25 Gallon Project - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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25 Gallon Project

Howdy all, just thought I'd ask for some advice and opinions.

So yesterday, I picked up a 25 gallon tank for free on craigslist. It came with a crappy topfin hood and filter rated for 20 gallons, so I quickly picked up a Marineland Penguin 200, and I'll probably pick up a glass canopy soon. I also picked up a 12 pound bag of black flora max.

So just a couple questions, as this is the biggest tank I've ever had. What kind of lighting should I use? Or maybe I should ask, what kind of lighting would you use? Then, what kind of plants? And then, what kind of co2 system?

I'm pretty mega-excited about it, but this is kind of my first foray into a serious planted tank, so I really appreciate any advice. Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Also, the dimensions are 24"x12"x20.5".
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 03:14 AM
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I have a 25 as well which came with 2x14 t8 lights. I would recommend stronger lights than this because the plants seem to be straining to reach the light.

I have anubias, ludwigia, anachris, Amazon sword, and one other fern whose name escapes me at the moment. You will definitely have room for some taller background plants and some tall driftwood or rock scaping.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! It currently has a what, 15 watt 18" fluorescent light. It's barely a nightlight in my room at night, haha.

I've been looking at ho fixtures, but I have no idea where to begin....
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 04:32 AM
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, so after some more research, the question now is 2x24W or 4x24W? Would a two lamp fixture be sufficient? And then, of course, which brand?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 04:58 AM
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4 if you want better spread, odyssea is a good brand choice there for the money, should still only need to run 2 bulbs with pressurized co2 and be good though, 4 only for a burst. I wouldn't ever run all 4 bulbs all the time unless Youre really cranking the co2 and dosing all the time. If no co2, go for an NO fixture.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so I think I have it laid out pretty well in my mind.

For the substrate, I think I'm going to put a bottom layer (maybe 1/2") of sphagnum peat moss with a little bit of organic miracle grow, covered by Flora max and/or Flourite. Would this substrate pose any issues with things like ammonia accumulation?

For the lighting, an Odyssea 2x24 HO fixture, probably with a plant bulb and a "life" or "sun" bulb.

As mentioned before, it has a Marineland Penguin 200 (to 50gal), plus there'll be an airstone and eventually a co2 system. For the moment, no co2.

The hardscape will probably include one or two pieces of mopani, and some river/lava rocks, maybe some cool pieces of slate or granite.

The plantstock will probably include anubias, a couple moss balls, an amazon sword, crypt. wendtii (green), and a couple water onions. Probably a java fern, too. For fish, probably tetras, loaches, mystery snails, ghost shrimp, and maybe an opalescent gourami or two.

Opinions/advice? I'll even take a sarcastic remark. This is all new to me, so I would greatly appreciate anything y'all might have to say.

Last edited by bassmjm; 06-05-2011 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Accidently ommitted something
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Bump?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 06:27 PM
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Sounds good to me! The only thing I'm not familiar with is the peat moss under the substrate. Hopefully someone else can comment on whether that is worth trying. Otherwise, just have fun with it!

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, kshah! I think I'm going to nix the peat and stick with pure (black) FloraMax.

Also, another question for anybody: any suggestions for a taller background plant? The tank is quite tall (20.5ish inches), and I'd like something that will make a curtain without shading too much of the rest of the tank....

Expect photos in the next couple of weeks! I've already got everything planned/budgeted out, so it's just a matter of getting paid before I can get things up and cycling.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmjm View Post
For the substrate
bottom layer sphagnum peat moss with a little bit of organic miracle grow, covered by Flora max and/or Flourite.
I put reptile coconut bark under mine. It add Co2 to the substrate. For according to Tom Barrreport mulch adds Co2 to substrate. Thus for 29gallon only dose 5m of excel. If you go the excel route a cheaper alternative is Metrexģ Procide-D™ 2.5% glutaraldehyde. A gallon jug is $25 aprox. without shipment.

From Hyzer seen it can be done without injecting Co2 by have light system raised above tank.

So what bulbs did you end up getting? What did it cost you? Check out Catalina
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Update time! So money has been slow (still looking for employment), and I haven't ordered any lights yet, but I'll be getting an odyssea 2x24W fixture from ebay . But here's the hardscape (crappy camera and crappy lighting contributing to the darkness of the picture). No peatmoss, just black FloraMax. Maybe a topcoat of black (Tahitian Moon) sand in a few weeks....

Any thoughts, criticisms, recommendations? You can't hurt my feelings. Also, I'm rethinking plants. Probably a java fern, an amazon sword, green crypt. wendtii, and brazilian microsword.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 06:52 PM
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Imo i think the wood looks a little out of place. Im no professional though lol
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Imo i think the wood looks a little out of place. Im no professional though lol
I understand what you mean, and I'm kinda playing around with it, but all personal opinions are welcome!
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