Newbie planted tank questions (co2, lighting, etc) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-27-2013, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie planted tank questions (co2, lighting, etc)

Hi everyone I'm Jim, the new guy

I'm just embarking on my first properly planted tank and have been doing lots of reading along with shopping for parts. I've got a few questions I'm hoping you can all help me with, so it's probably best I start with the setup I've compiled:

-120L tank with external Boyu EF200 canister filter.
-Fertilised sustrate (about 3cm deep) with 10cm of sand on top
- 2x 24w T5 Juwel lights
- 1x 100+LED super bright aquarium light (apparently quite good on its own!)
- 5KG co2 fire extinguisher with a DIY valve setup which seems to work quite well at controlling bubble count
- Boyu ceramic diffuser (looks a bit like a smokers pipe).

I'm planning on having a carpet of dwarf hairgrass along with various background plants and was hoping you could answer the following:


1) What is an ideal depth for the substrate? I read somewhere that plants don't like it too deep.

2) How many hours a day should I keep the lights on for?

3) As my CO2 setup doesn't have a solenoid for switching it off I was planning on either:
a) Manually locking the handle down during the day and taking it off at night - but I'm not sure if the handle of a fire extingisher has a finite number of presses?
b) Running the CO2 24/7

4) I hear that an airstone can be beneficial at night? I imagine if i'm injecting co2 24/7 this may also be helpful at replenishing some of the o2 in the tank for the fish?

5) I'm wondering how best to inject the co2:
a) Position a ceramic diffuser directly below the intake
b) Inject the co2 directly into the intake without a diffuser
c) Get a reactor
...and would these methods also benefit if I were to use a submerged spraybar pointing downwards towards the plants.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-27-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimxms View Post
1) What is an ideal depth for the substrate? I read somewhere that plants don't like it too deep.
2 - 3 inches is a good depth for most plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimxms View Post
2) How many hours a day should I keep the lights on for?
6-8 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimxms View Post
3) As my CO2 setup doesn't have a solenoid for switching it off I was planning on either:
a) Manually locking the handle down during the day and taking it off at night - but I'm not sure if the handle of a fire extingisher has a finite number of presses?
b) Running the CO2 24/7
Option B is better; you might forget to lock the handle down one day (or forget to open it), which could lead to inconsistent CO2. Also, it's a hassle.

You can also consider getting a solenoid in the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimxms View Post
4) I hear that an airstone can be beneficial at night? I imagine if i'm injecting co2 24/7 this may also be helpful at replenishing some of the o2 in the tank for the fish?
Yes, running an airstone at night can help off gas any CO2, preventing it from accumulating to dangerous levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimxms View Post
5) I'm wondering how best to inject the co2:
a) Position a ceramic diffuser directly below the intake
b) Inject the co2 directly into the intake without a diffuser
c) Get a reactor
...and would these methods also benefit if I were to use a submerged spraybar pointing downwards towards the plants.
A or C would be the better options. A submerged spraybar to push around the bubbles (option A) would help dissolve a little more CO2.

Anthony


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