Here goes my first plunge, god help me... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2005, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Here goes my first plunge, god help me...

Howdy folks!

Having recently been inspired to do a planted tank after stumbling over some of Takashi Amano's pictures on the web (hehe, sure this has been said a few times in last couple years) my first order of business was to find a good reliable forum for information exchange. Amazing how many forums are out there for the hobby and how many of them do not appear to have this forums comfortable approach to information exchange (the buttering up portion). I am hoping to pique your collective brains in hopes of getting a semi-functional first planted tank.

Having been in the hobby in the passed with numerous types of fish only tanks I still had quite a bit of equipment laying about in storage that I am attempting to put back into service to help alleviate the financial strain of getting this tank up and running. If you folks see something that is out of place please let me know now, would rather spend a few dollars now and have a better chance at success later. Sadly, I found another website prior to this one and they subscribed to the Dupla method of doing planted tanks, basicly send credit card to Dupla for a lot of items that after having read a bit of posts here including a awesome outline by Mr Barr (sp?) on why substrate heating was suspect and several other subjects that makes some of the items I just purchased kind of pointless; hoping to reduce these kind of costly mistakes...

My currect equipment starts around a 20 gallon Tru Vu standard (24"x16"x12") tank, five pound co2 canister with home made bubble counter and a solenoid valve. 20 pounds of Eco Complete, a Tunze 20 watt substrate heater (the more I ponder Toms statements the more comical this heater is since I live in Nor Cal and current temps are in the 100's... might need to add a chiller to this tank ) 150 watt Ebo Jaeger submersible heater, Aquadyne Octopuss controller with Heater, light and PH control (this was a unit used to control an older reef aquarium so is available for use). I ended up buying the Aqua Medic membrane co2 diffusor and not so sure I am happy with it, purely based on quality of build and attention to detail in mfg... I still need to get a canister filter, if those are good for this type of tank, and though I am willing to pay for an Eheim they seem way over-priced for their quality. I was at T&T Aquarium in down town San Jose and really like the build on the Rena brand Filstar, but he had none running so I have no idea how noisy they are or how well they pump water or even what type of filter media is really required in a planted tank with only a few rainbow tetras? I have two light hoods both compact flourescent, one is a 18" I believe with two 28 watt 6700K Panasonic bulbs, the other is a 24" with two 55 watt 6700K Panasonic bulbs, will either of these work for this tank?

Some of the other questions I had are for folks that know any decent aquarium shops in the Nor Cal Bay Area that have clean plants? I spent last weekend driving around to quite a few and planted tanks seem to be a small niche market most do not pander to and the few that had plants were sadly disappointing with either bad algae problems already or plants that seemed to be dying. More then willing to travel some distance even to San Francisco if the store is going to have quality items for sale.

Sorry for the horribly disorganized and long winded post but I hoped that each would toss a few gems of information at me and the end result would be I get all the answers I need to move forward with this current project. So, if you see something that you feel I should change, remove or add to the system please do not hesitate to toss me your thoughts. Thanks for your time and I eagerly await your input.

Ken
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2005, 11:48 PM
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Sounds like you got a good set of equipment.

With regards to a cannister filter, it is true that Eheim are one of the best, but if you are a little strained for cash (or unwilling to spend so much) then why don't you try Aqua Pro?, they are simply a rip off from the eheim design. They are quiet and work well from my experience.

Also cannister filters are excellent for this application. You could even plump into one of the cannister filter lines and have a sort of diy diffusor. Just search the forum and you should find some threads.

I am sure that once you set up your tank, you will have a wonderful planted display.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 12:00 AM
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The best plants to get are right here in the swap n shop section. If you hang around there long enough, your desired item will pop up. OR You can post a "wanted to buy" thread and post your wishlist. Most people would rather see thier clippings go to good use rather than throw them in the trash. I get most of my plants there.

If that doesn't work we have our sponsor vendors at the bottom of the index page who support this site and provide good fair service.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 12:42 AM
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im in the same boat just set up yesterday amanos on the lose
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwboy53

With regards to a cannister filter, it is true that Eheim are one of the best, but if you are a little strained for cash (or unwilling to spend so much) then why don't you try Aqua Pro?
Not so much unwilling to pay for the Eheim, just not sure that they are that far superior to some of the newer brands available at a much reduced cost. I have not heard of the Aqua Pro line and will go look about for info on that brand name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwboy53

Also cannister filters are excellent for this application. You could even plump into one of the cannister filter lines and have a sort of diy diffusor. Just search the forum and you should find some threads.
Having spent some time reading through threads here I had heard of this type of setup and sounds pretty interesting and a clean way of introducing co2 into the aquarium. I will look a bit further into what it takes to make the co2 diffusor for this type of application. And thanks for your input it is much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lemay

The best plants to get are right here in the swap n shop section. If you hang around there long enough, your desired item will pop up. OR You can post a "wanted to buy" thread and post your wishlist. Most people would rather see thier clippings go to good use rather than throw them in the trash. I get most of my plants there.
After spending hours looking through the posted pics of users aquariums, I would have to agree with you that it might be best to just buy plants from other forum patrons. I might just sit down and do a rough layout of what I need for the basics to get started and try the "Wanted To Buy" forum to see what can be arranged and fill in the gaps later. And thanks for your suggestion, would be nice to have plants that came from an established aquarium from one of the members so I could always pester them for more information on the care and such.

Ken
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lemay
FILSTAR Pimp #2

75 gal heavily planted,50/50 flourite/gravel substrate, Pressurised CO2 with solenoid, ph controller, AB Reactor 1000, 330 watts 9325K GE PC lighting,Ehiem Liquidoser, 2-Filstar xp3 canisters.
After my last post I noticed you have an affinity for the Filstar line of canister filters by your signature. Could you tell me what you think of that brand's ease of use and durability not to mention how quiet it may be? Thanks, really curious as I liked this unit and type of plastic that is used seems more durable then the type used by Eheim.

Ken
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 02:17 AM
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Thumbs up Filstar XP1

Hi KLB welcome to the Planted Tank Forum.

I have a 29g planted tank with a filstar XP1 and am very happy with it. It has more than enough power for my 29 gallon with an in-line CO2 reactor on the output.

Noise - I don't find the filter noisy. I have it in an enclosed cabinet in my kitchen under the tank. Possibly if the tank was in my bedroom I might notice the humming sound from it at night, but with normal daily background noise I cannot hear it.

Another plus of the Filstar line is that everything necessary for hook up is included in the box, nothing extra to buy!

Jeff B
Algae farmer Extraordinaire
-----------------------------------------------
29gallon - AH Supply 1X55w 5500K, 1X13w Red (Night) CP -- pressurized C02, milwaukee regulator, DIY inline C02 Reactor -- Rena XP1
----------------------------------------
Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'
Echinodorus Uruguayensis "Amazon Sword"
Bacopa monnieri "moneywort"
Cryptocoryne wendtii ''brown''
Cryptocoryne wendtii ''green''
Hygrophila Difformis “Water Wisteria”
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 03:05 AM
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This is a link to where I bought mine, has pictures to what it looks like. Uncanny how similar it looks to eheim ...
http://www.aquariumproducts.com.au/category6_1.htm
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffB
Hi KLB welcome to the Planted Tank Forum.

I have a 29g planted tank with a filstar XP1 and am very happy with it. It has more than enough power for my 29 gallon with an in-line CO2 reactor on the output.
Thanks for the welcome and to all for the words of encouragment.

I still have a few unanswered questions I will try to lay out cleanly this time.

1) Will 20 lbs of Eco Complete be enough for the 2.5-3" needed in my 20 gallon standard?

2) Which of these two hoods is better for this application; 24" 2x55 watt 6700K or a 16" 2x28 watt 6700k?

3) Could some one give me a decent outline for all the items they purchased from Greg to start the EI (Tom Barr) method of dosing. I would rather buy a long term supply opposed to six month or one year amounts, the items are so inexpensive anyway.

Thanks again for looking and look forward to your replies.

Ken
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 10:52 PM
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According to the substrate calculator available here

For 2.5" you would need 40lbs of Eco-Complete

For 3" you would need 48lbs

A 2x55w would be your best bet for growing any type of plant. Especially since you have pressurized co2 you would rather have 55w of intensity rather than 28w.

As for the dosing Ill leave that to Rex or some of the other more experienced chemists here.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 11:28 PM
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You're definitely going to need at least 40lbs of ecocomplete for your standard 20g. That's how much I have in my tank atm. On lighting I would go with 2x28w rather than the 2x55. You shouldn't have any problems growing most of the plants that are available.

On the topic of fertilzation, that really depends on your plant load. Right now i'm dosing gregwatson ferts in a solution.

4x13w AHsupply PC + reflector
1 Tbls KNO3 in 250ml
1/2 Tbls KH2PO4 in 250ml
1 Tbls K2SO4 in 250ml

Monday: 25% water change. 20ml KNO3 (10ppm)+ 6.5ml KH2PO4 (1.54ppm)+ 20ml K2SO4 (10ppm)
Tuesday: Trace
Thursday: 20ml + 6ml + 20ml
Friday: Trace

Currently I am planning to switch to a 6 day cycle and reduce the total K2SO4 dosing by half. I'm also slowly leaning down the dosing to minimize wasting of fert. The tank is doing really well atm. I used to have any algae problem from the previous tank and it has pretty much cleared up after two weeks of dosing. Your equipment sounds great. All you really have to do is learn how to dose. =D GL on your tank
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