Cheap Nature Tank Setup? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Cheap Nature Tank Setup?

Is it possible to create a nice nature-style aquarium (specifically 30 gallons) using normal fluorescent lighting? I have an All-Glass 36" triple-tube lighting with an AquaGlo, LifeGlo2 and FloraGlo. I'm pretty poor at the moment (12-year olds don't get much income around this time of the year) so CF's are not an option for me.

Also, what order should I put the lighting in to provide the nicest balance in the tank?

And is it possible to create such a tank with DIY Co2?

The plants I have planned out here are the following:

Bolbitis heudelotti or narrow-leaf java fern
Vallisneria spiralis
Java moss
Sagittaria subulata
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:24 PM
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What wattage are your tubes?
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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They're all 30w.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:32 PM
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That one is 3x30w. You can get 50%-100% more light buy adding one or two $18 4xF32T8 ballast, do ODNO:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=175

It is medium light right now, due to some inefficiencies in bulb arrangement/reflector.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry

For more information on them check this site:
http://www.hagen.com/img/aquatic/add...tbulbspecs.htm

Also, how long should I leave them on? Presently with my tanks (including the tank I'm going to convert to nature-style) I turn on the light around the time I go to school, 7:15 AM. I turn them off around the time I sleep, about 10:00 - 10:30 PM. Is this sufficient or would it be too much lighting?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 10:39 PM
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In general people run a 10-12 hour photoperiod depending on what works for their tank and what works for their tank viewing schedule. You could easily get a time so that it comes on after you leave for school and is still on for a good portion of the evening without having to spend too much. That length of time is also a little more kind on your fish. They need to sleep too.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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So should I use a timer?

If so, I'm thinking of moving the morning call to around 8:00 AM for the tank, and turn it off the usual time.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 01:30 AM
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that would be 14 hrs, which is a little long for a photoperiod unless the lights cycle off for 2 to 4 hours during the day while you're at school. Many people find that the "siesta" period in the middle of the photoperiod helps control some kinds of algae, and it certainly allows you to get the advantage of seeing your tank lit while you're home, even if that's a total of 14-16 hours from first thing in the morning until bed. I use a break in both of my tanks from about 2pm until 5pm, so as i walk through the door from work (i get off at 5 most days), the lights have been on 20 minutes or so, just long enough that the fish are waking up and getting active. That way I can leave my lights on until 10:30 pm without overdoing it. As for your lighthing, the ballasts is a great recommendation, but be careful and make sure you know what you're doing before you start trying to wire up the ballasts. It's been a long time since I was 12, so I'm not trying to condescend, I just don't remember how skilled I was with DIY electronics at that age, and I'd hate to see anyone get hurt. Try to see if you can come up with somebody you know (often a parent, sometimes a neighbor, friend or friend's parents, etc) that is familiar with simple circuits and electronics, and see if they'll give you a hand the first time if you need it. After that, I'm sure you'll have it down. Best of luck, and it sounds like you're off to a great start.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Woa... I just read the article GulfCoastAquarian made, looks pretty sophisticated... dunno if I can create one of those. Since none of my friends and family care for aquaria I would have to create such a setup by myself.

By the way, how hardy would blyxa japonica be for a low-tech nature tank? I've seen Amano and a lot of master aquarists here use 'em, they look awesome
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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All right my parents along with one of my many aunts has decided to help me get a Coralife freshwater aqualight (CF)! Yipee!!! (jumps with joy, then remembers the sore leg and lands with a semi-crash)

1. For a low-tech approach such as mine, should I have the single or the double-linear fixture?

2. Are the lamps included with the fixture suitable for my needs? Or should I just compensate with some others? If so, could some people name a few that they've had good experiences with?

Sorry if I'm nagging you guys, I just wanna get this planted tank done right
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 04:01 AM
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1. Single strip is fine for a low-tech set up.
2. Freshwater Aqualights come with 6700K bulbs - perfect for your needs.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 05:07 AM
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The Aqualights also come with different types of mounting legs available. Choose the ones that you think are best for your setup.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 05:59 AM
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The single aqualight is fine - as per Tino - and yeah, I would really encourage you to go for the more stable adjustable stands. If you're accident prone and lack depth perception (like me) the extra few dollars on stability won't hurt.

And don't worry about questions. It's not asking them that gets people in trouble.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 10:48 AM
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Just got a coralife with the adjustable legs.
They are great!
And go ahead and ask questions. But in the meantime - get your hands wet!
You're 12. Plenty of time to try - and screw up - any number of different approaches!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a little confused with the adjustable legs. Are they the thingys that hold the lamp fixture up a certain height (possibly 3 - 4"?) above the tank for better illumination? Are they included with the product? Because I checked their site and found nothing on these.

Also, would I even need to include a glass lid canopy for the top of the tank, or would it be fine open with just the light covering the top? I've seen a few people with the latter setup, would it be riskier/more dangerous?

Thanks for your support guys, I really appreciate it guys
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