02-25-2010, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tx246
Here is a link the bulbs that I am using. 30 Watt CFL Light Bulb - 120 W Equal - Full Spectrum 6400K - Spring Lamp - Energy Miser FE-IIS-30W-64K Light Bulb
Too much eh? Ill pull three for the time being.
I think I will invest in a canister filter as it has to do a much better job pulling particulates. When you say keep the UGF and use air stones, I am not following. Do I run the air stones under the gravel filter? In my local fish store they have a tube in the middle of the tank and there are tiny bubbles coalescing up it. Im assuming there is an air stone in the bottom.
I have some other work projects so it will be next week before I can continue tinkering.
Here's a calculation. Peter Hiscock writes that a standard rectangular aquarium should have 30-50 lumens per litre of water for plant growth. Your 55 US gallon tank is 208 litres. At 30 lumens per litre, that a total of 6240 lumens. I use the lower figure because I know from Hiscock's book that he suggests more light than I and Walstad and Tom Barr use, double in fact, so the lower figure is more accurate. The bulbs you linked are 2000 lumens each, so three of them should be ample. With floating plants to shade the fish a bit, this would probably work.
Re the UGF, the plate under the substrate has air lift tubes, usually at the rear corners, and your powerheads are presumably attached to those. Remove the powerheads, insert a flexible tube with an airstone at the end down until it touches the tank bottom. The air lift will operate the UGF without creating too much movement. I had this type of filter for years before i switched to canisters, which are better on larger tanks. If you do decide to change to canisters, the tank will have to be basically torn down; you cannot just "stop" the UGF because the bacteria now colonizing the substrate will be starved of oxygen and die quickly (within a few hours) and pollute the substrate and the tank and this can kill fish and plants as it is a sudden increase of nitrogen gas. This is my biggest objection to UGF, if they stop (during extensive power outage for instance) it risks the fish's health. With a canister, it can be unplugged and the filter rinsed in such conditions as an extended power outage.