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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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High tech newbie

Hello everyone this is my first time posting here.

I've had a low tech aquarium for about a year and a half now and am thinking about moving onto something a bit more ambitious. I am, however a bit of a newbie when it comes to anything higher tech do I have a few questions.

I am thinking of going for a nature style aquarium with carpet plants, maybe an iwagumi or something resembling a field with moss attached to some driftwood.

(1) a lot of the carpeting plants seems to have high lighting requirements. My aquarium came with a single 24w t5 light under the hood that covers it. I assume I would need something more powerful? I was thinking of something like the Hagen glo t5 2x 24 w starter kit. Would that be sufficient? I was thinking of growing something like elocharis parvula or some form of hairgrass. I am aware that higher lighting would require co2 and am planning to use a diy pressurised set up for this.

(2) I've read that the filtration for a higher tech plant needs to be able to filter about ten times the capacity of the tank (my aquarium dimensions are 70cm long, 35cm wide and 40cm high). Would something like a tetra tec ex1200 do the job or would the ex700 be fine?

(3) I've been thinking about stocking the tank with rummy nose tetras. I've read that they like dense vegetation. Would they do well in a more minimal style nature set up? Is the tank size sufficient (I have never had them before)?

Thanks in advance. Sorry for all the questions!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 10:21 PM
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I'm not a carpeting grower so I'll skip that but comment on question two.
I advise caution here as there are so many myths and half understood "truths". I don't see any need or reasoning for that much filter.
I consider what a filter is designed to do for me. One is mechanical filtering to get the water clean looking, two is bio filtering to process ammonia down to nitrate, The third is chemical filtering which I pass on as unneeded.
If my current filter was not doing it's job on any of those, I would feel I needed more/better filtering. But most of the time we see people adding more filtering just because somewhere they have read a magic number of times the water needs to pass through the filter. I see no logic in water passing through a pint of media twice is any better than passing through two pints one time.
If the filter is working fine and keeping up, there is still one other reason people add filters. They want more circulation in the tank. For this , I find it much cheaper and easier to deal with simple powerheads rather than expensive, maintenance heavy, filters which are hard to aim into the correct spots.
If there is a need for filtering, add filters but not just because of "magic numbers" that you read about.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, thanks for the reply.

From what I had the read the increased lighting meant that having a larger filter would keep the algae at bay by filtering out the debris more efficiently but I suppose that doesn't matter as long as I do regular water changes, controlled feeding, co2 etc? If not I'll just get a cheaper filter then. I just don't want to have any major algae problems if I increase the light. I still like the idea of a canister filter as the internal one I have inside of the tank is too distracting.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 12:36 PM
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You have to find what ferts you want to dose and also be able to get your co2 in the right range. Being that your tank is matured algae issues should be minimal. Just remember your photoperiod should be timed. If you run lights full blast all the time you'll have algae. I keep a small led strip in mine that will light up if I want to look at them after lights go out.

A canister filter would be good but not needed if yours is working. Good luck and read the forums about high tech setups.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 01:59 PM
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I think of balance as being the key to avoid algae. But then I also admit to not being one to fight the stuff too hard. As long as it doesn't bother the plants, I like it on rocks and decor.
But for keeping it in check, keeping the lighting moderate is where many seem to overshoot. Water changing to keep the excess nutrients down is good and much easier than working the filtering too much. You are correct in wanting a good filter but not necessarily going to the ten times number. To me a good filter does the work by using good media and then how often the water passes through is set by the design of the filter as I feel they do know a lot about the subject. Far more of the tiny details that I will never learn. A simple easy to clean filter will get the debris collected and you will clean and remove it much better than a huge filter that may be hard to work on so that you ignore it and the debris stays.
Balance the light, CO2, ferts and how you maintain things and it is much more fun.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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I think I am finding the lighting the most confusing issue to grasp. I currently have a single t5 24 bulb which I assume is way too low to grow a carpet plant. On the other hand I don't Want to go overboard and have too much light than is needed. Can anyone recommend a suitable lighting set up for a 98litre (70 long x 35 wide x 40cm) tank to grow carpet plants? I've read some of the articles on this site but I'm still unsure.
The other issue I have with the lights is that most overhead t5 light sets seem to be either 60cm or 90cm long, which doesn't fit the exact dimensions of my tank.
Will keep looking at articles and posts on this site as there is clearly much more for me to learn.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any advice on lighting or the right right direction they can point me to? I'm not sure how much I will need.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:06 PM
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Can U post dimensions in inches & Feet - please

Regards,
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, The dimensions of my tank are 27.5 inches long, 13.7 inches wide & 15.7 inches high.

In feet I make that to be 2.2 x 1.1 x 1.3.

I plan to grow carpet plants.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:12 PM
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I can sympathize with you about the lighting discussions, they are confusing. They are either too simple talking about watts per gallon or way to complex talking about PAR's. I think you are right when you say the single T5 24w bulb will be insufficient for a high tech tank and the double one you suggested sounds OK to me. I've gone with 3 CFL's at 23w's housed in aluminum work light reflectors. This is a very cost effective way of lighting a tank. I also use a LED light for off hours.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve002 View Post
I can sympathize with you about the lighting discussions, they are confusing. They are either too simple talking about watts per gallon or way to complex talking about PAR's. I think you are right when you say the single T5 24w bulb will be insufficient for a high tech tank and the double one you suggested sounds OK to me. I've gone with 3 CFL's at 23w's housed in aluminum work light reflectors. This is a very cost effective way of lighting a tank. I also use a LED light for off hours.
Spiral CFl's! Saiiimon, check out this thread for some ideas. With only 15 inch height you could have some great success with about 25-30$. Certainly high light if you wanted, but you could sneak up on it too if you want to go that approach.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=153195

Matt


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40B High Tech Tank - 10g Shrimp and Moss Tank
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Just tried to search for clip on aluminium reflectors and they don't seem to have them in them in the Uk for some reason but will keep persevering. As they were not originally designed to be used with an aquarium I assume they would be safe? I don't want to risk getting electrocuted lol.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saiiimon View Post
Just tried to search for clip on aluminium reflectors and they don't seem to have them in them in the Uk for some reason but will keep persevering. As they were not originally designed to be used with an aquarium I assume they would be safe? I don't want to risk getting electrocuted lol.
Try your local hardware store. We have them in home depot and lowes in the states.

No difference, either one you wouldn't want to drop in the tank!

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40B High Tech Tank - 10g Shrimp and Moss Tank
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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I have another question about the circulation. I currently have an have an airstone in my tank. Would this be sufficient for the circulation of co2 and nutrients?
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 04:03 PM
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What filter are you running? An air stone will actually offgass the co2 making you go through more co2 than needed. I'd suggest a power head if your filter doesn't have much flow


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