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Re: [APD] which lighting setup and hieght you recommend for me

Setting up a new tank? What fun!

12 Sprial compacts? As Spade said in the Maltese Falcon,
"Some of them are unimportant. But look at the number of
them." Spirals are not very efficient but they can be
cheap. I prefer the much more efficient AHS lights. With a
tank that deep front-to-back, I'd probably do three pairs
of 55w lights or T5HOs if I could afford them. You just
can't beet those AHS reflectors. If I wanted to go for
econmy and simplicity, I go for the straight tube T8s --
good bulbs can be gotten cheaply.

How tall are you and how long are your arms? 24" height is
a long reach, especially with a tank 30" front-to-back. 30"
front-to-back? Now that has some gardening possibilities! I
would find 24" height inconvenient and probably prefer a
tank a bit shorter, say 18" - 20". I think a standard 90
gal is much less deisrable than a standard 75 gal for just
this reason. The additional 15 gal is all in height, which
makes the tank harder to work with but doesn't do a lot for
plant choices -- Well, maybe it helps if you're growing
rubins or Crinum natans or other awkwardly gigantic
aquatics. Well, put in 6" of substrate and call it a wash

CO2 consumption won't be radically affected by the Eheim
skimmer. It draws water top and bottom and only a small
amount from the surface, which is all that's necessary to
keep the surface scum-free. I think the upper intake area
is aobut 1/2 sq. inch. An overflow skimmer, such as you
would use on a wet-dry-sump system would have much more
significant impact -- assuming your tank doesn't shed CO2
quickly without the overflow skimmer.

The Eheim skimmer, with it's makk upper intakes clogs
easily and can demand daily attention. Occassionaly an oto
would get itself stuck in one of the upper intake tubes in
my Ehiem skimmer. I gave up and retired my Eheim skimmer to
the basement graveyard of aquatic hobby supplies -- along
with a rediculous number of Biowheels, pumps, CO2 devices,
valves, and goodness knows what else that collectively are
humble testatment to lessons learned. 

I switched from the Ehiem skimmer to a wet-dry overflow to
which I added a downtube that extends from the overflow box
inside the aquarium nearly to the substrate and rises up to
the level of the comb in the skimmer box. For me, this was
an improvement over the Eheim. A trickle chamber isn't
needed and a sump makes a good place to put the heater, add
chems, etc. 

Example: going from an Eheim 2250 canister to a 2250 with
an Eheim skimmer attached (or maybe I ran that off of an
ancillary 2213 -- it's been a while and I don't recall all
the combinations I tried) did not cause an appreciable
change in CO2 consumption. However, switching to a wetdry,
with trickle chamber, about doubled CO2 consumption. With a
sump but without the trickle chamber and with a covered
overflow box, the consumption would be sharply reduced but
not as good as using a canister filter owing to the
air-water mixing in the overflow.

Imo, an Eheim skimmer on a nice canister can make a very
workable set up that conserves CO2 -- just keep your eye on
the skimmer's upper intakes -- and train your otos

Hope that helps,
Scott H.
--- Amr Anwar <aanwar at ezdk_com> wrote:
> Hi all
> I want to setup a planted tank 48"X30"X24"  140 gallons
> and I'm really frustrated to use which light setup of the
> following:
> First lighting setup  :  8X48" daylight flourescent lamps
> (8X40=320 watts   2.2 w/gal)  
> OR 
> Second lighting setup :  12X26 watt spiral compact
> flourescent lamps 
> i.e The first question is : Do you prefer to use daylight
> flourescent lamps or spiral compact flourescent lamps ?
>      The Second question is : Do you prefer the tank
> height to be 20" or 24" which height is better for the
> plants knowing that I will plant amazon sowrds and water
> sprite and cabomba?
>     The third Question : If I want to use an ehiem
> surface skimmer in order to clear the water surface and
> to give a chance to exchange gases with the air and
> supply oxygen to water to serve the high fish load which
> I will host about (100 fishes angels,gouramis, rose
> barbs, clown loaches,SAE,zebra danio ) can I with the
> surface skimmer ( which let co2 escapes ) but using
> presserized co2 setup mantain a 30 ppm co2?

The AGA's Sixth Annual International Aquascaping Contest is open! 

So, get some fresh alkalines for the camera, clean the glass front, back and sides, remove the filter tubes and burping clam, and start snapping the shutter. 

Not ready for picture taking yet? There's still plenty of time for planning, planting, pruning before the closing date for entries -- rumor has it that the closing date will be sometime date in early September.
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