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1996 Update

From: George Booth <>
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 16:44:16 -0600
Subject: Setting Up New Tanks

Karla and I have begun our process of redefining our tanks. For any newcomers, the original goal was to tear down two of our four large tanks so they could be moved to allow the room to be recarpeted (and now repainted also). As we sometimes do, we have gotten a bit carrried away.

This weekend, we tore down our 7 year old, UGF, 85g Rainbow tank. The fish are now sharing the 120g tank with the other 'bows (a heck of a crowd, actually). The plants were trimmed and placed in some 5 gallon buckets for the afternoon. After draining the water, we scooped out the 150 pounds of gravel into a wheelbarrow lined with a plastic tarp. Just like Dupla does with their big tank, except the wheelbarrow wasn't in the tank itself.

We removed the UGF plates and THEY WEREN'T CLOGGED WITH ROOTS! (a reference to an ongoing thread in r.a.f.p). There was a minimal amount of "mulm" - mostly just some reddish water from the laterite. We will not reuse the UGF, but are keeping it to sell with the 85g tank.

Moving the acrylic tank was child's play compared to a glass tank. It is now in a temporary location in the front entrance. We shoveled the gravel back into the tank without washing or anything. After refilling and connecting up all the dodads, we put the plants back in. With just an Eheim canister, the water was pretty clear by early evening. We will add a few SAE and farlies once the temp is stabilzed. The other fish will stay with their friends for awhile.

We have removed the adult angelfish from the 90g tank, leaving just some cardinals, lemon tetras and maintenance fish. We will raise the temperature over this week and then transfer all the discus and other fish from the 100g discus tank to the 90g tank next weekend. The 100g will be torn down and sold. The old gravel will be tossed out. The stand will be moved to the entrance hall until painting and carpeting are finished.

Two new 100g (60"x18"x21" high) "AMiracle" acrylic tanks are on order and should be here in a week or so. Once the room is finished, one will be set up as a discus tank like before and the other will be either a rainbow tank like before or maybe set up as a palludarium.

I'm wondering if this size tank, with a hood, would work well as a palludarium (Karen?). I'm also wondering if I spelled palludarium correctly. I would like to see a "river" like scene - the 60" length would seem nice for that. Perhaps have a circular path around a central "dry" island with the rear part covered by the top of the island. Might be fun to see fish come and go. SAEs might like something like that. With a circular path, it might be possible to set up a decent current with a good sized powerhead.

Once the living room tanks are set up, it's on to the other two tanks. Karla has decided we don't like two tanks in the dining room (the 90g SST and the 120g SLAG) and I have decided we don't like to have four tanks to clean - three would be much better. The SLAG has not been satisfying - the used MH hood we bought has noisy fans and weighs a ton requiring some ugly supports. The plumbing also didn't work well and I've never fixed it. (see the gory details in the Krib).

The idea is to tear down the 90g SST, sell it off, put the 120g in its place (same footprint except 6" more front to back, which can come out of the plant shelf behind the tank). We would pick and choose the best equipment of the pair. The full-Dupla coil system, plumbing and MH light from the 90g, the larger wet/dry from the 120g. The resulting 120g tank will be set up for Rainbowfish as before. The resulting 90g will be sold to someone who doesn't know any better :-)

The 120g will now have a 250w substrate heating coil which should be about the right size for that tank. I will combine the 100w coils from the 120g with the 100w coils from the 100g and have 200w in the 100g discus tank (83 F water temp). I will use new 150w coils for the other 100g tank (76 F water temp).

Yes, I think more wattage (a la Dupla) is better than less wattage (a la Dennerle). Just a gut feeling; no scientific justification.

We have 3 kg of Duplarit-G (1 kg per tank) and 1 150w Dupla heating coil on order from Daleco. Now all we need is time.

George in Warm and Sunny Colorado
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