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Low tech with Excel dosing tank

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by uklau, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. uklau

    uklau Junior Poster

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Tom,

    I'm planning for my first attempt on the above mentioned with the free tank gotten from Aquarama2007. I have the following list in mind.

    Tank size = 12"x12"x15"(H), approx 30L.
    Substrate = Seachem Onyx sand
    Filter = Eheim Liberty 100
    Lighting =13W PL or 18W PL or higher ?
    Fan = 24x7
    Fertilization = EI dosing & Excel

    Since this will be my first time with Onyx sand, I would like to find out if it is advisable to use purely Onyx sand or should I cover it with gravel of 2-3mm size? Will having 2"- 3" of Onyx as the only substrate create any problem (not sure if it will compact as the grain size is quite small)?

    As for the lighting, I'm planning for slow (but not super slow since I'm going to use Excel) growing environment for plants. I would very much appreciate some form of advice from the lighting aspect (not confidence with my lighting requirement calculation).

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I would use at least the 18 watt light. For very small tanks more light per unit volume of water is needed. 18 watts would be low light, in my opinion. I had a two gallon tank for a few months, using about a 18 watt desk lamp over it, and it was far from high light intensity. I used the same fertilizing method with Excel that you are planning on, and I had very slow, but steady growth.

    I have never used, or even seen Onyx sand, so I can't comment on that, except that I have read that others use it successfully, and don't cap it with anything.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I agree with Vaugh here, 18w is much better for this tank than 13w.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. uklau

    uklau Junior Poster

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    Vaugh & Tom,

    Thank you so much for your advice :) . With that, I can start setting up my tank over this weekend.

    Next, I'll need to do some homework on the plants that will do well in this environment.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    One of the more successful folks using Excel has been "Paldarium", he's from Taiwan and has done very well with many rare species of plants using a low tech + excel approach. He post here every so often and at AQ forums in Singapore.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. uklau

    uklau Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the lead, Tom. Very much appreciate your kind assistance :).
     
  7. PhillyB

    PhillyB Prolific Poster

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    Reading this post has given me the idea that may failures in a non-CO2 2.5 gallon tank are due to the low lighting in the tank...

    It came with a 9W bulb in the hood that I have been using. It is one of the GE screw in florescent lights that last a long time and can be used in normal bulb fixtures. Nutrients have been good in the tank, and after initial failure I started adding a little bit of excel daily, thinking non-CO2 was the problem. The plants in specific areas of the tank just rot. I am thinking it is due to low light now.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The light that tank manufacturers include with their tanks can almost always be assumed to be much too little light. That is almost like Newton's Nth law of aquarium lighting. I was astonished at how ineffective my PC desk lamp was when I used in on my 2 gallon tank. I had worried that it was far too much light!

    I just studied the bulb a lot more closely - it is marked as a 27 watt bulb!! For some reason I thought it was an 18 watt bulb. It is one of the 4 parallel tube bulbs, so much of the light just strikes the adjacent tube and the back reflector does little good since reflected light can't get between the tubes out to the front. As Tom said, small PC bulbs waste much of the available space on non-light emitting surfaces, so are very inefficient compared to big ones.
     

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