I hope I can become a semi-active member here. So I figure I will say hello and tell you a little about myself.
I do not currently have a planted tank, however I have kept them in the past. The last planted aquarium I had was about 8 years ago I think. I used soil right out of our ranch (70 acres of texas hill country) and capped it with blasting sand. I used straight tap water (incredibly hard here) and ran 4 x 48" NO tubes over the tank in a DIY canopy. I was seriously strapped for cash at the time so everything I did was an exercise in compromise. Shortly after I added a CO2 cannister to the system, I got married, and moved into an apartment w/ my wife (ranch is family owned, not mine) and the apartment had a strict 'no aquariums' policy. So I got out of the hobby for quite a while. I still had to grow something, so I turned my 55 gallon into a terrarium w/ carnivorous plants in it (Nepenthes).
A couple of years ago I moved, and got sucked into the hobby in a different way. I currently have a 120 gallon cube, w/ a 30 gallon sump and am building it up as a saltwater reef tank. that in itself is a major financial undertaking as I am sure you know.
however, my wife has become addicted to goldfish, and she currently has a 20 gallon high that she has overstocked (right under my nose) in her office. She doesn't want to give up any of the fish, and I am sick of taking care of a tank running the razors edge of instability due to her buying those few extra fish.
So, I have decided at long last to jump back into the planted tank hobby. and it appears a lot has changed. I would like to run my plans by you and see what you think.
1) I know goldfish are herbivorous, the plan is to introduce plants to the tank for about 3 months before adding the goldfish an an attempt to allow them to get a head start. all plants used will either be very fast growing, or to tough for a goldfish to eat (like Anubis or swords).
2) ideal temperatures for goldfish limit plant choices as well.
Ok, so without further rambling, here is the plan:
Tank: 110 gallon tall
Background - I plan on doing a variation of the background done on this site.
Stand and Canopy will be custom built (I have become much better at this lately)
Planning on using 2 X 250 watt 6.5 K MH bulbs under reef-optix III reflectors. I doubt the watts per gallon rule applies here since it is Halides and not PC, VHO, or NO bulbs. but it comes out to 4.5 watts per gallon.
- for ease of setup I will probably get a rated kit from someplace like Dr.s Foster and Smith that is appropriate for the system.
I am sooo happy not to have to go dig up soil again. what a pain in the hind end. I am probably going to use Seachem's Flourite as I am a big fan of seachem from their saltwater products.
OK, here is probably where I am going to lose you guys.. you'll see in a second.
Stage 1: Ocean Clear filter w/ UV http://www.aquadirect.com/store/cust...cat=144&page=1
(I haven't decided on what size pump to use to drive all of this)
Stage 2: HIATT Torpedoes --> HUGE MAYBE<---
This part is still up in the air. You are probably scratching your head going 'what are HIATT Torpedoes.
Simple answer that will cause more head scratching: They are long tubes filled with MANY pounds of a specific carbon, Tri-base Pelitized Carbon. This is NOT a super expensive chemical filtration method. TBP carbon is 3 kinds of carbon, very porus, and one of the carbons is bio-available. using the RIGHT NOW bacteria, this method will 'supposedly' give you a fully aerobic nitrogen cycle.
This is not like the eco-aqualizer tubes (bunk). and I have no idea how it works. Here is what I do know:
I have a friend that owns a fish store that knows the owner of HIATT industries. (this is a GREAT LFS BTW). they are running 3 reef systems using this system right now, no skimmers, no sumps, nothing but these tubes of carbon, and it's working. Go figure how. I am still on the fence, I am going to wait about a year to see if these systems crash before incorporating the design into this tank. (if at all) because while I am open to new technologies and methodologies, I am a skeptic at heart.
will probably be around 1500 - 2000 GPH. Planning on having multiple inlets and outlets from the pump filtration system in order to keep large disturbing currents at a minimum. all will be hidden behind that spiffy DIY background linked earlier.
anyhow, that is the basics, what I have thought about so far. I would love to hear some feedback...
oh, and I am not looking to get in a debate over the HIATT systems.
if you want more info on it:
The guy who created this stuff is a chemical engineer working in the waste treatment field, the aquarium stuff is a toatal sideline for him and he won't divulge info on it (red flag of course). that is why my buddies at ths fish store are running tests. (first test they are documenting is a sea horse tank)
Like I said, open minded but skeptical. More interested on your feedback on the more traditional aspects of the tank, and also, whether any of you have kept planted tanks with goldfish before and what your experiences were?