The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Journey From Reef to Planted...

For the better part of the past twenty years, I've kept reef tanks, mostly SPS. As did many, I got my start in aquaria with freshwater tanks. In my case it was 55 gallon tanks with Oscars and Jack Dempsys in my bedroom some 40 years ago. While I was certainly aware of planted tanks, I never really paid much attention, that is until a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled across Takashi Amano's builds at the Sumido Aquarium in Tokyo. These were different. While I knew they were an incredible and complex undertaking, they instilled a calmness and serenity that I found irresistible. I truly love my reef tanks, but I HAD to try this.

I have a few Mr. Aqua 12 longs and stands on hand that I had purchased for other reef builds that I imagined would provide nice proportions for an Iwagumi -style build, so I started my research which inevitable led me to TPT and many others 12 long builds. Enough of the backstory - here's the beginning...

This will be a peninsular build visible from 3 sides using the Mr. Aqua Elm stand stained ebony (just a hint of grain) and finished with Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane - Satin. All equipment will be hidden in the stand with only the clear drain, return, top off and CO2 lines visible.

  • Tank - Mr. Aqua 12 Long (36" X 8" X 9")
  • Lights - 23W TrueLumen Pro 8,000K, R2 LED Moonlights
  • CO2 - Aquarium Plants Carbon Doser, ADA Pollen Glass Type 3
  • Filtration - Eheim 2215 with Lily Pipe Outflow P-2 13mm and Lily Pipe Inflow MINI V-1 13mm, Cabochon Ruby check valve
  • ATO - YTBD (I travel a lot so an ATO is needed)
  • Substrate - Power Sand>Aqua Soil- NEW Amazonia Regular>Aqua Soil- NEW Amazonia - Powder
  • Hardscape - Ryuo stones
  • Flora - YTBD
  • Fauna - YTBD
  • Heater - Hydor ETH200 200W Inline (much larger than needed, but the smallest inline I could find.)
  • Controller - I have an Apex Aquacontroller managing two reef tanks in the room where this build will reside that can also manage/monitor this tank, I can easily add a temp probe (heater failsafe), pH probe (CO2 failsafe) and perhaps ORP if I can deduce some usage in freshwater IF I can figure out a way to hide them without having a sump. It will also manage lighting sunrise/sunset and Lunar cycles.
  • Test Kit - API
  • Water - Well water with 0TDS RO/DI available if needed
I have the tank, stand (waiting to be finished and assembled) CO2 tank regulator, Eheim 2215 and controller - The rest is being ordered with the ADA components coming from ADG. Due to my lack of planted experience, I decided to largely use ADA recommended equipment, supplies and dosing regimes understanding that while it surely could be done less expensively - it might help me avoid "nooby" mistakes.

I am slowly working my way through the tremendous differences and dichotomies between planted and reef and greatly appreciate any comments and/or advice on the overall plan and equipment chosen.

Thanks for following!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Sounds good to me. Looking forward to it.

Are you going to DIY some leds? I just thought this up, but you could try two 16" finnex ray II leds.

If you did want to save some easy bucks you could purchase dry ferts. Buy a set of measuring spoons and you can dose on the cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sounds good to me. Looking forward to it.

Are you going to DIY some leds? I just thought this up, but you could try two 16" finnex ray II leds.

If you did want to save some easy bucks you could purchase dry ferts. Buy a set of measuring spoons and you can dose on the cheap.
Thanks!
I like the Ray IIs, except for having to rig a way to use 2 X 16". I've also been watching Interzoo to see if there's anything relevant coming. Lots of new pendant offerings too. I've got AIs. ReefBrite and Maxspect LEDs on hand, but none in the FW spectrum. I'll get something figured out by the time all this comes together :)
 

·
SCAPEr
Joined
·
2,560 Posts
Thanks!
I like the Ray IIs, except for having to rig a way to use 2 X 16". I've also been watching Interzoo to see if there's anything relevant coming. Lots of new pendant offerings too. I've got AIs. ReefBrite and Maxspect LEDs on hand, but none in the FW spectrum. I'll get something figured out by the time all this comes together :)
Finnex is making ray2 36" :icon_smil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks FG :)

Here are a couple shots of the Mr. Aqua Stand (not my photos)



While I like the minimalist style, the fit and finish are lacking. The stand requires a lot of filling and sanding prior to finishing to come anywhere near furniture grade. There are many finger joints visible hence my use of ebony stain....



Still, I think it will work well for my installation once "tweaked" a bit.

I'm hoping to finalize the equipment today and get things ordered. Frank at ADG indicated most of the ADA items currently out of stock should be arriving this Friday.

I'm still struggling to find a way (other than drilling the tank and adding a sump or adding a HOB filter) to use my controller and still be able to hide all probes. The temp probe could be hidden in the substrate(although the wire would still show.) There's really no way to completely hide the pH and ORP probes with my intended minimalist design. Although obviously they are not needed, it just seems a shame not to to utilize them as the controller sits within a few feet of the tank.

Another thought - I was among a few that pioneered the use of high power lasers for controlling marine pests and algae. I'll be curious to learn if there are any potential applications in planted tanks. I'm new to TPT and am not sure of the rules regarding outside links. If you want to learn more or see videos of the lasers in use, just Google "Use of Lasers in Controlling Pest Algae and Corals"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I made a call on the lighting...



Current USA 36" TrueLumen Pro in 8,000K


The tank mounting brackets raise the light about 1.5"

Based on the PAR data contained in samamorgan's LED PAR thread, a single unit at 23W should provide ~75 PAR. I expect the actual PAR numbers to be slightly higher than reported as the PAR measurements used were from tests conducted by AquaNerd using the marine version of the light. The Apogee MQ-200 PAR meter underestimates PAR when measuring very blue light by up to ~20%. I'll share PAR data once set up.

This should provide enough PAR and a very small footprint resulting in minimum distraction. The only think it doesn't provide is moonlighting, but that can be addressed separately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Nice setup, and welcome to sweet water!
Thanks bitFUUL - This should be a fun.

ADA order placed...

  • 101-507 Clear Parts Set 1
  • 104-041 Aqua Soil- NEW Amazonia (9 liters)- Powder Type 2
  • 104-012 Power Sand SPECIAL-M 6 liter 1
  • 104-111 Bacter 100 1
  • 105-021 Clear Super 1
  • 104-113 Tourmaline BC 1
  • 150-005 Penac P 200g (For Plants) 1
  • 150-003 Penac W 200g (Aquarium) 1
  • 102-1014 Pollen Glass Type 3 1
  • 103-001 Green Brighty STEP 1 500ml 1
  • 103-021 Brighty K 500ml 1
  • 103-101 Green Bacter 50ml 1
  • 103-104 ECA 50ml 1
  • 103-103 Phyton-Git 50ml 1
  • 103-102 Green Gain 50ml 1
  • 106-002 Pincettes M 1
  • RyStone Ryuo Stone 30 (I won't need anywhere near 30lbs, but it will provide for more options in stone selection)
  • 104-043 Aqua Soil- Africana (9 liters)- Powder Type 1
  • 105-300 Clear Hose (3m) 13mm 1
  • 102-512 Cabochon Ruby 1 (I've got lots of check valves, but this one is beautiful :))
  • 102-412 Lily Pipe Outflow P-2 13mm 1
  • 102-433 Lily Pipe Inflow MINI V-1 13mm 1
  • 102-701 Joint Glass 11mm 1
  • 103-302 Drop Checker 1
  • 102-011 NA Thermometer J-05CL (5mm) "Fahrenheit Ver." 1
Frank advised the container was due in Friday, so hopefully these will ship early next week. Lights will arrive tomorrow and I'll try and get the stand finished over the weekend.

Progress :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Lights and a few other components came in today. I heard from Frank that the ADA order will ship Monday or Tuesday. I've got an idea on how to tie in my Apex and probes in a manner that won't visually impact the tank (I'll tinker with it this weekend to see if it's viable.)

And in a rare moment of clarity, I'm wondering what I thought I was going to do with a 200 watt heater on a 12 gallon tank :eek5: Into the cabinet full of unused/un-needed parts it goes.

My hope is to get the finish work done on the stand and get the tank and lights set up this weekend. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
^^ what light did you buy?
8,000K True Lumen Pro. At 23W with surface mounted emitters and without secondary optics, I'm hoping for decent spread and PAR ~80 on this tank.

May I know how much is the lighting strip cost?
$130 for the light, $45 for the power supply and $17 for the tank docking mounts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
8,000K True Lumen Pro. At 23W with surface mounted emitters and without secondary optics, I'm hoping for decent spread and PAR ~80 on this tank.

$130 for the light, $45 for the power supply and $17 for the tank docking mounts.
I'm stuck between the 12K and 8k now. Please give us the review when you get it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'm stuck between the 12K and 8k now. Please give us the review when you get it :)
I had the same struggle - My background is Reefs and it's hard to accept 8,000K as an ideal - to my eye, the 12,000K+ blue looks much better but...

I know just enough to know I don't planted (yet) so I trust those that say 8000K is the color.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The Mr. Aqua stand turned out to be more work than anticipated. Virtually every piece needed work having gaps in many of the the board seams and finger joints that needed filling. I managed to get to get it filled, sanded, stained and 2 coats of Helmsman Spar Urathane applied.

The stand is finished in a wabi-sabi like style. The ebony finish appears aged or slightly distressed (which also hides some of the many flaws in the cabinet :))

I'm hoping 2 coats of Helmsman will suffice so I can get it assembled and the tank placed tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hey Tom, did you test the light yet? Any pic for us?
I got the stand completed (finally.) The Mr. Aqua stand required so much finish work, I would have been far better off building one from scratch (not to mention the missing hardware.)

I only had a few moments, but I put the tank on the stand, grabbed a few quick photos and PAR measurements. I'm very pleased with the results. My guess at PAR was pretty close. If needed (largely depending on the aquascape) I can dim these to lower the PAR output. The quality of the light is better than I had expected.





I used an Apogee MQ-200...




These PAR measurements were taken in "open air". Based on my experience, they will differ little when measured with water in the tank. The fact that these lights use surface mounted emitters without any optics might provide different results through water - I'll remeasure once the tank is wet.

I had originally planned on setting this up as a peninsular, dividing the kitchen from the family room. I found that it's just to small and didn't provide balance to either room. Instead it's set up behind a couch on the opposite side of the room from the reef tanks.
 
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top