what do you think about using "old" stuff and a set-up question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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what do you think about using "old" stuff and a set-up question

A little background (copied from my aquaria webpage):

I have had tanks for the better part of the last ten years. I have had a few breaks which were related to moving (twice) or having a baby (once.) My tanks have been down for a little over a year now (due to a move where the tanks themselves did not survive the long tri-state journey. I was sorely disappointed but decided I would wait until I painted my LR to set them back up (read: purchase new tanks.) Well, here it is a year and a half later and still no paint in the LR. I was getting antsy so I went out and got me a betta and a 2g hex from Petco. Then I found my not-so-local LFS. Then I got bit by the planting bug again. So DH went up in the attic in 100+F heat and got down all my fish stuff (after some begging and pleading.) Well, I started looking through my crates of fish stuff and found my filters, decor, etc. My driftwood is what I am concerned about. It is very faded and dried out. Should I throw it out to be safe or is it okay? Is there any way to "test" it out and see how it does?

Also, I have a friend who wants to give me a 55g tank set up when I am able to get a stand for it. I have never had a tank that large, and it is of course going to be planted. That being said, can you guys point me to some info on this size tank? I have only had 30 gallon tanks and used Aquaclear external filters. Do I need a Bio Wheel? Power heads? I'm in the land of newbie again.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 03:25 PM
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Your driftwood should be fine. Boil it just to make sure. No power filters. They just off-gas your Co2 ( which I'm assuming you are going to want eventually). Go with a canister filter instead. Ehiem being the popular choice followed by Fluval and Filstar, although there are others that might be cheaper although not as reliable.
Make sure you start with a quality substrate and WASH IT WELL! I recently had a problem with a new sand substrate that I didn't wash and it turned into a milky mess in my tank. Had to rip it out, wash it thouroughly and put it back in. When your dealing with 150 lbs of sand, it ain't a walk in the park! Get some fast growing stem plants and put them in there to soak up any excess nutrients that could cause algae to grow and take over your tank.

Lighting is tricky. You might have to set up a plan as to what you want to keep and grow in your tank. 2x65 watt compact flourescents bulbs over a 55 gal will give you roughly 2.3 watts per gallon which would be enough to grow plants with a little fert and Co2. I would look into the lighting forum and get a feel for what you might need.

That's all I can really think of for now. I'm sure you'll get lot's of responses on this though!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 11:44 PM
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Take a few minutes and read my Guide. A canister filter is the best choice for a 55 gallon tank.
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