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Another 60G cube thread... Need input

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by ntino, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. ntino

    ntino Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,
    Been reading for a while, however, this is a first post for me. Hope to get some advice on my next tank (currently have a high tech 240g discus planted, automated water change, ect.)

    60g(24x24x24) Cube rimless starphire, from glass cages, bottom drilled, 3 holes along the back side. 1" schd 80 bulkheads.
    Stand is 46" so middle of tank will be slightly lower than everage eye level - 5'.

    First question I had - Cant decide whether I should do 1 intake 1 return, or 2 returns aimed to the sides with 1 intake in the middle.

    Diagram looking from the top. -ignore the dots

    1- 1 intake 1 return in back of tank

    ---------------------------
    -..0.....................x..-
    -.............................-
    -.............................-
    -.............................-
    -.............................-
    -.............................-
    -------------------------
    2 - 2 retuns - which is what i am leaning to- i would do it anyway, because this is obviously the better option, but dont want clutter unless it really benifits.
    *******************
    *.0..........x.........0..*
    *............................*
    *............................*
    *............................*
    *............................*
    *............................*
    ******************
    I have a sequence dart pump which gives around 1000gph at around the 5-6' head i expect, I could throttle it back anytime I want. its only 140w at peak, so should be a nice pump

    Plan on doing 2 OC filters parralel, the 340 and 354, C02 will be 386(orwhater the number is) mazzei, via a loop with throttle valves.

    I was hoping this setup would give best disribution and flow, as well as being able to hide everything neatly.

    Lighting is a 250HQI, suspended from ceiling - external ballast will be kept uptop as well. Dont know which HQI lamp to get, been using t5 up till now, I know I need something in the 6500-7000 range but which brand would you suggest?


    Substrate - I have been using flourite in the past, but dont like the look much, and its a pain to wash when you get it(even though the 72x30 tank I had obviously needed alot more than this one will).
    So... Eco Complete or ADA - everyone here are partial to ADA, but when I went to their website, i read it lowers KH... I have soft tap water, about 7.5ph and 2kh... so is Aquasoil really a good choice for me, if so, Should I get the Amazonia II or I, and what is the practical difference between the regular and powder form(powder sounds nicer to me). Also, does anybody have any idea how much I need in liters? Couldnt find a calc for AS anywhere.
    I probably plan on dry starting with HC - seems like the way to go, not sure of landscape, but probably a center piece tree with a couple of dark stones to the back(possibly hiding the intake)

    The tank will be mostly plants with shrimp and maybe a couple of SAE/otos and a small pleco, but focus is really on plants. The 240 gallon I have is alot to take care of if you want your plants to always look best in terms of trimming and pruning, so rather than focusing on that tank (with the feedings my discus get, i only dose potassium and iron+micros and it pretty much runs automatically).

    So this tank will need to please the mediocre artist in me, and I really want to try and make it a great show tank that I could focus on planting.

    Hope the post isnt to long, and any and all input will be greatly appreciated by me!
    Thanks,
    Chris.
     
  2. ntino

    ntino Guru Class Expert

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    Anybody?

    Mainly concerned with the layout - wanted to hear opinions, and whether ADA Aquasoil II is a good choice for somebody with soft water, and also wanted to know on what OC filter best to couple with a 340 (do I even need 2 for a 60 gallon).

    Please help :)
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think many that have tried ADA AS II are not that pleased and many are going back to plain old regular ADA AS.

    question1:

    The latter choice is best IME.
    More output choices.

    Lamps: 6500K, 8000K, 10,000K really depends a lot on your preferences.

    My tap is softer than yours and I have no such issues with lowering KH etc, not that it even matters. Some seem to think it does. I have plenty of doubts about that however.

    3-4 bags of ADA As will do fine.

    I added a Seio wave pump, 530 gph at the top and bleed air in at night, but I have a high fish load, this is in addition to the Rena 4 filter, which has 450 gph flow rates and a sponge prefilter for the intake as well.

    CO2 is a venturi simple Tee, not mazzei or anything, you could do the mazzei if you wanted and tee off, you have plenty of pump power, the rena would never do well.

    Still, you can go either way, realize that the 60 cube does not have much surface area and the area is short, so long turn over patterns are not possible, so you really have to churn things that much more to degas and make sure too much cO2 does not stick around at night.

    No one using mazzei should ever add CO2 at night.

    Regards,
    tom Barr
     
  4. ntino

    ntino Guru Class Expert

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    Tom, thanks so much for your input.
    Ok, going to go with 2 outputs, as I was leaning to.
    As far as Air/o2 goes, do you know of anything that would enable me to have an electronic air valve for air tubing? that way I could T off the suction port on the venturi, and pump in air during the nigh co2 during the day. I have tried looking, but dont think it exists. I am hoping to keep everything outside the tank, so that the only thing that is visible(or hidden) are the intake/output coming from the bottom.

    So basically you are saying light temp doesnt matter? in my t5 setup, I have giesemann t5 lights at 6700k, which are speciffically for plants, but if I understand correctly, with a HQI, I could put in the light it came with (10k) and that would be fine for the plants?

    Any experience with the 354oc filter? From your experience would you even recommend 2 filters for a 60g?

    Thanks again for the advice.
    -Chris.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Adding air can be done a couple of ways to degas and add O2 as well.

    1.
    Use a solenoid in the close position to seal off air entry.
    Then at night, say about the time the lights go off, open it and have the air get sucked in and chopped up.

    3-4 watts, cost about 30$, still need an electric cord.
    Good news, all those tiny micro sticky bubbles can clean things up somewhat.

    2.
    Air pump, small air pump placed into the direction of flow.

    The light temp is more for you, not the plants.
    They do not care that much.

    345 OC filters are nice etc, I use Wet/drys after a fair amount of fiddling with canister systems, I really do not like them.

    I like bag filters, large sumps and venturi fed CO2.
    Plumbing is easier, DO levels tend to be higher, no need for degassing at night etc, easier to change out any media(lots more volume as well), add any sized heater.

    Believe it or not, the sound is quieter too.
    Eventually I'll switch out my tanks and add the built in over flows.

    But I had to try and see, as well as measure.

    Plant folks are so damn fricking pro canister it's stupid, but I know why many are:

    1. Low CO2, if you typically are running on the lower side, have few fish, then yep, these will do much better.

    2. If you have efficient CO2, then it really does not matter, eg CO2 mist/venturi fed etc

    3. You can have higher fish loading with sump/wet drys.

    4. Sumps use less electrical due to pumps using less (lifegaurd pump uses 48 W for the same out pump as the Iwaki which uses 110 watts or so, it has higher pressure etc, but uses a lot more energy, which I do not need with this type of design.

    5. It's quieter, hands down. 3-4x so when you get to the scale of 100-or more gallons.

    6. No need to degas at night.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. ntino

    ntino Guru Class Expert

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    So let me see if I got this right.
    110v 1/8 air solenoid hooked to a timer connected to a T going into the mazzei, with co2 being on the T as well? Any particular brand? dont have any experience with air solenoids, I imagine they are all the same?

    Canister filters are the way to go for me in this case, since I am really trying to keep everything out of the tank, with a sump, you cannot do so - kind of ruins the look of the tank, of course you could also have a really tall clear PVC pipe taking in the water for the sump - that would probaly look better than the traditional methods.
    I will see how the OC canisters preform, I think I shouldnt need much wet dry filtration, because fishload wont be great at all.

    Also, about aquasoil, I have read about clouding issues alot - is that really true, or is it only true if you madly uproot all plants every couple of days?
    Also, if I understand correctly, I would need 4 9 liter bags of AS?

    Again, thanks for your input, the air solenoid is a very good idea!
     

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