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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Question 25 Gallon Fantasy

Hereís what Iíve gotÖ

This week I scored a 25 Ďtallí SeaClear acrylic aquarium (black background) with Eclipse hood (2 bulbs) plus about $100 worth of supplies for $60 through a craigslist.org ad. The tank was pretty badly scratched, but a couple hours of hand rubbing with Novus #3 and #2 polish ($8) and the thing is practically good as new, especially with water in it. (I was actually really shocked by how great this stuff worked and went back to Tap Plastic today to thank them. They were grateful for the feedback, as they had been selling it only on the manufacturerís marketing claims until today.)

While I was out and about I also picked up 50 pounds of really lovely silica sand from a local hot tub and swimming pool shop here in Seattle for $12.95 (my other tanks all have Fluorite). Iíve read that filter pack can vary by area--some ugly, some nice. This stuff is from up north in British Columbia and has a soothing tan-brown color. I can post pictures or scans if anyone is curious to see this stuff up close.

The partial planÖ

Weíre a TV-free household, so this tank will be a focal point in our living room.

Iím planning some basic modifications to the filter (replacing the carbon and blue media stuff with a Fluval 204/304 sponge, which I purchased today, and adding a turbulence-minimizing return tube) but Iíd like to avoid jacking up the light, at least for now. Since this thing only puts out 30W stock, Iím just barely going to be north of 1W/Gallon.

My questions and concernsÖ

Iíd love to get input from yíall on how you might approach making this into a peaceful planted community aquarium.

Iím considering low light (obviously!) plants such as Anubias, Crypts, Java Fern, African Bolbotis, etc.

Can you recommend other plants that can thrive in such low light?

I have a Nutrafin yeast CO2 setup with ladder diffuser that Iím thinking about adding to this tank. I read a fascinating 4-part article at tropica.com that leads me to believe that itís actually beneficial to add CO2 in the absence of Ďbrightí light. This seems to run contrary to the popular view that you donít need to inject CO2 until you are over 2.5W/Gallon. Thoughts?

Basically, imagine that someone just dropped this tank in your lap, told you that adding more light was not an option, and invited you to make the very most of it. What would you do?

I welcome all input, and I donít plan to purchase any flora until my plan is fully formed, so this is your chance to shape the look of my living room! (If I take your advice, you are automatically invited over for beer, wine and general revelry and, of course, planted tank talk.)

Iíll post pictures as this thing evolves.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 06:05 AM
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co2 helps in any situation, get it if you can.

actually, pretty much nothing will grow in that light, not even 'low light plants'

You're in my heart, you're in my soul, you'll be my breath should I grow old
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 07:04 AM
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not true at all

I have 33 gallon that has one 25 watt poweerglos tube on 24/7. This tank is etup with poolfilter sand mixed with tms. It also has a river tank setup which has very high current with unidirectional flow and 2 ac 200's on it.
Anyhow it grows plants very slowy but nice looking.
It has right now rotala indica, water sprite , hygro siamensis and stricta, cabomba!! and mayaca fluvilatilis. I dose not ferts just feed the fish 3x a week.
Anyhow it can be done.
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with pressurized c02 jebo 828 , 9w turbotwist uv. up-aqua co2 atomizer16/22
& small yoyo and striata loaches and praecox rainbows.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 08:12 AM
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hoffboy

Sorry to revisit the lighting- but if this is the larger eclipse hood (24") there was a kit from custom sea life that was a direct bolt in. I bought it (with the 50/50 light) which has moved from tank to tank so just know there is a turnkey "upgrade kit."

[dream mode/]I have been saving some old anubius (the biggest is taking over half of my 20 gal sump) for just in case I came across a deep tank. I would add a strong vertical piece of bog wood with the anubius tied on<or a really cool background>. For fish I would either use a pair of rams or thread fin ranbows as they are small, colorfull, and active.[/dream mode]

So what your tank has going for it is that it has the foot print of a 20 but is taller (24"L x 12"W x 24"H) so the traditional for-mid-background are right out. I will have to think about this for awhile though as t(thinking) >> t(typing)...

Attempt one for automatic invite: I think you should fill it with lots of plants!
%: Now lets see if he takes that advice!

Moved to Tucson.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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I realize that 1.2W/Gallon isn't much, but I've got 10G @ 1.5W/Gallon (like many typical fishkeepers) and the plants grow, albeit slowly. Thanks, I will take your advice and add the CO2 to the new setup regardless of how much light is present.

Botia I'm curious to know how long your 33 has been thriving and if you're a cory lover? (The river theme was my clue...)

BlueRam, this canopy takes standard 18" T8 bulbs. I'm going to take that advice and use lots of plants, so your invite is secured!

Thanks all for the initial thoughts. One of the better online plant shops should sell a "Low Light" special, don't you think?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 11:02 PM
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how long?

Here is picture of it. It has been setup for about 2yrs now in various states of aquascaping. The current plants are about 6 months old in there.
I just kinda of planted them where they would stay.
No not cories this is/was a hillstream loach tank unfortunately they have short lifespans and I don't have many left in there so it also has 2 weather loaches, pepper loaches, burmese sand loaches and a few hillstream loaches.
Botia

"Botia I'm curious to know how long your 33 has been thriving and if you're a cory lover? (The river theme was my clue...)"
Here is a river tank style setup example, mine is a little different but sam idea.



15 tall
with pressurized c02 jebo 828 , 9w turbotwist uv. up-aqua co2 atomizer16/22
& small yoyo and striata loaches and praecox rainbows.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 04:07 AM
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I think the lighting would be fine for low light plants like anubias and lilly bulb plants.

THis is what i managed to do with only one 20 watt strip on my 29 ( .69 wpg ).



Although the lighting was dismal to say the least when factoring in the tannins from the driftwood and the depth of the tank, a trio of amazon swords grew in fairly well when placed directly under the light. But it took a good month or more (depending on the plant) for them to settle in and grow nice leaves. I have since upgraded to a 65 watt PC. Just wanted you to know that it is possible to keep your present lighting to have a nice low light planted tank. Just don't expect the plants to thrive like in a higher light setup.

A little forest of anubia nana's for the forground with larger leafed anubias in mid to back with some wood would look nice. My friend has a 125 gal tank and about 1/3 of it is a anubia 'forest' and i was quite impressed with how good it looked.

Just try it out as a low light tank to see if you like it. You can always retrofit the light if it you want to increase the variety of plants later.

Have fun with your tank.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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supaoopa, thanks for the encouragement and photo. Of course, the fact that you ended up jacking up your light makes me think I should stop kidding myself and spring for an upgrade. The void between the filter and stock light area on the Eclipse canopy is just BEGGING for a haxie. That said, you tank above looks great. I have always really liked the tannins that bog wood emits, and R. Heteromorpha for one LOVES it.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 04:33 AM
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If you stick with anubias, java ferns, and lilly's I think you would be good. I upgraded because i wanted the chain swords in the foreground to grow in a bit and also to try some stem plants like bacopa, rotalla, and wisteria in the tank.

ANyways, good luck.

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