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Old 02-10-2005, 04:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 130
Just got a 65g, so many questions!

Hey all...

Just got a 65g - it's so huge! (My other tanks are 24g and 29g, so to me a 65 is massive...) I have tons of questions about it, thought I should put them all in one thread...

Just to note, I live in South Africa so a lot of the products you guys use and recommend are not available to me...

First, I want to use sand as a substrate...My other tanks have gravel, but I want to try sand because a) it's something different b) it's cheap (always important) and c) I want to make this a nicely planted tank. I will be spraying the back and sides of the tank black, so a black or grey sand would be great but can't seem to find anything like that. Flourite, laterite, eco-complete etc are not available around here, but would like sand that is beneficial to plants if possible, otherwise will try root tabs. If I can't get black or grey sand, a dark brown would be the next best thing. Any suggestions? Also, at the moment I have an aquaclear 200 seeding in another tank - I will cycle the 65g with this, then put a canister filter on it and probably remove the aquaclear. I gather there are problems with sand getting in the impeller of aquaclears, can someone tell me how - explicitly, I'm a bit slow - to fix this? Also, do you get the same problem with canister filters? I've never owned one...

Next, can't seem to track down PC lights anywhere. Tank is 1.2m long, just not long enough to get 48" tubes. Will have to get 30W 36" tubes, so will put four in the tank for around 1.8WPG. I will have to build a custom hood, what wood is good for this? Can't afford anything too expensive. My friend built his out of pine, but it's already warping. Marine ply would be nice, but too expensive.

Want to go for a simple, nature aquarium type look - one big piece of driftwood as centerpiece, carpet plant covering sand. I can't get riccia or glosso here, and would need more lighting and CO2 injection anyway, so what plant would you suggest? I know one of the LFS sells dwarf hairgrass, would that be ok under 1.8WPG? And how fast does it grow? It's R15 (roughly $2.50 I think) for one pot, so not cheap. Would prefer to buy as little as possible and wait for it to grow.

Some other info...tankmates will start off with my fish from my 24g - 4 neons, a clown loach, a CAE, and a pair of dwarf gourami's. Would like to add many more neons, or possibly serpae or cardinal tetra's, some angels maybe...Or just scrap the lot and get a black ghost knife - would love that, they're so beautiful...

Sorry this is a bit long, and thanks for all the help...

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Old 02-10-2005, 05:13 AM   #2
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make sure you get a sand that's inert such as quartz (i'm learning about sand myself), either put some prefilter foam over the intake of the aquaclear or leave it off while the sand settles, i think having black spray paint and black sand isnt very pleasing to the eye i would try to have some contrast i.e. light-medium colored substrate and black paint or vice versa jmho

hope i helped a little...who's next?

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Old 02-15-2005, 05:54 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 130
24g Community: Dwarf Gourami's, Neons, Platties, Clown Loach and a Chinese Algae Eater.
29G Nature Aquarium: Got first 6 serpae tetra, will be adding more soon.
65G Nature Aquarium: Cycling.
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