Please Critique my Tank Plan - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Please Critique my Tank Plan

Hello, I have been mostly out of the hobby for a few years, and am getting ready to take my 75 gallon tank out of storage and set it up as a planted tank. I will list below my plan of action and hopefully get some contructive criticism before I get too far along with it.

I am starting with a 75 gallon standard tank with a glass top. I will be using ECO-Complete and Black Petco Sand that I have already purchased as the substrate.

I have purchased a large and small piece of driftwood to aquascape with.

I plan to add the substrate, and driftwood (after soaking tannins out) and then begin cycling the tank with some substrate from the 29 gallon I am taking down, and my fluval filter which has been running on the 29 gallon tank (this fluval is sized for the 75 gallon tank and has been overkill since I put it on the 29 gallon). I will also be using my cherry barb and danio for the cycling process.

I already own a 130 Watt CF fixture and am considering adding a dual T5HO (56 watts total) to it as well.

For CO2, I am considering getting http://www.affordableaquaticsupplies...ob50u22l4drb95
which sems to have everything I need built into it, with the exception of picking up the CO2 tank, electrical outlet timer, and a diffuser of some sort. Does not seem that the CO2 will be that bad to set up, it will run while the lights are on.

For plants, I will most likely start with standard low to moderate light plants to see how they grow, and then start into some higher light plants if it seems like they will be able to flourish.

I plan to go simple with fish and start with a large school of neon tetras, and perhaps some guppies and red cherry shrimp.

That is everything I can think of at the moment.

Please, if you see something wrong with my thought process, let me know, you won't hurt my feelings. I have tried to do as much research as possible, but I feel my understanding of the lighting requirements is still my weak spot, even after reading all of the stickies.

Edit: Just in case people read some posts I made in 2009, that seems like so long ago now, and it seems sureal for me to go back and read them, most of the knowledge I gained then seems to be gone. Almost like I am starting from scratch with some faint memories of the last attempt in 2009.

Edit 2: I have been reading alot about the Cerges diffuser design, and I may build one of those, and also use an inline heater to keep "stuff" out of the tank.

Last edited by BigCountry; 04-27-2012 at 07:51 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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I think I have the following questions:

1.) answered in another thread: For high light a T5HO fixture with 2 54watt bulbs seems to be enough for a high light setup for 75 gallons. Much different than the watts per gallon I was convinced of 3 years ago when I last attempted this.

2.) Would a substrate composition made up of 3 bags standard black sand, 2 bags of eco-complete, and 2 bags of flourite have sufficient nutrients?

3.) For CO2, am I correct at looking at getting a regulator, needle gauge and bubble counter running into a cerges reactor that I think I can build coming out of the output of my fluval 405 canister?

Thanks for any input, I have my driftwood soaking now, and will be starting to put down my substrate in a few days and getting everything in it to begin cycling.

Thanks
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 09:32 PM
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I'm also interrested in what people think of that Milwaukee regulator.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:03 AM
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I am currently using a Milwaukee regulator and it works fine but it is not highly regarded. I wanted to increase the working pressure by tightening up the big black knob and it decided that was a no go, so far that has been the only glitch I have had. The needle valve is touchy, a 1/16" tweak doesn't do much then the next tweak adds loads of bubbles. The solenoid runs very cool on mine but I read that it is hot on others. Mine was bought used, perhaps it isn't original to the unit.

Feeding CO2 into that Cerge's reactor that is plumbed into the outflow of your filter is the way to go. Should work nicely.

Your planned substrate isn't nutritious at all which is not to say it won't grow plants just fine. Flourite and EC have a good amount of CEC and the sand has very little CEC. CEC is how porous the substrate is which means it can grab cations out of the water. A very light sprinkle of Osmocote Plus on the bottom glass or root tabs every few inches or even Jobe's Fern and Palm sticks at the very bottom would enrich the substrate just fine however.

Do read up, the dirted tank people here have great plant growth with either a simple layer of a particular sort of potting soil under 1/5-2" of sand/gravel/? or taking that same soil and wetting and drying it a number of times to make mineralized soil. I am chicken to join their ranks, replanting the tank would be a bigger mess than usual and I usually make quite the mess already.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:11 AM
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i dunno if i'd do any guppies just because of how quickly they breed. IME, if you get six guppies, male and female mixed, then about two weeks later you'll have 25. two more weeks, you have 60. and so on... if you do guppies, get males only. they're prettier anyways :P
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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i dunno if i'd do any guppies just because of how quickly they breed. IME, if you get six guppies, male and female mixed, then about two weeks later you'll have 25. two more weeks, you have 60. and so on... if you do guppies, get males only. they're prettier anyways :P

Good point, no guppies sounds like the way to go. I wonder if I should go neon school only, or add a second schooling fish like rummynose or something else?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
I am currently using a Milwaukee regulator and it works fine but it is not highly regarded. I wanted to increase the working pressure by tightening up the big black knob and it decided that was a no go, so far that has been the only glitch I have had. The needle valve is touchy, a 1/16" tweak doesn't do much then the next tweak adds loads of bubbles. The solenoid runs very cool on mine but I read that it is hot on others. Mine was bought used, perhaps it isn't original to the unit.

Feeding CO2 into that Cerge's reactor that is plumbed into the outflow of your filter is the way to go. Should work nicely.

Your planned substrate isn't nutritious at all which is not to say it won't grow plants just fine. Flourite and EC have a good amount of CEC and the sand has very little CEC. CEC is how porous the substrate is which means it can grab cations out of the water. A very light sprinkle of Osmocote Plus on the bottom glass or root tabs every few inches or even Jobe's Fern and Palm sticks at the very bottom would enrich the substrate just fine however.
Thanks for the feedback. I will do some more research on regulators, and very nice info on the Osmocote Plus, I had no idea I could use stuff like that. I think I will do that on the bottom glass.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:41 AM
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Read up on it! Lots of threads on using Osmocote + here, mostly pros but a few cons to its use. I cannot find the + around here but probably could use the regular and some micronutrient powder that I already am using.

A large school of one species of fish is really awesome. IF you can be so disciplined!

How about a school of mid water and a school of bottom fish. Neons, if that is your favorite and a corydoras species? Or top tending fish, hatchets, bloodfins or threadfins maybe? Or mixing the shape of the schoolers, deeper bodied pristellas or bleeding hearts or black phantoms with the slim bodied neons?

I am not convinced my nice clean tank has much to do with my awesome plant keeping skills but is more likely due to the ever busy clean up crew. I really am a fan of those common small livebearing fish, been keeping platies lately. A group of male guppies might be pretty and help out by picking at the plants all day long. Big fan of otos too, little cuties that are always busy and fun to watch.

Such fun reading up on all this, so hard to make the final decisions........


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting, I hadn't thought about livebearers as clean up crews. hmmm, all male may be cool. More reading for me.
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