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[APD] Re-Joining hobby & CO2-tank Question
I recently re-joined this mailing list to refresh my memory and get some good ideas before jumping back into the hobby. I subscribed(and was an avid) reader of this list from about 1998-2000 during which time I had a 20g planted tank(very nice) and a 35g semi-planted tank(more of a community tank w/ some java fern, anubias and a few other hardy species). Well, I sort of got out of all that with all the moving around after I graduated college, etc etc...
My wife and I will be buying our first house(or at least plan to) within a few months and I'm planning on getting a new tank(55g or more, pref 100g or so). Long story short, when I was growing plants, I bought a 10-lb CO2 cannister and it worked great! I still have it, although its empty and I was wondering if they ever get too "old"? I was under the impression that the retailers that distribute them have to keep them up to code, so that's why they usually have you exchange your empty for a full one, so on and so forth. Is this true? If so, I assume I can just go to the nearest beverage supply facility and ask to do this --- sorry, I have simply never done this before. I can't say how much better using this tank was than when I used the DIY CO2 method(or no CO2 at all). Plant growth was faster, plus I was able to regulate the bubble count a lot easier(with some semi-expensive equipment I bought online --- gauges, check valve and the whole set). The DIY was dirt cheap, but a !
times I had the problem of yeast getting into the tank, so I had "white stuff" everywhere --- What a mess!!
Anyway, in preparation for re-joining the hobby, I borrowed a couple books from a friend at work who also used to be into the hobby. They are both very large picture books written by Dr. Amano(world reknown aquarist) Vol 1 & 3. Has anyone checked these out? They seem to be very helpful, not to mention the beautiful pictures! Also, I live in Davis, CA(near Sacramento) --- are there any aquatic plant/fish groups or organizations remotely nearby? I wouldn't mind driving a hour or so, but I probably wouldn't go any further than that. Thanks to any and all help & suggestions --- and keep 'em coming!
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