Beginner 40 gallon breeder - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Beginner 40 gallon breeder

I love the look of planted tanks and I have been doing reef tanks for 2 or 3 years now with my dad and I had a spare 40 breeder and a reef light sitting around so I decided to turn it into a reef tank.
The lighting is 6x 39 watt over a 40gallon. 5.85 WPG... I think that it is too much so I only turn one side on ATM, which is 2.9 WPG but if I'm wrong please tell me otherwise.

I am using a deep flourite sand bed., and I bought a red sea CO2 paintball system. Its a paintball CO2 canister thats hooked up to all this stuff, pretty easy to use. I only have a few plants in there, and I turned the co2 on and the the 10 Neon tetras I have were all at the top gasping for breath. SO I figured I needed to wait until I had alot more plants in the tank before I could put it into good use.

For a stocklist I am thinking
10 N.Tetras
8 Rhasbora
A group of Oto cats
2 GBRams
What plants will I be able to keep under this setup? I assuming most stuff? Also if anyone can explain to me all this CO2 stuff, or lead me in the right direction it would be awesome.
Oh, and if this tank turns out good, my parents will supply me the funds to do a 125g planted show tank with my pops in our living room.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 04:23 AM
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Thats quite a bit of light being pumped in there. How much is actinic?
You should be able to keep pretty much any plants in there provided ph and what not are all within range.
What are you dosing for ferts or planning on dosing for ferts?
I think you might want a drop checker to keep tabs on your co2. Co2 isn't an all or nothing thing. You can or should be able to control the amoun in the tank so you can use it now with out killing your fish.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 04:31 AM
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With that lighting, you can grow whatever you want.

It's important to understand how planted tanks work. Light drives everything. With your lighting you will need co2 and a good fertilizer regimen. Plants receive light, which makes them want to grow. Thus, they need the building blocks for growth. This is where co2 and ferts are important. Plants need a source of carbon (co2) and other nutrients. These include macronutrients (N, P, K) and micronutrients/trace elements. The higher the light, the more important consistent co2 and ferts become, as the plants need them to grow quickly under the higher light.

I'd suggest reading lots around this site as well as at rexgrigg.com. His site gives a good deal of info about planted tanks.

Personally, I'd recommend dry ferts (which Rex and orlando sell). As far as the co2 system goes, yours can work fine. Lots of folks (including myself) prefer systems with larger sized co2 tanks, as they are much easier in the long run(they last longer and are cheaper to fill over time due to the amount you use) on larger tanks. As far as your fish gasping, you need to dial in the amount that your tank needs. we generally shoot for around 30ppm of co2 in our tanks. This is not a hard and fast rule, though. I see lots of reading about this issue in your future!

It's really not that hard once you get a feel for what planted tanks are all about. The key is to find a balance where the plants have the light and enough nutrients so that their growth is not limited. For example, if you have too much light, but the plants don't have enough carbon (co2) or any other nutrient, they can't grow properly. This is where algae gains the upper hand, as algae can exist at lower levels of nutrients than plants. If we give the plants what they need, they will outcompete algae and grow well.

I know this sounds complicated, but the folks here generally have great advice and can steer you in the right direction. Read, read, read, and you'll pick it up in no time! Welcome to the community!

Mike


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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thanks

thank you for the great info! I will def. be reading alot , as it is complicated. What fert. do you recommend I buy from a local LFS? What PH should I strive for? it is currently at about 6.5, as I used RO water from my RO unit that I use for my reefs.

oh, and the light is 3 x 39 actnic and 3 x 39 10k I believe. I could swap it to 6700k if its better, I have the bulbs.

edit:
When dosing a fert. should I test for the elements added , is there a optimum amount for the fert?
or is more better? but then I'm assuming if you add too much, you get algae growth. ahhhhhh confusing
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 04:59 AM
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3X39 with a mix of 10k and 6700k would be my personal choice. Just depends on the look you are going for.

Don't worry too much about ph. It doesn't really matter in the vast majority of planted tanks (you can read the debates about this on this site as well). RO water is perfectly fine, IMHO.

When you check out Rex's site, he sell the dry ferts I was referring to. Orlando at Green Lear Aq sells them as well (he's a sponsor for this site, so you'll see his banner on here). They really are the best way to go, as they are so much cheaper in the long run. Rex's site outlines how to dose, as does the sticky about dosing in the water parameters section here.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...-regimes_.html

Mike


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 05:05 AM
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Also, the advice I've given assumes you want to go high-tech (co2, ferts, water changes, etc.) There's another route, known as low-tech as well (no co2, little or no ferts, fewer water changes). There's a whole section on here about low-tech setups.

Mike


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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thank you you have been very helpful , I'm more interested in the high tech setup, as I have most of the high-tech stuff anyway.

Another question. I have read stuff about certain plants about not burying them in the substrate. Something about a rhizome and it rotting? Confused again! what plants are these.. I have an amazon sword, anubis , some grass, and some red plant that are in there right now.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 05:13 AM
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A rhizome is the horizontal part of plants such as anubias and java ferns. Its the thicker part, where the leaves grow from. Hopefully you know what i mean based on this description. Just look at your anubias and you should be able to tell. That part shouldn't be buried, although the roots can be.

Most folks attache anubias and ferns to wood or rocks (with thread or fishing line), and they'll eventually attach themselves with their roots.

Your sword can be planted.

Any pics of the "grass" and "red plants"? I would imagine they can be planted, though

Mike


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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pics




went out and bought some plants today, at petco. they were pretty cheap.. 1.99$-2.99 each
I think you have to click on it to get a closer look.

what do you guys think of the tank?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 12:43 AM
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For starters, ditch the actinic light. it'll do nothing for your plants. And wow is that blue...
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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actually, in that picture I am not running any actnics. its 3 10k bulbs. powerful light
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:12 AM
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I see a big wave, are you running a HOB?


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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No, a fluval 404 canister.
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