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Old 06-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #1
Danielism
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Planning Low-Tech Tank


Hi, I just bought a nice 30g long rimless glass tank. I am just looking for opinions on different products for a low tech tank. I am planning on housing Cichlids9(4-8 depending on size), Kuhli plecos(4), and Sharks(4). Any suggested cleaners? I heard ghost shrimp are great but i'm not sure if they would be very compatable with what I want to buy, I was also looking for more of a red colored cleaner (so I can actually see them lol). Should I go with snails too? I really like the look of Assassins and what they do, I have them in my 10g and they work really well.

Right now i'm looking at:
Aquaclear 50 HOB (any suggetion on media?)
150w Heater, What brand is suggested?
DIY LEDs (so if anyone wants to help me out that would be great)
Pool filter sand (substrate)
Plants (what would be a good choice for a LT tank?)
And a black silk backing for my tank to give it a rich feel
Any suggestions on foods for the fish and plants and other necessary items I left out?

For the DIY LED's I believe it would be uneccessary to use Cree LED's right? And I already have the circuit and how im going to mount them all drawn up. I just need to be pointed in a direction of a good LED that would keep my plants alive. I would prefer eBay links since I will be making a giant LED order for underdash and seat LED's for my car and tank moonlight.

I am also considering buying some wood and making a custom canopy for the tank so I have more room for my LEDs.

All help and comments are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:41 PM   #2
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Depending on the cichlids you choose, your plants will be very limited. Most cichlids will tear up your plants. You might get away with non substrate plants like java ferns or anubis.

As far as a "cleaner", a smaller pleco like a bristlenose would probably do good. Your fish will eat just about any shrimp you put in there.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
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Do you have any idea on what type of Cichlid would not attack my plants? and I remember coming across something saying if you want to pair any fish with Cichlids they should be around the same size as them, is this true?
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Most dwarf cichlids would do alright with plants. Like the german blue ram or the bolivian ram. The bolivian would be a better bet since they are easier to keep. With the dwarf cichlids you could keep just about any fish that aren't aggressive since they are peaceful fish. If your wanting the bigger cichlids I don't know of any that wont tear up your plants, they are more rock/cave dwellers. And for those, they tend to get very aggressive so I would suggest a cichlid only tank. The pleco should be fine in a cichlid only tank, just not a baby pleco with full sized cichlids.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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I researched the Bolivian rams and Blue rams and I am very interested in them, also it would be nice to throw a couple other dwarfs in. So are you saying the sharks would be compatible with these cichlids I listed? and kuhli's would be iffy?
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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I'd stay away from the sharks with the rams, but the kuhli's would be fine.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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Ok, any other suggestions on cleaners or just plain flashy fish? I would love a color popper. Also what are your thoughts on the Aquaclear filters? and any suggestions on lighting?
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:05 PM   #8
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For lighting and plants I need to know your tank dimensions. Aquaclear filters are good, just get the right size (one for a 30 gallon.) Being a long tank, you might have to set up a small power head so the whole tank has flow. For a color popper cleaner fish it would depend on the color of substrate you are planning on using. If you plan on the dwarf cichlids you could do some shrimp. They might eat the babies, but a full sized say cherry shrimp should be safe as long as there are places to hide. You could start out with say 10 cherries and 3-4 amano shrimp. The amanos don't really have much color to them but they are cool to watch, plus they get a little bit bigger then the cherries. If you have a darker substrate you could also go with yellow shrimp. Or you could just get an albino bristle nose pleco, they look good with the darker substrate also.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:10 AM   #9
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The tank is apparently 25g, its 31.5L x 11.5W x 15.75H. I am completely open to what I want for a bottom, I was looking at pool filter sand, its $5 for 50lbs and people have had great success with it. I am looking at the aquaclear 50 filter and was thinking maybe a power head later on.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:03 PM   #10
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Your tank is just like my 29 gal, but your is a little shorter. For good low-mediam/more towards the medium side, you could put a glass top with two 24" t8 lights. The bad part is I couldn't find anywhere that sold 24" duel t8 fixture, so you'll have to buy two fixtures. I'd make sure one bulb is 6500K and the other you could go anywhere between 5000K and 10000K. The second one will help with plants but more for what kind of look you want. The 5000K will have more of a red tint and the 10000K will have more of a blue/white tint.
I just re-read and saw your tank is rimless. If your wanting something that you can hang or that has feet and sit up over the tank, your best bet will be to look under the light forum. The top three "stickies" have tons of good info. That will come down to how much money you want to spend. If your looking for a non co2 tank with medium or under lighting try to stay around 40 par at substrate. So find the par rating that will be around 18" away.

For the substrate, if you use sand it's perfectly fine. I personally use quikrete play sand, just as cheap as pool filter sand, but it has more of a natural look I believe. It's a tan color. But if you use sand, you'll want to get some root tabs if you put plants in there that are heavy root feeders. Like swords and such.

For the filter, I think the AC 50 will run you about $40. If you spend just about 10 bucks more you can go to petsmart and get a eheim 2232. Last week I saw they were on clearance for $50. You'll like the canister filter better for your flow, plus it's super quiet. But if not, then yes the AC 50 is good.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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Do you have any knowledge of LED's? And how do I calculate the PAR?
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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If your thinking LED's. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...ompendium.html here is a good forum to show you the par of each aquarium led out there.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:09 PM   #13
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I am planning on making my own diy led and moonlight system, im just curious as to what range im looking for, I know 450-470nm is closest to the moon light. What would would be daytime?

I have play sand in my tank atm, just waiting for the crud to get sucked out by the filter and maybe do a couple water changes.

Edit:
I found that red at 660nm and blue at 460nm was the best for growing plants, so I guess I can split the blue and red circuit and time the red to turn off when I want my moonlight to run. And just run a seperate circuit for white/blue/warm white for nice light. I will wire them into a plastic tube I found at my LFS and cap the ends, and then mount them onto my hood and run a 12v power supply to the wall.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:32 AM   #14
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Well, I really don't know to much on DIY LEDs. I've just started doing research on this. I did just get in one for my 10 gal shrimp tank. This one http://www.ecoxotic.com/aquarium-led...d-modules.html . Just hooked it up, but it looks GOOD.

As far as you using a plastic tube to mount them in. I don't think that will work well at all. LEDs put off some heat and thats why they are usually mounted on a heatsink. A heatsink is usually aluminum so it dissipates the heat. I would think it would melt the plastic over time.

For the 12v power supply. Thats fine, as long as you get 12v LEDs. But then you still have to watch out for the miliamp rating on how you wire them up, "series-paralle."

A good diy fixture will cost you around 150-200 to make if you do it the right way. From the reading I've done so far it'd be wise for someone who doesn't know exactly what they are doing to call up a place like rapidled. I've heard great things about that place on how they will tell you what all you need to get the outcome you want. Plus they will even walk you through how to put it together.

Hope this helps you out.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:05 PM   #15
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For the LEDs, I wasnt really looking at anything like the Crees because I believe its over kill for a freshwater tank. I am looking at [Ebay Link Removed] and [Ebay Link Removed] They are in the proper range for growing plants and in the proper price range for me.

Search on eBay.
100pcs 5mm F5 Blue LED Light Emitting Diode 3V 455nm 460nm 25 degree

5 PCs 10mm 40 1W Watt 660nm Red LED 300mA 240,000mcd
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