New to the forum, would love some input. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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New to the forum, would love some input.

Well, I am brand new to theplantedtank, but not to the hobby as a whole. I have had aquariums in one form or another (FW, SW, reef) for about 20 years. I have never had a “planted” tank. I’ve had live plants plunked into some gravel, but never a tank set-up with plants as the focus or with them thriving. I am excited about starting one up. Right now I am in the planning stages and would love to get some feedback from the folks on this forum.
In my house, I am limited to a 30X18” footprint and have a liking for tall tanks, so was thinking about a 56 gallon column tank (30x18x24). My questions about this tank are 1) will the center brace cause a distracting shadow? And 2) will my lighting be sufficient to have light loving species. I currently have a retrofit set-up for my 20G reef that I will be using on my new tank. It has 2 24” T5HO bulbs and 2 65W CF bulbs. This is not a ton of light for a reef, but based on what I have been reading, it seems like it could work for plants.
Additionally, how much flow is appropriate in a planted tank. I have plans to use some equipment I already have, but don’t know what size (gph) is appropriate for filtration/flow.
Thanks for all of the help.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 04:21 PM
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The only one I can answer is the center brace. Just glancing in my 36 gal tank, you do not see the shadow fro the brace, but my fish have learned that it is not moving anywhere, and they tend to spend some rest time lined up under it lol. It can get a bit distracting with fish like Dwarf Neon Rainbows, which only really show color under light. My plants do not seem to mind it.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 05:03 PM
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1. I have had aquariums with a center brace and I do not find them distracting/annoying. If your light is high enough off the tank, you probably wont even notice it.

2. You deffinately have enough light there for that size tank. One caveat, you are gonna want to use bulbs of a different K rating than your reef bulbs.

3. That tank (24 inches) is pretty deep, which can make "light loving" (mostly carpet plants) a little more difficult. But with the amount of light you are planning to hang over the tank I think you will be just fine.

4. In terms of flow... You need solid filtration, most people would probably recommend a canister filter that is rated for a tank slightly larger than what you have. Many people also incorporate a powerhead or two on larger tanks. The 'required amount' of flow however is still just a fraction of what you would need in a reef tank with SPS.

With your footprint requirement and your intended tank dimensions I would suggest you look into a variety of stem plants, with a taller tank you want to show off that hieght. Try searching this forum/google for "dutch style" planted tanks. A 56 column would make a nice on IMO.

Good Luck.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies about the center brace. i was kind of thinking that unless something was directly under, and pretty close to the brace that you wouldn't notice it.

I have been thinking that I may try to do a DIY project for the filter. I have this idea of building an overflow into the tank as a sort of all-in-one system out of black glass or acrylic. I would be able to hide heaters and other equipment in it. I think that with the use of baffles and such I should be able to make sure the water doesn't fall too far and cause a loss of CO2. I have two pumps to choose from... a 500gph and a 950 gph. I also have a SCWD that I am debating using, but probably won't just to simplify things. I want to keep the tank as clutter free as possible. Maybe I will draw something up and get opinions on this later.

Another question, With the higher volume with lower surface area, am I already at an advantage for keeping CO2 in the tank?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 05:53 PM
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my 2 cents...
never liked the brace(s) on my 55 or 72. I found them to be 'in the way'. And....they both happened to crack on me. There's a thread either here or on the other forum about cracked center braces.
So my current tank is a 58 Oceanic with no brace, on purpose.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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I actually thought about the 58 oceanic, but it is 36" wide, isn't it. I really want to stay with the 30x18" footprint.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 06:21 PM
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I have an oceanic 65g that also has no brace. It is 36"x18" footprint but is 21" tall. I can work with braces, but it is really nice not having them.

I'm not sure if there is a similar tank with a 30"x18" footprint and no brace short of going with a custom tank.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Also, I did do some research on fixing a cracked centerbrace by replacing it with acrylic. It's not totally out of the question. As long as the replacement is as strong as the original brace it should be fine. Usually this is done by cutting out the brace while the tank is empty and leaving little stubs. Use epoxy and nylon screws to bolt in a nice thick piece of acrylic to the stubs of the original brace. No more shadows.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 06:43 PM
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yep, the 58g is 36". It's an awesome size!! are you sure you can't fit 36"? It is so nice to not have a brace. And the tank is not too tall so light can reach the bottom better.
as far as flow goes, some folks here say you need 8-10x gph....like for a 58g, 464-580gph. I don't have that much myself but found a Hydor Koralia 750 circulation pump works wonders.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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I think I would have to start rearranging furniture in my small house if I go to 36" wide, but I don't my wife is going to go for that. She already won't be too excited about the jump from 24" to 30".

Thanks for the 8-10x turnover number. I guess I will plan on using my 500gph filter.

Would you recommend multiple outlets from a pump of that size or is one ok? I don't want to blow everything over, but don't want to be too weak on the far side of the tank either.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 07:57 PM
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I have my inlet on the back right. Just to the left of it I have the Koralia facing left blowing across the back of the tank. the filter outlet goes from back left towards the front. that keeps the water moving in a nice circular fashion.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 12:58 AM
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You'll see a dark spot at the top of the tank for a few inches, but not at the substrate.

If you can squueze out just 6" more space, you can go with a 65 gal tank which is a more common size, and 36" bulbs would light the sides better. ( Not that a 3" gap is a big deal, but tall plants like most stems will tend to grow towards the middle of the tank at the edges.)
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