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Old 03-31-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
Amstar
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Newbie starting up.. What do you think so far


I am venturing over from the saltwater world and starting a 55 gallon planted tank system.

I have:
(2) marineland 350 filters
216 watt (4) bulb T5 light
Substrate plan on miracle grow organic covered in gravel then pool filter sand paths
(1). 300 watt heater
(1) maxi jet for surface agitation (rippling not to much)


Thoughts????

Thanks
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
mcclure91
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Welcome to the forum! So far everything sounds pretty except with that much light your going to need co2. I used to run 3 t5 over a heavily planted 55 and it was too much light i had to dial back the photo period to 6 hours and i only ran two bulbs most of the day and had a 1 hour burst where all three bulbs were on.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:01 PM   #3
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Sounds like a great start but like the post above me said, the light will be crazy. If you can, pick up a pressurized CO2 system or tone it down to 2 bulbs and run a DIY CO2 set up.

Can't wait for pics!
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:05 AM   #4
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Ya I'm use to the saltwater world in regards to lighting...that is alot of light. I also have a T5 2 bulb 6500k light roughly 108 watts... Would that be better?

Also a little change to substrate.... organic soil then safe t sorb then black diamond for the top then have sand pathways made by using plastic containers so the sand doesn't mix

Will fish add enough nutrients at first for the plants when I first start out or should I look into fertilization/nutrient importing to the tank.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:36 AM   #5
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Yes, that would be much better - but still med-high for low-tech 55 gal (without CO2).
I run less than that - 2 X 39 w T5 HO on my 75 gal discus tank, and it's still a tad high - so I run a 6 hr. lighting period.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:50 AM   #6
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So am I looking for 1 to 1.5 watts per gallon??? The light above is 2 watts.

What are the different methods of CO2 incorporation to the tank?
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:04 AM   #7
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^WPG is next to useless. You need a PAR chart.

C02 is pumped and diffused into the tank, whether it be yeast (DIY) generated or pressurized.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:48 AM   #8
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Whst type of par are we looking for on a planted tank.

I am use to running (2) 175 watt 14k bulbs on a 75 gallon tank and (3) 250 watt 20k bulbs on a 150 gallon roughly 30" deep tank

The 216 watt 4 bulb T5 HO and the 108 watt 2 bulb T5 light are just extra ones I have from my saltwater days and was hoping to be able use one of those
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:24 AM   #9
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See the sticky in the lighting forum for how to use light in a planted tank. There are nice PAR charts for a number of fixtures and I think PAR levels to look for. It isn't just the number of bulbs, it is the quality of the reflector and ballast that make a light brighter.

I use 2x150 watt MH over a 24" deep 6' long tank and used 3x150 watt over an 8' tank. And they were raised quite high - 40" off the substrate. If you look at the PAR charts you see PAR goes down by quite a bit foot by foot so raising the fixture works well to customize lighting intensity.

You would be just fine with the 2x up a foot or so - at least at first.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amstar View Post
So am I looking for 1 to 1.5 watts per gallon??? The light above is 2 watts.

What are the different methods of CO2 incorporation to the tank?
Yes, Amstar, I believe you should be focusing on no more than 1 to 1.5 watts per gallon in a low tech tank.
While I agree with Assassin that wattage is really not the way to properly gauge & apply lighting for a tank, depending on what your overall objective is, wpg is nonetheless still a pretty good indicator of the way you should be heading to avoid an algea farm, and getting reasonable results, if that's the measurement you're used to in your marine environment.

Adding CO2, along with proper lighting & ferts, is a great enhancer to growing plants very well. While liquid carbon, like Seachem Excel, is good - it's quite expensive to use - whereas DIY yeast CO2 may be ok, but it's inaccurate in the main, and somewhat difficult to properly employ, with iffy results.
A pressurized CO2 system is the best, producing outstanding results if used properly, but is somewhat expensive to get started with. Do a little research, and determine what is best for yourself, given costs, size of tank, and expected results.
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