First High-tech Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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First High-tech Tank

I am planning my very first high-tech tank, a 20 gallon long which will house a single betta and probably a couple of nerites. I have a few questions regarding the tank. To begin, my pH after resting out of the tap is just about 7.8, the hardness is pretty much as high as you can get without having the water be a solid mass. I would love to keep dwarf baby tears as the carpet plant in here. I have a Finnex Ray 2 LED for the setup, and can supplement with a smaller T5 if that's ever needed.

1) Im 99% set on eco-complete as my substrate, but feel free to chime in on that. What kind of root tabs would you say are the best? I'm willing to make them if there is a good recipe out there, and price isn't too much of a factor (within reason).
2) Planning on doing Seachem liquid ferts for both micro and macronutrients. Any qualms about that?
3) This will be my first CO2 setup, would using a glass diffuser and an Aquaclear 50 be okay? My other plan would be doing an Eheim 2213 with in-line injection. Advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Any suggestions are welcome, as I am clueless as to what is best.
4) I am planning on keeping some of the more unusual anubias, as well as crypts and the dwarf baby tears. If you have any other plant suggestions for high pH and hard water shoot away!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 03:29 AM
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You could make your own Osmocote plus root tabs. Google it. All you have to do is shove some of the granules into gelatin caps and tuck it deep into the substrate. Swords, crypts and all other plants would love you for root tabs.

Seachem ferts are good.. but I recommend making your own liquid fert solutions from dry ferts, which is easy, and you save a lot of money, but it's really down to your decision.

The Aquaclear HOB filter would not really be a good idea, IMO because it will cause a lot of surface ripple agitation therefore degassing co2, so I'd say go with the eheim canister filter and make sure the outtake is well below the water surface. A little agitation is okay, but too much is no good. A glass diffuser or inline would work fine. I'd just go with glass diffuser placed under a powerhead to distribute co2, so you don't have to go through modify the filter tubings and such; but up to you.

Swords, ferns, mosses and some hygrophilas species should do pretty well in hard water.

20 gallon - Sulawesi Golden rabbit snails/Japanese Trapdoor snails/RCS/Marbled crayfish tank
55 gallon - Rainbowfish Dutch scape low-tech planted tank

250 gallon - Community Tiger Oscar/Red hook silver dollar/Silver dollars/PB Jack Dempsey/Clown loaches/Tinfoil barb/Roseline sharks/Bala shark Monster fish tank
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 03:37 AM
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1) I would highly recommend aquasoil, and you can skip on the root tabs since it's nutrient rich. It really is fantastic stuff.
2) Skip on the liquid ferts and get dry ferts. It's WAY cheaper in the long run, and you can change the ratios as needed, or do any of the dosing regimes like EI or PPS or whatever. For macros get KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, and for micros CSM+B. You can make liquid ferts from dry ferts (that's what I do).
3) I much prefer an external canister and reactor. No fizz in the tank, less gear in the tank, reactor is cheap and more efficient with CO2, and it never clogs.
4) I have pretty hard water (19 hardness) and haven't struggled with growing anything that I wanted to grow. While there could be some that won't do well, most will be fine. I'd just get the plants you want.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 02:28 PM
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I had an Aquaclear 70 on a 20g and it works fine along with glass diffuser, no problem in getting Co2 to proper level. I did however switched to eheim 2213, and now I have the glass diffuser under the intake, and it's much better.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so I'm going for the Eheim. I think it will end up being much better for the tank. Any reactors you guys like? I'm open to any suggestions, as I have never done anything but a very low-tech setup. Anything else I should be adding into the root tabs while I'm making them?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 11:03 PM
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Check Up Aqua atomizer on ebay or search for DIY Rex or Cerges reactors.


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