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Old 07-05-2004, 10:20 PM   #1
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To plant or not to plant (Angel species tank)

Hello forum:

I'm putting up a new tank (my 4th, oh jeez), which is a 30g FW. I specifically got the X-tall model with the intent of building a species tank just for Angels, with plenty of room. I've never used real plants before, and the plastic ones for taller tanks usually look so cheesy, so I thought I might check into this planting thing.

Right now, I just have the bare tank with an Ebo Jager heater and an Eclipse 2 light/filtration system (my first attempt at one of these models). I put on a solid black background so whatever I put in the tank will be the focal point. Knowing that my intent is to create a home primarily for Angels, should I plant or not? If so, what are some fairly easy-to-grow plants that will help make the tank comfortable for Angels? Should I plant them before I add the fish, or after?

Also, are there other things that Angels typically like to have around them that I should be sure to include, such as driftwood, special rocks, rock formations, or non-fish inhabitants? Even though the tank isn't dirty right now (it's brand new), should I consider a pleco?

TIA,
--AquaBear
(Quickly becoming a fish fanatic)
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:12 PM   #2
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Well the problem I see it is that you have a lousy lighting system. You might try and grow some of the taller longer Crypts. With the height of the tank and low wattage of the hood I doubt they will even do well for you.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:12 AM   #3
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I'm sorry, I don't follow what you're saying. I don't have any plants at all, it's a brand new tank. The Eclipse hood has adequate lighting, I would hope. Are you saying that my hood is insufficient to grow real plants?

--AquaBear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:19 AM   #4
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How many watts is the light that came with it? You should have about 2 watts per gallon in order to have live plants.
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:03 AM   #5
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eclipse hoods are known for not having enough lighting for plants. how many watts per gallon do you have?
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:16 AM   #6
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Unless things have changed the Eclipse 2 hood has two 12" bulbs. Call it 20 watts or so on a 30 XH tank.

Eclipse hoods have just enough light to see the fish and to help prevent algae growth but not nearly enough for plants.

Also note that due the the mounting angle of the lights in an Eclipse hood that most of the light in a 30 XH is going to strike the very back of the tank.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:28 PM   #7
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I will give you my experience with Eclipse tanks - I have a 12gal and a 15gal Eclipse and I grow java fern, java moss, c. walkerii, bolbitis and aponogeton. These tanks have essentially 1wpg and are extremly dim tanks, so I feel lucky to grow what I have, but they do grow and do just fine.

The problem is going to be that in a 30-gal the bulb is going to be even farther away from the substrate, so it might be difficult. You can tie some java fern/moss to an upright piece of driftwood, or terrace the tank so that in the back the substrate is higher and closer to the bulb. You can also mix with the higher quality silk plants and it will fill it out nicely. Like Rex said, algae will not be a problem for you, so count that as a blessing!
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:09 AM   #8
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OH, I get it. So it's a wattage-and-output thing. Man, it's a wonder I ever made it through high school...my chemistry is all off, and now all that shop class stuff eludes me. <sigh> According to the manual, this model has 2 18" 15 watt bulbs. Added together that's 30 (assuming you can add wattage of 2 bulbs together)....not enough to have lights at 2 watts/gallon. Maybe I can find a stronger bulb that will fit (surely to goodness, that must be possible). Alternatively, maybe I could get some rocks and build up the back of the tank about 6 inches, bring the plants a little closer to the light. Other than that, I guess silk plants would be my next best bet, because angels do like plants.

Oh me.
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 07-07-2004, 01:22 AM   #9
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its not recommended you put a stronger watt bulb than what your fixture was intended for (does that sentence make sense?) you don't want to short your fixture, which, over water especially, is a bad idea
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Old 07-07-2004, 08:45 AM   #10
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Actually you can't get "stronger" bulbs. You are stuck with 30 watts of light in that tank unless you put in an expensive retro-fit.
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