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Planning for a new 45G tank
I have three goldfish, which are happily outgrowing their 29g tank. I plan
to get them a 45G ?breeder? tank (36 long x 18 wide x 16 high), which
should be harder for them to outgrow. I just looked at the AGA Aquascaping
contest site this week, and found it very inspiring. One thing notably
absent, however: no tank featured goldfish! (Has anyone out there found a
recipe for success with plants AND goldfish, that doesn?t involve plastic
plants?!) I am inordinately fond of my trio of appetites with fins, but I
also would like an aesthetically pleasing, densely planted tank.
I?m wondering if it would be reasonable to try for a higher-intensity
lighting setup than their current tank (29G with 70 watts of normal output
fluorescents), with CO2 injection, to help the plants survive and flourish
despite the plant-shredding fiends, or should I just give up and try a
lower-light tank entirely in anubias, java fern, elodea/egeria, and
I?m looking at AHS compact fluourescent kits for the lighting:
one 96W kit gives just over 2watts/gallon;
two 55W kits give 2.7 watts/gallon, and given their 2ft lengths, would
probably be overlapped to give a central higher-intensity area vs dimmer
three 55W kits would give almost 4 watts/gallon.
Given that this is a shallower tank, and these would be higher output lamps
in real reflectors, which of these would you consider ?medium? vs ?high?
Would the 3x55 watt setup just be asking for massive algae outbreaks, given
that the goldfish will shred every fast-growing algae-buster type of plant?
Or might it give hygrophila and some other speedy growing plants a chance
to outgrow the fishes? appetites?
I also worry a little about how much heat these setups will add to the
tank. My current tank gets up to 82 degrees in the summer when the room
temperature rises to the high seventies, and the goldfish don?t seem to
mind, although they are supposed to be cold water temperate fish. Should I
expect to need a fan to get keep the heat below 80 degrees, if I use an
fully enclosed hood?
Filtration: I like my Eclipse hoods and biowheels?between that and the
plants, my ammonia levels are always zero, and media changes are easy, but
they don?t come in a 36 x 18 size??so that?s right out. Canister filters
sound more efficient at cleaning the water, and if the plants are happy I
may get away without the biowheel, but it looks like it?s a pain to
rinse/change the filter media. Any suggestions on a canister that?s really
quick to take apart for cleaning the media, or that?s so powerful that I
won?t have to rinse it so often, and is not expen$ive?
Water: pH neutral, gH and kH about 100ppm (St. Louis tapwater plus ?Water
Fertilizer: Flourish for trace nutrients
CO2: If I go with the higher light approach, I'll be getting a pressurized
I am not looking for lawns of perfect riccia or glossostigma (that can wait
for the 29G tank when it is redone for loaches and Endler?s after the
goldfish move out), but would like to see happy swords, vals, hygrophilas,
aponogetons, maybe even some cabomba, but nothing really fancy.
Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions!
I?ve learned a lot from this list, and actually have one algae-free tank
full of lush, rapidly growing plants, which are very happy in their
fluorite and with DIY CO2, and a few Endler?s and some snails. I?d like
the new goldfish tank to be like that?.or at least be a little less
algae-coated that their present home.