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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Brand New: Need some advice!

Hello!


So obviously I have some posts on this site, but that was from 2008 when I experimented with a planted tank for a few minutes. Since then I have been a saltwater guy. Currently have a 90 and 30 gallon. I've been thinking about turning my 90 gallon into a planted tank. Saltwater live stock is so expensive and I hate the idea that one accident could mean thousands of dollars in loss. So here are my current questions:


1. What kind of light would be best for this size tank? Links?
2. Do I need to use CO2? If so, how does this set up even work?
3. What is the best to use for substrate?
4. What is needed for supplements/ferts?
5. what's the best way to cycle a planted tank?
6. Is RO/DI water good to use?




I think those are the main questions for now. If there is any other "must know" info, please let me know!


Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocho Cinco View Post
Hello!


So obviously I have some posts on this site, but that was from 2008 when I experimented with a planted tank for a few minutes. Since then I have been a saltwater guy. Currently have a 90 and 30 gallon. I've been thinking about turning my 90 gallon into a planted tank. Saltwater live stock is so expensive and I hate the idea that one accident could mean thousands of dollars in loss. So here are my current questions:


1. What kind of light would be best for this size tank? Links?
2. Do I need to use CO2? If so, how does this set up even work?
3. What is the best to use for substrate?
4. What is needed for supplements/ferts?
5. what's the best way to cycle a planted tank?
6. Is RO/DI water good to use?




I think those are the main questions for now. If there is any other "must know" info, please let me know!


Thanks in advance!
Each one of those questions have whole subforums dedicated to them and could spur pages of discussions.

1. What kind of light would be best for this size tank? Links?
What is the height of your tank? I'm assuming its pretty tall. The light you choose depends a lot on what kind of plants you want to grow and if you are going to use CO2.

2. Do I need to use CO2? If so, how does this set up even work?
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/26...-id-share.html
There are a lot of nice tanks that don't use it. I would recommend it though.

3. What is the best to use for substrate?
There are inert substrates and others that have nutrients. And there are combos such as dirt capped with an inert. People have great tanks with all types. Decide on what look you like or color and work from there to evaluate the pros and cons. People use things marketed for aquariums and some use pool sand, blasting sand, kitty litter, Safe t sorb. Those are good places to save money.

4. What is needed for supplements/ferts?
Most cost effective and greatest control is mixing your own. NPK called macros and other trace elements know as micros. There's different methods like EI and PPS regimes and every tank is different so you can tweak it. I would worry about this last. Just keep reading as you start setting up.


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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 10:35 PM
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1. What kind of light would be best for this size tank? Links?
Check these two links with some par data I did for a Finnex 24/7 light and a couple Beamswork lights. Depending on how tall and if you will go co2 you will need two lights. I use a Beamswork and Finnex 24/7 on my co2 60 gallon tank and they work great.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10...-readings.html
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10...-pur-data.html

2. Do I need to use CO2? If so, how does this set up even work?
You will need a bottle, I would say at least 5lb but probably 10 since you have a 90 gallon and would go through 5lbs probably too fast. You need a good regulator. Also I would highly recommend a Grigg style reactor. This will be your best way to get co2 into the tank. This link has the regulator and Reactor I would HIGHLY recommend. The seller is a sponsor on this site and also sells the ferts I will recommend in the below question. CO2 Equipment - NilocG Aquatics
3. What is the best to use for substrate?
This you will a ton of different answers from different people. I like to use inert substrate. Inert substrate has zero nutrients or buffering capability. This means you need to provide the nutrients another way which is super easy to do and will give you link to ferts I recomend. Why I like inert substrate is because my water paramaters PH, GH, and KH are where I want them. Some like ADA will buffer your substrate. The problem with these kinds of substrates is they need to be replaced at least every year and half to two years. With sand or the like its good forever. Just dose nutrients and use root tabs for root feeders and good to go. I love to use BDBS(Black diamond Blasting sand) You can get a 50lb bag for $8 at your local tractor supply store.
4. What is needed for supplements/ferts?
You need Macros and Macros. I suggest these all in one since you are just starting out. Super easy. Just dose macros and micros on alternating days 3 times per week each. Then on day 7 50% water change. Then start over. Here you get two bottles, one is your macros and one your micros. It has everything you need. DIY EI Liquid Fertilizer| Premium Aquarium Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics
5. what's the best way to cycle a planted tank?
Add 4ppm of ammonia. You will then gain BB that will convert Ammonia to nitrite. Once Ammonia goes down add more ammonia. Check Nitrite levels. You will then gain more BB that convert Nitrite to Nitrate.
Once Nitrites go down to nitrates then you have the BB needed. Do a search for "cycling a tank" that will explain it better. Takes a good 3-4 weeks doing it this way.

Best way is to take some filter media from an already cycled tank. Like the Bio Media and or Sponges that are already in a well established tank. This will nearly instant cycle your tank giving you the BB needed.

6. Is RO/DI water good to use?
Not unless you are catering to a specific species way out of range what your tap water can do. Its much better to just use the parameters your tap water have as most species especially you get locally will already be adapted to these parameters. You typically get more into trouble and have more problems trying to change the parameters. What kind of fish are you looking at getting? You should test your water PH/GH/KH. Do you have a test kit already? If not you will want to get those. As well as nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia, Phosphate. I would get the freshwater master test kit from API. https://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwate...kit+freshwater
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ocho Cinco View Post
If there is any other "must know" info, please let me know!
Welcome to TPT!

I could type away with everything I use but that won't help you much.

What do you want to keep in your FW aquarium?
Plants only, plants with minimal livestock, or fish with plants as an accent?

What is your budget?
Are you selling a bunch of SW livestock from the 90 to clear it out?
That could be all the "Mad" money you need.

I would suggest a list of plants and fish be in order first.
Then many of us here could offer advise.


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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! The tank I will be using is 48X18X24. From what I've read, a low tech tank does not have CO2 which in turn also means lower light. How limited are you with plant selection on a low tech tank?

As of now I have nothing for this. The tank I plan on using is still running as a SW tank. I'm just trying to figure out cost and maintenance at this point.

About how long would a 5lb or 10lb CO2 tank last a 90 gallon?

I was asking about RODI because its what I use on my SW tank currently. It much easier to just go with tap water and declorinator!

As for fish I was just planning on a community tank with maybe some discus if possible (still need to look into those).

I've been reading, and a lot of the articles are out dated and of course everyone has a different opinion. I'm looking for any info I can get on the more expensive equipment for my scenario. Especially lighting since there are so many options.

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Welcome to TPT!

I could type away with everything I use but that won't help you much.

What do you want to keep in your FW aquarium?
Plants only, plants with minimal livestock, or fish with plants as an accent?

What is your budget?
Are you selling a bunch of SW livestock from the 90 to clear it out?
That could be all the "Mad" money you need.

I would suggest a list of plants and fish be in order first.
Then many of us here could offer advise.
Thanks!
I want to do more of a community tank with plants as a accent I would say as of now.
I will be selling some live stock but I think just the equipment will give me enough money for this whole set up. My light itself should sell for around $550.
I really don't know anything about plants or types I want. As for fish, community fish with plecos and maybe discus.

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 12:43 AM
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IMHO low light is limiting, but that is just me.

10 pound CO2 could run a 90 for 6 months?
Depends on your method of diffusion.
DIY reactors are very popular attached to discharge of canister filters.

Lighting depends on your plant selection.
PAR of 30 @ substrate would be low light, 50-60 medium, 100+ high I guess.
Do you have a PAR meter from that reef tank? Keep it, it will help.

Substrates I work on the cheap.
SafeTSorb(high CEC), Soil capped with BDBS, inert quartz 4mm size.

Several people here are really into Discus, I cannot offer advise on this one.

With plants come fert requirements.
Way different than your SW setup.
We like nitrates and phosphates, 20:2 respectively.


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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 12:48 AM
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Here's some links about plants that have helped me a lot.
The right aquarium plants - Tropica Aquarium Plants
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...finder/all.php
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10...ht-plants.html
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 12:55 AM
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What type of light do you already have on the 90g? you might be able to keep using it.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:34 AM
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Brand New: Need some advice!

What light do you have now? It may work for FW. If not then a couple SB reefbox pro freshwater lights would be awesome. It's totally adjustable from 10% to 100% so it would work with either low tech or high tech. If I had the money this is what I would go for with a new setup. https://sbreeflights.com/sbox-fw-pla...led-light.html. This would be more than enough light you would ever need for the most demanding plants.

Hard to say with how long the 10lb bottle would last. Could be from 4-8 months. You will also need a canister filter to run the co2 reactor inline. I love my Fluval fx4 for my 60 gallon. For your 90 I would get the Fluval fx6. More than enough filtration. Also you might already have but I recommend good surface flow with a couple power heads. Let's you run more co2 while keeping good amounts of o2 for the fish. I run two powerheads ripping the surface allowing me to run 50ppm of co2 with no issues. But you have to run more co2 as it causes more off gassing. So in my case a 5lb bottle lasts mg 60 gallon like 2 months.


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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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What type of light do you already have on the 90g? you might be able to keep using it.
I currently have a 48" AT6 bulb T5 which I'm assuming will be overkill.

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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:55 AM
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I currently have a 48" AT6 bulb T5 which I'm assuming will be overkill.
Don't sell, keep it, change some lamps out.
Check this post out!
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9827986-post1.html


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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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What light do you have now? It may work for FW. If not then a couple SB reefbox pro freshwater lights would be awesome. It's totally adjustable from 10% to 100% so it would work with either low tech or high tech. If I had the money this is what I would go for with a new setup. https://sbreeflights.com/sbox-fw-pla...led-light.html. This would be more than enough light you would ever need for the most demanding plants.

Hard to say with how long the 10lb bottle would last. Could be from 4-8 months. You will also need a canister filter to run the co2 reactor inline. I love my Fluval fx4 for my 60 gallon. For your 90 I would get the Fluval fx6. More than enough filtration. Also you might already have but I recommend good surface flow with a couple power heads. Let's you run more co2 while keeping good amounts of o2 for the fish. I run two powerheads ripping the surface allowing me to run 50ppm of co2 with no issues. But you have to run more co2 as it causes more off gassing. So in my case a 5lb bottle lasts mg 60 gallon like 2 months.


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Those SB reef lights are for sure in my price range. The FX6 is said to be for up to 400 gallons, do I need a filter that big? I have some powerheads laying around.


Where do you even go to get CO2?

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Don't sell, keep it, change some lamps out.
Check this post out!
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9827986-post1.html
The thing with selling it is, I could get leds plus a lot more equipment with the funds.
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 02:03 AM
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Where do you even go to get CO2?
Airgas 5001 Dewitt Rd, Canton, MI 48188
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 02:05 AM
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Those SB reef lights are for sure in my price range. The FX6 is said to be for up to 400 gallons, do I need a filter that big? I have some powerheads laying around.


Where do you even go to get CO2?

Bump:
The thing with selling it is, I could get leds plus a lot more equipment with the funds.


They are never going to be able to support the capacity it claims. Maybe half that. I see it as you can never have too much filtration. Only difference really is size and flow the larger you go. What is good about the fx6 is if the flow is too much you can slow it down. And you have plenty of space for media of your liking. Many run the fx6 on even smaller tanks.

Co2 you can usually get a bottle filled at a local welding supply store or even keg store. Just search for "welding supplies" and put in your zip code. Costs me $20 to get a 5lb bottle filled.


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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 02:06 AM
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Definitely don't need to sell that light. If you leave a pair of bulbs out will the remainder still light up?

I'm guessing you already have a sump for the 90g sw tank? A few mods to it and you can use that for the planted tank too. If so all you would need is a cO2 setup.

I usually do a tank exchange through Roberts Oxygen for my cO2.

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The thing with selling it is, I could get leds plus a lot more equipment with the funds.
I don't think you will get as much for the light as you want. Everyone else is going to be wanting to buy the LED lights.
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