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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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No Budget classroom tank

I will be setting up a 90 gallon tank in my class and I am wondering if this will work.

Please keep in mind these are leftovers items and no $$$ is being spent

tank= 90 gallon

substrate= natural colored gravel of mixed sizes (no money for flourite etc.)

lighting= natural sunlight from east window

filter= wet/dry with a sump or just use the powerhead for circulation

plants= clippings form my home tank which include Wysteria, Amazon
Swords, Vals

fish= two angels for now.

I don't need this tank to flourish.

I just need it to survive till June.

What do you guys think????
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 01:31 PM
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You might want to look into the "El Natural" type methods if you haven't, where one uses soil under the cap of gravel. This seems like a perfect opportunity to use that method, utilizing natural sunlight. I'm not all that familiar with the intricacies, but I think it would be worth looking into. Though, if you'd be breaking it down in June, maybe not.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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where one uses soil under the cap of gravel.
Thats what I was thinking.

Any idea which type of soil to use???
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 02:23 PM
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ordinary garden soil will do.


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 02:26 PM
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I think the common choice is "generic" potting soil, the sort that doesn't have added perlite, vermiculite, or fertilizers... though I'm not really qualified to suggest anything, as I've never done a 'natural aquarium.' At least that'll give you a starting off point.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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ordinary garden soil will do.
Thanks.

How about filtration???

Covered wet/dry or just a powerhead for circulation???

The plants I'm putting in grow like weeds so I don't think CO2 outgassing will be an issue or will it???
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 02:53 PM
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If you've got a local creek or river that is clean, i.e. doesn't have any factories dumping chemicals in it upstream, you can use the silt in the bottom for the base layer in your tank. I have a tank set up that way and it is doing very well. I am, however, also adding light from fluorescent bulbs, and adding some DIY CO2.

River silt is free.


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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 03:54 PM
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Try contacting your local aquatic society or fish club, they may have a program to support aquariums in classrooms. I know our club does, you may be able to get something more equipment and supplies to make the tank look better, I'm sure they'll have some fish they could give you too, a single pair of angels in a 90g will look pretty sparse.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 03:59 PM
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Some dedicated light, even if it is a simple shoplight, will make a big difference. An unlit tank will not be attractive, even if it gets some light through a window.


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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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you can use the silt in the bottom for the base layer in your tank.
I have a lake 50 feet away from my house that only gets rainwater runoff.

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Try contacting your local aquatic society or fish club,
Will do if time permits.

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Some dedicated light, even if it is a simple shoplight, will make a big difference.
The window area is huge 17 feet wide by 5 feet tall. You could wear your sunglasses in here.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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I think you will struggle without any additional light.
You will soon find large volumes of algae taking things over.

I would suggest

Low cost substrate, maybe even kitty litter.
Low light plants, amazon sword and java fern can be relatively undemanding.
A desk lamp with a grolux or other plant friendly sport bulb in it.
Lots of simple fauna like snails.

Or if you want it to be educational, why dont you replicate a local biotope?

any local rivers? creeks?

You can find pretty interesting plants etc there and these will be relatively undemanding and interesting ina world around us kind of way.

Speaking from my recent exposure to dragonfly naiads, they are really cool to watch and will have a nice progression through lifecycle that the kids can learn from.

theres plenty of other organisms that could be found easily and look just as cool.

Regards

Marc
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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I think you will struggle without any additional light.
Do you guys think this will really happen.

I live in Miami Florida where there is an excess amount of sunlight.

I will probably set it up then deal with the problems as they creep up.

After all this is a no $$$ tank
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 05:16 PM
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I setup planted tanks in my classroom each year. Most of the cost comes out of my pocket but I once wrote a letter to Hagen Canada and asked if they would be kind enough to donate a Master test kit for my Chem class to track water parameters. They donated it and some other items as well. Contact some LFS and especially the large companies and see if they would be willing to donate. Not only is it good PR for them but also serves as a tax write off as well.

It takes a lot of work to do it (especially the setups and teardowns at the end of the year). The kids do appreciate it though. The only thing to watch out for is not sitting the day dreamers near the tank because they will just "zone-out" on it.

If I were in the US I would ship some stuff to you but the distance and border makes it impractical.

Here are a few that we have done:



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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 05:23 PM
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I don't think the problem will be lack of light. It's just that even in a well-lit room, a fish tank without added lights doesn't stand out. Might not be an issue in that case, just keep in mind that a well lit tank in a dark room has the most visual impact.


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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 05:49 PM
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JRS,

don't mean to hijack but could you PM me what kind of soil you are using in those tanks?

Thanks
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