New Tank setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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New Tank setup

Okay so I want to set up a new fresh water planted aquarium.

I haven't even decided on a tank/size yet, but I'm trying to decide on a few things. For example I know I'd like Eco-complete black fine-grade sand.

However, I've heard a lot of different things when it comes to lights. Some people are telling me that T5s are the way to go whereas I have other people telling me that going any way aside from LEDs would be a waste of time and money. Please let me know what the best bet would be.

My goal is to have a grass/mossy looking substrate with a large piece of driftwood going pretty high up the tank with a plan growing out of the plateau of the wood. I'd also like a few other plants around the tank. Perhaps a small school of fish to swim in and out of the plants.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 09:30 PM
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It really depends on your tank size. In my experience led are expensive if you want to grow carpet of any sort. I'd stick with t5. I have them on most of my tanks. They are what you should be looking at.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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I'm looking no bigger than a 20 gallon tank.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:38 PM
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New Tank setup

Unless you fork out tons of money for high quality LEDs, flourescent are the way to go cheap LEDs will take more therefore driving up your power bill higher than the t5's I personally feel that fluorescents grow your plants better. LEDs do have a nice shimmer affect and you will get shadows, wich provided a more natural look
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:40 PM
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New Tank setup

For a 20g(long) a simple 2xt8 fixture will work great.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:55 PM
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Keep in mind, if you get too much lighting you will need to introduce some Co2 into the tank. You can build a DiY system for a few bucks if you plan to stay on the smaller side (20 gallon).


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 12:15 AM
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New Tank setup

I have a T5 bulb on my 10 gallon betta tank it does the job. I have LED set up on my 50 gallon both do the job well.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 12:15 AM
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New Tank setup

My 50 gallon has algae since the light is more intense. My led is from marineland double bright
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so it sounds like if I get a tank, under 20 gallons, I'm better off going T5 for the price and for the lights/size of tank and no algae. I'm leaning towards something rimless, but a lot I don't want a small little cube. I'd like something between 10-20 gallons, rimless. I was looking at the Fluval Edge, but I've seen some complaints about that tank... such as the stock LEDs on it are pretty bad and the top opening is very small when it comes time to prune. Anyone have any input on it?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:48 AM
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New Tank setup

T5no or t5ho? Of you plan to use t5ho you will need co2.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sethjohnson30 View Post
T5no or t5ho? Of you plan to use t5ho you will need co2.
Okay would you mind explaining this to me? I understand what CO2 is, just not in the sense of freshwater... Is this an expensive addition to the tank? How do I add it and what is it
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 11:18 AM
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When you have high light you need to add co2 to help the plants grow and keep algae under control. The initial start up cost is expensive because you need all the equipment....regulator,co2 tank, etc..... I don't have co2 and don't know a lot about it but there is other equipment you need too, but just for a good regulator you can be looking at $150+
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 02:22 PM
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I just both the Fluval Edge last week! Was considering something larger but I loved the design of the Edge so went with it. I did tons of research about growing live plants in it with the stock lighting and saw that I could be done. There are also some light mods you can do to add more if you need. I've stocked it with some Annubias, Java Fern and Java Moss - sticking primarily to hardy low light requiring plants. I think if you want to do a carpet of greenery you will need more lighting.

My thoughts so far on the tank: first off it looks awesome! So sleek and modern and perfect for my space as you see all around it. Yes, the opening is a bit small and I did have a few moments when I wished I could get both hands in, but overall it is manageable I think. I got some long tweezers to stick in there for minor things so I don't always have to take some water out when I want to get I there. Since it fills up to the top you have to take some out so it doesn't overflow. I haven't added fish yet - going to get my water tested today. I plan on adding a few neon tetras and something else - not sure yet what. Know I will be limited on this front. The lights are good, but they do mainly shine towards the middle of the tank. I saw a video of someone who bought a couple small led light strips and just lay them on the sides of the top of the tank and that really brightened things up. May do that if plants aren't doing to great.

Overall, I'm loving the tank and I think the negatives about it are totally manageable.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 05:56 PM
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Marc, I just started a 20 gallon planted tank about a month ago. Although I had a fish-only freshwater tank when I was younger, I am new to the planted tank.

Based on your comments/questions and my experiences in the last few weeks, it sounds like you have a lot to learn.

The best advice I can give you at this point is to do your homework. Don't rush out and buy this stuff all at once. Spend a lot of time reading this forum as well as online guides/resources to starting a planted tank. Here are a few to get you started:

https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...lanted-Tank/4/

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...97#post1960797

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042

https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...-Technique/27/

Keep in mind when reading that the name of the game with planted tanks is how much are you willing to spend. You can have a beautiful tank without all the extras. It might take a little more patience, however.

I have LED's and my plants do wonderfully with them (granted, I am using CO2).

With all this said, in the end there will still be things that you will have to learn as you go. There have been dozens of things I would've done differently since I started, and I easily spent 8 hours doing online research before starting. You just can't know everything before hand. The key is to get the basics down, and build from there.

If you would like more links to resources, feel free to private message me, I'd be happy to help.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelicanincident View Post
Marc, I just started a 20 gallon planted tank about a month ago. Although I had a fish-only freshwater tank when I was younger, I am new to the planted tank.

Based on your comments/questions and my experiences in the last few weeks, it sounds like you have a lot to learn.

The best advice I can give you at this point is to do your homework. Don't rush out and buy this stuff all at once. Spend a lot of time reading this forum as well as online guides/resources to starting a planted tank. Here are a few to get you started:

https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...lanted-Tank/4/

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...97#post1960797

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042

https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...-Technique/27/

Keep in mind when reading that the name of the game with planted tanks is how much are you willing to spend. You can have a beautiful tank without all the extras. It might take a little more patience, however.

I have LED's and my plants do wonderfully with them (granted, I am using CO2).

With all this said, in the end there will still be things that you will have to learn as you go. There have been dozens of things I would've done differently since I started, and I easily spent 8 hours doing online research before starting. You just can't know everything before hand. The key is to get the basics down, and build from there.

If you would like more links to resources, feel free to private message me, I'd be happy to help.
Thank you for the links, I will read them a big later when I have a minute.
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