Char's 46g Planted Community Journal - New fish pics! 27/01/09 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Char's 46g Planted Community Journal - New fish pics! 27/01/09

Yay, my first tank journal and my first real aquarium!

I went to Big Al's yesterday and maxed out my spending limit on a brand new 46g bowfront tank, I intend to turn it into a planted community. But first I need to get it set up. Until then, enjoy these pics while I get the substrate in and figure out how to work my canister.

Equipment-
-36x12x20, 46g bowfront

-Nova Extreme 2x39w T5

-Rena xp2

-Rena 200w smart heater

-3 bags of fluorite original


The tank!.....empty.


My lighting. It's x2 39w T5. I plan to run that for now, and in a year or so I'll pick up another one of these and a CO2 system. I'll be using excel until then.


The canister. Yes I've upgraded from HOBs!


And here's a shot of my other tank, 10g standard. Not what I want it to be really. Still, I like it! I'll be transferring all of these fish, except the platies, into the 46 when it is cycled, along with all the plants except the vals at the back, plus a ton of other plants. I'll be using this as a fry raising tank, because that little floating trap in the top left is ugly. And don't worry, I'm using fluorite this time instead of that junky regular gravel I have in this one.

And thats it for the first installment! I love (constructive) critism and any advice you can give me along the way.
Oh ya, I don't really know if it really is a 56k warning, but I put it in anyways just to be safe!

Cheers!

Last edited by Characins; 01-27-2009 at 04:27 PM.
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post #2 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 07:25 PM
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so you will be going low tech for a year?
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post #3 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @marko@ View Post
so you will be going low tech for a year?
If low tech means medium light and no CO2, then yes I will be. Whenever I have the money I'll upgrade my lights and put in a CO2 system. But first I'll be seeing how everything works out this way. I have about 1.8wpg of T-5, individual reflectors, so my plant choices aren't too limited but I won't be able to get everything I want...yet.

Do you think I could keep a red-colored plant like ludwigia or something in this light and still have show some color?

Last edited by Characins; 09-14-2008 at 09:53 PM.
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post #4 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 08:14 PM
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medium light? sorry to burst your bubble but you dont even have 2wpg. no thats low light. medium light is 3wpg to 4wpg, above that is high.
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post #5 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @marko@ View Post
medium light? sorry to burst your bubble but you dont even have 2wpg. no thats low light. medium light is 3wpg to 4wpg, above that is high.
Really? I always thought 1-2 was low, 2-3 medium, 3+ high. Guess it depends who you ask. I shall call it...low-ish light.

But it's all about the lumens really. With individual reflectors and the extra bang that T5 puts out, I have roughly the equivalent of 2.3wpg of CF. Still, kind of low, which is good, because I won't need CO2 right away.

We'll see how it turns out!
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post #6 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 09:42 PM
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I think its low medium, t5's are great. Look forward to see this thing watered-up

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post #7 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 09:46 PM
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Char, first of all good luck with your new tank...
I would call your lighting moderate as well, like you I think low light is 1-2 wpg, anything over 3 is high light, at least in my book...
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post #8 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 10:58 PM
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I'm running this fixture over my 46gal bowfront (2x21watt), and I consider it low light. However, my red swords are nice and RED.

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...lestriplight36

I agree with Char- with a 2x36 watt T5 that puts you in "medium" lighting. T5 and PC are just very different lighting.

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post #9 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

And a quick update!



I filled it with water, made the mistake of leaving the last half a bag out in the rain for 5 minutes and decided to fill it anyways. Oh well, lesson learned. Really hope it clears up soon.

I know what you guys are thinking.....
Wow! I wish my tank looked like that!

I stole the little piece of mopani driftwood from the old tank, and I have a taller piece of malaysian soaking right now. Other than that I have no idea what I'm going to aquascape. Put random stuff in and see what looks nice.

I've been setting this tank up since 7am and its 7:30pm now.....phew. I'm not as fast and efficient as some of the other guys here.

But anyways, tomorrow afternoon I plan to get the lights and canopy on, maybe the filter too if I have time. See ya!
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post #10 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-15-2008, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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And now I have some quick questions about the lighting and my xp2 canister.

1) The Light fixture came with a 10000k bulb and a "freshwater" bulb that glows pink. Is the pink bulb just as good/better in some ways than the 10000k? Or should I replace it with another 10000k?

2) The Rena xp2 comes with a bio-zorb, but I don't like chemical filtration. Can I replace it with a microfilter or a foam pad?

3) How often do I replace the media? It has....
- Foam 20ppi
- Foam 30ppi
- Filtration pad
- Bio Chem Stars

Do I really need to replace any of these, how often? Or can I just wash them? How often?

Thanks!
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post #11 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-15-2008, 07:51 PM
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The pink bulb is great- I'd leave it as is unless you decide you don't like the way it looks (personally, I really like pink and 10k combos). If you do replace it, I'd go with a 10k/6700k, personally.

No, you don't want to use the bio-zorb pouch, you do want phosphates in your tank for the plants. Personally, I put Purigen in mine instead, but you can certainly replace with any of the other sponges or biomedia if you'd like. You really can put just about whatever media you want in a canister- that's why they're so great.

How often you need to clean out and replace your pads will differ from tank to tank somewhat. You shouldn't ever need to replace your foam pads, just occasionally squeeze them out in some tank water to keep them from getting clogged (I do this probably once a month/once every other month). The biostars won't need to be replaced unless/until they fall apart (IDK how long they last, but I'd guess at least a few years).

I do replace the floss/floss pads pretty frequently, probably every 2 weeks. I use both cheap polyester floss and Micron filter pads in mine, and usually need to replace the Micron pad at least once every few months.

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post #12 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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I replaced the chemical media with another 30ppi filtration pad, and I took out the microfilter pad and also replaced it with a 30ppi. Mainly because I've heard that you have to replace the micropad after every month, and I don't want to have to take apart my filter a week after it cycles, you know.

I also picked up a very nice red ludwigia. Its in my 10g right now until the tank cycles. Mainly because I don't want to leave all my lights on during a cycle and create and algae bloom for a couple little plants.

Pics coming soon!
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post #13 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question.....

I have the filter set up, the RENA xp2, and there is a tiny bit of air in it. About 1/2" from the surface. Yet it is still pumping water. Is it ok for there to be a tiny bit of air in the canister or should I not be able to see any at all?
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post #14 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 08:30 PM
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There shouldn't be any in it at all. You can play with the clamps a little to let it out (sometimes that works) but what I do is I fill mine in the sink and put the top on there and seal the clamps so it's already full when I hook it back up to the tank. Pretty easy to do with the nifty handles on the top, and no air ever in the filter.

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post #15 of 140 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
There shouldn't be any in it at all. You can play with the clamps a little to let it out (sometimes that works) but what I do is I fill mine in the sink and put the top on there and seal the clamps so it's already full when I hook it back up to the tank. Pretty easy to do with the nifty handles on the top, and no air ever in the filter.
Thanks Laur, I tried it and there's no air at all anymore!

Another question, how much surface movement should I be aiming for? The spray bar is pointed at a 55 degree angle from the substrate and there is no surface disturbance, but the the small amount of oil on the surface is moving around slightly. No little ripples or anything, but there is movement....good?

Also, how sloped should the substrate be? Right now its about 1"-1 1/2" at the front, 2" half way, and 4" at the back. Good?
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