Newbie needs help with set up - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie needs help with set up

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forums I was given as aquarium (Jewel vision 180) with cichlids on it by a friend leaving the country. However we do want something different so I am selling the cichlids and instead creating a planted community aquarium.

This is where I need your help, I have kept fish before but never plants so had no idea where to start. After reading several guides I am now decided on the type of system I want. I want a heavily planted aquarium so it seems supplying CO2 is pretty much mandatory.

Since I am getting of the current fish that gives the opportunity to start fresh and do planting without any fishing giving it time to settle and only add fish two or three afterwards when everything is stable. So I am thinking in getting "tropica substrate" and put it under my current sand. Is this ok or will it create gas pockets? The current sand is what I would consider a medium/coarse sand.
Do I need any extra fertilizer on top of that? And what should be the regime in extra fertilizer I should be supplying to the plants?

Should the plants be added then or should I fill the tank let it stabilize and then add the plants? Should the CO2 system be working from the start? Just thinking what I need to order so I can an order all together.

CO2 system, I am going with a system compatible with sodastream bottles (from CO2 Art) since this is the easiest system to get replacements for someone without a car.

Right Lighting then. I got a bunch of new tubes with the aquarium but they all are 25W Arcadia marine blue lights. Can I use this to grow the plants or do I need a plant specific one? The aquarium fits two tubes and I believe at the moment it has one the blue and another yellow lamp not sure on age of the tubes either.

Finally planting. I am thinking in some carpet plants and then a gradient of size from short to tall ones at the back specially on the corners as I want to maintain the central are cleaner with some bogwood. Can someone recommend good plants for this kind of setup? Main problems I have been finding is finding plants suitable for the local water which is quite hard and alkaline.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 08:54 PM
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Hi Bacms! Welcome aboard:-)

The Jewel 180 is a nice looking tank. You scored! You will need Co2 for a "planted tank", though you can also just have low-light plants and not worry about jumping into Co2 just yet.

If you are going "high-light/Co2" the DIY systems you're referring to, it probably won't be enough for the size of your tank. Generally they are used for tanks up to about 20 gallons +/-. Better off going with the "Complete Paintball Aquarium Co2 System" from Co2art.

You will want to stock the tank w/ a high biomass of plants right from the start to combat algae. It is a fine balance in a high-light tank between 3 factors: light, ferts & Co2.

Substrate is whatever you prefer, not sure what you currently have, but i'm not a fan of mixing them. Look up Estimative Index (EI) dosing for your plants needs. It is an easy concept and pretty straight-forward.

As far as lights go, I'd get some LED's...lots for you to research:-)

Cheers!


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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I am getting the "Advance Complete Sodastream Aquarium CO2 System for Planted Tank up to 500L" which CO2art claims should be suitable for my tank. Are you saying it won't be enough?

I was thinking in going medium light rather than high light although the main problem is I have just found the tank I have has the T8 rather than the current T5 so the current system is only 50W. Have been recommended to look into submersible LEDs to increase the output.

I will look into the EI dosing you mentioned. Thank you for your help
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 03:39 PM
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I would see if there are any reviews on that DIY Co2 system. Most folks here believe that anything over 20 gallons would be an inefficient use of DIY. You're going to have to make several bottles of the solution. I would think at minimum 4 2-liter bottles and then these will need to be changed out every week or 2. Lots of maintenance! You save money by getting a Co2 tank and getting one of the "regular" systems.

I believe the "watts" system of lighting is somewhat outdated these days and most prefer to gauge lighting w/ PAR.

Submersible LED's sound like a novelty item to me. I would look into the Current Satellite LED systems. Economical, minimalist, packs a lot of light and adjustable (sunrise, full-spectrum, moonlight, etc...)


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure you I am passing the message. The CO2 system I bought is equivalent to the CO2 system you mentioned, the only difference is it used a 60L CO2 bottle from sodastream. This are easily refillable at major supermarkets or you can mail them directly to sodastream.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 03:58 PM
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I believe you're talking about this one http://www.co2art.co.uk/collections/...ems/sodastream
Yes, it will work. I am planning on buying the same one. They're not understanding that it uses an actual co2 tank, it is not diy.

Last edited by fishyfishy101; 08-07-2015 at 03:58 PM.
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