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post #17 of (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 04:25 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 20,261
I think you need to step back and start thinking from the start. You apparently can afford $1000 or more for lighting, but you are using the cheapest substrate material you could get. As a result of the substrate decision, you have a big tannins issue, making lighting the tank more difficult than it needs to be.

Why not switch to a commercial aquarium substrate, that doesn't release that much tannins, using some of the money you plan to spend on lights? You can buy a lot of ADA Aquasoil for that much money, and have a proven great substrate, that doesn't give you the tannin problem. Your tank is probably something like 96" x 30" x 30", which can easily be lighted with T5HO, or LEDs. You could use 4 of these 48" lights, in two rows, separated by about a foot, and get about 50 micromols of PAR at the substrate, more than enough to grow any plants.

Then, start planning a CO2 system, which will be essential, and is by far the hardest thing to get right on a big tank like that.

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