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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure these questions get asked over and over but I havent had much time to really go through the forum yet.

First Ill tell you what I am working with... I just setup a 120wide with a playsand substrate. I have pressurized co2 and about 10,000 lumens of 6500k lighting.

#1 What is a good range of temperature for a planted setup? Is there a too hot or too cold?

#2 What kind of filtration do I need for a planted tank? Right now I am using a big powerhead pulling through a sponge filter.

#3 I do plan on some tetras/neons and some dwarf cichlids... Maybe even some discus at a way later date. Does this change the answer to #2?

Ill ask more questions when I think of them.
 

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1. 76F

2. How big is the tank again, 120 gallons? A big canister filter would be good for that.

3. No, none of those have any special filtration demands. Having enough space in the filter to house enough bacteria to meet the bioload is imperative in any case. The tank and sand will also house some, and a CO2 injected, heavily planted tank tends to be it's own biofilter, but choosing the size of filtration in relation to the bioload is smart husbandry. Good flow is also important for dispersing CO2 throughout a heavily planted tank, dead spots can cause algae problems and issues with pant health. I would personally use a modular filter like an Ocean Clear with a pressure pump, or maybe an FX5, or even a pair of Rena Filstars.
 

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In theory, with a heavily planted tank, you don't need a lot of biological filtration. However, you do need some circulation. Seems like most folks in this forum use canister filters on tanks the size of yours. My biggest is 38 gallons and I'm moving towards a canister filter (already have it working with HOB filter).

However, the kind of filtration that you choose is really a personal choice, based upon the pros and cons of the various options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
76 degrees seems a little low??? How do Rams and Discus survive in that low of a temp?

My lighting is 6 T12 phillips 6500k bulbs in a fixture I guess. Sorry I'm a noob.

Ok MTS... I have seen this a lot so far from browsing the site and now I know wtf they are! lol
 

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In terms of temperature, plants like fish, each have their own specific range of acceptable temperatures. I keep my tanks in the 78-80 degree range. Seems like most plants will survive in temperatures between 75 and 80. However, you'll have to make specific adjustments for any special fish or plants that you want to raise. I don't know about the requirements of Rams or Discus, but I'd guess that most plants will survive in whatever temps you need for those fish.

In my encylopedia of aquarium plants, I see plants that will survive in 50 degree water and others that are comfortable in 86 degree water.
 

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Discus are said to prefer a higher temp in the low 80s. 76 is not cold by any means, it's a nice rounded spot that seems to be less prone to support unwanted bacterial growth and is a good range for your run of the mill fish. The plants can handle much more range so temp should be chosen for the fish and inverts. I can hardly keep my tanks below 82 down here in FL, even with the AC set at 75-76. I have my bouts of bacterial infections but I can't say it's more than the average aquarist. Anyway, if you are going to keep Discus then you should probably shoot for 80.
 

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#1- 84F for me because of discus
#2- I run an XP3 and an XP4 for my 125
#3- refer to #1
 
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