New to tanks. Planning 75 G planted. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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New to tanks. Planning 75 G planted.

Hello,

First off let me just say this forum is an amazing resource and I have been reading it a lot ;-)

I am completely new to aquariums/fish tanks and am jumping in head first. I purchased a 75 Gallon 48X18X21 inch aquarium and plan on having a planted freshwater aquarium.

For lights I have 240 watts of regular output t12 lamps 6500K.

I am thinking of purchasing a Rena Filstrar XP3 for filtration. Any comments or suggestions on that?

I plan on using pressurized Co2 and was planning on using a rex style reactor because of the simple design and esecially because it keeps the hardware out of the tank. I used to play paint ball so was thinking about using the paintball cylinder for co2 but was curious how long they lasted. Anyone use a paintball cylinder for co2? If so what size tank and about how long does it last you?

I plan on using a 300 watt inline heater again to keep the hardware out of the tank. Lastly I was thinking about buying a plant starter kit from Aqua Botanic Aquarium Plants Sales and Forums or a similiar site. Is this recomended or should I buy individually.

Lastly, I plan on stocking the aquarium with many small fish. I'll plan on starting a journal and posting pics as I go. It'll be a slow process as this hobby isn't cheap ;-) Any comment or suggestions would be aprecciated !!!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 12:27 AM
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Robert at Aquabotanic is a great person to send your buisness. He will never steer you wrong. My first package came from him two years ago or so. You can call him and see what he has in stock or pending arival. Best not to focus on a scape just yet. Just focus on keeping a bunch of stem plants happy for a while then thin out the stems and start collecting other plants. Mixing slow growers and fast growers in a newly cycled tank can get hard.

Rena is not my preffered filter but it may work for you.

As for the 75 and using a paint ball canister. You'll last no more than two weeks IMO depending on the reactor efficiancy. Go get at minimum a 5g CO2 tank and appropriate regulator. If doing DIY make sure you put a good check valve on the CO2 input to the Reactor, trust me. Each time I want back for more CO2 i upgraded the bottle to the next larger size. I can fit a 20g under my stand so that is where I'm at lately. It's lasted at least 6 months at this point. Last time I moved the cylinder it was pretty light so I'm almost due.

Rex had most of the check valves and regulator parts available in the past. PM him and see what he may have on hand. He's another person you won't have to worry about. Top knotch HW advice.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 02:58 AM
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best advice is to not rush things, read alot and plan everything out, it will save you time, money and fustration


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 08:31 AM
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This will cost you an extra 40 or $50, but don't bother buying a JBJ or Milwaukee regulator "all in one" setup... meaning regulator, solenoid, needlevalve, bubblecounter etc. Just get Rex's regulator or the similar "best regulator" from Aquariumplants.com, which is pretty much Rex's regulator with a bubble counter above a Clippard check valve. Both are really good regulators/all in one or "almost" all in one setups.

If you get Rex's regulator (Rexgrigg.com) you'll need to make or buy a bubble counter such as the good one by Aquamedic (aka Aqualine Busche - Aqualine Bubble Counter). With either of these rigs, you won't have to buy another one in a year or two. But you will have to if you purchase one of those cheap JBJs or Milwaukee "all in one" rigs made in China! This is from personal experience X2. I highly recommend dealing with Rex or Aquariumplants.com for this component.





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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks for the info. I have contacted rex through email about his regulator already and I probably will go that route. Thanks for the info about the stemmed plants. I was figuring the paintball co2 wouldn't last that long. Oh well guess I'll bite the bullet and get a bigger tank. I may have just fell into some money so I might get an eheim instead. We'll see how nicely ebay treats me on these bears ticket sales;-)
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate, test kits, and one more filter question

Any suggestions on substrate. Can you suggest a cheaper solution than just buying 6 bags of flourite, or a billion bags of eco complete. Also, why does eco complete take so many more bags to get the desired depth than flourite when theres more poundage in a bag? Is it just finer or more dense?

Okay, also I was looking at filters and have narrowed it down to a few choices. I was going to go either with a filstrar xp4 (my tickets sold ;-)) or an 2 XP2's. I thought the dual inlets and outlets of the dual XP2's might be a better option. Also, I want to do an inline heater but will need two to get my desired wattage. I guess I could always hook two heaters up in the same line. Please let me know what you think.

Lastly, what test kits should I buy. I heard the iron kits and co2 kits are useless because they are inaccurate. From what I can tell I need PH, GH/KH, Phosphate, ammonia, chlorine and chloramine(for my tap water, which I plan on using amquel for), and nitrates and nitrites. Any others you can think of, and any brands to stay away from?

I have the money now its just a matter of researching until my eyes bleed
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 10:01 PM
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One suggestion on the filters. Do a little research on this site on the Odyssea CSF4 or Jebo 828/838 filters. They are known as Eheim knockoffs (along with several others) and in my opinion provide great filtration for the money. I've got two of the Jebo units on my 75 gal and have been really happy with them. Should be able to snag 2 of them for around $120 shipped on Ebay.

As far as substrate goes....look into Soilmaster Select and Turface. They are two low cost options. Plenty of threads about them on this forum.

For lighting....240w of T12 lighting over a 75gal is alot of bulbs. Do you have any kind of reflectors? With no reflectors and bulbs crammed together you won't be getting much usable light into the aquarium. Look into DIY T5 or ahsupply.com for lighting. Good refelctors really are the key.

As others have said, take it slow and do plenty of research. It will save you money in the long run.



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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:45 AM
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Eco is more dense than flourite, so yes it takes a bit more. Both eco and flourite are very good though.

My favorite substrate these days is actually something that is made to top baseball diamonds. It is sold by Lesco (their website is helpful in finding locations) and it is called Soilmaster Select Pro (I like the charcoal color). It is much lighter than eco and flourite, but it firms up and packs down after awhile. It also grows plants VERY well. The best part of all is the price. A 50 lb bag is $11-$17 - you can't beat that!!!

As far as test kits though... they are useful but can be horribly inaccurate. Generally hobby grade test kits can only tell you (some, little, lots). I personally wouldn't spend the money. Do some research on the EI method of dosing. It is a way to make sure that your plants have plenty of what they need through daily dosing, and making sure that no levels build up by doing weekly water changes. It pretty much eliminates the need for testing. Your plants are the best indicators of water chemistry. If it would make you feel better to have the test kit, then go for it, but it isn't something that you NEED. Also, for an inexpensive way to dose fertilizer, check out Aquarium Plants, Aquatic Plants, Planted Aquariums, and Aquarium Plant Fertilizer - he sells dry ferts by the pound which lends itself VERY well to the EI method. Makes stuff very easy - and inexpensive!


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thank you for this information. I went and did a little research and found a good article on the barr report about it. It seems like a tough regimen but a fairly straight forward one. Theres a lesco not far from me it turns out so I'll probably give them a call today and price a bag.

It seems like very little of the ferts will get used at a time. How many pounds of the stuff do you by in one shot?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 01:43 PM
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I would buy a lb of each: Potassium nitrate, Potassium sulfate, Monopotassium phosphate, CSM+B, Iron.

The macros will last you about a year, the micros (last two) will last you even longer!


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 12:06 AM
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the welcome.

Okay another question. I haven't tested my tap water for chlorine yet but I live in town and am almost positive its got chlorine. I plan on taking care of this with "seachem prime." That being said I am not looking forward to water changes because I am assuming i will have to dose 5 gallon buckets and put the water back in. This will be seven 5 gallon buckets full of water everyweek. While this is not a horrible thing certainly you guys that have been in the hobby for a while have come up with a solution.

I don't want to go with RO water do to the cost.

I was wondering since my 1st floor bathroom is directly next to the room my tank will be in so could I fill my tub (which we don't use. We got a shower and tub upstairs that is our main bathroom.) with water, treat it with the "Prime" and then create some sort of contraption like a simple water pump and hose to pump it into the tank? The aquarium and stand is just over 50" tall. Will a standard water pump handle this? I've also heard of people doing this with their canister filters is this recommended?

Do any of you have any better suggestions to help me refill my tank after water changes using tap water?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 01:35 PM
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You're going on the assumption that you have to treat the water before you put it in. Some people swear by this... but other lazier people like me have been just squirting in the dechlor as we refill. I have done this for almost 9 years and have never lost a fish due to chlorine. We talked about this at my local club, and the vast majority of people (especially the ones with larger tanks) just squirt in the dechlor and let it mix around as it fills.

If you want a quick and easy way to do water changes without ANY buckets, check this out! You don't need the RO unit, you can just hook it up to the sink:
Fellowship of the Fish &bull; View topic - 004 - Water filtration/storage/distribution system [ Guest ]
and a modified version:
Circle City Aquarium Club Forums-viewtopic-Water filtration/storage/distribution

A "Python" also does something similar. You can make a DIY Python by just buying the replacement parts at PXtsMart and buying the hose at a hardware store and putting it together yourself.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Wow that one water change system is a little more involved then I plan on getting;-)

So you add the water and then treat huh? No deaths? I guess I'll give that a go then. Sounds a bit easier anyway.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 01:16 AM
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So you add the water and then treat huh? No deaths? I guess I'll give that a go then. Sounds a bit easier anyway.
Just add the dechlor AS you fill, and you won't have any problems, really. Seachem Prime is a good choice.

Also, do yourself a real favor and buy a Python water changer (basically a long hose with an adapter to hook up to a sink/faucet for a no-spill waterchange). They are available at most larger petstores..you'll be glad you got one.

Also, about the substrate question above, EcoComplete is not only denser, but it ships in water thus making it heavier per bag.
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