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Old 01-27-2013, 09:53 PM   #11 
Desensitizer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
Whatever it is, I would grab some more before the water freezes over. After you clean the plants & dip them in a sanitizing solution, place them in the back of your tank.

Most of the ponds around here are frozen now.

When you call the stores, I find the employee that answer usually won't put too much effort into checking out their inventory.

My neighborhood is pretty upscale too, but even the small hardware stores don't charge more than $4-$5 for a CFL bulb.

If they were $8, I would have checked all the other stores before ordering online because I'm in the market for at least 4 NEW light bulbs. The ones I'm currently using I think have exceeded the 12 months in service.

Make sure whatever light you're using now is on for AT least 10 hours a day for the first 2 weeks. Increase/decrease the duration of the light if you notice algae issues.

I still have no idea what those plants are, but I don't think it's watercress.

Here's what a patch of watercress from a stream in Wisconsin looks like.
Thinking back after what you said I bet the employees were being lazy. That makes much more sense than bulbs being that expensive and that store is full of High School Kids who could care less. I think I am going to try to upgrade both tubes in the Lights of America fixtures because I am very interested in aquascaping and recently got a job that pays decently (minimum wage + lots of tips) and I work a lot so I can afford to buy some nice bulbs.

I have no idea what the plants are but I can afford to buy actual plants now so it's ok.

Would love suggestions on tube replacements/a good hood. I had condensation issues and had to go back to the hoodless scary setup.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:41 PM   #12 
Aurie
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You can always go with a Versa Top

Online they're like $7 but at petco they have them for 14.99. If it's a standard 10 gallon it's 20" long.

Check at Petsmart if it's a Marineland/Top Fin tank - those dimensions might change.

As for the Gravel - I'd suggest some sort of tan/black/coffee shade only because it's natural. Any blue/green/pink etc that looks like confetti is kind of stressful for the fish and isn't natural looking. It's just my opinion, but I've seen it mentioned on many different forums. In my avatar I didn't even keep this gravel. It's black and red, It's something I kept from long ago but isn't in use anymore. Now it's natural small stones with petco dark brown (espresso) mixed in..

Last edited by Aurie; 01-27-2013 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:06 PM   #13 
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I'm deciding between EcoComplete and Aquasoil Amazonia for the substrate. I like that top, i'll look into it further.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:09 PM   #14 
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My home depot only has 5000k CFL.

They have the 6500k lights but they're 48" long. 5000k for a 24" & 5000k for a 18" fluorescent tube.

I bought a 4 pack 14W of 5000k for $6.30, but I haven't opened it yet. I'll probably return it next week. 800 lumens from 14w is not bright enough for me.

I think I'll spend $10 @ a different store to get a 4 pack of 23W 6500K.

I'll have to check the prices for a versatop. I might just construct my own. since I need like 3 different sizes.

Before you decide, post the price difference between the two substrates.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #15 
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Price was not relevant to me. I wanted the best substrate on the market for planted tanks so I got the aquasoil. I had been having trouble deciding as there is a minimum 3-4 week break in time for the aquasoil to stop leaching high levels of ammonia (plus of course the initial cycling), but I realized I could simply buy a second 10 gallon tank (they are $10 on sale, $15 regularly) at petco and transfer him once the soil has been broken in as they are indentical. It would give me a shrimp tank and a decontamination/regrowth aquarium for new plants after I was done, which also appealed to me. It would also allow me to grow a carpet of HC emersed, so the choice became obvious. I decided to get LED lighting, and wanting medium light for my first planted tank so I settled on a 20" Finnex Fugeray

Last edited by Desensitizer; 02-01-2013 at 03:45 PM.
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