So, I have been researching for a few weeks and so far here is the plan:
I am hoping to do a semi-heavily planted tank with medium light.
I already have my tank, filter, and heater. Lighting, substrate, and CO2 are waiting for a final decision.
Tank: 50G (48X13X18)
Filter: Magnum 350
Heater: Visitherm 200W
Substrate: black Flourite mixed with brown/tan gravel (50/50?)
Lighting: 2X55 watt as seen here - http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm
Now the CO2...
I have access to a lot of high pressure equipment/parts where I work, so I have a few options here.
This is a regulator from a breathing air cart we used to use. It is a basic high pressure to lower pressure regulator that uses a valve to adjust output pressure. Don't mind the funky fittings, adaptors, and Ts... I have all parts needed to connect it in a standard configuration.
This is a different regulator we use sometimes for precise calibration for gas monitors. It is a high pressure to VERY low pressure regulator. The acrylic block on the left is something called a rotameter and we use them to measure flow rate in liters per minute. Essentially it is just a needle valve with a floating ball to show how fast the gas is moving.
The second regulator/valve set is a much nicer set in my opinion, but, every regulator I have seen in kits sold for aquariums is similar to the first. What are your thoughts?
From what I can tell the easiest thing for me to do would be to run the gas into an in-tank diffuser like the one in the link below. I was also considering getting one with a built-in bubble counter so I don't have to do the soda bottle with tubing glued to it.
Barring CO2, does everything else seem to be in check? Or am I missing anything? I plan to begin working on the tank in about a month, so I have plenty of time to work on the setup.
Any and all opinions are welcome and appreciated.