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Coming back to Freshwater Aquariums -- Need Advice

This is a discussion on Coming back to Freshwater Aquariums -- Need Advice within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron You're most welcome. Watts is only the measurement of the amount of energy a tube/bulb uses to produce the light. ...

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Coming back to Freshwater Aquariums -- Need Advice
Old 12-09-2011, 01:36 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
You're most welcome. Watts is only the measurement of the amount of energy a tube/bulb uses to produce the light. It is not any indicator of intensity (brightness), except when comparing the identical type of tube/bulb. Example, a GE Daylight CFL bulb in 23w will obviously be brighter than the same bulb in 10w. Watts did provide some guidance when all we had were basic fluorescent tubes (T12 or T8) and over moderate-sized tanks with fewer types of tubes. But will all the energy-saving tubes and T5's and such, it is rather meaningless from the perspective of actual intensity of light.



The linked tubes together would probably be good, but a caution: these tubes are replacement for the Coralife fixture, and I suspect only Coralife tubes will fit this fixture. The tubes are noted as being 45.75 inches, and I just measured my T8's and they are longer. So the fixture and tubes may be unique. If you should ever want other tubes, they might not fit. Of course, this is T5 and NO is not easy to come by. Given the higher cost of T5 fixtures and tubes, I would stay with T8. You will have more options for less money.

The Life-Glo is my absolute favourite tube. It give a true rendition of fish and plant colours, close to mid-day sun. Your Sun Glo was very warm, more red in the mix. Fine for plants, but if I am reading you correctly you are looking for more "cool" which brings out blues more. I like such a combo myself, a Life-Glo (= full spectrum) plus a cooler white (higher Kelvin) will achieve this. Instead of the Sun Glo, the ZooMed CoralSun will achieve this. I had this combo over my 90g and liked it. There is also a brand called Lightening Rod, and their Ultra Daylight at 11,000K was a good match with a full spectrum like Life-Glo.

If it were me, to keep more options in tunbes open, and for less money to boot, I would stay with a T8 fixture.
I definitely will keep that in mind, thank you for telling me about your bulb opinions I will also keep that in mind as well. I definitely am trying to get the colors to pop out more, but also have enough spectrum for the plants to grow.


Quote:
This could work, but I would be concerned over the too-obvious salt-and-pepper effect. The playsand is a mix of black, gray, tan, white that looks natural. Adding the pure black Flourite Sand to it might not look so natural. Only a caution, I've never tried this. Personally, I prefer not mixing different substrates. If they are not identical grain sizes, the smaller will fall to the bottom. The other issue is sharpness; I have the Flourite Black regular, and it is too sharp for substrate fish, I had to remove my corys. I've seen the Flourite Black Sand but not felt it, so I would be cautious here too. And it is expensive. The cheapest I can get Flourite is $30 a bag, and it took 6 bags ($180) to do my 70g. Playsand for the same tank was $14. I'm not convinced the Flourite is worth that much more in benefits.

Byron.
Ahh I went for petco's black sand -- I couldn't find a decent place for cheap black sand, so I found 20lb bags for 15 dollars -- bought 4 so that should give me 80lbs. 6x15 = 90 so I'm about 10lbs off, which I may be able to get away with. my previous 90 gallon had only 1inch of substrate so I might not need THAT much, but I'll try to put more sand this time.

I love your pictures and it's giving me great ideas in how to mount driftwood in place. I heard stainless steel plates + screws are best if you want them to stay still and not be roughed around too much. Would stainless steel hurt water chemistry? If not i might experiment by bringing a tank to the office and work on a 10 gallon planted or a 5 gallon planted tank.

One question going back to substrates -- I use to get hydrogen sulfide and I found that it was trapped in the sand below, how can I prevent that without disturbing the substrate? In my past tank, nothing was stable in the planted tank because I had to consistently vacuum the tank's floor in order to get all the waste out.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:01 PM   #12
 
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On the bogwood, I only use Malaysian Driftwood (it may have other names, like ironwood, jetti wood...). Petsmart sell it, other places too. Very dark brown in colour, and heavy--it sinks immediately. Tannins are not too bad, some at first but once they dissipate, that's it. And it is very natural looking, and comes in so many sizes. All the wood in my tanks is Malaysian Driftwood.

I leave my substrate alone, and haven't had issues with hydrogen sulfide that I was aware of. If you read my article on bacteria, in the substrate section is goes into this. Some anaerobic spots are necessary for a balance. Keep the substrate shallow rather than too deep, with sand or fine gravel I aim for 2 inches over the entire surface when flat, then I push some of it up in the back with rocks for the larger swords. It will be shallower at the front, where small or no plants are. With substrate-rooted plants, Malaysian Livebearing snails, and not overstocking the tank, there should be no problems.

Byron.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:16 PM   #13
 
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On the bogwood, I only use Malaysian Driftwood (it may have other names, like ironwood, jetti wood...). Petsmart sell it, other places too. Very dark brown in colour, and heavy--it sinks immediately. Tannins are not too bad, some at first but once they dissipate, that's it. And it is very natural looking, and comes in so many sizes. All the wood in my tanks is Malaysian Driftwood.

I leave my substrate alone, and haven't had issues with hydrogen sulfide that I was aware of. If you read my article on bacteria, in the substrate section is goes into this. Some anaerobic spots are necessary for a balance. Keep the substrate shallow rather than too deep, with sand or fine gravel I aim for 2 inches over the entire surface when flat, then I push some of it up in the back with rocks for the larger swords. It will be shallower at the front, where small or no plants are. With substrate-rooted plants, Malaysian Livebearing snails, and not overstocking the tank, there should be no problems.

Byron.
awesome advice -- I will read up on the bacteria article.

currently my plans to stock the tank are:

5x Clown Loaches << after the tank is a bit more established
1x SAE or 5 Otocinclus' << after the tank is a bit more established
9x Black Ruby barbs (thanks for recommending) << after the tank's initial cycle

Any other recommendations? I want a tank that is going to be fun to look at, but calming.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:41 PM   #14
 
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I would not suggest clown loaches. They will be fine in a 90g initially, but eventually a larger tank (length) will be needed. Unless you have a 6-7 foot tank planned, I would go with one of the smaller loach species. There are several that would be good in a 90g, check our profiles. I happen to have Botia kubotai in my 90g, five of them; had six initially but one died after a couple months and the five are quite a social group so I have no plans to add more of these. There are several similar species. Clowns are also reported to uproot plants, probably due to their size and digging activities; something I have not experienced with my other species in 3 years.

As for other upper level fish, there are so many possibles... . Many of the characins will work (there are a few exceptions, fin nippers and such). If you want a larger "show" fish, not much beats the Congo Tetra. A group of 10 (5 male/ 5 female) creates a stunning centrepiece. I've had this fish twice, once back in the 1980's and currently. Every evening the males will pair up, sometimes 3 of them, now and then even a fourth joins in, and have races full length of the tank, fins flaring. Quite the sight. The Diamond Tetra from SA is very similar but lacking the rainbow metallic colouring, and another good centrepiece fish.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would not suggest clown loaches. They will be fine in a 90g initially, but eventually a larger tank (length) will be needed. Unless you have a 6-7 foot tank planned, I would go with one of the smaller loach species. There are several that would be good in a 90g, check our profiles. I happen to have Botia kubotai in my 90g, five of them; had six initially but one died after a couple months and the five are quite a social group so I have no plans to add more of these. There are several similar species. Clowns are also reported to uproot plants, probably due to their size and digging activities; something I have not experienced with my other species in 3 years.

As for other upper level fish, there are so many possibles... . Many of the characins will work (there are a few exceptions, fin nippers and such). If you want a larger "show" fish, not much beats the Congo Tetra. A group of 10 (5 male/ 5 female) creates a stunning centrepiece. I've had this fish twice, once back in the 1980's and currently. Every evening the males will pair up, sometimes 3 of them, now and then even a fourth joins in, and have races full length of the tank, fins flaring. Quite the sight. The Diamond Tetra from SA is very similar but lacking the rainbow metallic colouring, and another good centrepiece fish.
Ahh, thank you for that suggestion, I might think of a 90g long instead of std size for that then -- only reason would be the other person living in the home likes clown loaches and prefers me to purchase it, otherwise no tank for meh! T_T

I've seen clowns uproot, oh my they are devious at that. I'll definitely look into the kubotai, but the coloration on that is to my liking, but not the other person in the household.

What about killi fish?

Oh I got most of my equipment: (here's the current list)
2x Eheim 300w heater
Fluval 406 Canister
80lbs of black sand from petco
2x40watt T8 fixture + bulbs (2x 10k bulbs)
Found a place that sells malaysian wood for 40 dollars + 6.95 shipping (from small to xl size) http://store.seacorals.net/ << great place to purchase it

Last edited by CamryDS; 12-13-2011 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #16
 
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If those tubes are the ones that came with the fixture, they are probably not much good. They never are, I bought 3 new fixtures over the past year and in every case I bought my own tubes.

Killifish covers a vast number of species with differing habitats and temperaments. I'm not much up on the species but I could probably direct you to good sites. Some might work in a 90g, depending upon other fish; some defrinitely would not, they would be lost in so vast a tank.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:04 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
If those tubes are the ones that came with the fixture, they are probably not much good. They never are, I bought 3 new fixtures over the past year and in every case I bought my own tubes.

Killifish covers a vast number of species with differing habitats and temperaments. I'm not much up on the species but I could probably direct you to good sites. Some might work in a 90g, depending upon other fish; some defrinitely would not, they would be lost in so vast a tank.
Ahh thank you -- I bought additional tubing 2x life glo II's and a power glo as a backup -- the life glow's are T10's saddly -- but they should fit the T8 socket.

hmm, i just figured out how to do a DIY spray bar in 2 directions and I will want to see how that plays out

1st will be from the back of the tank to the front, the 2nd will be from the right to the left. sorta like an L. maybe a 1/2" PVC pipe to 2x 1/2" pvc pipes that are drilled and capped. the one from the back of the tank will point forward and the one from the right of the tank will point to the left. I might even make one lower than the other -- I think that might create the look I want, but it also might cause the tank to look ugly -- i'll see. I want to be able to hide this asap. i'll have a drawing of this up tomorrow to show yah.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:45 PM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by CamryDS View Post
Ahh thank you -- I bought additional tubing 2x life glo II's and a power glo as a backup -- the life glow's are T10's saddly -- but they should fit the T8 socket.

hmm, i just figured out how to do a DIY spray bar in 2 directions and I will want to see how that plays out

1st will be from the back of the tank to the front, the 2nd will be from the right to the left. sorta like an L. maybe a 1/2" PVC pipe to 2x 1/2" pvc pipes that are drilled and capped. the one from the back of the tank will point forward and the one from the right of the tank will point to the left. I might even make one lower than the other -- I think that might create the look I want, but it also might cause the tank to look ugly -- i'll see. I want to be able to hide this asap. i'll have a drawing of this up tomorrow to show yah.
Yes, the T10's will fit. T8 and T10 work in the "regular" fixtures. T5 is the one that does not. Life-Glo is good light, I use this over all my single-tube tanks, and as one of the two tubes in my dual-tube fixtures. The Power-Glo also works, though on its own it casts a purplish hue; combined with a LG in dual-tube it would be fine.

My caution on the two filter outlets is current. In long tanks it is best to have the current from one side to the other, lengthwise. This creates a natural stream flow which the fish appreciate, plus it ensures the entire tank volume is being moved.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:51 PM   #19
 
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Yes, the T10's will fit. T8 and T10 work in the "regular" fixtures. T5 is the one that does not. Life-Glo is good light, I use this over all my single-tube tanks, and as one of the two tubes in my dual-tube fixtures. The Power-Glo also works, though on its own it casts a purplish hue; combined with a LG in dual-tube it would be fine.

My caution on the two filter outlets is current. In long tanks it is best to have the current from one side to the other, lengthwise. This creates a natural stream flow which the fish appreciate, plus it ensures the entire tank volume is being moved.
Ahh I will keep that in mind and use both on one side of the tank, this way it will flow to the other side easily. thank you! There was a nice link to a fluval 405/406 pvc custom setup that I might begin to use.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:54 PM   #20
 
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Setup a 5 gallon tank to test osmocote

I setup a 5 gallon tank at work to test the theory for osmocote

10lbs of substrate, 5 lbs of black sand, 5lbs of river gravel that is in the middle and is splitting the 2 other
I have a few mini swords and some dwarf swords and some crypts now in the tank

Changed the light in the tank from incandescent to a CF - full spectrum lightbulb 10watts. should give me 2wpg.
I will be dosing microbe-lift - bloom and grow every week

Cloudy water is due to bacteria starter (will provide brand later)

But I will be adding fish in about 2-3 weeks, hopefully this will turn out to be a good experiment.

Total cost so far is $150 (including all the extras (plants, light timer, hydor heater, etc)

Any suggestions?


Last edited by CamryDS; 12-17-2011 at 08:56 PM..
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