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Re: 15gal setup recommendations

Dennis aka dilvish said, in part:

> About a year and a half ago, when we knew absolutely
> nothing about raising
> either fish or submerged plants, we purchased a 15gal
> Eclipse, recommended
> by a lfs. In terms of plants, this was a complete
> disaster. The fish
> survived okay, but just about everything else that didn't
> swim never lasted
> more than a few days.
> Now, since our 6 month old 50gal is doing so well, I'd
> like to start again
> with this 15gal.  I'm assuming that our problems were
> from the bio-wheel,
> which made the water way too oxygenated and removed all
> traces of CO2 (not
> that we knew any of this then). I believe the lights
> weren't sufficient
> either. (and fish load.. I think we did just about
> everything wrong)
> What would you guys recommend in terms of filters, etc.
> for a small tank? (I
> have a couple of yeast/sugar CO2 cannisters that deliver
> the CO2 via a tube
> & ladder mounted inside the tank.)  Are there any
> distinct differences in
> the chemistry or cycling of a small tank as opposed to a
> large one?

I don't recall which setup is the Eclipse 15 -- one of the
Eclipse hoods on a glass tank sold as a combo?  Anyway I
only bring it up re light.  The Eclipses are deisgned to
not grow much algae even if you have no plants -- it's not
much light -- les than 2 watts per gallon on most models. 
But I've been able to grow a number of things in an Eclipse
6 which has only an 8 watt fluorescent bulb.  Mind you,
everything wants to grow in front where the light is but
what the heck, it's a small tank -- front back, what's the
diff?  An Eclipse *can* grow plants.

If you're injecting CO2 then a biowhell will definitely
increase the rate at which it is thrown off and, thusly
(thanks Roger), the rate at which you need to inject it to
maintain CO2 levels -- but it won't make CO2 lveels
impossbile or even impractical to maintain.  The spraybar
type of biowheels have a greater impact on CO2 loss than
the underwheel type that is built in to the Penquin filters
and Eclipse hoods.  There's some measurements I did once
regarding Biowheels and CO2 loss that Erik posted on
thekrib.com (and truly excellent aquatic web site despite
including anything by me ;-)  )  The biowheel doesn't ruin
things for CO2, it just increases the amount you need to

If you want more light, the 9, 13, & 15 watt twin tube PCs
fit nicely within an Eclispe hood.  The larger hoods will
fit two and I think the largest ones will handle the size
of at a least a 36 watt PC -- Remove the Eclipse bulb and
ballast cover(s) and put the new ballast outside of the
hood away from water splash and cover the PC with a piece
of clear fluorescent tube covering that you can get at Home
Depot -- it's just a clear plastic tube that fits over
stand T12 fluorescents -- cut it to size.  With more light
and CO2 injection, you should be able to grow lots of stuff
in an Eclipse. 

If the biowheel bothers you or the rate of CO2 use, then
just lift the wheel out.  If you have lots of plants you
don't really need the biowheel anyhow.  If you feed your
fish a lot, then do water changes to help manage the

Without added CO2, or customized (added) light, you should
still be able to grow some things, say Echinordus bleheri,
micranthemoides, and other less tempermental plants without
much trouble.  But things will grow very slowly.

I think an Eclipse, without added CO2 or additonal light
can make a very nice slow-grow tank.

Scott H.

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