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Old 01-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #1
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new guy in need of some advice

hi guys
hopefully by joining this forum, u will all be able to provide me with some useful information and advice i making my newly setup community tank ( about three months old ) a success. it is a planted aquarium with large pieces of driftwood and gravel. i have also installed the c02 system for the plants.this really is my main aim as I really am such a newbie!!, i have a RIO 180 with an internal filter and also have an external filter (Fluval 305 )..... my tank has the following species

1 pleco
1 upsidedown catfish
3 corys
5 black widow tetra
3 phantom tetras
1 blue dwarf gourami
2 kissing gourami
1 pearl gourami
3 large angel fish
1 small angel fish
1 bala shark
2 young torpedo barbs
3 baloon mollies
5 platys
( is this too much, as the tank still seems quite empty )

few questions to start......
is it ok to have 2 filters running at same time?
how do i get rid of driftwood discoloration
is it ok to vacuum the gravel ( i have read conflicting advice )
have used INTERPET GREEN AWAY but this has made water cloudy ???

any advice would be really appreciated
rick
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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What size tank? Two filters at once is fine. Yes vacuum gravel, it will help get ride of all the nasty stuff that causes all sorts of problems. Idk much about driftwood problem as I have little experience with it, but I'm sure someone will be by soon who does.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickbarrett80
hi guys
hopefully by joining this forum, u will all be able to provide me with some useful information and advice i making my newly setup community tank ( about three months old ) a success. it is a planted aquarium with large pieces of driftwood and gravel. i have also installed the c02 system for the plants.this really is my main aim as I really am such a newbie!!, i have a RIO 180 with an internal filter and also have an external filter (Fluval 305 )..... my tank has the following species

1 pleco
1 upsidedown catfish
3 corys
5 black widow tetra
3 phantom tetras
1 blue dwarf gourami
2 kissing gourami
1 pearl gourami
3 large angel fish
1 small angel fish
1 bala shark
2 young torpedo barbs
3 baloon mollies
5 platys
( is this too much, as the tank still seems quite empty )

few questions to start......
is it ok to have 2 filters running at same time?
how do i get rid of driftwood discoloration
is it ok to vacuum the gravel ( i have read conflicting advice )
have used INTERPET GREEN AWAY but this has made water cloudy ???

any advice would be really appreciated
rick
Hi and welcome!
What is the volume of the tank?
Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?
It is fine to have two filters. Some would advise it.
The wood is leaching tannins. Water changes will help remove it and so will carbon. It's harmless.
If the tank is heavily planted you don't need to vacuum the gravel but I would advise lightly vacuuming the open spaces.
What is green away? An algae control product? I would discontinue its use. They can do more harm than good. If you are having algae issues it means something is out of balance in your tank. (too much or too little lighting, ferts or co2)

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Old 01-15-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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First off, Welcome to AA!

It is my belief that you cant have too much filtration. I have a 305 as well and I love it.

Vacuuming gravel isn't an option, it's a necessity to remove the detritus from the tank before it starts turning to ammonia or worse. Live plants will help a lot, but some vaccuuming is needed even then. If you have live plants I wouldnt go much deeper than 1/2 inch.

The wood is leaching and discoloring the water. If you have ever seen the dark brown water in wooded areas, this is the reason. It wont harm your fish, it just takes away from the visual impact of a nice tank (some people will disagree, but most prefer the water to be clear). I have a piece that is still leaching and it's almost a year old. Sometimes you can run it through a dishwasher a few times to decrease the amount of tannins in the wood, but even that wont get it all. Time will eventually take care of it, but how long is anyones guess.

Heaters need to be large enough not to have to work at maximum capacity to heat your tank. If you have a long tank or a larger tank it is sometimes better to use 2 heaters on opposite sides of the tank to keep the temperature more uniform throughout the tank.

I try to avoid chemicals unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes you cant avoid it, but if there is another way I will always try that first.

Stock list possibilities are dependent on size of the tank both in volume and in dimensions. More information is needed to be able to advise you in this area but I will say that a tank may appear empty but be at or beyond it's capacity. Many people start with an older formula of one inch of grown fish per gallon. This is a place to START but not necessarily firm because some fish like mollies have a heavier bioload than some other fish plus the size of a fish must be accounted for. I mean, you wouldnt want a 10 inch fish in a ten gallon tank.

Anyway, we have a good start... there is a vast amount of information here and a lot of good people that are willing and able to help, so you have made a good move coming here. Welcome!
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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thanks guys for your advice, i appreciate it, did another 20% water change today to try sort out the green away problem, hopefully that should solve it
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