I just registered because I'm planning a planted 95g.
I used to have a reef, but I got rid of all that is saltwater. I kept only the aquarium itself, the lighting and RO-DI.
After it's all set up, I want it all to be as maintenance free as possible.
I found out long ago that I hate doing water tests! But should not be a problem, I will have automated water changes so my parameters should be stable enough.
And I dont mind spending more if it will make my life easier.
I have a good idea of where I'm going, but still have to decide on the details.
I have some experience with freshwater planted aquarium, I've had a 25g low tech for many years. But what I'm getting into now will need CO2 and more serious fertilizers, and that's totally new for me.
So here is how I'm planning it, I've got lots of questions, and lots of things I want to validate with you, so don't hesitate to comment!
== CO2 ==
The thread on pressurised CO2 in the FAQ section was extremely helpful! I still have no idea what CO2 system I'll get, but at least I now have a much better idea of what to look for.
I'll probably get a single piece regulator + solenoid (+ bubble counter probably). But there are so many choices I don't know what to make of it!
I don't really understand how inline diffusers work. And in the description they need a pressure of 30psi, but what I've read here says the output of the regulator should be between 5 and 20 psi...
And there is such a wide range of prices. Are the expensive ones really better?:
I see other diffusers that I just dont see how they are supposed to be used, like these ones :
What does size change?
And for the drop checker, I like this one
== Substrate ==
I'm still not sure, I'll probably go with flourite, a mix a black and red.
How deep should it be?
I have 6.5 square foot of surface.
With the calculator, I found out that I would need 32 lbs of Flourite for every inch. Which means about 50$ per inch!
== Filter ==
I'll probably use Eheim canister filter classic.
A guy at the fish store suggested I get 2 smaller ones, with different filtering medias inside.
So I'm still wondering about that.
Even wondering, if I go with the smaller ones, if I'd really need 2 of them. Because as I understand it, much of the role of these filters is to provide surface for bacterias to live on. But with plants, that should already provide lots of surface for bacterias?
And I'll have automated water changes, that could even be done every day (maybe 5%-10% per day?), that will help keep good water quality.
So I'll probably get only one filter, and later if I need more I'll add another one.
== Fertilizers ==
I'll follow the EI method.
I'll probably buy ferts from aquariumfertilizer.com, they seem to be the best choice which ship to Canada.
KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate)
or if there is a problem with customs, they suggest CaNO3 (Calcium Nitrate). Does that change anything to the dosing on the EI chart?
KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)
K2SO4 (Potassium Sulfate)
Traces (Plantex CSM + Boron)
Will I need other elements, like magnesium or calcium, or something to raise GH? I'll be using water filtered with RO-DI (or maybe just the membrane and carbon, I mostly want to remove chlorine, I still need to look into that).
And of course I want it all to be automated!
So I will use 2 buckets, one for KNO3+KH2PO4+K2SO4, and one for traces.
I will prepare the fertilizers for about 1 month at a time, mix it with water, and have it dosed automatically to the aquarium. I'd plug a small pump on the same timer as the dosing pump, to keep it well mixed.
What should I use for a dosing pump? I'm thinking uf using pumps like this, but it's kinda expensive :
I suppose tabs would be needed too?
aquariumfertilizer.com has 2 types, but I don't understand which I should use...
So that's how I'm planning it. And the more I think about it, the more I can't wait to see it done!
The links I put are just to show the products I'm contemplating, that does not mean I'll buy there. First I decide what I'll get, then I'll find the best place to buy it.