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New tank set-up- questions, etc.

My husband just started a new job (after a year and a half searching! :) But
that's beside the point...) He would like to set up a planted tank in his
cubicle. I've been helping him decide on what to do, but I do have some

He's decided on a 20 gallon tank- not the best, but it's not a very big
cubicle. :) It will have 55 watts of cf lighting, pressurized CO2, Onyx
substrate and he would like to put an Amiracle SlimLine wet/dry filter on
it. He doesn't like all the tubes, wires, etc hanging in the tank and
figures this way, he won't need to have all that. I've never used one, so I
was wondering, first, if anyone knows anything about them?  Second, I know
you can make sure that the siphon won't drain your tank in case of a power
failure by putting a hole in the siphon tube, but what about the pump
returning the water to the tank? Once the power comes back on, won't that
start up again, and if the siphon is broken, isn't there a danger of
overflowing the aquarium itself? Or are we just not getting it? :)

Second thing is the water there. We have a well, so I am used to water that
is high pH, good, steady KH around 5 dKH, and almost liquid rock. The water
at his workplace is just about opposite: low pH (6.8), GH is 4dGH, and KH is
almost non-existent, and has chlorine in it (we checked with the water dept.
and he's brought samples home for testing.) I know how to deal with the
chlorine. :) That's one of the reasons we were thinking the Onyx would be
good- it does have some buffering qualities, right? Will it be enough or
will we need to add sodium bicarb, also?

I've got two planted tanks here at home that are both doing pretty well, so
I can help with a lot of the basic stuff, but I was hoping some of the folks
here would be able to add to what I don't know (which is still quite a bit!)

Thanks for any and all help!

Updates 1/30/03

You can't ask to start over just because you're losing the game.