Getting Back to the Hobby

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

dougall

...
Mar 29, 2005
3,264
831
120
BTW, did Rex Grigg pass? I tried to search his last posts and could not find them.
I think the general consensus was yes.

Before social media was popular, and g did give the impression he was sort of a loner, not sure who would have let hobby friends know.

For modlst the hobby seldom meets with real life. I know 100s of folks in the hobby. Maybe a handful of couples; in some cases there are real life friendships but I would still expect the first the hobby knew would be from a Facebook post.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Signus

dougall

...
Mar 29, 2005
3,264
831
120
So many questions, so difficult to scroll back and forth on a phone...

In short, ditch all the PC things unless you have a secret stash of old unused bulbs, even then try to sell them first (if you want 55/65w ones, I have a few if you would really want, let me know I will tell you what there is)

Folks still use T5 for artistic reasons.. they like the color spectrum offered by the bulbs, and the artist in them feels it justifies the cost... Your call.

LEDs would likely be the way to go.. big questions would be to think what plants you wanna grow, and your budget.

You can get more light (or PAR, or lux, or whatever) relatively cheaply.. but when it comes to controllability and spevtrum it can be more expensive.

Personally I am a fan of Chihiros or Twinstar lights, don't like pendants, WRGB is generally a given.

Folks use more than one fixture front to back to get more light, or potentially to avoid shadows. If you want more coverage at the top of the tank you can generally just raise the light

And you can still use shoplights if you like. Get LED ones that are 6700k, and you should be happy to start. Amazon sells them in 3 or 4 foot lengths and you can daisychain them if you wish, I'm not especially versed in inexpensive aquarium lights .

It might be easier to create seperate threads for all issues, to avoid confusion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Signus

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
11,374
1,785
200
SF Bay area, CA
Well, I'm not as up on the latest in lighting as dougall...but when my PC bulbs finally died, I won't but new. I still have T-5s & replacement bulbs for now. It's hard for me to embrace new tech but I will get inexpensive LEDs very very soon. (yeah, I know dougall, we've done this before but I keep forgetting to order, sheesh)

Signus, this is my thread on LEDs old dog needs new LED tricks | AquariaCentral.com dougall & NoodleCats were very helpful
 
  • Like
Reactions: Signus and dougall

Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
0
16
Gainesville, Florida
Man... these new LED fixtures sound better and better with the dimming and auto timing features. The NICREW SkyLED lights are right in my budget range if I dont want constant growth and weekly pruning, let alone individual CO2 injection systems for each tank. I'm going to try the NICREW system for the tall hex first and go with low intensity then grow as I figure out my larger tanks to get the hang of the lighting using these systems. You've all been a tremendous source of knowledge and help! Do you all follow Tom Barr's EI method for fert dosing?
 

Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
0
16
Gainesville, Florida
I think the general consensus was yes.

Before social media was popular, and g did give the impression he was sort of a loner, not sure who would have let hobby friends know.

For most the hobby seldom meets with real life. I know 100s of folks in the hobby. Maybe a handful of couples; in some cases there are real life friendships but I would still expect the first the hobby knew would be from a Facebook post.
I have other hobbies that are similar in terms of meeting your peers. It's even worse in these times about inviting someone into your home when just posting pictures of your pride an joys is possible. I really appreciate your advice and would love to learn more from your experiences. I think I've gotten over my lofty ideas when I started in the hobby of having carpets of hairgrass and just want healthy and variated tanks that do not require large amounts of upkeep. Hope Rex's family and friends know how much he was a benefit to the community.
 

dougall

...
Mar 29, 2005
3,264
831
120
I think the driving force behind what you want to do is going to be more plant choice, budget and how much work you want to do.

you want to have a carpet, it is good to have nutrition at the root level in the substrate rather than in the water. Enough light, and CO2 where applicable if you are using enough light to need it.

For CO2, I would look to add another manifold onto the existing regulator if needed, just don't necessarily take the cheap way out, lots of the needle valves are cheap and wander over time. Or ship it all together, or use it on one tank for now... It is all good, just be sure to choose plants appropriately.

In your position I would likely pick a tank I could light easily and cheaply (I really like a 20L for this because of it only being a foot tall and works well with 24" lights) - out of anything (I would likely not start with the Hex tank I assume it is taller than deep and will likely be a pain to light effectively - remember watts per gallon is bunk and the important thing is measurable PAR at the place with the plants and the amount of PAR gets to be less as you get further away from the light fixture so deeper tank needs more light) , spend money there on substrate (you don't have to use all aquasoil, maybe just where root feeding plants are.. or good root tabs, API and Seachem aren't complete..), and run CO2 if you like.

Personally, most folks I know don't do EI (Tom.Barr only popularized it, didn't invent it by himself) they will either dose something custom they come to through trial, error and testing or will just use an all in one liquid for simplicity (Tropica or Thrive are most common) most are now honest enough to admit to not doing 50% water changes a week.

I think that is enough setup talk for now... Say if you have more questions or I ignored stuff.

For Rex, I am too lazy to look, but I want to say he was pretty much estranged from his family, unless I am thinking of the wrong person.

I would also suggest seeing if you can find a local aquarium club you can join, or even better a plant one.. its just a good source for cheap or free stuff.. not to mention like minded individuals you can see in person.. if possible inwould look into a trip to the AGA convention in Chicago at the end of next September... Possibly the AGA can help you find a club local to you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Signus

dougall

...
Mar 29, 2005
3,264
831
120
(And you can actually post the word Pleco online, it will not kill any that you have, it was a hoax started on AC a couple of decades ago... Funny how musinformation spreads on the internet ;) )
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Signus

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
11,374
1,785
200
SF Bay area, CA
Clubs can be great! I belong to a plant club & I think I've only bought plants a few times in 10 years. Of course covid has put a crimp in getting together. We had an outdoor meet in June, a few Zooms in 2020 & in Oct. we may actually go to someone's house again! It's fun, even with masks. We often have potluck lunch or snacks...or used to, another big plus in my book, lol.

If you live near a bigger city there may be a fish or plant club within driving distance. Many have a fish, plant & equipment auction every meet (monthly?) & maybe a speaker on various topics. It can make for a nice day trip especially if there are LFSs or restaurants to check out too. Even if you only go occasionally, like say for a "mega-auction" or an interesting talk, I strongly suggest you do. Don't be too shy, ask questions, talk about what you have & may like to try. Locals probably have similar water & may know an off the radar shop or breeders.

In a general way, where do you live? Maybe we can help find a club or some LFS near you...dougall is near the east coast, I'm on the west...but that's the beauty of AC, we're everywhere!!

I agree with dougall, the hex may be the most difficult to light, plant & maintain. I'd go with any of your other tank options. My favorite small tank is a 20g long & a 75g my biggish tank fav.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Signus and dougall

Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
0
16
Gainesville, Florida
I want sag grass at the lowest level or crypts and then lots of tall medium-to low light stalk plants. Maybe swords if I can do fert tabs to enrich the inert soils. I can't keep up with high nutrient substrates, not to mention weekly pruning. I'm down in Horse Country of Florida, so there are plenty of 3+ hour long drives to fish and aquarium plant growing facilities, but a lot of plants and fish you all enjoy are actually banned in the state due to invasive potential. I'm on well water that only marks high on dissolved iron due to a sleeve that was installed by a grandparent back in the 80's. Next step is better filtration of aquifer water.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store