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[APD] New to group

   Hello from New Mexico,
My name is Justin Travis. Being a fuel Hauler and soon to be father of four 
I somehow manage to squeeze in time to watch and care for my aquarium. It's 
a 46 gallon bowfront community tank with an interesting substrate I think. I 
like the look of black sand, but hate the expense. I used the aquatic plant 
soil from Walmart since it was sterile and non fertilized to start. I then 
was able to procure five gallons of the black well fracturing beads that 
Halliburton oilfield services uses to increase oil flow in well bores. The 
beads are perfect 2 and 3 millimeter balls and flow like sand, but they will 
not compact under pressure. This allows for root hair growth and water 
circulation for the entire depth of the beads. I also like the fact that my 
gravel cleaner will not suck the beads into my drain bucket.
    I've got several small group of  bronze, and green wendtii's growing 
across the fore and midground. I've been trying to get my dwarf saggitaria 
to spread, but it's a slow grower. I also have crypt. ciliata, brazil swords 
and amazon swords growing from rear midground to background. Obviously this 
isn't an accurate biotope with Amazon and Sri Lankan plants, but it's fun to 
watch the fish play around.
   I've got 70 watts of mixed plant growth and sunlight flourecents from 
Coralife. Not quite 2 watts per gallon, but a heck of a lot better than the 
original 28 watt single strip that the aquarium came with. I like the new 
double T-5 strip that I've added. I may dump the 28 watt for another double 
    I've been using the DIY CO2 generation system with a large airstone that 
I've seen in a few places. I'd love to have the high dollar CO2 cyclinder, 
but I have more time to fiddle with the mix and the airvalve than I do spare 
change for the other system.
    OK sorry if I've rambled, but I'm glad to have found the list and hope 
to hear from everyone else soon.
Justin T. Travis
Lovington NM.

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