Just an introduction and a few questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Just an introduction and a few questions

Hello Everyone!

I'm brand new here. I've decided to put together a nice planted tank in my dining room.

I've had dozens of tanks through the years, but never a true planted tank. I've got lots to learn for sure.

I've run everything from community tropical tanks to full blown reef setups, so I'm no stranger to water testing and equipment. I've been tankless now for about 6 years as my business was taking up all of my time and I didn't have the time to dedicate to making my reef setups successful. I'm a bit more free these days as the business has grown.

I made a bit of an impulsive purchase this past weekend and left out of That Fish Place with a Marineland 60 gallon frameless cube tank, stand, a couple of bags of "eco complete" and a Marineland 360 canister filter along with a few other odds and ends.

I also picked up an EcoTech Led light that will hang over my tank from the ceiling. It's the one listed here.

These are all exactly the same elements from a tank they have on display in their fish room that I really like, so I figured that would be a good start.

Right now I'm looking for a solid list of other supplies that I will need to set this tank up right the first time.

I haven't even put any water in the tank yet, but I'm hoping to start filling it up tomorrow to at least start getting it cycled.

Thanks in advance for any help or incites you can provide.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 01:02 PM
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Go with pressurized co2, buy dry ferts, read up on dosing ei method, planting tools

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah it looks like I've got a lot of reading to do before I purchase/ setup my co2.

Should the tank be cycled before I implement co2? Should the tank be completely cycled before I put in any plants?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 02:13 PM
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No and no. Plants will help if anything. Co2 isn't Mich reading at all to be honest. A lot of people get overwhelmed but there really isn't a reason to be.

Start off with the tank, bigger is better in all cases. Now you need a regulator with solenoid and needle valve. Gla and co2art are both great options with co2art being a bit cheaper than glad and still puts out a solid product. For our purposes a single stage and dual stage makes no big difference. With a quality single stage, there is no need to worry.

To diffuse your co2 there is two great options which most of us use, while some use both together. There is pros and con's to both methods but again for what we want its not going to make or break your tank. Diy reactors and atomic diffusers are both popular options. Diy reactors can be made fairly cheap and work well. It is said that co2 bubbles coming in contact with the plants leaves is best form for delivery. Reactors dont make bubbles and people like that, you tank doesnt look like a sprite bottle . Atomic diffusors creat a very fine mist of bubbles, require more cleaning but take up way less space.

Constant co2 is important, making sure you have a good amount of co2 is too. 30ppm co2 is recommended for most setups while many run under and over that value with success. Keep in mind plants are made up of mostly carbon. Ultimately your fish will tell you your max limit. For my tank, 45-50ppm is pushing it, my fish will start feeling drunk and may even begin to gasp at the surface.

The more o2 the more co2 you can pump. They are independent of each other. You will off gas some co2 by having lots of surface agitation, generally a good ripple is key but no real splashing. Don't be cheap with co2. Its cheap to fill a big tank which lasts a good long while.

A lot of people like drop checkers and bubble counters. I prefer to use ph pen and my kh value to monitor my co2 concentration. And like I said earlier, my fish are a great indicator as well.

Co2 tubing is cheap and works as it should. Nothing to really say about it.

Hopefully that helps.

When first starting out you can avoid a lot of algae issues but planting a ton of plants, keeping the photoperiod around 6 hours, and keeping the tank clean.

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 02:22 PM
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You can plant it from the start, preferably, you'd plant it very heavily from the start.

That said, don't be in an rush to fill it -- take some time to plan and scape it carefully. Have everything (CO2, control of your light intensity, fertilizers) on hand first before you fill.

This will pay off in terms of problems avoided.

What's your tap water like? Most cities/water associations have water quality reports available online or for the asking. Water changes are the lifeblood of your system. Knowing what's in it, and what you need to add, can be important.
Ferts you'll most likely need:
KNO3 -- for nitrate
KH2PO4 -- for phosphate
K2SO4 -- for additional potassium
Iron/micronutrient supplement, such as Plantex CSM+B

Ferts you may/may not need:
Water hardness booster -- if your water is particularly soft
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) -- if your water needs magnesium

Last edited by Christophe; 09-06-2015 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Added info about dry ferts
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. That's actually really helpful!

Any good online sources for nice tall pieces of petrified wood?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-07-2015 at 03:39 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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