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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-13-2013 02:28 AM
stephenjr I think I may lean toward a low tech tank for now. Finding out equipment will cost more than want to spend at the moment.
01-12-2013 10:34 PM
danielt CO2 gases off even if you stir the water too much. A sump is a bad idea to keep IMO. Go with the canister and insert a DYI reactor out of a household water filter.

Make that two canisters.

MH is too much. The tank height is the key ingredient. I made myself a nice carpet out of Ranunculus Inundatus. You can use almost any small plant to carpet the substrate. The MH creates more problems for the beginner and you could end up being frustrated by algae.

If you do a plantless cycling don't turn the light on until the tank is stable. Otherwise, fill it with plants and start the CO2 right from the start. Keep the photoperiod and CO2 low at start and increase it during the next month after the tank is stable.
01-12-2013 09:39 PM
stephenjr I was under the impression that I would loose co2 due to the splashing. I suppose I could bring water level up over drain to eliminate splashing.
01-12-2013 08:36 PM
In.a.Box Y not injection co2 into the sump?
That tank is 150g? Wow look small.
01-12-2013 07:33 PM
stephenjr I have decided to drop the the sump and add a canister filter so co2 injection will be easeir to accomplish. should I do a diy reactor, buy one, one use a large diffuser?
01-10-2013 05:39 PM
Originally Posted by stephenjr View Post
Distance to substrate will be about 30".
I would stick with the MH, 6700 or 10000k, 8 to 9 hours a day to start. You'll love the PAR and so will the carpet of dwarf babies tears. Plan on pressurized CO2 with probably a reactor of some sort for a tank that size. You'll probably need to mount the MH a bit above the tank top unless you get some floating plants and/or long stems going to float around the top to diffuse the light a bit until your plant load gets filled in and robust..

...and of course you will need to fertilize appropriately and often for a high-light tank.

I'm a long time reefer focusing on a planted discus tank at the moment.
01-10-2013 04:44 PM
stephenjr No tank cover. I want a thick jungle type with carpet effect on the substrate. As far as fish go. A school of angels with other community fish such as Cory cats, tetras, rainbow fish, and maybe a smaller pleco of two.
01-10-2013 04:39 PM
stephenjr Distance to substrate will be about 30".
01-10-2013 04:38 PM
stephenjr I'm looking at 3 fixtures. Coralife,sun blaze, aquatic life. As far as plants. Various swords, tiger lotus, dwarf babies tears, and some different mosses.
01-10-2013 04:22 PM
Originally Posted by stephenjr View Post
So if I was to go with a two bulb fixture, would I even need to use a co2 system? Would this be considered low medium or high lighting?
As a VERY rough guide, assuming the bulbs close to the top of your tank and with good quality reflectors:

2x T8: Low lighting, CO2 optional
2x T5NO (Normal Output): Medium lighting, CO2 optional but recommended
2x T5HO (High Output): High lighting, CO2 required

Even high lighting in a planted tank is much less than in a reef tank, a detail which throws many that migrate from saltwater to freshwater planted for a big loop.

A better estimate of light intensity requires some additional details. The distance between bulbs and substrate. The make and model of the fixture you're considering, to determine reflector quality. Whether you will have a tank cover that cuts down on the amount of light.

You haven't yet described your goals, and what plants you wish to keep in the long run. Those will determine the required light intensity, and everything else depends on that.
01-10-2013 03:10 PM
Originally Posted by stephenjr View Post
Would my current light be considered high intensity? 250watt metal halide about 46 inches off of substrate
Dunno bro, I start tanks with co2 anyways from day one and then back up. If I see any algae building up, I shorten photoperiod and or raise lights and keep trying to unhook the co2. If there is still need for gas at 5hrs of light then the co2 stays.

I used to borrow my friend's par meter to gauge the use of co2 but I found myself using the technique described above anyways. So... I've set ups about 3 tanks for friends this way an they have almost no algae problems.
01-10-2013 07:45 AM
stephenjr So if I was to go with a two bulb fixture, would I even need to use a co2 system? Would this be considered low medium or high lighting?
01-10-2013 07:37 AM
DaveK A 250W MH would be considered very high intensity, especially right under the bulb. For awhile I used two 150W HQI bulbs on my 90 gal planted tank, and that was way too much.

I also found a couple of other things with MH on planted thanks. They are point light sources, so you do get that real nice shimmer, but you also get dark shadows. Sometimes it's hard to get light way down into dense plants because of the shadows.

Also, most SW people are using bulbs in the higher color temp range, about 15000K to 20000K. While great for a SW reef, bulbs like this tend to make a FW planted tank look very unnatural. If your going to go with MHs, consider getting a bulb in the range of 6500K to about 10000K. I found 6500K bulbs looked very yellow. This might be good if you wanted the look of that sunlit pool in the woods, but I liked the ones around 10000K.

All that being said, you might want to consider getting T5 lighting. It's not that expensive, and will be a lot more even across the tank. You could start with a 2 bulb fixture, and for most applications that would be plenty. It would also be a lot less expensive to run, and throw off a lot less heat compared to MH. If you later wanted to go very high tech, you could then add another 2 bulb T5 fixture over the tank.
01-10-2013 06:31 AM
stephenjr Would my current light be considered high intensity? 250watt metal halide about 46 inches off of substrate
01-10-2013 06:29 AM
stephenjr seachem flourish twice a week. That makes since with the sump.
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