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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Didn't see an introduction page, so if this is in the wrong spot.. Sorry..

Just wanted to say.. Hi!

I'm just getting into this in the last 3 weeks..

I thought fish would be relatively cheap, low maintenence pets for my 2 sons (7 and 4)..

Ha!!! LOL

I decided pretty much right off that I wanted real plants, even with the added expense and effort required..

I'm just gathering equipment and reading at this point (don't even have a tank, yet..).

I joined the Aquatic Community forum a few weeks ago, and my learning curve has been reduced considerably with some excellent, excellent advice..

But I thought a forum dedicated to aquarium plants would be a good place to visit, as well..

But here's where I'm at so far:

It will be a 70g, with the following equipment:

Filter (Eheim 2217)

Light (Current USA Nova Extreme 48" 2x54W T-5 10,000K)

Heater 250W Visi-Therm Stealth

Air pump (Tetra Whisper 100 Air Pump) with airstone.

Thermometer (Tom Aquarium Digital Temperature Alert Thermometer)

A piece of driftwood

Seachem Flourish Iron 250 ml

Seachem Stability 250 ml

Seachem Flourish Excel 500 ml

Gravel cleaner

Battery powered air pump (for power outages)

API Master Test Kit

2 nets

Tap water conditioner

A black aquarium background with application solution.

Total cost so far: $700

Still needed:

100lbs of Eco complete

20lbs of Tahitian Moon Sand

25-50W Hydrocor cable substrate heater with temperature controller

70g tank with stand (this is important lol)

3 good pieces of flat slate for a cave

A pressurized CO2 system (looking at Pinpoint, for the controller)

Another single strip light to up my lighting levels

Plants I'm thinking of putting in:

Java Fern
Echinodorus Martii
Vallisnerias americanus
Echinodorus tennelus
Cryptocoryne crispatula (balansae)
Crypt undulata
Aponogeton boivinianus,
Echindoris major
Aponogeton crispus

****I know I'll have to whittle this list down.. A liitle help?****

Fish I'm putting in:

15 Cardinal Tetra

8-10 Corydoras guapore OR Peppered Cory

1-2 Bristlenose Plecostomus (L-144a)

2 male dwarf gouramis, 3 females

Books I've already read:

500 Freshwater Aquarium Fish: A Visual Reference to the Most Popular Species
By Greg Jennings ***

Setting up a Tropical Aquarium Week by Week
By Stuart Thraves ****

International Encyclopedia of Tropical Freshwater Fish
David Alderton *** 1/2

A Practical Guide to Choosing Your Aquarium Plants
By Peter Hiscock ****

Setting Up a Freshwater Aquarium ***
By Gregory Skomal

Still to go:

Aquarium Plant Paradise, by Takahashi Amano
The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, by Diana Walstad
Aquarium Plants, the Practical Guide, by Pablo Teapot
The Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants, by Peter Hiscock.
The Nature Aquarium World trilogy, by Takahashi Amano
Aquariums for Dummies

Anyhoo.. That's where I'm at in a very, very long nutshell..

I hope to hear some feedback form all of you soon, and thanks in advance for any and all comments!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:05 PM
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Welcome to PT! Im sure your boys will love it. I would skip the Heating cables and save the money for something else. You will find hardly anybody uses them anymore. They dont seem to live up to there claims. Have fun most of all with this nice project. It makes a great educational tool for the kids as well. Very hands on. That depends on how hands on they will be with the whole thing of course. Again welcome to PT
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:47 PM
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Welcome to PT! Glad to have you here!

First of all, is cost a concern to you? Because most of the equipment can be quickly bought for a lot of money, but when price is an issue, many of us aquarists turn to DIY projects . If cost is not an issue, do all the research necessary, and buy the good products which will last, and will not need to be upgraded.

I totally hear you on the price of the hobby. It ain't cheap! However if I had saved up all the money I spent, and invested in the right equipment to begin with, I would've spent Less Money all together. Thats the problem with this hobby, is that you learn as you go along. But I'm glad you're here consulting with us first, so we can guide you.

You can pick up Eheim classic 2217 (not sure if theres a difference) for cheaper here And it has the same GPH and filter capacity as far as I understand. You also could consider getting a smaller aquarium (a 29Gal perhaps) and putting it under the main tank to be used as a sump. There you can custom create any media arrangement you like. *remember not to use activated absorbs the ferts you put in for the plants

Next, you should look around for a better light fixture, or make one. 108W for a 70G planted is low. You should aim for at least 1.5-2 WPG. If you're good with wood, you could consider making a canopy, and housing an AH Supply PC kit. If you're not, you could get an Aqualight. That should give you almost 2WPG. That should be enough to grow low-med light plants.

I'd get 2 heaters if I were you, and put them on either end. Makes it a bit safer. You could hide the two heaters in your sump/filter if you go that route. Also a sump would keep your water level constant (and the aquarium looking more beautiful).

Don't really need an air pump, unless you want one just for emergencies. If there will be no co2, some people say it will actually help dissolve the background co2 into the water. Thermometer is good, but I would get a coupe of regular glass thermometers as well though, so you could get a gradient reading in the tank, and maybe the sump. IOW don't rely on technology too much.

Get ready to soak that driftwood for a couple of weeks at least... It will most likely leech lots of tanins and make a "tea soup".

Seachem ferts are good, but expensive. Get the largest bottles if you're going that route, as it will save you money in the long run. You won't really need pressurized co2 if you have 2WPG or less, but you can have it if you can afford it. It WILL help, and the plants will look good.

I don't really clean my substrate, as I try not to overfeed (and if I ever do, my cory's take care of the mess ). Fish poop is good (aka fertilizer) so I let nature do its thing .

Make sure you have a good water conditioner (Seachem Prime?) or let the water sit in buckets or a drum (garbage container) a couple of days. And co2 and o2 test kits are a must!

I agree with Orlando on the heater cables...waste of money.

All in all, you're off to an excellent start! Looks like you've done your HW, and believe me it will pay off. Just remember to study water chemistry really well to make sure you don't make life more difficult for yourself. For example, most pH adjusters are useless (harmful) IMO. I don't use any. But remember, most of what I wrote here are my opinions. Feel free to disagree, or ask others. Good Luck and keep us updated!

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 08:22 PM
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Welcome to the forum...

You have a good shopping list going so far.

Agree that you don't really need an airpump or substrate heater.

Check out the Hydor ETH 300 watt inline heaters if you are going to be using a canister filter. One less thing in the tank and they work great. Do a search on the forums here for opinions and info. You should also consider getting a Python system to do your water changes, no buckets to deal with.

You may also want to check out Rex Griggs site:

great resource for information on growing plants and a source for excellent CO2 regulators and dry ferts.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 10:38 PM
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Welcome welcome!! You have a great plant list going there. A great source of info would be some of the local clubs up there in BC. Also a great place to get you plants from too. There is quite a few BC tank keepers here on this fourm. Best of luck and it looks like you have done some of the most importand things to do and that is learn all that you can.

Whats this green fuzzy stuff thats growing in my tank.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome and all the great feedback!

Cost is not a concern, insofar as much as I'd rather get it right the first time, than cheap out and have it cost twice as much to fix..

I'm surprised to hear that substrate heaters aren't necessary.. It was recommended to me by a man who's been doing planted tanks for 40 years, so I dunno.. I'd love to hear exactly WHY it's considered extraneous..

I'm also concerned that air injection isn't considered necessary.. With Co2 injection, don't you want some air going at night, to make sure your fish have enough 02 levels in the tank, and the surface agitation needed?

I'm aware of the activated carbon taboo from the books I've read.. Will definitely avoid it..

You should also consider getting a Python system to do your water changes, no buckets to deal with
But isn't it useful to have a bucket full of tank water to do your filter cleaning, etc in?

Glad to see a fellow Ukrainian, Ukrainetz..

Next, you should look around for a better light fixture, or make one
Well, I've got this one, already.. What's wrong with it, exactly? Should I be ok just getting one more strip light of the same, then (2x55w)?

low-med light plants.
You mean EVEN if I double my lights to a total of 200W I'm STILL only good for low-med light plants??

You also could consider getting a smaller aquarium (a 29Gal perhaps) and putting it under the main tank to be used as a sump
?? How does this work?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 11:21 PM
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welcome , when u buy driftwood ,u should buy it in person rather than buying it online , that way u can see it better in person, in my opinion. get an inline heater less equipment in the tank.

U have a great filter , lighting fixture and substrate!

get an azoo reg cuz its cheap and good quality, if u want the best! just read my sig below

forget abt the power pump back can last 8 hrs without anything! And dont waste money on a ph controller , i mean use a drop checker , its wayyyyyyyyyyyyy cheaper

oh , u are gonna need timers for your lighting system and co2 solenoid!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 11:25 PM
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get dry ferts from rex its cheaper than liquid
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