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Hey everyone. I plan on making this thread a journal somewhat. Basically I was on LetGo which is basically like craigslist and I found this 45 gallon show/tall and the wooden stand for $65. I purchased it and I am very happy. I know this was a great investment because the stand itself can be very expensive in this hobby and the fact this is a wooden one and not cheap plastic or metal is great.

Anyway, this tank is for my dad at his law office, so I bought it for him and we are going to work on it together. (he knows nothing about aquariums, I'm just guiding him choosing fish and layout and stuff) It's freshwater and I want it to be planted. I do have knowledge about planted tanks from other threads I made ab out my other tanks on this forum, so I want this tank to be VERY low tech and VERY low requirement plants.

Here is the tank set up in the office: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

I basically wanted help on where to start and stocking list as well as hardware.

First things first I want to purchase the heater and filter and lights.

My budget for that is about $120 for lights, heater and filter. I was going for a canister filter, and a fully submersible heater because I plan on hiding it behind hardscape maybe.
For scaping it, I will have a peice of manzanita driftwood come down from the left top corner and spread out into the substrate like a tree trunk and its roots. I will have lots of rocks around it, and of course, PLANTS! :)

I wanted to have some nice swords, ferns, pearlweed, some other lowtech stem plants. Some riccia and mosses for the wood and rocks, and other low tech plants.

For the stocking plan, I really don't know where to go here. The highest requirement fish I currently have are some rainbowfish and neon dwarf rainbowfish AND some threadfin rainbowfish. For the 45 tall I was thinking of maybe 1-2 angelfish, some boesmani rainbowfish, millenium rainbowfish, other species of rainbowfish. I want a nice school of them. I also wanted a couple schools of smaller fish, a school of some corycats, also a school of some tetras and maybe another smaller schooling fish. I really know what exactly to put in.

I also wanted help picking substrate too. I understand that for the plants I need a nutrient rich substrate, and I also need to have some sand for the corycats. I really need some guidance here. Thanks much!!


pH 6.5-8.5 (On the harder side)
I live in a suburb of chicago if that helps with the water.

THAASANNKSSS
 

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Hi cooledwhip,

I believe you were asking me about sand for this tank? I haven't done a sand bottom tank but from everything I have seen and read #20 or #30 grade density quartz-based silica pool filter sand and this is the best one out there. I think almost everyone has an Ace Hardware somewhere close by, normally it is about $10 for 50 lbs but until the end of May it is 25% off. Instead of silica it is quartz sand with a slightly larger very uniform grain size (better for roots) and not very 'dusty'. What I found interesting was several of the reviews was from aquarium hobbyists!

This is the picture that sold me; not my pic but a beautiful tank with healthy Discus
 

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If you are going for a canister, maybe consider an inline heater. Hydor makes great ones. I love mine. Super easy and gets more equipment out of the tank.

For a light in your budget, I'd recommend a planted+ 24/7 or a ray2 since you have a deep ass tank. haha If you can swing it, a Kessil 160 would allow you to grow most low-med light plants. If you have some extra budget, a 360WE would let you grow whatever you wanted.

I would shy away from regular rainbows. They really need the back and forth space. Angels are good. Corys are great. Maybe some hatchet fish? The marbles look awesome. I also really like my purple emperor tetra. They school tight.
 

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Any idea how much light a 2' cube tank would need? It s about 50 gal if my math is correct.
I can get an unused one for about $16, but I don't want something that is going to suck a bunch of electricity considering how few fish one could keep in it. I was thinking a breeding pair of angels could go in it.

This bad boy
 

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I have a 2' cube. I have a crazy light above it though, AquaticLife Halo, but that was sort of a luxury purchase. It's a very interesting size, 2 foot front to back depth no matter where you view from is kind of cool. I'm trying to have it look like a nice scape from the three sides I can see it from. In case it's useful, I have been running it roughly 70-85% power and have monte carlo creeping and tons of growth on HM. Perhaps you can compare this PAR chart for the HALO and figure 70-85% of that to get an idea.... http://aquaticlife.lifetimeproducts...lt/files/specsheets/Halo Freshwater Specs.pdf

Good luck!

Edit: 60 gallons is what I've seen it listed as.
 
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