low maintenance set up - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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low maintenance set up

I have a custom size tank (approx. 50" x 30" x 30") that used to be a salt water set up. It has 2 metal halide lights and a sump. How can I best change it into a simple planted aquarium that won't have an algae problem, whilst using what I have? I know I won't need the skimmer, and I have lower level bulbs (that originally came with the fittings). I want to set it up 'right' so it runs as smoothly as possible. Would I need cO2 as the lighting is pretty strong? Could I just reduce the lighting time? What else do I need to consider?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ripley View Post
I have a custom size tank (approx. 50" x 30" x 30") that used to be a salt water set up. It has 2 metal halide lights and a sump. How can I best change it into a simple planted aquarium that won't have an algae problem, whilst using what I have? I know I won't need the skimmer, and I have lower level bulbs (that originally came with the fittings). I want to set it up 'right' so it runs as smoothly as possible. Would I need cO2 as the lighting is pretty strong? Could I just reduce the lighting time? What else do I need to consider?
Keyword search the web for Diana Walstad. There's a lot you need to know and her expertise will help you a bunch- a big bunch.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 02:31 PM
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What can you tell us about the MH lights? Watts, lumens, etc.

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 06:44 PM
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That's a terrific size for a planted tank.

Is there such a thing as a ballast that switch wattage of bulbs? Even with the deep tank 150 watt would be best. A bulb somewhere between 5000-10000K is usually pleasing to the eye. ADA's 8000K is really terrific if you have DE. Remember you need quite a lot of red in the spectrum and not so much blue.

I had 2x150watt MH over a 6x2x2 tank but it had to be 16" up or the corners weren't well lit and there would be lots of algae if I didn't keep on the CO2 level. With the same 16" over water to get good spread your PAR would be quite a bit lower at the bottom of the tank as your tank is deeper than mine. If the tank is run covered you could try the trick of putting window screen down between water and light as a shade but you likely would still want CO2 on the tank as well. Don't know if I have read about a tank successfully running with MH and no CO2 before.

And I am in favor of using a sump. If you use CO2 then running a full siphon along with an emergency siphon aka Herbie to limit turbulence or sealing the sump to limit air movement helps keep CO2 loss down. If you decide not to go with CO2 then that small issue is no longer an issue.

A good amount of flow is better, if your pump+powerheads can provide 5-10x tank volume per hour that would be great.

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