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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Question Your Opinion on new tank setup

My story: I successfully maintained a planted tank from 1996-2005. I basically used whatever equipment I could get and experimented all the way.

Now I decided to get back into it but I didn't want to do it on a budget. I picked up a package from a good local fish store that was set up specifically for anyone interested in planted tanks. It's been two weeks and I have a thousand questions that I hope you can help with over time here on the forum. But before I start, here is my equipment, fish and plant list:

Equipment:
  • 70-gallon glass tank
  • Custom built Cherry cabinet with hood
  • Reaction 4 EFU-35 canister filter
  • Root Therm substrate heating system
  • CoraLife 24-inch professional series retrofit kit 10,000K Daylight HQI Metal halide Lighting [1 x 150 watt], True Actinic 03 Blue Compact Flourescent [2 x 65 watt], Lunar Blue-Moon-Glow 470nm LED Lighting [2x1 watt]
  • External Thermal Heater
  • 5 bags of Flourite

Plants:
Amazon sword, anubia's, microsword, bulbs, wisteria, ludwigia, umbrella plants, banana plants, java moss, java fern, hornwort and jungle val.

Fish:
Rummy Nose Tetra, Neons, Cory's, Oto's. - Soon siamese alge eaters and amano shrimp.

Questions:
What do you think about the light system?
Can i go without a CO2 system?
How often do i add liquid minerals like Flourish Fundamentals?
How do I handle the black hair moss on the microsword?

Thank you for help and I look forward to becoming an active member.


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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:03 AM
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Your lighting should be 6500-6700k. yours are 10,000K and not really the right spectrum for growing good plants. As is true for actinics. Theyre great for saltwater or if you want your tank to look blue but not the best growing bulbs. And your substrate heater can cause problems when you rescape as plant roots get wrapped around it and it pulls it up. A regular heater works just fine and theres really no benefit to a substrate heater other than you cant see it. If that your worry then get an inline heater. Most of your plants look ok for not using co2 if you use root tabs. Seachems excel will help you also. Stem plant like co2 but bushy ground plants feed mostly through the root. Looks like a great start and best of luck to you!!!Lets see some pics soon!

My 65g jungle October rain
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:53 AM
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There's nothing wrong with 10k bulbs, they grow plants just fine.

I personally prefer the higher kelvins over the lower, I don't like the yellow.

The true actinics won't be any help, though.

Unless you've got pressurized CO2 for the tank you'll probably just want to run the 2x65 PCs and that's it. Otherwise you'll have too much light.





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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
Your lighting should be 6500-6700k. yours are 10,000K and not really the right spectrum for growing good plants. As is true for actinics.
Kelvin rating is what we see. The output spectrum is what is important. Most 10,000k bulbs are just fine. In another thread I showed that even 18,000k bulbs are ok, as are 3500k and 4200k.

I prefer 8-10,000k bulbs personally, as below that starts to look yellow.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
There's nothing wrong with 10k bulbs, they grow plants just fine.

I personally prefer the higher kelvins over the lower, I don't like the yellow.

The true actinics won't be any help, though.

Unless you've got pressurized CO2 for the tank you'll probably just want to run the 2x65 PCs and that's it. Otherwise you'll have too much light.
thats not true at all. I ran 2 175w metal halides and 2 65w power compacts for 8 years over a tank and grew lots of good plants. Click on my avatar to see a picture of the tank.No co2 at all.

My 65g jungle October rain
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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I like the blue actinic effect mixed with the 10k bulb, but is it too much light?


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:18 PM
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Not at all. It depends on what plants you want to grow. Got any in particular in mind? Some will require ferts and/or co2 but alot dont need either to grow big plants.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:25 PM
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Chad- You can make it work if you use lots of floating plants like I see in your pics, but at the point where you're having to block light, why waste the $$ on wattage that isn't needed?

akagorilla- I ran an actinic bulb for a while over my 90gal just b/c I liked the way the cardinal tetras look under it. So you can run actinic if you want to. I think most people don't like the way the blue tends to wash out the greens in the plants. Really just a personal aesthetic choice.

If you really want to run both the PCs and the MH but don't want to use pressurized CO2 you'll need to do something for light control; use floating plants, raise up the fixture off the tank, or limiting your photoperiod being some options.

I don't run CO2 on any of my own tanks, and IMO the easiest way to make this work is by controlling light.





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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
Not at all. It depends on what plants you want to grow. Got any in particular in mind? Some will require ferts and/or co2 but alot dont need either to grow big plants.
Basic stuff:
Amazon sword, anubia's, microsword, bulbs, wisteria, ludwigia, umbrella plants, banana plants, java moss, java fern, hornwort and jungle val.



Here is the black hair moss on the microswords:



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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:35 PM
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The BBA probably came in on your microswords when you got them, and the high light is allowing it to flourish.

I'd spot-treat it with some hydrogen peroxide or Excel to kick it back.





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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Chad- You can make it work if you use lots of floating plants like I see in your pics, but at the point where you're having to block light, why waste the $$ on wattage that isn't needed?

akagorilla- I ran an actinic bulb for a while over my 90gal just b/c I liked the way the cardinal tetras look under it. So you can run actinic if you want to. I think most people don't like the way the blue tends to wash out the greens in the plants. Really just a personal aesthetic choice.

If you really want to run both the PCs and the MH but don't want to use pressurized CO2 you'll need to do something for light control; use floating plants, raise up the fixture off the tank, or limiting your photoperiod being some options.

I don't run CO2 on any of my own tanks, and IMO the easiest way to make this work is by controlling light.
So I should let my hornwort continue to grow crazy and block some light? I also picked up these floating plants and they've tripled in number in the last 2 weeks. What are they?



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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:38 PM
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@lauralee those are bronze crypts that werent planted yet.
As for the black hair algae you can just cut off the infected ones and new ones will come back. If youre trying to carpet with those swords youl have better luck taking the clumps apart and using tweezers to poke them back in every so often. lilaeopsis grow pretty slow and require alot of light. Thats is what the carpet is in my tanks pic. It took about 2 years to fill in but probably would have a little faster with co2 and ferts. All of your plants that arent stem plants will appreciate some root tabs too as most of them feed better through their roots than the water column.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
The BBA probably came in on your microswords when you got them, and the high light is allowing it to flourish.

I'd spot-treat it with some hydrogen peroxide or Excel to kick it back.
I added excel this morning and i'm reducing the number of hours the light is on. But how do I "spot-treat"?

I'm so glad I found this forum! Thank you.


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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:43 PM
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lilaeopsis also dont like to be planted too deep either. they send out runners across the top of the substrate to reproduce an are easily smothered if you stick them into the substrate too far.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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lilaeopsis also dont like to be planted too deep either. they send out runners across the top of the substrate to reproduce an are easily smothered if you stick them into the substrate too far.
I don't think they are too deep as they kept wanting to float away. I didn't want to unclump them because I didn't want to rip the roots apart since they were all connected. How do I know when I've unclumped too much?


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