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