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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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new tank setup and new to hobby

I am setting up my first planted tank. I currently run a 180g saltwater reef but I love the look also of a planted tank so I am jumping in. One thing I learned in saltwater reef is to have a good plan and good equipment from the start.

I am buying a

70g. bowfront

stand and canopy

a 280 watt t-5 lighting system 4 watts a gallon

a marineland multistage canister filter c-360

undergravel root heater

uv sterlizer

co2 system.... looking for suggestions on this and should this be done at the start or down the road.

I plan on doing a heavy planted tank and I would like to get a piece of driftwood

any ideas on diffrent equipment

I could use all the advice as possible
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 12:07 AM
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4watts/g. You should get a lot of plants right off the bat to avoid algae.

Is a UV sterlizer really needed?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 02:15 AM
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With that much light, you're going to need to have CO2 right away

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 04:32 AM
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like everyone's saying i also don't think a jump start at 280 watts is a good idea. cut the lighting based on your plant selection.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 06:31 AM
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I agree, maybe stay with lower lights, and work your way up.

CO2 is a definite w/ 4 wpg. Since you're going all-out to start, might as well go pressurized.

UV sterilizers are nice, but not required to have a successful tank.

Undergravel heaters are under debate. Some say it's useless, some say it's really useful. It heats the water just like any other regular heater, so there's no problem in that. Plus it'll be hidden so that's a nice touch.

Looking forward to pictures!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 06:32 AM
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It's a T5 fixture, you have lots of options to play with the light. Remove a few bulbs or replace them with a not so ideal color spectrum that improves fish viewing. Then you always have the option to go full bore. With a hanging kit you have even more room to mess with the lighting. Pressurized CO2 from the start, no question. Do you really want to spend that much on the filter? If not check out the Rena Filstar line, an xp3 or 4 would do nicely, great filters. I wish I would've bought one, I went with the Cascade1000, very quiet but not the best design. The Filstar is good equipment, and the saved money can go to a good CO2 rig. UVS is good if you get green water, but a diatom filter will prove to be more useful in the long run. I wouldn't buy either until you need it, might never happen. No comment on the heaters, not too many people suggesting them but there's occasionally someone who swears by it. Most of the nicest tanks here don't have them. Very important, buy tons of stem plants and PACK the tank off the bat or you will join the army of people who learned the hard way. Buy even the ones you don't want, start the tank with them and remove what you don't like when things are balanced. Otherwise it's sort of like starting a reef tank with only a few lbs of LR.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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So what I am hearing is go with no uv and maybe step down my canister filter to a filstar. xp3 or 4

The lights I was looking at had 3 options one click half come on, second click the other half, and the third they all come on. The pet store that had them currently have them with the white and blue light. Not sure with a t-5 system which spectrum. I will for sure go pressurized co2 from begging. I also intend to start of with lots of plants.

If I really need to step down my lights I will but I hate to buy a smaller cheaper light and then decided to keep more plants or red plants and have to up grade to a bigger light and spend twice. The most important thing for me though is to do it right
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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if the root hearter is not a sure thing then just do a normal heater like a visatherm or something
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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I would love some suggestions for a good long term lighting and the best place to buy it online. If my local fish store does not carry it
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tx26257 View Post
I would love some suggestions for a good long term lighting and the best place to buy it online. If my local fish store does not carry it
http://ahsupply.com/ will be your best place to start. Ive got 3 of thier lights and they are great. Plus the refectors are top notch. Many here have thier lights

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 05:49 PM
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Substrate heaters have not really been proven to have any noticeable extra benefit. I'd go with a regular heater if you haven't gotten it already. Maybe go with an inline? As for lighting, I don't think there are any plants that require 4wpg. Maybe 3. But, if you ever want to get a bigger tank with the same length, that light fixture might be good. So it's up to you, but I would definitely recommend not using all the lights at once.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 07:31 PM
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That T5 setup is basically what's on my Xmas list. I would go for it, simply for the room you have to play with it. With separate switches you can setup a mid day burst, and dawn/dusk effect. That's a big difference from blasting all the watts full time, and probably more beneficial to the plants and even livestock. If there are blue lights in it, it sounds like is has 10000K daylights and some actinics, which most T5s are in the stores, marketed to reefers. Switch out a few of the 10000ks and some of the actinics for 6700k. Yes, it's a lot of light all added up, but T5s are the perfect combos for many options, since the bulbs are weak enough to require more than 3 or 4 for the typical high tech planted tank, so you can have a combo of spectrums, burst schedule, and also raise and lower the hanging Tek lights. I opted for a dual power compact to save money and now I only have two options, and if I want to cover the entire tank with light, I have to slide the fixture forward or back around mid day. When I get the T5 tek light I wanted in the first place, that won't be an issue since it's a 13-15" wide fixture.

The filter is up to you, I don't know enough about that particular one on your list except that it's very expensive. Just wanted to point out the most affordable one that the majority here feel is worth more than it costs. Most others go with an Ehiem or Fluval, etc. Just make sure to read user reviews before buying anything. I decided on my Cascade after reading so many reports of how quiet it is, and it was very cheap on ebay at the time. I disregarded the few reviews I read about people not being happy with the filtration method and seeing debris blowing out, well I ended up with one that blows chunks out every time I adjust the flow. :/ For the most part, you just want something that will hold some media and push the water enough, no need for overfiltration in a planted tank. And finding one that everyone else is happy with, as far as noise, water polishing, and ease of maintenance, is a safer buy.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 09:04 PM
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In Texas, whatever heater you have may not be doing much work (if any) work for at least 9 months of the year. Substrate heating that is never on is definitely no benefit.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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well I must of used my fuzzy math but it is actually 3 watts per gallon not 4 sorry


on the canister filter the cost is 179.99 but comes with all the filter media and the filstar xp3-was 149.99 with out media and the xp4 was 189.99 with out media


so what should the cost be with media included
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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well I think I will switch and go with the filstar xp3 what media should I get with it and do you guys have a suggestion on where to get it
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