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Discussion Starter #1
So, I could use some guidance... I am looking at a 65 gallon heavily planted tank. I'd really like to hold angels, but the water in this 300 year old town is a bit hard (11* GH, 6* KH) and pre-nitrated (15ppm), joy! Aside from Reverse Osmosis, I know plants can help a lot. Will they help enough that the angels will do well? I've read that most tank-bred angels are tolerant of greater vairances in pH, is this the same for hardness?

Also, with them I'd like to have a little school of tetras to compliment them. Are there any dwarf varieties of tetras? With good color? With single colors?

The cleaning crew is looking like:
1 bristlenose pleco
8-10 pygmy corys
6 otos

And the cleaning crew is not set in stone either. The problem is that I haven't found any SAEs in the are to complete the set. But I figure with a lot of plants, there is a lot of cleaning to be done.

The tank has a compressed CO2 tank already here (regulation, including SMS122 meter is already ordered, as is an in-tank powerhead based reactor). Lighting already ordered will be 3x96W CF (2 6,700K and 1 10,000K bulbs) and a 300W submersible titanium heater. Filtration will be 2 Filstar XP-1's. Substrate will be either Onyx Sand or I may just say f* it and do the AGA amazonia and sand. That's still in the air. If I NEED reverse osmosis, that will crimp some plans.

Thanks folks,

-MTechnik
 

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Your water isn't that hard at all. I've kept chocolate gouramis, which are supposedly even more sensitive to water hardness, in harder water than that. Clean water is the key -- not pH/water hardness -- with fish, unless you are breeding them.

The angelfish should do fine. I would look into cardinal tetras (P. axelrodi) to complement the angelfish. Other good choices and personal favorites include Red Phantom Tetras (M. sweglesi), Black Phantom Tetras (M. megalopterus), and Rummynose Tetras (H. rhodostomus). All of these fish should do fine in your tap water, from personal experience.

You don't need reverse osmosis. And, in fact, you will most likely be dosing some nitrate throughout the course of the week to keep that level above 0 ppm -- the plants use the N as 'food' and will perform poorly if there isn't enough NO3 in the water column.

Carlos
 

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Hey MT , A really good store in New Jersey." Aquarium Center"
1295-97 Blackwood Clementon Rd. Clementon, NJ 08012
www.aquariumcenter.biz . I picked up a true SAE from them. Pretty decent selection of plants, better selection of fish. Probably 200 tanks. Discus,Africans, all kinds. Worth a trip to check out his filtration system built from swimming pool pumps. 856-627-6262 .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks again, Phillyman! I'll have to make a trip out there, sounds better than That Fish Place for fish themselves. I wonder what their price on a 65 gal+stand+filter is? hrm...

Also, thanks a bunch Tsunami! I picked up two small angels today to try in the 20 to see how they do, before a big investment goes into them. (brb, time to walk the dog... ok, back) Hopefully Bartleby and Loki do well in the tank.

All of those tetras can hit 2" can't they? Are there any smaller schooling fishies that like low PH water? I'd love a big bunch, but don't want to overcrowd the tank when they grow.

BTW, have I mentioned I love feeding fresh baby brine? They fish go NUTS!!!

-MT
 

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Anything smaller than those would be eaten by the angelfish when they become large.

Cardinals et al. really aren't that big. The itty bitty 'mosquito' larvae sized fish like Boraras, MIcrorasbora, H. amandae, and Axelrodia sp. are out of the question for an angel tank.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, that sounds great then! Are tetras livebearers? Nothing like a self-replenishing treat for your angelfish ;)

-MT
 

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MTechnik,

If you can afford it give the ADA soils a try.

You may want to add more otos to that tank because of it's size. Also the pleco is not the best ideas because those fish are know to damage the plants.

My take about the small fish would be to get a school of about 20-25 cardinal tetras. They do like soft water but from what I see and read online hard water doesn't really bother them. Someone told me that when bigger fish are present (angels in your case) the cardinals tend to school more which is a sight to behold especially in a good size tank like yours. In one of my tanks they certainly school all the time maybe because there are 3 big discus present.

The Nitrates are not a big problem if the other fertilizers are present. The hardness is not a problem either.

Tetras are not livebearers.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's here!!!

Everything but the CO2 is here! YAY!!! It's all assembled, the water is nice and cloudy still as it hasn't been up and running for 24 hours even:



And there are more pics on http://mt3chn1k.com/

Tomorrow, I am going to update the pics as it's gotten clearer throughout the day. But I have too much pride to keep changing the pics every hour.

And, of course just as the stand and filters arrived, 4 fish in the main tank came down with ick. So I went and got a 10 gallon setup for them to be hospitalized in. They are in there with some copper-safe, doing the QT thing.

BTW, the pleco will only be around until it is big enough to survive in my friends' cichlid tank, then it will make the move. But it is a mere 2-1/2" right now and would be a snack.

The CO2 is in harrisburg, so I can't imagine it being here any later than Tuesday. Which is good since the mix on the 20 gal tank is running out. I don't want to change it since I will be having both tanks happy with CO2 soon.

In the 65 are 3 emerald corys and 5 danios helping the biological filter bloom. I may try to squeeze the sponge from my 20 into the ceramic rings in one of the filstars for a bit more of a quickstart.

-MT

-MT
 

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MT... Otto is adorable, I just want to pick him up and squeeze him!

Now on the tank...You have a very nice setup, well thought out.

My favorite Tetra is the Rummy-nose, goes very well with Angels. The Rummy-nose is more sensitive then some of the other tetras to being moved, but once accumulated they are very hardy. Make sure to get ones that has been in the store for at least a week and have good color, red head and black strips.
 

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Great start. I like your stand too.

I was trying to figure out why Trena would want to pick an Otto up and squeeze it, now I see why. LOL! What a cutie.

I would definitely put the established sponge in the new tank to help move things along. Even if you can't get into the filter, just drop it in the tank, and it will help immensely. :)
 

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Jan, that's funny... Never thought about the fish when posting, now I see how it looks. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for that reminder, Jan. It's plant-clipped next to the uptake for one of the filstars :) that should move things along nicely.

I added 10 Neon Tetras, 3 more emerald corys (makes a shoal of 6), an upside-down catfish (hiding in the cabomba already), and two glass shrimp for that tank.

It's also SOOO much clearer today. I'll take some pics tomorrow. It's funny, with the lighting on the tank, the auto-flash setting on the camera didn't make the flash go!

I think Phillyman may notice sunsets take a little longer. At least until my timer goes off :)

-MT
 

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Otto is adorable! I really liked your snails too -- would you mind perhaps telling us a little bit about them maybe in the Shrimp and other inverts forum? Your new tank is really nice -- can't wait to see it as it evolves!
 

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Hey MT,
I wondered what what that extra glow was coming from the west. Great to see the tank coming along. Let me know if you want some more stem plants. The annual auction is this Saturday for DCAS if you can make it. The speaker at the regular meeting Friday was interesting. Really into his Bettas. Check out Bettacave.com if interested. Picked up a nice pair of Pearl/marbled bettas.Keep us informed of the progress with the tank. What type of substrate did you decide on? That really seems like a good size to aquascape. Best of luck with it.
 

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Could you give me the exact address of the springfield township hall where the DCAS auction/meeting is taking place? I've got a bit of cabin fever and was thinking of travelling this weekend. This sounds like the perfect excuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As for the DCAS thing, look in the blue pages. The town hall should be listed there.

Pisces, the snails in the pics were great and happy for a long time, but unfortunately didn't survive a day and a half in a bucket between tanks. I sadly found them munching on the cabomba very merrily. They didn't pay it one mind until one day... the discovered the sweet treat. I pulled them as I tried to get a 5 gallon tank together, but work being work took a day in the middle. Then after a few days in the 5 gallon tank they got a thick slime around them and no amount of poking would make them close their shells. Odd, because as well fed as they were, you'd think they'd be more hearty. However, they were cool as hell to watch, they'd jump off of anything. Ahh, I'll post a thread about how much fun I had watching them :)

Phillyman, I'll take any plants I can get my hands on at this time for the 65! Filling that thing could empty the wallet quickly. I am hoping on the light and CO2 to make everything in there multiply. Oh, and the ramshorns I got that day almost wiped out the glosso you gave me! I managed to save 1 leaf, and it's sprouted into 5 in the new tank. "Give me the light" it screams.

Also, about the last DCAS meeting, I came home friday night to find that the stand for the 65 had arrived, I could get everything running, and the Bosemani Rainbowfish laid eggs and got themselves so worked up over it they got ick. Freekin dumb rainbowfish nip and stress eachother when it comes to mating time. Fungus is not uncommon in the process. So, I missed the meeting. And this weekend is the Battle for Stalingrad, paintball. PAINTBALL!!!

So I dashed out to 3+352, got a 10 gallon tank setup, some coppersafe, and set up a quick QT tank. The 5 is too small for 4 - 2" Rainbows. Also, later the 10 will make a great planted puffer tank with some java ferns and crypts on the desk in between the wife and I. The ick has already faded and it's just a few spots on the tails of two of em, but I'll wait till a couple of days after they're spot free before rejoining them to a tank.

Also, the CO2 arrived AT LAST. But it came without the bigger of the 2 reactors, missing a second output, and 20' of CO2 hose. Grrr. But I called them and it's going out ASAP. Good people. But there is a small powerhead reactor in the tank now, and it's getting CO2. Per PhillyMan and Edwards' suggestions, I am only running 2 of the light bulbs until I get my dosing settled down.

With the help of Edward, I placed the order at gregwatson.com and will try working with the PPS method. This seems like the best way to work with the very hard water around here. 11 dGH from the tap, all calcium. And pre-nitrated. So avoiding adding that is best. I need to get some magnesium in the tanks now as they have none, and start doing a regular trace dosing. As soon as I get the trace.

Also, this week I'll likely make a 4:00 trip through rush hour to Camden to get a Siamese Algae Eater for each tank. Maybe a third for travel insurance ;) That will help control things from the end result side while I work on the instigating factors. Yer more than welcome to come, Phillyman, or anyone else in the area. But I hear they're all fish - no plants.

The 65 currently has:
10 Neon Tetras
6 Emerald Corys
1 Upside Down Catfish
2 Ghost Shrimp (only seen 1 at a time since they joined the tank, but they hide well)
5 Danios

But for now, that's all that's fit to print.

-MT
 
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