120g to be freshwater? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-11-2008, 05:16 PM
Some start immediately or at least quickly. They feel that getting some nitrate hogs into the tank early on will help with the cycling process, at least keep them down and keeping the fish less stressed if using a "live" cycle with fish. I am one of those that feels that waiting a bit is better. By adding plants early, I feel that having plants, which use nitrates as a food source, diminish the development of the bio-bed. Just my $.02.

And no you cannot, or should not, use the sand from the saltwater tank in the freshwater tank. The residual salt would, or could, be fatal to most freshwater fish.

The filtering system I suggested is a redundant system. Those redundancies allow for some neglect and failure of individual components. Leaving the tank alone for the weekend would not hurt. Feeding could be scheduled to compensate to your absence. Lights could be placed on timers so that the lighting schedule would be controlled automatically. I must say, that if you set this system up as we have discussed, many here will be in total envy. Including me. I have most of my tanks set up this way. It allows me to enjoy them and not be working on them all of the time. The only problem I would see, is leaving it for an extended time. Feeding could be done with timed auto feeders, should this become a necessity.

Water changes will still have to be done. Filters still need to be maintained. Plants will need fertilized. And fish will have to be fed. But, this has the potential of being one awesome tank. Planted tanks with driftwood always makes a nice presentation.

And if you really decide to go "full goose gonzo" you can add CO2 for the plants. Nice touch, some swear by it. It is effective. But, is not cheap, and it is not real necessary unless you intend to propagate some of the plants or have some kinds of plants.
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-11-2008, 05:50 PM
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This is a great thread! Just thought I'd chime in.

The other benefit of a co2 system is that it inhibits algae growth. If you're looking for a low maintenance tank, that's certainly a great thing. Plus, it will make your plants flourish.

I wanted to recommend a particular fish for your tank. I think a shoal of Boesmani rainbows would look really incredible in the tank. They're happiest in groups, but they're on the biggish side for a shoaling species (4-6"), so you need a large tank to keep them at their best. They're plant friendly, and will readily eat flake food.

Also, I'd recommend putting some cherry shrimp in there as well. They will eat algae and are great little cleaners. Plus, they're a shocking bright red, so kids will look at it and go "cool! a shrimp!". I always like to put critters in other than fish because people don't really expect to see them.

One tip I've picked up that I thought I'd share with you. I assume if you went out of town for a week that someone else in the office could feed them? If so, I always measure out the food in a days of the week pill box. That way there won't be any overfeeding disasters, which is the #1 killer of fish when people are on vacation I'd say.
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-11-2008, 06:09 PM
Allow me to add to okiemavis' post. If you add shrimp, you will want some algae growth. Many are great little janitors and are algae eating monsters. All of this needs to be considered BEFORE committing to the setup. If you have shrimp, CO2 may not be an option that you will be able to have. But, then again...

The red cherry shrimp are really neat. But other choices are out there too. There is a wide price disparage between some of the species. Also, some cannot be stocked in the same tank as they will cross breed and you will end up with some mighty ugly offspring. Here is a link for you to look at a few species.
http://www.theshrimpfarm.com/index.shtml .
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-11-2008, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I certainly want some Cherry Shrimp, driftwood, and plants.

That is all the further I have gotten.

I need to go purchase some sand and an undergravel filter so as soon as this guy picks up the live rock I can get a move on with this cycle!
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-11-2008, 09:11 PM
Whoa!!!! Halt!! Don't go!!

I don't like sand, especially in planted tanks with undergravel filters. the two don't mix. Sand is too fine and will plug the filter plate. If EcoComplete is too expensive for the budget, use fluorite/gravel blend. Get a finer gravel, but make sure tht it is large enough not to pass through the slots of the filter plate. The flourite comes in a red/black blend and you should be able to find gravel to match. Remember, darker gravel will keep the fish more at ease. Which is one of the reasons I use EcoComplete. Black or charcoal gray seem to do best.

If you must use sand, nix the underground filter. We will discuss a different strategy for the substrate.

I would also recommend the Perfecto filter plate. It is convoluted and looks like ^^^^^^^ when viewed from the end. It allows better flow and a better base area for the bio-bed.
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post #16 of 21 Old 05-12-2008, 11:56 AM
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Another option is go with Laterite mixed with regular river run LFS aquarium gravel. Provides a lot of nutrients. It is also the same stuff that is in fert tabs, root tabs and spikes that provides a lot of good stuff for your plants.

Filtering options, I see HF has already given his thoughts. 8) Lot of filtering options. If it was me, I would have 1-2 canister filters and 1-2 HOB filters. The canisters would be at the ends with the HOB's in the middle with all of the flow coming out in the middle as much as possible, or visa versa, canisters intake in the middle with the HOB's intake at the ends and outflows at both ends. This creates a very well circulated tank that also provides so slower flow areas for both fish and inverts to rest in.

If money was not an issue, I would use 2 canisters rated for 100 gallons and 2 Aqua clear HOB rated for 80+ gallons. The AC would have sponges and some sort of biomedia in them like Biochem stars and the canisters would be stuffed with mechanical media. Might even pre screen the AC with a sponge filter so they work primarily as biological filters and use nothing but Biochem stars, ceramic rings and other biomedia in them.

Sand, IMHO, more hastle than it is worth. Compacts terribly, can have dead spots in it and just can be a pain. I don't know that I would recommend it for any FW tank. River run gravel will serve you better in the long run with Eco Complete being the best plant substrate choice.
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-12-2008, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Don't worry, I only said sand out of habit because of all the sw tanks =) I was never actually planning on sand!
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post #18 of 21 Old 05-12-2008, 04:21 PM
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Eco-complete is awesome! I'd really recommend going with that. On the other hand, laterite can make a messy, muddy sludge out of your substrate. Be forewarned that it can be a big pain.

I spend so much time defending sand on this site! I've got play sand in my 6ft planted tank and I love it. However, it is slightly more work, and it's definitely not a good idea with an UGF. Mostly you just need to make sure the sand doesn't compact, which means not skipping vacs. Other than that, I have no problem with it clogging my filter or anything.
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post #19 of 21 Old 05-12-2008, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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I just have to say that everyone on this site is wonderful (so far!) I normally post on another site... and they are always out to slap people on the wrist instead of give them a helping hand. Not to sound like a baby or anything =)
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-13-2008, 09:03 PM
This thread went gonzo for a bit. Been a couple of days how are things going?
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