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Old 05-13-2006, 03:19 AM   #1
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54g corner...general questions

I have some experience with tropical fish, and my dad just bought my mom a tank with all the setup, of course without consulting me, despite my mom telling him to, so basically getting anything and everything the guy told him to get... I told him I'd send him for my tank next, so long as he pays!

Here's what he got:
*54g All-Glass corner bowfront tank and glass cover
*Rena Filstar xP3
*Hydor eth (external thermal heater) 201
*Flora Base (4 or 5 bags)
*Some sort of CO2 filter thing, I'm not sure, he couldn't explain it to me, but no CO2 tank, no fizz things, my mom said something about chaning something out maybe monthly or every 6 months...I'm really not sure, I think it cost around $200.

So, what do you guys think about this? Any suggestions? It's her Mother's Day present, so we'll be setting it up in the next few days. I'm just wondering about the flora base. I've heard that it raises the hardness of the water, which is something we definantly do NOT need! Our water is already hard and alkaline, and my mom is going south american... Are there any substrate suggestions you guys can make? What about filter media? I was thinking we coudl put peat in one or two of the sections of the filter to help lower the pH, would this be a good idea? anything else you can think of?
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:15 AM   #2
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Wow that setup sounds potentially fantastic. I've always wanted a corner setup..

i've heard peat is quite effective, keep lots of driftwood and solid inert rocks that will not mess with the water hardness or ph.

all the best,

Matt.
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeFeKt
solid inert rocks that will not mess with the water hardness or ph.
what types of rocks are these specifically?
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:34 PM   #4
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A friend of mine geologist/tank builder wrote this article for our local forum, hope it clears up a few things.
Sorry, we have turned off guests viewing the forums so it's no point me posting the address, heres the most relevant text.

Quote:
In General

Water becomes hard by dissolving soluble salts from the rocks or soil over or through which it flows. Some rocks, for example, slate, granite and gneiss, contain little or no soluble material and have a negligible effect. Others, most notably limestone, are quite the opposite. Hence rocks may affect water chemistry: corals and shells are largely calcium carbonate and some gravels often contain fragments of these substances. Hardness free rocks are a pre-requisite of the soft-water aquarium.
Quote:
Never forget that in choosing and arranging rocks you must always keep the fishes' requirements – water chemistry, shelter, swimming space, spawning sites and so on – in mind, and be prepared to forego any ideas which may please your eye, but cause them physical or psychological discomfort. Your aim should be to provide them with a replica of their natural environment in which they will feel at home. They reward you by looking their best.
HTH

Matty
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:38 PM   #5
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and a little info on wood.

Quote:
Why use wood in your aquarium?

Pieces of cured wood/bogwood provide shelter for shy fish and spawning sites, as well as a visual counterpiece for the aquarium. Many plants that possess rhizomes instead of true roots require such structures for adhesion to grow. In addition, many sucker-mouth catfish require wood to rasp upon in order to aid digestion. It is also a viable way to provide the environment and water chemistry required by many soft water (blackwater biotope) species.

Coconut shells and cork bark are also ideal for soft water situations.
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Labidochromis caeruleus
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Aulunocara stuartgranti 'chipoka'
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:01 AM   #6
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thanks, that's good info. I'm still wondering about the substrate though. Does the Flora Base really make the water harder, and if so, are there other substrates that would be better?
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