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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:07 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 87
Originally Posted by Liacon View Post
This is really helping me, so thank you. Just to address a few things:
1. I like the look of discus (they're my favorite fish), but after researching a bit about them, I have to agree with you guys that they're too much work for me.
2. I'm really struggling about canister vs. Hang-on. My stand would be better with hang-on's because its empty under-neath, so if I got the canister, I would also have to buy a different stand which would cost much more $. The flip side is that, as you've pointed out, canister's are better in pretty much every regard.
3. Thank you Diana for the width idea- what does everyone else think? Does it make for better scapes?
4. In the end, I still don't know about lights or substrate. A few more opinions and I think I'll be ready to choose some out.
5. I'll get a suction cup thermometer, I just already had a stick on from my bettas tank
6. Thank you all again. With the things I learned from you guys, I think I could write a book.
1. Great.
2. I'd go either way. Hanging a dark (black?) sheet under the aquarium can hide underneath discretely and provide opportunity for storage.
3. Right on Diana. The smallest dimension is usually the most limiting factor.
4. Anything is possible if planned properly. Suit these to the plants you are interested in keeping.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 09:52 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 87
The more you define what you want to yourself the better prepared you can be to get it close to right the first time without unnecessary expenditure. (It's never really right)

There is such a wide range of directions to go with a new set up.

Some other types of considerations...

Black or tea water, stone enhanced, wood enhanced, themed, large center piece (living or non), terraced, various substrate areas, riverscape, partially emerged/waterfall, geographically authentic, near natural, organic, rapid plant growth, cold water, max color (fish, plants, lights), still water (not exactly, just the surface), bubble paradise, high metabolism (biofilter), brackish water, automated, solar/wind powered, greenhouse water supply, community, single species, single fish, fish/plant breeding, others I would hesitate to suggest, and on and on...
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 01:46 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,056
One option for lighting is to get a dual/quad bulb set up on separate switches - if you start out low tech/low light use one or 2 bulbs and if you decide to go with higher lighting later on use them all. This way you don't have to replace the entire fixture later on as your needs/wants change.

Personally I think it's much easier and less frustrating oeverall to start out low tech if you are unsure about what you really want and how much time and money you are willing to put into the hobby.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:33 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 87
Right on wendyjo!

Many children start with a basic small tank with no heater or light, stocked with White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Hornwort or other non demanding floating plants and easy to clean ornaments.

This hobby is as simple or complicated as you choose to make it.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:43 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,993
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
55 gallon: Too narrow front to back. If you can handle the 4' long, then look for the widest (front to back) tank you can fit in that space. The wider the tank the better the layout.

Filter: If you want a Hang On Back style, go with the Aquaclear product line. These have the best arrangement of media.

Yes, the more front to back depth the better if you space will allow.

I like the Aquaclear for the large Media box. I also like that the AC 20 to AC 70 Impeller are interchangeable to offer additional flow speed options (per an email from AquaClear)

The simpler you can run design the system the more time you'll have to enjoy your tank.
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