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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hi there im new to the forum and have been following the site for several months but ive only just joined:icon_roll

this forum has been a vital research point for me since i got back into keeping around a year ago.
as you all know it doesnt take long to get dug into the hobby which has resulted in many tanks nanos and larger displays and a very grumpy wife:icon_smil


so i thought i would start by sharing a full display project im getting organised now to have 100% running within the next 6 weeks here is the spec list

6ft x 2ft high by 18" deep
72l x 18d x 24h 12mm glass tank

lighting:

1800mm light rig with 3x 150w metal halide and 2x 54w kelvin blue tubes
2x 2ft 24w tubes for creating timed dusk dawn effects

filtration:
2x fluval fx5 filters

heating:
2x 300w hydor inlines with 25mm-16mm (split) reducing plumbing for the fx5

eco complete 2part black -1part red mix with 1part fine gravel (although im not 100% with this yet)

jbl proflora m602 kit (havnt bought this yet but pretty sure im going for this)

due to the intense lighting im avoiding fast growing stem planting, im going for crypts anubias and java fern mainly with the addition of some swords and wisteria plus polysperma to start the tank off

the hardscape is a huge 25kg bogwood root which spans the whole 6ft length of the tank and has superb shaded areas underneath for the slow growers.

cant wait to start building the stand etc which should begin in the next week so photos to follow

cheers
stewart

by the way if anyone has any pointers with regards to the setup id appreciate some feedback :icon_smil
 

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Good evening, firstly I suggest joining us over on UKaps, the uks sole planted tank forum.
Secondly I would like to point out that you can make vast savings just by buying non branded euro stock.
For example I got a co2 kit for £80 including diffuser and solenoid.
Eco complete isn't as good as columbo flora grow base layer or oliver knotts product.

Lighting wise you could (and in my opinion should) drop the blue tubes, we're not making a reef here. :p
You could drop a halide comfortably too, or LEDs from tmc, half the electricity costs straight away.
Filters wise the fx5's are good but will need the filter tubes changing, I've got one that I don't use and you can gain 500lph just by getting rid of the ribbed tubing.
Unless the room gets very very cold you could probably use one heater.
Without checking I think you might actually need an extra powerhead, with big tanks aiming for 15x turnover is a good idea, if not better, the more flow we throw at tanks the better our plant growth tends to be, just like reefs we're realising the significance of flow in the tank. I've had 30x turnover on one tank and it was easily the best behaved, and I never once had the ridiculous statement people often say where they say "oh 10x turnover is way too much it keeps pulling my plants up". It just means they didn't do a good job of planting ;)

The biggest thing I read that sends alarm bells ringing is your avoidence of stems, with so much light you're asking for algae trouble, stems are fantastic because they strip the water quickly, crpyts ferns etc dont need such light and grow slowly and you will always struggle to maintain them with such light because you'll be walking on a knifes edge where if you don't have enough co2 or ferts you'll get nuked, especially as you'll be mixing you gravel with an already less than equal base, I'd be wanting to get as much nutrients into the base to help give you extra wiggle room while you're getting used to everything.

I'm sure there's more but I don't want to swamp you. I'll read and think but I'd strongly recommend joining UKaps.
 

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Welcome to TPT!

I agree, that's an awful lot of light for this tank. I'm guessing you're trying to avoid stems b/c they will be so much work to trim? But I agree with Garuf that you'll probably struggle to balance out the tank that way since the lighting is so high. You might incorporate some floating plants instead; that should still leave the tank on the lower maintenance side yet provide light control for the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for that garuf
i will look into the other substrates for sure

the blue light came built into the halide rig but i presumed they were there to add the blue spectrum lacking in the halides?

the blues are seperately switchable so i could leave them switched off if they arent giving any specific benefits to the plants

with regards ton the stems i was talking more about the serious prune hungry varieties like ludwigia and cobombas etc im am adding some other stems but i havnt really set out any for sure

the set list on order now are

10 wisteria
20 hygrophila polysperma
20 java fern to grow in and between the bogwood in the shady areas
35 hairgrass bunches to form a carpet throughout all the open areas
10 anubias also for the shady areas beneath the midforground plants and the bogwood
and some anubias nana which im planning on securing within the cracks and crevices of the bogwood.

some other stems im interested in are

background behind the bogwood:

alternanthera rieneckii (red hygrophila)
echinodorus bleheri (broadleaf amazon sword)
rotala indica (dwarf rotala)
heteranthera zosterifolia (stargrass)

forground with the hairgrass:

echinodorus tenellus (pigmy chain sword)
sagittaria platyplylla (giant sagittaria)
several crypt varieties for mid forground beneath and around the bogwood
 

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Where are you ordering from?
The most rampant plants are some of the ones you've just bought.
I'm guessing by your plant list you're buying from plantsalive or java plants? My advice, forget it.
by my merits you're still lacking some plants, I used 35 on a 2footx1foot tank, that times 6 is some crazy number of pots.

I personally would wait and read more, get a scape sorted and then go back to your plants, the few species the better initially. Get a good grasp on things then work back in.

You sounds very serious and your equipment suggests similarly, the best thing you can do is research an aesthetic, look back into it and at the same time always be looking at what is good and people recommend, get to grips with co2 the science of fertilising and light. It's a lot to digest and anything set up while learning will inevitably suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hi laura
yes its really the maintainace thing with the super fast growers.
because the tank will be so bare above the bogwood i do want a stem wall but im really after some manageable foliage

i presumed the polysperma would create a good bush behind the wood along with the wisteria as they will not get the full light until they are up above the bogwood which in some places is 20" high

so i was thinking if polysperma will grow in almost any condition it should easily thrive behind the wood where it will be getting about half the open areas light.

there will be several areas in the tank where there will be very thick planting so im hoping to outpace the algae but im open to any good nutrient filtering species that will keep things in check
 

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Hmm, the idea of out pacing algae is very out dated, it holds weight but it really is outmoded. Really, the key thing to understand is limiting of ammonia, the importance of flow and co2. And realising you don't need a tonne of light.

polysperma is the fastest growing plant so much so that it's often used as a way of seeing difficiencies early on before other less telling plants show because the growth and up take is so fast that it shows things first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yes garuf i agree completely
thats why i have only initially ordered the hardy foliage just now and i will bring more in as i go

aquascape wise ive already figured things out but its really just the backgound planting im more wary of as it could end up as a wilderness while all the mid forground struggles to catch up

alot of the wisteria and swords are being transfered from my 4ft so im treating that as a rooting tank at the moment along with most of the anubias and some of the java ferns
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Filters wise the fx5's are good but will need the filter tubes changing, I've got one that I don't use and you can gain 500lph just by getting rid of the ribbed tubing.
Unless the room gets very very cold you could probably use one heater.
Without checking I think you might actually need an extra powerhead,


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yes i have ordered new 25mm hose to replace the ribbed stuff and ive worked a y connection into the outlet to allow 2 16mm hoses from the one 25mm this way i can setup the inline heaters without ristricting the flow from the output hose and i will probably use the 2 seperately to create different flow paths in the tank

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i was told that i would definately need 2 300w heaters for the tank as its 512 ltrs?

i can always send one back but i presumed the pair would be needed
 

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yes i have ordered new 25mm hose to replace the ribbed stuff and ive worked a y connection into the outlet to allow 2 16mm hoses from the one 25mm this way i can setup the inline heaters without ristricting the flow from the output hose and i will probably use the 2 seperately to create different flow paths in the tank

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i was told that i would definately need 2 300w heaters for the tank as its 512 ltrs?

i can always send one back but i presumed the pair would be needed
I'm with you, it's a very sensible move, something that I simply don't understand why fluval don't do. Regarding the outlet it was something I intended to do but never got around to, the only issue I can imagine would be the pipes would have to have the same lengths and resistances to prevent all the water shooting down one and a trickle going down the other.
I don't have the flow rates for a Fx5 on hand and I can't remember but will two reach the magic base line of 10x the volume every hour, ie, 15200lph? Hydor internal powerheads or external pumps would be what you'd need to up the flow to meet this magic recommended base line, but even then the more the better, especially in bigger tanks where dead spots and low flow accross the substrate can become a real issue.

It really depends on the ambient temperature of your house in the depths of winter, because of the super high turnover of the pumps and the efficiency of the heaters I would imagine you would only need the one, it's better to have two however as a back up but I personally think if your house is kept at around 20degrees c then one filter should easily cope with the 4c increase in temperature, I can heat 60l with a 1200lph filter from 14c to 24c in 3 minutes so I imagine it's enough. If you've already got it it's best to use it though, makes perfect sense to have a back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the fx5s arrived today!
crikey they are huge! should just about work round the tank stand.
obviously they came with no media so i am looking for a cheap but effective solution?
im guessing ceramic rings would be the best all rounder but is there a low cost version?
 

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Fluvals are designed to be used with predominately sponge media, that meant for ponds is the best and most cost effective way of doing it.

If you stock very lightly for the tank size (not the most desirable thing, but good in terms of the aesthetics of a scape) You can get away with using a very very pourous sintered glass media (the best available) in just one filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
just found 4kg of ceramic rings for 24 quid on ebay so there on their way to me now i will probably add different media to the seperate baskets :icon_lol:

is it truly useful to add carbon with this setup?
i am more than willing to buy some but constantly replacing it does eat into your pocket in the longrun
 

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I tried carbon in my FX5. Its purpose was to remove tannins. I have since then switched to Purigen in my tanks using carbon. It's rechargeable and more effective and is supposed to not remove trace minerals in any significant amount. The bonus is that your water will be clearer than you have ever seen. In a big tank with a lot of depth, that's important.
 
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