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schizoid tank

>I'm new to the list.  I've been raising fish for 30 and killing plants
>for the same period of time.  I decided to get somewhat serious about
>growing plants for a change.  I've been lurking for the past month or so
>and have learned a lot - quite the active group!  Anyways........  I
>have a 120 gal tank (2X2X4') that I have been starting to set up with an
>>attempt to grow plants but at the same time I would love to put some ( 4
>or so)  Altum Angles, add some of  my gold nugget & zebra  plecos or
>instead some Discus.  As a result I have
>started pulling the tank in what I'm afraid is two different directions
>at once:

So far, perdectly do-able, and a good sized tank for the project.

>For the fish I have put together a good filtration system.  29 gallon
>sump with bio balls feeding four marineland biowheel 30's on the back.
>The water is pumped by a 1200 gal/hr pump (at 4' head = 700?) and makes
>a nice flow over the top of the water by a spray bar across the back of
>the tank.  Nice for the fish not so good for CO2?

Correct.  You don't need that much bacterial filtration in a planted tank,
and you sure don't want that watter agitation.  You can use your sump if
you want, and even use the bioballs during the run-in period if you feel
that you must. (although you'll do at least as well by limiting the
bacterial filtration and establishing a good healthy growth of plants
before introducing your big fish)  But return the water BELOW the surface,
and install supplemental CO2 in the return line to replace what you've
outgased in the filter.

>For the plants I have purchased flourite gravel,  made my own under
>gravel heater (with help from the Krib),  I'm toying with the idea of
>CO2 and am not sure what I will do for lighting but it will be more than

If you have 2W/g of light or more, your plants would probably benefit from
supplemental CO2.

>So.... Am I asking for trouble with temps in the 80's, messy fish and
>trying to grow plants at the same time on my first real plant tank?  Is
>there any synergy in what I want to do or am I just making a compromise

It's certainly not the easiest tank to attempt on your first try, but it
certainly can be done, and done successfully.  You might want to check out
my column at the Aquarium Frontiers web site:


I don't remember which month it was, but I discussed the set up and
maintenance of just such a tank recently. I want to guess maybe Sept.?  In
any case, they're all archived there, so I'm sure you can find it.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association