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Old 09-02-2008, 10:22 PM   #1
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Getting a new tank.

After having convinced my Girlfriend that we needed a larger fish tank today during a phone conversation; Upon arriving home tonight I proceeded to "test the waters" and find out exactly how large a tank would be acceptable. Mentioning my plans for my new "40 gallon tank" and then in the next sentence mentioning the placement for my new "55 gallon tank"... each time increasing the potential size of said aquarium. The unmistakable expression on my girlfriend's face lead me to the conclusion that a 100 gallon tank was not in my future.
In fact it seems that 55 gallons is acceptable should I henceforth wish to reside in our bedroom and not the guest bedroom.

So.
It's time to comb craigslist for a 55BR. :p
No doubt I will have many questions post arrival.


On a side note, has anyone seen/made DIY lights with this method before?
Planted aquarium lighting.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:36 PM   #2
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Remember a 75 and a 55 take just about the same foot print.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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75 you say... hmmm
Which brings me to my next question.
What is the sweet spot for tank depth if you like a lot of carpet plants on the substrate?
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:36 PM   #4
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While I have yet to find the right 75 gallon tank on CL, I did get a master test kit today and discovered my water is around PH 7.5 and the city water information page states that our water is 25-30ppm hardness.. I'm not sure what these values mean aside from the fact that I have extremely hard water.
Are these readings something I need to be particularly concerned about?
I have a feeling that with my hard water I will have trouble housing the schooling tetras that I love so much.

I checked my existing 20G tank and the PH was 7.5 in there also, Additional values were: ammonia 0.25ppm nitrates:0ppm nitrites 0.25ppm ( My last PWC was 5 days ago)
Any thoughts on my water quality would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #5
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pH of 7.5 & hardness of 25-30ppm is not hard at all .... this is just right for plants & most fish. you don't have hard water until you see 300ppm or more (& pH of 8.5 or 9).

Any ammonia/nitrites in an established tank is not good. Is that tank cycled?

Finally, you can have a deep tank and carpet plants if you are willing to shell out $$ for powerful enough lights to penetrate the depth. If you want to keep your watts down, you'd want to have a shallower tank (say 16-18"), or alternatively, just have a deeper substrate so your plants are closer to the surface.
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:59 PM   #6
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Thank you for the great information.
The 20G has been up and running for years although neglected badly. I know for a fact that the aquarium is way over stocked. It has 40 or more guppies and the 2 6-8" Plecos.
I will be donating the guppies to someones "feed the Oscar" food bank.
I hope I can get away with the 2 Plecos in the 70G but people have told me that they WILL get bigger and ultimately we will have to part.
Does a deeper substrate cause problems regarding bacteria levels? How deep is too deep?
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:02 PM   #7
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Just read your other post ..... 2 x 8" plecos puts out a lot of waste, & your biofilter likely does not have the capacity to handle that. It will only get worse as the plecos grow.

You've gone past the bioload limit of that tank, with the presence of NH3 and NO2. In the short term you might be able to improve things by adding another filter. But a bigger tank is the better option. <Now, is your gf attached to those plecos? You can always tell her that they will die living in toxic ammonia soup in that small tank .... and since they will grow to 24" or more, they need at least a 6 or 8 foot tank ..... and what about that 250 gal you saw on craig's list ...... >
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:05 PM   #8
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LOL... I suspect the reason I have gotten away with the 20G and this load of fish is that I have a Fluval canister filter designed for a 40 gallon Tank.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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Regarding sand depth - the plants won't mind. However, a deep sand bed may produce anaerobic pockets that can produce toxic H2S from decaying matter. People with deep beds either stir things up weekly to aerate things or have Malaysian Trumpet snails to do it for them. If the tanks is very well planted, the plant roots will also aerate the soil as well.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:21 PM   #10
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Wow thanks for the great information. I have Malaysian Trumpet snails on my list thanks to JohnPaul's advice.
I hope to have it heavily planted and a DIY co2 system.
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