Re: Custom tank idea

> From: pevad at islandnet_com (Paul Evad)
> What we have to work with is about a 36" W x 48" deep x 24-30" tall area (a
> fairly big, box like tank) sitting just off the floor. It's a concrete slab
> so I suggested that we build a 1-3" wooden platform to put the tank on. 

This doesn't give you much head room for lights or getting in to insert plants
in the substrate, cleaning algae fromthe glass or removinglarge bulky things
from the tank such as driftwood etc.  You also don't have much room for a
"standard" sized tank.  Probably you want a custom made job.  It's also nice to
have a storage area for a CO2 canister, Eheim or Magnum micron/diatom filter,
equipment, testkits etc.

Is the tank going to be at eye level? That's preferable. I don't think an
elaborate biological filter system is strictly essential although many people
still use them on plant tanks. Plants act as excellent nitrogen reducers.
Mechanical filtration is more important and I'd suggest a canister filter
which can use diatom powder for the occasional cleanup. Plant debris is
always an annoying problem and you can't have that clogging a prefilter
for a pump or a siphon tube which might result in a pump burnout, so I'd
suggest giving thought to a screening device. For a show tank such as what
you're describing, I'd recommend a CO2 tank with a regulator and needle
valve. I think your friend is going to invest some effort and money into
this venture. He should also be prepared to do a lot of learning by
experience since a newbie starting a plant tank takes some time to get the
results he's probably seen in pictures of show aquariums. The idea of situating
terrestrial or amphibious plants around and near the tank is an excellent one
I think. George Booth has an extremely attractive setup like this which I
admired on the tape he sent me recently.

- Steve