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Old 09-18-2005, 04:10 PM   #1
DarkSoul
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Hey everyone...


New around here and just wanted to say hi.
I found the place looking for some info on ODNO lighting....and i found a good article.
i got browsing around and since i have been recently considering setting up an aquarium i figured id join up and gather some info.
I would like to get my 55 gallon aquraium setup, since i bought the thing like 8 years ago, and havent used it since.

I dont make much money, and i currently have another project on the go thats draining my finances, it will probably be few and far between me buying stuff for the aquarium.

When i was 15 or so, i had a 20 gallon setup with freshwater fish and some plants....and then i accidentlly killed all my fish by boiling them to death.... i still feel bad to this day, i loved those little guys.

anyway i want to get some fish like i had before and some others, and some good hearty plants to balance it all out.
I'm gonna get some tetras, angels, a ropefish for sure (had one before) maybe a betta.

what kind of stuff should i be looking into getting other than the basics like gravel and decorations.... i would like a canister filter/pump, but they are kind of pricey.

just thought i should ask the experts how to keep a nice tank happy

i do have an aquarium services store near me.... or big als i think it is also known by.

thanks all, i hope to learn some good stuff here.
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Old 09-18-2005, 06:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Planted Tank.

I recommend that you read Rex's guide before you go any further. When you're done reading it, read it again.

Secondly research everything you buy VERY carefully before actually throwing down the money. Manufacturers like to overrate things, or claim their are products are appropriate for all tanks and situations when in fact they are not. What is good for a saltwater or fish-only freshwater tank is not always good for a planted tank, and vice-versa.
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Old 09-18-2005, 06:45 PM   #3
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Can't remember if Rex mentions it in his guide or not, but for a starting estimate, it is likely to cost close to $20 per gallon to get a reasonably equipped planted tank up and running. There are certainly ways to cut some costs, but unless you have lots of pieces/parts around or are real good at DIY stuffs, it will take some $. I don't want to discourage you, as planted tanks are pretty awesome. But, I'd hate to have you dump in a bunch of money only to realize you can't completed the setup.

Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSS
Can't remember if Rex mentions it in his guide or not, but for a starting estimate, it is likely to cost close to $20 per gallon to get a reasonably equipped planted tank up and running. There are certainly ways to cut some costs, but unless you have lots of pieces/parts around or are real good at DIY stuffs, it will take some $. I don't want to discourage you, as planted tanks are pretty awesome. But, I'd hate to have you dump in a bunch of money only to realize you can't completed the setup.
Very true. You hafta pay to play.
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Old 09-18-2005, 07:28 PM   #5
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im wicked at DIY, i can build just about anything with a damn good level of professionalisim involved
plus i really like to build stuff...more satisfaction than just buying it.

I def. want an aquarium with plants and fish....much better that way.

what would be a good filter to use for my 55 gallon tank?? i think that is probably the first thing i want to buy. i think i have an aquarium heater kicking around somewhere too....not a piece of crap either but a pretty nice one.
ive also got an airpump, dual output, and should be enough to provide air for my fish, i will try and get a brand name on it. with the help of plants oxygen shouldnt be much of a problem.
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Old 09-18-2005, 07:44 PM   #6
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Here's my advice on a canister filter for someone who's budget conscious such as myself: A filstar xp3 is my #1 pick, followed by one of the Ehiem clones that are being sold. Both of these will run you about $100.

There's really no need for an airpump in a planted tank.

Like everyone else suggested here, read Rexs FAQ page. It's chock full of real practical info. In fact, if you follow Rexs reccomendations, you're almost guaranteed success. It's everything you need to know in a concentrated, no-nonsence, one stop web page. Good Lighting, CO2, and fertilizing are essential to a succesful planted tank, skimp in those areas and your doomed to hard lessons.

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Old 09-18-2005, 08:16 PM   #7
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+1 for losing the air pump, it creates surface distrubance that will it make harder to maintain decent C02 levels. Besides, the plants will be cranking out more than enough oxygen for the fish. And speaking of C02, since you're a DIYer, here's some plans for building a C02 reactor for $15-20. Sure beats buying an Aquamedic 1000 reactor for $60-80.

I also agree that the Filstar XP3 is a good filter. However, if you can afford to spend just a hair bit more, Dr. Foster and Smith is running a really good deal on an Eheim 2026 for $135. Running a canister filter opens you up to a wide variety of inline devices (UV sterilizers, C02 reactors, inline heaters) which gets a lot of the equipment out the tank, leaving you with more room for an aquascape. If you think you'd like to utilize some inline components, then make sure you buy a filter that is a little bit more than what you need, to compensate for the drop in water flow that inline components introduce.
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:44 PM   #8
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Think Canadian dollars everyone.
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Old 09-19-2005, 05:11 PM   #9
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im not going to be using CO2, im making mainly a fish tank, but i want to have some nice plants in it to keep the fish happy and provide something nice to look at.
i may not need the air pump if the plants provide enough O2 for the fish and vice versa.
probably going to use fluorescent lighting, but i might use a 175W MH given certain circumstances.

any good ways to keep gravel clean?? I would like to do multi coloured gravel with a design in it, but if im having to use a gravel cleaner it is going to stir things up and basically just make a mess of any design in the gravel.

Rex: Thank you man, everyone always assumes USD, forgetting that conversion to CAD and shipping rates bump the price up ot retarded levels.

petsolutions.com
Rena FilStar xP3: $109.99
Conversion to CAD: $128.37
After Shipping (CAD): $155.07
Crossing the border there is a tax added based on weight.... this would probably ad around $30 to the amount that i pay.
so we'll call the final price $185

I might be able ot get it slighty cheaper by buying it in my city.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:39 PM   #10
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If you don't have any plans for C02, then the use of metal halide (or even moderately powerful flourescent lighting) is gonna cause some problems. Although better light allows plants to grow, it also stimulates algae to grow, and unless you have C02 and ferts to keep the plants growing at a steady rate(and thus continually outcompeting the algae for nutrients), you're in store for a big nasty mess as algae will overwhelm your tank.

If you aren't interested in all of this C02 and fertilizer craziness, then I reconsider your lighting plans and stick with plants that can survive in low light levels, such as java ferns, anubias, etc.
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Old 09-19-2005, 08:23 PM   #11
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wel im gonna have some snails and algae eaters....plecos...that should help should it not????

before i killed my fish before, i had a few nice plants and they were healthy and hearty plants, didnt seem to require much attention.
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Old 09-19-2005, 10:47 PM   #12
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If you had basic, hearthy plants in the past and they did fine with your current lighting system, why upgrade? Many things in a planted tank are inter-related, when you upgrade one thing (like lighting), you need to address everything else effected by it to keep things balance.
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Old 09-19-2005, 11:49 PM   #13
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True that, cheesybacon.

My very first "Planted Tank" happened by accident. It used the basic equipment that came with the "kit".

By happy coincidence, I had picked out very, very low maintenance plants. In a few months time, It was *literally* packed with plants. Couldn't see the fish unless you moved plants around.

I think the thing I did that yielded the most success was watch patiently. The fish provided enough fertilizer to make the plants grow towards the light and outcompete any algae that might have surfaced.

However, when I started to conciously upgrade one aspect of my tank, it became a line of falling dominoes.

A 55 gallon tank will do extremely well without the lighting upgrade. I would check out Rex's explanation of light before plunking any cash down, as it is a keystone in keeping a planted tank.
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:02 AM   #14
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well i had a 20 gallon before with like 4 plants in it, and probably 15 fish, i had like 3 snails, and 3 plecos, and they seemed to do a good job eating all the algae, i never noticed any buildup or film on my glass.

my plants seemed healthy as well.
as for lighting, lets say i have experience in lighting and plants.
im much ashamed to admit it but im an ex-pot grower...not much i dont know about lighting and all the different types.
im also most of the way through the first section of ballast university at advance transformer lol.

anyway ive had this 55 gallon for a long time and i really want to do something with it.
i dont much have a stand for it though....i might build one when i get some aquarium parts.
For lighting i was going to use probably 36" fluroescent lighting, probably 4 tubes, possibly HO or ODNO, and myabe 10,000K/2700K.

i want to get a few decorations that are large enough for lots of fish to hide in and big nough for big'ish fish, like a medium sized pleco....and a ropefish of full size.

how many fish would i be able to comfortably house in this tank, and what kinds would be good, pretty fish?

i am thinking some neon tetras, a beta, some angels, definitely a ropefish
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:17 AM   #15
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Lighting and growing wacky tobaccy and lighting and growing aquatic plants are very very different. First of all, you don't have water for algae to grow in with terrestrial plants.

If you go blasting crazy amounts of light over your tank without giving your plants some kind of help via C02 and ferts, you will be overwhelmed by algae. Algae needs only a fraction of the light and nutrients that plants need to flourish, simple as that. High light + no ferts + no C02 = algae playground.
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