Building The Beast - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Building The Beast

Ok, so I am working on building my system. Yes I am a newby, but I am also a scientist, so my approach may be different than many. OK I would love some advice and direction, but so far this is what i have:

90 gal acryic SeaClear Show tank
Fluval 404 Canister
Milwaukee CO2 system with solenoid
Current 36" Metal Halide 150w + 96w x 2 actinide + 4 lunar

info or something missing? feel free to interject. I plan on going with flourite and dark 2mm substrate mix

HELP lol
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:39 AM
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There's no need for actinics on a planted tank. Though they might be pleasing aesthetically. Also, what's the color temp of the MH? 10K is nice.

What are the dimensions of the tank?

I've owned both Fluval and Filstar filters. Did not care for the Fluval. Not as easy to use as Filstar XP series.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:46 AM
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Welcome to TPT fresh newby,

I'm not sure what you mean by taking a different approach, but there are several scientists that give great posts. I look forward to yours in the future.

I have a 90 gallon that I plan on starting in a month or so.

Just a small list off the top of my head that you may need:

digital camera
reactor/diffuser
check valve for CO2
CO2 proof tubing
thermometer
fertilizer
python or similar to change water
You're going to need alot of plants and ferts with that lighting.

Any ideas on flora or fauna? Are building your own stand and hood? Are the 96w bulbs PC and actinic in color?

Some of the experts will probably chime in and give some more advise.

Jeremy

55 gal., DIY stand, hood, rex reactor, & bubble counter, XP2, Coralife 65 X 4 w/remote ballast, flourite
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:47 AM
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i would want you to stay away from flourite if you dont want to spend 2 days washing it lol.... it took me about 30mins to an hour the way i did mine and that was one bag. so for a 90g you will most likely need 9-12 bags. = 9-12 hours lol thats max tho

flourite is the substraight most people see first but lookinto it more. aquabase is a great bottom layer... i wish i didnt put mine on top. but more or less you will learn from your mistakes. being a scientist is always good. there are quite a few on the board here and there a marine biologist and such...

lighting i would ditch those bulbs. keep the mh. get something around 10k very nice color. and good for plants

just dont forget co2 on this beast the only way i would go is pressurized

i would also suggest ei method for ferts but cant give personal exp. i am a low fert aproach wich is quite odd..... its a work in progress on small tanks its fine. big tanks its harder. i just started my 55g in january. so im building up my plant and fish pop in it.

lots and lots of info in the board. use the search function and read ALOT!

anyone can do it considering im from what i know second youngest on the board. youngest active member or something around there lol

and you ALMOST stole my name.... i bet what you first try was lol

good luck there are lots of great people here!

-=- fish newb -=-
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwhisperer
Welcome to TPT fresh newby,

I'm not sure what you mean by taking a different approach, but there are several scientists that give great posts. I look forward to yours in the future.

I have a 90 gallon that I plan on starting in a month or so.

Just a small list off the top of my head that you may need:

digital camera
reactor/diffuser
check valve for CO2
CO2 proof tubing
thermometer
fertilizer
python or similar to change water
You're going to need alot of plants and ferts with that lighting.

Any ideas on flora or fauna? Are building your own stand and hood? Are the 96w bulbs PC and actinic in color?

Some of the experts will probably chime in and give some more advise.
digital camera... lol thats a must.

you ninja posted me!

-=- fish newb -=-
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 01:27 AM
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I have one tank with an all Flourite substrate and another with Laterite/Gravel mix.

As far as the plants go, they don’t seem to have a preference for either. Rooted plants grow and multiply at the same speed.

Flourite is hard to clean, but I have found the trick to it is to clean small batches at a time. I wouldn’t try no more than ¼ or 1/5 of the bag. Despite many complaints I have seen, it will wash clear. Laterite mixed with gravel is very easy to clean, but I like the look of the Flourite more.

Only note I would make about Flourite is that it has sharp edges and is magnetic. This could be a hazard in an acrylic tank if you use a magnetic algae cleaner.

Pythons – I prefer a bucket and regular siphon, but I think Im one of the few.

I love MH lighting with acentics. Im sure this carries over from my reef experience, but I think it complements a planted tank perfectly. The MH cast gorgeous shadows and the acentics bring out the colors in the fish. My Dwarf Gouramis. Blue Rams and Emerald Cories look stunning under the acentics.

I really do not know any other approach to aquarium keeping other than a scientific one. Just don’t get so caught up and forget you are dealing with living things that can seemingly defy even your most precise calculations.

We do need more scientists in the hobby though. People with the knowledge and equipment can help the hobby grow. There are so many areas that can be improved upon.

1. Capitave Breeding and Raising Fry – This is probably the biggest. There are so many species that will breed, but that is as far as hobbyists can go.
2. Lighting – Seems to still be in its infancy as far as planted tanks go.
3. CO2 – Though we seem to manage, I cant help thinking there has to be a more natural way of introducing it into the tank.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Keep it coming!

I have been reqading my butt off from these forums. I am getting a lot of good info. Everyone seems to be so knowledgable, not to mention, the key to this seems to be "learn from your experiences" So flourite is a pain to clean, duley noted, not to mention the good info about scratching... yuck!. I will search alternatives.

I already have Canon 30D EOS, as I do some semi-pro photography as is, so that part is covered.
The actinide bulbs are merely for asthestics, the metal halide were meant for the plants. I know I don't need the lunar lights either, but I like the way that look at night.

I already have the 50' python, 2 thermomethers, a 24" scraper, all of the pressure hoses and bells and whistles for the CO2, 2 timers, 2 WON PRO-HEAT IC HEATER 200W 11.75IN, and all of the nitrate, pH, kH, ammonia, etc, test indicators. My CO2 is pressurized and I have a bubble counter coming too.

My fauna will be extensive, as my late mom was a horticulturist, and the wiggly guys I plan on having will probably be the following, but subject to change as I get more info:

5-7 rainbows
5 or 6 kuhlies or yoyos
11 panda cories
8-10 rummy nose tetra
and when your tank has been established for a couple of months, maybe 5+ ottos

possibly

add cherry shrimp
bumble bee shrimp
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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oh...and thanks KECK I appreciate the good info, and fish newby, I am sorry, I didn't mean to steal part of your name, I just wanted to express how my hobby is in its infancy for now. So much to learn. I didn't even see your name before I chose mine
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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oh fishwhisperer, The 96 x 2 are actinic, and the stand is being made...all steel with 2" ebony wood top. The tank itself will be two sided because I have a loft and it will divide the dining room and media room, so it can be viewed by all sides. I see that so many paint or put a backing on one side, is that a necessity? I know I will face some challenges since I will have foreground on both sides and my background plantings will be on the ends, and a little in the middle.
anyway the tank dimensions are 48 x 18 x 24 tall
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 03:13 AM
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Flourite is not hard to wash. You just have to do it right. The secret is a paint strainer.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 03:20 AM
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My substrate advice is: decide what look you want, dark, gray, black, reddish, white, etc. and pick the material that gives you that. A good cheap material is Soilmaster Pro Select Charcoal, which is a dark gray in the water. But, the color really is just personal preference.

Lighting: The actinics are not of much use for growing plants, so you really have only the 150 watts and perhaps half of the 2x96 watts, or about 250 watts total, which is a good amount for 90 gallons. You should be able to grow most anything with that.

CO2: There are several ways to get the CO2 into the water and you need to decide what you prefer - with a two side viewing tank I would think you would want a minimum of equipment in the tank, which sort of dictates an external reactor, like Rex Griggs design, but it also appears that a CO2 mist method, using an in-tank powerhead would help you get the best plant growth and keep the algae at bay better. (All of this is just my 2 cents worth)

Hoppy
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Rex, I can spell...it is just that I had knee surgery yesterday, and the meds make my fingers work like sausages, so please excuse my typing.
I emailed you before, my name is Lynn. I got the light setup and the CO2 setup on your recommendation. I frequent your site. I have no plans on doing the fishless cycle. I am trying the planted cycle as you described. Wish me luck. Semper Fi!
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Hoppy, your two cents are worth a lot.
I planned on doing pressurized CO2. The way I designed the stand, hoses and such with be drilled and routed through the top and run behind the media seating, so they really will not be visible.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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Oh Hoppy, I want a dark substrate
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 12:22 PM
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If you want a dark substrate then your two choices are Soilmaster or Eco-Complete. And I have a feeling that the Soilmaster might be kind of hard to get in NY.

Lynn,

That's my standard Sig. Means nothing.
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