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Old 08-02-2014, 01:21 AM   #1
PBiddy412
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Planted 75 Gallon Tank


Hey all!

Just got my first 75 gallon tank. Currently checking for leaks slowly right now adding 1/4 tank of water a day. Today being the first day! Bought it used for a good price with stand.

Anyways, I plan on doing a low tech 75 gallon tank. I know nothing about plants to even know where to begin. As for lighting, filters, and what not, I had private message with Aquarist which I said I probably wouldn't post, but I'm going to anyways as I think further input would help me out being I have no clue what I'm doing!

This was his response to the list a LFS gave me as far as items to get:

Quote:
Hello,

Glad to see you are moving forward and getting an aquarium! The aquarium pictured in the link looks really good, kinda jealous, I'd buy it for myself if it was local to me lol. Just make sure you check over the things I mentioned to you in your introduction thread.

On to the setup questions:

- Tank - you got this covered, and 75 gallons is a great tank to start with!

- Glass Top - some people use these but I don't really like them, if you get any kind of water splash on them it can block out the light, and if you don't clean it often the calcium deposits can be extremely hard to clean! The do help against evaporation and also prevent fish from jumping out, but they also prevent running cords and filter tubing where you want, unless you are able to cut the glass. They are both good and bad, I have a set of them, and I use them sometimes and sometimes I don't.

- Stand Pine Cabinet - Pine is just a choice, your stand can be made out of whatever you want it to be, as long as its strong enough to support the aquarium and all the weight it'll have. There are plenty of stands made out of stuff such as cinder blocks, metal, and 2x4s.

- T5HO 2x54w Fresh water Light - This is the big decision time, do you want to go high tech or low tech? Low tech has its advantages and disadvantages, the same with high tech, I'm not going to go into that here, there are plenty of threads that go into great detail on the subject. For a low tech tank, a two bulb 54 watt T5ho would work great. If you are wanting to go high tech with injected co2, you will want a four bulb fixture. I use a nova sun fixure, but there are a bunch of different brands, and most have reviews on the forum. If you are handy you can even build one yourself for a pretty good price.

- Fluval Canister Filter 306 - There are plenty of filters out there that are great. Fluval is a good brand but I personally prefer SunSun filters, they are also called aquatop. They work just as good if not better than Fluval filters in my opinion, they are also cheaper. I use the 525 gallon per hour filter on my 75. There are plenty brands of good of filters to fit most budgets.

- Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum 8lbs x 2
- Flora Core Substrate Black 16lbs x 2
- Flourite Clay Substrate 7kilograms x 2

All of the substrate just depends on how much money you want to spend really. Yes you can use that combination of substrates and create a nice grow media. There are a bunch of ways you can go here.

A good middle ground substrate is Eco-Complete, you can usually get is for less than $20 a bag at Petsmart. I like a thick plant bed, so I have more substrate than most people, I believe I have around 160 pounds of substrate in my 75. I used Activ-Flora in mine, I bought it a long time ago while it was one sale so that is what I used.

There are other options, that cheapest of which will be a dirted aquarium, there are lots of threads on this as well so I won't go into great detail. But you basically buy miracle grow organic potting soil and use that as the base 2-3 inches, then but another 2-3 inches of sand on top of it. The "best" substrate is ADA Amazonia, it is also very expensive, but worth the money, there are also many threads on this substrate.

If you decide to start a thread for this let me know and I'll copy and paste this there in a reply.

Hope this helps,
AQ
Anyways, any further suggestions you guys have would be appreciated. I need to start looking towards getting filter, lighting, a natural looking substrate, and then plants and hopefully moving into setting up the tank!

Thanks all!
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:09 PM   #2
sadchevy
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All the suggestions you have so far are good.
1......For low tech lighting, a 2 bulb t-8 shop light with 6500k daylight deluxe bulbs will work just fine and can be had for $25 at Lowes. You can also go with 23w spiral cfl's in brooder lamps.
2......Substrates can get confusing, brand name stuff from the LFS is going to be the most expensive option but not always the best. Miracle grow organic potting mix capped with saf-t-sorb is my choice in my tanks. Mainly because its cheap and works good.
3......Canister filters for the most part are all the same. The biggest question is how much you want to spend and the amount of options you want. A marineland magnum 350 is a good filter, but isn't media friendly. Ehiem is top of the line but expensive. A good middle ground filter for your tank would be a API XP-L, lots of media capacity and good flow rate. It's fairly priced also.
4......As for a stand, anything that can support the weight of the tank with a good safety margin will work. So find, buy, or build what suits your wants and needs.
5......To cover or not with glass tops is a choice that depends on a few things. If you have fish prone to jumping, live in a dusty enviroment, or have small kids that like to get into stuff------cover. I like my tanks open top, mainly for ease of access.

Good luck and never hesitate to ask a question. This forum has lots of great knowledgeable people. You will get many different answers to the same question and most will not be wrong. Apply the answers that work for your situation and all will be good.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:55 AM   #3
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If you do go with a glass top clean it with distiled vinager once a week to disolve mineral buildup. I clean my glass top when I have it on the tank then rinse it with water, semi-dry it with a towel and fine dry it with a bit of news paper and re-install.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:57 AM   #4
PBiddy412
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Thanks for the responses guys. I'm still trying to figure out what lighting to go with. Some things I've read said T5HO is to much for a low tech while others say two bulbs would be fine. Then there is also T5NO which isn't enough. Reading a lot of conflicting information which isn't helping me to much!
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBiddy412 View Post
Reading a lot of conflicting information which isn't helping me to much!
Welcome to the internet
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBiddy412 View Post
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm still trying to figure out what lighting to go with. Some things I've read said T5HO is to much for a low tech while others say two bulbs would be fine. Then there is also T5NO which isn't enough. Reading a lot of conflicting information which isn't helping me to much!
A lot is going to depend on the fixture. Some have better reflectors than others, which makes a big difference in PAR (in simple terms this means how much light). You can also control the amount of light by raising or lowering the fixture. For example 4" one way or the other can make a big difference.

Another level of control will be your length of photo period. (how long the lights are on each day). You'll need to find a sweet spot here, regardless what light you choose.

It may seem a lot to digest, but the first post in these two threads are well worth the read -

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=105774
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368

Personally, I would opt for the T5HOs in a 2 bulb fixture with good reflectors. Start out with the fixture 4-6" off the surface, with a 6-8 hour photo period and go from there. Generally speaking, that should put you in the high end of low light, or the low end of medium, depending on who you ask.

I ran 2 T5HO over my low-tech 75 for about 6 months, with great success. I was dosing heavy Excel though (liquid carbon source) but no Co2. Excel is also an effective algae deterrent, so take that into consideration. To begin with I had the fixture 4" off the surface, later moved it down to 2". Photo period around 10 hours/day, sometimes 12 if I was up late and wanted to see it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:18 AM   #7
PBiddy412
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Burr, ty for that. I'll have to read it when I have more time as its very in depth.

I just finished leak test and the tank is good. Noticed some hard water deposits on the back of the tank on the outside. I'll have to probably razor them off.

I'm currently looking at the tank and going how will I drain this now. I've been looking at water changers and python seems to be popular. Aquarist also advised me of a DIY by Tom Barr but I'm not finding anything.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:38 AM   #8
discuspaul
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For a 75 gal low tech tank, I don't believe you can go wrong with either 2 X 39 w T5 HO bulbs, or 2 X 54 w T5HO's, with a lighting period of no more than 8 hours daily.

For a visual idea of what you'll get, here's my 75 gal planted low tech discus tank using 2 X 39 w T5HO's for approx., 7 hrs./day:

http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...spaul/Sept2011
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...spaul/redrubys
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:41 AM   #9
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Try using vinegar on the hard water stains, with a soft cloth that wont scratch. You may not need to break out the razor.
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