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Help with new tank, 46 gal bow (long post)

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by suep, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    Greetings! I found this site a few months ago and have been lurking, this is my first post.

    I bought myself a new tank for Christmas. :) It's a 46 gallon bow front. The tank is 36" wide, and just under 21" tall. I have a Coralife fixture with two 96 watt compact fluorescent bulbs, 6700K. I plan on running one bulb 12 hours a day and maybe the other one for a couple hours in the middle of the day as a surge. Filter is a HOB Aquaclear 50. The substrate is Florabase, the lfs likes it... I planted it this morning with a bunch of large Amazon swords, anubias, wendts, microswords, some water sprite and other clippings from my established 10 gallon tank. It's not as thickly planted as the small tank (the jungle) but it's getting there.

    I'm planning to do a planted Discus tank after it cycles. I'm assuming the cycle will go pretty fast because I added a bunch of filter gunk and clippings from my established 10 gallon tank. I also did a 1 gallon water change on the established tank and dumped the water into the new tank. My water is rain water from a cistern at the barn. It runs pretty low PH, low GH. In the winter, I'll buy RO/DI water from the lfs, I need it sitting around for the salt tank (10 gallon mixed reef) anyway.

    The 10 gallon tank planted tank has been set up since last May, with some neons/cardinals, a red betta, a couple guppies. Substrate is gravel, and I dose Seachem ferts and Excel daily. No C/02. I add Equilibrium & baking soda when I do a weekly water change. It's been very successful, I'm hoping to match that success with the new tank.

    And that's my question. I've never tried Florabase before and I don't know how to dose with it. I don't mind dosing Excel and the other Seachem ferts. Can I dose the same ferts and the same schedule as the small tank even with the different substrate?

    I'd like to move to EI eventually, but frankly my head is spinning a bit with the chemical names. If someone could give me some pretty specific brand names for chemicals, I'll wander by the local home store.

    Thanks!

    --SueP
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You only need two chemicals for EI dosing, KNO3 (potassium nitrate) and KH2PO4 (mono potassium phosphate). With those two you need a trace element mix, which can be Flourish, or Tropica Plant Nutrition Liquid, or any other similar trace mix. The big tank will have far too much light to do without CO2, so you either need to buy a pressurized CO2 system or reduce the amount of light you use. And, if you do use pressurized CO2 I suggest not using the HOB filter, but use a canister filter instead.
     
  3. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for the help! :)

    Is two watts a gallon too much light for Excel dosing? I don't have to run the 2nd bulb, the fixture has a dual switch... I also threw some floating plants in, water lettuce and frogspawn. I like the look and I don't mind pulling the extra out every week.

    I'm really trying to avoid C/O2, it sounds pretty complicated, esp when I'm out of town for a week and my husband is babysitting the tanks...

    The small tank is a Via Aqua 10 gallon. I don't know if you've seen them (Chinese import). The tank is 18" high, with rounded corners. It's very attractive, but the supplied lights stink. :-( I ended up junking them and using a couple of 36 watt CF desk lamps from Home Depot. One runs 12 hours, one runs about 4 hours during the middle of the day. All the plants are doing really well...

    --SueP
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Excel in a 46 gallon tank would soon get to be a lot of money. You would be dosing about 5 ml per day, and 20 ml every water change. Pressurized CO2 isn't really complicated, except perhaps when you first set it up. After that you can almost ignore it for a month at a time.

    I suspect you could get away with 2 watts per gallon on an Excel only tank. But, that is still close to being high light intensity.
     
  5. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    OK, thanks! If I can find somebody local who knows what they're doing, I may look harder at pressurized CO2. Right now, I'll just buy the biggest bottle of Excel I can find. :)

    Did you mean the Flourish fertilizer or the Flourish Trace fertilizer? I have both, but I want to use the correct one. Does the Florabase mean I won't need to dose Iron?

    I'll run by Home Depot this week and see if I can find the chemicals you mentioned. They can't think I'm any odder than the clerk did the day I asked for 1 raw shrimp and 2 raw scallops out of the seafood case. :p My brain coral is still dining off of that batch...
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, way too much light for your plan of Carbon addition.
    Plan on running one bulb 8-10 hours tops, even then.........I'd say 2x 39W T5's would be plenty....

    also, 46 gallon is a bit small for Discus, they really need at least a 75-90 Gallon for 4-6 fish.

    Unless they are a well established pair etc already, a bare bottom tank etc, it's a bit cramped.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    OK, thanks, I'll watch the light. And I'll look at CO2 harder.

    I know it's a bit small for a school of Discus, I'm hoping to find a pair that I like that get along. I don't want to breed or show, just have a pretty tank to watch. The lfs has three that have been together for some time but I need to wait a while before I add that much bio-load.

    I was thinking last night, and I may run downtown today and pick up a school of cardinals. I've got all the bacteria going from the old tank and I assume I need to keep it fed?

    I've been reading about discus and I hope to duplicate what this guy is doing with his tanks.

    Walter's Discus Aquarium - My Aquarium Tanks

    But if Discus just don't work for me, I'll drop back to angels and guarmiis (sp?).

    Thanks, guys. I'll let you know how things go!
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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  9. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    Thanks! I just ordered the ferts and I'll take a good look at the CO2 stuff.
     
  10. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    My ferts are here, and I'm going to try to pick them up at the post office this afternoon. Assuming I make it in time, is there a schedule around here for how much to dose daily/weekly?

    For the moment anyway, I'm going with Excel and only one light bulb, so low light. I have a bottle of Flourish for the traces.

    Also, is it possible to dose a 10 gallon tank with dry ferts without going nuts measuring minute amounts? :) I'd like to treat both tanks the same if I can. Easier on my brain...

    The lfs can set up pressurized CO2 but I'm still investigating. Anybody have any opinion on Milwaukee needle valves?

    Thanks!
     

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