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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1215

>Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 10:32:59 EDT
>From: SCraig9087 at aol_com
>Subject: Large tank problems
>I just bought a 220 gallon tank from a dealer who is replacing his display 
>tanks.  It is 6 feet long, 2 feet wide and 30" deep.  I welcome any 
>suggestions for CO2 fertilization, filter, lighting (more than 3 watts/gal 
>because of depth?), landscaping, plant selection etc.  Has anyone tried 
>Flourite from Seachem as a substrate?  Thanks!

I'd say go with the Flourite.It will cost alot for a tank this size
though............other wise 2-3mm plant sand/gravel and laterite in the
bottom 1/3 of your substrate. Profile looks nice also.
I have  a 135 with Flourite in it and I'm dang happy with it. Check out the
archives, you'll find a ton  of info in there on all your questions.

Gas tank CO2 system, perhaps semi automated to turn off CO2 when lights are
out(you'll need a solinoid).On a large tank you'll save on the refills doing
Filter depends more on fish load but enough to move the water around some at
the least.
A sump with a wet/dry might be considered due to large size and to keep
everything in one tidy area. You can buy a different sized pump for your
return depending on your needs(1/2 tank volume would likely do the trick
just fine). Lighting, good bets would be MH's(metal halides) 3 x 175watters
or 2 x 250watters(but there will be some darker areas due to the spread),
VHO's have had many great success stories. PC's would do nice also. 

An idea that might help would to terrace the back portions with glass slats
@ 6" and 12" glued in place along the bottom. This would bring the gravel
layer up to 18 " above tank's surface. Using lower light plants on the
bottom terrace also would allow you to use less lighting and still have a
nicely planted tank. The upper layer will grow the higher light plants due
to closeness to the lights. Building up pieces of driftwood/lava stones
towards the back and attaching plants to this "wall" ,is an idea. You have
alot of room to play with 72x30x24!

Due to the height, fast growing system plants wouldn't be a bad choice.
They'll suck up nutrients, and can keep growing without being trimmed
weekly. Good tank starter plants anyways..............you can change to what
plants you really want later.  

Be patient with it. Do it the way you want. Do not take short cuts on a
larger tanks. I've seen many people, including myself, do it the hard way.
If your handy, DIY'ers can save $ on the CO2,lighting, stands,etc.
Best to check the APD archives first.
Tom Barr