New guy, first planted tank build thread. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Cool New guy, first planted tank build thread.

Hello guys, I am new to the planted side of the fish hobby. I have been keeping a marine nano for 3 years now with great success.

I am wanting to construct and maintaine a "waters edge" style tank. Now, what I mean by this is that I want it to look as if it has tree roots and plants onlon the side of a deep bank of land. Here's what I am thinking.

I will use Great Stuff foam to make the banks edge and make several holes/ledges where I can plant plants and also place one or two pieces of driftwood on it and have the bottum of the wood look like (for lack of a better term) fingers going down into the substrate.

I would like to keep a school of neon tetras along with 2 or 3 oddball fish.

Now, here's my list of things to get (and some that I already have) not mentioned above.
  • 15g (24x12x12) framless tank
  • Filter...I need a suggestion on this one, but I am thinking HOB with a bio-wheel
  • Heater
  • Lighting...I also need some suggestions on this one, I want to be able to grow anything I put in the tank. Keep it under $100 if you can.
  • For substrate, I am thinking of going with 20 lbs of Eco-Complete Plant Substrate.
  • Um...will I need a CO2 System? If so, which one would you all suggest?

I think that's basically it for the most part, anything I forget? What do you all think?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 05:00 AM
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If you're going to inject CO2 skip on the biowheel. These are excellant at gassing off CO2, and will make it a real pain to acheive good CO2 levels. AquaClear filters are relatively inexpensive and have large areas for filter media.

I really like my Current Satellite fixture. If you went with the 1x65 watt version you would probably have pretty close to high light and would be able to grow most anything you want. Just make sure to swap out the bulb for a full daylight bulb. If you want to be able to grow absolutely anything you could put in the tank, you could splurge for the 2x65 version and use a daylight and 50/50 bulb. This would get you into Very High light territory.

Either one of the fixtures I suggested would require the use of CO2 as well. While you could go with Pressurized CO2 if you want, DIY CO2 would be very manageable on this size tank. If you go with the AquaClear filter you can even use it as your diffuser.

With this much light you'll also be looking at the full compliment of fertilizers: Nitrates, Phosphates, Potassium, and a good Trace Mix. You could go with the Flourish line or dry ferts from Greg Watson. Both are good options on this size tank, although dry ferts are definately much more economical in the long run.

Sounds like a facinating project, definately post pics when you get it set up!


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. For lighting, I was thinking 2x28w T5HO lighting. What kelvin spectrum should I shoot for? I don't want something too yellow, so would a 65k and a 10k work well?

And for CO2, would the Flourish Excel work instead of haveing to have the hole CO2 tank and gauges and what not?

Remember, I am still learning, so I'm not sure how some of this stuff works, and why it needs to work. I do know that the plants will need CO2 to breath so to speak, but I'm not sure how to go about making sure there is enough CO2 in the tank?

I will post pictures as soon as there is something worth posting
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 05:26 AM
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With the Kelvin rating, it's mostly a matter of preference as long as you get something between 5000K and 12000K with enough watts. A mix of 6500K and 10000K would probably work well.

You could definately use Flourish Excel if you like. Just be careful with it if you are planning to have either Anacharis or Vals, as both are sensitive to it and will have a tendancy to melt. DIY CO2 is actually pretty easity once you get it set up and going. Here's a detailed article that has more information than you would probably ever want to know. It does have some very good instructions for building your own DIY Co2 setup. I've found that plants seem to prefer CO2 to Excel as their carbon source and get much better results using CO2.

Basically it's a matter of setting up enough CO2 generator bottles for the size of your tank and balancing that against the efficiency of your chosen diffusion method. Less efficient diffusion means you need more bottles. You can use a KH and pH kit to calculate your CO2 levels and determine if you are getting enough into the tank. It's a good idea to have at least two bottles running so that you can alternate when you change out the mix and maintain steadier CO2 levels.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 06:14 AM
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Welcome to the planted tank t-sav!!

The members of this board are some of the smartest fish people around!!

Also, in the long run it would be cheaper to run co2 insted of using the Flourish Excel. IMO

Imagination is more important than knowledge...
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice.

Being that I live in Louisiana, I have access to Cyprus Tree roots quite readily. Can I use taat for my scape? Do I need to boil it to get rid of any parasites and whatnot? Would it hurt to use Cypres wood?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Here's what I have so far.

and


I know the AC500 is abit large and waterflow will be alot, but I can cut the propelor to cut back the flow. Or do you guyst Think that it would be fine running it on the lowest setting with the standard propelor?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 06:45 PM
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The AC500 is a lot. It will dissipate all your CO2. Planted tanks donít need big filters. I use a AC200 on a 25 galons tank.


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Fluorite , Pressurized CO2 with Hagen ladder, Fluval 304, 110watts PC 6500K + 60watts Corallife Trichromatic
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hm, ok, thanks.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 07:30 PM
 
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Consider where your getting it from. Things like boat motor oils and gas or parasites, diseases that your introducing to your tank. These things can kill your fish/plants. The driftwood in the stores have been cleaned but not soaked. But if your wanting to use Cypress from where you live, your not going to be able to use it right away. I've read to use aquarium salt and boil the wood for 2-4 hours. If you can't fit the whole piece boil half at a time in a large pot something like a Turkey Fryer pot. Then you'll need to soak it "completely submerged" for "weeks to months" and change the water daily. The soaking removes excess tannins that do affect your PH. The water will turn tea colored. You want the water to be clear at the end of the soaking. But, it still releases tannins over time in the aquarium which is not a bad thing. Always keep it submerged while soaking so that way it will sink in the aquarium tank when you go to add it. The benefits of driftwood/wood in an aquarium are great but using wood with chemicals and diseases is a bad idea.

*Cindy*
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info.

Do you know of any good websites that sell good, quality, cured driftwood?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 07:56 PM
 
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Your welcome...We purchased ours from a local fish store. And I only had to soak it 2 weeks. Most online aquarium/fish supply dealers or even e-bay stores have the cured cleaned diftwood. Or even the pet store chains that sell fish have nice one's too.

*Cindy*
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 10:38 PM
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Hi t-sav, welcome to the jungle LOL

My .02 about the AC-500... it's way too much filter for a nano, try to change it at the LFS for something smaller, many people use a small canister like the zoo med 501. IMO canisters are the best choice for planted tanks, specially if you want to inyect co2.

http://www.reptilesupply.com/product...roducts_id=404

And for the driftwood, you can use Azoo mopani roots, they are already disinfected and sink immediatly, just boil it for 10-15 minutes ans brush it and it's ready to go.I like it very much.

https://www.petshoponline.ie/custome...cat=533&page=1

Hope this helps.

My Low Tech 82 gal. planted Tank


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Sweet, I think I found my filter

Now I know I shouldn't use the carbon, but what about those little white cylenders, are they ok to use?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-26-2006, 04:00 AM
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Yes, those provide bio filtration.

My Low Tech 82 gal. planted Tank


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