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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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I'm a newb.

Hi all,
Have kept freshwater fish for a few years, making the step from plastic plants to live plants. Have done some research. Here's what I've got so far.

1. 45g flat back hex tank
2. 2x96w jbj lighting hood, 1 blue 1 white
3. 200w stick on back of tank heater
4. fluval 304 with ceramic pieces in top, lava rock in middle, and additional
floss in bottom
5. flourite/sand mix for bottom inch of substrate, 2 more inches of sand on top
6. 2x Hagen Plant Grow Natural System with CO2

Put the water in it today, added dechlorinator and turned on the filter. Water is very cloudy, should settle in a day or so.

Tank goals: Lush green carpet, tall plants in back to hide heater and filter tubes, nice mix of green and red plants ( got no clue as to the names of any of these types of plants).

Any tips or suggestions?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 12:41 PM
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Get rid of the actinic light. It's almost worthless for a planted tank.

If your sand is finer than your Flourite it will end up at the bottom with the Flourite sitting on top.

Read my FAQ on information on the silent cycle in a planted tank.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 02:58 PM
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In addition to Rex's assesment...I don't know how much CO2 you're gonna get outta those two Plant gro kits. It might work, but not with those 2 grey canisters for CO2...get a couple of large (gallon sized) juice bottles and use those with about 1.5 cups of sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. stick a diffuser at each back corner of the tank. that might get you enough.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 03:12 PM
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If you can afford it, go for pressurized CO2. Less mess and hassle and you get a more stable, constant CO2 injection into the tank...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Get rid of the actinic light. It's almost worthless for a planted tank.


Ok I know this is a common opinion here and perhaos it is correct but could you explain how so? I remember from Bio that green plants absorb Blue and Red light. I also did a quick check on a few sites to make sure my memory was right.


I also looked for differences between above and underwater plants and as far as I can tell there is known whenit comes to use of light.

I have also sent an email to an old Bio Prof seeking his opinions and will post that here if/when I get a response.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 02:01 AM
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Actinic bulbs have a very narrow spectrum. While it is on the LOW end of what plants need they really prefer green/red. If you really want to prove this to yourself then try growing plants under two Actinic bulbs.

Also Actinic bulbs are designed to simulate the light conditions in salt water at depths greater than 12 feet. Many of our plants are not found that deep. Some are but most are not.
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