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Tank update

About three weeks ago I mentioned that I had just decided to setup a 100 
Gallon tank which I had obtained from a friend.

I would like to thank everyone for their kind emails. I haven't had a chance 
to answer them until now but here goes.

A couple of you asked how much I paid for the 100 Gallon tank (72 X 18 X 18 
inches) including a steel stand, Biowheel filter, submersible heater, some 
fish and some live plants. I paid $200.00 CDN. Personally I think it was a 
good deal.

Even more important I live in an apartment where both water and electricity 
are included in the rent so my ongoing operational costs will have no effect 
on my costs. Still I like to be as efficient as possible to prepare for the 
future big move that will ultimately happen.

Now on to more exciting things:

I've been working at getting my tank setup. I've added the following (thanks 
for all of the good advice).

1 additional 2 bulb shoplight giving me a total of 4 - 48" 40 watt T12 
4 new 48" bulbs. 2 Home Depot Daylight Plus bulbs. 2 Home Depot Full 
Spectrum bulbs.
10 Otto cats (talk about full time vacumn cleaners)
3 Flying Fox (active but no real conflicts even though they are usually 
recommended in ones).
4 more juli Cory Cats.
1 Container of Tropica MasterGrow (actually only at half the required dosage 
for my tank size as recommended on the bottle).

My surface water now is very minimally agitated. The Biowheel filter is 
still on the tank but no longer running. I am still not using a heater in 
the tank. The tank does have a 2 to 3 degree temperature variation between 
day and night. The tank is located about three feet back from a South facing 
window which means that for a brief period each day full sunlight reaches 
the tank. In warmer weather I'll need to watch the temperature variations 
even more to make sure that the temps don't reach to high a point. Algae is 
not currently a problem but I'll keep an eye on it.

When I originally added the Tropica Mastergrow I saw some limited grow but 
certainly not a significant amount. However I will point out that the 
previous owner still had the plants in their pots. Last Saturday I removed 
the plants from their pots and planted in smaller bunches thoughout the 
center 48 inch light zone (since I have a small amount of light 160 watts on 
the tank rather then overlap the two fixtures I have centered them both in 
the center 48 inches of the tank. This concentrates the light which should 
make a difference. The plants are also centered in this area as well so my 
72 X 18 X 18 is effectively a 48 X 18 X 18).

I will admit to a sense of nervousness when I started removing these plants 
from their pots after they had been in them for greater then 3 months. Root 
growth thoughout the glass wool was quite extensive. I have four different 
plants in my tank. Luckily only one type was extremely difficult to remove 
from the wool. Even using small tweezers it was impossible to clear around 
the roots for this plant.

As of yesterday it had been two days since the plants were replanted 
directly into the substrate without the wool and pots. Yesterday I began to 
notice some significant growth with several of the plants having growth up 
to 1.5 cm in length.

Water changes occurr weekly and average approximately 20 percent.

Yesterday I added two clay flowerpots which will act as caves until the 
plant growth becomes more extensive and until more lava rock is added to 
more naturally create the caves. I basically purchased two new clay pots for 
$3.00 and then with some new hacksaw blades (10 for $3.99) I cut these pots 
into two pieces giving me three and a half caves (it would have been four 
but I dropped one in transit).

I currently feed the fish once a day. They eat a varied diet including 
frozen blood worms, OSI spirulina flakes and Savoury sinkers. Surprisingly 
enough many other fish seem to enjoy the sinkers besides the cat fish. It's 
truly amazing to see about 20 neons attacking a sinker on the bottom.

There is minimal Algae in the tank. I actually have an Algae tank growing in 
a well lit bucket near the tank. Currently about 20 baby platys are resident 
but I plan to occassionally have rocks in the tank so that Algae can root on 
them. When Algae growth is too low in the main tank I'll move a rock into 
the tank to provide food for the Algae eaters.

I've also been very lucky in that I managed to find the last 4 months worth 
of Aquarium magazines at one of the LFS. I also understand that there is a 
local aquarium club in town as well (London, Ontario, Canada).

Next steps:

1) I am currently pricing out the supplies to build a wood top for my 
aquarium. I plan to have 8 T8 48" bulbs staggered thoughout the tank which 
will give high light intensity in the center tank area with moderate tank 
intensity to the sides. The inside of the canopy will be painted white and I 
will likely include a fan to maintain a cooler light bulb temperature as 
much as possible.

As an alternative to the 8 T8 48" bulbs I am willing to consider 8 T8 72" 
bulbs if I can locate them around here.

I also intend to build a small matching enclosure type screen which will 
surround the bottom of the stand to hide the filters etc which are located 
beneath the tank.

2) I also intend to pick up a high pressure CO2 device once the lights have 
been setup.

3) Test kits for ph, iron etc.

4) More plants once I get a feeling for how the current ones are doing. I 
also need to continue to work on identifying the ones I have.

Anyway that's the update for now. I have to admit that I am really enjoying 
watching my tank in the evenings when I come home from work.

Karen Randall:

I know that you've been on the list since I've been here. I just wanted to 
thank you for the interesting articles you've written in the past few 

~Jamie N
jnoble123 at hotmail_com

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