40 gallon high tech help? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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40 gallon high tech help?

I'm downgrading from my 150 gallon low tech due to space issues so I'm planning on setting up my old 40 gallon long as a high tech planted tank. I'm hoping that this will be a bit easier than my nano reef as well! For lighting I already have a 4 bulb t5ho fixture with reflectors. I'm guessing this is too much light so I intend to run only two bulbs at once. I could use the other two bulbs too add colour like pink or moonlight or something. For filtration I have an 'All Pond Solution 2000ef plus so the water will be turned over 11 times an hour.

This is where I need help. I've never used CO2 or ferts before but I do know a bit about them. Should I dose individual elements or use something like Flourish Excel? For substrate should I use dirt or stick to sand only? I want to keep the tank fairly low cost as I'm only 15 but please give me suggestions as to what I should get equipment-wise. As for planting, I really like the look of dutch style tanks with lots of reds and pinks and carpeting plants such as UG. I'm open to all suggestions so please tell me what has worked for you! I'm only planning on keeping a school or rummynose tetra and my 2 year old angel.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions as they are all greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 02:05 PM
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My first advise might be to look carefully at the expense of high tech. The basic CO2 will likely be quite high, in the $150 plus range if you go beyond DIY CO2 and use yeast, etc.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously? Maybe I shouldn't go high tech yet. Thanks anyway
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 02:22 PM
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If you're going to set up CO2, you don't need to dose Excel. The best way to dose nutrients is via root tabs - liquids aren't as effective (won't get to root feeders well), and get expensive.

If you're willing to deal with the potential mess, go with a dirted tank - your plants (especially the carpeting ones) will thank you. Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix is a crowd favorite (alot of people will emphasize MIX and not SOIL here, but the more reading I do, the more it seems to be a non-issue). You'll want to cap it with something, sand being an excellent choice. Also, look into mineralized top soil... Mineralizing isn't necessary when using MGOCPM, but it helps.

Back to CO2... On a tank that big, DIY CO2 is going to be a real hassle to keep up with, and probably not very cost effective in the long run (sugar isn't CRAZY expensive, but you'll go through it quicker than you realize). A pressurized CO2 system is a big initial investment ($200-$300 for something basic), but cheap to maintain (tank fills are only $20ish bucks, and will last you months at a time). If you want your carpet plants to grow well, you're going to need CO2 in some form (Excel won't be enough).

Your lighting is probably good, yes. Your filter might be a bit much - people generally try to keep things in the 5x-10x turnover per hour range.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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The 2000lph filter is all I have so I guess I could direct the flow upwards. If a CO2 system for a 40 gallon tank costs $200 then I definitely won't be going high tech. I may use the tank as a paludarium for fire belly newts or something similar. Thanks
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 11:05 PM
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You can get an aquatek mini paintball regulator on amazon for around $80, paintball tank anywhere from $20-30, and i get my tank refilled at academy for $3.50 for 20oz. Then you just need some tubing (I've read that co2 "proof" tubing is not necessary) that you may already have, a diffuser, and a timer for the solenoid. You should be able to do all of this for around $115-130. Still a bit pricey for a 15 yo, but the holiday season is upon us, or maybe wait until your birthday.

Edit: Just noticed you're from England. I'm sure google has a currency converter


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