Thanks for the educational pictures, they're great. I always felt like the information on this site for rainbows was lacking.
As you might have noticed, I am a Rainbow fish enthusiast. I'd be happy to answer any questions on my experiences.
Gorgeous fish and tank!
Bump: So here is the run down on my equipment set up. I like seeing what other people use, so I hope it has interest to someone here.
Filtration: (2) Rena XP3
(Filstar L, 350gph). One on each end of tank. Output to spray bars angled up to create surface agitation. Heavy surface agitation creates well oxygenated water.
Circulation: (2) Hydor Koralia Evolution 600
circulation pumps. Rainbows love lots of water movement. Might add two more for even more circulation.
Heater: Hydor ETH 300 Watt Inline Heater
. One less piece of equipment in the tank. Also use Hydor Hydroset Thermostat as failsafe against cooking my fish.
Co2: GLA PRO CO2 System
, (2) 10lb Tanks. One always filled and ready.
Co2 reactor: Rena XP4
(Filstar XL, 450gph) I was going to build a reactor. As I looked at it more closely, it seemed the flow inside of a canister would do pretty much the same thing. I use only course sponge pads and Bio Balls (no fine filter floss). Basically a really free flowing XP4.
To spread co2 all around the tank, I split the inputs/outputs to have them in both corners. I used an inline diffusor to inject co2 into the intake tube on one side. I pulled out the actual diffuser, and just used the housing. Pic below should help illustrate.
Co2 bubble counter: I donít use one. I use a Dwyer RMA-151-SSV Flow Meter
instead. On a large tank, the bubble rate is so high, I donít understand how anyone can measure it. I started a thread on this, which provides more details.
Must be something better than bubble counter thread:
Co2 Drop Checker: Cal Aqua Pearl Drop Checker
. I know itís overpriced, but I liked the colored reference solution right in the unit. As it turns out, donít really know if I need one at all. Would never rely on it as my only means of estimating co2, but like having it as a secondary visual indicator just to be safe.
Co2 control - American Marine Pinpoint PH Controller
. I know many say it is not needed, but I ended up buying one for several reasons. First, I can keep my co2 flow rate a little higher, so I can bring down my ph more quickly. With a bigger tank, it can take a while to inject enough co2 into the tank. It is also somewhat of a failsafe, in that when the ph gets too low (co2 too high), it shuts off the c02 flow. Itís allowed me to more finely tune my ph/co2 levels. Just be sure to calibrate often. I calibrate every week during regular water change.
Water changes: Quiet One 4000
pump. I believe in regular large water changes. I do about 75% every week, or as low as I can go without the fish freaking out. I believe the easier you make this process, the more likely you will be to actually do it. And your fish will thank you. My sink is about 35í away, so I put the pump in, pump out to laundry room sink, them refill from tap. I have the whole process down to less than an hour. The pump was a great investment. So much faster than a python.