72 Bow Project, Suggestions? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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72 Bow Project, Suggestions?

here are some tank shots, I'm planning on black substrate and lots of plants! I have done lots of reading about the best way to plant a tank for maximum effect, but I want the best possible placement of my driftwoods and possibly the rocks. The funny shaped one is a Native American axehead that are fairly common to find lying around where I live, and thought it might make a neat addition. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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I was also planning a low tech(no co2) setup, mostly because I have no experience using it. Can anyone fill me in on the do's and dont's? also what is the difficulty level of using these devices, and how long would I expect a bottle of pressurized to last?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 01:33 AM
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Really like the hardscape in the first pic.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 01:37 AM
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Pressurized Co2 can last anywhere from a couple of months, up to a year or more depending on the size of the Co2 Cylinder, and the individual plant requirements.

They're fairly easy to use, once you get them hooked up to a timer and get them going that's really it, the timer will do the rest by turning the Co2 system on and off as programmed.

15g Fluval Flex - Will be a planted shrimp tank
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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after more looking I will end up with a 5lb bottle, with moderate to high demanding plants, what kind of ppm would i be looking to achieve? also is it possible to estimate the amount of co2 in the aquarium by watching the bubble counter?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 03:49 AM
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after more looking I will end up with a 5lb bottle, with moderate to high demanding plants, what kind of ppm would i be looking to achieve? also is it possible to estimate the amount of co2 in the aquarium by watching the bubble counter?
Not really. To many variables to calculate in that manner. Just cause you and I have the same tank, both using say 4 bps, we may both have different ppm of Co2 due to fish load, plant load, water parameters, surface agitation, and probably some other stuff too.

That said, don't be afraid to use Co2, it's awesome. If you run low light, you don't need Co2...that doesn't mean it wont help out. I run extremely low light on my 90, I add Co2 around 3-5 bps. I don't use a Co2 indicater, so I have no clue what my ppm are...but I can be certain it's more than if I wasn't injecting Co2. That's the beauty of low light setups. With a high light you need to meet certain requirements in most cases, with low light you have much more flexibility.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Ok well my tank was a reef, so the fixture is an 8 bulb t5, about 4.5 wpg the way I work it out. I can use 5 or 3 independantly so was planning on only running 5, but could also do all so I'm very interested in CO2
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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I understand the basics pretty well now and understand that quality components are key, but not sure on what my goals as far as ppm should be for good growth. also what options I have as far as flexibility of ppm would be and what would be harmful for fish
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:03 AM
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Ok well my tank was a reef, so the fixture is an 8 bulb t5, about 4.5 wpg the way I work it out. I can use 5 or 3 independantly so was planning on only running 5, but could also do all so I'm very interested in CO2
Those reef setups are insanely bright...I would definitely start out with 3 bulbs. Get rid of your atinics, they are useless here. Lights between 5000k - 10000k are pretty good. Personally I like 6500k, and they are faily popular.

For Co2, like lights, there are cheap solutions and very expensive ones. Here is my whole setup...

http://www.amazon.com/AQUATEK-Regula...0664543&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/AQUATEK-Diffus..._petsupplies_3

http://www.amazon.com/5-LB-CO2-Cylin..._petsupplies_6

For my purposes it works very well, although there are more accurate solutions available.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:07 AM
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I understand the basics pretty well now and understand that quality components are key, but not sure on what my goals as far as ppm should be for good growth. also what options I have as far as flexibility of ppm would be and what would be harmful for fish
Well the plants will take as much Co2 as you can get to them. The fish will act funny, and eventually die with too much. I know, duh, lol. 30 ppm is normally excepted as ideal from what I have read. This is measured with a drop checker.

I probably don't ever het near that many ppm, but again, my tank doesn't need Co2 like a high light tank will. With that light, you will NEED Co2 in my opinion...3, 5, or all 8 bulbs running.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:11 AM
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If you're worried about the exact amount of co2 you'll need in your tank for the plants to thrive, I recommend getting a co2 drop checker. It basically tells you when you're using the right amount of co2, because a drop checker uses a solution that changes color to inform you, blue=too low amount of co2, green=perfect amount of co2 in the water, and yellow=means too much co2.

I use them in all of my tanks, I love the little things lol, because I always know if I'm using the right amount of co2.

Even if you add more plants it'll help you with what's the right amount of co2 in the tank, because the more plants you have in a tank the more co2 you'll need to compensate for the change.


I would go with a 10lb co2 cylinder, simply because the bigger the cylinder, the longer it will last. So say a 5lb cylinder lasts you 6 months, that means a 10lb cylinder will last for a year give or take, and means not having to get your cylinder refilled as often.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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thanks I have been looking at one of these

http://greenleafaquariums.com/comple...o2-system.html

it seems to be on the very expensive side, but of high quality, I also would like an in line diffuser. it seems it would be simpler and would have less clutter in the tank, and from what I understand is one of the most effective forms of diffusion.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
If you're worried about the exact amount of co2 you'll need in your tank for the plants to thrive, I recommend getting a co2 drop checker. It basically tells you when you're using the right amount of co2, because a drop checker uses a solution that changes color to inform you, blue=too low amount of co2, green=perfect amount of co2 in the water, and yellow=means too much co2.

I use them in all of my tanks, I love the little things lol, because I always know if I'm using the right amount of co2.

Even if you add more plants it'll help you with what's the right amount of co2 in the tank, because the more plants you have in a tank the more co2 you'll need to compensate for the change.


I would go with a 10lb co2 cylinder, simply because the bigger the cylinder, the longer it will last. So say a 5lb cylinder lasts you 6 months, that means a 10lb cylinder will last for a year give or take, and means not having to get your cylinder refilled as often.
Ok, I like the idea of knowing about where it is, but don't need exact measurements all the time, is it dangerous to run a pressurized system without accurate measurements taken often?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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I'm all for a 10lb tank, but am worried about how tall it will be under my stand. when i measured the entire system will have to be at the tallest 21 inches high. Do they make short fat tanks?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 07:04 AM
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Drop Checker are from from accurate. As well as being to slow. You can see fish issues long before a drop checker ever will. As well as a drop Checker may show you have to much or not enough and its the opposite. I run my drop checkers bright yellow. BUT I have no fish issues and my plants pearl and love it.

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