My first serious planted tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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My first serious planted tank.

Hello everyone, This is my first post here although I have been lurking around for some time now. I am building a project tank that is 7 foot by 2 and 1/2 by 2 and 1/2 foot. It is going to be a planted discus tank. I have had experience with discus for a while now, But am pretty well an amateur when it comes to a planted tank to the likes of which I wish to achieve. I would like some input into the best way to go, and corrections with the Ideas that I have. I would like to use sand, with a soil base, although I am not entirely sure about the best base to use, I would like to be able to use co2, I have access to the parts as to be able to rig one up myself, (I'm a welder by trade) But would like some guidance in the specifics,, E.G dosage etc. I wish to use one large filter, but would like to split the output hose into 2 spray bars to lessen the current for my discus. I only want 1 filter so I can run it off an inverter when the power go's out. (fairly common in my area) Is this common, or should I use 2 or 3 smaller filters, Or Is a sump filter the best way to go? I would like to know the best plants to start with, I intend to use 4 metal halides but would like to know the recommended distance from the water to hang them. I use a UV sterilizer on my current discus tank, Is that recommended for a planted tank? And lastly, the golden question, whats the best way to combat the dreaded algae? ( I don't expect miracles, just some hints!) Please, any help would be much appreciated!!!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 01:29 PM
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I am also a NooB even though I have 30 years experience with tanks but here goes.

Most of your questions about algae, CO2 and landscaping can be answered in these articles, which I first overlooked when I joined this forum. Here is the link:
https://www.plantedtank.net/articles.php

I don't know what color your sand is in Australia but our sand is off white. If you use a soil base and cover it with white sand it can look pretty messy when the two get mixed up.

I used a soil and Flourite covered in black gravel. If it gets mixed up the soil should eventually "fall" between the gravel and if it doesn't they are the same color.

There is also a CO2 article in the above link. I plan on pirating the parts from a keg refrigerator I have at home. No more beer I'll just switch to Scotch.

Some say two small filters are better than one big one. Your tank will probably be around 150 plus gallons. You may need 2 or 3 filters but you could probably build your own sump for less.

Metal Halides produce tromendous amounts of heat. I think they recommend for them to be at least a foot away from the water with and open canopy so the heat will rise and escape. I have seen some people hang them from their ceilings.

Dreaded algae seems to be trial and error. You basically need the plants to outcompete the algae that is always lurking. An algae control team work. Small plecos, flying tigers, ghost shrimp.

Like I said check the above link. It is most helpful.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for that, That link has much useful information to guide me in the right direction. I would though be keen to here from people here about how they went about choosing and using there substrate. I have heard about the soil becoming anaerobic under sand, and would like to know how you guys stop this from happening.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 02:15 PM
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I have heard that some plant roots seek out anaerobic spots in order to grow beneficial bacteria.

I got a "C" in Botany so don't qoute me.

I chose my substrate according to what the LFS (Local Fish Store) had.

I used two 20 lb. bags of Flourite, one 20 lb. bag of Kahuna Soil, and covered it with 45 pounds of black gravel for a 90 gallon tank.

It is all black so if it ever gets mixed up, which it eventually will, it won't look ugly.

The substrate should provide fertilizer for 2 or 3 years. Keep in mind this is seperate from water column fertz. Which you will need with that much light and CO2.

I also heard that small snails also get into the substrate and areate it.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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Will you have access all the way around the tank? Or at least front and back? Scaping the back 9 might be hard with those dimensions.

Also why 7'? Is this to fit a certain spot? Otherwise most wood comes in 8' lengths, so if you are able to choose you could make your stand 8' and make the stand easy to build with less trim waste.

Can't wait to see some pics of your project!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 03:58 PM
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I really hadn't thought about the dimensions.

I hope you have some long arms.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I have made it as big as possible to fit along my dining room wall. I have made the stand, and the tank comes this weekend. I tried for 8 foot, but the wife intervened! I was hoping to use white/yellow sand on top, Is there a way of doing so without it mixing into a dirty brow mud coloured mix? Here is a pic of my stand![IMG][/IMG]
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 04:40 PM
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Very nice wood work and trim.

You could play hide n' go seek in there.

I'm also a DIYer.

The stands petshops sell are either crappy or way overpriced.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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do people who have sand find it messy? or dose it disturb badly when you try to clean the crap of the top? I am seriously debating on if I should used sand or fine gravel. I like the look of sand better cause it looks more natural.
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