A bit lost - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 31
A bit lost

ok im doing all the reading i can, about 7 hours a day ! the lights have me totally mind boggled though

What im trying to do:

55g tank 48" x 12 x 16
i want 6 Discus in there ( i will be getting a bigger tank later on) from Mac's Discus, Steve has been helping me with advice for raising the fish.

Fully planted, i ordered (never done this before so i may have gone overboard but i have three tanks i can spread the plants around in, my ONLY worry so far is the temperature for discus and the plants may be a bit high)

24 Java ferns
Jungle Val
amazon swords
20penny wort
20dwarf sag
and a variety mix from aquabid 20 of whatever he picks out of
Nana, Barteri, or Coffeefolia,
Cryptocoryne- Red, Bronze, Lutea, Ciliata, Spiralis, Undulata
Cabomba Purple or Green, Vallisennaria, Wisteria
java moss

..... i did say fully planted right? ok i may have gotten ahead of myself but im dirting the tank as per dustins fish tanks though i cannot find CLAY for the LIFE of me and i may have to start without or else use natural kitty litter which i heard makes the worst mess? or i can order but will take a week to come in by which time the plants are here so i thought id skip clay for now i have iron well water which will help and root tabs. though no root tabs for 3 months right?

ANYWAY LIGHTS !!! lights have me all in a tizzle, all the other decisions are made except which 6 of Mac's scrumptious fish i want when the plants are all settled (tank was already cycled pre plants, the media is wet the gravel is wet so i should be almost ready when the plants get in)

i have tried to do my due dilligence and read and re read but im just not getting it, im worried that t5's might be too bright, all my hood is set up for is one T8 48 " and there is an 8k bulb in there now, who knows how old its a used tank i got, and its no good for plants anyway of moderate light needs i believe.

SO do i get one bulb for now in the old T8 or just bite it and get a $150 ish new set up? which i will do i dont want anyone to die, Dustinsfishtanks says no need to go nuts with light and simply discus says be careful of overbright tanks BUT everyone seems to talk intense lighting solutions and i get lost after that, i was thinking of trying 3x 54w catalina t5 ho that someone linked for $148 i think it was but im just all mixed up i read about the led pros and cons i read about just sticking with flourescent and im just confused now.

PLEASE HELP my poor fish and plants survive my confusion

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 31
can i just say

the RELIEF i had being able to post this here, knowing i might get some help, makes me want to cry
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 07:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 1,982
It is my understanding that discus like low light. Discuspaul could better answer that question. If you have a 48" tank, get a 48" shop light fixture for $25 and put 2 plant bulbs in it. I have one on my 45g (it was on my 55) and it grew plants just fine. They're not extremely luscious, but they grow just fine.

Or you could do something like this (something I will be building for my 45g tank soon). But I don't think you won't want as many bulbs that are used in the how-to.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 08:03 PM
Planted Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: VA BCH
Posts: 235
+1 Discuspaul or KyleT are the Discus gurus. Beginner's Guide To Discus This is the link to KyleT's beginners guide to discus

29g Tetra Tank
100g Planted Angel/Clown Loach
I can't spell...Im an engineer, I do math
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 08:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 517
Flourescent vs. LED there are pros and cons to both. The people who were suggesting high light might not of taken into consideration the type of fish you are housing, which again you would need to refer to Discuspaul for that info. They probably were suggesting high light for the plants to grow fast, but when you add more light you need to add CO2 also, preferrably infused CO2 to keep algae in check. You would also need to add fertilizers to feed the ever-growing plants. In a low light setup most can get away with simple root tabs, but higher light = more maintenance BUT most consider it a good tradeoff. Hope this clarifies some things for you a bit.

“Alive without breath,
As cold as death;
Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail never clinking.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Mt Laurel, NJ
Posts: 1,612
I would slap a 48" Finnex Fugeray on there and call it done. Plenty to grow plants, not crazy bright for the fish, low heat, low electric usage, no bulbs to replace
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 31
Hey guys i SO appreciate this, just checked back in the hopes someone would have seen it and so many of you replied, thank you im loving the idea of finnex the more i hear about it ! but as jbrady33 said i just didnt want to overdo it for the fish so wasnt sure which one still. I will ask Discus Paul but it sounds like the Fugeray might be the way to go ! cheers guys
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