75G tank help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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75G tank help

Hi All,

Newbie here. I've had plenty of aquariums in the past, but only have a 6 gallon Fluval Edge now. I've had the itch for a larger aquarium the past year and finally got one during Black Friday. I ended up with the 75G Marineland ensemble.

http://www.petsmart.com/supplies/aqu...t=pfm%3Dsearch

This will be my first planted aquarium and so far the only other things I've bought are 5 bags of Eco-Complete and the Fluval 3-6 canister filter. I am thinking about going low-tech because I'm a bit scared of adding CO2. Will any of you please make some recommendations on lighting (prefer LED) and plants? Also, is there a place to buy driftwood for a decent price? Any help and all suggestions are much appreciated!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 11:36 PM
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Nice pick up!

Welcome to ThePlantedTank!

For a 75 gallon at 48 inches, a Satellite Freshwater LED+ fixture size at 48 inches and is extendable to 48in-60in would work really well for your tank, IMO. One of the best options about this LED+ is that you can adjust the lighting, because sometimes you can end up with too much light from T5's, PC, etc, but with this led fixture, you can fixture accordingly to what works so you can avoid algae issues. You can also change the color, have night lights, with a touch of a button on the wireless controler etc. Pretty awesome customizable settings. There are presets too. Low tech is definitely a great choice, if you don't want to deal with pruning/trimming plants frequently, deal with co2 equipment and buying/making co2, dosing a lot of ferts, buying lights and getting the right intensity level, testing, water changes and all that; I mean, unless you have a lot of time on your hands, then it'd probably be fine.. but if you're a busy person with a lot going on, work, school, social life, etc.. believe me, it's going to be challenge at times to keep up with maintenance and it doesn't become fun anymore, in my opinion. However, if you keep a rather small high-tech tank, then it's a different story, things will be a bit easier, but on a big tank, it's quite a bit of work.. Ah it really comes down to you and your decision. Not here to say "GO LOW-TECH!" And hate on high-tech. There are pros and cons to both.

Check out this thread of low light, low tech plants if you are going low-tech. It's a great compilation of plants that can do well with low-tech tanks.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042

20 gallon - Red Cherry Shrimp/Marbled crayfish tank
55 gallon - Dutch scape low-tech planted tank

250 gallon - 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 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NeonFlux View Post
Nice pick up!

Welcome to ThePlantedTank!

For a 75 gallon at 48 inches, a Satellite Freshwater LED+ fixture size at 48 inches and is extendable to 48in-60in would work really well for your tank, IMO. One of the best options about this LED+ is that you can adjust the lighting, because sometimes you can end up with too much light from T5's, PC, etc, but with this led fixture, you can fixture accordingly to what works so you can avoid algae issues. You can also change the color, have night lights, with a touch of a button on the wireless controler etc. Pretty awesome customizable settings. There are presets too. Low tech is definitely a great choice, if you don't want to deal with pruning/trimming plants frequently, deal with co2 equipment and buying/making co2, dosing a lot of ferts, buying lights and getting the right intensity level, testing, water changes and all that; I mean, unless you have a lot of time on your hands, then it'd probably be fine.. but if you're a busy person with a lot going on, work, school, social life, etc.. believe me, it's going to be challenge at times to keep up with maintenance and it doesn't become fun anymore, in my opinion. However, if you keep a rather small high-tech tank, then it's a different story, things will be a bit easier, but on a big tank, it's quite a bit of work.. Ah it really comes down to you and your decision. Not here to say "GO LOW-TECH!" And hate on high-tech. There are pros and cons to both.

Check out this thread of low light, low tech plants if you are going low-tech. It's a great compilation of plants that can do well with low-tech tanks.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042
NeonFlux,

Thanks for the welcoming and suggestions. I will check out the light and hopefully I can find a good deal on one. I definitely do not have the time or patience to maintain a high maintenance tank and would prefer something simple, but pretty. The link to the plants will definitely be helpful. I also need to add a heater and am adding it to this thread to remind myself
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 08:53 AM
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The Satellite Freshwater + is a solid light for low tech with some nice features but at 18" of depth front to back for that aquarium you might have problems with the spread and dark spots. You would likely need two of those which may be cost prohibitive. Another option is twin 48" Finnex Stingrays spaced evenly apart for solid low-tech PAR and even lighting which would only run around $130.00 although they are not adjustable. For a heater I would recommend the Hydor ETH 300 inline since you're already going with canisters anyway though the hoses that come with Fluvals are rather unsuitable for inline equipment. You can replace the Fluval hoses with 5/8 vinyl hose from the hardware store. A Fluval 306 is only half of the filtration you need for a tank that size so you'll need another one or an HOB. SunSuns are inexpensive (would cost less than an appropriately sized AquaClear HOB) and have hoses that are good to go for inline equipment.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 09:23 AM
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Good point. *whistles* 18" inch from front to back, I missed that one.. There definitely might be some shady spots. Try upping the lighting intensity if you do end up getting only one SAT FW LED+ if it doesn't work out, yeah then I would go with what goodbytes recommends getting two or the other fixture. Good luck.

20 gallon - Red Cherry Shrimp/Marbled crayfish tank
55 gallon - Dutch scape low-tech planted tank

250 gallon - 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 #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 12:06 PM
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I have a 75g low tech, no co2 or excel. I run 1 finnex planted plus and its perfect. But I needed to raise it to 24" above the substrate to get the right intensity of light. This also improved the spread which is perfect.

Have a look at my journal is you interested. I will be putting up some most recent pics today once lights come on.

As for plants I have gotten away from stems, I don't like the maintenance and for a jungle style tank they don't look too great. I still have some in the tank but they will be gpne soon.

The only stems I am keeping are hygro pinnatifida which is not your generic stem as it can be secured to rocks and driftwood. Also keeping hygro angustifolia, this plant is just stunning once its large and its very graceful. Slow grower too so notuch work.

I would look into crypts. They are my favorite plants. Also anubias, smaller or larger swords, Bolbitis, dwarf sag, Val's, etc. I will be posting a plant list on my journal as well. Might help you.

A lot of people choose not to get certs, I think you should get in the habit of dosing very small amounts once a week. Also get on a good WC schedule. These are my keys to success amount other things.

Hope this helps, feel free to pm.me if you have specific questions.

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbytes View Post
The Satellite Freshwater + is a solid light for low tech with some nice features but at 18" of depth front to back for that aquarium you might have problems with the spread and dark spots. You would likely need two of those which may be cost prohibitive. Another option is twin 48" Finnex Stingrays spaced evenly apart for solid low-tech PAR and even lighting which would only run around $130.00 although they are not adjustable. For a heater I would recommend the Hydor ETH 300 inline since you're already going with canisters anyway though the hoses that come with Fluvals are rather unsuitable for inline equipment. You can replace the Fluval hoses with 5/8 vinyl hose from the hardware store. A Fluval 306 is only half of the filtration you need for a tank that size so you'll need another one or an HOB. SunSuns are inexpensive (would cost less than an appropriately sized AquaClear HOB) and have hoses that are good to go for inline equipment.
goodbytes,

Thank you for all of your recommendations as they are very helpful! I will check out the Finnex lights and Hydor heater. Thank for your answering my question that I didn't even list on here in regards to the filter. The Fluval was on sale for $85 on BF so I picked that up as well. PetsMart's site listed up to 70G (I was going to add something else to make up the difference) so I picked it up. Then when I looked at the chart on Amazon, I saw that the information wasn't matching up and was in debate of what to do. Should I return the Fluval and pick up this http://www.amazon.com/SunSun-HW-302-3-Stage-External-Canister/dp/B00892EN22/ref=sr_1_4?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1418528314&sr=1-4&keywords=sunsun+canister+filter&pebp=1418528354923
Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
I have a 75g low tech, no co2 or excel. I run 1 finnex planted plus and its perfect. But I needed to raise it to 24" above the substrate to get the right intensity of light. This also improved the spread which is perfect.

Have a look at my journal is you interested. I will be putting up some most recent pics today once lights come on.

As for plants I have gotten away from stems, I don't like the maintenance and for a jungle style tank they don't look too great. I still have some in the tank but they will be gpne soon.

The only stems I am keeping are hygro pinnatifida which is not your generic stem as it can be secured to rocks and driftwood. Also keeping hygro angustifolia, this plant is just stunning once its large and its very graceful. Slow grower too so notuch work.

I would look into crypts. They are my favorite plants. Also anubias, smaller or larger swords, Bolbitis, dwarf sag, Val's, etc. I will be posting a plant list on my journal as well. Might help you.

A lot of people choose not to get certs, I think you should get in the habit of dosing very small amounts once a week. Also get on a good WC schedule. These are my keys to success amount other things.

Hope this helps, feel free to pm.me if you have specific questions.
philipraposo1982,

Nice tank and journal! Thanks for the idea on raising the Finnex light. This will definitely save money, which I'm trying to do. I will definitely keep you in mind once I actually start this project and have questions. Your help is much appreciated
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 03:39 AM
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Fluval makes a solid filter and you got a really good deal on it. In fact, I picked up the exact same filter over Black Friday because it was too good to pass up. One of the acknowledged problems with power filters is that the flow ratings and tank size recommendations provided by the manufacturer are bogus for who knows why. A good rule of thumb is around 4x OEM recommended filtration though opinions vary considerably on the subject. If you were to run the HW-302 and the 306 side by side it would provide good circulation and prevent any cycling when you clean the filters as you can alternate the maintenance schedule between the two as opposed to cleaning both at the same time. For four foot tanks like yours having a filter intake at each end gives much better filtration than a single intake. Phil is 100% correct that you can run a medium-power light like the Planted + for low tech and raise it higher above the tank to get adequate coverage and lower PAR. I keep my tanks in the living room so I like the lights hanging right above the tank minimizing the light that spills out into the room but if this is not a concern then you can save money by just getting a single more powerful light.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by goodbytes View Post
Fluval makes a solid filter and you got a really good deal on it. In fact, I picked up the exact same filter over Black Friday because it was too good to pass up. One of the acknowledged problems with power filters is that the flow ratings and tank size recommendations provided by the manufacturer are bogus for who knows why. A good rule of thumb is around 4x OEM recommended filtration though opinions vary considerably on the subject. If you were to run the HW-302 and the 306 side by side it would provide good circulation and prevent any cycling when you clean the filters as you can alternate the maintenance schedule between the two as opposed to cleaning both at the same time. For four foot tanks like yours having a filter intake at each end gives much better filtration than a single intake. Phil is 100% correct that you can run a medium-power light like the Planted + for low tech and raise it higher above the tank to get adequate coverage and lower PAR. I keep my tanks in the living room so I like the lights hanging right above the tank minimizing the light that spills out into the room but if this is not a concern then you can save money by just getting a single more powerful light.
I'll keep the Fluval and add the 2nd filter for sure then. That is a great point in regards to the light spillage. The tank will be in my living room and I doubt the boyfriend would appreciate the extra light while he's watching tv. This will definitely be an expensive project and I have no idea why I thought it'd be a good idea to start this around Christmas and during the year of wedding planning. Doh!
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Also, the set up came with a Marineland LED light that is 600 lumens. Would this be beneficial as a 2nd light? I was thinking about just selling it.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 06:28 AM
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Idk if I like eco-complete by itself as a substrate. I think you'd be better off doing a dirted tank. Idk how cold it is where you are but maybe you can even mineralize some top soil and use that? I prefer nutrient rich substrates which eco-complete is not.

Bump: Idk if I like eco-complete by itself as a substrate. I think you'd be better off doing a dirted tank. Idk how cold it is where you are but maybe you can even mineralize some top soil and use that? I prefer nutrient rich substrates which eco-complete is not.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Idk if I like eco-complete by itself as a substrate. I think you'd be better off doing a dirted tank. Idk how cold it is where you are but maybe you can even mineralize some top soil and use that? I prefer nutrient rich substrates which eco-complete is not.

Bump: Idk if I like eco-complete by itself as a substrate. I think you'd be better off doing a dirted tank. Idk how cold it is where you are but maybe you can even mineralize some top soil and use that? I prefer nutrient rich substrates which eco-complete is not.
I just read up on mineralizing top soil and it seems like A LOT of work. Plus I might not have a place for it to dry...
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 05:12 PM
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I just read up on mineralizing top soil and it seems like A LOT of work. Plus I might not have a place for it to dry...

Yah I have that issue as well, which is why I'm going to just do organic potting mix capped with sand or something, but I'll still add the dolomite, clay, and potash to my dirt to replicate MTS without the drying and soaking phases. Which will mean more initial water changes but right now that's easier for me to deal with.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yah I have that issue as well, which is why I'm going to just do organic potting mix capped with sand or something, but I'll still add the dolomite, clay, and potash to my dirt to replicate MTS without the drying and soaking phases. Which will mean more initial water changes but right now that's easier for me to deal with.
What brand of organic potting mix will you be using? Will you tell me more about the process for this or send a link with good instructions? Theoretically, I do have the space for the MTS, but my yard is being revamped. I just added a retaining wall for the landscaping and extended the patios. The concrete is still curing and will need to be stained and it's kind of a mess out there. My fence replacement project is supposed to start this week too. I guess I have the option to wait for all of this stuff to be completed as well, but am weary of trying such a time consuming and messy project. Decision, decisions...
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 05:35 PM
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There isn't really a process to just adding organic potting mix. My aim is to use the Miracle Grow brand but I've used random things I've found in the past as well. As for the adding of the other things, I just am going to do that as you would when doing MTS for which there are links stickied I'm the substrate section of the forum.

Just add the dirt when the tank is dry and all, some people don't realize that and make a huge muddy mess by adding dirt into an already filled tank :S

I plan on using like 2 inches of dirt and a heavy cap of like 2 inches or so as well. I have ways of aerating it so I'm not concerned about gas pockets.

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