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Old 09-04-2003, 03:08 AM
noahms456
 
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Default New to Hobby in Northwest Florida

Hello all! My wife and I recently moved to NW Florida (specifically
Crestview) and I'd like to introduce myself in the hopes that I can meet
some like minded individuals.

Let me start by saying that I am probably the worst sort of aquarium person
ever. I rarely maintained the last tank my wife and I set up, but
everything went fairly smoothly for the 2 years we kept it. I think we had
only two or 3 fish die (except the damn Mollies which we took back because
they kept killing each other). Algae was a frequent problem but I never
understood why.

Here we go, with the usual newbie questions (keep in mind I am reading the
usual FAQ's available on the web, mainly the libraries at
www.aquabotanic.com). I fear I made some terrible mistakes on the outset -
well, maybe not terrible. Here goes:

1) Are there any clubs in NW Florida for non-marine aquarium enthusiasts?
My boss is a nut for marine tanks - he cultures coral - but I haven't met
anyone here who's into freshwater tanks (yet). Most of the stores around
here seem to be marine places.

2) My tank set-up is as follows:
28 gallons
1 - under gravel filter with
1 - AquaClear Powerhead 301 (Hagen?)
1 - 22' light bulb, about 3/4" diameter (don't know the wattage or
spectrum - plants didn't do well in the last tank we had)
About 2.5 - 3 inches of cultured gravel assorted sizes (we got a nice
mix, I thought it would help to hold plants in)

Please don't cringe. I should have read up a week ago before we bought
the gravel and such, but that's what I got. I have a test kit that I use
infrequently, so if you guys think it's right (as I am beginning to suspect
it is) I can get chemical readings.

For fish, we have 6 rasboras (can't remember the variety - as I said, I'm
new!) 3 tetras (Shadow?) and 2 (Black) Plecostamus (plecostamii?). We
have some plant food (Kent Freshwater Plant Micronutrient Supplement) that I
used whenever the whim took me. As you can probably guess, the water's
still cloudy after about a week of stabilizing - mostly I guess because of
the total lack of filtration of the cultured gravel. My actual question is
this - can I hold the fish in a fishbowl or something while I put down a
plant-friendly substrate? I'm thinking about trying to get a bunch of
Florida native aquatic plants and trying to set up a lot of microfauna that
I'm finding lately (I work part-time for the state sampling salamander
populations at Washington Point). How long does it take for a nice system
to get up and running? Can I just add sand and hope the fish will get do
the work of colonizing the substrate? I think we made a mess of things
before we even started...

3) Assuming we can save the fish, what sort of Florida native aquatics
should I keep an eye out for? I'd like to keep to low-light levels, low
tech (although I'd like to experiment with CO2 injection later, maybe). Is
my equipment enough to support this system?

I know it was a lot, but if any of you nice folks would like to take a
beginner under their wing, I would appreciate it. Heck, if you live in NW
Florida, I might come bring you a 6 pack for your troubles.

Whew!

Thanks again,

Noah




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Old 09-04-2003, 03:20 AM
DWS
 
Posts: n/a
Default New to Hobby in Northwest Florida

I suggest removing or capping off and not using the underground filtration
system.
It can and will cause green water.


"noahms456" wrote in message
...
Hello all! My wife and I recently moved to NW Florida (specifically
Crestview) and I'd like to introduce myself in the hopes that I can meet
some like minded individuals.

Let me start by saying that I am probably the worst sort of aquarium

person
ever. I rarely maintained the last tank my wife and I set up, but
everything went fairly smoothly for the 2 years we kept it. I think we

had
only two or 3 fish die (except the damn Mollies which we took back because
they kept killing each other). Algae was a frequent problem but I never
understood why.

Here we go, with the usual newbie questions (keep in mind I am reading the
usual FAQ's available on the web, mainly the libraries at
www.aquabotanic.com). I fear I made some terrible mistakes on the

outset -
well, maybe not terrible. Here goes:

1) Are there any clubs in NW Florida for non-marine aquarium enthusiasts?
My boss is a nut for marine tanks - he cultures coral - but I haven't met
anyone here who's into freshwater tanks (yet). Most of the stores around
here seem to be marine places.

2) My tank set-up is as follows:
28 gallons
1 - under gravel filter with
1 - AquaClear Powerhead 301 (Hagen?)
1 - 22' light bulb, about 3/4" diameter (don't know the wattage or
spectrum - plants didn't do well in the last tank we had)
About 2.5 - 3 inches of cultured gravel assorted sizes (we got a nice
mix, I thought it would help to hold plants in)

Please don't cringe. I should have read up a week ago before we

bought
the gravel and such, but that's what I got. I have a test kit that I use
infrequently, so if you guys think it's right (as I am beginning to

suspect
it is) I can get chemical readings.

For fish, we have 6 rasboras (can't remember the variety - as I said, I'm
new!) 3 tetras (Shadow?) and 2 (Black) Plecostamus (plecostamii?). We
have some plant food (Kent Freshwater Plant Micronutrient Supplement) that

I
used whenever the whim took me. As you can probably guess, the water's
still cloudy after about a week of stabilizing - mostly I guess because of
the total lack of filtration of the cultured gravel. My actual question

is
this - can I hold the fish in a fishbowl or something while I put down a
plant-friendly substrate? I'm thinking about trying to get a bunch of
Florida native aquatic plants and trying to set up a lot of microfauna

that
I'm finding lately (I work part-time for the state sampling salamander
populations at Washington Point). How long does it take for a nice system
to get up and running? Can I just add sand and hope the fish will get do
the work of colonizing the substrate? I think we made a mess of things
before we even started...

3) Assuming we can save the fish, what sort of Florida native aquatics
should I keep an eye out for? I'd like to keep to low-light levels, low
tech (although I'd like to experiment with CO2 injection later, maybe).

Is
my equipment enough to support this system?

I know it was a lot, but if any of you nice folks would like to take a
beginner under their wing, I would appreciate it. Heck, if you live in NW
Florida, I might come bring you a 6 pack for your troubles.

Whew!

Thanks again,

Noah





  #3   Report Post  
Old 09-04-2003, 01:32 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default New to Hobby in Northwest Florida

My actual question is
this - can I hold the fish in a fishbowl or something while I put down a
plant-friendly substrate?


Don't bother with a plant-friendly substrate. It won't do you any good unless
you upgrade the lighting on your tank. (FWIW, the standard tank hood does not
provide anywhere near the light most plants need.)

I suspect that what you have is a 29 gallon tank with a 20 watt bulb over it.
I had a tank like that for years, and only very low-light plants would grow it.
Not only is the lighting very low, but a 29 gallon tank is tall for its size,
meaning the lights are farther away from the plants.

If you are willing to upgrade your lighting, yes, you can put the fish in
another container while you change substrates. (I recommend Seachem's
Flourite. Three bags will be just right.) I would also remove the UGF. Use a
power filter instead. (I have an Aquaclear 300 on mine.)

I did that when I converted my 29 gallon tank into a planted tank. I bought a
15 gallon plastic sweater bin from K-Mart for $2.99. I filled it half with
water from the tank, and half with declorinated tap water. I put all the fish
and decorations into the bin, then scooped all the gravel from the tank, pulled
out the UGF, and put in the new gravel. It took two or three hours (mainly
because I rinsed the Flourite right in the tank). Then I put all the fish back
in the tank. (Because of the Aquaclear power filter, I didn't have to cycle
the tank again. You should do something similar: let a power filter run on
your tank for a couple of weeks before removing the gravel. And do not clean
or change the media at the same time you change the gravel.)

3) Assuming we can save the fish, what sort of Florida native aquatics
should I keep an eye out for? I'd like to keep to low-light levels, low
tech


It is possible to keep low-light plants in a tank like yours. I kept java fern
and anubias for years. They grew slowly, but they grew. However, your plant
choice will be severely limited unless you upgrade your lighting. You may not
find many native plants that will adapt to such low light. And there's really
no need to change your gravel if you're going low-light. Low-light plants
generally don't need a rich substrate. Most of them, like java fern, java
moss, Bolbitis, and Anubias, actually attach to rocks and driftwood rather than
rooting as normal plants do.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


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