New 20 gal long... substrate/lighting questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
naX
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New 20 gal long... substrate/lighting questions

Hi all!

I just picked up a new 20 gallon long and a bag of flourite. I have a few questions before I continue, though. Please keep in mind that I have a limited budget.

1) With the bag of flourite I have, I managed a substrate bed of 1". Is this fine or do I need more? If I need more, can I put pool filter sand or pea gravel on top of it and still be alright?

2) I've been looking for some lights. I want to grow medium light plants or very low end high light plants. I REALLY like those ones that stand up over the aquariums, but I can't seem to find them. I'm not using a hood on this tank, unless the lighting I buy is either really cheap or comes complete. So, please recommend the wattage I would need (I'd guess 50+) and, if possible, a manufacturer. I'm open to any suggestions on this topic.

Once I get all my Q's answered, I'll be making a journal thread for any further inquiries. Thanks in advance!!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naX
Hi all!

I just picked up a new 20 gallon long and a bag of flourite. I have a few questions before I continue, though. Please keep in mind that I have a limited budget.

1) With the bag of flourite I have, I managed a substrate bed of 1". Is this fine or do I need more? If I need more, can I put pool filter sand or pea gravel on top of it and still be alright?
1" of substrate is not enough. 2-3" is recomended. I have been using the Shultz Aquatic Soil from lowes for $4.99 for a 10lb bag. The only problem is, that it is rather light weight and tends to make planting harder. you could use it under your flourite. Also, it is sorta a clay/orange color which some poeple do not like. Its cheap and works on a budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by naX
2) I've been looking for some lights. I want to grow medium light plants or very low end high light plants. I REALLY like those ones that stand up over the aquariums, but I can't seem to find them. I'm not using a hood on this tank, unless the lighting I buy is either really cheap or comes complete. So, please recommend the wattage I would need (I'd guess 50+) and, if possible, a manufacturer. I'm open to any suggestions on this topic.

Once I get all my Q's answered, I'll be making a journal thread for any further inquiries. Thanks in advance!!!!
The coralife 65w light would do you fine for a 20gal, expecially a 20long. However they are not the cheapest buggers around, you can probably get one for $60. 65w is going to give you high light so you should also incorporate DIY co2 if your on a budget.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 12:31 AM
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http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2=

this link will take you to big als where you can get the cheap coralife fixture. It will definately give you more oomph, and I will second the recommendation that you supplement with CO2.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
naX
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Thanks Sarah. I do have plans for CO2 (pressurized) and all that. In fact, that's where I kinda blew most of the budget. I went light on substrate and lighting. I went light on lighting because on my 29 gal, I have a 4X ODNO strip light that I COULD use if I have to. My 29 gal used to be planted, but now is just a nice goldie tank that doesn't really need the light.

Thanks for the link!!!!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Alright. So I'm going to Lowes/Home Depot today for some garden stuff (for the wife). I'm thinking of looking at sand as well. Can someone quickly answer if I will be ok with adding a sand layer (~1") on top of my 1" layer of flourite?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 02:32 PM
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Absolutely fine. They will mix eventually but there's absolutely nothing wrong with this.

If you CAN, find a sand with bigger grain sizes than playsand. Examples are
-pool filter sand, also known as silica sand
-blasting sand, as used in sandblasting (lol)
-you could also go Solace's route and add the shultz's aqautic soil on top of the fluorite. I just went looking this past weekend and it's right by all the other gardening soils.

good luck!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 02:36 PM
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I saw someone on APC use a screen mesh to divide the sand and flourite. they cut holes in the mesh to place plants in.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 03:53 PM
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naX,
About the light. I changed to a 55 gal a few months ago from a 20gal long. I currently have the 30" JBJ light with the legs that I was using on the 20 for sale on ebay. PM me if you are interested. It is the DX model with two 65watt lamps on seperate switches.

JR
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