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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello, just wanted to introduce myself, I have a diploma in aquaculture and specialized in fish health with tropical fish breeding (easy guys like angels, rams, danios, bettas) as a close second. I have had many tanks but over the last few years only one remains. A quaint little 30 g community with a few scraggly java ferns.

I've decided to set up my new 55g bowfront as a planted tank, i don't want to go the CO2 route yet but may in the future. Here's the planned set up

Carib-sea Eco-complete substrate 60lbs sound right?
Coralife Freshwater Aqualight-30" Double Strip - Do they usually come with bulbs?
Fluval 303 canister filter
Coralife 65 Watt 6,700K Power Compact Lamp- Straight Pin (x2)

That should be 2. 4 wpg, should be enough. Not really sure what's going in the tank yet, maybe a semi-aggressive barbs and such.

Oh, the water is soft and ph about 6.5-7.

Any noob tips or suggestions? I keep reading and reading and can't wait to get started, but I have to wait untill my krib babies are big enough to move....

kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The fixture it came with is 30" that's all that will fit.

I will check out the aquasoil thanks. It's been hard finding products that I can purchase in Canada. Is there a supplier for aquasoil?

"A high pH level (alkaline) of the substrate causes difficulties for aquatic plants in consuming nutrients. The Aqua Soil Series decreases the hardness of the water and lowers the PH level to the degree at which most aquatic plants can consume nutrients and comfortably grow. Aqua Soil granules maintain their shape and density for long periods underwater securing good circulation of water and oxygen through the substrate. With Aqua Soil, growing difficult plants such as Tonina sp. becomes easier, and it is ideal for fishes demanding soft water."

Our water is soft bordering on very soft with a low pH, maybe sometimes too low when not doing regular water changes. It doesn't appear that the aquasoil is any better for soft water?

Should I consider adding oyster shells or coral to my filter to increase the hardness a little?

Will also look into a CO2 tank, needle kit locally.

Kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How about onyx sand by Seachem, it says it has a slight buffering capacity.

Onyx sand is the ideal substrate for any type of aquarium environment; whether you have reef, planted marine, or freshwater planted aquaria, this naturally black sand will perfectly complement and enhance the appearance of your tank. Onyx sand provides not only iron and other minerals but supports optimal kh levels for freshwater planted aquariums. Onyx sand is most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed, but it may be mixed with other gravels or sands. Gravel modifiers are not necessary. Onyx sand is not chemically coated or treated but does have a slight buffering capacity. 1-4 mm average size.

The other options i see are the Carib sea flora-max, and seachem flourite (at Big Al's online).

What's the consensus? I want to do as little chemistry modification of my water as possible. I suspect with CO2 injection I WILL have to increase hardness/alkalinity (typical alkalinity locally is 10-20 mg/l CaCO3)

kara
 

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I will check out the aquasoil thanks. It's been hard finding products that I can purchase in Canada. Is there a supplier for aquasoil?

Where in Canada are you? If you are in BC, do you know about BC Aquaria? Someone in the Greater Vancouver area is selling Aquasoil. He might be able to ship to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The widest part for the light bar is actually 27.5 inches (30" bar came with it, I didn't try it on, I don't really know if its the right one now???), anyways the tank is 27.5 long by 23 " tall.

No, I didnt know about bc aquaria, will also look that up. I'm on the Island (Vancouver that is)

kara
 

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hello, just wanted to introduce myself, I have a diploma in aquaculture and specialized in fish health with tropical fish breeding (easy guys like angels, rams, danios, bettas) as a close second.
how many years of college have you had(i ask because i may pursue the same and want to know really).
I've decided to set up my new 55g bowfront as a planted tank, i don't want to go the CO2 route yet but may in the future.
i think you'll like the co2 better, it allows for high light and better plants.


Coralife Freshwater Aqualight-30" Double Strip - Do they usually come with bulbs?
yes, they come with bulbs
 

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The widest part for the light bar is actually 27.5 inches (30" bar came with it, I didn't try it on, I don't really know if its the right one now???), anyways the tank is 27.5 long by 23 " tall.

No, I didnt know about bc aquaria, will also look that up. I'm on the Island (Vancouver that is)

kara


Then it's not a 55 gallon bowfront.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's a petland 54g. I don't know the brand, it was a gift. And yes a corner bowfront.

Any more thoughts on substrate for my soft water?


Dufus: The local university offers a 2 or 4 year program (diploma/degree) in aquaculture. I took the two year program. It was very intense. I was interested in fish health and jobs are limited in that field, only a handfull of jobs really, and many of them were vets with one assistant or so. it was the type of course where you learned a lot about everything and you kind of chose what you were good at. In my area warm water culture isn't popular, but in others it is so may be useful. As it stand now I work in water quality which is not really related, did two years work on fish farms, then fish health, then vaccination then decided I didn't like the working conditions and found work closer to home. PM me if you want more details, would be glad to share.

kara
 

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Sounds like CF lighting would be difficult to accommodate with your tank. Look into MH lighting perhaps . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, I can see that, I figure it will just mean that I will have to arrange my low lights at the back and my high light plants at the front and sides. The back corner may end up being the 'dead zone' so will definitely be looking for a some good hardscape to fill it up maybe with some moss of some sort.

kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks. That's exactly what my tank looks like. I cannot do MH if you don't use a lid or top on the tank. I have 3 dogs and 2 cats and the tank would be coated in fur! My malamute sheds all year round.

We'll see how it goes. Thanks.

kara
 

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I was just pointing out what others have done, just so you could see or get ideas. That tank is a high tech tank, with co2 and ferts, etc. But if you did want to go that route you can include MH. It really doesnt matter if you have a glasstop or enclosed canopy, just that if MH is enclosed it needs to be well ventilated since it will get hot, menaing you would need to have a fan and some vent holes in the canopy. Like Rex said corner tanks are difficult to light. Depending on what you have to work with you might be able to fit a single 55W ahsupply.com CF kit inside you existing striplight housing, that would put you into the low light range and you could probably setup a decent low tech tank, though you may have to plant mostly under the light since it probably wont shine over the whole tank. Youd also have to limit your plant choices to the lowest light plants and not expect a huge amount of growth. Other options would need to know what type of top you tank has - is it all glass or is it opaque plastic with only clear glass were the light strip goes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·




Here is my tank from the top. There is only a small section that will be shadowed and I am thinking about removing the black plastic completely or replacing it with glass.

kara
 
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