hey guys!! New 30 gallon! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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hey guys!! New 30 gallon!

Hello members. My names Mike, I'm new to the freshwater planted aquarium. I've been doing salt water aquariums for about 2 years now and I upped to a 55 salt and have a 30 left over(fully cleaned ready to go).

I have a 30 gallon aquarium with a coralife aqualight > T5 > 2x31Watts > 1 10k and 1 actinic Bulb. Do I keep the 10k and what do i replace the actinic bulb with? Colormax lamp? Will this be enough for plant growth?

I have a Marineland 200 rated for 50 gallons. Would that be a good filter? Or should i upgrade.

Also, what would you guys suggest being the best substrate. I went to petco and saw these type of live black sand that looked very nice, but I'm not sure if theirs are considered good. I wanted to buy this ---> http://www.petco.com/product/111998/...elandSubtrates ...How many pounds?



What type of c02 system for 30 gallon?

I have two 50w Rena smart heaters each rated at 20g. Should i use both? Whats a temperature supposedly to usually be around?

Thanks alot guys! I appreciate it! Any advice would be great.

Last edited by EaZy DuZ iT; 07-15-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 10:27 AM
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Hey there Eazy,
I will give you my 2 cents worth, although others may disagree with me.
I would use whatever you have available to do the job.
I think the marineland 200 will do the job OK as long as the water flow is adjustable for your needs (not being too powerful). I like canister filters myself because they have more biological area. I have used hang on and cans simultaneously too.
I have injected co2 from a coke bottle yeast reactor right into the intake of the filter and have the impeller work as a reactor. You can buy fancy equipment if you want.
I think that substrate will be fine.
You probably can use one heater if your house doesn't get too cold. Add the other only if its winter. I like plant tanks hot at 82deg F, plants grow faster and fish are more active.
I would start the tank off absolutely chock full of fast growing plants, so that plants will devour the nutrients and combat algae.
Oh, and the lights, are they t5HO? I have used 3-6 watts per gallon as my formula using standard florescent lights. Even though t5ho's are brighter I would add more light than 62watts.
I would replace the actinic bulb with a daylight 6500k to 10000k bulb.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 05:59 PM
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Welcome to TPT!

If your HOB filter has a biowheel you'll want to either remove that or upgrade your filter to a canister filter in order to reduce CO2 outgassing. Biowheels in particular are bad for CO2-injected tanks, as they'll just outgas everything you're adding.

I like the Colormax/10k bulb combo personally. Bulb choice with planted FW tanks really boils down to personal aesthetics more than anything else- most bulbs in the 5000-10,000 kelvin range will support FW plant growth just fine.

EcoComplete is a good plant substrate, but I wouldn't consider it "live" by any means- the bacteria they package with their product IMO is more of a marketing gimmick than anything else- you'll still need to properly cycle the tank. You'll probably need 2-3 bags of Eco for a 2-3" substrate depth in your tank.

Tank temperature will depend on what species of fish you choose. Most FW tropicals need temps in the 76-78F range, with some needing higher and some needing lower temps. 2x 50 watt heaters will probably work for a 30gal tank, given your home temperatures aren't extremely cold during the winter.





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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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You guys are amazing. UNbelievable advice. Ill keep my eyes open on a canisiter filter or a better HOB filter. The recosystem substrate, can that be use for anytype of plant growth? Thanks guys, you guys helped me out a million.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 06:58 PM
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Yep, Eco is good with just about any type of plant. You will probably end up also supplementing fertilizers too, depending on your plant selections (faster growing stem plants tend to need more nutrients than slower growing Java ferns and Anubias, for example).





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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Great. What type of c02 system? I don't want to run anything expensive, is this possible?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 08:01 PM
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I'd DIY one for a tank this size with that light fixture. Since you're just running T5NO rather than T5HO, I think you should be able to make do with DIY CO2. Check through the DIY forum, you can make your own out of 2L bottles. You might set up bottles on each side of the tank.





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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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O wow, i never knew you could DIY c02 tanks. I saw few cheap ones that seemed plasticy and you could just replace, but I'm going to check out the DIY c02 tanks.

My light is this one

http://www.marineandreef.com/Coralif...p/res08601.htm

so this isnt T5HO, its T5NHO? Thank you so much boss
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 08:44 PM
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Whoops- looks like you DO have a T5HO riather than T5NO fixture- so you'll definitely need to get some CO2 going!

And no- you don't DIY CO2 TANKS per se- but you can make a DIY CO2 setup using a yeast/sugar mixture, some 2L bottles, and a few other small pieces of equipment.

Or if you want to go for it, you could spend $200 or so for a really nice pressurized setup from www.greenleafaquariums.com.

Personally, I'd either go with DIY or save up for the quality pressurized setup- IMO there's no point in wasting $$ on cheaper equipment that will probably fail pretty quickly and may take all your livestock with it on its way out.





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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Perfect. I went to petco and asked a worker few questions. They sell the Eco complete in bags of 20 lbs. I told him my aquarium is a 30 gallon. Same length as a 20 just taller. He told me 20lbs is enough for plants to grow and not to cause to much waste. He said putting more than 20lbs can cause ammonia issues and its too much. While another fish store told me that 20lbs wouldnt be enough. I'm not sure which to go by. Thanks alot boss
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 01:49 AM
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Plants flourish with blue or red spectrum bulbs, so keep the actinic for sure. I use an actinic and a daylight spectrum. My tank is about 2 watts per gallon. I have tried DIY CO2 systems before they help but my opinion not necessary. I have a large fish bio-load that helps feed the plants. I use liquid fertilizer maybe 6 times a month. I keep it pretty simple. I use alot of flow with power heads on timers. Like someone else told you do your best to fill it with plants. You can always trim. Algae attacks are the worst and very frustrating. It does take sometime for your planted tank to really establish. But when it does you will be happy. The black substrate you are using looks really nice with the greens. I have used it before. I just bought a 29 gallon tank today at petco as well $29. I found the stand on the side of the road. I want to do a 20 gallon long planted tank below it which would serve as a planted filter. I am going to try to use some marine aquarium knowledge and try to make an overflow and return. Good luck on yours!!!
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 01:58 AM
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I would say at least 3 inches of soil as a start is good. more wound not hurt and your plants will really like it. It will take time to stablize 3 to 6 months. Check out some places online for your soil too. You can definitly get it cheaper. Google these guys Aquatic Eco System, Kens Fish, dr fosters and smith, marine depot. If i remember anymore I'll post em. Remember Have a plan too. Plants grow. I have some two feet out of the water. Tall in the back medium in the middle and short in front. You will like it better in the end that way. Trust me!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 02:53 AM
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You want 2-3" of substrate, and I'm sure just one bag of Eco won't get you there. There's no reason at all using excess substrate would give you ammonia issues. You do increase the risk of developing anaerobic spots and hydrogen sulfide pockets if you go much over 3" though. There's a substrate calculator up somewhere in the links at the top of the forum, you can use that too.

True actinic light will not support photosynthesis in freshwater plants. Actinics were developed for saltwater corals. Plenty of research out there, just Google it. You can use the actinics if you like the looks, but most people feel they "wash out" the colors in the plants.

J.farrand- the reason you're making it OK without using CO2 is most likely b/c the plants can't make any use of the actinic you're running.





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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 12:45 PM
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Your telling me blue light spectrum does not reach the plants or plants underwater can not absorb blue spectrum? If that is true why are plants green? I thank you for the feed back but istead of what I am doing wrong. Tell me something that I can do right! I agree with the dead zones in a deep bed but disagree with with your light info. What is the "wash out" your talking about? I have many shades of green from dark moss to bright green amazons. At this point its not becasue of dumb luck.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.farrand View Post
Your telling me blue light spectrum does not reach the plants or plants underwater can not absorb blue spectrum? If that is true why are plants green? I thank you for the feed back but istead of what I am doing wrong. Tell me something that I can do right! I agree with the dead zones in a deep bed but disagree with with your light info. What is the "wash out" your talking about? I have many shades of green from dark moss to bright green amazons. At this point its not becasue of dumb luck.
"Blue light" and actinic light are not necessarily synonomous. Do some searches and you can find all the info you want.

I'm sure your tank looks lovely- and I'm also sure that it's the 10k bulb that your plants are relying on to grow.

The "washing out" of color I'm talking about is a subjective viewing effect- if you view a tank under an actinic bulb it looks very different from the same tank under, say, a 9325k bulb. Many people do not care for the way that plant colors appear under actinic light.





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