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Many Questions...


I apologize for the second e-mail, but I have many questions to ask. I am 
in the process of upgrading my 55g to do it "the right way", rather than 
just "getting by" as I was before. Here is what I'm thinking about for my 

55g glass tank
3" 2-3 mm gravel
20 Dupla laterite balls pressed into the gravel, spaced evenly
160 watts fluorescent lighting (2 80 watt "shop light" fixtures)
DIY Co2 injection
Emperor 400 filter (use of 2 carbon/floss cartridges, aux. media cartridges 
are filled with peat)
good-sized colony of Malaysian Livebearing Trumpet snails
use of Duplagan water conditioner
daily use of Duplaplant 24 drops (2 drops daily)
daily addition of Plant Tabbs tablet fertilizer (1 tablet daily)
weekly 30 - 50% water change
heavy planting
light/medium fish load (10 corys, 3 clown loaches, 6 or 8 gouramis, a 
school of 10-15 tetras)

I apologize if I have left anything out. Now the questions:

- Can I add the laterite balls even with the tank 50% full? Should I push 
them all the way to the bottom?
- Is it ok just to use the generic "GE Aquarium & Plant" fluorescent bulbs? 
They are far cheaper...
- Which "generic" shop light brands are the quietest? I've noticed that 
many produce a bad hum... The tank is in a bedroom, so noise is a definite 
- Should I use 1 or 2 two-liter bottles for Co2?
- Is the filter ok? I know it's probably overkill in the GPH rating, but...
- Will the Trumpet Snails survive the loaches? I would think so, if they 
stay in the substrate.
- Is 2 drops of Duplaplant 24 daily sufficient?
- Is 1 Plant Tabb tablet daily sufficient?
- Acceptable fish load?
- Any suggestions for plants?

Thanks so much for all of your help! If you want, you can e-mail me 
privately or respond to the list. I've read virtually every page on "The 
Krib", and have found it to help me greatly.


Elam Ashman