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Re: [APD] My goldfish are dying


I'm not you, but if I were upgrading a planted tank this is what I would do
for a *relatively* low maintenance tank that is *relatively* inexpensive.
As you have seen, there are many ways of doing planted tanks, and there are
widely differing opinions.  My suggestions are based on the fact that what I
have done is pretty foolproof.

I would shoot for 2 - 3 wpg of compact fluorescent lights.  If I were
purchasing lights I'd be looking at kits from AH Supply.  If I wanted
something out of the box I would look at Coralife or Current USA lights.  I
would not use more light than 3 wpg because when something goes wrong it
will go wrong more quickly with higher light.

I would get CO2, a good regulator, needle valve and bubble counter.  You
don't need a pH monitor but you can use one if it makes you feel
comfortable.  I started with a pH monitor, and I am happy that I did but it
is unnecessary.  For me it was a learning/security device.  I would buy a
fine ceramic airstone or two from someplace like Fosters and Smith (they are
now carrying the same airstones that I paid a fortune to buy and ship.)

I would not buy laterite or ADA soils or any other substrate based on the
idea that it grows plants better.  Buy what you like based on how it looks.
I have Eco-complete in one tank and do not like planting in it although I
love how it looks.  I have fine Monterrey Sand in one tank (it is not fine
like sugar aragonite) and I have garnet grit/aragonite in another tank.  My
favorite, hands down, is the sand.  In my experience all substrates grow
plants well when you feed via the water column.  I would put down a layer of
chopped peat moss under the substrate -- I buy Whitney Farms brand, wet it
then stuff it into knee high pantyhose and put them down in strips.  Two
pretty much does it for a 55 gal tank.

I would give my plants nutrients via the water column.  This works well for
me.  If I were not worried about how much money I spend then I'd buy the
Seachem line.  If I were money sensitive then I would buy dry chemicals from
Greg Watson and www.gregwatson.com.  If I were using Greg's chemicals then
I'd hunt around and get a Tom Barr recommendation for Estimative Index
dosing that fit my tank size.

I would not use Prime because I have a *strong* sensitivity to the sulfur
smell it carries.  Very strong, as in I can smell it 3 days after dosing
(according to the directions) in other rooms in the house.  I use Amquel
that works well for chorine and chloramines.  Prime is a very good product
but not in my house.

There are dozens of things you can do differently.  This is a simple
approach that works and makes a good starting point.  Half the fun is
deciding what you are going to do so have fun.

I am sorry to hear that your goldfish are dying.  I don't know if Mycobacterium
marinum (Fish TB) affects goldfish but what you describe sounds similar to
it.  I lost a lot of fish to it, but didn't know what it was until *I*
tested positive for it.
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