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Old 06-05-2005, 02:49 PM   #1
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A couple questions on a couple tanks

55 Gal tank

I will be setting this up July 1st but probably won't be getting the filter till mid July. The tank will be planted. Could I plant the tank and let the plants grow without having a filter? Fish won't be added until after the filter gets installed. But I am thinking of taking the very well established filter off of the 150 gal tank and putting it on the 55 then replacing it with a new version of the same filter on the 150. Sounds confusing i know, but I'm just trying to avoid a cycle on the 55 gal. That way I can add fish faster.

10 Gal Tank

I have been battling algae ALOT with this tank. The decor gets alot of green algae and the glass had lots of brown algae. I've torn the tank down twice trying to get rid of the problem, but it just keeps coming back. Will planting the tank help with the algae problem? I've heard that if you plant the tank, the algae will have to compete for the nutrients and the plants will win. Thus making algae growth very minimal. Is this true?

Sand

Both tanks have/will have a sand substrate. Are there any issues with plants and a sand substrate? Will it work?

Sorry for so many questions, I just didn't want to make 3 different threads when the answers are probably simple. Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2005, 04:59 PM   #2
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your 55.. the cycle will be much faster but I wouldnt expect it to not be there at all..but your plan sounds good..
your 10 gallon.. adding plants can help but if you want a fish only tank have you tried cutting down the lighting.. or keeping the nitrate down.. you might have phosphate issues have you tried a phosphate removing media?
I dont think that sand is recommended.. the grain size is a little small but Id wait to see what others have to say about strait sand for a substrate for planted tanks..
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Old 06-05-2005, 05:32 PM   #3
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The 10 gal doesn't really have lights on too much. I normally forget to turn them on in the morning so they get turned on normally around noon or 1 oclock. But that's just the weekends. During the week I'm not sure what the lighting schedule is like since I'm not here. But I'll have James only have them on for maybe 6 hours a day. I just did a water change and completly changed the carbon cartridge. It was so dark green. Apparently the tank didn't even go through a cycle when I changed out the substrate and cleaned everything in the tank a month ago. He has been monitoring the levels and hasn't shown an Ammonia reading at all. The cartridge that I had in it had been on the tank for about 3 or 4 days before the overhaul. Algae has always been an issue with this tank. Maybe it's the indirect lighting. The sun doesn't shine on that side of the house at all and the blinds are always shut during the day and open at night. Strange. The Nitrate's were at 20 yesterday and today I did a 20% water change.

Regarding the phosphate removing media, where would I put that? I have a small hob that has a slot for the sponge and a slot for a carbon cartridge. I don't know the name brand off hand, but I believe it's a Cascade hob. I have never tested for Phosphates. I'll check and see if my plant care test kit has a phosphate test. It is the Red Sea Plant Care Mini Lab.

I really wanted to use sand because of the look of it. I don't want to use gravel. If I have to use gravel, then I may forgo the plant idea.
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Old 06-05-2005, 06:49 PM   #4
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Many people here say it's actually better to use sand than gravel for plants.
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Old 06-05-2005, 07:24 PM   #5
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What are some low light plants that can just be rooted in the sand and left alone? I see those potted plants at the lfs all the time, could I just stick the pot in the sand? Java Ferns seem to be difficult to find around here, and to order them online, the shipping is outrageous.

When I plant the 55, I will be also planting the 5 and 10 gal tanks.
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Old 06-05-2005, 07:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyfanatic
I see those potted plants at the lfs all the time, could I just stick the pot in the sand?
That sounds good to me.
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Old 06-05-2005, 08:22 PM   #7
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so the 10 gallon gets no sunlight and has the lights on for less then 6 hours a day, just one question about the light itself.. how many watts of light are you using?
.. Im thinking it must be another nutrient in the water.. other medias would do best if you could get them into the filter but Ive seen them put in a bag and set on the bottom of the tank.. it takes alot longer for the media to do its job but there are applications for this type of filtering.. I would say if there is room in your filter to slide a "pillow" of media in it that would be the best place for it.. but you do need to test to see if you need it in the first place though..
Now that im thinking about it does the hood have a incandescent bulb..?
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:23 PM   #8
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The hood has a 15 Watt flourescent bulb. The living room has 1 big window in it that faces North. The building is two full stories and the tank is on the first story, therefore getting no direct sunlight. The blinds are always shut during the day but it is the closest tank to the window. It doesn't sit in front of the window, maybe 5 feet away.

I'm sure that the light is on more than 6 hours per day. I was saying that I would tell James to ONLY keep it on 6 hours per day. It is probably on 12 hours per day during the week, but I only keep it on maybe 8 to 10 hours during the weekend. I am only here during the weekend.

On a side note- I am leaving on the 16th for 4 days. Would it be ok to leave the lights turned off during those 4 days? The fish will be fasting unless I can get someone to come over and feed them. But I don't want to have someone come over three times a day to feed in the morning, turn off the 10 gal lights 6 hours later, then come at night and feed again.
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:21 AM   #9
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15 watts is enough to grow some serious algae if you keep it on long enough.. 12 hours would do it.. try getting a cheap analog timer and setting it for less than 8 hours..
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:23 AM   #10
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4 days is fine for healthy fish.. and it would be wise to put your lights on timers if possible...
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