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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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75G suggestions

I have a 75G set up that has been housing SA Cichlids for about 3 years. I think I've decided to oust the cich's and go planted since I've enjoyed my 30G so over the past 8 or 9 months. I'm going to try to get some SMS tomorrow although I've been told by Lesco corp office that the Charcoal is no longer available. Their website says there's 7 bags of it sitting a my local Lesco dealer so we'll see. Will a 50 lb bag be enough for my 75G tank? I'd like to start w/ about 3 or 4 inches up front and slope the back to 5 or 6 inches, perhaps more on one side. Or will I need 2 bags to do that. Never worked with the stuff so no clue how far it will go.

I'm also considering getting one of these:

260 Watt PC CHEAP!!!

I'm assuming I'll have to do pressure CO2 with this much light although I really didn't want to. I've got an F405 running currently along with an AC110 and a Whisper 60. I'll do away with the two HOB's and just run the F405 after I oust the Cichlids. Not sure what Fauna I'll go with though. I just bought some Rams for my 30G and they're AWESOME. I may have to go with some of them Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 07:33 AM
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I think you might need 1 1/2 bags. Buy 2 and return if you don't use it?
And I've also heard those lights are pretty crappy. Really loud fan and they like melt, lol.

And yeah, I would use co2.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 11:47 AM
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One bag will do a good 3"-4" slope in a 75.

When I got my SMS here a month or so ago they said they could order all I wanted. I told them I only wanted 1-2 bags tops and they ordered 11 just to have some in stock.

I'm reading more and more remarks though from different members here along the lines of "there is none available" or "it's being discontinued" so time will tell I guess.

On a side note, if they do in fact have 4 bags it might not be a bad idea to get them all if you can afford it.(They were on sale when I bought mine for 11 bucks and odd change)
You could either have plenty for future projects, or a stash that might be a sought after product soon enough.(I've been considering going back and buying a few more bags myself)


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, for the record, I'm an idiot. They don't have 4 bags in stock, they are 4 miles from my house. They don't have any in stock. I'm going to try today to find out the different in composition between Soil Master Select and Pro's Choice Mound Packing Clay. The MSDS of these items appears to be identical leading me to believe that they both are composed of the same material but that's what I want to try to confirm. I'll keep you posted, and btw, if anyone already knows the answer to this question, I'd love to know what it is!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, mystery solved. Just spoke w/ the manager of my local Lesco dealer. I've always spoken w/ a clerk in the past. This guy was the bomb!!!! Problem is the SMS is on phase out. After the merger w/ John Deere, there was some duplication of product and SMS charcoal just happens to be one of these items. They will be carrying Turface instead. The comparable product number is 088374, Turface Pro League Grey. It's $23.00 per bag instead of $13.00 per bag (probably why they're phasing out SMS) but it's supposed to be almost identical. He also said the Mound Clay is the same composition but larger grain size. He's also going to search other dealers to see if he can get one of them to ship him 2 bags of SMS, if not he'll get me 2 of the Turface. This guy really went out of his way. I'm impressed! Hope that makes sense. The Turface product can be added to the shopping cart online and ordered all day long at Lesco.com as I've read other members here have done to get a reluctant store manager to bring in only 1 or 2 bags, and picked up at their local store.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 01:02 PM
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I would go with a group of apistos for the 75. I just put 2 male 3 females in my 50 gallon, and its a really cool thing to watch. As far as the light is concerned, I would build another DIY hood vs. the other hood you linked. I havent heard to much good about those fixtures. Everything else looks like you have it figured out though.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'm considering a diy hood to include 2 of these 70 Watt Halide retrofit kit along with the guts from my All-Glass aquarium twin 55 watt PC light. For the PC's I'd install 65 watt 6700K lights and run a dawn till dusk pattern that would include something like PC's only from maybe 9AM till noon, PC's plus 2 x 70 Watt 10000K halides from noon till 4 or 5 PM and PC's only from 5PM till maybe 9PM. Times are certainly up for review. My question is would 2x70 Watt Halides be enough or should I go with 2x150 Halides instead?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdon1md View Post
Ok, mystery solved. Just spoke w/ the manager of my local Lesco dealer. I've always spoken w/ a clerk in the past. This guy was the bomb!!!! Problem is the SMS is on phase out. After the merger w/ John Deere, there was some duplication of product and SMS charcoal just happens to be one of these items. They will be carrying Turface instead. The comparable product number is 088374, Turface Pro League Grey. It's $23.00 per bag instead of $13.00 per bag (probably why they're phasing out SMS) but it's supposed to be almost identical. He also said the Mound Clay is the same composition but larger grain size. He's also going to search other dealers to see if he can get one of them to ship him 2 bags of SMS, if not he'll get me 2 of the Turface. This guy really went out of his way. I'm impressed! Hope that makes sense. The Turface product can be added to the shopping cart online and ordered all day long at Lesco.com as I've read other members here have done to get a reluctant store manager to bring in only 1 or 2 bags, and picked up at their local store.
The MSDS sheet shows this 'new' product to be made up of Calcined (Illite) Clay while SMS is made up Montmorillite. The manufactures webpage shows this picture of the Turface Pro league. It does look similar to the SMS my concern is whether or not it's going to have a high CEC as SMS.

Even though Lesco is going to be carrying this new product I'm sure SMS can be located from a different distributer. The manufacturer of the product Oildri is still going to be making SMS regardless of their broken deal with Lesco, it might just be more difficult to locate.

On a different note; I would suggest any T5 fixture whether it be DIY or otherwise of over any PC lighting you will get much better light output which will be the same throughout 90%+ of lamps life.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 02:29 PM
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You do not need 2 x 150watt halides over a 75gal, 2 x 70watt will be more than enough light for your new setup.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks for the heads up on the SMS. I didn't realize Lesco wasn't the maker of SMS. Now it's all starting to make sense. The Lesco branch manager has located some SMS charcoal for me and is going to get it, perhaps 3 or 4 bags at a lower price then $13.00 for future applications.

As for the PC vs T-5's, I feel ya. Agree 100%. Only thing, I already have the PC's so gutting my existing light and mounting the stuff in a DIY hood is more cost effective then buying T-5 gear. And, I can always change them out in 6 months to a year for the GLOW series DIY ballast kit. I'll still be getting AH supply reflectors for my 65 Waters.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
As for the PC vs T-5's, I feel ya. Agree 100%. Only thing, I already have the PC's so gutting my existing light and mounting the stuff in a DIY hood is more cost effective then buying T-5 gear. And, I can always change them out in 6 months to a year for the GLOW series DIY ballast kit. I'll still be getting AH supply reflectors for my 65 Waters.
I see...the only reason why I said so was back in the day when I had my PC after 3~4 months their output was reduced bigtime. Here I thought I was getting a killer setup and ended having to replace lamps every 6months to retain effective output, the lamps will last for a long time but their output will suck. I guess maybe where the lamps lacks in output the AH reflectors will make it up.... to an extent. I see where you coming from though.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, the Halides alone are gonna set me back about $300. A second pressure CO2 set up will be another $200-250 cuz I REALLY like my auto pH! The SMS will only be around $40 or $50 with plenty left over. Just ordered my UV sterilizer, $50.00, and my in-line heater $100.00. Replacement bulbs for the 65 watt PC's too, $40.00 total. I'll need 2 AH reflectors, $40.00 shipped. And the wood to make the DIY hood, $30-50 cuz it'll be anything but extravagant.

All told, I'll be pushing a grand as it is. I know another $150.00 relatively speaking isn't huge but if I can get away with what I've already got for 6 months or so, I'm gonna do it for now. At least that way I can get up and running.

Here's the big concern I have. I finally reached a visual lighting appearance I really like in my 30G. (1) 36" 25 Watt Zoo Med Flora Sun (5000K) and (1) 36" 25 Watt Zoo Med Ultra Sun (6500K). Both over driven x2 and I polished the aluminum reflector. Problem is I can't find a 6700K halide bulb. I could probably buy the 5000K PC from AH supply but would still only have the option of 10000K on the halide. When I ran a 10000K with my 5000K Flora Sun, it was WAY to yellow for my taste. It looked like 30 gallons of Pee. Any suggestions? (Granted the 10000K I used was Azoo, cheapest in the world) but I'm of the assumption that 10000K is 10000K.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 04:12 PM
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With halides depending on your lamp choice and wattage you are limited to 5000k, 6500K, 8000K and 10K. The output will vary across the board from manufac to manufac but I personally like the 8000k and 10K.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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I may end up going with a single 150W halide in the center, although I don't really want to, because the only 70W halides I can find are 10000K or above. Any suggestions?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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SMS came in today, two 50 lbs bags, total $26.00. I've read on other forums that it's light and should add black sand. Any experience? And I'm still stewing over my lighting. I really need some direction. Debating between 4 x 65 watt PC's from w/ AH reflectors and 2 x 6 watt PC's and 2 70 watt halide diy kits, all in a diy hood.

I'm lost!
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