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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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A newcomer seeking advice

Hello everybody,

I'm new to these forums and to the field of planted tanks as a whole, but over the last couple of weeks I have been reading through your posts and as many articles pertaining to the subject as I can find. All I can think about is planning my first tank! I do naturally have a few questions, however, and I figured there is no better place to turn than here. I am doing a ten gallon setup, and I am on a budget of around $125 to start out with. I'd like to spend as much of that as I can on healthy fish and plants, but I am aware that I will need a reliable C02 system and strong lighting. I figured the most practical option for a beginner is the Hagen Natural C02 System, but I don't have any ideas for the appropriate lighting. Should 40 watts be sufficient for growing glosso or marsilea minuta (haven't decided yet, heard the latter was easier)? I am looking at this fixture - does anyone here have any experience with it, and can it be found for a better price? That is just an idea, so any other suggestions would be highly appreciated. This tank will not be planted very heavily, but I do want to have a healty amount of light reaching the floor cover.

I'd also like to hear how you would spend $125 on starting a new tank, including all of the necessary equipment. This will help me get an idea of how to best distribute my budget.

Thank you for any advice you may have for me. If you have any pointers please let me know! I look forward to becoming an active member of this community.

- Hunter
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 08:55 AM
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If you buy that fixture in it's current configuration, you'll only have 20 watts of usable light. The Actinic 20 watts will be useless for your plants. You can always buy a replacement to get all light between 5500K and 10000K but that's more money. You can find Coralife fixtures w/ 6700K and full spectrum daylights for around $40-50 if you look hard enough and that'll probably do a better job for you. HTH.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 09:08 AM
 
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You can go with a low tech planted tank, which is allot cheaper. You won't need to worry about CO2 or high lights and maybe no ferts as well.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. The only Coralife fixture I could find that fits a ten gallon tank is 28 watts. How would marsilea minuta do in that amount of light?

There are 24" fixtures that offer 65 watts as well, but I'm not sure that I want to do any more than ten gallons just yet.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 11:23 AM
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No experience with that particulary species but 2.8 WPG with good reflectors will be sufficient to grow any of the hight light plants I've ever come accros. If you have trouble with growing it, lighting will not be the reason.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 12:07 PM
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Marsilea doesn't really need much light, so I think it should be fine. What I'm going to do with my 10 gal for lighting is get a incandescent hood and throw in 2 CFL bulbs in there, probably 27 watts each. And for substrate, use Soil Master Select, Shultz Aquatic Soil, Oil Dri, and maybe some other cheap ones. They work well for budget substrates(I'm using oil dri). And not sure about filtration, but I use a aqua tec 10.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, after some debating I've decided to go ahead and go with a fifteen gallon tank, just to give myself a little more depth and a few more options when it comes to accessories and plant growth. I decided on this:

24" Coralife Freshwater Aqualight
Single Linear Strip Compact Fluorescent Fixture
(65W Total)


It's $60, but I figure it will be worth it when the tank is getting 4.8 watts per gallon. My intentions are to grow a glosso tank, but I'm a little hesitant. Is it as hard to work with as everyone says? I'm planning on doing it emersed, as Tom Barr's thread suggests, so I'm left wondering if the difficulty is in getting the initial cover to grow, or if maintaining it underwater is the hassle. What ferts would you suggest? The tank will be planted with Eco (I'd prefer ADA AS, but I'm not sure that I can afford it at this point).
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 01:52 PM
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Only trouble I've ever had w/ my Glosso is keeping it in the substrate. Once is starts to root, however, it's absolutely painless. I was re-planting about 5-10 pieces per day for about a week or maybe a little longer but then I started to get a few patches that were spreading. Biggest pita with it was planting each individual "leaf" after I cut them all up to get it to cover the foreground. I planted them about 1/2" square pattern. There are a few bald spots where the plantings didn't take but I've got lots of areas that are spreading very nicely so in a few weeks, I'm going to cut some runners of of them and fill in the bald spots. It's really not that hard to work with at all. Tedious but not hard. Other thing I've learned with it is if I were to have planted it in a much finer substrate, I don't think I would have had any problems at all. Mines probably 3-5 mm. I'm going to transfer all my stuff from my 30G long that's only 13" tall to my 29G that's 18"ish tall to give my stems more room and when I do (as soon as I've saved up enough money for lighting on the 30" tank) I'm going to switch to Fluorite Black Sand. Watched an aquascaping demo this past weekend (thanks GWAPA crew, great show!) and they were using it. Planting in this stuff was a cinch!!!!
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Last edited by Tdon1md; 08-22-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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