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Old 08-14-2005, 01:29 PM   #1
zacdl
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Starting up FW-What equipment is needed?

I just LOVE the simplicity of FW. It is so easier than SW and I can leave just about anybody to care for the tank if I am gone or something. Just extreemly simple and low maintince, looking forward to it actually.

I want to prevent as many things as I can if I go to FW. Like in SW I should have gotten a Phosphate remover, but never thought of it. Could have prevented this cyano outbreak. If you get my drift.


SO! Now what do I need? Everything from sand to lighting.

What I currently have:
30 gallon hex tank (Its a taller tank, was thinking "angels")
72 Watts (I thought it was 2x32 but its actually 2x36, sig is wrong) of CF lighting. I remember something like 2 WPG for plants. So somewhere along 3 WPG (Pretty darn close, actual water volume after stuff is added will be less) will be more than I need. I currently have an Actinic and 10,000K bulb, I will have to get rid of those and get two 6500K (Everyone agree with this?)
A Whisper 20 filer. Great little filter, works fine. This will do me for the filter I think.
100 Watt Stainless Steel Thermostat Controlled heater. I love this thing, love stainless steel. I love the idea you set it to a TEMPERATURE rather than a NOTCH.

I think that is about all I have equipment wise that I will need for FW (The rest is SW stuff). Obviously I need a FW test kit, food, etc.

Next... CO2. I was thinking of getting this setup:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pCatId=8981
Does 20 gallons, but in my previous experiances 20 gallon stuff normally does a 30 gallon tank. What kind of CO2 systems do you guys prefer (Cheap ones )


Substrate. I seem to recall being told NOT to use sand. What shall I use? I really dont want to go for the cheezy blue gravel look again....
Here is a link to these peoples substrates:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...?N=2004+113555

Ups and downs of each substrate?


Driftwood. Any places to buy driftwood online? How do you guys aquascape FW aquariums? What kind of plan would you think would work well with my tank? Current pics at www.zactrades.com/gallery


I will try lookin at fish, seeing what I like out there and see if they are all compatible and let you know.


I just havent been in the FW ballpark so long I just cant remember what all I need. Suggestions welcome, I would like to make this work!
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:38 PM   #2
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You can use sand is freshwater without problem. It's just when you start getting plants is when it can become an issue. Some do not like the sand and prefer gravel or other plant substrate. Driftwood can be bought online but your lfs should have it in stock also. You may have to shop around. I prefer Malaysian driftwood because it's heavy (sank FAST) and is dark in coloration. It accents the fish coloration. If you are wanting to do this tank "right" I'd look into getting a UV Sterilizer. I dont know how they fare with plants, but I've heard great raves about them in general. They will help keep your tank water crystal clear and prevent free floating parasites such as ich. A good gravel vac such as the python is great to have. I'm not sure on saltwater setups but I think I remember my neighbor mixing water several days before water changes and letting it sit in containers with a powerhead. This is not needed in freshwater. And a good dechlorinator (again, I'm assuming that you already have something, but Prime is a good product).
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:49 PM   #3
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I ordered my driftwood from here. I was very happy with what they sent. They were also super nice. I have sand and only a few live plants. I really like the sand better than the gravel. It looks more natural to me. Definitely look into the python. It will really save time on your water changes.
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:57 PM   #4
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I have AquaSafe as a dechlor.

I will look into the Python.

I wont get sand because I am pretty sure I will be using live plants (And the excess can go into my outdoor pond!)

Any other tips?

UV I ~might~ get at one point in the future, I dont think they do much though, havent seen any results with the one on my pond.
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Old 08-14-2005, 02:04 PM   #5
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It looks like the python cleans, drains the tank, and at the same time replaces water. Pretty neat little thing!

Here is a Q tho... Do I run the python, then add Aqua Safe to the tank? Because I obviously cannot add aquasafe to the water going into it.

So there is water running TO the tank, and TO the faucet. Are there two hoses?
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Old 08-14-2005, 02:37 PM   #6
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O yea... And what test kits do you reccomend? What do I need to be testing for? Harness, ad the basics? Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, PH?
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Old 08-14-2005, 03:00 PM   #7
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What happens is you hook the python up to the faucet. Turn on the water and it will pull tankwater from your tank. Then when you are done taking out water, flip the plastic piece and it will start running water the other way through the tub, filling the tank. Just add dechlorinator as you are adding water. There is only one hose. Make sure you adjust the temp of the water before refilling though. That way you are adding the same temp of water back into the tank.

A good test kit is the Aquarium Pharm. Freshwater Master Test Kit. Big Al's sells them for about $20 after shipping. If you also want the hardness and phosphate test kit then you can buy those seperately for about $10.
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Old 08-14-2005, 03:13 PM   #8
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Old 08-14-2005, 04:36 PM   #9
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Do I NEED hardness and phosphate test kits?
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:55 PM   #10
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Here are a couple of Qs.

What substrate do I need to get?

Do I need an air bubbler?

Driftwood... Where to buy?

Anyone have ideas for an aquascape?
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