Set up advice needed.....tank size, etc.
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Old 06-05-2003, 03:51 AM   #1
FishyPlants
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Hi, I am not totally new to planted tanks and have been lurking on this site for quite a while. I have learned alot. I had a fairly successful planted 29 gal tank for 2 years that I took down when I moved to a new house. I am ready to get back to it but I am thinking of going with a bigger tank.
I am taking this approach....I know what fish I would like to have and I have an idea of what type of plants........ I would like to get feed back on the lighting and tank size...and anything else you have to add.

Fish: 2 to 3 Angelfish, small 3-4 group of cories, 1 bristlnose pleco, school of cardinal tetras, and a few ottos.

Substrate: 2 inch flourite and sand base with 1 inch sand top.

Plants: I know I want Amazon Swords, Java Ferns, Crypts, anubias, hornwort (at least until tank is established), other than those listed I am open to suggestions as long as they are fairly low in maintenance. I have no desire for the beautiful, yet high maintenance plants (i know my limits).

Filtration: Cannister filter, leaning towards the Rena series that has been getting good review on this board.

Tank Size: Your suggestions based upon my bioload. I know this is a tricky balance in a planted tank. But what size tank would I need to have these fish in a planted tank without difficulty. If you think I am not realistic and need to cut back on fish I would like to know that too.

Lighting: Your suggestions based upon my plants and tank size.

I am also considering getting a CO2 system. I have used DIY CO2 but over time I could not keep it consistent. I would appreciate anyone's input. Thanks in Advance
Alex
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Old 06-05-2003, 03:02 PM   #2
digger
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I'd go for the biggest tank that can fit in the allotted space and budget.
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Old 06-05-2003, 04:33 PM   #3
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Digger makes a good point, get as big a tank as you can afford. But, to give you a better idea lets talk about this in a bit more detail, there are some things to consider.

1.) Angefish do grow quite large, and thus will need need a tank that is relatively tall to accomodate them (it takes about a year or two for them to get pretty big if you keep them healthy and feed them pretty heavily). You'll also want a tank that is more then 12" wide, so this rules out a lot of tanks.

2.) What kind of lighting are you considering? If you want to keep things simple, a 4 foot long tank is very easy to provide lighting for. You can build something yourself using many 4 foot bulbs which would be more then adequate for your chosen plants. Maybe 4-6 x 40 watt bulbs at most. You could even squeeze a couple of shoplight fixtures over a tank like that if you arent comfortable building anything (its much cheaper then buying those pre-made hoods from your fish store, I wouldnt bother)

If I were you, I might have a few more angels then 2-3, just to keep any one of them from getting singled out and picked on, maybe 4-5?

Based on this, I would recomend a 75-90 Gallon tank. If you can afford it, you wont regret it. A 4 foot tank gives you lots of viewing room, and the 18" from front to back gives the fish enough manouvering space.
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Old 06-07-2003, 02:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. Ideally I would love to have a 75 or 90 gallon tank, but currently I don't have the space for a tank that size where I want the tank. It will be in an upstairs office room. I could handle a 36 inch long tank and I have been looking at available sizes that would work.
I am interested in the 46 gallon bowfront, the 56 gallon (I believe it is the size Buck uses for his Angel tank), and the 65 gallon tank. I would get the most height and width from the 65 (36x18x24) and more bioload capability. My only concern is the extra height and getting adequate light to the bottom of the tank. I was thinking that 2 x 96wt PCs would work.
Any opinions?
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Old 06-07-2003, 03:23 AM   #5
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Hey there Fishy

I run 3x55W pc's (Ahsupply lights) over that 56 gallon (30x18x24) and with that depth I would not trust this to be enough light if you are looking for the higher demand plants.
Since the 65gallon is a 36" tank you would do better with the 2x96's for light. I imagine you could grow more varieties nicely with that.

I have mostly medium and lower light plants in my tank and they do fine.I wanted to keep this tank as maintenance free as I could.

Do a search for "Column Tanks" if space is a determining factor because they are more boxlike and space saving.

Oh yeh...and "bioload" ?
I have 3 Angels, 2 Albino Bristlenose Plecos, 8 Neons, 2 Black tetra's, 1 Black Molly and 11 assorted cories

I know you have heard it a million times allready but "the wallet" , the "space" , and the wife determines my tanks... I say the bigger you get the more you can do with the aquascaping.

Buck 8)
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Old 06-07-2003, 07:55 PM   #6
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Hey Buck,
thanks for your input. Not to kiss your butt or anything, but I am sorta using your Angel tank as inspiration. I like your tank(s) very much.

I intend to keep low and med light plants, but I didn't realize the 65 was so tall. I must have overlooked that. I was concentrating on the 36 inch length. I would prefer the 56 then. Probably will start with 2x55 wt PC lighting.


I have mostly medium and lower light plants in my tank and they do fine.I wanted to keep this tank as maintenance free as I could.

That was my thinking also. When I had the 29 gal running it seemed that I was constantly trimming and rearranging stem plants. I did not enjoy it although many people do. I was thinking of Java fern, java moss, crypts, annubias, swords, with hornwort as my fast grower to suck up excess nutrients initially. Also was thinking of trying Duckweed. Do you have any other suggestions for plants?


I know you have heard it a million times allready but "the wallet" , the "space" , and the wife determines my tanks...

Same here. It is a constant negotiation for tank space and tank costs.

Alex
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:44 AM   #7
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Thx for the compliments Alex...

The only problem I see with the 2x55's Alex is that with the 18" width of these tanks you will have some dead spots in your tank somewhere with lighting... when you mount your lights be sure to have a plan on exactly where you are going to plant.
If you are planning to just plant only half the base size at the rear of the tank and leave the front unplanted then be sure to concentrate your lighting to the rear.
Same theory applies if say your "plan" is to have plants on the left or right side predominantly, then concentrate your lighting there .

55watt pc's for that depth have also done well with the Vallisneria's that I have as well as the Bacopa moneri which I like almost as much as my Angels do! :evil: Them jerks are tearing up my monerri left and right. :lol:
I have Anubias nana that are growing very nice and putting out new leaves and the java moss...well luckily it grows faster then my angels can tear that up as well.
I had a Red Rubin Sword in there but that is now gone , it was stretching for the light and I wasn't impressed with growth.

If I were you I would consider 1 more 55W over the tank, that way there you will have no dead spots and you can do more with the plantings and aquascape.
Or try it out with 2 x55watters and leave room for the addition of another if you see fit or if plans change.
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Old 06-08-2003, 02:44 PM   #8
FishyPlants
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I understand what you are saying. Thanks again Buck.
Alex
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