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Re: [APD] Suggestions for a new setup please

I think 5 watts per gallon is way too much lighting and I definitely wouldn't go over 120 with a 40 gallon tank - around 80 would probably be better. A powerhead would help with a small sponge on it for mechanical filtration and to keep your shrimp out - just clean the sponge weekly when doing water changes (wash it in the water you're discarding). You probably won't even need to polish the water - plants can do a very good job of keeping water clean.

Too much lighting and you're going to have to up the CO2, feeding and fertilisation to keep pace because the lights will really drive the plant growth. If plant growth falters you'll get algae real fast and have huge problems getting rid of it. I had that problem when I went to 150 w of metal halide over a 35 gallon tank. Things are finally back to good status now under a 70 w light but it took some months to get things back into balance. Too much light will look wonderful at the start but it can fast become a nightmare and you're going to chew up lots of CO2 and fertiliser trying to keep pace. Half that amount of light is fine, the tank will still look wonderful, and it will be a lot easier keeping it that way.

Plant heavily from the start and include a lot of fast growing bunch plants from the start.

David Aiken

On 31/05/2005, at 10:09 AM, Aaron Steiner wrote:

Hi there all. I'm getting a 40 gal. tank to be heavily planted and I wanted opinions on how I was thinking of setting it up.

Most importantly, I would really like to do this tank without a filter. I have read where this can be successful and I would like to try it. Mostly for financial reasons but also because I would like to breed cherry red shrimp for my LFS - I always have so many get sucked up by my Magnum HOT canister.

I was thinking of using an under gravel heating system to aid in circulation (and plant growth)....for substrate, I was thinking a layer of laterite followed by several inches of Eco Complete (I love this stuff in my other planted tanks). I'm wondering whether a powerhead might be needed for further circulation? Also, is there a conflict with having under gravel heat and MTS's? I'd hate for those snails to turn into escargo!

I'm thinking that between the snails and shrimp, solid detritus will be taken care of and the plants will utilize/filter the rest from the medium fish load (hence no need for the filter right??) I imagine I could run the micron-filter from the Magnum once a month or so to polish the water. Water changes will be weekly using RO/DI water.

I'm looking to get a Coralife Aqualight Double at 192 watts giving the tank nearly 5wpg. With that and CO2 injection through a mounted diffuser, plant growth should be vigorous enough to provide inhabitants with enough oxygen.

OK, so any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated as I'm very eager to get this project started!

Many thanks,

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