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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Starting planted tank.

Well I have a reef tank and I want to do a planted aquarium in my room on my dresser. I have a 20 gallon laying around so I thought i'd use that. I also have a 48w t5ho light with 10k and actinic. I know that I must get other lights, correct?

What I want in the aquarium is java moss or some other type of "grass" like plant to cover the bottom, then maybe some other plants that won't grow to high for the fish to hide in. I only want small fish like tertas or something...but I'm open to recommendations. I don't have anything but the tank and light, so please let me know what I need.

Thanks

Fred
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 02:57 AM
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Welcome fredg! I'm not the best one to answer your questions sadly but the best place I learned about many of the concepts of planted tanks is here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/planted-tank-faq/

which is actually the FAQ at the top of the page under General Planted tank Discussions. It helped me better understand lighting and various other aspects of a tank.

I am sure other members will weigh in with better information but do keep up posted on how your coming along!

Duff


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 04:21 AM
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Hi Fred,

Here is a link that may help with lighting. I believe Hoppy put the chart together. It's very informative.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

Actinic bulbs are typically used for reef tanks, as far as I know. I have seen tanks on here where people use them though. Just need to make sure your plants are getting enough nutrients to keep up with the lighting demand- or else you will be growing a lot of algae.

I tend to use 6,000k bulbs. Welcome to the board. There is a wealth of knowledge on here.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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ok so how about i just leave the 10k bulb in and take the other out? That will leave me with 24w t5ho. No one is really telling what I want to know though...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 04:56 AM
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Two standard 20 gallon tanks are 24x12x16 and 30x12x12. Because the heights are different it takes different lighting fro the two. I assume you have a 24x12x16 tank, since you have a 24 inch light fixture. Unless you want to use CO2, and dose all of the various fertilizer elements the plants need, you will want to use low light, or around 20-30 micromols of PAR. With a light that sits on top of the tank the best lights that will do that are 2 bulb T8 lights, and converted lights using 2 or 3 screw-in CFL bulbs. With the CFL bulbs you can adjust the light intensity by using different wattage bulbs.

If you use the T5HO light, and it will work with only one bulb, which many wont, you will need to suspend the light about 12-16 inches above the top of the tank. Or you could use two bulbs, and put a layer of fiberglass window screen over the bulbs, and hang it about 14-18 inches above the top of the tank. Or you could put two layers of fiberglass over a one bulb T5HO light and maybe get by with it sitting on top of the tank. T5HO isn't really a good choice for a low light 16 inch high tank.

You can use whatever bulbs make the tank look like you think it should look, but many people like to use a 10000K and 6700K bulb together.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 05:04 AM
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Java moss=low light

Dwarf Hair Grass=High Light for it to do well and carpet out.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Ok well can you point me into the right direction for some not too expensive lights that will sit on the top of the aquaroum. I can't suspend them since the tank will be on my dresser. The light that I have is coming off of a saltwater tank that I'm upgrading.

I also need suggestions on what type of fish and invertebrates. Like I stated i know about saltwater/marine but not much about freshwater. Also what type of filtration do I need? In marine we use live rock and a skimmer. I know I won't use either of those in fw but I do know that bacteria is still present and you need filtration. As for water movement, how much do I need and what do you all use. Same powerheads as in saltwater or much less current?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 06:34 AM
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The search function will answer many questions
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Right...thanks for your help.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:56 PM
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I like that articles link on the top as well for some good reading as well as the stickeys at the top of alot of the sections. I just have low light tank though. Good luck


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