What is the best way to tear down a tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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What is the best way to tear down a tank

Ok so i have a 54 gallon corner tank that is currently just a fish only tank with some driftwood and fake plants. I would really like to turn it into a planted tank. Here are my specs:

I have a coralife 24" lighting fixture 2 65 watt bulbs
Ehiem cansister filter 2215/2217 classic


What kind of lighting would this give me and is this a high tech tank? Also what c02 would you all recommend?

The fish i currently have are:
2 baby discus
3 green koreys
1 swanfaldi barb
3 rainbows
2 rosey barbs
2 flaming gouramis


Would all of these be compatible in a planted tank or would i have to get rid of some. I kinda want to turn it into an all discus tank but i dont feel right about abondaning these fish.



My last question is how would i remove all of the gravel since i will probably be repacing it with eco complete and have some harscape based around a huge piece of braching drift wood and some rocks. After the tank is stripped bare should i wash it and how would i go about doing that?


Sorry for the many questions but your help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 04:52 AM
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Hi Drifty.

I'll clear out your fish first.
Swanfeldi is Barbus schwanfeldi or tinfoil barb. That fish is out of the question for a 54 gallons planted tank. They need to be kept in shoals and will grow to 12 inches. Worse, they will turn your plants into salad. Tinfoils are also incompatible with discus due to their constant movements which can stress the discus.

As for discus, what is the size of the discus you are planning? Take note that you have to buy 4 or more, not just a pair where the risk of aggression is always there. Allow 10 gallons per fish on discus. Your tank could accommodate only 4 of them. 2 is not advisable as they tend to be aggressive against each other.
Add your cories to possibly 6 rather than 3.

What rainbows were you referring to? I suggest you try Melanotaenia praecox. They are rather small at 6 cm and will spawn alot if given the best water conditions.

Flaming gouramis apparently are dwarf gouramis(Colisa lalia). They should be fine provided you got the correct pair. Females are rather drab or silvery in color. Males are more colorful.

Rosy barbs should be ok. They tend to eat hair algae which is a plus to your tank.

Edit:
I'll add that you may want some otocinclus cats to eliminate green algae. They are better than plecs IMO although they can be a little delicate to tank water conditions. Apistogrammas will suit perfectly in your tank along with some tetras instead of just barbs and rainbows.

Just go on removing the gravel and everything else and replace them. No need to strip down the whole tank unless you want to move it to another location.

Pls post a list of what plants you want. Some will require high lighting. This may be useful.
1 wpg(watt per gallon)-low lighting
2 wpg-moderate
3 or more-high lighting

If you want carpet plants, high lighting is your best bet. High lighting requires CO2 so you may need 3-4 65-watts light tubes. Any plants requiring subdued lighting can be placed under shady areas or plants like the Nymphaea stellata.

I can't comment anymore about plants other than the fish although I'll be glad to assist you if you have more questions.

Good luck.

~Lupester

Let the loach and snail assimilation begin!

Last edited by Lupin; 12-27-2006 at 11:44 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifty View Post
My last question is how would i remove all of the gravel since i will probably be repacing it with eco complete and have some harscape based around a huge piece of braching drift wood and some rocks.
Get a 1 inch piece of vinyl tubing. Move all the current substrate to one corner. Stick the tubing in the tank and start a siphon, then shove tubing into substrate and vacum it out. RMC taught me this trick, the best way to get substrate out of a tank I have seen....DC
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:11 PM
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A clean dustpan is pretty good for gravel (I could never get a good enough siphon to pick up gravel but you can be sure I'll try harder next time!). I wouldn't wash the tank unless it really needed some serious scrubbing or mineral deposit removal. A little sludge is good, isn't it?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:26 PM
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When I switched tanks I transferred most of the removed substrate to the new tank, added some filter squeezings to it, then put fresh substrate on top - it was a larger tank. That was effective in jump starting the cycling of the tank. You can do a similar thing. I suspect you don't have the 2 to 4 inches of substrate that is ideal for plants, so you could just leave the "dirty" substrate you have and add enough of a new substrate on top of it to build up to the right depth. Then plant the plants, add water and add the fish back in.

From what I have read, a 54 gallon tank is too small for discus.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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even though my current subsrate is just some regular gravel that they sell at petsmart
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:45 PM
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If its aesthetically displeasing, just use it as a filter medium to get your bacterial colony going. Then you can use new substrate without losing the old bacteria.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
From what I have read, a 54 gallon tank is too small for discus.
You have to admit it is hence only 3-4 could fit but other than that, aggression issues will still exist among them. Better than just the pair though.

If not, angelfish still works but they are more aggressive and the gouramis will have to be remove at that. The choice is up to Drifty. Either he keeps the gouramis or remove them if he likes angels. I would also be careful with those angels as they have a tendency to turn their aggression even to the rams and other apistos.

~Lupester

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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will i need pressurized co2 and will i be able to grow a foreground plant with my current lighting?
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