First Planted Tank Needs Help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7
First Planted Tank Needs Help

Hi,
I have begun to set up my first official planted tank in a 30x12x15 inch aquarium (Note: Tank is 15 inches high and 12 inches wide).

I will give you a quick rundown of the equipment so far. The filter is an internal fluval 2 plus with just sponges in. The tank is lit by a 36 inch 30W Interpet Triton and a 36 inch 30W Hagen Power-glo fluorescent tube and both tubes have full length reflectors attached. I have a pressurised co2 system with night shut off valve and i also have an undergravel heating cable. The heater is a climate 150W heater which is set at 25 degrees C at the minute.

The substrate is quite complicated and i will describe it briefly. It consists of a 25W Rena heating cable which winds through about 1.5 inches of sand. Then there is a layer of laterite followed by a final layer of quartz gravel about an inch thick.

Before i describe the water parameters, plants and fish i intend to keep i need to know if the filter is ok for the plants (Note: the filter exit is positioned below the water level to avoid air disruption) and whether the lighting is bright enough. Any comments?
simonschutz is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 03:36 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
unirdna's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,291
You've got 60w over your tank, which looks to put you in range to handle low/med-light plants. You tank is also very shallow, which can only help. So long as those lights burn at 5000K or hotter, you should be in ok shape.

Your substrate situation sounds, er, complex. I have never used substrate heaters, as I am not so ambitious (or patient). It does sound like you've layered your sand, laterite, gravel mixture in the best possible way (fine to coarse) for avoiding mixing. But, again, I've never used this combo.

I think your filter will do just fine. Many folks on the forum use AquaClear filters, and seem quite happy with them. Since this filter will not have any biological substrate, I recommend that you start your tank with plants only, and give it a month or two to settle in before adding any fish. If your water experiences an ammonia/nitrite spike, you're plants will be fine, but any fishies would surely suffer.

Guess I got a bit ahead of your questions, didn't I? Sorry about that.

Ted


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Set up April 2007 -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Terminated March 2007 -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
unirdna is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 03:51 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,165
Hmmm...30x15x12...that sounds like a 20gallon long. If they've got 2 30watt tubes, that's 60watts... 3wpg and in the high-light range, especially since it's a shallow tank.

I think the filter is just fine, and it's good that you have CO2 althoguh I think pressurized is overkill for anything under 55gallons. However you can always make a manifold and add more needle valves and run additional setups off the same CO2 cylinder/regulator.
malkore is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 03:57 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
unirdna's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,291
Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
Hmmm...30x15x12...that sounds like a 20gallon long. If they've got 2 30watt tubes, that's 60watts... 3wpg and in the high-light range, especially since it's a shallow tank.
Malkore,
I think a 20 long is 30x12x12. So this tank sounds a bit bigger. Additionally, since a 36 in bulb is to be used on a 30 in tank, 15 % or so of the light would just bleed to the sides. These two factors would put the tank at 2 wpg, or so. That's why I suggested low/med light plants. That said, none of these rules are hard and fast.

Ted


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Set up April 2007 -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Terminated March 2007 -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
unirdna is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7
Thanks for the info guys.

Does it make any difference that i have light reflectors on the tubes. I hear they can double the output of your bulbs thus making 120W, is this true?

I intend to keep mainly amazonian plants such as various echinodorus species, heteranthera zosterifolia, micranthemum umbrosum and maybe some hairgrass. I want to create as near to a biotope as possible without creating a dense jungle as the amazon is in places. Will the light be sufficient for these plants?
simonschutz is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 06:22 PM
Ibn
Planted Tank VIP
 
Ibn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,212
The tank is close pretty close to a 20 gallon (dimensions put it at approx. 23.38 gallons), and that light is indeed towards the moderate to high light side (3" isn't significant to drop the light intensity down, especially with a good reflector and the substrate depth being beefed up).

The reflectors do make a difference, but it doesn't multiply your light output. Because of the way the bulb is shaped, you lose quite a bit of light, and the reflector is there to minimize on this. For that reason, you don't double the output by having a reflector (e.g. 30W will always be 30W, even with the best reflectors).

The lighting will be plenty for what you wish to plant. Just make sure that you don't run those bulbs until they're literally burnt out, and replace them on a regular interval.

Last comment that I would like to make is on the filter itself. The internal Fluval 2 makes it that much harder to clean, since you will have to insert your hand into the tank, yank it out and then clean it. For ease of maintenance alone, you are better served with another type of filter, such as a canister (which also has a higher flow rate and more room for media). If you do choose to do so, you will have to fork out a bit of money for it, but I don't think that's such an issue since you're running substrate heating in the beginning.

Eric


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ibn is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7
Hey Ibn,

Thanks for the info about reflectors. The canister filter isn't an option as the tank is situated under another and has no room at the side for a canister and no room underneath as it is only a couple of inches from the floor.

Now i know my equipments ok onto the other question, water parameters.
My tap water comes out at pH 7.2 with nitrite, nitrate and ammonia all 0 mg/l. Phosphate is 0.25mg/l and then according to my test kit gH is 140mg/l and KH is 90mg/l.

Are these readings reasonable as the gh looks a little high. As i am adding co2 then these readings (KH, GH and pH) will all drop won't they, or have i miss understood something. If the co2 will drop the ph etc. then is it ok to add co2 to take the levels down to pH 6.8 and KH and GH about 50 mg/l.
simonschutz is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 09:07 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
unirdna's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,291
Your phosphate is ok, but I'd recommend weekly water changes to prevent an algae bloom. Continually topping off evaporated water could create a concentrating effect - hence the water changes.

A KH of 5 deg and GH of 8 is just fine - in fact, darn near ideal for a community tank. You've misunderstood the KH, GH, pH relationship a bit, as only the pH will drop once CO2 is added. CO2 will drive down the pH, but the dissolve CO3 (KH) and Ca/Mg/K (GH) will remain the same. Carbonate buffers the water to have a higher pH, and CO2 drives it down. The more carbonate you have the higher the pH (generally speaking), and the more CO2 dissolved in solution, the lower the pH. The chart says, "if you have -blank- amount of carbonate, and your pH is -blank-, then your CO2 level is -blank-. The whole point of the chart is to prevent the user from dissolving too much CO2; suffocating fish and/or causing a pH crash. Make sense?

Ted


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Set up April 2007 -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Terminated March 2007 -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
unirdna is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 11:51 PM
Ibn
Planted Tank VIP
 
Ibn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,212
Shouldn't really be a problem if it's situated underneath another tank, as long as you have enough space to sneak input/output tubes into it in the beginning. I've used canisters placed at the same height as the tank it was filtering without any problems. You can still use the Fluval that you currently have, just a bit inconvenient during maintenance.

Eric


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ibn is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2004, 01:10 AM
Doesn't like Kool-Aid
 
Momotaro's Avatar
 
PTrader: (52/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hawthorne, New Jersey
Posts: 10,125
Sounds like Simon is on the right path. Good equipment, good lighting, good substrate and good water parameters.

I like the Amazon idea. your lighting should be fine for the kind of aquarium you intend on creating. Only flaw I can see is the Echinodorus species. That 15" height is really going to prevent those Sword plants from reaching their full potential. Your aquarium may just be too small to accommodate Echinodorus species.

Mike

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Momotaro is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2004, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7
Hi,

Thanks for all the advice again guys. It looks as though i'm ready to go then. My tank is already mature by the way. It had a pair of breeding apistogramma agassizi's in for a while till i moved them to a bigger tank. I plan on having just these fish in when the tank is ready with some amano shrimps.

For the echinodorus's I was looking at the following as they are smaller than usual: echinodorus parviflorus, echinodorus quadricostatus 'xinguensis', echinodorus tenellus for the foreground and maybe echinodorus uruguayensis.
Will these be ok?
simonschutz is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 12:59 AM
Doesn't like Kool-Aid
 
Momotaro's Avatar
 
PTrader: (52/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hawthorne, New Jersey
Posts: 10,125
Have to pull out my Kasselmann's.... let's see.

Echinodorus parviflorus: 27cm tall, that's about 12"- that could work.
Echinodorus quadricostatus: 5cm tall, that's about 2" - that will work. Beautiful plant by the way!
Echinodorus tenellus: We know that's a good one.
Echinodorus uruguayensis: Up to 70cm tall in the aquarium, that's about 28"_ that is a "NO"!

Looks like you have made some good choices in your quest to recreate a bit of the Amazon in Stoke-on-Trent! Planning on adding a bit of Wedgewood to your aquascape?

Mike

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Momotaro is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New planted tank questions melbourne General Planted Tank Discussion 7 09-23-2004 03:12 PM
Pixelcrayon's 75gal Planted Tank pixelcrayon Tank Journals 48 07-27-2004 08:58 PM
Planted Tank; no Fish louisxyz General Planted Tank Discussion 3 04-26-2004 08:06 PM
An inexpensive planted tank! Wasserpest General Planted Tank Discussion 9 02-15-2004 05:42 PM
Basics for Planted Tank Reefraff General Planted Tank Discussion 5 10-14-2003 08:31 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome