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Converting Aqueon 36g Bowfront to Planted (56k Warning)

2407 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ChappyEight
After about a year of successful fishkeeping in my 36g bowfront with fake plants, I've decided to give planted a go. I've been reading up quite a bit and I think I have a general direction I'm looking to go.

Interestingly, I had no intention whatsoever to ever own an aquarium. But, we promised my son as a reward for behaving the first week of Kindergarten that we would buy him one. So, completely clueless, we walked into PetSmart and spent $350 and came home with (what we assumed) was everything we needed and some fish.

Nearly a year after that purchase and 5 years worth of knowledge later (thanks internet), I realize that the reason I was a mass-murderer of fish was because I had no clue what I was doing. Now that I've educated myself and been successful with the tank, I'm looking to take the next step and the big gravel and fake plants/wood, etc. just aren't cutting it anymore. (Oh, and if you couldn't tell, my 6 and 4 year olds "decorated" the aquarium.)

With my schedule this could take 3 years to complete, ha, we'll see.

All that said, I'll list below the equipment I currently have running and the equipment I've ordered to get ready for the planted tank. I'm not going to list the livestock out right now, but suffice to say I'm way overstocked right now but with large water changes my levels are good. Hoping to get a second tank for the 4 year old's room soon and I'll divvy up the livestock amongst the two tanks (can't bring myself to flush healthy animals).

Here's the equipment:

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Aquarium: Aqueon 36-gallon Bowfront


BEFORE:
  1. Quiet Flow 30 Power Filter
  2. Stock plastic Canopy
  3. Stock Fluorescent 17w light
  4. Aqueon Submersible Heater (200Watt)
  5. Stick-on mercury thermometer

AFTER:
  1. Fluval 306 Filter
  2. Filter-Max III pre-filter
  3. All-glass canopy
  4. Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Light
  5. Hydor ETH 200 In-Line External Heater (200w)
  6. Lifegard Aquatics Digital Temp Alert thermometer

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2015-03-16 (Before)





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- Landon
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[Updated the OP with more information.]

Good thought Freeman, thanks for chiming in.

I'm also still debating on going with a dirt tank or not. I've seen compelling cases made for both sides but I can't seem to decide just yet. I should probably get on it!

And here's a question I've not yet searched. When it's time to actually do the conversion (remove all the old crap and get the new started) should I leave the fish out for a certain amount of time? Or would it be fine if I just removed them for an hour or two while I got the base put in the main tank and then put them right back in?

Thanks guys, looking forward to getting going. This weekend I'm going to get the new equipment all hooked up so the canister filter media can get colonized. Thinking I'll let it run for a couple weeks before starting the changeover.
 
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