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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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General Help

Hi every one, i will be setting up a 12 x 12 x 12 (inch) cube planted tank, the tank will have an 18W T5 HO over it and I will be using DIY C02 and an external canister filter. Lilly pipes, Glass C02 defuser, and glass C02 checker (the one with coloured 4DKH solution that lets you know if you haev the right amount of C02.

I have been doing plenty of reading and im new to planted tanks so was really after a few general pointers and tips. So sorry for the noob questions.

Substrate wise I was probably going to use about a 3 inch bed of either ADA aqua soil powder Amazon or flourite black. I have read that the ADA can cause an ammonia spike so I won’t be adding fish for a couple of week or so (this filter will already be cycled as I will be taking the media out of an established filter). Which would you say would be best for me the ADA or Flourite? Or both? Using the flourite and then an ADA powder cap for the carpet?

The DIY C02 im fairly fine with I think, run it all the time and sling it and make a fresh batch every 2 weeks. The recipe im using uses a pinch of Bi Carb so assume that will just buffer the KH a little to help stop PH swings? The bit I do need a pointer on is this, I’ve always thought that having good surface movement was good to keep the water airiated and to help with keeping surface scum at bay. But does this not deplete the C02 out of the water? How much movement on the surface do I need? Which brings me on to my next question – How much flow would I need? The filter I am getting turns out 160LPH (supposedly) the tank when full will probably be around 17L of actual water (after the displacement)... giving it just under 10 x turn over, is this sufficient?

Fish wise, not really decided prob about 5 small tetras, and as long as I can get enough food to it a Otto, the tank will be slightly over filtered as the filter is rated up to tanks of 60L. What sort of CUC should I be looking at?

Now, plants... I really haven’t a clue here. The look I like is a carpet and lush green plants, would people be able to suggest some plants that are suitable for a bit of a newbie that will suite my set up?? I can go away and research further then and choose some I like.

Things like ferts and dosing, what would people suggest for that?

Thanks ever so much for the help.
Dave
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 05:33 PM
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The Seachem line for liquid and tab ferts

Flourite and ADA aquasoil half and half mix to get the best of both

PLANTS
Dwarf sag, echinodorus tenellus, rotala indica, rotala rotundifolia, glossostigma, marsilia minuta, riccia fluitans, java moss, cryptocoryne parva

FISH
8 Boraras briggitae
5 corydoras habrosus
2 otocinclus

INVERTS
4-10 amano shrimp

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–Boromir, The Lord Of The Rings
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 06:34 PM
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Flourite and ADA aquasoil half and half mix to get the best of both
Flourite black, even black sand, would quickly end up on top if it and Aquasoil powder are both used. Larger particles quickly migrate upwards in a substrate. There is no good reason I can see to use Aquasoil powder. Carpet type plants grow fine in regular Aquasoil, or in Flourite Black sand. The two differ primarily in that Flourite has no bio available macro nutrients. With Flourite you would need to use substrate fertilizing if you want a fertile substrate, or layer it on top of mineralized topsoil or other nutrient filled substrate.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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So on that point Hoppy, which would be better the Ada or flourite and ferts? Any more thoughts on the other questions? Thanks for your time.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 11:51 PM
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I meant ADA aquasoil New Amazonia. Never new the powdered stuff existed. Should have said that.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 01:08 AM
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So on that point Hoppy, which would be better the Ada or flourite and ferts? Any more thoughts on the other questions? Thanks for your time.
I don't think I have ever heard anyone say that Flourite is better than ADA Aquasoil, but Aquasoil does require regular water changes for a few weeks to keep the ammonia level down. I like Black Flourite and especially Flourite Sand very well, so that would be my personal preference.

I think you will have way too much light unless you have a light with a very poor reflector, or you hang the light from 10 inches to 15 inches above the top of the tank, if it has a very good reflector.

You should be able to get enough CO2 with a DIY setup, but it will fluctuate enough to cause algae problems unless you decrease the light intensity as I mentioned above. If you had enough CO2 for high light, you would have to disconnect the CO2 every night to keep from gassing the fish. Low to low medium light is the way to go, where CO2 is not nearly as critical.

Hoppy
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Would I be better with a proper c02 set up rather than DIY then? Would a slightly deeper tank be a better idea as well? I'm having the tank made so size is not an issue.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 03:48 PM
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A pressurized CO2 system works much better than DIY, is less work, and over the long haul, isn't more expensive. As far as the tank size goes, pick the size and shape tank that fits your needs and the room you have for the tank. Then, use an appropriate amount of light for that size tank. As a general rule the bigger the tank the more stable the water conditions, so it can be easier to keep fish healthy in a big tank than a small one. Big tanks also have room for a variety of different plants, allowing many types of aquascapes to be done successfully. Tanks with large front to back depth allow for a more natural aquascape. Tanks that are over 20 inches high can be difficult to plant or maintain, since reaching the bottom is harder than with lower tanks. It is usually easiest to light a tank that is 2 feet, 3 feet or 4 feet long, because the choices in fluorescent lights is better.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers once again for that Hoppy. My next random question is, I've been pricing c02 systems and would agree its much easier once set up than DIY. Is there a limit how far the C02 supply (prob fire extinguisher) can be from the tank? Where the tanks going to be sitting its a table not a cabinet. My wife has agreed to let me put the c02 cylinder in the corner opposite the tank. So basically it will be one 3 seated sofa away from the tank in distance, I assume this won't matter??
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