Time for a new tank

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by andy, 15 Dec 2007.

  1. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    I will be having a bit of building work done in my house in the new year which will include a "hole in wall" fish tank.

    I have room for a 48 x 22(w) x 28(h) planted tank. Plans are to have a sump which would include an area for biological filteration, mechanical filteration and chemical filteration if needed.

    Lighting would probably be done with 2 x 150w, 6500k metal halide lights with additional T5 tubes if needed to get the balace right. A fan would help disperse the heat.

    CO2 would be via a pressurised system using 2kg fire extinguishers and dispersed by two of the glass "pipe" dispersers (from Hong Kong) distributed by a "splitter" from the same country. A solenoid valve would turn the CO2 off at night and a timer would then turn an air pump on.....until i can afford a pH monitor.

    Substrate would be some kind of aqua-soil....or possibly JI1 compost with a very fine black gravel on top

    Decor would be rocks and bogwood

    Water would be a mix of hard Sussex tap water and RO

    Please pick the bones out of that lot. I'm not into arty-farty AGA designs....i love the jungle look with lots of different sahpes, textures and colours.

    Fish would be a mix of rummynoses, cardinals, harliquins, honey gouramies, clown loach, plecs etc

    Suggestions, critisism and compliments are welcome

    Andy
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Andy,
    A single 2Kg CO2 bottle for a 100 gallon tank? You'd better get a few of those because you're going to be swapping out bottles every few weeks or so. :wideyed:

    High light + compost = leaching ammonia = algae. If you insist on compost I believe the convention is to bake at 200C for a few hours to fix the nitrogen. But other than for cost reasons, why bother? Just use any popular enriched substrates like EcoComplete, or Flourite and top with ornamental gravel if you don't like their looks.

    In my opinion RO is unnecessary unless you intend to grow the handful of low KH plants like Tonina. One less complication I reckon.

    PH monitor is unnecessary and counterproductive if you intend to use it for pH control. Just use a timer to turn CO2 ON/OF and set you bubble rate. Trying to drive the tank to a target pH often leads to trouble (see BBA).

    Cheers,
     
  3. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Thanks mate....this is what i need.....a bit of constructive critisism and a pointer in the right direction so i get it right first time.

    Yep...got two x 2kg full FE bottles

    Ok....i am on a budget but i will price it up to see if i can afford it.

    Always liked using RO mixed with tap water. Keeps the pH down a bit and the tank just seems to sparkle when i use it. All plants and fish seem to like it too.

    Sounds good to me

    Thanks for taking the time to reply....and have you been to world of fishes yet ?

    Andy
     
  4. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Not sure what you mean by pipe diffusers? Will they be up to the job of dispersing CO2 in such a big tank? As you have got a filter return outside the tank why not look at a CO2 reactor outside the tank for more effective CO2 dispersal?

    As Clive said, don't bother with the pH controller as it will be adjusting the CO2 level to balance pH, whereas in a planted tank what you really want is a stable CO2 level. If the pH fluctuates it isn't a problem.

    I've got soil in one tank, but it's pretty messy and the growth is ok, but not that special. I'd go with a proprietary substrate as it eliminates an area of doubt/possible problem.

    The other thing is to make sure there is planty of working space above the tank and sump as once the tank's in place you don't want to be struggling to get into the tank to trim etc.
     
  5. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Sorry....the little glass jobbies with the membranes in them which you get from ebay


    Ok, i've seen some eco complete on ebay....
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Caribsea-Eco-Comp ... dZViewItem how many 20lb bags would i need in my 48 x 22 tank and would i just use EC or have it on the bottom with sand on the top.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to reply

    Andy

    [/quote]
     
  6. Rob33

    Rob33 Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Andy:

    There is a substrate depth calculator HERE Don't know how accurate it is, but might give a ball park figure.

    I'm thinking of using eco-complete myself..... what sort of depth would I be aiming for?
     
  7. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    I used a, "eco complete calculator" on another forum and for my tank....48" x 22" wide and at a depth of 3", it said i'd need 176 LB....9 bags :wideyed: :wideyed: :wideyed:

    Might have to have a rethink :rolleyes:
     
  8. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Just a few of my thoughts:

    JI Seed and Cuttings compost has minimal fertilizer in it. I believe the higher the number, the more fertilizer is present. I think there's another thread which goes into the components a bit more (probably Subtrates!)

    You mention Aquasoil - did you price that up? :wideyed: Ecocomplete's cheap!

    Depending on your planting, you might get away with using Ecocomplete in certain areas, rather than all over. As I understand it, stem plants and carpeting plants aren't fussy over nutrient substrates, but swords and crypts are.

    Plecs can be a bit boisterous and can cause damage in a planted tank IMO. Anything over a Bristlenose size and I think there'd be plants being uprooted.

    Remember that clown loaches get large (6"+) and even though you've got a pretty big tank, I wouldn't put 10 in there. They may also squabble with the plecs as the latter can be territorial. My bristlsenose chases off everything from his piece of wood inc a large red tail black shark, a moonlight gourami and angels.

    Just my thoughts...
     
  9. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Think i would possibly go for a 1.5" layer of eco-complete with a 1.5" layer of sand on top.....that would cut £100 off the bill !!!

    Unless you have any other way of providing a decent enough substrate without spending a fortune. I'm not a lover of swords so wouldn't be keeping them by the way.

    many thanks

    Andy
     

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