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[AGA Member] Re: AGA Member Kate's tanks

Hi Kate,
Glad to have talked to you at Seattle aquarium meeting.
Boy you are as bad as I am Re: planted tanks. They sound very nice.
Since we live close, you can visit my tanks if I can visit yours. I would
also very much like to see your Killifish. If interested email me off list.
Re: 10000K bulbs. I didn't notice any significant difference from the
plant's point of view but I too think the plants look better in 6500

I have bank of 12 20 gal tanks all set with shop lights so all low light.
There is variety of substrates from Flourite, to Texas grit to soil. Most of
the plants are ferns, anubias and stems that do ok with low light.
I have another bank of 7 tanks that are high light with Onyx or Flourite
substrate. They are fun but LOT more work. All the tanks have injected CO2.
I experimented with couple 15 gal tanks with no fish, high light and lot of
CO2. Great plant grow out tanks. My fish interest has so far been pretty
limited--mostly common livebearers. I do like and keep loaches and various
algae eaters. I am most fond of bristle-nose pleco's so don't keep
My experience with Jobe sticks was that I tend to stir up the substrate to
often releasing the nutrients and causing imbalance and problems. I pretty
much quit using them unless tank is going to be undisturbed for long periods
of time.
You know the best cure for green water. Go on vacation for couple three
weeks. ;->
> Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 20:50:25 -0700
> From: Kate Breimayer <kate@munat.com>
> Subject: Re: [AGA Member] Re: Aga Members List
> My biggest tank is a 45 tall, it's looking pretty decent after a long
> bout with greenwater. Set it up first week in October with 55 watts of
> compact flourescent, 10,000K bulb, flourite with a few handfulls of
> crushed coral and river gravel, DIY yeast, and a lot of plants including
> a huge rubin sword. The plants have not gotten a whole lot taller due to
> pruning, neglect, and probably lack of light during the greenwater
> epidemic, but they are very nicely branched/leaved and lush now. My
> hardest challenge with this tank was moving it-moved it in the back seat
> of my Saturn, which is not very much bigger than the whole tank. The
> gravel, plants, some water, and a few fish were inside (landlady wanted
> us out early as she thought she had a new tenant, made me leave in a
> hurry). Getting the tank out of the car without dropping it was a bit of
> a challenge. To say the least. Next time I move I am selling EVERYTHING.
> I also keep a 26 metaframe with a sand substrate and packed with plants,
> it is lit with a standard 4 foot flourescent shop light, has DIY yeast
> reactor, and produces nice plants. Ironically, it's now got all the
> greenwater problems.The last move probably stirred up the Job's plant
> spikes. Guess I will not be using substrate fertilizer again, not
> unless I buy a house.
> I keep all my tanks planted as much as I can, there is a lovely 10 in
> the dining room full of beautiful greens, the smaller tanks get the
> trimmings from the big tanks and the same flourite and river gravel mix.
> Some get more coral, or the fake flourite sold for ponds at hardware
> stores. My goal is all tanks planted heavily. I breed killies and
> bettas, the more cover the fry get the better, but I have a lot of work
> to do-I just set up 8 more 10's.
> My favorite tank is a 20 long for growing out, it has grown out plants
> and fish. The spare driftwood goes in there too, and at one point there
> was what resembled a river bend snag of wood and plants at one end of
> it. The java moss and fern, as well as bolbitis and a few others, have
> grown around the driftwood and made it quite lush. It was totally
> unplanned and effortless, a bonus. There is no substrate in it so I put
> trimmings in clay pots with flourite behind the driftwood or hidden by
> rocks, I wanted to make the mulm easily removable since baby fish eat a
> lot, so the bottom is covered with large flat slate and other rock
> pieces and bare in some spots. Makes it much easier to siphon the bottom
> clean.
> I use power filters that hang off the side, nothing special, just items
> from auctions and raffles at local clubs. I suppose a real canister
> filter might be a good investment one of these days. For fertilizer I am
> using Seachem's Flourish and also the Iron supplement. I am wondering if
> the plants are suffering from a deficiencies of iron and zinc, as some
> swords are yellow, and the hygro and java fern occasionally turn pale.
> They also seem to recover for no reason at all with no change in
> conditions that I can see, so I may be wrong on that. Zinc deficiency
> affects land plants by them turning yellow, is it necessary in aquatic
> plants too? Will it hurt the fish?
> My favorite tricks:
> Spotlight a red plant with a screw in compact flourescent (standard home
> use bulb). I put them in aluminum clamp lights with the clamp part
> removed and put it face down on the glass lid. The red plants respond
> well to the yellow light for some reason, getting a lot of color. Use
> the bulbs that are ok for enclosed fixtures, and  I guess I can't
> totally recommend this as I am not sure it is safe, but I do it. Nothing
> bad has happened so far... The glass on top of my tank is double
> strength and my only worry is that it will somehow get broken and the
> light will fall in. I guess that could happen with any of my
> tanks/lights though.
> Another thing I do is wrap a sponge filter in java moss so I don't have
> to look at it. A piece of driftwood strategically placed can further
> hide the sponge.
> I learned when I called A&H supply to ask about bulbs that the 10,000K
> bulb my compact flourescent fixture came with is wrong for freshwater
> plants and switched to what I think I recall is a 6500K bulb, the color
> is a lot better and the greenwater has since dissipated, though that
> could be a coincidence. I also learned that the bulbs I like for the 10
> gallon tanks are wrong, but I like them and still use them. They are
> half actinic blue and half standard white oceanic-probably more 10,000K.
> The light they produce is dim and blue, which the A&H people think makes
> the plants too blue and stunted, but I like the results. They are
> extremely vividly green. Also, they are intended to simulate light
> several feet below water. That means less light overall, so I made that
> side of the tank the foreground. The fish in that tank are all killies,
> and I think they appreciate the subtle "mood lighting" as they all come
> forward to see what food I might have rather than cowering in the back
> like some peoples' killies. I really like these lights and will continue
> to use them, but they are not recommended by the seller.
> All my tanks are pretty lightly stocked except for the one with the
> growing out fish, and usually read a lower nitrate level than fresh
> tapwater, which is a little scary. :) The fish do spawn from time to
> time but they end up eating most of the offspring. Still, they get a few
> strong survivors. For serious breeding I remove the eggs or parents, the
> rest of the time they get to kick back in aquascaped tanks chowing down
> on fresh live grub... I don't have tv here, broke the antenna and
> decided not to replace it, so I have plenty of time and energy for
> working on the tanks or just watching the fish.  I think it's pretty
> cool but others doubt my sanity. I can watch the fish for hours...
> I also breed birds, but that is another chat list.
> Hope this isn't too long of an email... :)
> Kate B
> Oly WA

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