High end planted tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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High end planted tank?

I'm seriously contemplating a return to the world of planted tanks from reef tanks and would appreciate the help and advice of anyone interested. I've kept aquaria, mostly planted tanks, for about 25 years, with a foray into reefs for about 10. This includes running maintenance company and working in high end aquarium shops, so basic knowledge isn't an issue. I've also got a ton of reef equipment, much of which will be sold, but I've got most anything I could want to set up a nice tank and will be selling enough stuff to afford the parts I need. All of that said, I'm looking to do a somewhat basic, low maintenance setup, as burnout on my reef tanks is the main reason I'm thinking of converting back to planted tanks. The basic setup is a custom 42 gallon tank that is 25"x22"x19". Not sure if I'll keep the current sumped setup with is plumbed through my wall into my basement. I might use the 100 gallon sump to grow plants in, both to replace a filter and to have to sell. Not sure I want to deal with that, we'll see. The other option will be a small sump or wet/dry in the cabinet to hide the heaters, filters, etc.

The major questions I have are these:

1. How has planted aquarium keeping changed in the past 10 years? I quit following developments when I got into reefs and would like to get back up to speed.

2. Other than this forum, what other resources can I check out?

3. I really like the shimmering of point source lights but want to get away from metal halides due to heat and energy costs. How are LEDs for planted tanks? Any other technology I should look at?

I've got a strong bias towards Amano style tanks that are heavily planted and lightly stocked, so filtration won't be a major concern. Mostly interested in current thoughts on water flow, lighting and other equipment issues. Basically, given what I've told you about my options and resources, how would you set this tank up? Many thanks to anyone who takes the time and energy to offer their thoughts.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 01:33 AM
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1. LED's are awesome and work great in a planted tank.
2. Co2 is really important.
3. New species of plants have been introduced into the planted tank world.

The barrreport can be a great site for help besides this site.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 01:34 AM
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For lighting, check out Hoppy's thread in the lighting section. That has a nice brief look into bulb output and how much light different set ups provide. T5-HO fluorescent lighting is really effective, but I don't know if LEDs can provide necessary lighting for a heavily planted tank. Are you considering injecting CO2? DIY system? Those are also important factors to determine if you will even need higher lighting
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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I am considering going with pressurized CO2. Used it way back when, really liked it. Not sure I'll want to do super-high lighting, as I don't want to have to mess with keeping things that closely in balance. Low-maintenance is definitely the biggest priority. I _do not_ want to have to mess around with having to dose stuff on a more than weekly basis. My goal is to use as little equipment as I can get away with and still have a really nice tank. I'm making the switch in part to fund the build of my '71 Bronco and free up some money in the monthly budget, so cost/benefit is something I'll be keeping an eye on. I'm very comfortable putting some money into it and am OK with a higher tech tank, just don't want to have to tinker with it all the time to keep it looking nice.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 01:41 PM
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Using more water flow and less light are important shifts during the past 10 years. Used to be 3x tank volume flow was good, now 10x is preferred. The new lights are more efficient so fewer bulbs are needed plus CO2 is considered more important to good plant growth than loads of light. We are less worried about using nitrate and phosphate than we used to be as well. With high light, CO2 enriched tank the full nutrient spectrum is used, NPK and micros. Substrate choices have really changed but I am sticking to my old Schulz Aquatic Soil because I am cheap.
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