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Re: New setup opinions

>I'm a long time lurker, but have had my tanks sitting around (dry) for
>about four years due to moves, marriage, job, etc.  I've finally managed
>to talk the wife into letting me set up a plant tank again, but still
>have quite a bit of time to doe research and purchasing before setting
>it up completely (doing some house renovation - too dusty to risk a new

Read through the planted tank stuff at http://www.thekrib.com. It's a good 
start for your reading. There is a lot of useful info in the archives of 
this list too, although I think the krib's layout makes for easier reading.

>So, I'd like to get some opinions on what I have planned (and purchased
>some of already).  I'm interested in anything that I'm forgetting that
>would make my life (and my plants lives) a lot easier, or anything that
>I'm doing that should probably be done differently.

Get a length of vinyl tubing that is long enough to reach from your tank to 
your nearest sink -- you will be VERY happy later if you have this :-) I am 
fond of the vinyl tubing that http://www.usplastic.com sells since I have 
found it to be more flexible and it stays that way. It's also really cheap 
which is a nice combination.

>110 gallon tall tank (glass)
>JBJ 1200 light (4 bulb compact fluorescent - 2 daylight, 2 actinic) and
>standoffs to raise light a few inches above the tank

You will probably be better off using 4 daylight bulbs and not using the 
actinic. Actinic lighting is normally used in reef setups where the goal is 
to simulate light spectrum in deeper water (15-30 feet usually). The plants 
will be OK with it, but will look a bit strange. You don't mention the 
wattage, but I'd think for the size tank you will be using you'll want to 
have 96 watt bulbs. With the deeper tank you need more total light to 
"blast through" to the bottom, you will also want good reflectors.

>Seachem Fluorite substrate (may mix 50/50 with sand)

Don't use a fine-grain sand that will work through the Flourite and make a 
substrate-brick. Use something with similar grain size to the flourite 
itself, or just use 100% Flourite and make Seachem happy :-) Flourite is 
good stuff, many people here have had very good luck using it.

>Aquanetics 25W UV sterilizer

Probably not necessary unless you find your tank has ongoing problems with 
free-swimming beasties that you can't control. If you already have the 
unit, wait until your tank is running to see if you need it. Otherwise I 
wouldn't spend the money until you *know* you need it, which I think is 

>Overflow (trickle?) box to skim surface?

If you want to DIY anything this is an easy choice. They aren't difficult 
to build and you can save a lot of money. Just get some Acrylic sheet from 
a local plastics supply house (or that USPlastics link I mentioned 
earlier), and some Acrylic solvent/adhesive -- which is usually methyl 
ethyl ketone. Methyl ethyl ketone is nasty stuff, you should work with it 
outdoors or in a very well ventilated area.

>The overflow box will feed into a 10 gallon under the main tank, where
>the canister will pump it through the UV and back into the main tank.
>Similar to a wet/dry setup, but without all the aeration.  I may
>introduce the CO2 in the 10 gallon, I haven't really figured that part
>out yet.  The CO2 seems to be my biggest problem...  I'm off to a
>welding shop sometime this week to see what they have and I'll probably
>ask on the list later how to get it all to fit together. :)

If you use an acrylic (or polyethylene if you don't care if the tank isn't 
transparent) you'll be able to drill it easily to plumb things down the road.

BTW, you might want to pick up a few 5 gallon buckets for general tank 
maintenance too. 5 gallon white polyethylene buckets are indispensable for 
tank maintenance. You can even get wheeled dollys for them to make them 
easy to lug around when full of water.


>Thanks in advance for any comments.

Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator