Need advice on new planter aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on new planter aquarium

Hey Gang, i recently setup a 36 gallon bowfront and i have some questions on lighting, co2, feeding plants, etc.

Its a 36 gallon bowfront, i used about 2-20 bags of CaribSea Eco Complete (red course gravel), and have cycled the tank. Have a few platys and corys in the tank ( i know this is not the best setup for corys but they were Xfrer fish from another tank)

Now, my question is about the lighting, i have the plastic 3-peice hood fixture setup. First piece is the lid (black plastic w. either glass or acrylic under where the fixture rests, the other piece is the front lid (black plastic as well) and the 3rd piece is the fixture, it is blank plastic and measures 29" x 4.25 " .

My main goal is to keep the lid/fixture setup i am using, i like the way it looks. first questions is there a standard fixture i could use to replace the one i have (one that would go right over the glass piece and would have enough ventage for air flow and heat) I saw something like that at www.ahsupply.com. It was a fixture replacement kit that would allow for 1 or 2 CF bulbs.

I'm not looking for a HI tech setup right now, may get into the whole co2 thing down the road if i can find get a grip on this (but first things first)

If i do decide to go this route, any advice on which one (1*55) or (2*36) , i dont think i want to go much higher on the WPG (if you believe on that kind of stuff) . also wanted some thoughts on what bulbs you feel look the nicest (6700K,10K vs. a 2-6-10 or 3-6-10 )

NOw if you are thinking this is not a valid option for me, my other thoughts were to go with a T5 setup. I picked out 2 in my price range, either the aqueon FW T5 duel 30" or the nova extreme T5 30" . If i do go with one of these, can i just place it over the glass/acrylic on the top of my tank or will it get too hot/not enough air? If you say i can not, can i just put the clips on it and have it hang right over the glass opening on the lid? Any Detailed advise on this situation is really what i want. It would really help me make a more education decision

IF i HAVE to get a new lid, would a complete glass lid work (Any links to something 'reasonable' i would have to go with?

Besides that, just had some other basic questions; what are you thoughts on using liquid co2, where is the best place to get a canister and valve for a co2 setup, how often do you give you plants food,/fertlizer?

Quess that is a good start

Once agian, thanks in advance

SUpppaaaanewb
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 09:39 PM
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I just recently started with the planted thing, also have a 36 bowfront. I know you said you like the black plastic stuff but I'm going to make a few suggestions anyway. If this stuff is in your price then range maybe it will work for you, maybe not.

First off, I replaced my black plastic hood with this:

http://www.amazon.com/All-Glass-Aquarium-AAG29603-Versa/dp/B0002AS8HU

I like it much better than the plastic, and it gives you more options for lighting.

Speaking of lighting, have you checked out any LED fixtures? I use the finnex Ray2 but if you are looking to stay with lower light they also have the fugeray:

http://www.finnex.net/index.php?opti...hk=1&Itemid=61

If you decide to go with pressurized CO2, here is a system that works for me and was affordable:

http://www.amazon.com/AQUATEK-OF-CALIFORNIA-Regulator-Mini/dp/B008TJCPSY/?tag=vig-20
http://www.amazon.com/Pure-Energy-40020-Empire-20oz/dp/B0008G2WAW/?tag=vig-20
http://www.amazon.com/AQUATEK-Diffuser-Bubble-Counter-Check/dp/B004MFGRLA/?tag=vig-20
http://www.amazon.com/AQUATEK-CO2-Proof-Tubing-16-Feet/dp/B008UCOFJW/?tag=vig-20
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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i don't mind going with a glass lid, but kind of defeats my purpose. I am trying to stay away from a light that you can see shining above the tank. (but if you could post a pic and i could see how it looks, it may sway my judgement.

As for the LEDS..dunno, never gave them any thought, i know alot of people debate that the WPG do not really matter , but with that LED setup being only 15 watts for the 30", seems like it may not be enough light/power to serve the purpose at hand. more importantly, they do not have the 3o in stock : (

with he 20 OZ. canister for Co2, how long does that normally last?

And thanks for the feedback, (one last question) i there a specific reason to go with the all glass top (as opposed to keeping the plastic one)...besides just for the look of it ?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernewb View Post
I am trying to stay away from a light that you can see shining above the tank. (but if you could post a pic and i could see how it looks, it may sway my judgement.
I can post a pic when I get home, I can tell you that you will see the light above the tank though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernewb View Post
As for the LEDS..dunno, never gave them any thought, i know alot of people debate that the WPG do not really matter , but with that LED setup being only 15 watts for the 30", seems like it may not be enough light/power to serve the purpose at hand. more importantly, they do not have the 3o in stock : (
Fyi, here's another user's profile who has a 36 with the fugeray 30 (with a picture)":
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/yo...785&n=jbrady33

You definitely don't want to consider wattage when looking at LEDs, check out the thread about PAR vs Watts

(bummer they are out of stock on those, but they may get some in soon. If you decide to go that route then check the Finnex forum they are a sponsor here.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernewb View Post
with he 20 OZ. canister for Co2, how long does that normally last?
I honestly don't know. Mine's been going for about 2 months at about 3 bubbles / second and it's not empty yet. I have a place close by where I can get it filled for about $3 so I'm not worried. If you have the space then definitely consider a full size tank. I just didn't have that option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernewb View Post
i there a specific reason to go with the all glass top (as opposed to keeping the plastic one)...besides just for the look of it ?
I personally like being able to see into the tank from the top, and it's much easier to clean hard water deposits off of the glass. Plus my plastic one broke!

Regarding fertilizers from your original post, check out the EI dosing guide thread. I asked the same question recently and was pointed there by other users. I'm just getting started on my fert dosing so I can't really give any input there other than give it a try.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, Def interested iin seeing a pic. I'll keep an eye out for it

I guess i am still woonderin if i could use that fixture setup in the hood or if i can use one of those fixtures i mentioned to sit right on top on the glass.

I most likely am going to go with the same co2 setup you mentioned, price is right and i'm strapped for space as well. I think i could get it to fit in the cabinet it is sitting on.

What type of place do you go to locally for replacment? just trying to get an idea where to look
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 12:22 AM
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Here are a couple of pics:

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I know people have crammed LEDs, including the finnex ones, into various hoods to keep the light from leaking. And of course the main benefits of LEDs are much lower power consumption and heat generation.

I get CO2 from a sporting goods store (Academy) but any place that sells paintball guns or rents them should be able to fill it for you.
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