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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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ok Let Me Have It.....

Hi Everyone,
First I need to say that I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT KEEPING LIVE PLANTS!! With that being said, I'll give you some of my background. I have kept Saltwater Reef Tanks for many, many years with great success. I am considering doing a planted tank and I need all your input. Here is what I have to start with.
75g drilled tank with internal overflow( reef ready tank), 20g sump, ATI 6x54w T5 light fixture. I need to know about co2, substrate(I like the look of white sand), lighting, can I put a canister in my sump instead of the main tank?, can co2 be injected into the sump so the return pump takes it to the tank?

I want to keep as much equipment as possible OUT of the main tank. Just think it looks better.

So let me have it. Help design my possible system. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. I will be reading this forum alot for info as well.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 10:09 PM
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 11:21 PM
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Welcome!

I run a RR tank too, and keep everything in the sump. I'm building a CO2 system, which I'll inject into the sump near my return also. The only possible issue I see with your setup is that you're going to have waaaaaaaaaay too much light with that fixture. On my 90, I'm running a 2x 54w T5HO fixture, and have to keep my photoperiod down to about 5-6 hours a day to keep algae away. Once I get my CO2 going, I'll increase it, but I can't imagine needing more than a 2 lamp unit, especially on a shorter 75 gal tank, but then again I'm fairly new to this stuff myself.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply's.
What I was thinking was to use 4x54w t5 during the day, and then have the other 2 come on for kind of a moonlight dusk to dawn affect. Not going to run all 6 at same time. From what I've read so far, I think the co2 will help with running 4x54w. Is that right???
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 01:31 AM
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Running 4x54 watts is asking for trouble; that is an excessive amount of light for a 75g tank.

At that kind of lighting, CO2 is not a "will help with running" but becomes a "must have unless you want an algae farm".

You can put your canister filter as well as the CO2 into your sump to keep equipment out of the tank. However, be aware that the sump will reduce a large amount of CO2 that you will be injecting.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 02:11 AM
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The best lighting for that tank will be using the two outermost lights only. That will give you medium light intensity over the whole substrate, which is ideal for a planted tank. The other 4 bulbs can be removed, if the ballast wiring allows you to run just those two bulbs.

In planted tanks white substrates soon become dingy greenish tan substrates as biofilm builds up on them. If you are willing to stir the substrate to get a fresh surface every week or two you can keep it pretty white, but generally people seem to prefer a substrate that is a darker color that doesn't show the biofilm so easily.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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This lighting issue is really confusing me. I have seen planted tanks on here running 2x150 MH lamps on a 90g tank, but 216w of t5's on a 75g is too much? I'm not quite following......?
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 02:48 AM
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Metal Halides are also a spot point lighting where the T5HO are uniform over the whole tank. Also T5HO are much more efficient then almost any current lighting option and the WPG rule doesn't apply to T5 lighting.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade419 View Post
Hi Everyone,
First I need to say that I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT KEEPING LIVE PLANTS!! With that being said, I'll give you some of my background. I have kept Saltwater Reef Tanks for many, many years with great success. I am considering doing a planted tank and I need all your input. Here is what I have to start with.
75g drilled tank with internal overflow( reef ready tank), 20g sump, ATI 6x54w T5 light fixture. I need to know about co2, substrate(I like the look of white sand), lighting, can I put a canister in my sump instead of the main tank?, can co2 be injected into the sump so the return pump takes it to the tank?

I want to keep as much equipment as possible OUT of the main tank. Just think it looks better.

So let me have it. Help design my possible system. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. I will be reading this forum alot for info as well.
I'm new to this forum myself, but I have kept FW planted tanks and SW reef system for years.

Basically both systems work the same way. You get lots of money together, then you spend it on your aquarium system, and you have a fantastic system and no money. So what's the big problem? (grin, and just teasing)

Getting serious, the systems are similar, in that both need good light, filtration, feeding as so on. IMHO, the difference is that the way from point A to point B is achieved differently.

I found two books to be especially helpful when it comes to planted tanks.
Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock
and
Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad

Perhaps other know of additional books. I think everyone should have a good personal library on the area of the hobby they are interested in.

The net does have just about all the information you would ever want, but it's not all in one place, and there are different opinions on the way to do things. Having a book gives you a place to start.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade419 View Post
This lighting issue is really confusing me. I have seen planted tanks on here running 2x150 MH lamps on a 90g tank, but 216w of t5's on a 75g is too much? I'm not quite following......?
I switched from a reef to planted myself, and it surprised the heck out of me how little light you need to grow plants as compared to corals. Not sure about the MH, but regardless of what is said here, you can certainly try a really high light setup, but keep in mind that it's all a balancing act between the light, the ferts, and the CO2. So with a lot of light, you're going to burn through a lot of ferts and CO2 and all you get is faster growth - not necessarily healthier plants.

Nicole
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleRC View Post
Welcome!

I run a RR tank too, and keep everything in the sump. I'm building a CO2 system, which I'll inject into the sump near my return also. The only possible issue I see with your setup is that you're going to have waaaaaaaaaay too much light with that fixture. On my 90, I'm running a 2x 54w T5HO fixture, and have to keep my photoperiod down to about 5-6 hours a day to keep algae away. Once I get my CO2 going, I'll increase it, but I can't imagine needing more than a 2 lamp unit, especially on a shorter 75 gal tank, but then again I'm fairly new to this stuff myself.
That matches my own experience running T5HO over my own 90gal.

Many people start off with 6x fixtures over their 75/90gal tank. Then end up backing down to 4x after a year or so, and most of the people who've kept their tank up longer than a year or two I believe end up running 2x bulbs most of the time, sometimes with a short "burst" with 4 bulbs. I think it's a maintenance issue more than anything else.

How much light you want to put over your tank totally boils down to how much time and effort you want to put into finding and maintaining balance. If you like having your hands in your tank on a daily basis then use tons of light. If you're like me and prefer tanks to just about run on autopilot, then use much less.

Since you'll be running pressurized CO2, IMO you should be able to keep the vast majority of FW plant species running just 2x 54 watts over your tank (given you also get a good fert regimen worked out). 4x 54 watts may enhance the color on some of the reds. 6x 54 watts will give you an extremely high maintenance tank that may need trimming/thinning even more than once a week to keep the plants from choking each other out.

And I love the books DaveK mentioned. Good choices.





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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:10 PM
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I think I would run 2 of those bulbs if I was setting up that tank. I currently run 78 watts of T5HO on my 65g and its plenty enough light to make any plant I've tried so far grow rapidly. You'll still be trimming plants every week, unless you get some pearl grass (You'll trim that down every 2-3 days, yeesh!).
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:20 PM
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another vote for running only 2 bulbs. i'm confident youll start to get algae issues running anything more than that. it will be very difficult to keep things balanced

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:50 PM
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ok Let Me Have It.....

2. Jobs will be plenty of light.... BUT

That fixture gives you a lot of flexibility. I've found in my 84g that 2 t5ho bulbs won't grow an HC carpet but it is plenty of light for all but the most demanding plants.

One of the bigger challenges with light is coverage. As your plants grow they will block light from reaching parts of the tank. Stems will grow leggy as the lower portion of the plant gets less and less direct light.

With 6x bulbs you have a lot of width to provide light from various angles. You have the flexibility to use 2x bulbs at a time from all banks during a day and in that way you can spread the light around.

As your thank matures, or you want a carpet, you can run two banks overlapping for a period of time.and tune that overlap to your needs.

I wouldn't buy a 6-bulb fixture, but since you have one, you can use it to good advantage by mixing up the combinations to spread light around, turn up intensity via overlap periods when you want.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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So it sounds like a 2x54w t5 is going to be my best bet. Maybe I could just use a retro kit. What about how high to keep the lights off the water? And I would really like some info about using CO2. Never had it before, or know much about it.
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