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Courtney's Tank Set-up Questions


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Okay... I'm setting up a 29 gallon here in a month or so, and I've got a few questions I need to ask.

First, I have two penguin filters for it: a 170 and a 150. I'm going for a mostly barebottomed look. Should I put both the intakes right near the bottom? Is there any benefit to putting one high and one low?

Second, I'm planning on covering the bases of some decorations with rocks. The rocks will stay there on their own, but I'm thinking about gluing them there with sealant for convenience. Is there anything wrong with that?

Last... how long do airstones last? Because I'm going to have a barebottomed tank, there won't be much gravel around to hold one down, so I think I'm going to have to glue one in place on a decoration or something. Will I have to replace it very often? I'm asking this because I saw some "disposable" ones at a pet store yesterday, which made me think that maybe you have to change them out...?

I think that's it for now... thanks ahead of time for your help, guys! If it weren't for you, my future fish wouldn't be nearly as happy. I :heart koko's!

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You are going to have so much fun setting this up! In a 29 gallon tank, the overflow from the two filters will be sufficiant to move the water around in the tank nicely, and if you add the bubble stone, your circulation will be excellent. With excellent circulation, your best bet would be to place both your intakes near the bottom of the tank - this will help remove the fish waste as it drops on a bare bottomed tank.

I glue stones around the bases of my plastic plants using the aquarium sealant. I like that solution and it works well. The only thing I have noticed is that if you soak your plastic plants out in a bleach solution to clean them the sealant will release. This is not really a problem, but you may have to reglue them if it happens.

Airstones can last literally forever. The reason they may need to be replaced is if they get so covered with algae that the little holes in them plug up and do not release the air bubbles well, or, since they are a kind of soft, pourus material, they break. If you are not "abusing" them, they will not break - so your main problem is algae buildup. You can soak them out in hydrogen peroxide to remove algae buildup - so if the decoration they are glued to can take hydrogen peroxide (probably), then you should have not problems cleaning it when needed.

Why not glue the end of the air hose to the decoration, and not the airstone? Then you could change as necessary?

Have fun! :D

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You, my friend, are monumentally helpful. :)

I came up with another question! Is it possible to use silk plants from the craft store in a tank? Would I need to coat them with something? They're so much less expensive, and there's so many more choices! (Just don't tell the fish they're not really underwater plants...)

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Good idea, Benno! :)

I think, that if you really wish to, you could use the craft store plastic plants. I would be slightly concerned as to what plasticizers were used in their creation - ones that might leach out into the water. But this can be addressed - most plasticizers can be removed by a simple soaking. Soak the plants out for a week in a tub of fresh water, changing the water a couple of times. Anything that is left would be so minute that you should not have a problem with it. (If there was even enything there to begin with!)A sunbath during soaking for a couple of hours will also help to remove anything that might be there - UV breaks down the plastic a bit and will help release anything that may be on the surface.

The plastic/silk plants in the craft section should not be painted - so that the paint cannot soak or flake off in the tank. And they need to be able to be underwater without disintigrating. But I would suspect that the majority of them have the colors within the plastic and not on the surface. They would probably be OK.

When you buy artificial plants of any nature, watch out for sharp edges and points on leaves. Goldies can get rather rambunctious at times and even a sharp pointed leaf can cause injury. :)

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Thanks guys. :)

I'm so excited... luckily I can't afford to set up tanks left and right, otherwise I'd probably fill the house with 'em. This is too fun.

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i just discovered this last night actually, to address the algae on the airstone issue. after our power was out for most of the day, all my air hoses were filled wiht water, and i couldnt for the life of me figure out how to get it out (theyre all fastened down) so i got my dads hefty duty air compressor(set on the lowest setting) and shot a little air thru each hose to get the water through...not only did it take care of that problem, but it literally BLASTED every speck of algae off of my airstones in the explosion of bubbles! granted, it made my water a little murky till the filters picked it all up, but it worked like a charm!!!

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HAHA! Oh man, that's a great way to obliviate algae!

A thing with the airstones, what about those green "flakey" airstones they tend to break very easily? I personaly don't like them but it was a gift so I used it. I went to change the tubbing and CRACK! It split right near the tube connected. Now I've got one with suction cups so it stays nice and firm and is really sturdy. Any reason why the green ones break so quicky, I'd onyl had it a year?

Sorry to hijack! Kortinee, the suction cup airstones are really nice if you ever decide to change the bubble wall location.

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i tried it on one of the ones that is really fragile like the green one your talking about, and it didnt break, it just lifted it right out of its suction cups!!! it went flying up in the air, scared the wits outta the poor fish!

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Alrighty... I have another question... though it's not specifically an equipment question like most of my other ones.

I totally fell in love with these blue orandas at a pet store a little while ago. They were in a good-sized tank and looked well taken care of. If they're still there when I set up my tank, or if they've got a new shipment or something, I absolutely want to get one.

They're big fish, though. About 4 inches without tail. Would it be okay to put a fish that big in with a littler fish of average pet-store size? (Maybe like an inch and a half...?)

That's it for this installment. Stay tuned for next week's episode, in which we will most likely return to equipment issues.

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Oooh! Ooh! I thought of something else!

I'm planning on using terra cotta on my barebottom tank... should I put sealant or something on the bottom so it doesn't scratch the tank? Would sealant be good enough? I guess I probably would just do it anyways since I don't think it would hurt anything... any of you done something similar? What'd you do?

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nah, i dont think people worry about the bottoms of their pots, they arent getting slid around. im sure you could if you wanted to, but what if you want to move them at some point?

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I wouldn't want to actually glue them to the bottom of the tank, just put some rubbery stuff on the bottom so they don't rub on the glass and scratch it. Maybe I'm just being obsessive...

But I want my fish to be happy. :)

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Okay... so I've got my tropical tank that's been absolutely completely healthy for over two months now. And in it I've got a filter pad that I'm getting good and gunky (don't worry, it still filters just fine) so I can use some of the gunk for my new tank.

The whole filter pad would probably fit in the filters for the new tank, but I don't want to do that, cause I'm pretty sure my platys still need it. :) So how do I go about transferring some of the bio-bugs to the new filter? I was thinking maybe just swish it around in water from the tropical tank, then dump that in behind the filter pad on one of the filters. Any other/better ideas?

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Can you simply run the "new" filter on the cycled tank for a few weeks? The beneficial bacteria will begin to colonize it nicely that way.

You can also take a small nylon stocking of biomedia (Lava rock, bio balls, ceramic cylindars, sintered glass) and drop it into the back of your cycled tank. It will colonate nicely in a matter of a few weeks and can either be used directly into the new filter, or dropped into the bottom of the new tank to seed the tank nicely.

You can also cut that filter pad in half. Replace it in the old tank, but stuff 1/2 of the old pad back in the old tank to keep it going and 1/2 of it into the new tank to seed it.

:)

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Hmmm... I think the second idea sounds just grand. Heh... I think my poor platies would have no idea what was happening if I ran my 150 on their little 6 gallon tank. Between that and the filter that's already on there, the whole tank would be filtered every 1.6 minutes!

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