Please take this little birdy and help him fly with a huge tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Question Please take this little birdy and help him fly with a huge tank

Hello all my first post in this forum (So be nice)
I am in the process of taking down my reef tank and are leaning towards building it into a planted tank. My vision is to make it look natural. A little driftwood and some 24-30" tall plants at the back of the tank reducing down to grass at the front of the tank.

The tank in question is a reef ready 210 gallon AGA 72 long x 24 deep x 30 tall. I plan to use the sump and return system to DYI some mechanical and chemical filtration in the sump. Anyone done this what are my problems going to be? how much water flow am I looking for in a planted tank?

The big mystery is lighting, I have found this http://ledwholesalers-com-inc.amazon...B001NDU9XG.htm does this look worthy? I cannot find lumens output but I see it 6-7K color, it is not specifically for aquariums. I am on a tight budget but I don't want to go in halfway, if I can't do it right I don't want to do it at all. There is millions of options though, CFL, T8, T5, T2, LED. How much light do I need for low to moderate light plants? Is there plenty of low to Moderate light plants to choose from?

CO2 injection is it necessary? Does an overflow and sump style system make CO2 in practical?

I will see if this thread gets some hits and then I will ask about substrate, fertilizers, algae prevention RO/DI water and all of the other changes I need to take into consideration.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:50 AM
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Welcome to the fresh side!

The LED fixture you linked to would be a great waste of good money. The LEDs are too weak to emit sufficient light to make plants in a tank this size grow.

I'd suggest you look around for two 3 ft T5HO fixtures. Not sure really what's all out there since I build my own canopies, but something with 4 bulbs nicely spaced, good reflectors, one fixture over each half of the tank, should work.

Chemical filtration isn't necessary in planted tanks. CO2 becomes necessary with higher light.

Much to read.


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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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I have seen many 3ft T5HO fixtures in both 2 and 4 bulb, but what color do you recommend?

As far as I am finding everything for T5 is either 6700K 10000K 14000K and higher. Is anyone use T5 and what color bulbs are you using.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 210 transition View Post
I have seen many 3ft T5HO fixtures in both 2 and 4 bulb, but what color do you recommend?

As far as I am finding everything for T5 is either 6700K 10000K 14000K and higher. Is anyone use T5 and what color bulbs are you using.
That's a matter of personal preference. Most stick in the 6700k-10000k range, and some use a roseate (pink) bulb mixed in to bring out red colors in plants and fish. It will all depend on what you think looks good.

You mentioned a budget, what's your ballpark for lighting? That will help with suggestions.

Take a look through the journal section for users with big tanks, and get an idea how they dealt with using co2 with sumps and overflows. There are lots of potential workarounds.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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The color question is more based on is their a difference between what algae likes for light and what our water plants like for light? Is there a benefit to one color over another?
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:35 PM
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The color question is more based on is their a difference between what algae likes for light and what our water plants like for light? Is there a benefit to one color over another?
Algae will grow in the same light as the plants do. 6500k is a white with a hint of yellow and 10,000k is a white with a hint of blue. pick whichever one you think is more visually appealing.
(There are other bulb choices but those are the most used.)

Is there a benefit to one color over another?
No.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Budget is yet to be fully realized, I still have 150# of live rock to sell. If it get a decent price for it along with other sales from the reef tank, I will be looking at a total budget to get the tank shut down and back up in the $700-$900 range. I have heaters, tank, sump, and pumps. I plan on DIY filtration and $125 in initial plants, $125 in initial fish, $150 in substrate, and $150 in driftwood and other accessories, (Hang in there this is the first time I am actually running the numbers). So that leaves $150-$350 for lights. Any southern Minnesota members have plants/ driftwood for sale in 3-6 months when this actually starts to take shape?
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:35 PM
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The color question is more based on is their a difference between what algae likes for light and what our water plants like for light? Is there a benefit to one color over another?
No benefits, its all about looks within that range.


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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, if you can get into the 10K range that opens alot more choices up in lighting, thanks for the feedback.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:40 PM
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Hmmm. Where to start... K, algae takes the excess, what the plants don't take. This includes light and nutrients. So if there is enough that the plants cannot use, you will have an algae outbreak. So when creating a tank you are creating a fine-tuned ecosystem. The lights you have over the tank will determine how much nutrients the plants need. That said, all plants love any light that spikes in red, blue and a smaller spike in yellow. This is what you want to look for; regular sunlight is much like this. Some people get lights that are more degrees Kelvin because they like how it makes the tank look. If you haven't visited our lighting section yet, now would be a great time to start thread-browsing.

What light fixture did you have with your reef tank?

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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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I have a T12 720 watt VHO lighting system right now, 44000 lumens. I could just use half of it if I get different reflectors.
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 03:55 PM
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Hmmm. Where to start... K, algae takes the excess, what the plants don't take. This includes light and nutrients. So if there is enough that the plants cannot use, you will have an algae outbreak. So when creating a tank you are creating a fine-tuned ecosystem. The lights you have over the tank will determine how much nutrients the plants need. That said, all plants love any light that spikes in red, blue and a smaller spike in yellow. This is what you want to look for; regular sunlight is much like this. Some people get lights that are more degrees Kelvin because they like how it makes the tank look.
Most of what you have written here sounds good, but is entirely incorrect. That's what makes this hobby so interesting. So much to learn.

Just reminds me of the old saying... Take everything you read on the interweb with a grain of salt.


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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 04:00 PM
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Well, don't let me give the guy incorrect information. Say what I was trying to say, but put it right

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Einstein

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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Most of what you have written here sounds good, but is entirely incorrect. That's what makes this hobby so interesting. So much to learn.

Just reminds me of the old saying... Take everything you read on the interweb with a grain of salt.
Can you be a little more specific?...entirely incorrect....
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 05:09 PM
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Welcome to TPT!

Have you decided if you want to inject CO2 or not? Because that decision is crucial in picking out your light fixture.

Your light level is what determines whether or not you'll need to inject CO2. And on a tank this size, you'll need a really really good CO2 system to make sure the CO2 distribution/level inside your tank is consistent.

If you DON'T want to go with pressurized CO2, then you'll want to set up a low light/low tech tank. Spend some time in the low tech forum (and check out the sticky with low tech plant list at the top of the forum) to get some ideas. I probably would not go with T5HOs for a low tech tank, unless you're willing and able to suspend them a good ways up off the surface of the tank. T5NOs or T8s would probably be a better choice for a low tech setup.





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