right... i have decided my discus tank aint big enough.... so i have come up with a cunning plan. a bigger tank. i just want to run some ideas past you folk to hear your input (if you have any)
tank = 60"x24"x30" deep bout 150 gal (180 USG) open topped, with an additional 6" surround to stop jumpers
filtration = eheim 2226 to CO2 diffuser, eheim 2026 to fluid bed filter
lighting = 8x55w pll compact fluorescents on over tank pendants
substrate = sand and flourite as a bottom layer
thats the basic plan for part one... going to be planted up with the usual swords, crypts and vallis... as the tank will be open topped, i am also after suggestions for other suitable amazonian plants that will grow above the water line (emergant forms). stock will be 10 or so discus, some corys, large shoal of cardinals, splashing tetras, ancistrus sp.
phase two is where it gets interesting....
using the idea of the algae scrubber from the DPH
site, i plan to pump tank water into a tray above tank level, where i will hopefully be growing orchids, bromeliads, aglaonemas, Caladiums and calatheas hydroponically. i will have another 220W of compact fluoro lighting for this, and using an expanded clay pellets substrate. the tank water will then flow along the sloped tray, where some will get wicked by the clay to provide water and nutrients to the terrestrial plants growing. this will then be returned to the tank via another line at the far end. As the DPH system, the idea is to use these plants to help maintain water quality, and also to provide a complete amazonian type surround to frame the tank. Hopefully some of the plants (philodenrons or maybe passiflora's) will grow down toward the tank to make it look like one setup. These will also act as a spawning site for the splashing tetras.
the above hydro section should hopefully strip nitrates from the water, as well as helping to oxygenate the water as it passes over the porous clay pebbles, although i realise it will also remove the CO2 from the system, but the flow rate shouldnt be so high that i have problems mainatining the correct CO2 concentration
if anyone has any comments then please let me know... all suggestions / critsisms welcomed.