So I am pretty new to the planted tank hobby. I had a tank with no plants for about 6 months. Then about a month ago I got a great plant package that included a ton of different easy low/medium light plants. This is all in a 60 gallon tank. I will give the specs of what I have and then what is on the way so what it will have. Thanks to others especially the mod on here (Darkblade48) I have learned a ton that made what I thought going high tech would be very hard to not hard at all. Now on to the list.
60 gallon high (48"x12"x24")
stock includes 12 Glowfish tetras, 2 glowfish danios, one 9" Pleco, 3 cory cats, 10 Clown loaches(small)(I know will get large and will have a 125 gallon for them in a few months), and 4 amano shrimp.
2xEchinodorus "Red Rubin Narrow
5x Hygrophila lancea
6xEgeria (Anacharis) densa
I know it seems like a lot but many are just stems. I have been using the entire Seachem flourish line including excel. Very good stuff and easy for someone like me. May end up going with the "other" cheaper route down the road but I have a good schedule going with these and the results are pretty good so far.
For my filtration I have a Fluval FX4 and a AquaClear 70 HOB. I like having two filters for the fact of staggering out maintenance if one stops working I am still good. I love the fluval line of filters. The only chemical filtration I use is Purigen. I did get a thing of the new chemi-pure green that is meant for planted tanks but have not used it yet as I really do not have the need that I can tell. I keep the HOB filter on low trickle setting and the FX4 not pointed at very top to not disrupt the top as much for obvious reasons. I also have a Jaebo PP8 Powerhead that I turn on first thing in the morning when dosing the ferts to make sure its all mixed good in the tank for all to eat. I keep it on the lowest setting when it runs. Usually only run it for about an hour a day.
I have the Finnex Planted 24/7 light and love that light very much. But because I have a deep tank from the top of substrate to light is 23" so I keep it on max setting for 10 hours during the day instead of the non programmable 24/7 cycle. According to a great review by Matt on here I am most likely getting between 30-40 par at the bottom but not 100% certain. Like many others that is my only complaint about the light is not being able to program the 24/7 cycle. Other than that its an awesome light and seems to be good enough light for my low/medium plants at the moment. I have a question in regards to my light but will ask at the end.
So now on to my pressurized co2 build that I will be installing this weekend. I will first say I have done a TON of research in regards to it as at first it seemed kind of scary. Just heard horror stories of some that have something fail to find their stock dead in the morning. I do not want to do this so I wanted to make sure I have all info and can be as prepared as possible to prevent that. So anyone that has suggestions feel free. I wanted to get a good reliable system so I searched around a lot. I will list below what my system will consist of
Pressurized CO2 system
I wanted this to be as clean and hidden as possible so below is what I went with.
--Fluval 206(dedicated just for the co2 with inline reactor). It will include no media, not even mechanical. Again its solely for the co2. I got the idea from a few people and think its a wonderful idea if you can fork up the $ for it. I was originally going to tap into my existing fluval fx4 but the concern was going from 1" down to 5/8". Why restrict the flow of existing filter. Much better in my mind to run a dedicated system just for the co2. I will place the 206 output right behind my existing FX4 out to maximize the co2 flow throughout the entire tank.
--DiCi CO2 Regulator Aquarium Mini Stainless Steel Dual Gauge Display Bubble Counter and Check Valve w/ Solenoid. Was a hard choice between this and the Aquatek but many great reviews about this one sold me on it. This will be used with a 5lb tank of course. Was almost going to go the Paintball tank route due to space limitations but did not have to after all. I have 22" high of space to work with in my cabinet and thought that a 5lb bottle with the regulator on it would be too high. However it seems I will have a couple inches to spare after all. What I like about this regulator/solenoid is it comes with the bubble counter on it. And a one way valve in the bottom of the bubble counter. Seems high quality. Are any of you running this one?
--Sera Flore Active CO2 Reactor 500. I wanted the least amount of bubbles in the tank so after much research this one seems to be better than the other atomizers and inline diffuses out there. Also this one will be a perfect fit for the 5/8 rubber hose attachments this will hook up to on the Fluval 206. Win win in my book. Also seems from reviews MUCH more durable than the other brand one out there. Did not want to build my own but I knew that was an option.
That is the heart of the system and I will list the other little stuff wanting to make sure I am as prepared for the build this weekend as possible.
-AQUATEK CO2-Proof Tubing 16 Feet. May just use existing standard airline tubing but got just in case any leaks. I know the co2 loss is minimal thanks to Darkblade. If the Aquatek is too hard to work with and will not bend where I need it to then I will use the standard airline tubing as its much easier to work with.
-Glass Co2 Drop Checker With 4dKH Drop Checker Solution. Do not want to make up my own solution so this will work. Needed something reliable. When it comes to the entire co2 system this is the only way one would be able to tell I am evening running pressurized co2. Again I wanted everything as clean and hidden as possible.
-CO2 Tank Leak Stopper. Amyzon has it. Do any of you use it to go between the tank and regulator? I wanted to be sure as good as seal possible and in case any issues this should work.
-Silocone Rubber self fusing tape to use connecting reactor to output of the Fluval 206. And wherever else may be needed.
-Pipe sealant tape. No explanation needed.
-5lb bottle clamp to mount the bottle in the cabinet beneath the tank. Would not want it to tip at all.
-Adjustable hose clamps. No explanation needed.
-Spare Fluval Rubber Adapter for Ribbed Hosing- This will be used again to attach the Reactor to the out of the filter. the 5/8" matches exactly with the Reactor and will connect directly up to my 1/2 ribbed hosing on the out.
I also ended up getting the SENEYE Reef Aquarium Monitor and Par Meter more for the PAR capability. That will not be here for another couple weeks though. Reason is I want an exact measurement of par my lights are getting at the bottom of my tank. Have not seen any readings out there showing the par from this light that far down. I guess between 30-40 but that is just a guess. I want an exact.
So that is it everyone this is my very first build and I will update when I get it installed this weekend. Please respond with any suggestions or lessons learned. I know this is a long post and hope you enjoy. I know I have not been able to sleep well at night while waiting for everything to come in. Saturday is the day
Bump: Forgot to ask the question about my light. So now that I am bring in co2 into the tank will I need more light for my low/medium plants if they are doing ok now? Do you suggest me getting another Finnex Planted 24/7 light? I do not want to cook my plants but also do not want to deprive them especially since there will be co2.