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Re: [APD] back after long hiatus... with questions

Since you asekd, I offer some comments below.

--- Jared Morris <jared_morris at sbcglobal_net> wrote:

> It's been at least a year since I was a member of the
> list, and longer since I posted last.  

Welcome back!

> I still have the
> same tank I set up over 2 years ago now with help from
> everyone on the list (thank you Tom Barr especially!). 
> In that time, my tank has looked very good, and very bad,
> but it has remained an awesome learning experience
> throughout. FWIW, it looks awesome now, since I've been
> paying atention to it enough.

As Karen Randall has pointed out more than once, planted
tanks "come back" from neglect quickly once the neglect

> First, I'm working with a guy who's converting his 120g
> reef tank into a fresh planted tank.  He has two 250w 10K
> double ended HQI metal halides, and wants to use these
> for his tank, which seems like overkill, 

It's a recipe for algae but with enough care and attention,
and lots of CO2, one can pull it off. But I certainly
wouldn't recommend that much light.

> but also looks
> badass.  He has a large wet/dry, and although I know
> canisters are better since you don't loose so much CO2,
> this is what he's working with... 

Keep the sponge in the sump or overflow or both for
mechanical filtration, remove the bioballs and run the
drain hose all the way down into the sump water. This will
slightly reduce some of the accelarated CO2 lose that
overflow & sump systems cause. It won't reduce a lot of it
since most of the CO2 loss occurs at the drain and in the
drain pipe. If he has a problem with the drain generating a
flushing effect (the drain tube occassionally fills up then
suddenly flushes itself) then try a large diameter drain
hose.  If the overflow is internal and the water has a long
drop down to the drain, then try a Stockman standpipe --
(see, for example,

The Stockman can help reduce noise but it probably won't
have much impact on the rate of CO2 loss.

> . . . Anyway, I'm making him
> one of these:
> http://www.gwapa.org/articles/inline_co2_reactor/,
> because I really like the one I have running on my tank. 
> One thing though: Should I make it longer, since he will
> most likely have to run more CO2 than it was designed
> for?  

I really doubt that it will need to be any longer.

> . . .Speaking of that, I was thinking he'd really need
> to crank the C02 up... how much do you think he'll need
> per minute or second?

About double what he would need if he didn't have the sump
set-up, but since a variety of factors come into play, it's
hard to know ahead of time what will be required. The best
thing is to start out low ( which might be about 20-60
bubble per minute) and adjust as measurements indicate
using the KH/pH/CO2 table.

> Secondly, I'm setting up another 120 (popular tank these
> days, huh?) for a lady who wants to do it all right from
> the start.  She asked about undergravel heating cables,
> and I said I wasn't sure how useful they were...
> thoughts? 

Usually very pricey and the benefits in planted aquarium
are at very best negligible if any. They can be slightly
more energy efficient than tube heaters solely due to
applying the heat first at the bottom of the tank, with
with reasonable water current inthe tank, energy efficiency
benefits aare not likely to be realized.

 Also, I was going to use the Eheim Pro II 2128
> filter, and run the same inline CO2 reactor I linked
> above.  

Might consider tee-ing off and sendonly only "half" the
water through the Co2 mixer. This will reduce the flow
resistance on the Eheim while providing adequate water flow
through the CO2 device.

> . . .Opinions and/or thoughts on these filters?  

They are expensive compared to Filstar and ViaAqua filters,
but they do perform and wear well.

> What
> would you guys recommend for lighting this tank? I was
> thinking of 2x250w MH system, but that's only because I
> saw the aforementioned system and was awed.

If this person is starting with planted aquaria, try
starting her out with a nice family sedan instead of a
formula one racer -- i.e., try something close to about 2
watts per gallon and certainly no more if unless CO2 is
being added. A single 250W halide probably will not work
well because it will be too much like a spotlight.

good luck, good fun,
Scott H.

* * * * * * * * * * *
So far it looks like this might be the biggest year ever for Aquascaping Contest entries from countries outside of North America. 

Share the fun; show your work.
The AGA's 6th Annual International Aquascaping Contest is open.

The deadline for submissions to the AGA Aquascaping contest is September 15.

Entries are only $5 and for that half a sawbuck you can have your AGA entry automatically entered in the ADA (Aqua Design Amano) contest for free, a savings in time and shipping costs!

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