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RE: [APD] Reusing substrate to rinse or not to rinse

A little gravel on top to  hold down the mulm is okay but
be careful not to bury the mulm and cause it to go anerobic
befroe the plant roots get a chance to extend through the

Suggestions for free. Lay the substrate in the new tank.
slowly raise the water level up to about 2" or so. Arrange
your aquascape and plant your plants, then fill the tank
the rest of the way.

When you fill the aquarium, fill into/onto a shallow bowl 
on the substrate and do it very slowly -- let it take an
hour or so. Watch the first few inches of water in the
tank. If you're stirring up a lot of stuff, then slow down
the fill rate. Go have a cup of coffee, do a crossword -- 
extra time spent on the filling can save you time down the

I watched Karen Randall set up a new tank and fresh damp
Flourite (famously dusty) at the NEC convention last march.
I don't think the water would have been clearer if there
was no substrate at all.

RE lighting 

I find the actinic lends a goofy appearance to planted
tanks -- this coming from someone that likes 10,000 K
bulbs! I don't know anyone that says the actinic are
especially helpful for plants except for Tim Hovenac in a
recent Aquarium Fish Magazine article.

So I'd lose the actinic. 2 96W AHS lights over a 40 gallon
definitely calls for goo CO2 injection, and lots of
pruning. Unless you're up for high maintenance, you might
try running one 96W or a pair of 55Ws. If you want faster
growth, then add CO2. Want faster or very high light
plants, then add more light (2x96W or 4x55W) in a few
months or so if you feel you really want it. 

For bulb choice, you won't go wrong if you pick any of the
(non-actinic) bulbs from AHS, good bulbs, good prices.
Color temp ratings is more a matter of how the bulbs look
to you than to the plants. Save the actinics for the
reefers ;-)

Hellolights.com has competitive prices and I've gotten good
bulbs form them.

Scott H.

--- "Quinn, Sherry" <Sherry_Quinn at ingenix.com> wrote:
> Thank you very much for the thorough response!
> The 30 is still up and running and I'm getting great
> plant growth from it.
> When I tranfer the gravel to the new tank I plan on
> topping it off with some
> rinsed gravel.  . .

> Currently the lights on the 40 are 2 96watt pc's with a
> reflector from
> AHsupply - one bulb is actinic and the other white . . .
> So, I probably only need to operate one of
> the bulbs, right?
> So, what kind of pc bulb should I use?  

-  -   -   -   -   -   -   -
She Wrote the book on low maintenance aquatic gardening!
Diana Walstad, author of _Ecology of the Planted Aquarium_
Meet her at  - The Fifth AGA Annual Convention
Details & Registration at www.aquatic-gardeners.org & www.gwapa.org

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