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Old 08-15-2005, 01:20 AM   #11
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Do I NEED hardness and phosphate test kits?
I don't think you NEED the hardness kit. Most stores will do the test for you. It's just nice to have at home instead of going to the lfs. Phosphate kits aren't really NEEDED either but if you are having issues with algae or green water, this will be the first test that is suggested be done. Our lfs doesn't do the Phosphate test for us so that's why we bought it. In all honesty, I think I've used it three or four times.

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What substrate do I need to get?
This is all a matter of personal opinion. I love sand and hate gravel. But if you are planning on keeping plants, I'd refer to the Planted Forum and ask.

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Do I need an air bubbler?
You don't HAVE to have one. As long as your filter provides enough airation, you don't need one. I have one in my tanks because the bubbles help hide the wires and equipment. Plus some of my fish play in the bubbles all day long. It reminds me of the fish off of Finding Nemo. My Red Devil does circles around the powerhead through the bubbles. So cute. Plus, if you treat for ich, you'll want an airstone in the tank to increase oxygen.

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Driftwood... Where to buy?
I buy from the lfs. Malaysian driftwood is what I have in my 55 gal tank and it is a nice dark redish/brown coloration. It had no problems sinking like a rock the second I put it in the water. So far it has not released tannins but I soaked it for a few weeks in water before hand.

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Anyone have ideas for an aquascape?
What do you mean?
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:59 AM   #12
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The layout of my tank. I havent a clue what I want it to look like. Placement of driftwood, where the plants go, and etc.
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Old 08-15-2005, 10:48 AM   #13
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The layout is entirely up to your. However you like it is how you should set it up. You could also try to mimick the natural habitat of the fish. There really isn't a particular way to setup the tank.
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