Sometimes I think I have too many hobbies. Weather consumes a great deal of my time, in the spring and summer I'm pretty active on the weekends with my racing hobby, my music interest is a continuous activity, and yes... aquariums.
I developed an interest in freshwater aquariums when I was a kid as my dad had a 55 gallon aquarium when I was young. It's always been an interest, but until a few years ago I just didn't have the time to devote to a nice aquarium.
This blog will cover the activities related to my new freshwater planted aquarium (see above). My wife really wants a reef tank full of coral, so I suspect that before long, I'll be writing about that too.
This was a "kit" system and I told my wife the other day that I probably should have purchased some of this as pieces in stead of a kit. The system came with everything that is needed to get started, but I just had to tweak a few things, so we'll jump right in and take a look.
This particular aquarium came from Marineland and is a 29 gallon model that is 32" x 14" x 20.5" size. I probably should have gone ahead and stepped up to a 55 gallon tank, but that will have to wait of the saltwater reef tank that we are looking to setup. This was purchased as a kit with filter, lights, hood, and heater. The kit lets you build and maintain a beautiful aquatic environment suitable for small species of saltwater or freshwater fish. The Penguin® 200 BioWheel power filter helps keep your aquarium water pure and healthy. Ideal for small species of saltwater or freshwater fish, this aquarium features an elegant glass construction that's easy to clean and an LED lighting system that produces dazzling underwater light. The hood is stylized to reduce water evaporation, with hinges and a removable insert for easy access. Ensure your aquarium is positively pure with the help of the Penguin 200 BioWheel power filter.
Features: LED Lighting System - 42 White/3 Blue .11W LEDs - Watts- 4.62 LUX - 990 Lumens - 310 @12"
Includes: Aquarium, Hood, Penguin 200 Bio Wheel Power Filter, LED Lighting System, Submersible 200watt Heater, Thermometer, Fish Net, Low-Voltage AC Adapter, Rite-Size B Filter Cartridge, TetraMin Tropical Food Sample, AquaSafe Water Conditioner Sample
Used For: Freshwater Fish & Saltwater Fish
Tank Size: 29 gallon
Dimensions: 14"L x 32"W x 20.5"H
Installation Type: Table
Compatible With: Eclipse 2 Filtration and Lighting system
Warranty: 1 year for Aquarium, Hood & Lighting, 3 years for Filter
The lights have both day and "moonlight" modes.
"The CF400-UV has become a very popular canister filter for the price and the performance. The 370GPH, 3+1 filtration system is ideal for fresh and saltwater aquariums ranging in size from 75 gallons to 125 gallons. The integrated 9 watt UV sterilizer helps keep your aquarium healthy and your water crystal clear. The CF400-UV defies its low price because it comes equipped not only with a UV sterilizer but all the necessary plumbing for installation and includes three large filtration media compartments, allowing you to add the filtration media of your choice. The filtration media trays offer a fully customizable filtration system to suit your specific aquatic needs. The CF400-UV includes three fine filter pads (white) and a single coarse filter sponge (blue) for enhanced mechanical filtration. We suggest using AquaTop Premium Activated Carbon, Ceramic Rings, and Bio-Balls so you’ll achieve superior filtration and crystal clear aquarium water. The CF400-UV Canister Filter has a convenient Prime Pump that eliminates the need for manual siphoning."
This filter is pumping about 6 gallons per minute through the aquarium, which is well more than needed. This allows the filter system to cycle the entire tank every 5 minutes. The original Penguin filter only pumped 200 gallons per hour. One of the goals with this aquarium was to have the best and most complete filtration systems that I could get, and this filter provides mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration for the ultimate in filtration.
The CO2 System...
Yes, CO2, that gas that global warming alarmist think will destroy the earth. I will be pumping CO2 into the tank to keep the plants healthy. Plants MUST have CO2 to survive and in fish aquariums they generally don't get what they need.
For this piece I went all out. Adding CO2 to a tank can create other issues if you aren't constantly checking the water. The added CO2 changes the PH of the water, so you have to be cautious that the CO2 levels aren't excessive which would in turn cause the PH levels to drastically change as well.
This system will help your plants grow and flourish by replenishing CO2 levels in your planted freshwater aquarium. CO2 will also help stabilize pH in your aquarium, therefore, it is crucial to maintain the proper CO2 levels. Factors controlling the pH level in your aquarium include the amount of minerals present in the aquarium water (alkalinity) and the concentration of CO2 (acidity). Excess CO2 levels can lower the pH level dramatically and severely stress your fish. This fully automatic CO2 system helps stabilize your water pH by adding an appropriate amount of CO2 to your aquarium.Because this system includes a pH controller, you should not have to monitor the amount of CO2 being released into your aquarium. The controller will track pH, which is directly related to CO2 concentration. Ideally, you should not experience pH fluctuations, since the pH controller will keep pH - and CO2 release - consistent and appropriate for your aquarium.
In an upcoming post, I'll discuss the plants, wood, and fish that will be going into the tank, as well as the installation of the CO2 setup.