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Re: Amano's Tanks

 From: "Bev" <bevgreen at cygnus_uwa.edu.au>
>Subject: setting up my first 'planted aquarium'
>Hi list,
>I have been 'hanging' around on this list for a few months, I have been
>reading eevry aquatic plant sight on the net and i have also purchesed
>Amano's Nature Aquarium world which contains many beautiful, well no less
>then magnificent planted aquariums however i learned very little from this
>book in terms of technical info.

Amano lists complete technical info for each tank in a diagram under the
tanks.  The only things not listedare:  the Genus/species of each plant,
which are in the Second volume in the 3volume series, and perhaps the exact
chemical nature of his water source.  If he could bottle his tapwater, I'd
buy it! 

Amano's tanks are not 'new' tanks...this guy has worked for decades in the
hobby.  He is as much a Plant Biologist as any PHD I have delt with in
college, post-grad.  The 60g tanks have lower lighting then some of his
other tanks.  But, one must balance the ammount of light w/ the type of
plants being used, the ammount of co2 being injected, water changes,
hardness, pH, etc.  Its not as easy as it looks. 

>However all of amanos tanks of this size use 2x4ffot tubes and a few of
>them use 4x4foot tubes this contradicts all i have read a this gives most
>of his tank 1 wat per gallon

Since this is your first tank, i would stay away from MH until you decide
that you are really into plants and want to spend the $$.  These have to be
plant tanks w/ a couple fish, not Fish tanks w/ a couple plants. 

You should read Amano's book.  He explains how you have to find 'BALANCE'
in your aquarium.  His tanks are a combination of art & know-how.  I see so
many posts from people trying to find the cheapest way to do something.  I
learned a long time ago that the aquarium hobby, more specifically, planted
tanks, reef tanks and sw fish only tanks, are not for lazy or cheap people.
 These tanks rarely succeed in the long-run and usually just frustrate the
owner into giving up.  

Shoot for 1.5-2wats/g at first, I have 1watt/g and my plants are doing
fine, but i do choose some plants that dont require as much light.  I will
be upgrading this slightly in the future.  When I can afford it, I will
move on to VHO lighting on bigger tanks.  DIY co2 is a great idea, you can
get plans from www.thekrib.com/Plants/  Its a great site.

>I nneed some honest advice please. I am also unsure about stockling with

>fish. I would like to have a few angels and small tetras, wont the waste
>increase risk of algae problems. I am mainly concerned about the polants, 
>When do I add the fish, I understand that i must add the algae eater first
>(bristle nose catfish, Otto, siamese flying foxes, and golden algae eaters)

I want to address this issue.  I do not know where this Misnomer has
started, but it needs to stop.  When you first start an
aquarium.......THERE IS NO ALGAE, algae eaters eat ALGAE, at least I think
so?? ---especially when they are younger.  I have seen and heard soo many
people tell me how their algae eaters died 2 weeks after they bought them.
Suppodoly, the fish store owner said, "you have to add this fish first."
This is absurd to me as a college graduate and semi-environmentally aware
person.   Second:  when you start an aquarium it cycles.  Algae eaters are
verry sensitive fish and cannot handle the Ammonia & Nitrite peaks you will
have. Get yourself a few hardy fish like zebra danios or the CHEAPEST FISH
you can FIND.  Any good fish store that sells aquatic plants SHOULD, IMOP,
offer to take back the 'break in' fish and also monitor the cycle for you.
If you are serious about keeping plants you should buy your own nitrite,
nitrate, pH, and hardness kits.  
>The light tubes available here are sylvania - aquastar(belive is
>triphosphor, isnt this the same as the tritons) and growlux
>				Philips - aquarelle and aquacoral
>				Triton although they are 3 tiimes more pricy then 

I really like Tritons.  Get them mailorder, they are much cheaper.
www.thatpet.com or www.petwhse.com

Just my 2 cents worth.

gary j. plano jr.
jettat19 at mail_idt.net