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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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planting my 120g?

Hi everyone. I have been keeping aquarium fish for a while now, but have never really dabbled in planted aquariums. I think I am ready to give one a try and appreciate any help. My 16 inch fahaka puffer is housed in a 120g and I want to make this tank more into a display piece by planting it. Right now the substrate is white filter pool sand and I have some java fern and anubias in there. I would like to add a group of crypt Balansae (Cryptocoryne crispatula), Cryptocoryne parva, and maybe some vals and four leaf clover.
For lighting it was recommended that I get a HO t5 fixture that holds three bulbs. Is this correct?
what kind and how much of a plant gravel should I add to my substrate?
Also what do I need to fertilize this tank correctly?
Any other suggestions will be also greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 03:11 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

I don't recommend that you get T5HO for your tank- this lighting is comparatively so intense than the "standard" T8 and CF fixtures that you're more likely to have algae issues, especially since you're planning on sticking with all relatively slow-growing plants. I'm running 108 watts of T5HO over my own 90gal and have to watch the photoperiod extremely closely to avoid algae, I'm down to about 6 hrs/day.

Personally I'd recommend getting some T5NO fixtures. Coralife makes one, or you can always DIY them if you're good with that sort of thing.

What are the dimensions on your tank?

As far as ferts go, if you stick with a low light level, you should be fine with just root tabs for the Crypts and perhaps the occasional dose of micros after water changes.

Is your tank setup FW or brackish?





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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Thanks for helping.
The tank measures 4ft by 2 ft by 2 ft. The fahaka puffer is completely freshwater.
I am going to look into those lights you recommended (This might be silly question but what does the NO stand for?). Any other recommendations? any plants suggestions?

thanks
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 03:49 AM
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NO = Normal Output (as opposed to High Output)

Your plant list looks pretty good. Swords, mosses, Bolbitus, and Sagittaria are some others you might consider. C. parva may be iffy but I think would work as long as you keep them where they get good lighting/not shaded. Just about any of the other Crypts would probably do well, also.

I think a 3 bulb T5NO fixture will probably get you where you want to be with lighting, especially if you've got at least 2 switches so you have optimum control on how many bulbs you run at any given time. You could probably get everything you need at Home Depot/Lowes to DIY your own and save some serious $$.





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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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So it seems a lot easier to come across HO t5 fixtures then NO t5. If i got a two bulb HO fixture would that be over kill for my tank? Would it give me the option to get some more light demanding plants in the future? Thanks
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 02:53 AM
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I have 120g, same tank as you. Lighting is a TEK T5HO 6x54W hung 9" from waters edge. I run a 2-4-6-4-2 lighting regime. I like this fixture as the spread on the light reaches all of the tank. I wouldn't recommend T5HO to anyone unless you can suspend the light. It is a lot of light.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I will go with NO T5
lauraleellbp mentioned I should get a three bulb fixture. Anyone know where I can buy one? I am only coming across HO three bulb fixtures. Can you use a HO fixture with normal bulbs (sorry if that is a dumb question). The other option I was considering is that coralife has a dual t5 fixture. Should I get two of these or one dual and one single? Or can I get a dual and then run one normal fluorescent bulb?

Also anyone have any input on my substrate? Should I mix in some eco-complete? Thanks
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 07:26 PM
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No, what I should have said is that if you want 3 bulbs of T5NO you'll have to do a DIY.

Otherwise, the 2 bulb plus 1 bulb fixtures would work.

And you CAN run NO bulbs in HO fixtures, just the bulbs will be overdriven so they'll burn out faster. Won't accomplish your goal of lowering actual light output.





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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for clearing that up. So you think I will be alright buying a two bulb T5 fixture and running the single florescent t(do I need this extra bulb?) that I already have? Would there be any advantage in my situation to running two dual T5 fixtures? Thank you
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