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Starting Again

johnfw

New Member
Joined
22 Oct 2009
Messages
9
Hi All,

I am starting tropical fish keeping again after a 20 year absence. My tank is 60 inches long x 18 inches deep and has 24 inches of clear water viewing space. I estimate that this size tank will hold 93 gallons of water.

I have been receiving conflicting information on the following subjects and would be grateful for some advice.

1) I intend to use 2 x 200w thermostatic heaters rather than one 300w so that if one fails I will still get some heat into the water until I can remedy the problem.

2) The tank will be situated in my living room which has windows on three side however the tank will not receive any direct sun light. I intend to go for Arcadia T5 lighting. Should I get 2 or 4 lighting tubes? and what type?

3) When I last kept fish I grew straight and twisted vallis, Amazon Swords and crypts. All grew well (the straight vallis to over 72 inches long in a 66 inch tank) on a 2 inch base of peat which was then covered with a further 2 inches of grit. Should I continue with this method? and in addition add some clay? I live in West Sussex and my garden is predominately Wealden Clay.

I intend to use the Eheim Pro3 2075 filter system.

johnfw
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,083
Location
Chicago, USA
johnfw said:
1) I intend to use 2 x 200w thermostatic heaters rather than one 300w so that if one fails I will still get some heat into the water until I can remedy the problem.
This is all personal choice and the effectiveness of the heater(s) will of course depend on how well heated the room is, how much the tank is lit and so forth. In my experience heaters are more likely to fail in the energized position than the de-energized position. Most prefer to have less unsightly equipment visible in the tank so the single heater might be better in this regard.
johnfw said:
2) The tank will be situated in my living room which has windows on three side however the tank will not receive any direct sun light. I intend to go for Arcadia T5 lighting. Should I get 2 or 4 lighting tubes? and what type?
You can get as much lighting as you want, however, more light means more risk of algae. You're not asking the right questions actually. You ought to be asking about CO2. More light means you need to add more CO2 and more nutrients. It really doesn't matter about direct sunlight impingement as long as your CO2 and nutrient dosing is up to par.
johnfw said:
3) When I last kept fish I grew straight and twisted vallis, Amazon Swords and crypts. All grew well (the straight vallis to over 72 inches long in a 66 inch tank) on a 2 inch base of peat which was then covered with a further 2 inches of grit. Should I continue with this method? and in addition add some clay? I live in West Sussex and my garden is predominately Wealden Clay.
During the past 20 years we've come to the conclusion that it's all a bit too messy and complicated. Mind you, that combination still works but it's much easier and less messy to use a commercial substrate such as Amazonia Aquasoil, or Flourite, or Eco Complete or even a cheap, high CEC substrate like Akadama. These are all clay based products hardened to a greater or lesser extent by baking. Have a cruise around the Substrate sub-forum for more details. You also need to be aware that if you plan on using megawattage lighting you had best consider dosing the water column and to not depend on the substrate alone for nutrition. This is a BIG issue.

Cheers,
 

johnfw

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Oct 2009
Messages
9
Thank you Ceg for your advice. My apologies for not replying earlier
Regards
John
 
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