Advice for new setup, please!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-29-2004, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Hi all, I’m new to this board and to planted tanks, and I was hoping I could get some opinions and advice. I would like to set up a 29gal planted tank (18 in. deep), with the 55 watt CF “Bright Kit” from AHS. I already have an Aquaclear 200 filter and a 150 watt heater. I’ll be using Eco-Complete substrate.

Basically what I’m looking for is a low maintenance “beginners” tank with either DIY CO2, or Flourish Excel. I would like to do an Amazon biotope, but am willing to sacrifice this in return for lower maintenance. Any plant suggestions or other advice you could give me for this setup would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-29-2004, 06:58 PM
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First of all, exactly how many watts will the whole tank have? Is that one or two 55 watt bulbs? If it's two, that's around 3.5 wpg, which is good, but it will require some fertilization. what I've learned here is that the higher the light, the more healthy plants you can grow, but the higher the maintenance. If it's one 55 watt tube, then it's less than 2 wpg's, which would make it lower maintenance, but may limit the type of plants you can grow.
As long as you're adding DIY CO2 and fertilizer, you'll probably be happy with your result. Eco complete was a great choice for substrate and should reduce the amount of fertilization that's required. The biggest maintanance chore for me is the weekly water changes, which I have found to be neccessary for keeping a planted tank. However, my tank has lots of light and is heavily planted.
Maybe someone else with more experience with low maintenance/low light tanks could chime in here...?
I see that you're in OC. Are you coming to the COAST meeting next weekend?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-29-2004, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Originally Posted by katymay
I see that you're in OC. Are you coming to the COAST meeting next weekend?
Thanks for the reply, katymay. I don't think I'll be attending the meeting, seeing as I don't actually have a planted tank yet; or do you think it would benefit me to come? I wasn't sure if that would be strange or not.

To answer your question about my lighting, I was thinking of just one 55 watt bulb. I know it will limit me somewhat, but I honestly don't know if I'm up to the challenge (yet) of having a high light tank. I'm also starting a reef tank next month :shock: and I don't want to get in over my head on anything.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2004, 01:01 AM
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Yes, starting 2 tanks would be alot to handle. I barely keep up with 1 and keep my day job. 55 watts in a 29 gallon qualifies as a low light tank. Go on some of the websites that sell plants. As you scroll through the plants that are offered, you should notice that they list lighting requirements. Check out the ones that require low to moderate light. That should give you some idea of what sorts of plants you'll be able to keep.
Of course you should go to the COAST meeting! They are having a speaker on planted tanks and it'll be a great place for you to meet your planted tank neighbors and get some clippings for your tank. It's cheaper than paying for them!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2004, 01:47 AM
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Actually, I think you can grow with DIY CO2 most plants that aren't "high or very high" light plants
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