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Possible revamp of my 120g, brainstorming stocking options

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Possible revamp of my 120g, brainstorming stocking options
Old 05-19-2012, 07:47 PM   #11
 
Yeah, I think I've given up on the big fish at this point... I'm just used to big fish now I think! LOL It's been a couple years since I had anything under 8", so the idea of having a big tank and no big fish seems so weird! LOL But I just checked out your tanks and I think I'm good with just smaller fish now! LOL

Tell me more about your plants? I think I read no enriched substrates or Co2 and I don't see ANY algae... I'm intrigued! LOL
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:58 PM   #12
 
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Yeah, I think I've given up on the big fish at this point... I'm just used to big fish now I think! LOL It's been a couple years since I had anything under 8", so the idea of having a big tank and no big fish seems so weird! LOL But I just checked out your tanks and I think I'm good with just smaller fish now! LOL

Tell me more about your plants? I think I read no enriched substrates or Co2 and I don't see ANY algae... I'm intrigued! LOL
The key is balance, at whatever level. I prefer natural with nature doing most of the work. Minimum light, for the fish, and then select plants that will work with that. I've never used CO2, probably never will. You might get a bit of a background to this method in the 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquairum" stickied at the head of the Aquarium Plant section. And don't hesitate to ask questions.

Byron.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:42 AM   #13
 
OK, that approach to planted tanks makes me really happy! I've done plants before, but always med-high light and high maintenance. I'm LOVING the low tech natural approach!

I checked the lights that came with my tank though and I'm seriously dissapointed! LOL I need new fixtures I think LOL... I have 0.3WPG LOL

I do think this project just turned into more than a Christmas project... We're working on a limited budget, so things will move slowly...

Here's my to do list so far:

1) Fix the water
2) Move the big fish
3) strip the tank of decor and gravel, strip down the filters.
4) add new substrate and decor and filter media
5) get new lights
6) add plants
7) gradually add fish and inverts

Do you think adding various particle sizes (sand, fine gravel, and some average size gravel) would help with not being too compacting, but not letting too much water flow through? Would it be worth it to get an enhanced substrate to just put under the more needy plants?
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #14
 
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I checked the lights that came with my tank though and I'm seriously dissapointed! LOL I need new fixtures I think LOL... I have 0.3WPG LOL
What exactly do you have? Fluorescent tube, or incandescent (screw-in bulb) fixture? How many tubes/bulbs? If tubes, how long are the tubes themselves? And is it T8 (regular fluorescent) or T5?

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Do you think adding various particle sizes (sand, fine gravel, and some average size gravel) would help with not being too compacting, but not letting too much water flow through? Would it be worth it to get an enhanced substrate to just put under the more needy plants?
This is not so good. First, mixing different sized substrates will result in the smallest (sand) ending up on the bottom, with the largest on top. This is opposite to what one might want, but benefits of even that are null. I would go either with fine gravel (1-2 mm grain size) or coarse sand (playsand is cheap and works very well). If substrate fish like corys, loaches, etc, do sand.

Enriched substrates I would forget and save your money. I tried this in m y 70g a year ago and have been very disappointed. I honestly will not waste my money on this again. I'm seriously considering pulling it out and using playsand.

A sand substrate than is no more than 2 or 2.5 inches deep overall [= throughout the tank when level] with a good planting of substrate-rooted plants (swords, crypts, Vallisneria, etc) will not have issues. I now have this in 5 of my 7 tanks.

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Old 05-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #15
 
Cool! I like simpler/easier/cheaper! :) Thanks!

The lights are standard fluorescent tubes that came with the tank. They're are two 22" Marineland 18W T8 daylight tubes.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:37 AM   #16
 
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Cool! I like simpler/easier/cheaper! :) Thanks!

The lights are standard fluorescent tubes that came with the tank. They're are two 22" Marineland 18W T8 daylight tubes.
As this is a 120g tank, I assume it is either 5 or 6 feet in length. I would definitely upgrade the light; low light plants will manage, but others will almost certainly not. A T8 fixture with two 48-inch tubes is best. I have this over my 5-foot 115g and it is perfect. Make sure it is T8, the dual T5 (which I tried for a week) will be too much light.

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Old 05-21-2012, 11:43 AM   #17
 
Yep, 5' long. Definitely need to upgrade the lighting LOL. Never even thought to look until now since I have oscars, so that means I rarely bother to turn their lights on since they prefer it dark anyway, and plants would be pointless! LOL

I have the center tank brace to work around, which is why I have the 2 x 22" bulbs rather than a longer one... I had a long light on my 75gal for a while and it warped the center support... that was a powerful light though, maybe that's not an issue with the simple T8s? Or could I do 2 separate smaller fixtures?
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:07 PM   #18
 
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Yep, 5' long. Definitely need to upgrade the lighting LOL. Never even thought to look until now since I have oscars, so that means I rarely bother to turn their lights on since they prefer it dark anyway, and plants would be pointless! LOL

I have the center tank brace to work around, which is why I have the 2 x 22" bulbs rather than a longer one... I had a long light on my 75gal for a while and it warped the center support... that was a powerful light though, maybe that's not an issue with the simple T8s? Or could I do 2 separate smaller fixtures?
I'm not sure if 5-foot fixtures in T8 are available. I have one, it takes two 4-foot tubes as I mentioned, but I bought this in 1996. I've not seen them, not sure what I'll do when this one gives out. The T5 like the Hagen Glo series have extendible arms at the ends so a 4-foot fixture will fit across up to a 6 foot tank, but that is only T5 which is too bright.

Two smaller fixtures would work, but likely cost considerably more. Each would have to take two tubes in parallel.

A single T5 would work, but I believe they are no longer making these, no one bought them. T5 was initially developed for marine tanks to provide more intense light with fewer tubes than T8 could.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:46 PM   #19
 
Could always do a canopy for aestetics and do some diy lights. Affordable and you can make it with perferted wattage and light type.

Sell your current light gathering dust and use that $ for setup
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:25 PM   #20
 
I was thinking about a hood too. I have no issues with DIY and my father is electricity obsessed, so it would be a fun project for him to help us put together. That's a really good idea...

I looked through some lights online and it looks like 48" T8s are 32watts.... That still only puts me at 0.53wpg with 2 of them... Is that really enough? It's a fairly deep tank as well, so I assume I'd need something more powerful?
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