Just got my first 75 gallon tank. Currently checking for leaks slowly right now adding 1/4 tank of water a day. Today being the first day! Bought it used for a good price with stand.
Anyways, I plan on doing a low tech 75 gallon tank. I know nothing about plants to even know where to begin. As for lighting, filters, and what not, I had private message with Aquarist which I said I probably wouldn't post, but I'm going to anyways as I think further input would help me out being I have no clue what I'm doing!
This was his response to the list a LFS gave me as far as items to get:
Glad to see you are moving forward and getting an aquarium! The aquarium pictured in the link looks really good, kinda jealous, I'd buy it for myself if it was local to me lol. Just make sure you check over the things I mentioned to you in your introduction thread.
On to the setup questions:
- Tank - you got this covered, and 75 gallons is a great tank to start with!
- Glass Top - some people use these but I don't really like them, if you get any kind of water splash on them it can block out the light, and if you don't clean it often the calcium deposits can be extremely hard to clean! The do help against evaporation and also prevent fish from jumping out, but they also prevent running cords and filter tubing where you want, unless you are able to cut the glass. They are both good and bad, I have a set of them, and I use them sometimes and sometimes I don't.
- Stand Pine Cabinet - Pine is just a choice, your stand can be made out of whatever you want it to be, as long as its strong enough to support the aquarium and all the weight it'll have. There are plenty of stands made out of stuff such as cinder blocks, metal, and 2x4s.
- T5HO 2x54w Fresh water Light - This is the big decision time, do you want to go high tech or low tech? Low tech has its advantages and disadvantages, the same with high tech, I'm not going to go into that here, there are plenty of threads that go into great detail on the subject. For a low tech tank, a two bulb 54 watt T5ho would work great. If you are wanting to go high tech with injected co2, you will want a four bulb fixture. I use a nova sun fixure, but there are a bunch of different brands, and most have reviews on the forum. If you are handy you can even build one yourself for a pretty good price.
- Fluval Canister Filter 306 - There are plenty of filters out there that are great. Fluval is a good brand but I personally prefer SunSun filters, they are also called aquatop. They work just as good if not better than Fluval filters in my opinion, they are also cheaper. I use the 525 gallon per hour filter on my 75. There are plenty brands of good of filters to fit most budgets.
- Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum 8lbs x 2
- Flora Core Substrate Black 16lbs x 2
- Flourite Clay Substrate 7kilograms x 2
All of the substrate just depends on how much money you want to spend really. Yes you can use that combination of substrates and create a nice grow media. There are a bunch of ways you can go here.
A good middle ground substrate is Eco-Complete, you can usually get is for less than $20 a bag at Petsmart. I like a thick plant bed, so I have more substrate than most people, I believe I have around 160 pounds of substrate in my 75. I used Activ-Flora in mine, I bought it a long time ago while it was one sale so that is what I used.
There are other options, that cheapest of which will be a dirted aquarium, there are lots of threads on this as well so I won't go into great detail. But you basically buy miracle grow organic potting soil and use that as the base 2-3 inches, then but another 2-3 inches of sand on top of it. The "best" substrate is ADA Amazonia, it is also very expensive, but worth the money, there are also many threads on this substrate.
If you decide to start a thread for this let me know and I'll copy and paste this there in a reply.
Hope this helps,
Anyways, any further suggestions you guys have would be appreciated. I need to start looking towards getting filter, lighting, a natural looking substrate, and then plants and hopefully moving into setting up the tank!