Tank/sump advice needed! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Question Tank/sump advice needed!

So I'm moving from my current small tank to a larger 3 foot (190Lish) tank.
I've got a small pair of breeding HRPs, a pair of keyhole cichlids, a pair of GBRs and a few corydoras. I'm going to add a few more corydoras in eventually and maybe a few more fish when I come up with a plan and when things settle down.

The tank's going to have a sump that I'm hoping to turn into a refuge.

Now here comes the question. I'll be planting the main tank out, with mainly hygrophila + java fern in the background, and when things settle down I'm hoping to plant some cryptocorynes in the mid/fore ground. I'll also heavily decorate it with chunks of wood and it'll have a fluorite/sand substrate.
I've already got a few hygrophila that I don't think I'll put into the main tank but given their growth rate they seem rather great as refugium plants. I've also got a fair few big chunks of lava rock that I'm planning on sinking into the bottom of the refuge. So I guess, less nitrates and hopefully grow some beneficial bacteria as I'm occasionally getting white algae problems, supposed that the tank is hard to clean especially underneath lots of logs. The extra volume will hopefully contribute to better water quality too. I also have a few shrimps that I may add into the refuge.

Does that sound like a sensible plan, or would any of you have anything else you would suggest? I'm hoping to avoid sand in the refugium as that'll make it easier to clean if I have to do it. I'm trying to get together as much ideas from experience as I can!

Thank you!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 10:56 PM
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Are you by any chance coming from a reef tank background? Sounds all very reefy to me. I think this can work and work well, but it's not really necessary. If you have good plant growth and keep up the water changes, your tank will easily support the livestock you describe. Of course the shrimp would be toast in the main tank...


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Actually not! I've had fresh water fish since I was a kid! I've decided on a sump as I couldn't bear with cleaning out a canister filter regularly as it creates a lot of faff everytime I have to carry it upstairs to the bathroom. I've also noticed that with a canister I seem to get the dip in water quality which means it's time to clean it. Probably blame it on a rather busy life apart from dealing with fish. A sump is simpler in some way albeit unnecessary, a long siphon into the garden drain and a hose straight from the tap to refill the water makes life way easier. Swapping media like filter floss is also easy. Also a stock of good bacteria should make it more sustainable in the long run?
Plus it fuels my experimental mind!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 11:50 PM
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3 foot (190Lish) Is the 190 liters? About 50 American gallons.
I've got a small pair of breeding HRPs What?, a pair of keyhole cichlids, a pair of GBRs and a few corydoras. I'm going to add a few more corydoras in eventually and maybe a few more fish when I come up with a plan and when things settle down.

The tank's going to have a sump that I'm hoping to turn into a refuge.

Now here comes the question. I'll be planting the main tank out, with mainly hygrophila + java fern in the background, and when things settle down Why wait- just plant it. I'm hoping to plant some cryptocorynes in the mid/fore ground. I'll also heavily decorate it with chunks of wood and it'll have a fluorite/sand substrate.
I've already got a few hygrophila that I don't think I'll put into the main tank but given their growth rate they seem rather great as refugium plants. I've also got a fair few big chunks of lava rock If you want a place to grow bacteria, more, smaller pieces would be better. Something like 3/8" or so. that I'm planning on sinking into the bottom of the refuge. So I guess, less nitrates What? Do you want it to stay in the form of ammonia or nitrite? Better that it DOES get turned into NO3. Actually, the plants use all 3 forms of nitrogen. and hopefully grow some beneficial bacteria as I'm occasionally getting white algae Algae is not white. It may be any darker color that might hide the green chlorophyll, but fungi are usually white. problems, supposed that the tank is hard to clean especially underneath lots of logs True hard to clean under hardscape material- but good plant growth will help oxygen get under there, so less problems. The extra volume will hopefully contribute to better water quality too. Sure will! I also have a few shrimps that I may add into the refuge.

Does that sound like a sensible plan, or would any of you have anything else you would suggest? I'm hoping to avoid sand in the refugium as that'll make it easier to clean if I have to do it. I'm trying to get together as much ideas from experience as I can!

Plants that grow with leaves in the air are best for nitrogen removal. Under water plants are usually lacking CO2, so grow slower. If you can plant emersed plants in the refugium that would be best.
Any plants in the refugium will need light. Get a high quality light, and it is OK to leave it on long hours. Even run it a reverse schedule to the main tank.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh just typed it and lost the reply!

Sorry can't count in gallons...HRP = Honduran red point. Yes, I've got a mix of CA and SA cichlids atm, don't intend on mixing it any further though.

I can't really get a lot of plants at the local shop so I'll have to resort to ordering online, so I think wait till the tank's running and when I clear out a few boxes and bits then I'll be able to order stuff in and I won't have to attempt to time it all to arrive at the right times.

I'll do with smaller substrate then, hammer to lava rock it is. And I'm not very well clued up with the nitrogen cycle business yet so I'm trying to get me head around it, most likely got confused.

Indeed, it's not white algae but I think it's probably mold. Decomposing food seems to be contributing to it, actually, what's the best way to rid of it?

Also for the bits that don't get hoovered up underneath wood, would there be any plants that I should plant nearby? Possibly small crypts?

My hygrophila seems to rapidly grow out of the tank at the moment so I'm chopping it down quite frequently and bundling the cuttings to the existing bunch, in a few days they grow nuclear again. So that's most likely going into the fuge, and within no time I'll have lots of it. I'm also thinking whether I should put any anubias and java fern into it, or even float some moss on a piece of lava rock since I have a piece that floats.

Slightly silly question, since there are plants in the fuge, when the lights are off will they give off CO2 that will basically become food for the plants in the main tank?
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