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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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1st time poster would like opinions...

Hi, my name is Joe and I would like to pick your brains for a second please. I am in the process if setting up a freshwater/planted tank. My tank is a 59gal 36x19x20. I have purchased 6 bags of eco-complete. I have also purchsed a eheim 2026 canister filter. I have not actually set up anything yet. I have a dilemma about my lights.

I have a icecap 660 electronic VHO ballast. (this tank used to be a reef tank, but I upgradded a few years ago to a larger tank) I would like to stay with the VHO since it is already available to me. Plus, this ballast will run normal output bulbs as well as the VHO. I was thinking of wiring the ballast to run two 24 inch tubes (75 watts each)= 150 watts= 2.54 wpg.

I first was going to go with two 36 in bulbs (96 watts each) = 192 watts = 3.25 wpg, but decided against it because I am not sure I will be able to start up with a pressurized Co2 system. I like the options I have of adding more light in the future if I want to. So, my next roadblock is the bulbs. I know URI has a Daylight bulb, and I have read about success with some GE bulgs you can buy at Home depot or Lowes, but does anyone here have any suggestions for me.

As stated above I currently have a reef tank (100 gal). I used to have a freshwater tank with Discus and plants. It was a low tech setup with the DIY Co2 bottles. I just have been out of the loop of freshwater since the saltwater bug bit me several years ago.

This may be the most stupid question of all...but let me set it up. In the past when I had a freshwater tank the water supply was a well. So I did not have to worry with conditioning the water because of chlorine or any of that. I just used a python system and took water out and put some right back in, very easy. However now, chlorine is an issue because our water is from the city. Will I not be able to add it directly to the tank then add the chlorine nutralizers? Will the chlorine be that harmful that fast?

With my saltwater tank, I use an RO/DI unit, but after researching this for freshwater I have read that it is easier to use the tap water if at all possible. To keep from having to re-condition the water to add the minerals back. Well, I have taken enough of your time for one day. Hope you guys and gals can offer some advise. I do not want to set this up and have to change everything, I am trying to go slow and do it right the first time. Thanks again.

Joe
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 09:17 PM
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Welcome back to the planted world Joe!

Sounds like you are still in the planning stages, my suggestion would be to look into T5 bulbs. For a 3ft tank, I would not use 2ft bulbs, but 3ft T5 bulbs, which the Icecap will drive to ~39W ea. Three of them, combined with good T5 reflectors, should get you plenty of light into the tank. Once you have pressurized CO2 cranking, you could add a 4th bulb+reflector.

T5's will give your more light/watt than T12's...

Regarding the de-chlor, when you start to refill your tank you just add the recommended dosage... no big deal.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply. I may look into the T5's.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 11:04 AM
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A good advice is to get that pressurized CO2 before starting up! Its a big (bigish) cost but worth it all. A lot of algae problems is caused due to lack of plants and ferts (incl. CO2) After I tried pressurized, i switched the DIY yeast system out with one on my 14gal... Just because its so stabel and easy to use.
One of the best things i learned is to get all the stuff before even considering adding water...
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