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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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My first planted aquarium

Hi everyone-

I have had fish of all types for many years but am getting ready to set-up my first planted aquarium. Here's the plan so far:

The tank is going to be a 46g bow front. I would like to get a group of angels, a group of schooling fish, pearl gouramis, or rainbows. (Not all of them b/c I know that is a high fish load.) I am sure of the angels but not 100% about the fish that will accompany them. As I was looking through my plant manual, I saw some plants that I think will fit my needs. (Easy to care for, don't need CO2.) I am thinking swords, jungle val, java fern, java moss. (Basically medium light.) My book says 2.5 to 3 watts per gallon. I was looking through the catalog and there are so many lighting choices that I was lost. Can you help me decide what lighting I need for this aquarium? It is 24 inches deep. I'd like to do this well but on a budget. I appreciate any suggestions you have about lighting, plants, and fish. Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 12:02 AM
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i hear that 3wpg its almost necessary to have c02, i could be wrong. get one of these

your plant choices are good for non c02. fish choice is all up to you. just know what can go together, i think angels can be a little aggressive.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 01:16 AM
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Welcome to the hobby, April!

I also have a 46g bowfront, and used to run "low-tech" like you're doing.

Without CO2 and good fertilization, I'd recommend limiting light to less than one watt per gallon.

My tank has two removable glass panels, instead of a fitted hood. I used 2x 30" fixtures, each of which contains a 24" 17W T8 fluorescent light.

As for plants, consider hornwort and water wisteria too.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 01:38 AM
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You don't need "medium light" to grow any of those plants you listed. If you set up a "medium light" tank, you'll need CO2.

You could grow all of those plants just fine (without needing CO2) under one of Coralife's 30" T5NO fixtures, which is what I run over my own 46bow.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 04:28 AM
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I'll just also suggest that 2.5-3wpg is really more in the high light range (or high end of medium depending on the kind of light) and I'd say it would be necessary to run CO2 with that much light also, otherwise you're likely to end up with an algae jungle

As LauraLee suggested, those plants will grow with much less light than that to keep you well into the low light / low tech realm. Though you certainly don't have to go less than 1wpg either to be in the low light range, again, especially depending on your kind of lighting. If you're using T5 or T8 normal output fluorescent lighting, you shouldn't need CO2 as long as you stay in the 1-1.5 wpg range

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