[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: New tank

> I have a new 66 gallon in the basement waiting for it's stand. My father in
> law is making it for me (and a lid too).

He's a nice guy!

>It's for my discus and I plan to
> plant it up. I have a bad track record with plants so I welcome any advice.

Take care of the plants and the fish will be fine.

> The lighting will be built into the lid. I believe around 200 watts is what
> is needed for a 66 gallon tank (3 watts per gallon?). How much leeway does a
> person have with this? 200 watts would require 5 tubes and I don't know if
> there'll be enough room.

4 tubes will be enough. Try electronic ballast. Or try 2 x 40 watt(T-12) or
2 x 32 watt (T-8 bulbs) and 2 x 55 watt PC bulbs from A&H supply. Or try 4 x
55watt bulbs from A&H supply. These are easy to install and will light your
tank as bright as any possible need.
> I will put down a layer of laterite (how deep? mix with peat?), then either
> sand or 3mm white gravel. (I have the gravel, but heard that sand is easier
> to keep clean).

3 mm gravel is fine. I'd use Flourite myself. One simple step and you'll
never worry about the gravel again.I'd go 4-5 inches deep for the gravel.
Two handfuls of ground peat and fresh filthy mulm (settled in a bucket) from
a mature tank (sand or flourite).
> I'm going to set the tank up and plant it and put in the cardinals only
> (there are seven) and leave it for the plants to establish before
> introducing discus. I plan to keep the temperature at 85F and use DIY CO2
> bottles

Uhhh, try getting gas CO2. You'll likely be dogged by poor CO2 especially if
you have high light and fish load. You will simply have far fewer problems
with Gas tank CO2 systems. Algae issues will only be trivial.

DIY is for smaller tanks in the 30 and under range. 66 is pretty big and
will require a lot of vigilance, work, stress etc. You can get to Florida
from Cuba in a row boat but it's tough. This is your Achilles Heel so far as
your plan goes. 

 Drop the temp to 82, those fish will be quite fine.
They get temp fluxes up to 10F during rains and they are Cichlids.
> Filtration will be aquaclears. A 300 and a mini.

I'd use a canister personally. Ehiem or Fluval. Something with a spray bar.
If you use driftwood to direct the flow and reduce the surface movement it
can work though.
> I plan to keep the easiest of plants (java fern, jungle val, hygro,
> cryptocorne) but if I do get some success (dare I hope?) I will probably try
> some other types.
> Please let me know what you think, and whether this setup sounds like it
> will be a success/ what changes you would make. I have four 4 inch discus,
> some algae shrimp and a clown loach as well as the cardinals.

The loach will eat the shrimp. Discus will too as they get big. My advice is
if your willing to spend a big chunk on fish, do your self a favor and do
the plant part right. Why? Poor plant growth makes the tank worse for the
fish, not better. KH/GH of 3-6 should be fine.
Plan on doing water changes.

Things to do list:
CO2 research, look up cost, systems etc, principles, the pH/KH/CO2 table.
Check on the powercompact lighting.
Get flourite etc, if color is a concern, cover it with plants and you'll
only see green. Sand does work, but flourite works better.

Tom Barr

> Thanks
> Jen