Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Setting up my first Planted Tank
First off, this is a fantastic forum. I am so glad to have found it. I am an avid aquarium hobbyist but have never setup a true planted tank. I have so many questions I dont know where to begin. If someone could kindly guide me to the best startup guide I would greatly appreciate it. Before I do that though, I have some basic questions that I would love some input on.
I have a 20g tank I want to setup as a planted tank. It is not setup yet as I have some questions for you people in the know first.
1) Gravel or substrait. I have typically had the standard gravel but I understand it is best to get a gravel that promotes plant life. What is the recommended thing to do so that once the tank is setup I dont have to be concerned with tablets etc to keep the plants alive. I am not afraid of maitenance but would like to get it right in the beginning.
2) I typically use the AquaClear external filters. I am interested in looking at the upgrade to the bigger external pump system. What should I be looking at? I would like to get a system that provides the functionality to add a CO2 system to the external pump.
3) CO2 system- I am totally in the dark where to start.
4) Lighting - Going with a planted tank, I suspect I may have to do away with my typical black canopy with the single flourestent light to a better light and possibly a glass top. Can someone advise me more on this? I have read that many people do not use a canopy at all, but as I live in the Yukon, the dry climate causes significant water evaloporation, so I have tried to reduce the evaporation with canopies?
My first discussion with someone who is an expert on planted tanks, was a bit overwhelming as I could not keep up with some of the lingo. The one point I did take from that conversation was the question of how much am I willing to spend. My answer is less about cost and more about doing it right with the right equipment. I am looking for a mid range solution and not the best of the best type solution. I do see me spending 3 to 5 hundred dollars in getting this setup correctly though.
If this is not the correct place to post these questions, please let me know where I should place it. Thank you in advance for any help etc.