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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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my tank, now and yet to be

ok, so i have decided to try a high tech planted tank. before i run off and start buying stuff, i thought it may be better to ask first.

the tank is a 27.9 gallon (measurements approximately 30"x15"x14") glass tank that has been running for a little over a year now. it is running an otto power sponge filter and a single 20wt8 bulb in a aquaone fixture. the substrate is plain washed coffs harbour gravel.

now here are my plans.
i will soon be adding a fluval 205 and ridding myself of the terrible otto. so far, that is all that is set in stone. i plan to maybe add a octopus litemaster 2f t5ho with either a single 10k bulb for low light or dual 10k bulbs for high light. i might use mineralized topsoil substrate capped with fine black sand. pressurized co2 is a thought at the moment, but i would like to bypass this with diy and maybe excell if possible (at least until i am confident that i will be able to keep anything alive). the fauna will be 20 neon tetras, 2-3 german rams (after a considerable period of time) and either a bristlenose pleco or otos. the flora will be dependant on the setup i choose, but if i do go with high tech i plan on having many different types of moss on my driftwood, sunset hygros to keep the nitrates down, dwarf hairgrass in the middle to background, and either glosso or hc as a carpet.

i am not entirely confident on this setup, and dread the possibility of having to fight more massive wars against algae. i really would greatly appreciate help/suggestions etc.

Thanks, Todd
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 01:12 PM
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You can most likely get away with diy and excel if you keep the one bulb (low-med) light over your fixture, even moving to t5ho, the diy is feasable. If you do want to go to high lighting (which I think is prudent with the carpeting plants) you will need to purchase a pressurized co2 system if you don't want to concstantly fight off algae. Nutrients will then come into play as the need and push for more growth comes.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 03:29 PM
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A 14 inch high tank will have high light with a single T5HO bulb, if that bulb has a typical single bulb T5HO, highly polished reflector, and if the light is right at the top of the tank. If you want lower light you have to raise the light about 6 inches to get medium light, or about 10 inches to get low light.

If you go with high light, change your focus from "keeping the nitrates down" to supplying non-limiting amounts of all of the needed nutrients. The easy way to do this is to visit the fertilizing forum here, and following the fertilizing schedule in the first part of the first sticky there. And, of course, a pressurized CO2 system will be essential.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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if i did go with high light and pressureized co2, would i have problems with algae due to the mineralized topsoil substrate? i am very worried that i would unbalance the tank too much, as i really do not like algae
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 04:53 AM
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With a highlight setup you will be running into green water so you might want to invest in a UV pump now instead of after the bloom.

MTS is IMO the best substrate you can have in a planted tank high tech or low tech because it has all the nutrients in the substrate itself.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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really? jeez this is going to be expensive
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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would the API product ACCU Clear do the same job?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 06:54 PM
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If you keep the light intensity in the medium or lower range, you shouldn't have to worry about getting green water or any other serious algae bloom. And, if you use mineralized topsoil, topsoil that has been "treated" so the organic nitrogen in it is converted to nitrates, you won't get green water from using it.

If you do get green water algae you can get rid of it with several techniques, including the UV unit, or doing a 3 day blackout, or using a diatomaceous earth filter, or using a flocculating compound, like that ACCA Clear stuff.

Hoppy
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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ok, so i have been thinking about it and have decided to keep to a low to medium tech tank. that way, my only co2 will be excel and diy, and my substrate can remain as mineralized topsoil. can anyone offer suggestions to the type/intensity of light fixture i should use?
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