I'm converting my 500 gallon reef to fresh - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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I'm converting my 500 gallon reef to fresh

Tank is 109" x 40" x 27"
I am going to take down my 500 gallon reef tank. it has been up and running for 6 years.
I will be converting to fresh water. I think I want all small. Guppies, mollies, sword-tales and a few hundred neon's.
Lots of plants.
I do not want to be limited on lighting if I decide I want to grow something low I want to be able to grow it.
Tank is 27" tall what will be my best lighting.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 08:04 PM
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I'/m going to recommend SBReef lights. Plenty of punch to get par deep. Another good option is T5 HO.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I want LED.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 10:49 AM
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Kessil 360’s. Gonna be tough to get something that will spread 40”. You could stagger the lights and put lower light plants/hardscape in fringe areas, or leave the front of the tank unplanted. You’ll be able to have an awesome unplanted tank though! You might check out rummynose instead of neons. Much tighter schooling fish


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david00061 View Post
.
I do not want to be limited on lighting if I decide I want to grow something low I want to be able to grow it.
The limiting factor for that is more CO2 than light - are you planning on adding CO2? If not (and even if so tbh) then I would pick lights that are dimmable/have a controller so you can reduce them. Otherwise it's likely you'll be growing algae if you just blast it with maximum light!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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yes i will be adding co2 not sure what i need for this. do you have a suggestion. i have the tank from my salt water
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 04:33 PM
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ha another reef to fresh convert. I was just thinking of a large 400+ FW planted tank the other day. I still have a reef but adding a planted tank...well just cuz I want to grow plants too I dream of someday a 400-700 gal room divider prob. be SW but maybe FW sure would be a ton cheaper...

so what lighting to you have for your reef? are they controllable? can you turn down the blues and whites/reds up? do you have a par meter?

I know the reason you went with a 27" tank was to get you more water volume so just like reefing, you need more punch to get to the bottom but the good news is its alot less than corals. for a tank that big I would like about a nice cree 3W led setup there pretty easy to do, just need a heat sink, led chips a soldering iron and wire. there are tons of DIY videos out there. I make one about 5 years ago with C channel and an nice acrylic splash guard. so there is an option.

do you want pendent style like the kessil or halos? or more of a strip light?

sbreef lights, reef breeders, no name black box gets pretty good reviews, but yeah I would want to dim it to find the sweet spot. I am thinking about the TC 421 led controller might be something worth looking in to...

but like said you could have spots with more light and less depending on your scape that could be a cool aspect of such a large tank.

what ever you do please PLEASE do a build thread!!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-12-2018, 07:41 PM
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I'm still setting up my 220gal so I can't say with any certainty that these lights will do the trick, but two Ray 44's and two Ray 66's from https://fluence.science/technology/ray/ would provide good coverage front to back and side to side. My tank is 30" tall and I measured 90par directly under the light at the substrate in open air, so I think they have what it takes. They are dimmable with a 1-10V input.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by david00061 View Post
yes i will be adding co2 not sure what i need for this. do you have a suggestion. i have the tank from my salt water


Will take a lot of CO2. Even more if you are using a sump. I would think at least two large reactors.
On the lights, the Kessils are totally adjustable


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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ha another reef to fresh convert. I was just thinking of a large 400+ FW planted tank the other day. I still have a reef but adding a planted tank...well just cuz I want to grow plants too I dream of someday a 400-700 gal room divider prob. be SW but maybe FW sure would be a ton cheaper...

so what lighting to you have for your reef? are they controllable? can you turn down the blues and whites/reds up? do you have a par meter?

I know the reason you went with a 27" tank was to get you more water volume so just like reefing, you need more punch to get to the bottom but the good news is its alot less than corals. for a tank that big I would like about a nice cree 3W led setup there pretty easy to do, just need a heat sink, led chips a soldering iron and wire. there are tons of DIY videos out there. I make one about 5 years ago with C channel and an nice acrylic splash guard. so there is an option.

do you want pendent style like the kessil or halos? or more of a strip light?

sbreef lights, reef breeders, no name black box gets pretty good reviews, but yeah I would want to dim it to find the sweet spot. I am thinking about the TC 421 led controller might be something worth looking in to...

but like said you could have spots with more light and less depending on your scape that could be a cool aspect of such a large tank.

what ever you do please PLEASE do a build thread!!
i have 12 radions gen 3 pro. so Yes i can do what ever I want the the lights i have. I was kinda hoping i could just sell these. And get something cheaper and smaller. Once again the 27" tall is going to be a pain.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by yorknh View Post
I'm still setting up my 220gal so I can't say with any certainty that these lights will do the trick, but two Ray 44's and two Ray 66's from https://fluence.science/technology/ray/ would provide good coverage front to back and side to side. My tank is 30" tall and I measured 90par directly under the light at the substrate in open air, so I think they have what it takes. They are dimmable with a 1-10V input.
this isn't a bad price at all. so if your hitting 90 par with no water. shouldn't it drop considerably with water? it does with salt water
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by david00061 View Post
i have 12 radions gen 3 pro. so Yes i can do what ever I want the the lights i have. I was kinda hoping i could just sell these. And get something cheaper and smaller. Once again the 27" tall is going to be a pain.
There are a few realities working with a 27" deep tank you should be aware of.

Physically it's very demanding to use carpeting type plants (I think you mentioned you might want to do this). Most carpets need to be trimmed and eventually replaced/replanted. This gets old really fast.

To drive good light down to grow light-demanding plants it means you have to use strong light, which based on the footprint of a deep tank is not good, since much of the volume won't be taking up by plants. In order to do this you probably need a really good load of fast growing plants that uptake a lot of organics that keep the water clean and prevent algae. In a tank that size this will become a part time job taking care of it.

Your much better off using low to mid light and use larger rocks on the bottom with moss and/or anubias, ferns growing on them. If you do decide to use stronger light, make sure you have a setup that allows you to run dim light most of the photo period and just 1 to 2 hours of strong light. That should be enough to satisfy the more light demanding plants and give you a better chance with algae.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like I have a lot to learn
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 02:32 PM
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Alot of good points brought up. I think you definately will need 2 reactors, but you could run 2 needle valves off the same regulator. Due to needing 2 reactors i would use 2 large canisters with primarily bio media to run them and im sure you have a sump for filtration. You'll go through alot of C02... maybe a couple months out of a 20lb tank?? But they aren't super expensive at about $130 each. Fill 3 at a time and swap them out.
As to lights I've got several high tech tanks. 1 has a T5HO fixture the other 2 have between 2 and 3 LED fixtures. While they are only Beamswork and Finnex fixtures (not the awesome Kessil and Radion ones) the LED's don't grow plants near as well and don't allow the same pop as you can get mixing and matching T5 bulbs..
As to carpeting plants you could do crypt parva.. it's looks really nice and no trimming or ripping out and replanting. It grows slowly though. I'm setting up a 265 freshwater and it's complicated. A 500 gallon is going to need a TON of plant mass from the start to help you quickly establish an equilibrium. A fern, crypt, moss, Buce tank would look absolutely killer and doesn't require the trimming of a more stem oriented tank.
Lastly... Neons... oh my sweet Neons... I too love them... I've been adding them to 2 of my tanks once and sometimes twice a week for several months. Sometimes the entire group of 50 live.. sometimes half of them die... once all of them died and took some others with them. I've got maybe 60-80 in one of my 75's and 80-100 in my 150. I strongly suggest a quarantine tank to keep newly acquired fish seperated from your healthy established members. Unless you can source... I don't know... 700 at one time?? From my local LFS which has the best track record for healthy fish of the several localities and online retailers that I have patronized, I'm only able to get 40-60 each week. Some weeks I get 10 if that's all that looks good. A couple times they've been gone before I can get there. They are without a doubt the least hardy of all the tetras that I have purchased... and I've got schools of like 9 species?
Rummynose
Emporer
Flameback Bleeding Heart
Cardinals
Glowlights
Black phantom
Lemon Tetras
Green fire
Green Neon
Pristilla
I would make sure the tank is very established before adding the Neons.

Twin high tech 75's -
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by david00061 View Post
i have 12 radions gen 3 pro. so Yes i can do what ever I want the the lights i have. I was kinda hoping i could just sell these. And get something cheaper and smaller. Once again the 27" tall is going to be a pain.

Bump:

this isn't a bad price at all. so if your hitting 90 par with no water. shouldn't it drop considerably with water? it does with salt water
I ran a pair of Gen3 Radion Pro 2x puck lights over a six foot, 36" deep, 300 DD planted tank with no problems. I think they may even have a planted tank setting already embedded. If it were me, I'd keep them and use them rather than replacing them. If you're dead set on getting new lighting, I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend giving Aquarium Design Group in Houston, TX a call to see what they would recommend. They've done more large planted tank installations than anyone else I know of and will be straight up with you.

Regards,
Phil

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Looks like I have a lot to learn
Planted tanks are 180 degrees different than a reef. No joke. I have to be away from home for an extended period and have a coworker who used to maintain high end reefs for a living and is a reef enthusiast himself taking care of my high tech plant tank. When I was explaining everything to him he was mind-blown. I kept telling him everything he's learned about reef keeping is opposite to plant keeping. 1.5 months later he gets it. The good news is your skills keeping reefs will directly transfer to planted tank keeping. Hit your nutrient marks/maintain water quality, be consistent, keep things clean, and keep your d*mn hands out of the tank, and you'll do well.

A big planted tank is entirely possible, but like houseofcards said, some aspects will/may require a lot of work. Going back to the 300DD I used to care for, pick a foreground plant that you can just take scissors to and literally mow down. Anything you have to pull up and replant is a no-go. If you're so inclined, decorative sand (again, talk to the guys at ADG) will look good and make maintenance a lot easier.

Regards,
Phil
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 03:37 PM
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I think I'd do the same, right down to the "keeping it small" part I love big shoals of community fish, and have never had the urge to even try salt water....and years of mbuna cichlid keeping (as well as some mean south americans) has moved me over the Peaceful end of the aggression dial...
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