Setting Up New Tanks

Karla and I have begun our process of redefining our tanks.  For any
newcomers, the original goal was to tear down two of our four large
tanks so they could be moved to allow the room to be recarpeted (and
now repainted also).  As we sometimes do, we have gotten a bit
carrried away. 

This weekend, we tore down our 7 year old, UGF, 85g Rainbow tank.  The
fish are now sharing the 120g tank with the other 'bows (a heck of a
crowd, actually).  The plants were trimmed and placed in some 5 gallon
buckets for the afternoon. After draining the water, we scooped out
the 150 pounds of gravel into a wheelbarrow lined with a plastic tarp.
Just like Dupla does with their big tank, except the wheelbarrow
wasn't in the tank itself.

We removed the UGF plates and THEY WEREN'T CLOGGED WITH ROOTS! (a
reference to an ongoing thread in r.a.f.p).  There was a minimal
amount of "mulm" - mostly just some reddish water from the laterite.
We will not reuse the UGF, but are keeping it to sell with the 85g

Moving the acrylic tank was child's play compared to a glass tank.  It
is now in a temporary location in the front entrance.  We shoveled the
gravel back into the tank without washing or anything.  After
refilling and connecting up all the dodads, we put the plants back in.
With just an Eheim canister, the water was pretty clear by early
evening.  We will add a few SAE and farlies once the temp is
stabilzed.  The other fish will stay with their friends for awhile. 

We have removed the adult angelfish from the 90g tank, leaving just
some cardinals, lemon tetras and maintenance fish.  We will raise the
temperature over this week and then transfer all the discus and other
fish from the 100g discus tank to the 90g tank next weekend.  The 100g
will be torn down and sold.  The old gravel will be tossed out.  The
stand will be moved to the entrance hall until painting and carpeting
are finished.

Two new 100g (60"x18"x21" high) "AMiracle" acrylic tanks are on order
and should be here in a week or so.  Once the room is finished, one
will be set up as a discus tank like before and the other will be
either a rainbow tank like before or maybe set up as a palludarium.  

I'm wondering if this size tank, with a hood, would work well as a
palludarium (Karen?).  I'm also wondering if I spelled palludarium
correctly.  I would like to see a "river" like scene - the 60" length
would seem nice for that.  Perhaps have a circular path around a
central "dry" island with the rear part covered by the top of the
island.  Might be fun to see fish come and go.  SAEs might like
something like that.  With a circular path, it might be possible to
set up a decent current with a good sized powerhead.  

Once the living room tanks are set up, it's on to the other two tanks.
Karla has decided we don't like two tanks in the dining room (the 90g
SST and the 120g SLAG) and I have decided we don't like to have four
tanks to clean - three would be much better.  The SLAG has not
been satisfying - the used MH hood we bought has noisy fans and weighs
a ton requiring some ugly supports.  The plumbing also didn't work
well and I've never fixed it. (see the gory details in the Krib).

The idea is to tear down the 90g SST, sell it off, put the 120g in its
place (same footprint except 6" more front to back, which can come out
of the plant shelf behind the tank).  We would pick and choose the
best equipment of the pair.  The full-Dupla coil system, plumbing and
MH light from the 90g, the larger wet/dry from the 120g.  The
resulting 120g tank will be set up for Rainbowfish as before.  The
resulting 90g will be sold to someone who doesn't know any better :-)

The 120g will now have a 250w substrate heating coil which should be
about the right size for that tank. I will combine the 100w coils from
the 120g with the 100w coils from the 100g and have 200w in the 100g
discus tank (83 F water temp).  I will use new 150w coils for the
other 100g tank (76 F water temp).

Yes, I think more wattage (a la Dupla) is better than less wattage (a
la Dennerle).  Just a gut feeling; no scientific justification. 

We have 3 kg of Duplarit-G (1 kg per tank) and 1 150w Dupla heating
coil on order from Daleco.  Now all we need is time. 

George in Warm and Sunny Colorado