I used to dabble in freshwater 19 years ago when I was 19. My kids have a hand me down (from their Grandpa) Marineland Euro 28g bow front w/ glass top and 24" light strip w/ T8 18" 15w flourescent lamp. It also came with a Top Fin 30 filter and Neptune 100w heater. I finally got around to cleaning everything up today and verifying the tank is leak-free.
I would like advice on the following ideas. I plan on ditching the Top Fin 30 filter and buying an Aqua Clear 50 or 70. Or use my old Supreme Aquamaster PME power filter with the Top Fin 30. I think the 100w heater will suffice, if it even still works, until we go on a vacation in the winter time and leave the home thermostat set at 60, at which point I think a 150w or 200w would be better.
I'm very interested in using real plants, which means I'll probably need more light. Are there any low light plants that will allow me to use my existing light? If I determine I want to stick with real plants, what do you suggest for a new light setup which still fits on top of the tank without ridiculous overhang? I've read that with a 36w setup, I won't need CO2
, which is a good thing because I'd rather keep this as simple as possible.
For livestock, I was looking at two kuhlii loaches, one or two clown loaches, one or two corys or dwarf plecos, bala sharks, redtail sharks, tiger barbs, assorted tetras (suggestions?), angelfish. Obviously, I don't want to overpopulate, so I am looking for suggestions.
My kids and I went to a couple big box LFS
' today to do some window shopping and look at prices of equipment. I also tried to find some PFS at Home Depot and Lowe's. I didn't find anything that specifically said "pool filter sand", though at Home Depot I did find the same sand a local pool supply store is selling as PFS. It is marked Industrial Quartz and is supposed to be 20 grit silica sand. Lowe's did have Quikrete All Purpose Sand
, though probably not what I should use. I'll make some calls to other pool supply stores this coming week.
I need substrate soon, so I can get going on the fishless cycle. Of course I'll need to settle on which filter to use and will also be picking up the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Do I need to use the Top Fin Water Dechlorinator for the tap water? What about Top Fin Bacteria Supplement or Top Fin Water Conditioner?
Anyway, I know I'm covering a lot here, but I'm trying to soak in as much as I can and get the ball rolling on something my kids and I can work on together. Thanks.