As the title says I am a new member here and from what I have seen lurking around as just a visitor previously this forum seems very helpful and full of knowledge.
As for me, I am new-ish to the planted tank side of things but I am not new to other branches of the aquarium hobby. I have raised and bred many different species of south american cichlids as well I have also kept a few reef tanks.
I have always wanted to get into the planted side of things but usually had so many other things on the go related to aquariums that I just never did.
As it sits now I have slowly since 2010 (when my son was born) dialed back my number of tanks to only 3 (1 fresh, 1 salt, 1 hopefully planted)
My current wild Rio Xingu Discus:
I have other photos of the Discus when they were mixed with a group of home bred mutts in a bare bottom 75gal but I will leave those out.
I also have photos of my reef but it is nothing special since I downsized from a custom built 48"L x 24"W x 20"H 100 gal reef to a small 12 gal nano.
Now for the tank that I am currently setting up as a planted tank.
keep in mind this was a custom built tank that was designed and built to be used as a reef tank.
Tank: Custom rimless starphire 36"L x 24"W x 18"H ~65 gallons
External overflow on the side pane full width (coast 2 coast), clear silicone with polished and beveled edges.
Diy 2x4 frame skinned with plywood
Light: ATI 8x24W dimmable sunpower
I am not sure why so many people say you would have such a hard time using a 24" t5 setup on a 36" tank. With the light raised a little higher it will have no problem covering the 36" length. These lights are Par monsters and with the nature and spread of t5s I am not at all worried about dark spots on the ends or a significant loss in par. This same tank and light combo could grow the most demanding sps corals anywhere in the foot print. Is it over kill for a planted tank? Yes probably, but it is what I have and it is dimmable
Undecided/ yet to purchase.
Sump: Standard 20 Gallon tank
I had a custom built sump made when the tank was built. It is designed for reef tanks so it has a maze of weirs and 2x 7" filter sock tray with a skimmer chamber and a return chamber with a built in ATO reservoir. This sump takes up the entire footprint under the tank with only ~1" to spare on all sides. This wasn't going to work because it was a huge waste of space and I wouldn't even be able to fit my Co2 in the stand.
So I went out and bought a cheap standard 20 gal tank.
For the hardscape I am undecided if it will be a dutch style or a nature aquarium style or steal aspects from both. I have some random pieces of manzanita and various small to large pieces of limestone rock as well as different colours and sizes of rounded granite river rock. For substrate I plan on using ADA AS.
Dosing fertilizers will be done using the standard EI dosing routine using dry fertilizers (water changes don't scare me).
Let me know what you think so far.