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Re: Tank set up

> Hi Folks,
> I'm new to the list (hello), but been reading rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
> for a while.


> I've just bought a cube tank (18"x20"x24"), and am considering two
> options: a planted tank, or a seahorse tank.  I'm leaning torwards
> planted because it will be (hopefully) prettier and slightly less
> work.

Hummm, I doubt they are any more work than the other. If you learn ow to
wean the seahorse off live foods they can be easier even. Mysis shrimp and
other FW shrimp and critters work well. But the transition from live to
frozen takes some doing but is possible to duplicate. There are several
horse breeders here in the Bay area.

Plant tank is different but require some tough work, pruning, keeping up on
nutrients etc. Depends on how far you want to take it. You can be very
obsessive or mellow.
> I'll be purchasing a Co2 tank, regulator, ect., using onyx substrate.
> I tried DIY yeast, but could never get the mix/seal/whatever right,
> it's just too annoying to bother with.  The tank is pretty deep,
> so I'm considering a 175w metal halide pendant.  Filtering will
> either be a aquaclear 300, or buying a canister filter.

I'd opt for the canister. You will like the MH light and be able to work on
the tank much easier. Sounds like a cheery set up then.

> I allrdady have a good stock of plants, I'm using a 20-xtall as my
> current planted tank.  It's going along well, you can barely see
> the gravel (poor corys!).  30w of light, plants torwards the top
> are growing well.

Just make sure you add lots of mulm to the new tank's gravel and all the
plants you can.
> So now the questions:
> I'm worried that the tank will be too tall to do regular maintennance.

Not even. 36inches or more is trouble. Arms are only so long.

> My 20 x-tall is a PITA to work on the botton of the tank, I have
> to remove water when I put my arm in or I'll spill water all over
> the place.  It seems that I'll have the same problem with my new
> tank, unles I always trim just the top.

Use some mix of slow growers, moss stones, wood etc.

> Should I get a canister, or go with my AQ?  I like the idea of
> injecting CO2 into the canister (no reaction chamber taking space
> up in the tank), but it means that I'm spending more $$$ when I
> have a perfectly good aquaclear.

Well if you have it fine. Consider altering the outflow as so not to disturb
the surface as much when the water changes due to evaporation.

> My tapwater is KH 1.  Ph out of the tap 9 (!), after it sits for
> a day, ph ~7.5.  This seems strange to me.

Why? KH is might soft. It should drop way down.

  I've herad that water
> companys drive out all the CO2 before putting it into the pipes
> (hence the high ph), but a KH of 1 seems really low.  Should I be
> adding baking soda so my ph dosen't swing too low when I inject
> CO2?

Yes, you'll likely need to do this. The onyx sand has some buffering and
will help keep the KH up but you'll still need to get the KH to 3-4range.
> Dosing: I assume that I should do PMDD, but it seems like too much
> work.  Can I just dose Flourish instead?  Other than weekly water
> changes, I'd like too keep it as low maintennance as possible.

Just like fish feedings, I add some KNO3, KH2PO4 and trace mix(Dechlorinator
and K2SO4 when I do a water change). Not complicated in the least. The
hardest part is pruning. Plants will need more macro nutrients(this can be
added to some degree by fish load but you will need to top off the levels
for good healthy growth.
Tom Barr
> I guess that's enough for now.  Thanks for the help.
> -Eric