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cloudy tank help

This is a discussion on cloudy tank help within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> 24" 20w flouresent it came with the tank but willing to switch if need be for the plants. also i have the sinking waffers ...

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Old 05-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #11
 
24" 20w flouresent it came with the tank but willing to switch if need be for the plants. also i have the sinking waffers but the tiger barbs pounce on it and wont let the shark get to close.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:43 PM   #12
 
i have a one 24" 20w flourecent light if need be ill bye a new one for the plants. also with the plants do i just bury the roots in the rocks off my tank or is there something special i need to buy.
i do have sinking tablets but the tiger barbs sworm on them and the shark never has a chance to get them.
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:58 PM   #13
zof
 
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for 45g tank thats way under, 20w / 45g = .44 watts per gallon, most recommend 2-4 watts per gallon but anything over 1 should at least keep low light plants alive but they might not have much growth, I suggest you take a couple hours and read over the guide and posts in the freshwater planted area of the forums. And understand when picking plants it is just as involved as picking fish, each type of plant likes its own specific requirements, some will want fine substraight others more aerated while others will grow on rocks, take a couple of hours and start reading.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:17 PM   #14
 
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First, to clarify the watts per gallon. For 20 years I have maintained lush planted aquaria with less than 1 watt per gallon. Anyone who doubts this should take a look at the photos under my "Aquariums" at the left under my ID name. There are two 40w tubes over each of those tanks, a 70g, 90g and 115g respectively. And I don't think there is much wrong with my plant growth. I still read articles in AFI and TFH about "you can't grow plants with less than 2-3 watts minimum" and I shudder. That is simply inaccurate.

Now, down to business to help eighty80. How long and wide is your tank? I want to get a better understanding of how the light covers it in terms of surface. I will suggest some tubes then. And plants.

Also, by "rocks" I am assuming you mean the gravel, which we call the substrate? Is is regular aquarium gravel, or larger? This is important too, so I need to get an idea of what sort of substrate you have.

Trust me, you can have a beautiful planted aquarium with the light fixture you have, and probably the gravel. But to ensure success, I need to know the details. There is a 4-part series of articles at the head of the Aquarium Plants section of this forum, what we call "stickies" because they are general guides. It explains the principles behind what I call the natural planted aquarium [I wrote them]. Have a read for background.

Byron.

P.S. Redtail sharks have a somewhat aggressive nature; I suspect if he gets annoyed at the barbs he will let them know it. Just make sure enough sinking food gets in to satisfy them and leave some for the shark. I always feed the flake first and let the upper fish eat a bit before I drop in the sinking food; they are less likely to go after it immediately.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:30 PM   #15
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I refer to the expert ^

I agree the watts per gallon thing does seem out of whack.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:39 PM   #16
 
thanks for the help my tank is 12x24x36 the rocks in my tank are your regular gravel with a very smooth surface. i will read your stickies later tonight. again thanks for the help.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:40 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zof View Post
I refer to the expert ^

I agree the watts per gallon thing does seem out of whack.
Very kind, thanks. And, before I forget, a hearty welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping.

The watts per gallon is useful as a starting point if one is talking about regular (T8) fluorescents; but with all the advanced tubes that have higher intensity, the wpg doesn't stand up. And it has been slow to get some of these people to realize that many plants will grow fine with less light. I came onto this aspect because I wanted dimmer light for the fish; forest fish come from very dimly lit waters, and bright aquaria stress them out. Also the type of plants is important; some need more light than I provide, so I don't try to grow them.

Byron.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:50 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eighty80 View Post
thanks for the help my tank is 12x24x36 the rocks in my tank are your regular gravel with a very smooth surface. i will read your stickies later tonight. again thanks for the help.
You are certainly welcome.

My 33g is 36 by 18 by 12 and I have one tube over it. No problem with most plants.

You could go with a full spectrum tube by Sylvannia, Phillips or GE, available in hardware stores; these will have around 6500K of colour temperature (the Kelvin number designates the "colour" of the light, something that will make more sense when you've read the articles). These tubes have names like daylight, daylight deluxe, etc. However, if you don't mind the additional cost, with a single tube over a tank that is 24 inches deep you could go with a Hagen Life-Glo tube. These have a special coating on half the inside that reflects the light more intensely out the opposite side. I personally think you can manage either way.

For plants, the swords (Echinodorus), crypts (Cryptocoryne), Vallisneria, Sagittaria, Anubias, JAva Fern, Java Moss (on the wood), would work, and some of the stem plants; these latter tend to need more light, but Pennywort does well in less and some of the Hygrophila do as well.

You'll probably have more questions along the way, don't hesitate to ask.

Byron.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #19
 
almost done reading your articles there very informitive and to the point. easy to read. i came across were you state that biological filters could be bad for plants. i have a undergravel filter with 2 power heads this is considerd a biological filter right? if so will i need to turn off the power heads in order to have live plants.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:54 AM   #20
 
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You definitely don't want to be using an UGF in a planted tank. They have enough problems as it is (without using them in a reverse flow setup, anyway) but in a planted tank they're even more problematic due to roots.

As for your shark, they're also mostly herbivorous and do a lot of grazing on algae so it's not really uncommon to not really see them eating much yet still being nice and fat and healthy. That said, you could try getting the barbs to one end of the tank via flakes and then dropping the algae wafer on the other end of the tank toward the shark. You could also try feeding the shark right before you turn the lights out as he'll have a much easier time finding it in the dark than the barbs will.
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