Please help me plant my first tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Please help me plant my first tank

Hi!

OK, in a few weeks I will have the following tank setup (my first planted tank ever):

50G (36x18x18) (purchased)
192W Power Compact Lighting (6700K) (purchased)
Compressed CO2 TBD
Eheim canister TBD
Substrate TBD

I already have all the dry ferts I need for either PPS, PPS Pro or EI dosing. What I need help with is plants!

I understand I need to have fast growing plants and lots of them when starting up a high light tank to avoid algae. I have no local fish store that sells plants, so I will be travelling or ordering via the web.

I like wisteria, glosso, E. triandra, cabomba, etc. Is there some one who can help me out with suggestions and a layout? Any help is really appreciated!

And can someone give me a link to that plant layout applet that shows you what your tank will look like? Thanks!

Edited to add: I am going for a very bright GREEN contrasting with black for this setup. So green as green can be, not really into yellows or reds. Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 10:18 PM
Many plants...little time
 
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How bout Hygrophilia species, Bacopa species, Ludwigia etc, any fast growing stems initially would be good...you can always take out what you don't want later when the tank is established but initially I'd pack the tank with fast growing stems to suck up nutrients
I hate to tell you but your not going to avoid algae...I think you have to learn to control it and in a high light set-up like you are talking a crew of algae eating fish/shrimp etc will be crucial.

as far as a Canister filter...I'd go with an Eheim Classic or the Pro...I personally have a 2026 on my 54 gal and I love it...I've also used Fluval, Marineland etc...I'm sure someone else will have a differing opinion...but out of all of them I've found the Eheim to be the quietest and most reliable...but I'd still by a Fluval or others if the price was right.

CO2 System...
I'd go with a Sumo Regulator...http://www.sumoregulator.com/
Great guys who make a bomb proof regulator at a great price...I have a Premier Regulator with the Ideal needle valve and I love it...

Substrate...thats up to you
You could go Eco Compete, Aqua Soil, Flourite etc. if you want to spend the money or you could use Schultz Aquatic Soil from Home Depot or Lowes which runs about $6.00 for a 10lb. bag. I'd say 4 bags would be plenty.
Just do your research and plan it out!!!
Most of all have fun and good luck!!!


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 10:32 PM
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Well since it's your first tank, you are going to need to get it all cycled. This is very easy by just loading it with fast growing plants. IMO the 3 best plants for this purpose are rotala, hygrophila, and wisteria. My suggestion is to get a whole lot of those plants, and go for a "U-shaped" layout. Try to keep from planting things too symmetrically, too. Not the U shape, necessarily, but putting the same bunch of plants in each rear corner, for example. And don't forget about some kind of hardscape. Wood is easier to just drop in there and scape around it, but it is more expensive than rocks. Rocks are cheap (in general) but they require more patience and trial and error, while trying to find an arrangement that you like.

The best thing I can tell you is just stock it up with lots of those plants, and as time goes on you can remove certain ones and the scape will start to present itself to you, sort of.

For what it's worth.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 02:35 AM
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With that much lighting your CO2 definitely needs to be up and running. Glosso is not fast growing so I would avoid that initially. Hygrophila difformis and bacopa monnieri are very hardy and are grow exceptionally fast, so I would start off with them if you like how they look.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 03:17 AM
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I have that same lighting over my 50g. I run 96w for ~9 hours, with the full 192 for about 4.5 hours in the middle of the photoperiod as a burst. I agree that CO2 is important with this lighting. When mine wasn't at the optimal level, I had lots of problems with algae.

Here's one of the programs that has been posted here
http://www.gorillot.com/aquatools/ph...x.php?select=7

Mike


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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My ballast doesn't give the option of one or two, they both have to run at the same time. So I will be cranking in the CO2 and maybe keeping the photoperiod down. I really like Wisteria/Hygrophila difformis so that is good. Should it be a background or midground plant? I guess the bacopa is for the background? I work from home and don't mind tank maintenance so fast growth is OK by me (until I tire of it I guess ).

Also I should mention this is my first planted tank, not a first fish tank. I used to keep african cichlids and had a small 20G nanoreef for a while. It is nice to have two power compact bulbs called high light, the people on reef central would raise their noses at me with them!

I have been looking at the Sumo regulator and I think that is the one that I will get. Is there a good place for a 5lb or 10lb tank?

I have had an Eheim 2217 previously (sold it with an old tank setup) that I liked very much and that is why I am sticking Eheim. I am still debating between the old ones and the Pro series.

As for substrate I was thinking 3M Colorquartz Black T grade mixed in with the new Flourite black sand for some Fe for the roots. I really like a black substrate, to go with the stark black/green contrast I am going for with this tank (with the cardinal tetras and maybe some rummy nose thrown in too).
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speakerguy View Post
I have been looking at the Sumo regulator and I think that is the one that I will get. Is there a good place for a 5lb or 10lb tank?
The sumo is a good choice, from what I've heard. Check around with local welding supply, fire extinguisher, and gas (ie. Airgas) places. They normally sell and re-fill/swap co2 tanks.

Mike


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