I am New in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - HELP with Setup.. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Post I am New in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - HELP with Setup..

Hi All,

I have closed down my Marine tank of many year (5-6 Years) and am now setting up a Planted Tank.. I have a few bits already and I am after some more info....



Currently, I have;
*4x2x2 Display Tank
*4x1x1 Sump with Bio Tower

*6kg CO2 Bottle
*Reg, Solenoid, Needle etc
*WeirPro PH Controller - I have set to PH7.0
*I have connected the CO2 hose to inject into the inlet of the return pump from the sump, so CO2 bubble is mixed in by the time it travels 2-3 meters to main tank.

*2 x 250wt MH 6K lamps
*2 x T5 (Atinic? Blue (will change to Plant Grow?)


Now for My Questions

? What PH should I select to find a good middle ground?
? Is running a sump a good or Bad Idea? It can be sealed...
? Substrate - To Many Options... I want a cheap, yet good substrate option?

Thanks All....
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 08:14 AM
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Hi.

Sumps are OK for planted tanks. I have one. You do use more co2, thats the only down side. Can you remove the bio tower, as its not needed. This is where most of the co2 will be lost.

IMO 2x250w MH will be too much

You will want around 30ppm of co2. So to achieve this your ph shoud be around 6.6 and your kh 4

If you want cheap substrate and don't want to use the commercial products, then a dark gravel from most lfs and a layer of laterite underneath the substrate should do well.

Try here for the aussie way. www.aquariumlife.com.au
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 09:35 AM
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you here too, Shake?

Adriaan,

I largly agree with Shake. These are my answers to your questions:

Ideal pH: I like to have a carbonate hardness in the range 3 - 5 deg kH. Depending on your water supply you may have to add bicarbonate of soda to lift it into this range. I then add enough CO2 to obtain a pH of 6.7-6.9. ie just a little on the acidic side of neutral so the inhabitants will be happy and combined with the kH you know you will be getting a good CO2 level.

Wet-dry filter: These are OK but the only downside is they bleed CO2, particularly the overflow. If you are happy to use more CO2 then there is no disadvantage. I myself have a converted reef to planted tank with a large trickle filter and the tank does well.

Substrate: I agree with inert gravel (2-3mm particle size) mixed with laterite in it's lower third to half. In some parts of Australia you can go out and dig up the laterite but not in Tassie as far as I'm aware. You can buy laterite (Dupla sells it).

Light power: If you use the 2*250 Watt bulbs then ensure the tank is densely planted... if it isn't then algae is hard to control. If it is densely planted (I mean hard to see any substrate looking from above) then it should be OK... my converted reef tank has 400W over 500 litres.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Thanks - Good to hear from some local Oz Guys...

OK - So why is the Bio Tower Not needed?

My Sump has 2 dividers (3 chambers)
Bio Tower in the first one (will pull out)
Then a dead sand bed (should I remove this??)
Then the chamber where I have my Drain Pump, Heater, and Probe..

So Laterite (how deep?) under gravel = Cool!

With My return from the sump - should it return high up in the tank - Currently, Having bean my marine tank, it comes in to the tank, then drops down to the bottom and exits at substrate level (it had live rock over it once)

I few pics of my Marine setup are here - http://picasaweb.google.com.au/adriaanvh/AquariumPics and you will be able to see the sump room too - But now changing to the planted tank..

Can I use ANY drift wood in the tank?

Thanks Again..
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 10:43 AM
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Remove the biotower. Keep all of your filter material in the sump, under water. It's the trickle over the bioballs that degass most of the co2. If you seal it, it will help, but it's not needed. Trust me, I had one and recently got rid of it. Saving heaps of co2 and it's easilier to keep it at a level that I want.

Get rid of the DSB.

Laterite around 2-5cm is plenty. Then another layer of 7-10cm of clean gravel.

I prefer the return line high in the tank, pointing slightly down. Aslo important that if power failure, it wont drain the tank. VERY IMPORTANT

Try to avoid soft wood. Will rot quickly. Some woods need to be avoided altogether. Most driftwoods from lfs should be OK. I prefer to collect my own along the beah where I live.

Hi Pumpkinate. I'm everywhere. I'm a forum junkie
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Sand Filters

OK - What about a sand filter that can be backwashed? Are they a good way to save on Filter Wool etc...

Have the Inlet to the filter come in on top of the sand bed in the filter (so not a fluid bed filter) - and then run the water back from under it to clean the sand?

Thoughts?
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 10:53 AM
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Like a pool. Sorry adriaan, can't help there. I don't now much about sand filters.

I should get my wife on here. She manages a council run pool, and is an expert on their filtration. She would know about sand filters and backwashing.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
OK - What about a sand filter that can be backwashed? Are they a good way to save on Filter Wool etc...

Have the Inlet to the filter come in on top of the sand bed in the filter (so not a fluid bed filter) - and then run the water back from under it to clean the sand?

Thoughts?
I've never seen this done in a sump. But I can tell you I've seen large private aquariums using swimming pool sand filters and they result in very clear water.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
OK - What about a sand filter that can be backwashed? Are they a good way to save on Filter Wool etc...

Have the Inlet to the filter come in on top of the sand bed in the filter (so not a fluid bed filter) - and then run the water back from under it to clean the sand?

Thoughts?
Sooner or later you are going to have to change the sand as it will get dirty like a pool filter so i don't think you will save much in the long run.
Are you going to use the DSB?
IMO I cannot see it be of any value

You can always add but never take.

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Aussie Style
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 11:19 AM
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I wonder if gravity would be sufficient to keep all the water flowing through the sand bed? The sand couldn't be too fine. The swimming pool filters suffer a pressure drop across the sand bed. What do you think?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2007, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Design

I think that gravity would work, however, it would be to slow...

I build a lot of stuff out of plastic and PVC for people (sumps, Overflows etc) and I would love to try a design ;

I will dream up a design and post here soon - The idea with the back flush is that you do it once a week.. They last for a LONG time (2-3 years) as the flush cleans the sand and dirty water goes down the drain...

You only replace the sand when it starts to loose its sharp edges, as then it packs down too tight, and water can't make it through any more.... This sand is Cheap as chips from local Pool suppliers....

Leave it with me...
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Florite Vs Laterite

Hi - What is better under the substrate? What is the difference?

Cheers
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