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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Need help with new ideas

OK, so we're (family) going to be getting a new tank to replace the old 29gal. Right now we're looking at a size of 30x18x24 or 30x24x24. Something like that. A few questions:

1. Are there any low-light plants that can grow and flower above water?
2. Are any of the flowers poisonous/toxic to cats?
3. My mother and I were discussing lighting options right now. She doesn't like canopies, I don't mind them as long as they aren't out of proportion or distracting. We had an idea of running a small metal wire/rod arc over the tank and using some kind of pedant light suspended from that arc. Almost like a kind of track lighting. This would be fairly inconspicuous in that it would allow for an open top aquarium, but I'm concerned about light output. The tank will be at least 24" deep and my plans were to keep some low light plants around the center - crypts, java fern, anubias, moss, maybe a sword...the typical low light plants. The problem is that I can't think of anything that would be inconspicuous AND get enough light to those plants. I showed my mom the Coralife fixtures and she did not like them at all. If there is no way to do something like this, I'll just build a canopy with an AHS 1x95 or 2x55 depending on the width of the tank.

Any ideas? Thanks!

- Erik
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 01:50 AM
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What kind of cat do you have that doesn't like to bake on top of the tank lights??

In our house, any large open top tank would very quickly result in a wet cat!

Also, in my mind, cats and electrical appliances over volumes of water do not mix! Just something to consider...

Of course, YMMV!

--Rebecca

72g bowfront, 3.6 wpg, 100% Eco-complete, Eheim 2026 & 2213, Pressurized CO2 w/JBJ Regulator & Milwaukee SMS122 pH controller, TurboTwist 12x UV Sterilizer

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
1. Are there any low-light plants that can grow and flower above water?
Many of the Aponogeten's will and they will do it often. Another plant would be phyllanthus fluitans, its a floating plant that gets a bunch of tiny white flowers when its happy, it also has long red roots , its a pretty plant
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 04:04 AM
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I agree with Rebecca- lights hanging over the tank with a cat in the house? Do you want the lights to fall into the tank... lol!! In all honesty, I've never heard of an aquatic plant that is poisonous to cats.

I think you said they aren't, but just to clarify, are strip lights an option- the kind that come with the tank?

Also, Buck's suggestion is good- I have Apon.'s, and they flower often, even in my tank that doesn't have huge light.

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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I think I talked my mom out of an open-top tank. It's a nice idea but for the hassle of designing the lighting system and worrying about the cats falling in, it's just not worth it for a few flowers every now and then. The other option is a 4" canopy and 1x96 AHS kit.

- Erik
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 05:01 PM
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How about coralife CF's or MHs? They maken this one version that's about the size of two index cards and it is held by an adjustable bracket. Very kewl looking.

Pendant fixtures - how high were you wanting to suspend them? I know you can do it so the cats can't get at them.

And my cats - I dunno if they're just weird - take no interest in fishing. I leave betta bowls and buckets of fish all over the house. They've never been tipped over or messed with. I've had the occassional punctured bag. My cats just like to drink the fish-flavored water.

But definately I would say open top tanks are beautiful.

Some of the nymphaeas will flower once they reach the top. They make a cool viney jungle underwater.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 05:02 PM
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Wait a minute! Are you guys suggesting that a cat + electricity + water does not equal a positive outcome?

<dnr>
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tessoci
In our house, any large open top tank would very quickly result in a wet cat!

--Rebecca
That is what I thought here too, unfortunatally they learned to jump up and balance on the rim. . .I really wanted them to take a swim and then leave the tank alone but I found 2 inch squares of duct tape layed across the area they jumped up on to be fairly effective
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 06:35 PM
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just imagining a cat trying to jump from my staircase to the top of my mh pendent. There is only one possible result in such a foolish endevor - wet cat with hot paws.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahbobarah
How about coralife CF's or MHs? They maken this one version that's about the size of two index cards and it is held by an adjustable bracket. Very kewl looking.

Pendant fixtures - how high were you wanting to suspend them? I know you can do it so the cats can't get at them.
Do you have a link to the Coralifes you're talking about? I showed my mom their Aqualight CF fixtures, but she didn't like them. Too noticeable. The T5s might be a little better visually, but it's not enough power.

Is there anything that could be done with halogens?

- Erik
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 02:30 AM
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Here's the Coralife fixture I was talking abou. You just attach it to the rim. From my experience with my coralife fixtures, they're pretty stable.

Or you could use a 150 watt output pendant like people use with reef setups.
I saw a halongen lamp growlight setup at an LFS and they're plants were super awesome.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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If we had a kudos system here, I give all mine to you Sarah. That Coralife clip-on fixture is ultra dank. Pricey, no doubt, but that's definitely a front runner. Is it possible to get that lamp in lower wattages and temps?

- Erik
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 01:05 PM
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A month ago (or so) was talking with the lfs. The mentioned that they thought the coralife would be coming out with a more plant friendly light soon (think it was just a spectrium issue - but might also have been a watt issue - 150watt was a little less than I wanted at the time). I have a reef style pendent - I like the looks, but am too new to this to give any usefull opinions as to it's effectiveness. I will say it is costing more than I thought - since I just had a premature bulb failure and am in the process of trying to get the actual pendent repaired (socket damage). Initial setup was a hair under $300 for the pendent - but I guess diy can do that cheeper.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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A 6500K or 6700K light would be great but there is a 10000K available right now. Do you think the light would work for a tank footprint of 30x24? It doesn't seem to extend out very far, although I could DIY something together.

My mom wants a tank that's really different. Different in the sense of being an open top with flowers on the surface. Nyphaea and barclay longfolia are definitely candidates for this, as are Aponogeton ulvaceus, some of the swords like red flame, and possibly the Phyllanthus fluitans Buck mentioned. The trick is having plants that will flower readily, easily.

Does anybody have (or can find) pictures of open top tanks with good emersed growth?

- Erik
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 04:19 PM
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Little off topic about your lighting issue but from now on I think you should start all your posts:
"Hello, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from some exciteing threads, such as..."

BTW, if you are looking to see some really good emmersed growth the MH pendants would be the best way IMO. But they may have to be hung too high to fit the req's you have. Most of the tanks that I have seen that have a lot of emersed growth tend to have that type of system. PCs seem to be too low to the water's surface to allow a lot of growth to come up and out of the tank.

Only two i could find after a brief look through the last few years of AGA entries.
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...0&vol=3&id=127
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...=0&vol=3&id=78


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