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Old 07-09-2009, 04:40 AM   #1
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Some general newb help in setting up my 80g

hiya guys my names nick.

Iv got a 80g glass tank 900mm long, 450 wide and 750 high with lid. All other hardwere I still have to aquire.

Just some questions I have...

Is it true that for heaters the general rule of thumb is 1watt of heating per litre of water? I.e. for my 300L tank I need a 300W heater?- the reason I ask as I have seen a few items being sold saying they can be used on a 300L tank but are 200W..?

Secondly, the minmum number of times a filter should process the entire volume of the tank is 2/hour? I want to put a Eheim 2215 in which does 600L/h, so that is exatcly twice an hour...

I was wanting to achieve a planted setup (not heavily planted however) and like the use of yellow sand as a substrate, is this appropriate for growing plants in, or does an underlieing growing medium need to be added aswell and in extension of this; what is the deal with cleaning the substrate at a sand sized level? I understand an UG filter or siphon vacuum cant be used.....

Thanks alot, nick
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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Hi & welcome to AA!!

1. Plants - a lot depends on the light you have & how "high tech" you are going. If you stick to a low light set up (ie around 100-160 W of fluorescent light for your tank) you should not need any special substrate. <If you don't have that amount of light, I would strongly suggest upgrading before getting into live plants.> Coarse sand is a good medium. sand that is too fine gets packed down & form anaerobic pockets. Pool filter sand is people's favorite here.

2. Filter - Depending on the fish & numbers. 2x per hour change over is on the low side. <The filter makers are rather optimistic in their recommendation.> A heavily planted tank (that is healthy) can go "Dutch" & get by with less filtration, otherwise I would aim for 4-5x per hour (in a canister). If you keep messy fish, 10x per hour is even better. <That amount is the norm for reefs .... so if you have plans to change to SW, get a bigger filter to start.>

3. Heater - Depends on the water temp you want vs the room temp. A cooler tank in hot climate will need a smaller heater. For tropical temp (esp. up in Canada in winter!), you should have at least a 300W, or better yet, 2 200W's for better heat distribution & redundancy in case of malfunction.

4. Cleaning sand - You generally cannot gravel vac sand - it get suck up & out .... For planted tank, all you need is to hover the vac over the top to pick up bigger pieces of debris. Finere stuff gets broken down & become plant food. The sand bed needs to be aerated from time to time. Plant roots will do this. In unplanted area, stir with fingers with your pwc's. Better yet, get some Malaysian trumpet snails which will do the stirring & cleaning for you.

5. UGF - Not recommended in a planted tank (roots will clog the plates) and definitely not for sand (falls through the slots). Your best bet for a big tank is a canister.
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