 2 days it was sparkling clean, and has stayed that way.


January 23, 2006 6:51 PM


Brad said:

Teh, hi i manufacture high output compact flouro & T5 light hoods, they fit straight on the ar510 tanks also have a fresh water plant tubes avalable in 36 55 &96watts. we are based on east coast of australia, let me know where u are i'll try to point u to someone local

January 25, 2006 12:27 PM


Brad said:

I forgot to add with compact or t5 the best formular for coral(ample light for plants) 0.6 watts per litre

January 25, 2006 12:31 PM


TheTeh said:

Hi Brad,

Thanks for reply. Unfortunately I am on the other side of the hemisphere (UK)! I simply want to know if I could increase Watts by simply changing to higher W bulbs without changing the whole system?


January 26, 2006 9:47 AM


ashley said:

Hi Guys
Can someone tell me if it is nessesary to place poly styrine foam under the aqua1 tanks. The frame sits below the level of bottom of the tank the tank so I can't see any advantage. Normal tanks sit flat on there stands. I have just purchased an Aquqa 1 4 footer with the Aqua1 stand.

January 29, 2006 6:02 PM


brad said:

teh, normally the tubes are matched to a ballast in the light unit( kind of like a transformer)& if you put in higher wattage they will probably not work at all if they do they will be very dim. if you put lower watt lights in they, if they work will burn very bright for a short period then burn out. so the answer is that to up grade in my expirence requires a full change of internals. better to get someone who knows what they are doing when u are dealing with water & power sorry i can't help any further

January 30, 2006 10:41 PM


Vince said:


I am the owner of an AR-620T marine set up. There have been a few people discussing adding more light to the existing light hood which offers 2 x 18 watt compacts being driven by 2 Tridonic.Atco ballasts.

I have finally added more light to the existing light hood, whilst maintaining the existing 2 x 18 watt compacts. Why? I want to put a few corals in. I have tried a few corals with the original lighting but all have died except for a Torch coral. I should point out that my 2 x 18 watters are 50/50 (White/Actinic)

Strongly recommend Torch corals. This is the only surviving coral. Had it for 6 months so far. They are hardy, look great and if you are luck enough your clowns will make it their home.

I have added a 1 x Catalina compact 22 inch 55W Ultra-Sunlight ($37). I purchased a 55W electronic ballast from Pro-Lamps (NSW). The ballast is a VOSSLOH SCHWABE. Model ELXe 158.524. Cost me $42. This unit only drives one lamp. The benefit of using an electronic ballast is that its easier to set up�no starter required.

The ballast is compact and can be fitted easily next to the 2 existing ballasts. I discovered that when I went to screw the metal sheet holding the lamps and ballasts into position again it did not fit as the new ballast was touching. You will need to chop some of the plastic away from underneath the light hood cover.

You will need to buy a 2G11 base lamp holder as well. This is the fitting the lamp plugs in to. You will also need a lamp clip to hold the opposite end of the lamp. These will only cost you a couple of dollars. The new lamp will just fit next to the existing lights. You will need to modify your clear plastic lamp cover so it will fit. You will also need to change the position of the metal clips that hold the lamp cover. This will require some drilling. The wiring was pretty straight forward, using some of the existing components to hook it all up. One of the switches now controls both one 18W and the new 55W lamp.

After a days use I noticed the light hood was extremely hot. So I have added 2 fans, 1 at either end of the light hood. These fans are stuck to the roof of the light hood near the air slots. These fans extract the hot hair pulling in cool air over the ballasts cooling the over all unit. The fans are 12V 0.2Amps. They are being driven by a 12V DC 0.7 Amp power supply bought from Tandy. The fans are a little noisy but bearable and they do the trick in cooling the light hood.

I now have 91Watts worth of light more than the recommended I think???
Based on the light(watt) per litre calculation (0.6 W/Litre) I should have more than enough light. The AR-620T holds about 130 Litres requiring 78 Watts. Don�t know if you can have too much light in the tank???�perhaps someone else can advise.

I will stick a few more corals in��time will tell if I have added sufficient light for coral keeping. I will keep you posted.

Whilst the above seems tricky and difficult�.it�s not. Took me about 4 hrs.

Keep posting�..this site is great!

February 3, 2006 9:13 PM


TheTeh said:

I saw some post asking about the AR510, here is my review on the AR510:

February 9, 2006 11:53 AM


brad said:

vince it sounds like you have the lighting problem solved. I am the distributer for catalina lights, i would recomend that u use a 420nm actinic blue 55watt lamp as this is what the bacteria in the coral need.while the ultra sunlite has a little blue spectrum the actinic would be a better choice. the coral do not actually require any white light, that is only there for our eyes! also by cutting the white light down a bit it should help reduce alge biuld up which is about the only problem with over lighting a tank. another plus with the extra blue light is that any coral with fluoresent pigmentation will glow in the additional uv these lamps produce. hope this helps

February 11, 2006 11:09 PM


Vince said:

Hi Brad,

Do you think if I replaced the 55W Ultra sunlight with a 55W actinic as you have suggested and use the original 2 X 18 whites that normally come with the 620T that this would be sufficient ?

1 X 55W Ultra sunlight
2 X 18W whites (originals)


I was actually thinking of adding a 55W actinic to me knew setup.

1 X 55W ultra sunlight
2 X 18W whites or perhaps 50/50
1 X 55W actinic

What would you recommend as I really do want to add more corals.

Ps. I just had a Cyno bacteria outbreak (red/purple slime with air bubbles. I think it was because my original lights were quiet old and the light spectrum had changed.

February 12, 2006 10:40 PM


brad said:

hi i would start with 55watt actinic & the original 18watt white lights then after a few weeks when the tank settles go for 18watt 50/50 white actinic. you should not need more light but if u can't resist add a 55watt 50/50. you can then play about a little and see which combo u like best remember the important one is the 420nm the rest are only important for the look of the tank. try going to there u will find excellent discussions on the uv requirements of most corals and their placement in the tank. keep us posted!

February 12, 2006 11:28 PM


Vince said:

Thanks Brad. I will give the 55W blue a try and install 2 new standard white 18 watters.

I will let you know how I go.


February 13, 2006 8:54 PM


Debra said:

We are looking to buy a new or 2nd hand fish tank. It needs to be about 6oo litres. We have fish in an outside pond that we would like to bring indoors. Where can I buy one?

February 14, 2006 3:41 PM


James said:

i think that you can get a custom made one. If you dont live in england then i cant really help you. Tell me how your tank goes! sounds interesting (in a good way of course).

February 20, 2006 10:19 PM


James said:

I'm very interested in starting a brackish tank with my AR 850. Will Archer fish, monos,scats, mangroves (kept in good size by pruning) and puffers be too big for it.


February 20, 2006 10:26 PM


emily said:


Ive had my AR-620 for a year or so now and I am pretty happy with it EXCEPT the pump seems to not sit correctly with the hood as it is constantly making a loud vibration noise. I know it isn't the pump as I can run it in the tank not attached to the hood and no noise is heard. Can anyone tell me where I can get a replacement pump as I cannot stand the noise anymore and I am sure the fish don't like it either.

February 24, 2006 2:21 PM


James Park said:

My AR-850 did that. The problem was that I had my gravel too high and that put stress on the powerhead. if that's the problem, then put something thick like a pound coin in between the hood and the actual tank. Or you could make the gravel shallower by moving the gravel under the strainer aside. But I cant think of anything else.

February 26, 2006 10:52 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Evening all.

I need to do some brain-picking...

I have a leopard spotted sniny eel who has grown up in my tank the last few months but has recently developed a fat tummy & spends most of his time lying or flopping about on plant branches (on his side, back or stomach).

He used to spend his nights poking through the gravel looking for black worms &, although he was less active during the day, you could still catch him happily wandering about.

Now he just lolls about with his fat tummy. I even poked him a bit today & it wasn't until I touched him about the third time that he swam away (albeit a bit slower than usual).

You would swear he was pregnant if you were to see him but if he (or she) grew up withought another of his (or her) kind then obviously that can't be it.

So has he just become fat & lazy or does it sound like we have a problem here? If so then what do you think it could be & what can I do for him?


March 9, 2006 12:39 AM


TONY said:

Hi i have just purchest a ufo880 for a marine set up, and would like any info on additional equipment needed if any, Thanks Tony

March 21, 2006 8:06 AM


Tom Lohdan said:

Hmm I thought this forum was about the Ar620T tanks, not fish or other tanks.

March 25, 2006 7:45 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


I don't know whether that comment was directed in part at myself or not but if you look through the strand you'll see that I am indeed a 620T owner & have contributed a lot to this discussion board.

I did recently just post a question specifically about a fish (which died shortly after that if anyone's interested) but they, after all, are what 620Ts are for.

Cheers. 8-)

March 26, 2006 11:02 AM


Simon said:

Hi, I have just bought a AR_620T Absolute *rap manual and no info anywhere but Here!!! Great Site ans so handy....

I have just set my tank up today and find the only problem is that the Filters out put of water just falls out the filter creating very little ajitation of waeter. There are three holes in the out let one is impossbile for any water to escape and the other two are just there. Have I got something missing??? Any infor will be appreciated. Thank you

March 29, 2006 5:17 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Sounds like you're missing the spray bar...

March 29, 2006 4:43 PM


Simon said:

Yes thats the word I was looking for. Does anyone have a pic of what the spray bar looks like and where it goes. Thank would be great

March 29, 2006 6:16 PM


Simon said:

Sorry just done a sear for the word "Spray Bar" on your forum and its seem that thats the part that is attached to the pump and help water flow over the media. I have that piece!.

I am looking for what attaches to the three holes on the right hand side of the filter. Surely the water does not just fall out the hole back into the tank. Any ideas

March 29, 2006 6:26 PM


Kevin said:

There is a little L-Shape Piece - Circular on one end .. flat on the other end ... put the round end into one of the big holes to return the water back to the tank ... I needed to force mine the first time and didn't think it was the correct piece either .... the place that sold me the tank advised that piece was designed so support the end of the spray bar!!!!

March 30, 2006 9:55 AM


Kevin said:

Further to my message above. If you check out the link below - in figure 2 it is referred to as the filter outlet,

P.S. Was suprised to go to today and see the site changed :-)

March 30, 2006 11:52 AM


Simon said:

Thank you Kevin thats a great help. Plus the manual is far better than mine. I am from UK. ^Thanks for you help its so appreciated. Regards Simon

March 31, 2006 4:37 AM


Tom Lohdan said:


This is what it should look like:

If you have water flowing backwards, then your filter needs a clean.

�K�\/�|\|, it was a comment in general, as there are plently of fish/tank forums on the internet, but this one is the only one about the AR-620T, which is why people come here, being a single page, load is slow, and wading through non 620-T items. The owner however disagree's.

All I was trying to do was keep it on topic of the AR-620T tank, people only come here for this reason, not about other tanks or fish.

If it's of any help, I can take more detailed photos of the AR620-T tank to be hosted somewhere?

April 3, 2006 8:01 PM


kazza said:

I asked previously (somewhere way back up the page :) ) whether people wanted this to stay as one big horrible page or start up a "proper" bulletin board. The few people that answered said that having everything on one page actually made it easier to search. And really I don't have the time to manage a proper bulletin board and fight off the comment spam. If someone wants to start one, I'm happy to provide links to the new one..

If people want me to remove messages that aren't about the AR-620/T I can do that too...

April 3, 2006 8:12 PM


Chris said:

Hi, just got one of these tanks in silver. with a piece of paper they call instructions. Just trying to work out the filter like Kevin is.
I found a very small ping-pong ball type thing floating in my tank after filling it up. Can anyone tell me where this goes?

I have a feeling it sits over one of the 3 holes on the far right of the filter assembly near to the outlet venturi, can anyone confirm this?

Tanks all.

April 4, 2006 1:19 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Yes, I remember a discussion at the time as to whether the forum should be dplit up & it was agreed by those of us who were the regulars at the time that it was not necessary because if anyone want to find something specific, it's no great hardship to click START - SEARCH & type in what you're wanting to know about.

In regards to the strand getting off topic because one or two of the posts weren't about our 620Ts themselves, well, I guess that depends on how you determine the nature of this forum. If you see it as a forum strictly about 620Ts then yes, they are off topic, but if you (like kazza, Patrick, Al & myself) perceive it as a discussion group for 620T owners about their hobby then they isn't.

I don't think kazza wanted to make a rule like that as it would've meant removing some of the most interesting & informative posts on this strand & if it had been enforced, the regulars would've been denied the chance to get as familiar with each other & each other's aquariums.

The only thing that used to really get up my coight here was the spam advertisers but the plug-in seems to have sorted that out.

April 4, 2006 1:48 PM


Chris said:

Forget that ^ I think the ping-pong thing came out of my Fluval external filters intake pipe. Which bring me to this question:

Can anyone confirm the tanks filter has 3x open outlets on the right hand side?

1 Raised(overflow),
1 with the directional venturi fitted (L-Piece), &
1 that shoots directly downwards into the tank for no apparent reason?

Cheers for any help.

April 4, 2006 1:53 PM


Kevin said:

Yep confirmed .. or at least mine does ! :-)

April 9, 2006 9:02 PM


Jennifer said:

I just received a Aqua One 620 from another classroom that was not using one. I'm a teacher in Hong Kong and bought two large goldfish without realizing how much space they need. I received the tank, but realized I didn't get the full kit. What I did receive are the complete hood, with lights, and the filter grid. I've sent an email asking if the other class had the parts to the filter, but since we are on vacation I don't think I'll get an answer soon. So, if they do not have the parts then could I have some suggestions on what I should get? Which pumps do you recommend? If I buy intake bar, strainer, elbow adapter, and such that are not Aqua One will it matter? Also, since I don't have the black sponge or carbon cartridge what can I substitute this with? Any other ideas or advice would be appreciated.


April 15, 2006 7:43 PM


Robert said:


Just looking at getting a 620T for marine setup - without doubt the best page on the net - thanks for that.

My questions is to people running a marine setup in the tank and with upgraded lights, are you running a chiller as well or just fans in your hood? How do you keep in cool?

I live in Brisbane and was looking at going fish only with live rock so I woudn't need to run a chiller but Patrick et al has inspired me to run a nano reef in there.

Thanks in advance

April 22, 2006 8:26 PM


Vince said:

Hi Robert,

You may have read my comments above about adding additional light. I do not have a chiller. During the summer months especially this year my tank was on average sitting on 30 degrees and higher each day. I have had my tank for about 3 years with the same fish (2 clowns, Koran angel, lipstick tang, blue tang, pijama rasse, picasso trigger, coral goby). The fish had no problems with the water temp when 30-32 degrees.

Corals apparenlty can not handle water temp changes and require a constant temp of 26-27 degrees. I am looking to add some form of chilling device shortly as I have added corals. Chillers are quiet expensive and I am looking for a cheap alternative. I would be interested to hear if any one has any ideas on how to chill their tank without buying one of those expensive chillers.


April 30, 2006 10:25 PM


Robert said:

Thanks for the info Vince - yes - I haven't added any lighting yet (just cycling the tank) but already my tnak is sitting at 26 (in late autumn) with no lights. I think if I want some corals I will seriously need to look at a chiller too.

May 1, 2006 9:14 PM


Brad said:

hi guys try this web site for home made chillers

May 6, 2006 2:48 AM


snakehips said:

620T specific for freshwater.
The saltwater phosphate filter sachets are the go.
I run a Gebo extenal power filter and have done away with the 620-T internal system.
I also run my own brewery with yeast to bolster co2 for weed health (every month I add approx same amount of sugar as the RS inital fill...monthly is a bit slack) please make sure the cannister is in contact with the side of the tank to promote brewing at 18 c to 28C. (use a "Red Sea Co2" product if you have no idea Guess its about 1/2 a cup of sugar)
All I can say is that this biocycle system is easy to maintain and nitrites/nitrates/phosphates have not majorly fluctuated in many months >12.
My water changes are absolutely slack and about every 2 long as I drag those phosphates out and keep the co2 up it purrs superbly.
Mind you I have a lot of vegan fish and that helps. Bare in mind if you have carnivores or omnivores that you increase phosphate sachet changes and water changes.

My summary:
I guess it's Phosphate filters and Co2 that has worked for me; despite phosphate being a major indicated filtration for salt water it seems to be one for salt water as well, ( I have not read up on this and I have not seen a major reference for fresh water fish keeping apart from a few minor mentions) For me phosphate filters are are a big plus if you add co2 via a bubble disperser; and it all seems to maintain itself.
The lowered levels of phosphate and increased weed via co2 seems to set up a biocycle but its good but may lead your complacency with tank maintinence .....ideal no light tube adjusting; Im still on my original globes and having to harvest weed 2 yrs later. There seems to be no balances of globes reqiured, although I may be wrong... it may be that there are many more permeatations of lighting that bolster the formulae, however this is a basic low maintinence experiment that I believe works. Others may challenge it and they are welcome to... my tank is green slime free and crystal clean after 18 months+.
My PLECO, cute little Sailfin, he's a clowning funny bugger, he's has grown from 2" to 7" in 6 months and along with 5 neons alive at 12 months. I think electric yellows at 3 times there size in the same 12 months + Bolivian butterflys at same age with same growth.
I've changed H2O at 2 month intervals with no 2week stuff; Ive tested Ph and all and swapped phospate filter pouched on the power filter at 3 months and it seems to work under standard lighting that the 620-T comes with.
Its worked for me give it a try!
I use standard feeds of a lot of dried spirilina and also Mr SailFin gets a lot of Cucumber and Corguette(Zucchini) the rest get a spartan sprinkle of krill and occassional multi feed.

June 4, 2006 10:27 PM


raam said:

Anyone who buys an aqua-one tank deserves what they get. I work at an aquarium and we no long carry them, 80 percent have come back leaking and they will not fix them (saying that they are not actually leaking)? yeah, eff them.

June 8, 2006 3:03 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Sour grapes, anyone? ~��

June 9, 2006 11:31 AM


Graham said:

Not really, just a warning. Ive seen every return that comes in, and i can say that the majority was aqua one, and they will not replace it. The three tanks out of the four that leaked got sent back, waited 2 week, they came back with a report saying they did not leak, but had new silicone on some sections. the tanks had already been replaced for the customers, so it was our loss. Its not sour grapes, i quit that place because they are a rip off but aqua one is worse haha. I would say spend a little more and avoid the worry. maybe even proper support. Just my opinion.

June 9, 2006 12:32 PM


chris h said:

Have got aquaone r150 where the water flows back in on the left hand side creates a whirpool and is very noisy , tried heaps of different heights etc and still no luck , any ideas would be appreciated thanks

June 9, 2006 5:57 PM


Chris h said:

Woops meant the right hand side where water returns to the tank . It also makes alot of air bubbles coming down the funnel etc thanks for any advice .

June 9, 2006 6:00 PM


Patrick said:

Hi all,

long time, no post.

Noted robert asked regards a chiller back in April. I put a chiller on my system in December during our very hot summer, and I am glad I did. with 110W of lighting and 30 deg C plus days the tank was regularly reaching 32 - not good. Chiller brought this back to 25.

BTW tank doing very well - have recently rebuilt it (maintaining the coral but increasing the swimming space) and am very pleased with it. The AR380 is doing well also.

My only (minor) grip now is glass scratches inside the tank from cleaning the tank.

As for leaks - none here!

All the best.

June 16, 2006 9:29 PM


Robert said:

Hi Guys,

Kazza, great blog.

We have a AR620T which will run Fish only with Live Rock, and Nemo !

I am building an under tank sump as we speak.

Could you please assist with what type flow (LPH) powerheads you guys are using in your Marine application for the 620T ?

I have an Aqua One 1200 LPH pump which probaly won't make the grade for the sump pump, yet may be a little strong as an internal powerhead. Unless I have "Super Nemo"...



June 17, 2006 11:12 PM


Dave said:

What a great page for the AR-620 this is :)
Very useful indeed.

I'm starting to get concerned that I'm overstocking my tank. I've got :-

5 Cardinal Tetras
5 Rummynose Tetras
2 Coral Blue dwarf gourami's
2 Flame dwarf gourami's
2 catfish (dunno the exact type)
2 small Blue Rams

Ammonia and Nitrite levels are zero
Nitrate is fine.

I'd like to add another 5 Glo-Lite Tetra's and possibly a few Neon rainbows as well.

Based on my fiance's experience with her AR-510 (18 similar fish) I reckon I could manage this stock level but based on comments made in this forum I'm not so sure.

I'm gradually replacing the Aqua-One noodles that came with the tank with EHFI substrat so hopefully that means I'm getting the maximum filtering effect.

All fish seem happy and water is as clear as a bell.

Does the Table Of Knowledge (tm) think I'll be right to add the extra fish ?


June 20, 2006 10:46 PM


Tom Lohdan said:


They should do fine, it's a matter of providing enough filtering, and doing 30% water changes each and every week. I do run a decent cansiter, and the overhead filter, and will be upgrading my canister this weekend.

I know I've overstocked my tank, but keeping lots of live plants and catfish/sucking loaches, I can't even fault my Master Hagen test kit.

I do have a fish that keeps my fish levels low though, it's called a Black Ghost Knife.

The older Tetra's have learnt well and survive, any new Tetra's gets eaten.

3 Baby Black Angels, 2 Swordtails, Neon Tetras (Knifes love these buggers), 3 Spotted Catfish, 2 L52's Pelcos, 6 Tiger Barbs, 5 Green Tiger Barbs, 4 Electric Yellows, 2 Black Ghost Knifes, 2 Clown Loaches and 2 Sucking Loaches.

Plants are Blue Stricta, small CO'2 Kit, UV Filter, and I'm having to chop my plants every 3 months.

June 30, 2006 9:14 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

Hydro Prime 30 Left, Prime 20 Right. Both in a AR620-T cabinet.

Excuse the cables out the front, they are normally out the back.

Tank needs a vacuum now that I've finished installing the Prime 30.

I've also managed to install a Bio Wheel on the out flow, which turns slowly directing the water around the tank at all angles.

July 1, 2006 3:10 PM


Claire said:

Hi all, I'm a newbie to this forum and was wondering if anyone has ever fitted ad red sea prizm skimmer to a 980? I bought it from the internet and the wholesaler assured me that you could fit it to the side?? I have set it up and the only way that I can see so far is moving the lid across and hanging it off the side...... Either that or doing some serious cutting out of filtration at the top and sitting it on the back, even then I am not sure the inlet pipe would be long enough to reach the water level? I am not runnig any extra sumps or canister filters.

July 4, 2006 7:38 PM


Tom Lohdan said:


The slim line profile (only 2.4� wide) allows the Prizm to be discretely hung on behind the aquarium or on the side of the sump, with it�s fully submersible motor it can even be placed inside the sump!

Which means either you need a sump or do a serious modify to your tank.


The AR series are not hang friendly, they are canister/sump friendly, if you don't mind having the top of the back.

July 4, 2006 9:21 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Just wondering if someone has any alternate ways to catch fish.

I have two uaru that have just gotten too big too quickly & are eating all my precious plants!

My problem is that my tank is so densely planted that it's easy for the fish ti evade capture & difficult for me to traverse then net & stick through the aquarium with wrecking all the plants I'm trying to save.

July 10, 2006 4:27 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

I normally catch fish by sticking an algae wafer inside a medium sized net and then place it into the tank, normally at the bottom, then just sit and wait until something moves into the net and the net pull up.

I had to hook up a chop stick onto the net handle as the tank is abit too deep.

They would need to like algae wafers to start with, blood worms etc melt too quick and fish know they can eat them through the net.

My Yellows like Algae wafers, but I have never tried to catch them yet, but they do like to spend time in terracotta pots that I have filed open the drain hole and cut openings in the sides. So I would just net the pot once inside.

The other way is to know the direction they swim away from you, place the net in that area, then chase them with chop stick into the net.

We get a bag of 50 wooden chop sticks in Springvale Victoria for $2 so they come in handy for tank work, and you can just toss them at the end of the work.

Bigger the net more chance you will grab them.

July 12, 2006 5:56 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

Updated Tank Photo, with new rock chase and caves for the Ghost Knifes to sleep/hide in.

At the back is a big piece of drift wood, that I had to place rocks on as it would not sink after a week soaking. Next rearrange it should be fine.

Bottom right you can see one of my prizes, L52 Pelco, they were a one off to Australia, slipped through customs and everyone around .Au snapped them up, $60-$100 each.

July 12, 2006 6:09 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I actually got desperate & drained nearly all the water out; just leaving enough for the other fish but not enough for the Uarus to stay upright. It still took some effort but I got them without uprooting a single plant or losing any of my other fish.

July 13, 2006 12:58 PM


lukee said:

i have an ar 980 and need to know how to set up the filter compartments. the stupid instructions don't say jack about where to put the ceramic noodles or the carbon.

July 13, 2006 2:59 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

Personally I would get a canister, and use the back filter as an quick and easy filter clean.

Noodles, Black, then the Wool filter.

On the 620T I fold the 2nd wool to allow the food to drop from the auto feeder for flakes.

Get a canister, it's much better than the overhead system provided.

July 13, 2006 9:21 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

If it's anything like the 620?T, I explained how I set my filter up earlier on this strand. It works fine. 8-)

July 14, 2006 8:18 AM


Patrick said:


I now use an Aquaclear 30 and an Aquaclear 20 powerhead in the marine setup. These are by far the best powerheads I have used - extremely quiet and compact. The aquaone powerheads are rubbish in my opinion - noisy and the suction pads rot in less than 8 months.

The AquaClear units mount in 2 different ways - either using a bracket with suction pads or hung from the side of the tank.

July 16, 2006 5:52 PM


lazy said:

hi all, great web page. Does anyone know how many litres per hour the ar 850 does?

July 18, 2006 11:39 PM


lazy said:

and is there a more powerful pump that can be used which has the same attachments as the original pump on the ar 850?

July 18, 2006 11:47 PM


jim said:

HELLO OUT THERE To all the aqua one owners that have an aqua one/aquavia etc stand.....I am wondering about the quality of the stands in particular...chipboard and construction....I set one up for a friend recently, and the hinges couldn't even support the weight of the doors...has anyone else had this problem(or was it just a one off dodgy unit) If you have had any problems with Aqua one cabinets etc.. I would be happy to know ...b4 recommending them. I want to be sure they good( the tanks/filters seem to be fine) its mainly the stands I am interested in..... any info would be greatly appreciated...thanx.....Jim

July 20, 2006 9:30 PM


Mir said:

Hey guys, I'm new to this aquarium business and I wanted to ask for some advice. I got just got a UFO 880. I'd like to have a tropical freshwater set up.
1) Would I need any other pumps (Ive read about gravel pumps and about half a dozen others but thought it would be wise asking here before doing something stupid)
2) How many days should i leave the tank on fishless
3) What is the best fish (attractive too) to cycle the tank and how long would I have to do this
4) I have some red coral for a while and it has gathered a bit of dust over time. After washing with hot water theres still a few hairs i counldnt get out. Was wondering if there would be any harm putting the coral in the tank
5) How would you do partial water changes

Thats all the questions i have at the moment
Thanks guys

July 21, 2006 2:06 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Jim, I've had the Aqua One cabinet for a couple of years now & had no problems. I've even stuck 3M hooks on the insides of the doors to hang things & the hinges are fine.

My only complaint would be that I wish they made them higher. I'm not a tall person & even I have to bend over all the time to look into it (especially seeing as they all have hoods over the top).

July 21, 2006 3:05 PM


isabella said:

yer same i agree

August 14, 2006 6:59 PM


Tom Lohdan said:


The cabinet is fine for the tank load. Mine has been rock solid, including 20KG of gravel, 40KG of rocks.

August 17, 2006 8:27 PM


Lindsay said:

Your forum is a great help, as mentioned by everyone the instructions are no use. I have had tank going about 7 weeks and have lost no fish yet. Problem is everything in it gets covered in brown ?????? The glass needs cleaned every week, the plants are covered, the heater, the impeller tube. I have done three water changes and tests are ok. Does anybody have advice for me?

August 22, 2006 6:38 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Perhaps you didn't cycle the tank for a long enough period before you added your fish, or didn't add your fish gradually enough?

August 23, 2006 4:38 PM


Lindsay said:

Cheers for that but what can i do now? is there something i can add to water

August 23, 2006 6:24 PM


kazza said:

It's probably just algae. You could get an algae-eating catfish and it'd make short work of it :)

August 23, 2006 6:44 PM


Natalie said:

This may help, if you've not found it already!

August 25, 2006 1:11 AM


lindsay said:

Thanks Kazza,

I bought 2 loaches for that as they are prettier but they hide all the time, i guess i need a catfish

August 25, 2006 6:05 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


It could be caused by algy, nitrite, over feeding, etc. I still think the most plausable explanation is that you didn't cycle your new tank long enough, or added too many fish too quickly.

I recommend testing your water parameters; GH, KH, Nitrite, PH, Amonia, Fe, etc. to first ascertain whether it's something in your water. If you don't have or want to purchase all the test kits, take a water sample to the aquarium shop & get them to do the tests. Depending on what you find out there, more frequent water changes may help.

Clow loaches are great & necessary to have in aquariums to keep getting rid of baby snails, they won't ate the algy. They are known as trio fish because they prefer to be in groups of three (or more). They will still be shy in groups but not nearly as much.

To get rid of algy, I recommend choosing a species of sucker catfish. I use bristlenoses but there are others. And to get rid of the hair-green algy on higher up places (such as plant tops etc.) I recommend getting some siamensis.

But adding more fish may compound your existing problem even further so you'll need to check out those water parameters to find out what's going on first.

August 26, 2006 2:48 PM


Lindsay said:

Thanks for the info, the water seems to be ok, i have test strips that check all the tests and they are within the parameters. I am going to get a catfish or two this weekend and see if this improves things

August 29, 2006 10:46 PM


jason said:

Can you have a lionfish in the ar620 and also will corraline grow good with the lights that come with the tank

September 2, 2006 7:40 PM


jason said:

anyone?? Im kinda in a hurry since i will be getting my first fish in 3 days. Any help would be grate.

September 5, 2006 4:09 PM


Seb said:

Hi guys,
Iv'e got a nano reef setup on this platform, and time will tell how it pans out. Its been quite a change from the cichlids iv'e been keeping / breeding for many years now. I see the reef as the natural progression here (I would have prefered something around 300 litres, but i'm banned from keeping any more large tanks :)

Anyway, its been cycling now for about 6 weeks, with gradual additions of live rock.

nitrite 0.2, nitrate 0, ammonia 0.

Apart from the hitch hikers, this tank is home to two hermit crabs, and a sarcophyton leather. The leather was added last week and appears OK.

I have replaced the orginal PCs and now run 14k / actinics, but would like to upgrade...

Will keep you all posted.


September 7, 2006 7:33 PM


Dean Matthews said:

I bought an aqua one ar-620t aqaurium about a week ago second hand and have set it out how i want it but was aware one of the bulbs was out and i have found it impossible to get a replacemnt. Does anyone know where I'd be able to get a replacement prefferably on the internet as i'm in the UK.


September 10, 2006 11:51 PM


Dean Matthews said:

just to add to my previous message could any1 please recommend a brand of bulb and what exactly i should be looking for.

September 11, 2006 12:24 AM


Dean Matthews said:

just to add to my previous message could any1 please recommend a brand of bulb and what exactly i should be looking for.

September 11, 2006 12:25 AM


kazza said:

The AR-620 lights are a pain to try and source. If you can find a supplier of Aqua-One products they'll often stock the lights that go with their tanks (because of course the AR-620 tanks have non-standard bulb sizes, but don't even get me started on that ;) ).

My favourite brand of lights is Atman, which will last a couple of years. I get one pink, one white for a tropical tank with plants - Atman Tri-Power Light and Atman Super Light. I currently have two of each spares, because the 620 tanks now use compact fluorescent, and are likely to become even harder and harder to get...

September 11, 2006 5:59 PM


Dean Matthews said:

Cheers for your help do you know of any websites i might be able buy the bulbs from and wud it matter if the watts were a bit different to the lights i have now (18watt).
Cheers again,

September 11, 2006 8:13 PM


Lauren said:

Dear Kazza,

I purchased my AR620 T last week and i love it! Thank god for this page as a could not find info on the filter anywhere else!
I have set the tank up this morning and have 1x Angel, 9xneons, 1x cory and 2x plecos in my smaller tank i wish to move to my new AR620 T!

However i have just found snails in this tank!, Not Impressed!! I was planning to start fresh with no existing water or objects from previous tank as do not want to be batteling with snails for ever!! I dont know whether to add all the fish at once without carrying any existing water.I have had mixed comments from various fish shops. What do you think?
Another idea i had was to use some of the water from my other tropical tank(not Infested with Snails) during the transfer to speed up the friendly bacteria?

Also is it worth using the filter grid as well as the noodles, black sponge and white wool? I am a bit confused as you dont mention the Filter grid on this page?

If u cud get bk 2 me as soon as that wud b great


September 23, 2006 4:07 AM


lauren said:

Hi lauren again,

Sorry i was being a bit thick i did not mean filter grid as i know that is the plastic bit that goes underneath the noodles i meant the plastic holdre that has both the white and black in it! does this go under the black sponge??


September 23, 2006 4:16 AM


lauren said:

To get rid of the snails get some clown loaches (preferably three as the prefer to be in groups of three or more).

If the water parameters in your all tank are all good then transfering as well as the filter noodles the water is a good idea.

I wouldn't worry about the sponges. I rinse out the black filter sponge & replace the white fibre every three days.

Just remember that a new aquarium should be cycled about a month before you should start GRADUALLY adding fish. You'll know how your tank is coping by getting test kits & checking all the water parameters as you go.

September 23, 2006 2:27 PM


Sylvie said:

Hi all .... first timer... does anyone.. maybe Patrick.. know how to get rid of fireworms in a marine tank..????

October 26, 2006 12:29 PM


Tom Lohdan said:

Dean Matthews,

If you can't find tubes locally in the UK, let me know and I can post some to you from Australia.

My (not so local) shop stocks them and you should replace them every 6 months anyway as the light will start to dull over time.

You can not use higher wattage tubes as the ballast will not support them, the only other option is to mod your light hood to support more lights, mosted middle of this page.

BTW for others I visited the Osaka Aquarium last month, not the best place I've been, photos:

One day I spend the time to put together a proper photo gallery.

October 27, 2006 7:08 PM


Steve said:

Greetings AR620t fans, great informative forum, good stuff! I am cycling the tank with live rock at present and intend to do the nano reef thing. I live in Brisbane so expect I will buy a chiller and pump shortly, though those I have looked at seem to be to large to place in the cabinet. Has anyone installed a chiller (in the tall 130litre number) and pump which fits that they are happy with? I would be very interested to know their experience and brands purchased?

November 29, 2006 10:19 PM


ben said:

Hi all

I have been wanting a reef tank for a couple of years (a symptom of taking up scuba diving :p) but just never got around to getting one. However i decided to take the advice of reefers and get a freshwater setup first and see how it goes.

Some in either on the 11th or 12th of November i bought an ar620 with stand from my lfs and eventually got it setup on the 18th since then i have thrown in a few plants and was given a couple of 'sh!t fish' by the lfs to help cycle the tank.

since the 18th till now i have had some bright green splotches appear on some of the plants before fading away to be taken over by possibly some brown splotches on the glass which has also now kinda vanished.

at the moment i have 5 cardinal tetras, 5 golden neon tetras, 3 rummy nose tetras, 1 otocinclus, 2 albino corys and 2 other random fish (female is bright orange, male is dark and blotchy with some red bits on his fins). yes i realise this might have been rushing into things a bit to quickly but as of this morning even the cardinal tetra that was looking a little fragile was schooling with the rest of them.

this tank is very cool and very very appealing to look at. i totally can understand where some ppl are coming from when they say this tank is all cheap and nasty plastic, but it seems to work and thats just fine by me for the time being.

my only query is the lighting (hah! its been mentioned how many times now?) at only 36W for about 80+L (after u remove rock, gravel and driftwood volume) i'm not sure if this is going to be enough for plants like glossostigma? the little pot i put in there has gotten quite yellow and the riccia (curse floating plants) has also lost the brilliant shade of green it used to have. perhaps not enough nutrients in the water?

the water too in my opinion is still a little cloudy. just a tad. but i have no idea how to clean it any better.

also i am finding the directional return outlet kinda annoying as its pushing some of my floating plants all over the shop. does anyone know where Tom got that Bio Wheel thingamjig from? or is that just an attachment to a Bio Wheel which is sitting in the filter tray?

Im planning on leaving my tank now for another couple of weeks to see how it all goes. prolly take some water down to morley aquariums to get it tested and see how the levels are.

i totally agree about the ease of finding material on this page with CTRL+F. cheers Kazza and what a fantastic page!

December 5, 2006 7:38 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


As I have said before, my 620T (which is about 40% deeper than the standard 620 but with still only the same lighting) hasn't been modified but is literally packed with plants! The trick is to only fill it with big leaf low light plants (ie: no stem plants). I think having loating plants is a bad idea because, as you said, the whole surface area is affected by the flow filter. In a larger tank they may be able to settle somewhere better. Also, floating plants block light! This is a serious issue when using an aquarium where lighting is an issue!

Insofar as the cloudiness, if it's brown then you need to get a Bio-Chem Sorb bag in your filter, if it's milky white then that is either new tank syndrome or ammonia. You need to get some test kits & check all your water parameters.

December 6, 2006 12:57 PM


Patrick said:

Hi all

Just wondering if anyone knows a good aquarium store that sells cheap AR620T or AR980? I was quoted a price of $450 for a AR620 tank, stand gravel and heater. The same store also said they could do the tank and stand of the AR 980 for $640. Just wanted to know if these prices seem resonable?


December 18, 2006 8:44 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Well, it seems that my suspicion of the last few days has proven to be true. The Bolivian Butterflies have started nesting again. They have been spending a bit more time together than usual (albeit constantly bickering) at the front of the tank. It's very rare Mr BB visits the front of the tanks as Mrs BB always chases him away to the back of the tank. He's been standing up to her a bit more of late & I today he was digging his nest hole in the gravel at the front of the tank again...

December 19, 2006 12:16 PM


ben said:

Hi guys

Well a total of 6 fish lost in my ar620. but the rest are thriving now. good colour, bellies are full. even the previously very still oto is now quite frisky. didnt realise how good the colours were until we introduced 2 rummynoses to the tank which looked a little washed out.

however i have a conundrum which i am hoping someone here will be able to help with.

I am wanting to introduce CO2 into the water to make my plants go berserk. So after doing some research i realised that a) pH should be stable and b) more importantly my KH value should be in the right range so that pH levels can remain stable. so after testing kH i find i have 50 - 60ppm! thats 2.8 - 3.3 dKH! and my pH is somewhere between 7.3 - 7.6.

now does anyone know how i can raise the buffering capacity whilst reducing the pH? my aquarium store suggested to simply watch my ph very very carefully. im only going to install a simple diy yeast co2 system and i'll use a valve to cut the flow back, but does anyone know how to increase kH and lower pH?



December 22, 2006 1:07 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

My aquarium is 620T so is a lot deeper but is still completely full of healthy plants & I don't put any CO2 in there.

During daylight, whilst plants are photosynthesising, they draw in carbon dioxide & put out oxygen (which is good for the fish).

However, during the night, whilst they are metabolising, the process is reversed in that they draw in oxygen & put out carbon dioxide (which is bad for the fish).

This means that during the night (& because I have so many plants) I had too much carbon dioxide & not enough oxygen & the fish were literally asphyxiating. I had to get an air stone & run it overnight to INCREASE the oxygen level so that there was plenty of it for both the plants & fish.

December 22, 2006 2:35 PM


ben said:

Hey Skaven

Would you be able to tell me which plants you have in your tank? i saw your list previously. Just wondering if there are any new ones since then that you would recommend.

Cheers! and Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to ALL!! Have a safe one!!!


December 22, 2006 5:59 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I have over 60 large leaf plants - possibly over 80...

No, I don't remember what all their names are but all large leaf plants are usually a safe bet for my tank.

I never had any luck with stem plants or small ground covering ones.

Lots of planted driftwood pieces are worth having too.

December 23, 2006 2:53 PM


Lauren said:

have had my tank running for 4 months now! Have just read about the fish gasping for air at night and you having to put in an air stone! I found my fish doing this for the first time yesterday morning as i turn my air stone off at night! I nearly had a heart attack! I lost two neons before i came down in the morning as soon as i did a part water change and air on all fish back to normal! None of my local shops could say why this ahd happened and water was not bad nit slightly high maybe due to dead neons (i was sad! ) I had used fin rot treatment the week before, for the first time and removed carbon as per instructions so thought it could of been a combination of the two i had also added a three more neons a few days before! I have worried and constantly watched my tank for two whole days and left the air on 24/7 is this ok . is it the plants that caused the gasping?? although i only had a few more in my 620 tall than usual?? I seem to get no answers of my local shops!!

December 29, 2006 7:27 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

As I said earlier, if you have a lot of plants it works like this:

Fish: breathe in oxygen & our carbon dioxide.
Plants: breathe in carbon dioxide & our oxygen.
Summary: both organisms are getting what they need from each other.

Fish: breathe in oxygen & our carbon dioxide.
Plants: breathe in oxygen & our carbon dioxide.
Summary: both need oxygen but aren't getting it replenished.

Having an airstone can be bad for plants during the day but, good for both plants & fish at night. Try getting a timer & set it to turn on an hour after your lights go off & turn off an hour before your lights go back on again.

December 29, 2006 2:03 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

As I said earlier, if you have a lot of plants it works like this:

Fish: breathe in oxygen & out carbon dioxide.
Plants: breathe in carbon dioxide & out oxygen.
Summary: both organisms are getting what they need from each other.

Fish: breathe in oxygen & out carbon dioxide.
Plants: breathe in oxygen & out carbon dioxide.
Summary: both need oxygen but aren't getting it replenished.

Having an airstone can be bad for plants during the day but, good for both plants & fish at night. Try getting a timer & set it to turn on an hour after your lights go off & turn off an hour before your lights go back on again.

(PS: Kazza, can you please delete the previous post? Typo.)

December 29, 2006 2:06 PM


liddlefeesh said:

Hello everyone,

What a fantastic AquaOne resource :-) Shame the AquaOne website isn't up to scratch :(

I have a 6 month old 620 and am looking to upgrade the light output. I have both sets of standard lights on a timer for 8 hours every day.

I can't seem to find any reflectors or bulbs that will just fit in place of the existing ones.

I'm from the UK. Any ideas?

January 3, 2007 6:40 AM


ben said:

Hi liddlefeesh

Unless I am mistaken you will need to buy aquaone specific bulbs as a replacement.

if u happen to have the version of the lighthood which has the slightly less than 2' tubes, you can manually move the flourescent tombstones (the bits at the end which the tubes slide into) right up against the insides of the hood and you can then fit in standard 2' tubes.

I have the compact flourescent version which is like 2 little tubes joined together and it doesnt look like standard compact flouros will fit it either so I'm hoping to replace the fittings with standard ones.



January 8, 2007 11:37 AM


liddlefeesh said:

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your reply. There aren't any 2 foot tubes in my hood - just two mini lights. The tombstones appear to be fixed in place, I might be able to move them, but am not too comfortable with the idea unless someone else has made some easy instructions for it!

How easy is it to replace the fittings? It's just the fittings that need replacement and not the transformer too?


January 11, 2007 9:04 AM


a man with pants said:

im buying a aqua one AR 620 for onley $100 :) they are sold 4 about 300-450 ea


January 11, 2007 3:31 PM


Ben said:

Heya liddlefeesh

L&H havent got back to me as of yet about costs associated with refittin the lights. contact me via email and send me some pictures of the lights to me. i think u have the same lights as i do.

if u read through Patrick has mentioned tridonic atco fittings. my intention is to move the current lights to one edge and install a 55w compact fluorescent on the other and a small cold cathode fluorescent in the middle to act as moonlight.

that said. Skaven has successfully grown many many plants in his tank the ar620t which is deeper by about another 40% and has the same amount of light. currently i have several plants happily growing in my tank. to keep them happy i have limited the amount of floating plants (props to skaven) and i have tried to use leafy plants where possible (skaven yet again). i was given some stem plants but i tend to find that because there isnt enough light they tend to grow tall but not with very dense foliage which is kinda sucky. but still pretty enough.

for the sake of experimentation i made a diy co2 system and that has in my opinion helped the plants grow. and i also am using some plant fertilisers (seachem and ada). without fertilisers the plants tend to have many problems with their leaves because there arent enough nutrients in my local water.

im going to suggest to you what skaven suggested to me: go and find some large leafed plants and put them in the tank and see what happens. and try do a diy co2 setup.

let us know how it goes and drop me an email with a pic of your lights :)



January 17, 2007 5:21 PM


Ayesha said:

If anyone is interested in purchasing an Aqua One 620 I am looking at selling mine. Pick up would be from Penrith NSW. It is only 1 year old, black, with matching cabinet, all decorations included, heater, cleaning equipment, etc etc. Selling price = $400 . You can even have the 3 corydoras, 1 electric yellow cichlid and red fighter fish if wanted. Also am selling a large (approx 20 cm)sailfin pleco for $300 (aquariums would sell him easily for at least $400). Hoover as I affectionately call him is the best specimin I have ever seen - beautiful markings, healthy and happy algae eater. Email me at if you are interested. Thanks Ayesha :-)

January 21, 2007 10:37 PM


liddlefeesh said:

Heya Ben,

Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. Haven't got any photos yet - but the lid is exactly as shown in the A620 manual. It's just a stock lid.

With the plants, I tend to find the same, they grow tall and the foliage towards the bottom and middle of the plant dies off - as the plant tries to reach for the light.

The leafy swords, etc come out ok. Although mine are suffering with a layer of slimy algae on the leaves which causes the leaves to brown and die.

I've got quite a few snails on the leafy plants too, despite having a Botia Striata (Zebra Loach), which is supposed to eat them!

February 4, 2007 11:33 PM


LAUERN said:

Hey trying to find replacment bulbs for my 620 t but my supllier cant get the red and white ones i want any ideas of where i can get them or if AQUA 1 have stopped doing them????


February 9, 2007 12:51 AM


KAREN said:

hi my daughter inlaw just got a 620 and the water within a few days is going cloudy. she has clean the filter and changed the water but the same thing keeps happening. can you give us some advise

February 13, 2007 10:05 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

If it's a new tank that has fish in it & it is a white/milky cloudy then it's probably ammonia. Click EDIT then SEARCH ON THIS PAGE & type in ammonia as a search word & there's already bags of information about it on here.

Also I recommend doing another search on this page "test kits".

February 13, 2007 4:43 PM


liddlefeesh said:

Lauren - same here. Please post back if you've found some!

Karen - Cloudy water, especially on setup is most likely caused by a bacterial bloom. Search for "white cloudy water" "bacterial bloom" in google. As Skaven suggests, get some test kits and let your tank balance, it'll eventually sort itself out.

February 15, 2007 8:51 AM


raelee said:

hi great forum
I have a 620,which i have set up for marine tank, its been running now for 3 weeks,i am wondering how i can run a canister filter, and protein skimmer, without modifying the lid to much.
at the moment i have the canister filter running with the lids pushed forward so hoses fit in the back.
im wanting to have corals and fish so i was told the filter that came with the tank wasnt enough filtration for marine set up.
also was told i need a protein skimmer or i would have to keep adding purigen every couple of months,with lots of water changes .
has anybody out there done this to there tank ,
your advise would be much appreciated


February 19, 2007 10:42 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I had a drama with my 620T yesterday.

Lately, the trickler duckbill outlet had started making more noise & the only explanation I could think of was, for some unfathomable reason, more water was coming out of it.

When I looked down it from above yesterday, I notice that the noise was cause because a noodle had fallen into it which restricted it, subsequently forcing more water to spill out the overflow hole, therefore, more noise.

I tried hooking it out from above with some wire but couldn't see over my hand so decided I had to pull the duckbill off & get the noodle out that way...

I was able to rotate the duckbill (as one does to adjust the direction of water flow) but could I get it to come off? Absolutely not! I tried twisting it & pulling it but no joy. Even swearing at it didn't work! I had to break it & remove it in pieces.

However, part of it - the collar - still remains stuck. To fit a new duckbill outlet (which is only about $5) I obviously need to remove what's left of the old one but could I do it? Absolutely not! I tried twisting it & pulling it as well as using such persuasion devices as a pair of pliers & a wrench but still with no movement whatsoever. I then decided to try prying it off where I used at least two knifes, a long handle screw driver & s stanley knife (where I was rewarded by having the blade tip snapped off).

After trying for about an hour, I started to hear the beginning of stress fracture noises that weren't coming from the joint. This made it apparent to me that the remaining piece of the duckbill outlet was letting me know that it was definitely not going to come of &, if I forced it, it would break a significant part of the filter section with it. I had no choice but to concede...

Very aggravating!

February 28, 2007 4:01 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Finally managed to get the little bastard out yesterday, just after I made that last post, then went out & got a replacement. Hoorah!

March 1, 2007 5:05 PM


Tim Clark said:

I've been trying to get hold of AR620T replacement bulbs for over a year - and I'm not the only one according to recent posts from the UK.

Well, good news is I found some - not official Aqua One, but doing an excellent job nonetheless. Interpet have just released a TriPlus T5 (18W, 8.5"). Got them from my LFS for �8.99 each. Apparently Daylight Blue and Moonlight versions are to follow.

It certainly saved my life because I've just lost a bulb and my corals were in dire straits in semi-darkness.

Hope this is useful.


March 3, 2007 9:15 AM


Ian said:

I've recently upgraded my little Aquastart 500 to the Aquaone 620T.

Now in my little tank I had an undergravel filtration system with the pump rising from the motor and creating a nice flow of water along the surface and around the tank.

With the new big ass extra tall 620T the filtration unit in the hood doesnt create any flow of water around my tank.

Could some kind soul give me any advice as to a)is this ok in keeping tropical fish or do they need the water moving more, and b)what are my options to do this

Thanks alot, great site..... spent many hours reading through all your advice and experiences

Ian - Northants, UK

March 23, 2007 10:57 PM


kazza said:

I have a long airstone at the rear which creates a nice vertical cycling of the water.

March 24, 2007 9:20 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I tried placing a small pump in various places around the tank to get a bit of water movement but the fish really didn't like it.

I have a bubble wall placed along the back but I only run it overnight so the fish don't asphyxiate.

March 24, 2007 3:40 PM


flex armstrong said:

hi, i've noticed some people complaining that their aqua one tanks are leaking. I have an aqua vital 510 which houses my seahorses, i had it all running smoothly for a few months untill i noticed a very slow but constant leak which i couldnt find, so i bought an aqua one 620 to put them in untill i was able to source the leak & fix it. i cleaned the tank & thought it might have been an excess of salt buildup around the top acting as a conduit slowly drawing the water out, so i filled it abit & it didnt leak so problem solved i thought. Then the other day i woke up to find the 620 leaking pretty heavily soaking the surrounding carpet, so i put them back into the 510 untill i could source the leak in that tank. When i turned the filter off it stopped so i concluded that i must have had the filter media overstocked so i fixed that but i still had a very slow leak from both tanks still! refusing to be beaten by the situation i carefully examined both tanks untill it hit me, i had my backing paper on both tanks too high. I had them stuck above where the top of the tank joins the filter media box, condensation builds up on the paper(or plastic as mine is)& then slowly trickles down the back on the sides of the paper making it hard to notice, so i cut both of them smaller to below the join & i woke up this morning & not a drop.My fingers are crossed i've solved the problem i hop it helps anyone in a similar predicament, my tip is dont overfill the filter media, remove all salt buildup from joins especially the back & dont stick your backing paper too high!

April 7, 2007 2:16 AM


Ben said:

Hi all

liddlefeesh - talk about a long time replying! sorry its taken so long for me to get back to you. basically L&H decided to be unhelpful so i have had to put aside my tnak conversion for the moment. however i recently skimmed through diana walstads book and she mentioned that plants under the water may have adapted to predominantly yellow/green wavelengths of light. (i might have got the colours wrong but the basic gist of it is that they have adapted to underwater light). so when my two white/red bulbs unexpectedly died, i went and got two cool white 7100k bulbs as she suggested in her book. my lights are compact flourescents. 18W one on each side.

i will be damned.

the indian fern which was floating on the top of the water immediately started to grow smaller more densely patterned leaves. the red plants (no idea of their name) that i had which were on the verge of dying started to put out brand new pink red leaves. most of the other stem plants reduced the stem gap between leaves.

in otherwords using cool whites as opposed to 'plant' lights had a big improvement on my plant growth.

i have also installed a moonlight which meakes for very interesting evening watching.

i still intend on trying to make the hood modification but it will have to wait.

April 10, 2007 5:07 PM


Ben said:

Heya skaven

with respect to that damn duckbill. I personally hate it. I dunno about your taller tank, but with mine i have plants growing right up to the surface. and if i direct that duckbill in any direction away from the wall it just blows most of the plants down. i am guessing in your taller tank that perhaps you dont have as many plants as close to the top of the water? and perhaps there is enough current dissipation before the return water hits any plants for it not to bother you?

so to alleviate my plants being bent right down, i have had to rotate the duckbill so that it points itself into the corner.


however, i feel this is really kinda stupid. i have thought of a couple of ways to try and fix this.

1) instead of it coming out of a tiny duckbill you would need the output to be of a much larger diameter. ie if the outlet connects to the oupt of the filter with 1/2 inch diameter then it should exit back into the tank with an inch diameter.

2) make up a spray bar of sorts, once again with a bigger diameter

what are your and the forums opinions on this? and has anybody else done this?

April 10, 2007 5:19 PM


Ben said:


I have noticed that since i stopped the CO2 injection, my plant growth has almost come to a complete stop, compared to what was happening previously.

I was having to trim the stem plants every 10days or so.

So I am kind thankful that the CO2 died before i installed these new lights!

also can anything explain to me why my plants seem to be getting uprooted? is it that they are just getting beaten around by the fish? or that my gravel is simply not holding them down?

its actually quite annoying that my forest of plants is suddenly becoming a thin woodland with half floating trees!!!



April 10, 2007 5:39 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

Yes, as I've said earlier a few times, my aquarium is full of plants & many are now reaching the top. ESPECIALLY the ones near the duckbill & they don't get moved by it.

My sescret to having a nice water current which won't keep knocking your plants over:

Just get sturdier & more rigid plants - particular where the current is at its strongest.

April 13, 2007 3:09 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

For those of you who have emailed me asking to see pictures of my aquarium, I have finally uploaded some to this link.

You will have to join the site to get a password but it's free. There's some other guys there uploading pictures of theirs too.

April 27, 2007 12:49 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

For those of you who have emailed me asking to see pictures of my aquarium, I have finally uploaded some to this link:

You will have to join the site to get a password but it's free. There's some other guys there uploading pictures of theirs too.

April 27, 2007 12:52 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:

I have just uploaded a short video of my aquarium to my YouTube page:

April 29, 2007 12:42 AM


Andrew said:

Hi guys, I've got the AR620T and its awesome! I've recently converted it from a tropical tank to a marine tank but i'm trying to find replacement globes for the built in lights. Anyone know where I can get these from in Melbourne? or even order them online somewhere? I'm trying to find the blue marine globes as well for the coral. Any help would be greatly appriciated. Thanks!

May 8, 2007 12:59 AM


stu said:


Recently purchased an AR620 for marine setup.

Cycling at the minute (should be ready approx 3 weeks). I have Modified (hacked) filter housing to incorporate external Sera cannister filter return / suction pipes. Has anyone managed to fit the Red Sea prizm protein skimmer to this tank. My dealer reckons that the filter troughs / lid can be ordered as spares so the existing filter unit could be de-commisioned to allow for cutting of slots to accomodate skimmer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


May 23, 2007 11:56 PM


Robert said:

Do any of you do Fishless Cycling? I cannot find water + ammonia in a bottle anywhere in australia, how hard can it be? Anyone know any brands that are sold in australia so I can buy it? thanks

July 7, 2007 12:14 AM


Glen said:

Hi Robert,
There's a product called PuraWater, whack that in the tank. Read dosage directions first.
However, I'd place a couple of mollies in the tank. Cheap and easy way to test if the environment is safe.

July 9, 2007 8:43 PM


Julz said:


I have a ar-620 and I am wondering where the idea place to put the heater is.. I have a 100w aquaone heater and have it next to the filter inlet and set to 26 degrees.. Although the tank only seems to be sitting at 22 degrees.

Where is the optimal placing for the heater in these tanks?

July 15, 2007 11:23 PM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


Just recalibrate the heater.

I have mine near the filter uplift too. No problems.

July 16, 2007 3:44 PM


MIchael said:

Excellent Site! Recently acquired an AR620. What is the optimum water level for this tank?

August 19, 2007 5:47 PM


syzygy said:

yeah - fill it to the top - not all the way - just to about the plastic line of sight at the top.

September 19, 2007 11:27 AM


troy said:

I have just come across a AR-620 second hand. The filter needs some TLC. Can you tell me if you can get pads for it, or should I just buy another filter .

October 1, 2007 8:56 AM


Justin said:

The filter pads are still available, but you can save money and just use bulk filter wool in each of the two compartments-works fine in my AR-620 and the goldfish don't mind!

October 14, 2007 12:06 AM


Bibs said:

I have a 620. I love it. Recently the powerhead has just died, and believe me it has been a project to find a new one (hence me finding this page!).
Anyway I did, and you can also find a hell of a lot of parts for your Aqua One stuff at Kellyville Pets (if in Sydney)
Additionally: For people needing to know how to set up their tanks/filters etc: Here is the link to the manuals.
They are in PDF format, so you may need the Acrobat Reader.

Happy times!


November 15, 2007 1:25 PM


Adrian said:

My wife has just invested in an AR620T for me to start the tropical fish phase of my life. I'd really like to keep discus but on hearing this she started worrying about the size of the tank being too small. Couple of websites and an LFS think that I can keep up to 5 discus plus a small school of cardinals and a couple of cats in this amount of water.

Can anyone offer their insite here? Am I too hopeful in expecting 5 discus to thrive in this sized tank?

BTW, great website and I've learned one helluva lot from reading. Next step (assuming success) is a nano reef, inspired by Patrick.


November 20, 2007 10:55 AM


Clive said:

I have an Aqua One CF - 1200. I recentlt pulled it apart to clean. Put it back together in order (Black balls on bottom, white noodles in middle, white sponge on top), filled it with water. It is now incredibly noisy. Help!!!!

December 5, 2007 12:20 PM


Andrew said:

Adrian, if this is your first tank then forget Discus. They are expensive to buy and require very, very good water quality. I have an 850T and kept 4 Discus. They grew to nearly 6 inches in size and required weekly water changes and lots of work. Stick to some easier fish until you can manage to keep a constant water quality and maintenance. Then if you really want to keep Discus, trade the 650 in for a larger one- the bigger the better.

December 18, 2007 7:23 AM


Alex said:

Just finally finished reading this whole post.. I have to say I am extremely impressed with "�K�\/�|\|" 's tank (was watching the youtube clip). Just wondering what type of plants you have in there? :)

I only just recently got a 620T with some gravel and also a few neons (tetras and other ones which i don't have a name to).!95CE4D98DD115DD5!176/

December 21, 2007 11:27 AM


"�K�\/�|\|" said:


If you want your aquarium to look like mine, go for the big large leaf plants that don't need a lot of light. They are a bit slower to grow & cost a bit more but, as you saw on the YouTube video, they do look better.

Avoid stem plants in a deep aquarium where there are lots of other plants because they will just shed all their leaves, make a mess & fall apart. Small ground cover plants won't grow very well either because there's not enough light near the bottom of the tank to grow them.

December 22, 2007 2:00 PM


Alex said:

Ok so anything that is big large leaf... absolutely no small ones or are there ones that is a cross between large leave and small ones? :)

December 24, 2007 9:15 AM


Morgan said:

Hey All,

I've read this a bit as I have had an AR-620 for about a year or so now. All running perfectly.

It's a planted tank, with the following fish.

(from memory)
5 Neon Tetras
5 Gold Tetras
2 Bristlenose
3 Clown Loaches (large)
1 Corrie
2 Ghost Catfish
5 Red/Rummynose Tetras
1 Black Widow
5 other little fish I can't remember the name of..

All running well.

Also have various types of plants fairly heavily planted along the back.

Never had a problem with the tank as yet, thinking about getting a small canister or a decent internal filter to add to the over the top filtration system.

I've put some filter media around the spraybar arm to stop water trickling back down. And also added a little coarse filter media in the 3rd well to do a final scrub before it returns..

Packed the filters using Coarse then fine then noodles through the entire filter. I lost the black plastic divider which I want back if anybody has a spare!

Also put a little airstone in with the noodles to boost oxygen etc..


Movie of Clown Loaches feeding

Love to know your thoughts!!


December 30, 2007 2:53 PM


kyle said:

nice setup you have there. but the filter looks like it needs a good clean. rinse the pads in old tank water (not tp water it will kill the bcteria therefore causing an ammonia spike killing all of your fish) or buy a new one and put one in (dont put both in or you will again get an ammonia spike and kill the fish).

i have a ar620-t and have had it for almost three years. recently due to a lack of fish (due to ich) i broke the tank down and am now seting it up as a rift lake tank with yellow labs and some other fish. filled it up today and it looks awesome. cant wait to put fish and a java fern in it.

December 30, 2007 5:41 PM


Morgan said:


Thanks. The filter was cleaned about a week ago or so. It's actually decent, but the colour of the pads make it look dirty. But it's not too bad.

It does get dirty rather quickly, which is a good thing as I'd rather change filters more then have a dirty tank etc. But that is also why I am looking at getting a canister filter or a decent internal to help out ..

December 31, 2007 12:38 AM


Morgan said:

Oh and if anybody has a dividing plastic thing to fit the filter in an AR620 or know where I can get one from, let me know.

December 31, 2007 4:25 PM


Alex said:

Awesome looking tank morgan and happy NY to you all :)

January 1, 2008 1:31 PM


Morgan said:

Thanks Alex - Happy NY to you as well.

I'm quite keen to put in a canister or something, but I do have some concerns as dumb as I know they may be.

Mainly, I live on the top floor of a block of apartments and I don't want any leaks, and I can just see the thing leaking and siphoning out 100l of water down the stairs and through the entire block! Dumb I know but hey!

January 2, 2008 12:25 AM


Alex said:

Hehe.. i think you might have worried abit too much :)

I am looking at a canister atm (aqua one clone?) for my other fish tank (with two gold fishes atm). Will see how I go with that, the big internal filter is currently very noisy :(

With the 620T I have recently got three small Clown Loaches to help with the small snail outbreak I hae atm. Still trying to track down a good and cheap aquatic plant place around gold coast/brisbane in Australia atm. :)

January 2, 2008 4:33 PM


Hubert said:

Thanks for the forum, I was given an AR-620 (not the T one) a month or so ago and it's been great!

February 2, 2008 8:52 PM


Kane said:

Hi all,

Really interesting reading this site. I got my tank today and am currently waiting for the temperature to heat up so I can dump my cichlid in it.

I have one question, further to someone else Louisa's comment on 8th July 2004.

The black L-shaped piece... where does this go? I have 4 compartments in the filter tray, the left (with the tube running from the power head), the middle (with the white filter) and 2 at the right hand side.

Of these 2, on has the water trickling into it through the white filter. This has 2 holes, one is pointed upward, the other down. This downwards pointing hole is where the water re-enters the tank. However, the L-shaped piece does not fit this.

In the other section of the 2 on the right, the walls are very high and it doesn't fill with water. It also has a hole. This is the only place the L-shaped piece seems to fit and so is pointless. I was hoping it would quieten down the water noise.

If anyone cane help I'd be very grateful.


March 29, 2008 3:43 AM


hoover said:

Why don't any of you have the carbon cartridges in the filter.
These help with the elimination of toxins such as amonia and nitrates. You should have noodles in the bottom of both segments of the filter and then the black course or finer white filter pads on top of the noodles and then the carbon cartridges on top of them in both sides, AS shown in the instruction book supplied with the tanks. The carbon cartridges must be replaced or at least cleaned every 6-8 weeks.I have had mine for 3 years now and had no problems with this set up.

April 7, 2008 7:08 PM


kev said:

Same as Kane, March 29, 2008 3:43 AM, fitted the L shaped piece to the hole on right side of tank, which is the one closest to the front of tank, yet what for? no water can reach it from above. is it for another reason?

April 15, 2008 11:22 AM


kev said:

Kane i just blocked the other 2 holes up, (just as a test) which made the chamber (which we thought was redundant) act as an overflow and water then drained out of said elbow

April 15, 2008 12:02 PM


kev said:

Kev Sorted it, it goes on the middle hole, its just a tight fit, thanks to, -> Kevin said:

There is a little L-Shape Piece - Circular on one end .. flat on the other end ... put the round end into one of the big holes to return the water back to the tank ... I needed to force mine the first time and didn't think it was the correct piece either .... the place that sold me the tank advised that piece was designed so support the end of the spray bar!!!!
March 30, 2006 9:55 AM

April 15, 2008 12:56 PM


Aqua one said:

This is a fine resource you have compiled about Aqua One Aquariums.

April 18, 2008 1:41 PM


lukkat said:

hoover the bacteria in the noodles removes the toxins, ionly add carbon if i have tanins i want to remove for aestetic reasons or to removed medication after its use.

carbon is not a neccesity in a filter they just add it mainly to make the tanks look pretty

May 23, 2008 10:38 PM


Peter said:

Obviously found your link first, even in the UK.
Then found this link for spares, it has tank spec

Kind Regards Peter

July 12, 2008 7:04 PM


Viet said:

hi, ive had my ar620 for about 3 years now. I have noticed there is rust on the metal clips that connect the plastic cover which covers the lights. The rust is even spreading to the plastic. What should i do?? email me please, it is:, thanks guys

July 31, 2008 8:03 PM


peter courto said:

Hello - I have had my AR620 for about 2 months now and I have had to have to top replaced twice now -both times because one of the lights just went out and never came back on again even though the globe and the starter were fine as I switched them over to check. I now need another replacement - Has anyone else had this problem my email address is --- I would like to know if I should persist or ask for my money back?

August 1, 2008 10:21 PM


Julia said:

I have a SunSun tall tank that measures 60cm wide x 62cm high x 34.7 deep. Does anyone else have the same one?
It doesn't have a model number and i reckon the actual acquarium is made out of perspex. It came with a HQJ-700G filter pump and 2 xW T5 lights.
I'm just setting mine up and would love to see other peoples ideas re tank layout. It is a taller than it is wide -does this ifluence what type of fish go in there?
I'm looking for some small slate blocks to go in there. I want to build a cave or castle type structure in the middle as a focus point. I'm looking for the bookleaf type slate blocks that you sometimes see on the outside of houses or buildings except a lot smaller.
Can someone tell me where you can get slate that will do the job i want?

August 9, 2008 3:19 PM


Dan said:

I have recently bought a ar-620 (standard) and have decided on a marine set up

Just wondering if an 'extension pipe' for the filter outlet was available - one similar to the intake pipe. I am trying to create a better water flow for movement in my soft corals.

November 1, 2008 9:56 PM


SKaVeN said:

I doubt very much you'd ever be able to use it to do that. Just grab yourself a couple of small water pumps; two near opposite corners diagonally; one on the back wall & one on the side wall (the side wall the slightly more powerful as it has to pump across the tank).

November 3, 2008 12:09 PM


Sim said:

Hi there.
I have a 620T that i just converted into a marine tank.
Have a question on lighting, Brad, if you're around, or anyone else who may know... it was mentioned Brad can supply a new hood to fit on the AR-620t with more powerful lighting? it this correct?
My current hood has two compact 18w 50/50s...
What does your version of the hood come with? I would like to add a 55w somehow but im not very electrically savvy.
i'm from Sydney by the way.

Any help would be appreciated!

November 9, 2008 2:22 AM


matt said:

just bought the ar-620 and like others im getting water flowing back out of the left hand side of the spray arm. the water is flowing through the right side ok and the water level is to the max. i did take one of the carbon white filters out and that reduced the amount of water coming out of the left but i would prefer to stop it completely. any advice please??

November 16, 2008 4:07 AM


SKaVeN said:

Try lifting the dividing wall between the two reservoirs a little more.

Maybe you're not cleaning your sponges enough. I have a white fibre in the first reserviour which I replace weekly & rinse out once halfway through the week, on top of that I have the black sponge that I rinse twice a week. In the second reserviour I just have a black sponge which I also rinse out twice a week.

It's quite normal to expect a little water to trickle out there seeing as it's the lowest wall in the filter system so just try thinking of it as an overflow. I wouldn't suggest trying to block it up as then it would be forces to trickle out over the side. I have LOT of fish!

November 16, 2008 12:41 PM


matt said:

Thanks SKaVeN, the tank has only been setup for a week and ive cleaned the filters out twice in that time to see if it helps but didnt. today was the worse ive seen it, nearly flooding over out of the filter and tank. its as if the water cannot get through the filter and back into the tank quickly enough. going to take the carbon/white filters out completely anyway today and replace them with more sponge. Any more advice from anyone would be great, thanks

November 18, 2008 12:42 AM


SKaVeN said:

So the water's getting out of the pump & into the first reservoir okay but not getting into the second one?

If that's the case then, because the water travels from the first reservoir to the second reservoir at the bottom, there must be something blocking it (which is why I told you to life the dividing wall a little). You haven't placed any sponges at the bottom or anything else that can block/restrict it?

November 20, 2008 3:31 PM


matt said:

thanks again SKaVeN, I spoke to someone from aqua one and he was pretty helpful, in fact he has the same tank. he said this is a common problem and they have sent me a kind of washer to place in the hole where the spray arm sits. Like you said because this is the lowest wall in the filter, why they would make it lower than the outlet i dont know but it seems to have reduced the leak to a very slight drip, much better. Thanks again, hopefully will have a couple of fish in there today.

November 23, 2008 1:44 AM


Joseph M said:

Can anyone please tell me where I can find a strainer and upflow pipe for the AquaVia Powerhead 620?

I've looked everywhere. Please email me ASAP!

April 30, 2009 2:24 PM


Will said:

I've installed an external filter on my 620T and I must say that it's soooo much better than the little trickle filter in the hood! Let me know if anyone needs pictures of how I did it etc. Cheers, Will.

August 23, 2009 5:58 AM


Laurel said:

i just aquired a second hand 620, problem is the hood. It was too damaged to be saved and was wondering if anyone knew where i could buy JUST the hood as the tank is fine. I live in Sydney if that helps. Cheers, Laurel

August 31, 2009 1:42 PM


SKaVeN said:

Go to some aquarium shops (that sells Aqua One products) & ask them if you can leave your name & number. A lot of people who get these aquariums & decide to grow coral ditch the top section. If they know of any regular customers who have done so they could enquire on your behalf if they want to sell it...

September 27, 2009 5:53 PM


Shell said:

I'm in the UK. I have recently purchased the Aqua One 620T. I put all the filter together yesterday ready for adding gravel,plants, ect today.
At the end of the spray bar (on the useless instructions my tank came with) it says I should put the 'cap' on the end of it.
But I have no cap? Also theres a small black cap that doesn't seem to fit anywhere what looks like a smaller strainer.
Whats it's purpose? And the holes on the right hand side,do these stay open?
Thank you for any help in advance!!


December 28, 2009 7:46 PM


avi said:

Hi Shell,

I have the Aqua one 620 - and I believe it has the same filter / hood as the 620T, as a result they have two different caps for the intake of the pump - the longer version for 620T and the shorter one (the one that is spare) for the 620.

Also I noticed the small cap to be placed on the end of the elbow tube/pipe was missing - but i think it is not required since the water doesn't flow out of the end, but through the smaller holes.

I am not sure about the extra holes on the right - I think they are to be left open.

I am a newbie too - just setup the tank a few days before Chrissy, but found the tank very cloudy, so have been treating the water before adding fish - all the best.

Sydney, Australia

December 30, 2009 10:11 PM


Percival said:

The power filter comes with two caps - a long strainer and a small strainer. I suggest using the long strainer as this is less prone to clogging up. Also, the tube with the small holes that trickle water into the filter does not need a cap at its end. It's better this way to allow any plant material or fiber to not clog the small holes. Finally, newly setup tanks will be cloudy in first few days as it establishes some beneficial bacteria. This should clear up in a few days.

February 14, 2010 2:37 AM


SKaVeN said:

Personally, I think it's better to leave the cap in at the end of the spray bar. If you do that at least the water will come out all the holes & therefore strain evenly over the whole sponge (instead of all dirtying & clogging up one end of it). That's its purpose.

My aquarium's got more plants then any other I've seen for its size. To stop the holes from blocking up with debris all you have to do is take the cap out the end each morning (like when you're feeding the fish) & poke a pipe cleaner into it. It takes about ten seconds.

February 28, 2010 7:48 AM


Jules said:

Just bought one second hand. currently cleaning then will cycle prior to fish going in. should make a nice little discus tank to go with my other. running with an Eheim external filter.

April 15, 2010 6:57 PM


lockie said:

ok i just bought a ar850 and you guys seem to be the only people tanlin aqua one
i was wondering if there any fault with them?

September 22, 2010 6:40 PM


Betty said:

The clear tube with the holes in it that fits over the filter closest to the pump had a stopper in the end of it when I unpacked so guess its fine. I have a smaller Aqua One tank....the 380...great little tank..the water that comes out of the holes in the clear pipe over the filter actually streams into the top of the tank. The same thing doesnt happen with the 620T. You cant see it streaming into the water in the tank. The 380 only has 1 filter setup whereas the 620T has beside the other. That L shaped elbow thingamebob that fits over a hole on the right side of the filter...away from the pump...I have placed it on the hole at the back...does nothing placed on the one towards the front so I guess its in the right place. I have had the tank running just over 48 hours now and the water is still a bit cloudy so from reading other comments above I gather that thats fine and that it will clear within the next couple of days or so...I hope so. Is that L shaped elbow on the right hand side opposite the pump supposed to be completely submerged or slightly out of the water? This is the only section that seems to be creating "bubbles" in the water. Does the top of the pump have to be completely submerged or can it be partly out of the water...say maybe 1/4 of an inch out of the water? If so, the tank will be full to the brim. My 380 has the top of the pump slightly out of the water and appears to be working fine...crystal clear water. Thank you...Cheers..Betty

September 26, 2010 12:44 PM


Seema said:

Hi, I have a Aqua one 75L tank. Suddenly the filter has started making noice. the noice is like sucking water but it is not sucking and putting the water in the ceramic noodle compartment. Dont know what has gone wrong. Have gave a good clean to all the pipes and impler of the filter but did not solve the problem. Does anybody has any idea which part of the filter is not functioning or needs replacement? Thank you...cheers..Seema

January 12, 2011 12:14 PM


spoisiomb said:


January 17, 2011 7:37 AM


Paul said:

Hi, got to sell our Aqua One AR620T - does anyone know what sort of price I should charge? It's under four years old with the light pine cabinet and silver tank. Big house move ahead (island to island...Thanks for any help.

February 1, 2011 6:03 PM


Daniel said:

I have a 620T.
I was wondering if anyone has tried the following Filter Setup?
1st compartment - Standard Noodles, Carbon/White Wool and Black Sponge On Top
2nd compartment - Standard Noodles, Carbon/White Wool and Black Sponge On Top
I was thinking of removing the Carbon/White Wool in Both Compartments and Replacing With Poly Filter.What do you think?Also i have a 100G Bag OF Purigen to Put in, Any One Tried This?
Where would you suggest i put it?

February 28, 2011 12:16 PM


Kazza the Blank One said:

I have
1st compartment - Standard Noodles, Carbon/White Wool and Black Sponge On Top
2nd compartment - just white wool

The instructions were never clear on mine so I just guessed.

I rinse out the black sponge and white wool every so often but that's about all.

February 28, 2011 5:33 PM


SKaVeN said:

1st compartment; plenty of ceramic noodles, white sponge & black sponge.

2nd compartment: Bio Chem Zorb bag (replaced every three months), plenty of noodles & black sponge.

There's no need to have a white sponge in the 2nd compartment because the spray bar only goes over the first compartment so the water enters into at the bottom.

I buy large sheets of the white fibre & cut them into pieces to fit. I replace the white sponge weekly & give it a rinse halfway through the week.

I rinse the larger black sponge (the one if the first compartment) twice a week & replace it when it gets too grubby (usually about every six months or so).

I rinse the smaller black sponge (the one in the second compartment) once a week & replace it when it gets too grubby (usually about every 12 months or so).

You can buy Aqua One black sponge replacement packs. The 620/T pack has a large & small sponge but the 850 just has two large ones (which is handy seeing as the large one wears out faster).

March 6, 2011 1:10 PM


SKaVeN said:

1st compartment; plenty of ceramic noodles, white sponge & black sponge.

2nd compartment: Bio Chem Zorb bag (replaced every three months), plenty of noodles & black sponge.

There's no need to have a white sponge in the 2nd compartment because the spray bar only goes over the first compartment so the water enters into at the bottom.

I buy large sheets of the white fibre & cut them into pieces to fit. I replace the white sponge weekly & give it a rinse halfway through the week.

I rinse the larger black sponge (the one if the first compartment) twice a week & replace it when it gets too grubby (usually about every six months or so).

I rinse the smaller black sponge (the one in the second compartment) once a week & replace it when it gets too grubby (usually about every 12 months or so).

You can buy Aqua One black sponge replacement packs. The 620/T pack has a large & small sponge but the 850 just has two large ones (which is handy seeing as the large one wears out faster).

March 6, 2011 1:12 PM


Endokick said:


March 21, 2011 9:55 PM


Stephanie said:

Hi I have an AR620 I bought it 2nd hand about 18months ago so its probably a good 4 years old. Couple of things, it has had a slow week for about 2 months on the right hand side so I drained it then saw all this water between the glass and the foam at the bottom! I resealed that corner and have put 5L of water in it to see if it still leaks im just not sure now whether its the water from the tank or the water from between the glass and foam that is coming out of the little holes in the bottom.

Also I live in the Pilbara and the previous owners didnt look after it at all so there are really bad calcium (like BAD crusty stains) all down the back of the glass. Besides usind a scraper can anyone tell me what is best cleaner to use as I havent wanted to use any chemicals.

May 23, 2011 6:33 PM


Kazza the Blank One said:

I remember when I had more salt in the tank, it used to "leak" over the top!
A vinegar solution might help dissolve the calcium buildup? Maybe?

June 1, 2011 10:58 PM


jimbo said:

Hi, I just brought a 620T off E-bay for $50, it is missing all the pumps & filters as the previous user had a snake in it. Where would be the best/Cheapest & MOST KNOWLEDGABLE!! place to buy these?? Or should i not bother with the originals and go with a non-original pump & filter set up??
........... I'm sure most people by now realise there is a You-Tube video on the proper set up for these tanks.............
I have tried to find the correct(Aqua one) pieces, but it's not proving to easy... so any help would be greatly appreciated
Thanks, Jim

June 5, 2011 5:12 PM


Kazza the Blank One said:

I think Strictly Aquariums sells AquaOne stuff? They're at least reasonably priced anyway. Not sure if they'd sell the individual components you'd need, but you could probably piece something together if you got a power head a spray bar..

June 5, 2011 5:50 PM


Bonnie said:

I have an Aqua One AR-850 aquarium and am trying to replace one of the long white fluoro tubes - it will not turn far enough to meet the open slot and pop out - any suggestions - I am afraid I will break the tube

June 28, 2011 12:03 PM


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July 11, 2011 7:04 AM


Coldwater said:

Has anyone added a UV sterilizer to their AR620 (now called Aqua Style 620)? There doesn't appear to be enough space (spare holes/outlets) in the overhead filter compartment to run two extra 12mm tubes in and out of the tank. I have a Debary 11W UV sterilizer.

August 21, 2011 12:03 PM


Jake said:

What is the best circulation pump to use i have been searching evrywhere! are the rio 2hf's any good? something that is ceramic shafted!

October 23, 2011 1:59 PM


Jake said:

What is the best circulation pump for a 620t I cant find any anywhere, Rio Hyper Flow 2HF? Something Ceramic Shafted! Help Please!!

October 23, 2011 3:16 PM


Tezron said:

this is the address for the Aqua One tanks.
Regards to al

January 12, 2012 2:48 PM


Tezron said:

620 = 90 Lts

This is the address to the Aqua One Tanks
Regards to all.

January 12, 2012 2:49 PM


Coldwater said:

I'll answer my own question about the UV sterilizer. Using a pair of metal snips, I cut away a small arc of plastic from the back panel in the return section of the filter compartment. I ran 12mm tubing from the cabinet up and through the new cutout and down through the hole in the small compartment next to the return section. This tube connects to the water pump that I placed on the back glass below the return (back right hand side of tank). From the Uv sterilizer, I ran another 12mm tube up the back and down through the hole next to the standard filter inlet. This is the outlet. The only extra cable visible from outside the tank is the power cable for the new water pump. The power cable for the Uv sterilizer goes out the back of the cabinet to the power outet and is hidden. The pump is pushing 450 litres per hour through the Uv sterilizer which is cycling the entire water in the tank every 12 minutes. No more nasty micro-organisms and crystal clear water!

February 6, 2012 9:40 PM


Leona Smith said:

I found this site some years ago when needing to set up my secondhand AR620 without any instructions - absolute lifesaver! Since then haven't had too many problems until now. Have developed some sort of sediment/fine particle debris in tank. My filter boxes both have a layer of noodles, black sponge, and carbon (cut from sheet and rinsed in syphoned water from tank at water change). The filter is working as always with a good flow through the outlet. The debris looks a bit like the stuff that collects in the noodles but if it is this why is it suddenly collecting in tank? Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

April 13, 2012 3:28 PM


rob lewis said:

jimbo, i started out the same way, got in touch with the above shop, they sent me a complete new header unit with everything needed.

August 23, 2012 4:43 AM


rob lewis said:

and seeing as some people are not too sure about the recommended set up of the filtration unit, its noodles on the bottom of each compartment, then the black sponge, again, both compartments, followed by the carbon cartridge on top. the carbon cartridges are the 3c pack from aquaone. ive had no problems at all.
my temp is around 24 and i never fill right to the top, i leave about 10mm from the top of the visible screen. all natural plants and bogwood, not nepali. gravel substrate and shit loads of fish. 30ltr water change every fortnight, rinse sponge in rainwater bowser, and carbon change every 2 months.

August 23, 2012 5:06 AM


Jon said:

Has anyone fitted an external aqua one canister filter to their 620/620t? Do you have to modify the hood ie. drill holes? Or will the intake and return fit through any of the hole provided? Thanks in advance

September 26, 2012 9:58 AM


Guv said:

Jon, I am considering doing the same thing to my AR-980. The official word from Aqua One is "To use external filter you will need to modify the existing filter unit. Please note that modifications to tank will void all warranty. "

Not sure if I can post links here. But will give it a go.

This was the best description I could find on the net. It was for an AR-850 but the filter setup is the same.

Scroll down the page a bit on that link.

October 3, 2012 1:04 PM


Tom said:

Hey Jon (sep 26 2012)

I have bought a 620T 8 years after getting rid of my 620.
I ran a Marine setup of 20Kg Live rock with minimal Corals and 4 fish (small Dragon Wrasse, Nemo, Coral Beauty and something else i forget). i also had a coral banded shrimp which looked great as i put it in the tank and just before it hit the bottom the wrasse had its most expensive meal. I made plenty of errors belive me.
Anyway to your question. the best thing i did was i added an eheim pro cannister filter to it. my tank thrived after adding it. it was not easy/ but not too hard to make a few mods. it can be done believe me. I ran it by running the outlet back into the original trickle filter so it was filtered twice. but running it through the trickle filter was more about keepoing the unit looking like it was modified. the trickle was also good for extra oxygen. anyway it does work and it makes it a hell of alot easier to clean with a cannister.
Also, one other tip if you are keeping marine with this tank.
Go to a Hydro store and get them to put a tap in or dont and use a pump system, anways - you it to store new water. saves having to keeping using buckets to disolve salt in. just have a little air stone and pump, add salt check all the levels and you have water that will last and age aswell. makes water changes and absolute breeze and stops you from getting lazy.
Anyway, i bought a 620t earlier this year (got rid of 620 a couple years ago when i moved house and the reef took a beating), i have been running it with standed trickle filter in a tropical planted tank. its taken ages but it doing ok. anyway i have just bought an eheim 2228 cannister for it and going to set this baby on it. (yes over kill but good for a later date when i upgrade tank, plus you can change flow rate) i will let you know how i go. Currently without the cannister on it i have 2 x Dwarf Gourami, 2 x can't remember what are called (surface fish one is yellow look like mini pike) and 6 x rummy nose tetras. i also have 6 by mystery snails. i have a large lava rock wich is now completely covered by java moss, 2 x Anubius on driftwood, 1 x hairgrass and 2x banana lilly.
I;ll let you know how i go with it and how i set it up with a cannister.

November 26, 2012 2:38 PM


tom said:

Wow, i just proof read my last artical, made heaps of mistakes.

Anyway, at the Hydro Store get 1 x 90Ltr Blue drum with Lid

By running the setup i did with the cannister outlet going into the trickle filter the tank did NOT look modded at all. it wasn't until you saw the cannister when opening cupboard that you saw it was.

November 26, 2012 2:44 PM


Sophie said:

Am just setting up new AR620/620T but am not getting water through spray bar. What have I done wrong? Any suggestions would be most appreciated

December 26, 2012 10:51 AM


Guv said:

Hi Sophie,

These may sound like stupid questions, and don't be offended.....

(1) Is the powerhead turned on?

(2) Is water being sucked into the intake?

(3) Is water coming out the top of the powerhead?

(4) have you connected the spray bar correctly? One end is plugged .. it should be at the opposite end from the powerhead.

December 27, 2012 2:48 PM


^SKaVeN^ said:


(5) Did you fill the tank right up to the top of the glass?

December 30, 2012 3:39 PM


Jonny said:

I read about everyone modding the lights in the 620. Was just wondering though, with the 2 stock 18w light are there any corals that would be ok to keep?

March 5, 2013 12:12 PM


Jonny said:

I read about everyone modding the lights in the 620. Was just wondering though, with the 2 stock 18w light are there any corals that would be ok to keep?

March 5, 2013 12:13 PM


SKaVeN said:

My 620T (which I've had running for a decade) has just developed an annoying habit - leaking!

The same place as everyone else's did (i.e. the filter box). I've tried everything (even, as a last resort, replacing the entire filter box) but it still persists. The only way I can stop it is if I have the water level 20mm below the frame so the trickler outlet and the top of the power head are above it. It's really pissing me off (especially wasting $$$ on the new filter box for nothing)!

April 28, 2013 1:24 PM


tom said:

yeah you can have some soft corals which don't need huge amounts of lights. unless you are trying to keep SPS corals you should be fine with a lot of different corals. Yes it only has 2 x 18w PC fluros but it is 12k blue light in the marine/sunlight Pc's.
Mushroom corals, Pachyclavularia Corals, Palythoa Corals, Cladiella Corals, Protopalythoa Corals, Sarcophyton Corals, Zoanthus Corals and Alcyonium. these are low light corals that you can have using the standard lights. I've seem "some" hard corals

You Actually don't need to make too many mods really if you what a saltwater tank with fish and a few corals. is it the best setup (NO) but you can have an awesome tank.

I've converted mine back to saltwater. I have an acrylic stand made up so as I can have a central reef in the middle of the tank 500mm high. basically I've been drilling 22mm holes in the rock and stacking it so as to allow the maximum amount of water circulation through it with NO dead spots. no live rock is touching the glass with only 3 small points were it touching the substrate.

I've used 2 bags of caribsea arag-alive substrate and also bought and installed a vortech mp10. the mp10 is a must I think.

I've kept my canister filter (eheim 2228) purely to have course filter pad, carbon, phosguard and maybe matrix down the track. I wont the live rock to be the biological filter.

I have no skimmer.... yes, no skimmer. I have the return water from the skimmer back up to the trickle filter as it helps with oxygen. in the trickle filter all I have is filter pad to help with micro bubbles and that's it.

Its about what you plan to keep. I don't want a huge array of corals at this stage and when I do I will be buying a CADE aquarium and have all the bits I need ie Skimmers and refugium etc.
You just need to make sure you get good quality subtract/ live sand / live rock (the more porous rock is far better than a big chunk of heavy compacted rock), good quality salt (red sea is good, i'm using coral pro). Test your water etc.

Remember, don't over feed your fish, don't over supplement, keep it pretty simple. but if you want a really elaborate system with heaps of fish etc you'll want a better designed system.

All I want in this tank is 3 or 4 fish (adding each one a month or apart), some snails, a crab, star fish etc. Most people rush the process hence turn around and say you can't do it in these tanks and you need to make a huge amount of mods. but you don't have to if you want something simple.

hope this helps

if you want any photos or more info how to do it email me at

September 23, 2013 10:57 AM


Tom said:

ok so,


in my stock standard ar620t 2 x 18w globes, I am keeping a hammer coral, bubble coral, torch coral, duncans, favia, ricordias and my coralline algae is going off.

that's with, 2 x nemo's, 1 x bicolour blenny and 1 yellow clown goby.
plus, strombe snail, hermit crap and various other snails plus 1 peppermint shrimp.

just using top trickle filter with fine polyfibre then polyfilter, then in second chanmber I have 100mg bag of purigen and 100mg of rowaphos.

the polyfibre I dispose of every 5-7days.

runs amazingly.

However, I do have a vortech pump (mp10), a tunze 6015 pointed at surface, a central wall with 20kg of premo live rock drilled to fit on acrylic rods which give me a central reef (no rock touches any side of glass. I use RO/DI water and red sea coral pro salt.
I have the battery backup for mp10 (great piece of mind).

I generally do a 15% water change weekly. I top up with RO/DI and mix in marine buffer from seachem

I did this over the course of 6 months, so you need to remember to go slow.

It's amazing what you can achieve in a low tech tank s long as you do it right in the first place.

February 25, 2014 12:44 AM


Sooncen said:

hello all. thanks for approved.

November 9, 2018 5:52 PM


Sooncen said:

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November 10, 2018 2:18 PM


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Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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