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Substrate Heating, R/O questions, et al
I have a 180 gallon tank I'm currently setting up as part of a larger project - finishing my basement. I'm building the tank into the wall whereby the tank will be viewable from both sides. I'm going for as maintenance-free tank as I can imagine/afford (I'm lazy). I've posted a rough schematic of my setup at http://www.geocities.com/stinky_aces/tank_setup.html and will be stocking the tank with mostly Discus and Cardinal Tetras - once the tank is ready and cycled. You'll notice in the setup that I am using reverse osmosis, through a float valve, which will be regulated by me to allow for approx. 5 gallons of fresh water to be added to the system daily, and a setup of overflows to drain water out of the system and into my house's main drain pipe. I'm guessing the water may end up being *too* clean and won't have enough GH and KH. If you agree what would you recommend as a solution? I hate water changes, so, not considering this type of setup is moot. I guess I can add something like Discus Essential, or the like, on a regular basis but fear this could prove pricey after a while. Alternatively I suppose I could inject a slow rate of regular tap water in conjunction with the R/O water to add minerals. Any thoughts?
I'm just going with regular fluorescent lighting, approx. 2.2 watts per gallon (this is where I cheaped-out the most, I just can't bring myself to spend the big bucks on VHO, Metal Halide, etc.). CO2 will be injected through two reactors and with the use of a pH controller to maintain a pH of about 6.0. I've mixed laterite, 1-2 mm gavel and a bit of earthy clay to form my substrate and plan to heavily plant the tank.
I'm planning on heating the base cabinet of the setup (and insulating it) with a small electric heater and possibly a secondary fan to ensure even distribution in the hope that this will provide the same effect as would heating cables (yet another area I would like to cheap-out on). Any thoughts? Anyone else done this before? Any difference?
Sorry about the lengthy posting <g>.
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