help a rookie decide wether to go low tech or high tech on my 120 gallon.
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:12 AM   #1
BlakeA.
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help a rookie decide wether to go low tech or high tech on my 120 gallon.


I originally assumed that CO2 was required for a tank this large, but after reading around I see that might not be the case.

I'd prefer to have a slow growing tank, that doesnt require much maintenence, going low tech would be the best idea for this corect? Is it hard to get a 120 gallon tank up and running without going high tech? or should I just attempt High tech first?

I'm leaning towards trying low tech first since its obviously cheaper.

I'm going to purchase some good substrate right off the bat. But if the low tech approach doesnt work for me then I'm going to try going hi tech. so the what lighting should I start with in which case I'll be able to upgrade later if i switch to high tech?

I was thinking about starting with two AH supply 2x55 22" kits. since my tank is 60" i would just do a 5" space at each end and between the two 22" fixtures. that would be a total of 220watts, just a bit below 2wpg, that should be fine for low tech right? and then later if I decide to go high tech I could stagger them and add another 2x55 fixture in the middle, a bit behind the others and that would give me 330, close to 3wpg which should be plenty since i read that the 3wpg rule breaks down on thanks this large

does this sound like a good approach to take for the lighting? i dont want to buy lighting, then decide to switch to high tech and have wasted money on lighting I cant use.
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:39 AM   #2
Guillermo
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Hi Blake, my .02 :

If you really want low maintenance, a low-tech tank is the way to go. I have a 82 low tech and I don't do a lot of prunning or water changes, It is close to the 2 wpg rule as you mentioned you would set up yours.Mine has three years running and had no major trouble (except for the cyanobacteria once)

Good substrate is a good idea, maybe fluorite, eco-complete or aquasoil, this way if you decide to switch to hi-tech, you are set.

There are a lot of beautiful plants suitable for low tech tanks like crypts, anubias, vallisnerias, bacopas, hygrophillas, limnophillas, watersprite.

In the future if you go for hi-tec, changing the lightning shouldn't be so problematic, you can always add lamps to the canopy.And for pressurized Co2, is less of a hassle, just pricey, LOL.

I'm sure some of the great people here will chime in this thread and give you advice.

Good Luck
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:01 AM   #3
BlakeA.
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guillermo,

your tank is amazing.

thanks for the input.

now i just gotta come up with $300 for the substrate and 4x55watt AH supply lighting.
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:16 AM   #4
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Thanks Blake, I forgot to ask about filtration...what do you have in mind ?
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:27 AM   #5
BlakeA.
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Thanks Blake, I forgot to ask about filtration...what do you have in mind ?
I have one fluval 404, its only rated up to 100gallons. I am debating purchasing another used one off ebay for around $65 and then running one at each end. or I have a couple extra penguin bio wheel hang on filters that i could use. one was for up to 75 gallons the other was for up to 30 gallons. i figure i could just stick this on the other end for more water movement or i may just get a powerhead for the other end, this would aid in doing water changes.
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:51 AM   #6
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I've read good things about Rena Filstar canisters, you can take a look, they are cheap and a Xp3 could be a nice addition to help the F404.If you won't have a big fish load, maybe you can try the powerhead route. I've read (and experienced) the filter's ratings always are short, maybe they measure the flow without media.

Talking about fish... what will be your selection ?
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Old 10-22-2006, 02:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I've read good things about Rena Filstar canisters, you can take a look, they are cheap and a Xp3 could be a nice addition to help the F404.If you won't have a big fish load, maybe you can try the powerhead route. I've read (and experienced) the filter's ratings always are short, maybe they measure the flow without media.

Talking about fish... what will be your selection ?
going with a nice lump of neon tetra, maybe some other tetra, a few fancy guppies, couple clown loaches and a rainbow shark. want to put a lot of shrimp in the tank as well.
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Old 10-22-2006, 02:00 PM   #8
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BlakeA,in selecting your substrate,flourite is a very good choice.seems to stay cleaner.maybe because bottom dwellers can't stir it up as easily.your hang on filters should work allright with your 404.you might think about a small pump on one end to create circulation.if you are going to build a canopy,ah supply compacts are best ,but you could also try three 48" shop lights with t5 bulbs.shop lights allways come in handy for other uses if it does not work out.clown loaches are a beautiful fish ,but they will eat small shrimp.try to stay with any fish that are very compatable with each other.cardinal tetras make a very good choice in large numbers,just be sure to acclimate them slowly to your tank.a good substrate is the most important investment to make ,other componets can come later. good luck! regards,cornhusker
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:07 AM   #9
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Yep, as cornhusker said, shrimp will be a very expensive snack for loaches and rainbow shark. My tank is almost all tetra, I have 10 Pristella Maxillaris, 13 Cardinal, 10 Lemon, 8 blue, 2 black, 1 serpae, 6 otocinclus, a pair of ancistrus (sp?) , 3 female cherry barbs (I had to move them from my first nano because the 2 males I had jumped out and died) and 1 male electric blue apistogramma (I can't find 2-3 females for him )

Sometimes Serpaes are aggressive with their own, specially the adults towards the juvies, I had 3 adults and one day added 5 juvies, the adults killed the juvies, I will not put serpaes again, I want to have a peaceful tank
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Yep, as cornhusker said, shrimp will be a very expensive snack for loaches and rainbow shark. My tank is almost all tetra, I have 10 Pristella Maxillaris, 13 Cardinal, 10 Lemon, 8 blue, 2 black, 1 serpae, 6 otocinclus, a pair of ancistrus (sp?) , 3 female cherry barbs (I had to move them from my first nano because the 2 males I had jumped out and died) and 1 male electric blue apistogramma (I can't find 2-3 females for him )

Sometimes Serpaes are aggressive with their own, specially the adults towards the juvies, I had 3 adults and one day added 5 juvies, the adults killed the juvies, I will not put serpaes again, I want to have a peaceful tank
i guess no shrimp for me

i like my clown loaches and rainbow shark too much to get rid of them, and i dont think its fair me to keep them in a little 10 gallon. I used to have the rainbow shark in my 40 gallon with the two clown loaches, however as i put them in he began terrorizing them, chasing them in circles around the perimiter of the tank. im hoping that with the 120 gallon and an addition of another loach or two, that there will be plent of room for everyone and he cant chase all 4 at once. i have on huge piece of drift wood and will have a few other smaller pieces in there which the loaches love to climb inside and sleep.

once theres a lot of plants for hiding ill try adding some cheap shrimp and see how it works out. thanks for the heads up though.
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Old 10-23-2006, 01:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guillermo View Post
Hi Blake, my .02 :

If you really want low maintenance, a low-tech tank is the way to go. I have a 82 low tech and I don't do a lot of prunning or water changes, It is close to the 2 wpg rule as you mentioned you would set up yours.Mine has three years running and had no major trouble (except for the cyanobacteria once)

Good substrate is a good idea, maybe fluorite, eco-complete or aquasoil, this way if you decide to switch to hi-tech, you are set.

There are a lot of beautiful plants suitable for low tech tanks like crypts, anubias, vallisnerias, bacopas, hygrophillas, limnophillas, watersprite.

In the future if you go for hi-tec, changing the lightning shouldn't be so problematic, you can always add lamps to the canopy.And for pressurized Co2, is less of a hassle, just pricey, LOL.

I'm sure some of the great people here will chime in this thread and give you advice.

Good Luck
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:19 AM   #12
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Thanks essabee, I think I've been lucky with my 82.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:21 AM   #13
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IMO it is easier to go from a low tech setup to a high tech than the other way around, as you can see from Guillermo's tank you still can get great results with out the tech. I personally run a 'mid tech' and a low tech setup. Why do I like it? The filter I had running my co2 died, and I havent replaced it yet, (over 3 months) I backed down on the ferts, but other than slower growth no issues. What I am trying to say is you have more room for error with lower tech setups than one running 4 wpg
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:43 PM   #14
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Personally- I say High Tec! In the past-I've always decided to go low tec and every time end up changing my mind later. If you can afford it, I say go for it!
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lumpyfunk View Post
IMO it is easier to go from a low tech setup to a high tech than the other way around, as you can see from Guillermo's tank you still can get great results with out the tech. I personally run a 'mid tech' and a low tech setup. Why do I like it? The filter I had running my co2 died, and I havent replaced it yet, (over 3 months) I backed down on the ferts, but other than slower growth no issues. What I am trying to say is you have more room for error with lower tech setups than one running 4 wpg
I agree! Starting off low tech is the way to go. It will allow you to get a feel for the tank, plants, and fish...

It is a little more forgiving with algae issues when starting out. Reason being, you dont really have to add alot of ferts. Feed the fish alot, keep the lighting simple, an to about 8 hours, an dose excel every other day.

See how it works out for ya.
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