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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone....My name is Alex and I'm new to this side of the hobby. I currently have a 34 gallon reef setup and I have had a 90 gallon Oscar tank as well as Brackish figure 8 puffer tanks. I'm venturing into this more serene section of aquatics with my girlfriend. She just moved in with me and wanted to join me on this little adventure. I have a 39 gallon bowfront I'm converting to a planted tank. So far I have black tahitian moon sand and flourite mixed up. I'm going to be setting up a DIY C02 setup in the next few days as well as making a custom light setup. I'm most likely going with 4 T5's ranging in spectrum. I'm going to do a suspension light from my ceiling in a custom box. I'll have pics of the initial setup tomorrow and a record of everything here on out. Hope you all enjoy and feel free to leave feedback as I go!!!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:11 AM
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:20 AM
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In a 39gal. 4 T5's will be way to much light with only DIY co2. do you plan to use ferts?

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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In a 39gal. 4 T5's will be way to much light with only DIY co2. do you plan to use ferts?
Well....I was merely going off what I read about 2.5-3 watts per gallon. I'm all ears for what I need to be doing
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:25 AM
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In a 39gal. 4 T5's will be way to much light with only DIY co2.
Well... maybe.

Depends on whether they're T5NO or T5HO and what the reflectors behind the bulbs are like.

Also depends on how high they're suspended up over the tank.

But I agree it's going to be rough getting and maintaining good CO2 levels on a tank this size with just DIY. I'd definitely plan to use 2 setups, one on each side of the tank.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:28 AM
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Well....I was merely going off what I read about 2.5-3 watts per gallon. I'm all ears for what I need to be doing
WPG "rules" really only apply to the "older" T8 and CFL technology. The newer T5 and T5HO technologies are vastly more efficient at converting wattage into usable light, and also the fixtures themselves tend to maximize directing light down into the tank... so less is more.

If you want to stick with DIY CO2 rather than going with pressurized, I'd go with 2 rows of T5NOs with good reflectors behind them.

If you plan to upgrade to pressurized CO2, then you could upgrade to T5HOs and add up to 4 rows total of T5HO.

Or you could stick with 2 rows T5HOs and DIY CO2, as long as the fixture is raised up at least 12-18" up off the surface of the tank.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
WPG "rules" really only apply to the "older" T8 and CFL technology. The newer T5 and T5HO technologies are vastly more efficient at converting wattage into usable light, and also the fixtures themselves tend to maximize directing light down into the tank... so less is more.

If you want to stick with DIY CO2 rather than going with pressurized, I'd go with 2 rows of T5NOs with good reflectors behind them.

If you plan to upgrade to pressurized CO2, then you could upgrade to T5HOs and add up to 4 rows total of T5HO.

Or you could stick with 2 rows T5HOs and DIY CO2, as long as the fixture is raised up at least 12-18" up off the surface of the tank.
Thanks! I'm happy to hear that because I'd much rather only pay for one fixture. They're T5NO and I will have a nice reflector...havn't finalized how I'm going to do it yet though. As far as height from tank I was hoping to have it at least 10 inches....I'm sure I'll have to play with it to get it just right.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:36 AM
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That should work well, then, since you'll be able to play with the height and get it just right.

I'd space the bulbs at least 2" apart inside the "fixture" to maximize back-to-front light coverage across the bottom of your tank.

Tampa Bay Aquarium Society - Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!
TBAS Annual Fish Auction - November 1st!!

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
That should work well, then, since you'll be able to play with the height and get it just right.

I'd space the bulbs at least 2" apart inside the "fixture" to maximize back-to-front light coverage across the bottom of your tank.
Thanks! Is spectrum purely aesthetics based? I seemed to have picked that up while reading around the forum. I'll have basics setup tomorrow and I'll probably get the tank cycled and setup while I'm gathering funds and time to build the light. Hopefully this weekend I can get alot done!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:41 AM
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Is spectrum purely aesthetics based? I seemed to have picked that up while reading around the forum.
For the most part. Most bulbs in the 5000-10,000 k range will support FW photosynthesis, as well as several bulbs outside that range.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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I painted the back today



Got the mid section of the top frame off with the dremel



And set up in my office



I've got class right now but I"ll be back later to start adding the fluorite and setting up the filtration etc. Then its time to find some decorative rock and cycle until I get the proper lighting setup. I'll keep you all posted
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 03:16 PM
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well hello there partner in crime. The tanks looking awesome, good job. Now lets get things flowing by adding the fluorite and setting up everything else.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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well hello there partner in crime. The tanks looking awesome, good job. Now lets get things flowing by adding the fluorite and setting up everything else.
Well good morning my little rae of sunshine ....Apparently you didn't notice when you came home that it is already setup and cycling in the office. Now go get me some T5's!!!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 04:43 PM
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Well, aren't you two just disgustingly adorable, haha...

Good luck with the new toy - some of us out here wish our partners had as much interest in our hobby as you two. I'm lucky enough that my wife just grins and bears it, haha...

The question remains, though: Who has the final word on the scape? (cue ominous music)
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Well, aren't you two just disgustingly adorable, haha...

Good luck with the new toy - some of us out here wish our partners had as much interest in our hobby as you two. I'm lucky enough that my wife just grins and bears it, haha...

The question remains, though: Who has the final word on the scape? (cue ominous music)
lol....I'd like to think we could come to a nice collaborative agreement as far as the scaping goes. I however, have been in this hobby for almost my entire life so I'm assuming I'll lead the way. But she is very good at design and hopefully can add some nice perspective to it. I just informed her I was switching my brackish tank to a planted tank and she wanted to help out. So I'm very happy to help her through it and hopefully she gets as much excitement from this hobby as I do and then I'll have a partner in crime. I mean...I'd have a tank in ever corner of my house if I could....so I think she's taking a positive approach to my excessive aquarium obsession. Plus I have a 90 gallon in my basement so I have my fingers crossed she gets hooked
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