Need Help with my first planted tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Need Help with my first planted tank.

Hello everyone. I have been lurking on the forums here for a while in an attempt to learn all I can about setting up a planted tank. I have been keeping fish for most of my life including saltwater reef tanks (I currently have 3 tanks - 34 gallon fresh community, 90 gallon mixed reef, 3 gallon custom pico reef), but I am now looking to go even further and take on a planted tank. My plan for this tank is as follows, any suggestions or recommendations are greatly appreciated:

The plan -

55 gallon glass aquarium
Aquatop CF400 canister filter
Floramax planted tank substrate
Auto top off system
Auto water change system
Automatic dosing system (using Kamoer dosing pump)
Auto CO2 injection system (Milwaukee Ph controller and regulator w/solenoid)
Inline downflow CO2 Reactor
Inline 300W heater

I have just a couple of concerns that I would like your input on.

1. Can I run both the inline heater and CO2 reactor on the canister filter or will I compromise the flow too much.
2. I have a 400 Watt HQI metal halide fixture that I am not using right now. Can I use this hung a good distance above the tank? Or should I get a 4 bulb T5 fixture. (I really don't want to spend more money if the halide will do the job.

Anything else that I have not mentioned? Thank you all in advance for your input.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:10 AM
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Someone with more knowledge will probably answer the rest but I'd imagine the halide was used for your reef? If so the light given off wont be in the 6500k range which is conductive to plant growth. Though I'm sure some of the guys here will be able to provide suggestions to keep using it.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:19 AM
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welcome to TPT!

i agree that the MH probably won't work, but i think people have used them on larger tanks, it would at least be worth saving. maybe if you hung them a number of feet off the water's surface it would be alright. or maybe it wouldn't need to be as much.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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I would be purchasing a 6500K bulb if I used the halide. My real concern is with the PAR. I know how much par is needed for different corals, but have no idea what PAR is acceptable for plants. I have an Apogee PAR meter, so I will be able to see what my readings are, just need to know how much is good and how much is too much.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:27 AM
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If you have access to a par meter, and can measure the intensity of your lights, and raise them accordingly, then you my be able to get by with the Halides. But I think you will have to set them pretty high. You don't need a 4 bulb T5 fixture for that tank, a 2 bulb would be high enough light for any plants. See here:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=105774

this would be a nice fixture for that tank:

http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/stor...oducts_id=1842

Standard 10 Gallon (20 x12x12).
Low tech, Sand substrate.
Eheim 2211, and Aqueon Quietflow 10.
Finnex Stingray LED, 20" above substrate
2 Anubias Nana Petite, Christmas moss.
4 Halequin Rasborahs, 5 RCS.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:31 AM
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Oooooh I read this looking into led lighting earlier
< 40 par = low lighting
40 -> 80 medium
80 -120 high

Above that I'm not sure, hope that helps.

Link https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=160396
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the info. It looks like I will be getting a 2 bulb T5 setup then.

FrontierUK, thank you for the PAR numbers. I am amazed how low those are in comparison to a reef tank. Those numbers should be rather easy to reach.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 04:54 AM
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Easier than you think I bought a set of twin globeam LED arrays and their mounting system for my tank, the fish became uncomfortable with both arrays on so I now how them on timers to swap from the front array to the back with both on for an hour and a half about midday in the total light cycle.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone have input on the other question? Can I run both an inline heater and inline CO2 reactor off of the Aquatop CF400? Should I upgrade to the CF500? Get a second CF400 and run the heater on one and the CO2 reactor on the other? Thoughts?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Slight change of plans. I went to petco today to get the tank and decided that I liked the dimensions of the 40 breeder tank. First day of the $1 a gallon sale, so only $40 for the tank.

I also have the pressurized Co2 system on it's way. Now I just have to get the filter and lighting figured out.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Another lighting question for all of the experts here. I have been thinking about doing a DIT LED build for this tank. I am very familiar with LED's and have DIY fixtures on all of my current tanks. The problem that I have is that all of my knowledge is based on reef tanks.

I can tell you what is ideal for a reef but have only a basic idea what the plants need. From what I have gathered through reading on this site, plants do best with around 8000K lighting. My question is should I use any red or green LED's and do blue LED's have any place in lighting a planted tank? Also, how many LED's should I use for a 40 breeder?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 12:08 AM
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That's there's a lotta questions, I think the 8000k lighting is a preference of making the colours in the tank pop rather than best for tanks 6500k is considered daylight but as you probably know tubes from different manufacturers have the same k but a spectrograph will show a large variation in the lights wavelengths.

quoting this article http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com...-lighting.html

Plants and zooanthellic algae have adapted to certain depths and is why a 6500K light generally works well (or best) for planted freshwater aquariums under 20-24 inches of water and zooanthellic algae dependent corals require more 480nm blue and higher kelvin daylight energy such as 9000K, 10,000K, 14,000K, & in some instances 20,000K daylight lights as aquarium depths increase (such as 24+ inches of water depth).

Hope this helps.
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