1st planted tank/ introduction? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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1st planted tank/ introduction?

Hello,
I have recently inherited a 65 gallon aquarium with filtration, stand and glass canopy that was set up fish only; I am planning on setting up a planted tank. I have a good bit of conditioned driftwood around to use for aquascaping. I am currently working at an exotic pet store in manhattan; so obtaining materials/supplies will not be an issue. I have a good bit of experience professionally working with aquatic life support systems and husbandry for large turtle and crocodile exhibits as well as for dart frogs; so I have some idea what I'm doing, but haven't really done much with fish and plants only.
I will be moving sometime this month- so I'll ideally start setting the tank up in august. I've been checking out this forum and reading up on articles over most of the last month.
I would like to use a fluorite substrate and obtain med to high lighting levels throughout, which may be tricky with 24" depth. I'm interested in trying my hand at a CO2 system as well.
My biggest question is what to do with lighting to achieve the med/high levels needed, and what I should be looking for in a fixture? I"ve been reading a lot about lighting lately, but feel a lot of it is still over my head.
Thanks in advance for any ideas/advice!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 02:32 AM
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Welcome! Sounds like you already checked out the stickies on PAR in the lighting section then. I'd say decide if you want to go LED or T5 then start asking for some advice on quality fixtures. Or if your a DIY'er there are a lot of threads about people building their own LED fixtures.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 03:23 AM
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Welcome to the forum singlemind, LED's are really the way to go with a high tech setup but they can be costly unless you are a DIY type person the next best route would be T5HO but you should ask in the lighting section and follow the advise of Hoppy as he is our lighting guru, Catalina Aquariums has great prices.

A lighting break down: A good LED might cost you $500 and last 5 to 7 years with no maintenance at all with low heat and a sleek look, the same T5HO might cost $239 but need 4 new bulbs every year $55 shipped from Catalina and after 4 years need 2 new ballast $80 if your lucky, total cost $539 for five years.

IMO you'll get good growth with a low tech system if you switch your substrate to Aqua Soil, then after the soil is a couple years old you can add CO2 and ferts to help the plants along, and this works with medium light or high light but a shorter period before the soil is depleted. I mention this because I am very happy with my AS tank and it grow better than my high tech with no ferts, CO2, or maintenance. I would really consider this method.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks for the advice!
Long term it looks like LEDs are the way to go... I'll look into the aqua soil, and maybe into a layered setup. I'll post updates and pictures along this thread as my first tank develops. Thanks for the advice!
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