From Big fish to Aquascape help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MStars30's Avatar
 
PTrader: (30/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 140
Cool From Big fish to Aquascape help

Hello, I am brand new to your forums and you all come highly recommended. =) First of all my situation... I just recently sent my 16" silver arowana off to a new home from my tiny 55 gal to a nice new 500 gal. In the past I have done African Cichlids and then most recently the Arowana who grew from a baby to HUGE! However now I want peaceful fish and will attempt to "aquascape" as I LOVE the planted tank look. Getting started now I have a 55 gal to work with, and just starting off I built a nice hood and to start have 2 Flora Sun like 30 W bulbs and 1 Tropic Sun 30 W bulb. All 3 are 3 foot bulbs. I have been reading alot and looking at pictures etc etc. 1st, wondering if this lighting setup will be adequate for some nice ground cover stuff and some mid height stuff and a few tall plants. To me the planted tank noobie this seems like alot of light, but in the past all I have dealth with is fishies not plants ^^. Also I don't have reflectors or anything yet and was wondering what is the best to use. I don't want to spend a ton as I am on a budget but would take suggestions for reasonable stuff to use as reflectors. I have patience for stuff growing, but obviously don't want stuff to die if I'm not using near enough light. Sorry that I am rambling on but it's alot of info I am reading and hard to soak it all in at once. I would like all the advice I can get to start out. Right now the tank is full of water but empty to do with whatever I want. Just a few nonsense fish to keep my bacteria from starving. Tank just cycling away. Fresh slate to work with help me out. Thanks again and sorry if you read this horribly long post.

Nice to meet you all, very impressive everything I have read so far.

Matt from Michigan
MStars30 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:46 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
jaidexl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (42/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 33919
Posts: 3,500
first off, bravo on getting the arowana into a 500gl


with 90 watts you only have 1.6wpg (90/55=1.63)

you're going to be hard pressed to get a carpet effect on the floor without having close to 3wpg, but shouldn't have too much problem with some grasses like dwarf sag. just make sure you research the plants you want and verify that they're low light and you'll be fine. to get the floor really going carpet style you'll need, i'd say, at least 150 watts of light, Co2, and ferts.

i'm not much of a lighting retro-fitter, so i can't answer the reflector Q.
jaidexl is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MStars30's Avatar
 
PTrader: (30/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 140
Wink good start

Thanks for my very first reply to my post. Seems like a good start. Now my problem seems like....I just mounted a ballast setup for 3 , 3 foot bulbs... which if I am correct I can only get in like 30W as the highest. So with this lighting setup there is no possible way I can increase the wattage?
MStars30 is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 10:26 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
skiboarder72's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 450
get metal halide or compact floursecent lighting


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
skiboarder72 is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 12:36 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
medicineman's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Posts: 1,461
Send a message via Yahoo to medicineman
Get AHS under hood retrofit kit. I've read this over again and again as the best option for retrofit category. The bulbs are correct and what I heard the reflector is top notch. That way you need not change the tank if you want to keep it looking the same.

Lets wait for fellow AHS users to pop up and get you the details....


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
medicineman is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 02:47 PM
Algae Grower
 
AquaGhost's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: RI
Posts: 29
I've just retrofitted my 55 gal "regular" hood (2 20W flour. bulbs) with the 2x55W kit from AHS (= 110Watts). The kit works really well and easy to install. However, it seems like you are already having some kind of custom light set already. So it may be a good idea to check their web site (Compact Fluorescent Lighting Kits) for the dimensions of the various kits if you want to go that route...

I've just found and joined this forum. Been keeping fish for over 20 years but a total beginner at plants. My plant tank looks like a weed garden right now , but I get a lot of inspiration from the tanks of many members here...
AquaGhost is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 03:32 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 148
Short on $$? LIKE ME?
You could overdrive... I am using 2 4ft T8's powered by a 4 bulb ballast wired in parallel. This puts me effectively at 108watts @55gallons. vs [email protected]
$15shop light - and it fits snugly inside a homemade hood
$7 2 bulbs 6700K
$25 4xt8 ballast
frostby is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 04:47 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,984
Hi Matt, welcome to PTforums. Nice to have another michigander....which part? It's a great forums with kind but talented people!

First, before you buy ANY plants just get your equipment and substrate set up. Lighting is a big part, but not the ONLY part! Second....don't buy them! Get them from the swap-n-shop here at PT. Just post in that forum and say you are a plant newb!

You will do okay with 3 - 30 watt bulbs, but kiss nice glosso/riccia foregrounds goodbye. That's not enough light at all for those plants, sorry . Also, you will *greatly* improve the useable light in the tank by getting some reflectors. What are the bulbs mounted in now? Picture?

If you stick with that amount of light, you can have a gorgeous planted tank and won't have to worry much about fertilization or CO2. Not only that, but you won't have to trim them all the time . I would suggest Java Fern, Cryptocorynes, Anubias, Ambulia, maybe rotala rotundifolia. As for a low-light ground cover....you can attach (with yarn or fishing line) a bunch of thin-layered java moss to your slate, then lay it flat on the foreground. It takes a while to fill in, but when it does it looks nice.

Oh yea, take the time to read Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks!!!!

Good luck,
esarkipato is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:35 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
tundragirl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (95/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 670
Welcome Matt

IMO the lighting you have is a good place to start out and actually there are a lot of plants that can be grown at that light. Things I've had good luck with are Java fern, hygrophilia species, penny wort, crypts, amazon swords, mosses, myriophillium (spelling?) althernanthera reinecki, dwarf sag, & giant hairgrass. Low light is a good place to start as it's easier and not as much work.
That's where I am at right now, I have since added a tank with DIY co2 and a little more lighting=a lot more pruning.

Check out the low tech section for more info-and good luck.

Cynthia
tundragirl is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:49 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,231
Turn the 500 into a planted too!! Aros are great planted tank residents for being so big.
Steven_Chong is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MStars30's Avatar
 
PTrader: (30/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 140
Wink you guys are good

Wow all kinds of good stuff to read when I got on today, you guys are great. Thanks for welcoming me to your site, already learning. As far as a few things mentioned above... I heard metal halide lights aren't the way to go really ? Also, as of now I just have the 3 lights mounted on the underside of the oak hood that I built. They are directly over the middle of the tank about 6 inches above the water. Thank you for all the plant suggestions so far, I'll look into all those. I do have the stock 4 foot lighting hood that came with the tank to begin with.... could I take that apart and mount that ballast and those sockets on my hood also and just run another 3 footer? After adding another 30 W bulb, would that be enough to grow any ground cover carpet type plants at that point? O and I'm in Grand Rapids, MI =). Again you guys are amazing and I look forward to talking, learning, getting to know you more in the forums.

Thank you Thank you

Matt in Michigan
MStars30 is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2006, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MStars30's Avatar
 
PTrader: (30/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 140
Cool also

I guess with my setup I'm kissing stuff like glosso goodbye which seems to be popular. However I found this Hemianthus C stuff (pardon my spelling if wrong) and wondering if I could possibly grow that alright instead as carpet cover over time. Also wondering If it's possible to use a 3 ft. bulb with a ballast that came with a 4 foot stock tank hood light, if I just mount the sockets 3 ft apart then I can add 30 more watts so I'd have 4 30 watt tropic sun, flora sun etc type bulbs. Pardon my noobie questions but thanks again for all you answering. I'm getting addicted by the minute =/

Last edited by MStars30; 10-21-2006 at 06:55 AM.
MStars30 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome