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Re: New Fish Tank Considerations/Questions

Posted By: Anne Webel <anne.webel@village.uunet.be>
Date: Saturday, 14 August 1999, at 6:25 a.m.

In Response To: New Fish Tank Considerations/Questions (Wight)

Thanks for giving the measurements; 48"x13"x19" tells me more than 50 gallons :-).

My large aquarium is 1m long and has one heater and one filter, but does have a few dead spots that see hardly any water movement. I would suggest that 1m is about max length for that kind of set up. I also have a jungle and two overhead strips.

Cutting: "with glass panels (mentioning they can somehow be trimmed for filters, etc)" the cables have to be able to get underneath the glass or through it. If there are no gaps in the actual tank/canopy that do this, you need to get the glass cut. If the glass has to be cut, make it a condition of your buying the tank that they do it. Unless you are very DIY ?? (you can always send it to Martin :) )

Light: If you want to keep plants you are going to need light. Whether the depth is 13 or 19 (and by the time you add gravel it will be less) you'll get away with using fluorescent lights. On a 48" plants will need two strips, three would be even better. If you have two strips, one can be plant orientated and one fish colour orientated. Most strips now give a suggested use, so you don't need to worry too much about spectrum, blues, reds etc. If you are going to a general store for those strips you will need to note spectrums. What's good for us to see the fish is not necessarily good for plants nor to heighten fish colours. There's a good article on lighting at "http://www.aquariacentral.com/" (Aquaria Central). Strips are probably going to be cheapest in terms of energy consumption as well. Not that I have ever tried other:-)

Filtration: on your size tank I would go with two filters; you can clean them out alternately and you can have two pumps creating great water movement with few dead areas. If you want plants, you can get away with a UGF if you are lucky, but since you're wanting loaches, you will want a fine substrate, which might (read will) muck up a UGF. I've never met a bio-wheel, so cannot comment.

Heating: Again, go with two heaters if you can. This will spread the load; and it will help even out temperature so that fluctuations are less. Put them at opposite ends of the tank. Modern heaters are pretty accurate; they may be out a degree but not more than that. So if you set them both equal to say 25C they will only come on when the temperature of the water falls below that. Also, should one fall out, the other can take the burden for a while, and conversely, should one start to overheat, the other will turn itself off. So you can take two heaters which are slightly less powerful than you would really need given the length of your tank.

Bubbles - Bubbles do absolutely nothing except move the water around, which in turn creates a larger surface area for gas exchange, ie bringing oxygen into the water and driving off CO2. Sure the fish like them, but if your water return jets out just below the surface they'll swim in that, good exercise against the current. If you have two such, they'll get even more exercise :) You need aeration when temperatures rise above about 28C because the hotter the water, the less oxygen it contains. Bubbles = movement = oxygen.

Power - This is something for the electricians. Personally it looks to me that you have quite a lot already coming off one wall plug if that is how I correctly interpret your term 'power splitter'. You might well have to do something, another circuit? I'd get an opinion from a qualified electrician if you know one.

Just my opinions, Anne

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