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August 23rd, 2008 by Babs

I’m beginning the first stage of transforming my goldfish tank to one for tropical fish (and no, I’m not getting GloFish!). Who would’ve thought it’d be so expensive?

I knew I wanted to replace the two Tetra Whisper Power filters as they were starting to get noisy, not to mention I was getting tired of fishing the impellers out of the bases every time they slipped out of their holders and froze the filters. I ordered an Emperor Bio Wheel 400 last week. It arrived yesterday, but the boneheads at Marineland (the manufacturer) didn’t pack it correctly. They placed the intake tubing on top of the bio wheels, then put the filter lid on top. It should’ve been the other way around, to protect the bio wheels. One of which was damaged due to the improper packaging. Thankfully Drs. Foster and Smith are very nice. Instead of making me pack the whole shebang back up and shipping it to them for a replacement, they shipped me a replacement bio-wheel. I should receive it this week.

While waiting, I was looking into substrates. I already have 3 inches of black gravel in the tank, but for some reason my plants never seem to grow. I read about this stuff called laterlite which is supposed to be really good for plant growth. I can just mix it in with my current gravel. Alas, no one carries it locally, and it’s not really worth the $9.99 shipping cost for a small box of the stuff. I picked up some Flourish Tabs, instead. We’ll see if there’s an improvment. I also got two good-sized pieces of Mopani Drift Wood. They are currently soaking in one of a wash buckets. I might order another piece when I order this. I still have to decide whether I want to get the one with the light, or without. If I get it with the light it will most definitely be blue, as all the tank lights I’ve seen that have “lunar lighting” have blue LEDs.

After I get the air pump, it’s a heater, rocks, and plants. I’ll let the setup run for about a week before adding fish to see if the nitrate levels drop with the addition of the plants. If not, one of the wonderful things about the Emperor filter is that it comes with baskets to put additional media in. They now have tons of media to reduce nitrate levels. Formerly all you could find was stuff to remove ammonia and nitrite. I guess it’s because they are now starting to realize high levels of nitrate can be just as harmful as any amount of the other two.

Anyway. That’s where I am with the tank. I really should take pictures of the whole process.

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