New 65g setup, looking for comments/help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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New 65g setup, looking for comments/help

Just got a new 65g tank that I've been looking at for a long time. I'm really excited to get it setup, but my head is spinning with all of the possibilities. I'll try to give you all my details and my plan, and I would love any and all suggestions and tips for a successful planted tank.

RO/DI water-aiming for low KH/GH and Ph 6.5-7
Filter-Eheim 2215(95g) and HOB AC 70
Light-36" Finnex Ray II, Stock T8(replaced with Floramax bulb), 24" T5
Pressurized CO2

Here is my idea for a layout.

I'm looking to use a piece of driftwood as the hardscape on the left side and using corkscrew val and bacopa as background, ludwigia repens and some anubias as midground.

Kei stone as hardscape, and HC as carpet.

Sand "river" in between.

I have several questions.

Is my tank wide enough to really pull off three "zones", or will it look too squished?

My lighting plan was to have the Finnex and stock light covering everything, and the T5 over the right side to give me enough light for the HC. Will this work?

I was also wondering if, to save money, I could get away with using Eco-complete on the left side for the moderate light plants, and using Aquasoil or Controsoil on the right side for the HC?

Thanks for your input.

Last edited by Troxey; 01-23-2015 at 07:45 PM. Reason: sp.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 04:32 PM
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Check out Seachem Flourite and Seachem Onxy Sand. I find it to be better for plants than the "live sand" eco.

I would put all your lights over the center of your tank and just raise them higher. I hang my reef lights from the ceiling. If you are able I would have them all on separate timers and around noon or 1 o'clock have it be peak light.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 07:58 PM
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Don't aim for GH/KH that is too low! I don't have particularly soft water and a few plants stunted until I added a bit of GH booster to the tank. Plants need some hardness.

The fore/mid/background shouldn't be in bands, have them interwoven a bit. With 18" to work with you will be fine. The height of your tank is going to be the issue I think. Keep the tallest plants to the back and have the others graduated in size so they won't shade the HC.

If you are disciplined enough to deal with a sand 'river' then I'd go for separate substrates to save money for sure. If substrates mix a little it wouldn't look awful anyway. I think the appearance of HC on AS is much better than on pet store substrates anyway as the particle size is too large to look good on the cheaper stuff.

Do the calculation and shop though. Aqua Soil and Controsoil aren't as pricy as they seem per bag. They are lighter weight than pet store substrates and you need fewer pounds. If petstore substrates sold by the liter you could better compare prices. For 3" in your tank you need 108 pounds of Eco Complete according to the substrate calculator found in Articles on this forum which might cost $115 on Amazon if you cut back to 100 pounds or 32 liters of Controsoil which would cost $135 if you cut back to 3 10 liter bags. That is just Amazon, perhaps you have a cheaper source.

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