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Discussion Starter #1
I think that I have the bulk of my planning done for the new tank that I want to build. I’m writing this to get opinions from other people because the more thoughts that you can have the less problems that should arise, so I am asking anyone who will take the time to give as many thoughts about this as possible. Thank you for your time in advance!!!!

Tank specs:
  • 4ft long, 3ft tall, 3ft wide
  • Around 260 gallons
  • It will be built out of ¾” fiberglassed plywood with a ¾” sheet of Acrylic for the front

Aquascaping
  • Foreground will be around 40 Echinodorus Tenellus to give a grasslike look
  • Midground will be around 20 Echinodorus Latifolius to keep with the grass look but start to make it get taller
  • Background will be faom and concrete around the sides and back to give a rock dropoff apearance, I will plant around 10 Microsorum Pteropus, 10 Microsorum Pteropus Windelov, and 10 Vesicularia Dubyana on the background, I will try and incorperate some ledges that I can plant some of the Echinodorus Tenellus on
  • Centerpeice will be 2 or 3 pieces of driftwood (depending on the size) to look like tree stumps, in front I will plant 1 or 2 Echinodorus Bleheri, and inbetween the driftwood some Crytocoryne Wendtii as an accent to the driftwood.
  • Substrate will be sand on top of a flourite extra small gravel mix

Filtration
  • Around a 35 gallon three chamber sump
  • Mechanical in the first chamber
  • Bio balls in the second chamber
  • Carbon in the third chamber
  • 2 Danner Mag 9.5 submergible drive pumps ( which will give me about 1300gph to cycle my total water volume around 4 1/3 to 4 ½ times per hour)


CO2 System
  • Greenleaf Aquariums choice CO2 system
  • PH sensor for in the tank hooked up to a sylinoid to turn on and off the CO2
  • CO2 will be injected into the tank return line from the sump


Lighting
  • DIY for SHO cfl
  • 3 85 watt SHO cfl bulbs
  • 2 bulbs will be on for 12 hours, 1 will be on for 10 hours
  • Red light for night veiwing


Fish
  • Around 8 to 10 discus
  • Still undecided on an algea eater or other complimentary fish if any


The quantities are just estimates subject to change if I feel needed. Like I said earlier I would appreciate any input you all are willing to give. I plan on starting this in late April early May, but I am going to start ordering things as soon as I start to get any responses about my choices.

*c/p**c/p**c/p**c/p**c/p**c/p**c/p*
 

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I am new to the planted tanks but from what I have read sumps and pressurized CO2 dont go together. I also wonder why you are planning to use CFL because they dont penetrate very deep at all. I would suggest you look into T-5 HO's because watt for watt T-5's are MUCH BETTER and tend to run cooler, cheaper and last much longer and you have more choices on the K ratings.
 

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discus_dude
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if you go for discus fish i will suggest you not to keep algae eaters with discus fish..moreover the conventional rule say that you can provide 10 gallons of water per adult discus.so in this tank you can keep more number of discus you have decided....if you have any discus fish related query you may visit my blog about discus fish care secrets...you can find that link in my signature...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The reason that i decided to do the sho cfl lights is because i'm wanting to do a 100% DIY tank, i'm making the tank, stand, sump, prettymuch anything that is possible for me to DIY im doing except the CO2 system, only because i want it automatic. The sho lights have pros and cons just like the T5's do. You can get sho's in 65k for sure and i thought i saw a 67k, but not 100% sure. this is a good link for anyone who wants to learn about lighting, it has prettymuch every light for the aquarium users.

Aquarium Lighting; Kelvin, Nanometers, PAR, Bulb, Watt, MH, LED, light basics.

the other reason that i chose the SHO cfl is because i read that discus don't like alot of light that they get shy, and it will be alot easier to add or remove lights with the SHO bulbs. I also chose prettymuch all low light plants for my aquarium. If the SHO's don't work i have a couple 4 foot ballasts for T5 lights that i can use.

Also about the CO2 with a sump filter, i have never heard that, and i am really new at CO2, do you know the reason for not wanting to put it with a sump? I contacted the manufacterer of the system, told him all my info about the tank and he was the one who suggested to put it in the return line. He is the dealer and i'm sure wants a sale so i would be more willing to beleive someone else than the person trying to get my $500!!!!! That is something that i need to research now, thank you for bringing it to my attention. If anyone else has heard this, or nows more info about it please put in your 2 cents. I think that i take critisism fairly well and appologize if i come off mad or upset.

And for Spawns reply, i have read your blog and found it very informative, I am more than willing to say thank you for that one!!!!!! I plan on buying my discus online from Majestic Aquatitics online, I am going to order 15 to 18 of them, but also read that some will be less dominant and will most likley die off, and i am assuming that some will come sick or dead on delivery so i just rounded down. Plus i wanted them to accent the tank not to everwhelm and take away from the aquascaping due to the raw beauty of the fish. reading your blog you said to introduce all the fish at the same time, if i did happen to get all 15 to 18 and they all came in good shape how would you recommend introducing them into the tank?

Thank you both again for your thoughts and concerns!!!!! and please keep them coming!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well i just got done reading a few articles and forums on other sites about CO2 systems with a sump, and the reason that it is not always the best option is because of the water aggitation alowing alot of the Co2 out quicker. There are alot of people apparently that do it and they say to try and seal the sump so the CO2 will eventually equal out and not allow anymore out of your water. There was a big word that he used that i can't remember so sorry for that. It was also said that in the overflow tank to try and make a ramp to your water level in the overflow so as to not let it creat a waterfall and splash. I will lose more CO2 than other systems, but it can be controlled to a reasonable amount. If there is anything that i might not have read that someone knows about please let me know. I still plan on reading more about it, and will post it for others who might want to try a Co2 system with a sump. IMO i beleive that a sump is one of the best filtration systems For large tank and i would like to try and keep it.
 

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Sumps will work fine with planted tanks. You will need to do a little work on getting it in the tank though. A reactor,Mazzei injector or needle wheel pump will work fine.

Get a nice misty froth of co2 mist in the tank and you will be fine. The hard part will be the 30" depth. That will be a bear to scape and work in, but nothing a good set of long 24" tools cant fix.

The best of luck to you!

Regards,
Orlando
 

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discus_dude
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as per i am concerning you can introduce 2-3 discus at a time,if you find that those discus are well and healthy then you can introduce again the next 2-3 discus....in this way you can introduce all discus in your tank....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
as per i am concerning you can introduce 2-3 discus at a time,if you find that those discus are well and healthy then you can introduce again the next 2-3 discus....in this way you can introduce all discus in your tank....
How long do you recommend after putting in 2 or 3 till you put in your next 2 or three?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sumps will work fine with planted tanks. You will need to do a little work on getting it in the tank though. A reactor,Mazzei injector or needle wheel pump will work fine.
i am looking at the Aqua Medic CO2 Reactor 1000, it is for tanks up to 500 gallons. I read up on all three and i think that this would be the best one for my application. should i have it pumped through a T or a Y into the return line or would someplace else be better? also where would the best place be to pick up the water for it? would it be ok to just put a pump in with my pumps in the sump chamber?
 

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Chad, introduction with established tanks is harder due to you having to rescape the tank for aggression and territory reasons for this big SA fish.

You are much much better off introducing all at once. I get discus thru local breeders anywhere from 5 to 15 bucks a fish, sometimes 5 for 20 bucks. check local cichlid auctions when you get back to camp stateside. I use the GCCA.net for mine. its a local chicago cichlid association with some of the rarest Midwest cichlids available.

I have two angels at about 8" tall a piece maybe 3" diameter bodies, and I have 4 more to go in with them as soon as they get larger(they are juve's in the guppy fry tank till they grow bigger to introduce) and perfect their hunting skills.

as far as the sump goes, good luck thats one beast I havnt tackled yet. maybe when I get my custom in wall at my new house Ill dable.
 
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