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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: N Idaho
Posts: 12
New Guy Questions

Ok I am sure this has all been asked before and I intend to do some searching... But I'll annoy you with them anyway. Sorry its long but want to be thorough

I have a 90 gallon that is already up and running with fish. Current inhabitants are 6 black neons, 5 serpae tetras, 3 small tinfoil barbs, 2 mollies, and a 4-5" pleco. Very soon I hope to add 15 nickle size angels and down the road 2 discus. I will add hear that as everyone grows up the heard will be thinned. The barbs will go even though I love them they get to big for what I want (I regret buying them already) and the Angles will get thinned to 4-5 of the better ones. The idea is this will be a angel/discus tank. (btw for those who dissapprove of that combo, I did it for years without issue).

Equipment I have now is here open slate. I have one penguin HOB double biowheel filter, a heater, and pathetic 2 bulb t5 NO light fixture.

Subsrate is a mix of regular aquarium gravel and flourite of what I would call medium coarseness. I had intended on plants long ago but never bit the bullet. it is about a 50/50 mix. I have a large pile of lava rock on onside (some natural some not) and quite a bit of wood (combination of that heavy root stuff you get at pet store and two stumps from local lake long since cured and in aquarium use). And lastly ugly plastic plants.

Ok so with all of that where do I start for a planted tank. This will be to accent the fish... I don't want a forest. Swords are my favorite plant but since it is a deep tank some tall stuff is in order and maybe something on the wood would be nice.

Like I said this is an open book. I know the lighting is pathetic with two 28W t-5. So I am also a reef guy and reefs like light are we talking 4 (or 6)T5 HO or are we talking Metal Halide or combination. Substrate, is my current mix ok or should I be looking at sand and peat covered by current substrate. Right now I would say it is only 2" deep. What about flow in the tank...discus and angles don't like to be blown around so I don't want anymore flow than needed. I want to add two small powerheads to eliminate dead spots but that is about it. What about filtration.. I currentky run carbon and peat in my HOB to filter and lower PH.

Speaking of water parameters. I am shooting for 80 degrees, PH 6.0-6.5, and soft as possible. Is this cool?
d_sinsley is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 03:08 PM
Planted Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 192
What kind of lighting you buy depends on what kind of tank you want. High tech generally means high light and injecting CO2. You can grow lots of different plants very quickly. Requires more time and attention. Low tech means lower light. You don't have as many types of plants to choose from and the growth is much slower (less work, time and money). You should decide what kind of tank you're interested in and look at lighting that satisfies that. The lighting forum has really knowledgable people who could help you with specific lights. That will also determine what kinds of plants you can grow.

Carbon is not good in a planted tank. I would ditch it if I were you.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: N Idaho
Posts: 12
type of plants

Thanks for the advice. The Carbon can go thats easy enough.

What I want in a tank has more to do with the plants. I love the swords like amazon swords. I would say that would be my target plant and set the system up for that. Then supliment other plants that like the same sort of things.

What does it take to raise nice tall sturdy amazons?
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