first, you guys are all sick sick sick. i became immediately obsessed when i took a casual peek inside an aquarium store and saw their huge planted tank showpiece. i was hooked. immediately bought a 29g tank, stand, glass canopy, 2 bags of red flourite, 100w visitherm submersible heather, sticker thermometer, carbo-plus unit, tap water deionizing filter, and a 55w 9325 deg (i think) general electric cf bulb, and the eheim 2213. these were mostly the store's recommendations. cabbed all this stuff home, and got right to work.
this is where the trouble begins. went through red flourite hell. and boy did i rinse. wound up removing the gravel from the tank 2x to rerinse and rinse the tank as well (no small task). in the end i wound up removing the 2 bags from the tank completely and replaced with 3 bags of eco-complete with which i was quite pleased. it handled great, no cloudiness or dust problems with initial tank fill, and none when planting some flora. scratches left on the glass from the flourite ordeal seem like a small price to pay to have my substrate issues resolved. i knew that the red dust would always be on my mind, and on the leaves of the plants for as long as i had the flourite. 30 bucks down the tubes, and another 80 for the eco-complete, but a cold boot was the only acceptable option. i knew i would be seeing red forever.
anyway, then i stumbled on this site and now my real problems began. been staring at the laptop for so long my eyeballs are growing algae. i am a college basketball nut who was oblivious to the fact that championship week was going on. i missed selection sunday completely as well as the sopranos premiere.
this site has taught me 2 things. that i really want to do this, and that it's going to take a LOT more work than i thought. so far it's been more challenging than rewarding. for example, a few days ago i was on the phone with a friend (a physics westinghouse award finalist no less) trying to figure out what the heck kelvins have to do with measuring light. couldn't find anything in on the web and physics books that mentioned this. finally found an article that mentioned carbon heating and went to sleep at 5am.
my concerns now.
what will that 55w 9325K ge cf bulb on a standard 29g tank get my plants to do? my reading tells me my moneywort, hornwort, anubias nana and java ferns will do ok, but what about plants that need moderate to high light? fyi, until i do a few more months of research to know exactly what kind of co2 setup i want, i'm going with the flourish excel. thinking hard about returning the carbo-plus unit after reading some threads here.
will the AHsupply kit for my fixture, accommodate 2 55w bulbs? even though it came fitted for one bulb? if so, is 55w x 2 too much light for flourish excel treatments alone? i have the standard 2-fold canpoly with plastic back. would i need to replace this if i got more than one bulb?should i just junk my fixture to get a higher wattage one? bulb recommendations? how many kelvins?
im looking at the vortex mini reactor also. it says it's good for up to 30g. i love that its so compact and is not such an eyesore/space eater inside the tank. could i use this for my 29g? if so, i'm thinking i'll made some homemade co2 with yeast and do it for a while until i figure out exactly what kind of pressurized system i will use and incorporate the vortex into it. any faulty reasoning here? may even get one for my 10g if i upgrade my 2 spiral cf 15x screw-ins from the hardware store.
i'm just rifling off questions here. please excuse me. i just feel like i did a good job of buying exactly the wrong kind of everything. (bought all this stuff before i found this site). i know that as soon as i post this thing i'm going to realize that i sounded like a stupid little kid in a candy store and become completely embarrassed. any help would be greatly appreciated. i promise to post pics and give updates as my new project rolls along. trying to be optimistic but i can't shake the feeling that i'm going to wind up killing even the driftwood.