Questions about new tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about new tank

Hello, everyone. I just joined the forum and wanted to introduce myself and run my plan by everyone to see what you think and/or what I should do.

I purchased a 29 gallon biocube for a great discount and would like to set it up as a freshwater planted. I come from a extensive reef tank keeping background so I'm familar with aquariums but a bit lost on planted tanks to be honest. I had a small 12g planted with anubias, moss and other easy plants. It went well as my first venture with live plants but I want something a bit more if that makes sense.

To give you a run down on the equipment so you know the setup.

29g all in one system
rear chamber for media/filtration
return pump rated around 200 gph
2x36watt PC lighting(10K and actinic)

I would be of course be replacing the actinic with a 6,700K or similar. Should a run both bulbs or only one if both are too much?

My plan is to keep a wide variety of plants, not sure the the exact species. To honest I would like to experiment with different ones and of course try more difficult species once I gain knowledge. At what point does Co2 become a requirement?

For stocking I'm thinking a bristlenose pleco as my girlfriend wants one. Other than that a school of tetras and maybe some cory catfish.

Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Guess nobody has any answers, well thanks anyway!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 02:49 AM
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welcome! be patient with your Q's. its a great community here but most have day jobs. I can't comment too much as i am also a noob but don't worry you will get your answers.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 03:32 AM
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With the lights what kind of light is it t5ho, t5, t8, t12? That will tell us how much light you accually have, what are the deminsions of the tank? I do co2 and ferts which makes my plants grow fast, if that's what you want and your lights are t5ho then get co2 and ferts.

If you want low light plants then you do not need co2 or ferts but you might want to run only one bulb depending on what fixture you have.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 03:36 AM
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Part of the problem (in terms of getting responses) is the incredible variability of the factors you're asking about.

Lighting requirements depend on what plants you're getting and what plants to recommend depends in part on what light level you have. And even if your current lights aren't ideal for a particular set-up, there's all sorts of ways to mod setups to make 'em work. Ditto for C02, fertilizing, substrate choice, etc.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. Lighting is posted on my first post, 2x32watt PC bulbs on seperate controls. I would like to keep a variety of plants, anubias, dwarf sag, lotus, vals, moss, etc. So that is why my first post was somewhat lacking is that I want to be able to keep a wide variety of plants.

At what point would C02 be absolutely required? OR can I add a system if I want increased growth?

The lighting to me seems to be close to moderate lighting, maybe a bit less. Would the plants I have listed do well under such lighting? Would it be adequate for other varieties?

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 06:58 PM
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Plants need light, CO2 (source of carbon) and fertilizers (micros/macros). The more light you have the higher the need to inject CO2 becomes. For low light (low tech) aquariums you can get buy just fine without CO2. When you start moving into the medium light range you may want to consider at least a DiY CO2 system. CO2 benefits the plants and you will notice better growth. CO2 also helps keep algae in check as your lighting increases. In high lighted tanks, pressurized CO2 is a must. Without it you will grow a tank full of algae.

For the plants you mention, it sounds like your lighting should be adequate. Its relative though to the type of bulb, distance above substrate, type of reflectors in the fixture, etc. Lighting for planted tanks is much more complex than the days of the past with the "WPG rule" and t12 bulbs. If Algae becomes a problem you can always reduce the amount of time your lights are on or only run one bulb with the second doing a 1-2 hour "noon burst".

I would also recommend you dose Seachem Excel. It is a carbon source for your plants. It can offer some benefits of CO2 but it can also help control most types of algae. Combine this with Seachem Flourish fertilizer and you should be okay. At some point you may also want to consider a DiY or pressurized CO2 if you increase your lighting and start keeping "high light" plants.

Don't forget to do regular water changes and basic maintenance.

Below is a chart which can be found on this forum pertaining to lighting. It can give you a good idea where you are with your lighting.
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