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Planted tank questions...

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  • ...Paul
    In preparation for my rebuilding project, I ve been doing a bit more research on planted tanks, and I m wondering if anyone can verify some of the things I ve
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 21, 2002
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      In preparation for my rebuilding project, I've been doing a bit more
      research on planted tanks, and I'm wondering if anyone can verify some of
      the things I've read...

      One: Substrate heaters. Are these really necessary? Can I safely use a
      substrate heater in an acrylic aquarium (I'm not sure why I couldn't, but
      thought I'd get a confirmation)?

      Two: CO2 injection. Anyone tried any of the "liquid CO2" things? I
      found a "Natural Aquarium Carbonator" which supposedly provides
      time-released CO2 from a liquid mixture. A year or so ago, when I was
      last at my friendly neighborhood aquarium shop, the dealer was telling me
      about a little liquid doohicky that actually stuck to the inside of your
      tank and slowly dribbled out liquid CO2. Both of these options sound good
      for my future setup, where I might be lacking the space to store CO2
      supplies outside the tank (either a compressed cylinder or a 2L bottle...)

      Three: Lighting. I have several options here, I can go with a PC
      addition to my Eclipse II hood, and get a total of 56W of light on a 25
      gallon tank. I can construct/purchase my own hood and install 60W or so
      of 15W fluorescents, or go for the gusto with upwards of 80W of light.
      For the large majority of plant life, it seems like 2-3W/gallon is a good
      rule of thumb. How many Watts should I aim for? (At what point am I not
      getting as much return on my investment?)

      Four: Filtration. If I decide to nix the Eclipse II hood so I can
      install my own fixtures, what kind of filtration is recommended? Can I
      use a canister filter without drilling holes in my aquarium? Does the HOT
      Magnum stir the water surface too much?

      I think that's all I can think of for now. The liquid CO2 stuff is
      probably what I'm most interested about hearing about. I've kept up
      plants before without a substrate heater, so I'm not sure that's as
      critical as advertised. The lighting seems to be limited more by cost
      than anything else (I could easily go overboard and put in four 55W power
      compacts, but I don't think a 25 gal tank really needs 10W/gallon --
      although two 36W PC lights might be perfect... ;)


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