Begining of a 40b planted GBR tank
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:53 PM   #1
steveo9043
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Begining of a 40b planted GBR tank


Hey everyone,

I am new to the site but not to aquariums (i have some experience). I have had saltwater tanks for the last 3 years and just last year started a freshwater planted tank.

This is going to be a build thread for a new 40b the girlfriend and I are setting up.

the planted tank I setup last year for her is a 28gallon AIO nanocube with DIY LED's, ceramic media and filter pad for filtration and flourite as the substrate. Has a sword for the center piece plant and some other plant i cant remember the name of.

I'm looking for low tech (no co2) options for this tank.

Lighting? t5? (1 bulb? 2 bulb?) LED?
substrate? (ive read a little about using regular dirt?) opinions are welcome
I plan on using a canister filter with inline heater to keep the tank free of equipment

Looking forward to all the info and opinions of everyone on this.

I am thinking about picking up a deep blue 36x18 stand. as I have a deep blue 48x24 stand for my 120 gallon saltwater setup and love it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
animalcules
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Hey! I'm new-ish too, am currently cycling my first tank in years (due to moving all over the country for the last few), a 29-gallon, and will be keeping fish with similar needs to rams. I also want to keep things low-tech, I bought Diana Walstads book a long time ago and am a believer that you can have a lush planted tank with some dirt, patience, and natural light, no equipment or bottles of ferts necessary. I am a cheapskate and it's worth waiting for me.

I did a 1" dirt substrate (Miracle-Gro Organics potting soil, which in my region was a lot of barely-composted peat) with a coarse white sand cap of 1". I did not 'mineralize' or soak the soil, with the expectation that I would get plenty of ammonia from it after filling, and that I will wait a few weeks or months until it's fully cycled itself to add any fish.

I planted the bottom heavily with a bunch of easy-to-grow plants (swords, wisteria, ferns, sagitteria), and added a bunch of hornwort and big water lettuce to soak up ammonia. The fish I want all need a lot of floating cover so that stuff will probably stay, though it's not the prettiest.

My tank is set up directly in front of a West-facing window and gets 4 hours of direct sun per day. My light is a 30" Finnex FugeRay Planted+, which I love. I only keep the light on from 9am-1pm, right before the sun hits the tank.

I'm planning on mostly blackwater Asian fish, so I have mopani wood in already and will be adding more driftwood later. My water is lightly stained yellow. I will also be adding Indian almond leaves on the only bare spots on the substrate.

I have a HOB Aquaclear for water movement, no filter media inside it. Might replace with something less instrusive looking.

Right now the only tank inhabitants are snails, tiny organisms from the pond plants I threw in, and a bunch of black worms which are in the process of breaking down and aerating my soil layer. I'd like to have a self-sustaining population of worms, but all my desired fish are predators, so we will see if any worms can escape them long term...

So far it's looking great. All my plants are growing steadily, none have dropped leaves or had any issues even though most were the emersed version when I bought them, cycling is proceeding normally as per tests. No algae at all.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:53 PM   #3
Hyzer
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I've always wanted a breeding pair of Rams but defaulted to smaller schooling fish. The 40b should be a great home for them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo9043 View Post
I'm looking for low tech (no co2) options for this tank.

Lighting? t5? (1 bulb? 2 bulb?) LED?
Lighting a 40b can be a challenge because of its width. A two bulb T5HO would be best for spread, but you would have to raise it quite a bit off the tank to not use CO2. Since you are a self proclaimed cheapskate, I would suggest starting with a hydroponics single bulb T5HO fixture. They are very inexpensive, hang easily, and you can add a second fixture if you aren't getting enough spread or intensity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo9043 View Post
substrate? (ive read a little about using regular dirt?)
I would suggest one of the cheap substrates that are basically the equivalent to Flourite. Something like Turface or Safe-t-sorb. I've never done a dirted tank so I'm not sure they provide an adequate cap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo9043 View Post
I plan on using a canister filter with inline heater to keep the tank free of equipment
I use a 2217 on my 40b but I wish I had gone with something bigger. It just doesn't provide enough flow and I've added ugly powerheads to compensate. That should give you an idea of the gph needed.

Good luck with your build!
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:44 AM   #4
steveo9043
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyzer View Post
I've always wanted a breeding pair of Rams but defaulted to smaller schooling fish. The 40b should be a great home for them.Lighting a 40b can be a challenge because of its width. A two bulb T5HO would be best for spread, but you would have to raise it quite a bit off the tank to not use CO2. Since you are a self proclaimed cheapskate, I would suggest starting with a hydroponics single bulb T5HO fixture. They are very inexpensive, hang easily, and you can add a second fixture if you aren't getting enough spread or intensity.



I would suggest one of the cheap substrates that are basically the equivalent to Flourite. Something like Turface or Safe-t-sorb. I've never done a dirted tank so I'm not sure they provide an adequate cap.



I use a 2217 on my 40b but I wish I had gone with something bigger. It just doesn't provide enough flow and I've added ugly powerheads to compensate. That should give you an idea of the gph needed.



Good luck with your build!

Thanks for the suggestions! And it's not that I'm a self proclaimed cheapskate ( i have a 120 gallon reef tank lol) I just know it can be done without co2 lol. If co2 is needed I'll run it. But the girlfriend is more interested in the fish then the plants so I figured low light plants and low tech would be acceptable.




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Old 08-29-2014, 01:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo9043 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions! And it's not that I'm a self proclaimed cheapskate ( i have a 120 gallon reef tank lol) I just know it can be done without co2 lol. If co2 is needed I'll run it. But the girlfriend is more interested in the fish then the plants so I figured low light plants and low tech would be acceptable.




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Ha, for some reason I read animals reply and thought it was you. Didn't mean to incorrectly call you cheap . You could mess around with some new LED fixtures. I know I'm probably not buying fluorescent fixtures anymore.

Last edited by Hyzer; 08-29-2014 at 07:24 AM.. Reason: grammar
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