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Old 07-18-2005, 06:32 PM   #1
Gir
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Newbie help getting started


Ive been lurking in the forums reading as much as I can before I setup my planted tank. I will be setting up a 55 gallon full planted discus tank eventually. Right now I have tahitian moon black sand I will be mixing with flourite for the substrate. The lighting I have 4 48" flourescents # 32 watts each (t8) to give me 128 watts (I think thats ok to start). My main question tho is water chemistry. I have read a ton of posts about KH and GH and o2 ect... but Im not sure where to start on that stuff. Is there any one resource I can read that will teach me what to do once I get my base numbers as far as my ph and kh and so on. I want to inject co2 as well, not sure yet if I will do DIY or shell out the 300 bucks for bottle :|
Any help would be great, I tried searching the forums, but if there are other posts I can read Ill gladly do so.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:44 PM   #2
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Have you read my Guide?

I would not mix TMS with Flourite. TMS is a pretty expensive base layer and that's where it will end up. The larger particles will always end up on top in an aquarium.

You should be able to set up a manual pressurized CO2 system for under $150 without too many problem.s
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Old 07-19-2005, 12:41 AM   #3
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Welcome to PlantedTank.net,

Some people find that 55g are narrow and doesn't give much depth in the tank, but you can take a shot at trying to make it look deep. What kind of lighting do you have? what kind of reflector?

gH is basically the general hardness of your water, if you area planning to keep discus, they require soft water as well as clean, maybe 2x 50% water changes weekly.

kH measures amount of carbonate and bicarbonate ions in your tank, its oftenly used to used to caculate with pH to find the amount of Co2 that is in your tank.

You wouldn't want to have o2 tubes in your tank because they will quickly take away your co2, therefore you won't need it.

My pressurized co2 setup costs $125, if you can get it for cheaper, thats great if not you will not spend no where around $300 unless you are buying a ph controller and other equipment to set the co2 to where you like.

If you want a great guide, read Rex's as he stated above. I myself, find it helpful. But watch out, he has strong language! ain't that right Rex?
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Old 07-19-2005, 01:35 AM   #4
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To make this simple...you tell us what you have for water paramaters and we will tell you how and where to adjust.
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Old 07-19-2005, 03:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great replies, I have to admit I was worried about getting flamed for such a basic question.
I will definately look into some co2 injection ( have to call some local dealers today ) cause 125 aint bad at all and will be worth it to not deal with the yeast stuff. Are you all doing DIY reactors as well to get the co2 dissolved into the tank ?
for lighting Im using 2 reflector setups I got from home depot. They are t-8 and 32 watts per bulb. I have 4 bulbs total. The reflectors arent the greatest, they are painted white, but should get me going.
I will stop stressing about what the perfect numbers for gh and kh. I guess the plan should just be to get the tank setup and keep testing. My problem is once I test the gh and kh I dont know what is good and what is bad on the numbers. Ill have have to post my base results and let yall know.
What did you mean by I dont want o2 in my column ? like I should remove my air driven filter ?
I already have the TMS so Im mixing it with flourite and some eco complete
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Old 07-19-2005, 03:51 PM   #6
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It is easy to get caught up in trying to be perfect in this hobby. I started off that way with pH adjusters trying to hit a pH of 7.0. For the most part, you learn that is really doesn't matter, unless you have a specific reason (e.g. breeding certain fishes). So long as your KH and GH are >=3, you should be in the 'safe zone'. You will find folks on these boards run the gamut.

As to flaming, this is largely a flame-free board....well, mostly .
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:50 PM   #7
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Well I am very glad I stumbled upon this board
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:52 PM   #8
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Another quick question I cant seem to find a simple answer to. How will I know how much co2 I need to dose for when I get it all hooked up ? I plan on running 128 watts of light.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:07 PM   #9
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Take a look at this, Gir. That should explain things quite clearly.

http://www.csd.net/%7Ecgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

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Old 07-23-2005, 08:14 PM   #10
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That helps a ton. Anyone know if its bad to buy a used co2 tank ? I got a buddy who will sell me a 15# for like 30 bucks. Sounds like a good deal, not sure if I need to get it safety checked first or anything.

oh and one more thing. Is it recommended for newbies like me to get an all purpose micronutrient suppliment (like Tropica Master Grow) or to actually wait and try to figure out which nutrients Im lacking ect (sounds harder but doable if needed)
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:13 PM   #11
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So long as the tank has a current Hydro Test Date stamped on it you are fine. If it's not current it can't be filled. It normally runs $20-30 to get a tank tested.
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:16 PM   #12
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cool, Ill look out for that when he brings it over.

any additional help on ferts would be great. I keep getting confused on wether I need to add micronutrients, or macro or both ! Think Im getting close to actually putting this bad boy together.
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Old 07-24-2005, 01:20 AM   #13
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You need both macros and micros.
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Old 07-25-2005, 04:31 PM   #14
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Are there tests I do to find out which I need to add, or do I wait till I plant them and see how they react.
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