Plan for my new setup. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Plan for my new setup.

I'm about to finally set up another planted tank after a few years of doing saltwater only. This is my plan, let me know what you think or if there is anything I should change.

The tank setup will include:

- 54 gal corner tank w/ DIY stand (about 30 gal now that I sealed the back off for an overflow for a reef tank that I decided not to do)
- 2X T5HO fixture (Nova Extreme with crappy reflectors)
- 250W Ehiem Jager heater
- 400 GPH Koralia pump
- 40 oz. paintball tank (2.5 lb) with DIY regulator and cheap e-bay glass diffusor
- Soil based substrait with sand mixed in
- Several large, jagged, black rocks

The tank will house the following:
- Thick carpet in the foreground (probably HC) I will start the foreground carpet emmersed for about a month to 6 weeks before flooding the tank
- Hairgrass and broader leaved plants such as anubias and java fern in the midground)
- Taller thicker plants in the background (not sure which ones yet)
- Several Black Moscow guppies (3-5 to start with)
- Large school of Cardinal Tetras
- A tro of angelfish
- Either CRS or cherry shrimp

I just have a few questions.

1) I am not planning on having any mechanical filtration in this tank unless I have to. I've been running my 20 gal salt water reef tank for 3 years without one and hope to do the same with this tank. It won't have the large ammount of porous rock that my reef tank does, but I figure that the live plants will be plenty to keep the nitrates down to an acceptible level. Has there been much success with this type of a setup in freshwater planted tanks?

2) What bulbs have you guys had the best luck with in a T5 HO fixture? And where is the cheapest place to buy them?

3) I'm on a budget and planning on using a soil based substrate mixed with a top layer of sand. I know people say that it will run out of nutrients eventually, but I figure why not start with something nutrient rich from the get go. Any input on this?

4) Anything I missed or that looks wrong about my list?

Thanks for any input
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 10:14 PM
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When you say mechanical filtration do you mean biological? All I have running in my filters are a few layers of floss, each with different porosity (a thick coarse sponge followed by a fine floss, for example). To ensure sufficient bacteria in your system I would go this route. I rinse them out in old tank water during water changes, and reuse.

With your fixture go with bulb(s) in the 6700 K range, ideal for plant growth.

Your soil based substrate should be fine but after a few years you'll have to either replace it or begin supplementing via root fertilization with root tabs as the soil substrate will become exhausted. Also be aware of impacting.

Shrimps may become an expensive entree for your Angels. Go with a larger shrimp variety like that Amano Shrimp. Angels should be fine with your cardinals as long as your angels don't get enormous (I think they eat them in the wild).
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
What bulbs have you guys had the best luck with in a T5 HO fixture
I've found any bulb that isn't a cheapo (cheapos work, but don't look as bright to me) brand works pretty well. Many say geissman bulbs are the best, but I haven't tried them personally. Places like Big Al's etc will all be comparable pricewise, and much cheaper than the chain stores. I like to run a 10,000K and a 6700K together. These seem to have the best look in the aquarium according to my taste. 2x6700k looked too yellow to me. Any spectrum of bulb will grow plants fine as long as it isn't some oddball spectrum in the UV range or something of the like.

If you don't run any mechanical filtration, you'll get alot of detritus floating around your tank. Water movement is crucial to circulating the CO2, so you may as well circulate the water with filters IMO. Your right though, a heavily planted tank chews through nitrates quickly. If you don't fertilize your nitrates will stay at zero, which will hinder healthy plant growth.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 05:44 AM
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For a good planted tank good water circulation is crucial. Flow distributes the CO2 as well as any ferts you dose (HC in particular needs a steady dosing regime, though I've never tried emersed growth first).

I have a 20 long with 2 30gal rated HOB filters running and that is still kind of low flow. The more your tank grows in the more forceful the flow you will need. I do not run any charcol/carbon in my filters, just polymer sponges (floss) and small ceramic cilenders to improve/ house batceria growth. Putting Carbon/charchol in the filters strips out fertilizers/vital nutients your plants need. Any 'ammonia filtration is also not nessicary. Filters also take a lot of the mulm that will amass out of your water.

Are you planning on dosing ferts?

Another important note! You cannot house any shrimp (except for MAYBE very large amanos) with the fish you want. All the fish species you listed would make quick lunch out of RCS or CRS. Even in a densely planted tank...

This forum has some shrimp safe fish threads, reading them may help you pick a more suitable species if you decide you still want some.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JonahHart View Post
When you say mechanical filtration do you mean biological?
Sorry, I forget you freshwater guys sometimes have different terminology than the saltwater forums that I frequent.

I basically won't have a power filter (unless need be), no canister filter, no HOB, nothing with a motor or pump like that.

Of corse biological filtration will take place simply by having water move across the substrait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonahHart View Post
Shrimps may become an expensive entree for your Angels. Go with a larger shrimp variety like that Amano Shrimp. Angels should be fine with your cardinals as long as your angels don't get enormous (I think they eat them in the wild).
Good to know, glad I asked now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
I've found any bulb that isn't a cheapo (cheapos work, but don't look as bright to me)
That's what I figured. But after a few years with a reef tank I've become kind of a bulb snob. I think I'll try out some cheapos that I had from a fixture that I bought and replaced the bulbs. One 6500K and a 10K

Does that sound OK? The extra blue in the 10K shouldnt hurt anyhting or cause algee right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navigarden View Post
For a good planted tank good water circulation is crucial.
Thus the 400 GPH Koralia on my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navigarden View Post
Are you planning on dosing ferts?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navigarden View Post

This forum has some shrimp safe fish threads, reading them may help you pick a more suitable species if you decide you still want some.
Thanks, I might just skip them for now then.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Navigarden View Post
This forum has some shrimp safe fish threads, reading them may help you pick a more suitable species if you decide you still want some.

I've tried searching but can't really find anything like this. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 07:03 PM
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Angels will be ok with cardinals as long as the cardinals are nearly fully grown and the angels are small. You do need to put the cardinals in first though. I've had several different types of angels with my cardinals and the cardinals didn't disappear even when they died.

If you wanted neons with angels then you will be asking for trouble.

I'd agree with the comment about shrimp and angels though. Bigger is definitely better.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gibby View Post
Angels will be ok with cardinals as long as the cardinals are nearly fully grown and the angels are small. You do need to put the cardinals in first though. I've had several different types of angels with my cardinals and the cardinals didn't disappear even when they died.

If you wanted neons with angels then you will be asking for trouble.

I'd agree with the comment about shrimp and angels though. Bigger is definitely better.
How about a list of fish that are shrimp safe?

I might go with neons and shrimp and skip the angels too. I don't know. I think I like CRS mroe than angels. But a list of shrimp safe fish whould help.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Bump...

Anyone know of a list of shrimp safe fish?
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