I ran across a great deal on a 37g (36x15x16) acrylic tank from a friend that I am starting to build up. After running a successful 55g Cichlid tank for five years. I had to give it away to a loving home, due to a long distance move. I've decided to build a heavily planted tank on the opposite end of the spectrum this time.
My problem is, there are several "daisy chain" pet stores in my area. I have a huge selection to choose from, but most of them really don't have knowledgable help on complex aquiriums. I have yet to find a LFS
with knowledge/passion. Which has brought me here.
I've read several of the FAQ
, as well as hundreds of threads on here. Thought it was time to ask a couple of questions, to clear up some confussion.
I've decided to use Seachems Flourite substrate (the black fine)at a varying depth of 3". I might even mix in a bag of Eco Complete to break up the substrate size a little. That should be suitable to sustain plants. I've got this beautiful idea in my head that the black substrate with the black background of the tank would look great. Which leads be to my second problem.
As far as filters, with the fine substrate it seams UGF
would compact and not be very efficient. From what I've gathered UGF
are'nt very desirable for a planted tank. I would really like to run a good canaster. I had great success with Marineland in my Cichlid tank. However, my Cichlid tank was'nt planted very much, mostly wood and rock (got tired of replanting everyday). It seams that bio wheels affect the water surface to much, causing valuable CO2
loss. Would a Magnum without the bio wheel be ok, or maybe a Fluval 404?
Finally one last thing,the most important thing in a planted tank, lighting. The tank has a nice custom built canopy top, but I'm not satisfied with the lighting. I can easily modify the hood to fit better lighting. I've decided to go with AH Supplies PC
lights. Thier reflector looks really effective. Plus, even with shipping they are considerable cheaper than what I can find locally. What a deal! On a 36" long tank would a 1x96 watt (approx. 2.5wpg) or 2x55 watts (approx. 3 wpg
) be better? I'm concerned about the sides of the tank not recieving enough light with the shorter lights. I could always plant low light plants on the sides. Will the black background and bottum require more lighting due to absorbtion? Does the AH setup run hot? It appears the light tubes would be approx. 2" to 2.5" of the top of the acrylic. I'd hate to damage the acrylic top.
I realize with this amount of light, I'll need to run CO2
. Will a cheap DIY
set up work for a couple of months, to get the tank cycleing and help keep start up cost down a little. I can build a DIY
set up in a couple of months to spread the cost out a little.
As far as plants and fish, I'm still researching. I want to get these concerns clarified first and see where I'm at. Then add plants and fish accordingly.
Sorry this is so long. I was hoping some knowledgable, passionate fish lovers out there can clarify some of my concerns, before I start spending money. I'd really like to get the ball rolling and get this tank cycleing. Any help would be apprechiated more than you can imagine. Thanks
.........this sight is awesome! I'm hooked!