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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Newbie for live plants

[FONT=Arial][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]I just splurged and bought myself a 137 gallon rectangle aquarium.. In the past I never had good luck with Live plants, but with a tank this large it almost seems insulting to put fake plants in. I work at a pet store and recently went to a seminar done by Hagen and the speaker was saying that if you have a planted tank and are using fertelizer you may aswell not use any carbon because the carbon will suck up most of the fertalizer and then be useless.. SO my question is how can you filter your aquarium other than using the biological filter and mechanical filtration methods? I also was wanting to put Mopani and/or mangrove wood in but dont want my water to stain... So if anyone can suggest ANYTHING to me about how to start out etc.. that would be awesome, even a good link would be great! Thanx
Fish Freak, Dawn
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 02:59 PM
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Welcome on board!

You do not need a chemical filtration only mechanical and biological. And if you have a heavily planted tank even biological filtration is not so important as the plants will consume all the ammonia in the tank. For a tank this size you should get a canister filter and only add media for mechanical and biological filtration.

About the wood, search on the forum. There lots of threads on this subject.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 05:08 PM
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Cdn_Chika:

Welcome aboard. Start with a good thick substrate. Anything from sand to soil has been tried and written up on the web. For the size of you tank you may want to hunt down 'profile' it is a landscaping product functionally equivalent to fluorite.

Next start with fast growing stem plants. You may be able to use the stock lighting system (? Watt/gal) or you may need to upgrade. Start small, go big. Check the forum of DIY or reviews. I went with a 55 W power compact over 29 gal at first, but now prefer T-8's from the local big box hardware store 4X32W +55W PC over 60 gal.

For a tank that big you will most likely want a canister as suggested by mpb. It is hard to get enough water flow otherwise. I am pumping 250-300 gal/hour through a 60 gal which was a storm at first, but now seems too tame. Fill the compartments with all foam. Add power filters to increase flow as needed....

And finely, post pictures!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2004, 12:11 AM
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I have never seen a tank that has adequate lighting for plants. Remember, they give you just enough light to see the fish and minimize algae.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2004, 07:55 AM
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For the mopani, just soak it in a bucket of hot water, replacing the water every day or two. I did this for about a month before adding it to my aquarium, no noticeable stain. If you want to be 100% convinced it won't stain the water just keep soaking until the water in the bucket stays clear after a day or two.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Where Can I find A SAFE heating cable

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=6][COLOR=DarkRed][B]Hey can anyone tell me where I can find a Substrate heating cable that is safety approved and under 300.00? Im going to end up spending a lot on this stupid heating cable because I live in Canada and there is no place in canada that carries them because they arent CSA Approved adn therefor not sold in Canada.. so if someone could let me know of a website that I can order off of that would be awesome!
Thanx for all your help
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 02:22 PM
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Well my first question is why? Heating cables are IMHO a royal pain.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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[B]Well I work at a pet store and I've talked to a few of our plant suppliers and they all say that the plants do a lot better if you have a heating cable
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 11:59 PM
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Don't believe them... Plants do just as well without a heating cable. I have one, but I wish I had spent the $$ for more useful things. Those inline Hydor heaters are sweet, very affordable too.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdn_Chica
[B]Well I work at a pet store and I've talked to a few of our plant suppliers and they all say that the plants do a lot better if you have a heating cable
Crap. Now I am going to have to clean the beer off my monitor again. As Wasserpest said the heating cable should be the LAST thing you spend money on. Get good lighting first, a CO2 system, quality filters, good substrate, good plants and livestock. Then take the money you have left over and buy a smaller tank for a Q tank.

If the substrate heater is going to be the ONLY heater in the tank and you live in a climate where you need to run the heater for most of the year it might make a difference. Beyond that it's just something for the roots of the plants to get tangled in.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 02:18 AM
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I'll agree with the anti-heating cable sentiment.

Heating cables are a neat gadget, but seem to be pretty unnecessary. Your plants will do just fine without substrate heat, and the whole convection current concept seems to have been debunked a while ago.

Your best bet would be to use that $300 for something your plants would find more useful. Something that would make a marked impact on your aquarium like lighting, CO2 set up or a good substrate.

Mike

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Co2

[B]Buyin a CO2 setup is going to cost me way over 300 because its a huge tank! I could get a few of those small hagen ones but they aer only good for up to 20 gallons.. I read somewhere that if you lower your out-flow tubes quite a bit under the surface of the water there will be more CO2 because there is less gas exchange?
I know CO2 is necessary but what are the chances of my plants surviving without me getting a co2 setup?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 04:41 AM
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I know CO2 is necessary but what are the chances of my plants surviving without me getting a co2 setup?

Thats all dependant on the amount of light you are putting over them. A "basic" CO2 setup can be pieced together 'fairly' cheaply... you dont need all the fancy gizzmo's , just a bottle , a regulator , needle valve and a reactor. If you are handy you can build your own reactor... there is a good discussion on how to here at the forum and I also believe in the swap and shop that someone is selling DIY reactors allready built for a fair price.

You need to think about the lights on that tank first though... stock lights will NOT do any good. If you keep the lighting on the lower side you can get away without CO2 but you will also be missing out on a lot of beautiful plants that are out there for you to grow.
My advice, do your homework and dont rush into this project... ever here the old saying "penny wise and dollar foolish ?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 07:44 AM
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Even if you went pressurized you don't need to spend $300.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-21-2004, 12:07 PM
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Even in Canada you can get a CO2 system for well under $300. And it would be money better spent than substrate heating cables. For a CO2 system you need the following; cylinder, regulator, needle valve, bubble counter, reactor. And you can build the last two yourself. Read my Guide for ideas on where to find the rest.

BTW, how much light are you going to have on this tank?
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