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Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Tom Barr, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    Hi everyone, I started my first aquarium, a ten gallon one, with steel frame, when I was a senior in high school, back in 1953. I had valisneria, guppies and algae. Light was a single reflector with a 20 watt incandescent bulb. This was back in small town Missouri with no air conditioning, so the whole tank of guppies died as the summer heat went over 100 degrees F. After I was out of college I had a 40 gallon acrylic tank with salt water, no knowledge, and 6 months later, no fish either. That was switched to a fresh water, planted tank, with mostly anacharis, and a single fluorescent strip light. Fish were a variety, none of which survived much more than three months. Things didn't get much better when I switched to plastic plants.

    Then several years later I got a 20 gallon glass tank and used it for brackish water fish, all of which died within a year. So, I was well on my way to being a successful aquarist?

    About 5 years ago I ran into a website by a Vietnamese named guy which was a revelation to me. He actually explained all that is required to grow plants successfully in an aquarium. So, I started a 120 gallon glass tank, with mostly sword plants and valisneria. I used DIY CO2, and whatever cheap fertilizer liquid I could get at lfs. Lights were 8 40 watt fluorescent bulbs. That tank was very successful, by my standards. All fish lived for many months, up to three years. Plants grew profusely. But, algae was a constant battle, which settled into a truce. Then finances forced my wife and I to decide to move to a condominium and I sold off the tank, the plants and the fish.

    I am finally in my condo, the tank is on its stand awaiting plants ordered thru ebay. It is a 29 gallon glass tank and will use Soilmaster Pro Select Charcoal for substrate. The lights are three 17 watt fluorescent (T8) bulbs. I will use pressurized CO2, and EI. Livestock will probably be Endlers live bearer, cory's and shrimp. I just about tingle with the thrill of trying this again, with a lot more knowledge now, after reading so much of Tom's advice. Incidentally, I will be just about 70 when I get this up and growing.
     
  2. wapfish

    wapfish Prolific Poster

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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    VaughnH: Way to go!

    I'm new to planted tanks, though I've had fish off and on over many years. A discussion with a coworker a few months ago inspired me to try my hand at growing aquatic plants. (I thought fish LIKED plastic plants :) ) After initial problems with weak plant growth and algae, things are now running smoothly. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. Many thanks to Tom for his advice here and on other forums.

    I currently have 2 tanks. One is a 29g w/pressurized CO2 (>30ppm 24/7). Hard water, lots of KH for buffering. Light intensity (AH Supply/6700K CF) varies between ~2-4 wpg throughout the week. Substrate = Flourite. I use EI + Excel but also inject ferts into the substrate which has definitely helped. Next tank I'll try using a richer substrate to give the plants a better start. Plants are mostly easy growers, but I've started adding more interesting ones. This tank is populated by rainbowfish, large killies, corys, otos, kuhlis and snails. (I like snails!) It sits right in the kitchen where our family spends most of its time and is a real attention-magnet.

    I also have a low tech (Excel/no CO2) 10g with gravel and 3 wpg lighting. Small killies, dwarf gouramis, small pleco, and snails.

    Having fun.
     
  3. derekparr

    derekparr Junior Poster

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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    Around the end of 2000 I enherited a 20g H? fish tank from past roommates who didn't want to take it with them... At first I mostly ignored it, just fed the fish a little and such, until I saw a German friend's large tank that consisted of white sand with driftwood and java fern with a just a handful of nice small silver minnow looking fish. It looked like a natural ecosystem in a box, and that has been my goal ever since. For the first year I just threw in new plants and fish and watched what happened.. some would live, grow.. and die. And I enjoyed it. Then I moved and had to get rid of the 2 tanks I had collected at that point and gave them to my sister and present brother-in-law. A couple years later, late 2003, I got my own place and started to get into the hobby again, but this time I wanted to know what I was doing. After months of reading and being told contrary information I came upon the APD list and finally started to hear and read things that actually made sense. I'm not always successful these days, but I pretty much know why (laziness). When I do concentrate and spend the time on a certain tank I do and can make them look pretty good until I let things go again.

    What I have:
    33g: 4ft long at the base of my large living room window, has alot of native emmersed plants with a fair amount of current. Houses fish native to local creeks. Such as a 4" pumpkinseed, 4" margined madtom, and several shiners, speckled killi's, and the occasional darter. Non CO2 tank since the CO2 wasnt staying in the water due to all the turbulence. Now I just use excel and ei.

    37g: Tall tank, sits 2" off the floor on a board with rollers, Just have a piece of driftwood and several shiners and assorted other natives in it. Been making a new hood for it that will house 80watts and will include 2 timers, fans and maybe some extra power outlets, and will turn the tank into a table (it has a nice solid board on tob that sticks out 1" all around so if a drink spills, it won't go into the tank). Eventually when I finish the hood and have the nessacary lighting, I'll pump my CO2 into it and turn it into a show tank.

    5g: CO2 injected from a system made out of a 12oz paintball CO2 canister (http://www.derekparr.com/minico2/) .. lots of plants, currently 2 kuhli's and an otto. Was a small speckled killi that I moved to the 33g, since I just got some cool banded killi's and pygmy sunfish this weekend and will be putting them in there once I get it cleaned. (I had let it go).

    5g: Another 5g that I put mud, driftwood and fiddler crabs in from a trip to SC. Easiest tank to take care of... Every few days I drop some food in, and when the water level drops to the bottom I put in another 2" in.

    10g: Simple setup for fish from fast moving streams, specifically for some real cool darters I had caught in the mountains. Although they didn't make it through the summer even though I had the AC pretty high. Presently a crayfish, maybe 2, and a chub live there. It consists of loal creek gravel, with several river polished stones I had picked up where I got the darters from. I also have a powerhead in there to keep the water moving fast. The darters seemed to like it, I think it was the consistent 70 degree temps that got to them. I'd like to try again this winter, if I can get myself out to the mountains in the next month or so.

    15g metal tub: sits on my porch with a couple cheap hang on filters and lots of plants like iris, narrowleaf java fern, and an anubia. One 4" green sunfish calls it home. Real fun to feed him a bug from the porch light when I come home at night. I'll need to install a heater in it soon to keep it from freezing solid in January and February.

    2.5g: at work. Open top, have one of those compact flourescent lights in a swing arm lamp above it. Has the cheepest hang on filter I could find that says its rated for up to 10g. Same local creek gravel/sand that I use in all my tanks. Lots of plants, ludwigia, quadrifolia, chain sword. Chain sword is doing the best. Using Excel and a little EI. This tank probably does the best. Since its small there is less to care for, and since its at work, I'm more obligated to keep it looking nice. It houses 10? juvenile 1cm white clouds, one 1" long shiner, and some juvenile tessalated darters which have been dieing off since I haven't been feeding them enough since they'll only eat live or frozen and OSHA won't let me keep those in the fridge here. So I have to remember to bring food with me in the morning, which I often forget to do.

    umm.. well.. thats it.
    Not bad for a 1 bedroom apartment. ;]
    I wonder if I can fit another 5g next to my microwave?
     
  4. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    Hi everyone.

    I'm Brian and I'm from Yorkshire in the UK. I've been into tropical aquariums for about a year now, at first just fish but now into planted tanks as well so I guess that makes me a novice.

    I tend to do quite a bit of research before starting out in any hobby and found so much contradictory BS that I found my head spinning. After finding my way around the various aquatic plant sites they all seem to lead back to Tom Barr so here I am!

    I have three tanks at the moment and working on a fourth;

    A 45L non-CO2 lightly planted tank and a small selection of community fish;

    A 70L set up the same way;

    And a Juwel 190L heavily planted tank with CO2 and quite a high fish load.
    Its planted with with Echinodorus 'Red Flame' (an Ozelot derivitive) and Eusteralis as the focal plants, Some fast growers at the back (Hydrocotyle, Hygrophila Polysperma, H. Difformis, Cabomba, Vallisneria Spiralis and Java Fern) and a carpet of Eleocharis Accicularis, Echinodorus Tennelus and Sagittaria Pusilla.

    I am currently running the bigger tank using Dennerle fertilisers but haven't been too impressed. I have just ordered a load of dry ferts and am going to change to EI very soon.

    It's been suffering a bit with hair algae. After reading the various algae threads I assume it is the ammonia produced by the bio-load as I have ½ dozen medium sized Discus, together with some Cories, Neons and Amano Shrimps. I am in the process of setting up my fourth tank and intend to transfer a few fish across to it to reduce the load in the tank.

    My two smaller tanks have a small bio-load and algae is no problem, even though they are very low tech.

    Anyway, enough waffle!
    Brian
     
  5. jonathan11

    jonathan11 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    I'm an old geezer that revived his interest in aquariums a few years when I saw my first well planted fresh water tank. I presently have three aquariums, the fourth to soon be started. Anxiously awaiting my plants. My 75 is high light/CO2, a few fish. Finally mastered the technique of growing plants without !@#$%^ algae. I can concentrate on aquascaping now. My 12 gallon is a non CO2 tank, as is my 10 Gallon. The 12 is a community tank, the 10 I'm raising red cherry shrimp, and unfortunately, snails. I plan to put the shrimp in the 75 and 46 when I get enough of them.

    Walter
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    VaughnH, better late than never!! :gw

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    Since this thread seems to have come alive again ...

    I live in the Toronto (the one in Canada :) ) area. I have worked with tanks on and off for about 45 years, but it has been off for a about 10 until a year ago.

    I have 2 tanks, a 65g and a 29g -- both planted, both on EI. The 29g is in good shape, just about 0 algae. The 65g was "ok", until I went on vacation for 11 days, during which time it sprouted algae. I suspect my DIY CO2 did not keep up enough during that time (5 bottles on it, but of course at the end of 11 days they were all 12 days old!).

    The 65g is community (mollies, swordtails, balas (not too big yet :( ), guppies, cherry barbs, some tetras).

    The 29g has golen white-clouds and neons.

    I have a 30g sitting in the garage, and a 10g sitting in the workroom (which my wife found, I have no idea how long its been there). My task for the coming winter is to set those two up -- not fully decided on what to aim for yet, and to get pressurized CO2 on my 65g.

    I found tom-bar on another forum, and started to read. I know the site's aim is tom's monthly reports which I do read, but I find the information level of the various posts to be higher than most other sights.
     
  8. Patrice

    Patrice Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    hi!
    I'me Patrice Lapointe from Yellownife (North West Territories in Canada). That's been many years that I have aquarium tanks. First, that was only gold fish and plastic plants and before to quit that hobbie, I decide to tried planted tank. since that day, aquarium is more than a hobbie, it's a drug. I might spend at less 20 to 30h a weak playing with my plants.

    I dont have mutch tank:
    one 25 gallon tank that will be set-up soon
    one 50 gallon non-co2 tank
    and a small 10g tank

    more tank would be to mutch cause I realize that the floor of my old house seem to not support it. :D
    most of what I have is green house where I grow my plants. The larger room of the house is use only for that. I grow many kind of echinodorus, eleocharis, different ferns, riccia, few type of moss, anubias, ludwgias and some other. Hydroponic culture work well for that.
    I have start doing this beacause of my location. It's hard to get plants in canadian arctic so I have to get them ship from down south and that cost me lot. so by growing my own plants, I can have as mutch as I want and I can sell some to people in town so it pay for new plants shipping.

    I have learned lot since I am on planted tank but every time I read a new book or browse the internet, I feel like I'll have to learn for years to finaly know a fraction of what I can learn.

    Bad thing, I dit hate biology, sience and all that when I was at school. now, I am looking for crouse I can take from home to learn a little more about it and maybe find a new path in this.

    Beacause english is not my language and to rite it is a big chalenge for me, I do not participate mutch in your conversation but I read you every day and learn lot from you guys! keep going!

    Patrice
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    Well, most biology books are fairly cheap if you want a reference.

    The web is good for chosing particular topics and boning up on things as they present themselves to your hobby and field of interest.

    Often times you take a class that you don't want to in college /school because it's a requirement, I've found later that I rerally have appreicated such classes and have grown and gained from them and glad that they where required.

    But not at the time:)

    I grew up catching beetles in field work for my father who's now retired from the University of KY. Cave beetles. And Giant snail eating Cychrines(these are some of the lagrest USA beetles and brillant irridescent colors, some are 3" of so and near golf ball size) So I went into every Cave in the Eastern USA, or close to it. Maybe 1000? Lost count a long time ago.
    I'd always been much more a fish/breeding/critter person and in the last 15 years or so, I got interested in aquatic plants, so I went back to college and got some degrees in the subject.

    Never had much interest in plants other than they looked nice and it was smart to always have some in your tank(water sprite, pond penny, horn wort, Naiad, and any Cryopt or Lag I could hunt down, Swords etc).

    I decided to do a planted tank when I decide to make a tank that had every thing I wanted in one nice looking scaped display. So I figured I needed a very nice dutch style plant arrangement, lots of wood and lots of fish, tons of filtration.

    The result was awesome.

    I had two plant filters hanging off the sides, lots of plants, 4" of 2-3 mm sand substrate(old dirty sand from another tank) and a RFUG which I used often for my tanks going back to the 1970's. I had a HOB wet dry filter with a surface skimmer, and an Otto 450gph canister filter all on a 55 gallon tank.
    I was still suspcious of CO2, but DIY was simple so I added that and things did pretty good and only had a few BBA issues that trimming solved.

    I had some clients prior since the Salt /reef folks where clueless, they came and asked me to do the set up, gas CO2 and on going maintenance.
    That was about 1991.
    I started going to the SFAS society meetings and trading and buying fish and plants. Around 1996 Jan or so I got on the web and started bothering people.
    Haven't stopped since really and keep learning a lot more each year.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. gibbman

    gibbman Junior Poster

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    Re: Introduce yourself and tell us what do you keep?

    Brand new to the site (subscribed), and new to aquarium plants, but have kept fish before many years ago. I'm enthralled with the planted aquaria I've been seeing since returning to the hobby.
    First planted tank: ten gallon, 2-20W GE 6500 tubes ~4" above the tank which is open. Not sure how this computes to wpg with the fixture being off the tank like that. Fauna is three leopard danios and three cory cats.
    Plants: low light mostly, anacharis, hornwort, valisneria, water sprite, and java fern (which so far refused to even try to anchor itself to a rock). All are small and so far not dead. Using Seachem Excel and Flourish, and traces.
    At any rate, thanks for having me!
    Jim
     
  11. jake

    jake Junior Poster

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    I had 14 tanks set up but recently moved so I downgraded quite a bit.

    Three tanks right now: 1) 75 gallon high-light with pressurized/dry macros/Tropica Plant nutrition liquid - SAE, Botia Sids, and Danios Choprai and Kyathit are the main fish 2) 20 gallon long low-light and no CO2 - just PMDD and Flourish Excel. Just mutt guppies and diamond tetra 3) 15H with same basic setup as 20 long, but just danio choprai as inhabitants.
     
  12. richardsantink

    richardsantink Lifetime Charter Member
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    Greetings..

    Hi,

    For the last 20 years, I've kept freshwater tanks, some planted, some not. My most recent freshwater tanks were a 90g with Potamogeton and Egeria spp. using a CarboPlus unit for C02.

    Since summer I've switched my 125g over to a marine macroalgae tank, containing Chondrus, Chaetamorpha, Ulva, and Fucus - all cold water specimens (~55*F)

    I dose Iron, Iodine, and Calcium daily, and trace elements weekly. I have no fish or invertebrates in this tank, but I am considering some invert's once I stabilize my water chemistry.

    Looking forward to posting, and reading posts regarding macroalgaes... :)

    RAS
     
  13. vidiots

    vidiots Prolific Poster

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    I got my first 10g aquarium in 1996. I'm currently up to 8 tanks ranging in size between 2.5g and 180g several of which are planted.

    I became interested in planted tanks early on, but never had any success with keeping plants alive and gave up on them completely. In 2003 I desided that I really wanted plants in my aquariums and set out researching on the internet to find out all I was doing wrong. Many people on a number of online forums were extremely helpful with getting me to a point where I could keep most any type of plant alive in my tanks.

    I was eventually refered to this site by RTR and Nursie. With all I have learned reading thru the posts here my plants have never looked better and grow extremely fast. Every month I have a very large amount of heathy excess plants to take to the local Aquarium Society auctions. I must say that little in life is more satisfying than watching a biding war over one of my excess Amazon Sword plants.

    Thank you Tom for sharing all this great information with all of us. Also many thanks to Greg Watson for offering outstanding fertilizers at affordable prices, you've got a customer here for life.

    Some of the aquarium plants I keep are:
    Amazon Sword Plants
    Various Aponogetons
    Tiger Lillys
    Water Sprite
    Hornwort
    Anubias Nana
    Java Moss
    Java Fern
    Pennywort
    Dwarf Hair Grass
    Ludwigia
    Crypt. Wendi
    Banana Plant
    and several unidentified plants

    Mike Olsen
    Wakefield, NH
     
  14. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    I started the aquarium hobby about 20 years ago as a small kid. I started off by keeping Discus. I have always liked them as a small kid. Back then I kept only bare bottom Discus tanks. Turquoise, browns, and Heckls. There werent' a quarter of the breeds they have these days back then.

    I got out of the hobby for a bit and returned about 1-2 years ago. I was always fascinated with the planted aquariums when I went to visit Germany. I wanted to keep Discus in a planted community aquarium.

    I currently have a 20 gallon pressurized CO2 tank that is going to be replaced by a 55 gallon in about a week. Of course it will house the (2) Discus I have as well as Cardinals, Rummynose, Corys.

    I am defintely a beginner when it comes to planted aquariums. Still trying to find the answer to a algae-free planted tank. I consider keeping Discus easy, a algae-free planted tank hard. It's all about finding that balance. Not too much or too little of anything. The questions remains to be answered if I will ever get to that algae-free planted aquarium.
     
  15. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Hi!

    I live in deepest, darkest Dorset in the UK.

    Ive been messing with freshwater tropical tanks for about 10 years now, Ive had a number of tanks from little 'bedroom' tanks to a freaking great hexagonal tank which I loved but an 'ex' decided not to let me have after a turbulent split-up.

    I now have a 48x15x12, which i bought for £20 from the ex-tenant of this house, its got a really nice wooden lid thats about 7 inches deep, so nice for hiding lighting wotnots in it.

    As far as fauna is concerned, it has 5 red-phantom tetras, 3 angel fish, 2 painted flying foxes, 2 rosey barbs, 5 dwarf neon rainbows (which i adore) and 1 lonely glass shrimp. The tank itself is about 14 months old, but never really had much plant life in it. For years ive been wanting to get going on a decent planted tank, but circumstances/partners/funds havnt allowed me to. Now Im on my own, and can do what the hell I like, im giving it a good go. I have a reasonably scientific brain and love the techy side of things.

    Im about 2 months down the line now on a planted tank, having messed it totally up to start with I think im getting there now.. I have a yeast CO2 generator, and a bought reactor that works really well, Ive finally got things balanced out with lighting and CO2 now, but Im now learning about nutrition and assessing a few deficiencies that are causing the algae to take hold cos the tank is stuttering on growth.

    This site has helped me massively today alone, in new info, and dispelling some rubbish that ive picked up along the way.

    Keep up the good work folks, this is a rare place indeed, Im incredibly happy I found it.
     
  16. Xanthid

    Xanthid Junior Poster

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    I got my 1st aquarium from my parents for making good grades in middle school around 15 years ago and I have had at least a tank or 2 ever since. I currently have 5 tanks running. My largest is 150 gal bare bottom sw reef housing zoanthids, shrooms, 2 clownfish, a yellow tang and various hermits, shrimps, snails. Then its the 135gal planted tank housing swords, vals, sagitarria and a few crypts with cardinals and a few sae. Next is a 55 gallon that just has some driftwood and java ferns that I recently set up to grow out 6-8 discus as soon as my tax refund check comes in. Next is a 30gal with low light plants and no co2. I have 10 galaxy rasboras comin in next week for this tank. And finally, my 6 gal eclipse with a coral banded shrimp that I had to take out of the reef because it was picking on my peppermint shrimps.
     
  17. gupp

    gupp Junior Poster

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    Hi, my name is Rhonda Wilson. I got my first tank in 1970 for my 6th birthday. I've been keeping multiple tanks since the late 70's. I currently keep about 70 planted tanks in my fishroom. Most are non-CO2 tanks. I keep a variety of fish but the majority are wild type livebearers, I'm particularly fond of Brachyraphis and Characodon species.
     
  18. EMBX

    EMBX Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    I am Evert Blad, born in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) but live for over 8 years in Louisville, KY USA.

    My dad always had a fishtank. But I also have seen many Dutch aqua scape tanks in Holland. I setup tanks 4 years ago, finally had 6 of them but could not keep up with that many, I have other hobbies too :) so I tear them all down and gave them away except the best equipment and a 75 gallon tank, you never know if it still one day come in handy :)

    Well, it did, have setup the 75 gallon three weeks ago, fully planted and add fish shortly if the plants are settled in a while. One tank I can cope with time wise.

    I use the EI dosing with pressurized CO2.

    I shall buy a drop checker and KH reference soon, as recommended on this site. Too bad I invested in a PH controller and probably don't need it :(

    Glad I found this forum, so keep up the good work.

    Regards,

    Evert
     
  19. Kampi

    Kampi Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Joseph Betzler, I live in Las Vegas. I have had aquaria in the distant past, both freshwater and saltwater.

    Recently I was given two tanks: 46 and 20 gallons. As I was looking at the local live fish stores here in the valley I found a great 120 Gallon (4' x 2' x 2.5' tall) that was discounted. I decided to make the 46 gallon tank a sump to the big tank … a long process to make everything. The 20 gallon will be the quarantine tank.

    I have construction experience, so I am doing everything! I have been working with acrylic for the covers, oak for the stand and doors. I have the first phase of the plumbing together, but after I ran the system with water I had to make some changes! The electrical panel and timers seem to be good for now! When I am done - it will be a nice custom set-up (IMHO), but it is taking a lot of time.

    I plan on running the sump in the evening with lights, lots of plants, and a deep gravel bed. I hope to avoid large gas/pH swings and will eventually add CO2 that I can run all of the time. The main tank will have about 4 watts per gallon, which I can adjust. I thought the depth may be an issue, as well as the floating plant cover.

    I am planning on a South American themed community tank with several Discus (we have a local breeder), a school of cardinals, a few hatchet fish, some Rams and some small plecostomus or other catfish, and a few other peaceful specimens.

    I will add several substrate layers composed of: a clay layer, a sand/peat layer and soilmaster select, the charcoal colored product as the top layer. I am soaking some old oak branches and will arrange them in the aquascape.

    The real star of the system will be the plants though. I make my living now as a botanist and used to belong to a horticulture department in San Diego. I look forward to having a little ecosystem in the house to keep me occupied. It may be Las Vegas, but I don’t go to the strip very much.

    That is it for now - I will have questions later for the community to help with.

    Thanks,
    JAB
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
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    Howdy all,

    Be detailed about your stories here, we all end up here from the past involvement, or perhaps the bug just bit you yesterday. No path is the same.

    I like to ask this question at meeting, "what do you like and what do you keep?" I'll go around the room and ask everyone. This way we all speak, interact, know something about each other and importantly find out what the other folks have to offer and if they are like us, have some connection etc.
    This method works on the web as well.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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