new to planted fresh water need some help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-16-2004, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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new to planted fresh water need some help

i have had a reef tank for a few years but its gotten out of hand, with insane lighting causing heat problems (2x250w halides and 4x54w t5's over a 55 gal) i had alot of SPS (small poloyped stony corals) but due to a heat spike from a pump falure on my chiller 90% of my sps died. so ...

i always liked freshwated planted tanks and want to try my hand at them, they cant be any harder than keeping SPS.

I plan on keeping my T5 lighting to light the tank, plan on using all 4 of the 54watt bulbs. would this be over kill by far ?
I will be setting up the c02 sys as i allready have a CA reactor.

for filtration i was going to buy a EHEIM Professionel II 2026, this should be enough ?

for heating i have a rancho controler for the heater ( i have had alot of ebo's fail so i am going to use it.) should i use a normal heater or use a substrait heater ? i don't know what heating option would be best.

then comes the substrait, i was thinking a layer of peat and Laterite under like 1/2" of gravel ? or if there is somehting better i will go for it.

basicly i want to keep some dwarf cichlids, maybe a lake kutubu rainbowfish , and maybe one other fish. i am probly going to keep 4-6 3" or so fish

i know i will need test kits, food, additives ( still reading on what additives are used)

sorry if this is the typical noob rundown but i am new to freshwater and want to get it set up right the first time, i know how it is to have to re-buy expensive thing when you could of just got the correct item the first time.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 12:23 AM
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Welcome to the world of Planted Tanks!

Your lighting setup is a little on the strong side, here is what I would do: run two of the bulbs to start with, until you have a established tank full of plants without algae problems, then add the third bulb, and if everything is cool you can add number four, although that would be a lot of light for a tank that's only 12 inches deep.

You will need CO2, filter sounds just fine, I would not recommend a substrate heater, get one of the neat inline Hydors that you can connect to your filter, IMO a great solution.

1/2in of gravel is a little on the thin side, I would recommend more like 2-3 inches, with a thin layer of peat (if you must) and some laterite in the lower area. If you want the best, there are substrates that are thought to be used in planted tanks, like Eco-complete and Flourite (do a search on the board), but they are quite a bit more expensive compared to gravel.

You will need plant nutrients: Macros and Micros. Read through the articles section of this site, that should give you plenty info to get started in the right tracks!


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 03:52 AM
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Welcome to the conversion process eums. Take a look at the thread I started a little further down the page. Perhaps we can share notes along the way. For me, I think I've decided to go with 2 GE Daylight Ultra tubes driven by an IceCap 430 (I'll eventually move up to 3 if things are going well).

By the way, I definitely hear you about the reef tank process. I lost several NICE SPS colonies this summer due to our heat wave....

Paul

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My old 100 Gallon SeaClear established 11/7/2004. 4 GE Daylight Ultras on IceCap VHO ballasts. 3" Eco-complete substrate. Eheim 2028, pressurized CO2, external reactor. 18 watt Turbo Twist UV.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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i have decided to get eco-complete as the substraite. would i add the Flourite in with this, i was planning on using 4 bags of eco-complete.

basicly i want to keep a planted tank with 4 dwarf cichlids( a pair of the yellow ones and a pair of the blue ones, sorry i do not know the exact names) and some other fish, maybe something that schools.

would i adjust ph by using some calcium-carbonate rocks , i know the the cichlids require the ph to be 7.8 -8.2 ish and keep it stable. i remember that from back in the day my parents had a 350g with cichlids.

any other big issues i would look out for, i know the tank must cycle and i will be using RO/DI water for the tank because i have it and i have extra filters for it.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 09:48 PM
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German Rams are nice small fish, also Keyhole Cichlids are another good choice. Rams are a nice Blue-yellow colour.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 11:29 PM
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Many dwarf SA Cichlids prefer soft acidic water. Many smaller African Cichlids will treat your plants as a buffet. Make sure what the fish you are placing in the tank are and what water conditions they prefer.

Placing large carbonate bearing rocks in the tank is not the best way to regulate water chemistry. Water changes alone will cause huge pH and TDS swings.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-18-2004, 12:06 AM
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Eco -Complete is fine all by its self.
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