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Re-vamping an establish set up or start afresh?


29 Aug 2010
Hi all

First post so go easy!

I've being lurking on here on and off for a few years! but have reached a stage where my tank is looking a bit sorry for itself and needs a make over. It was set up about 4 years ago and looked great then time became short and I had to revert to a more less intensive approach but have a bit more time at long last to have a half decent scape.

Current Set up Best described as a "Jungle" now originally iwagumi layout.

1)Tank 120x45x45 Opti white glass
2)Lighting Arcadia 4 tube T5 Luminaire
3)CO2 Green Machine professional set up with Aqua Medic ph controller/solenoid injected into Aqua medic inline reactor packed with ceramic media, this IMO is a mistake as it clog's reducing flow and a pig to clean. Currently not running CO2 ran out 12 months ago (anyone know of anywhere near Wakefield who can refill?)
Filtration Ehiem Professional 3 Thermo 2180 with ceramic media in all 3 baskets
4) Substrate ADA from memory Amazon coarse with fine on top and a substrate of ADA very coarse "lumps" cant remember the name.
5) Maintenance; I originally used my own RO water but found the our tap water quite good soft and low in phosphate and had no real algal problems, ADA ferts now just general JDL one every week with 40% water change.
6) Temp 24c photo period 10 hours. Ph 6.5 - 7.1
7) Live stock 50 cardinal tetra, 3 otto, 3 loach (to eat nails) and countless cherry and some Arno shrimps.


1)Can I re scape the tank ie remove all the plants/rocks and keep the substrate in situ or am I fooling myself and be better dumping the substrate and starting again?

Thinking Aqua soil used it in the past to good effect before this set up using Dennerle kit with and without CO2.

2)Whats the best way of injecting CO2

3)Should I go LED for lighting?

Any alternative to Arcadia as I've not being impressed with Luminaire quality having had to replace both ballasts and the tube connectors which all baked and disintegrated after 2 years

Anyone recommend a good local aquatic plant shops The Green Machine is great but unfortunately a tad far!