New Setup: Help needed! Newbie to Planted Tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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New Setup: Help needed! Newbie to Planted Tanks

Hi folks... I'm in need of some help. I have been in the hobby for years now, but mainly in marine/reef tanks. I am setting up a new planted tank and need advice from the experts/more experienced folks of this board. I have some equipment and need to buy more, here's my list.

Already have:
Lighting: 36" 2x96 watt Orbit fixture from Current USA (two white 10k/6700K bulbs)
Filter: Hydor Prime 30 Canister Filter

Want/need:
40 gal Breeder or 46 gal bowfront
Substrate will probably be all Seachem flourite
Heater: Hydor inline?
CO2? Pressurized or Hagen Yeast/sugar system?

WHat's the best way to get CO2 in your tank? a diffuser or one of these aquamedic units?


Any other suggestions? anything i missed? what additives do you recommend? I have had good success with Seachem on my Marine Tanks so I'm thinking of using their stuff on my new tank.

thanks for the help.....

Ben
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 01:43 AM
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The hydor prime 30, how do you like it? I am a fan of their products.

Anyways, back to the case at point. I would go with the 40 breeder, much easier to light. Substrate is good, but look at eco-complete if you like the black look and easy installation. Heater is a great, clean look choice.

It looks like you are deciding on whether to go pressurized vs. hagen? In a 46, it would be much easier to go pressurized. A good way to get CO2 into the tank would be through a DIY in-line reactor which you could search for in DIY category. Or you could just buy an in-line reactor. I do not have any experience with that unit you posted.

Brian
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 01:49 AM
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Your light would be a bit on the high side for a 40 breeder. I would suggest looking at either a 50 gallon or a 65 gallon. The footprint of either tank is 36X18 which is the same as the 40 breeder. The height is the only difference.

The only way to go is pressurized. I prefer to build my own external reactors as it's one less thing in the tank.

For ferts read my Guide. Then decide which way you want to go. Seachem makes a good product but you will spend an easy $3 a week or more keeping the tank in balance with their products. IMHO bulk ferts are the way to go.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 01:51 AM
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Hey - someone else who roots for a team who once had Shaq. Go, (somewhat helpless) Magic !

Please take a gander at www.rexgrigg.com. It has some good concise, straight forward info on what all you'll need. It sounds like you are well on your way.

The 2x96w CF is some sweet lighting. I have a 46g and really like it (you might want to check out my photo album and others as well). I can't remember, but assuming the 40g is also 36" wide, you might be able to get slightly better light distribution in the front corners of the tank. I seem to recall the 40g having some nice dimensions for a planted tank, and it might be a bit cheaper. But, the bowed fronts have a sweet look. So either is likely very good.

As to substrate, I too use flourite. It I were to start again, I might go with Eco-complete. The black is a nicer contrast, and the rinsing of flourite can get old in a hurry.

If you can spring the extra $200 or so for pressuring CO2, GO FOR IT! It's might easier to maintain good, stable levels and saves a bunch of time. After the initial outlay, refilling tanks in only around $10, and with the time savings, it pays for itself.

With a 40g or bigger, pressurized CO2 and a canister filter, go with an inline, external reactor. You can DIY one for $10-$20 or you can search around for other ones (I think Aquamedic has a decent one).

Sounds like you've got the basic idea down and just need to fill out a few details. Good luck, and welcome to the boards!
Brian.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies

bellisb925 - the Hydor prime is brand new, so i don't know how well it works, but I have had good experiences with their products so i'm quite sure it will work well.

Rex Grigg - Comment on the lighting was surprising to me. I come from the reef keeping world where that is just marginal lighting for a tank. I have read a few excerpts from your site and I am learnign a lot. Thanks!

BSS - it sounds like a pressurized system is the way to go... that's a clear choice for me now.

On to other questions... what media should i use in the canister filter? Any other equipment i should be looking into?

Thanks Again...

Ben
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 03:27 AM
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I have ceramic rings, filter floss, and sponges that it. I am sure the rings help with the bio filters, but if it is heavily plant then you may not even need those. The main thing is mechanical filtration for clear water.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakerFan
On to other questions... what media should i use in the canister filter? Any other equipment i should be looking into?
Mechanical and Biological filtration are all you need. Chemical filtration (activated carbon) is unnecessary because the plants pretty much take care of all the ammonia and nitrites. Also, activated carbon has been known to rob the water column of important nutrients needed by the plants.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 12:34 PM
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You could run that amount of light over a 40 Breeder. But it would be like riding a tiger. One slip of your attention and you would be in deep trouble. While it's always tempting to start out with a high light tank it's a really steep learning curve. Much easier to start in the low to mid range with light and work up.

Light is what drives the system. The more light you have the faster most plants are going to grow and the faster things go south.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2005, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
You could run that amount of light over a 40 Breeder. But it would be like riding a tiger. One slip of your attention and you would be in deep trouble. While it's always tempting to start out with a high light tank it's a really steep learning curve. Much easier to start in the low to mid range with light and work up.

Light is what drives the system. The more light you have the faster most plants are going to grow and the faster things go south.
I would recommend a 58 oceanic or 65 AGA...I recently sold my 46g and upgraded to a 65g. The 2 x 96 watts was almost overkill on the 46...it took a while to master dosing on that...even using EI. I run the same lights on my 65 and there is no difference in growth and I can keep the same plant species with 1 wpg less than I had before (from 4 wpg to 2.95).

As far as what to put in the filter...just noodles...a course filter pad...then stuff it will walmart quilt batting (pillow stuffing). If you have enough plants, they'll take care of your biofiltration for you.

Re-boot!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the replies. I almost forgot, i have a pH controller/monitor any other equipment i should be looking into? Being in the reef hobby, i'm used to more equipment in tanks.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 07:46 AM
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A CO2 contoller will make things easier.. just a matter of caculating the PH for your KH and punch in the number.. it does the dosing for you.. not a nessisity though..
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2005, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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So I got a new toy for the tank......



Just trying to get all the equipment before i set it up. I want to do things right the first time. This unit monitors/controls pH, temperature. It will also control the lights for the tank. I will be getting the DC8 with it so i have 8 fully controllable outlets depending on what is plugged in. More info here http://marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=NS1151

As for the lighting.... what do you guys think about having one 96 watt bulb on for ~10-12 hours and the other bulb on for ~6 hours a day, so both bulbs would only be on together for 6 hrs a day. ?
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