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Well after owning reef tanks for 20+ years, with my current reef being a 300+ Gallon, I seen a few planted tanks online and thought, Damn those look nice!

So I started looking more into planted aquariums, and they look neat, and with having an extra 90 gallon tank sitting down in the basement, I figured I might as well give it a try since I've never done one before.

So I just finished cleaning out the 90g and I just so happened to have two (2) aquaticlife 48" T5 fixtures that each house 2 T5's laying around. and I also found a 150 Watt, and 300 watt heater.

As of right now that is all I have for a planted aquarium, but its a start.

Now the bad part, because my 300 gallon reef tank takes up so much room, I am only allowed to setup this 90g in the basement. :(

Now for the picture porn:




Since the light fixture was used for saltwater, they each have a white and blue T5. Should I switch out all four bulbs for 6500k bulbs?

I hope this tank comes along and ends up being as good as I have planned in my mind...

Thanks,
Crow
 

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get the blue actinics out of there. 6500k and 10000k are both good and very common.

if i may suggest a substrate, go with ADA aquasoil. its the best comercial substrate out there. far superior to eco complete or flourite.
otherwise there is a member on here who sells excellent mineralized topsoil which you could top with anything. thats where crazydaz got the MTS he used in his megatank (mega light, mega CO2, mega plant growth, mega uber coloration on them). so clearly it works nicely, though im yet to try it out.

good luck with your tank, and welcome to the hobby.
 

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the difference between 10000k and 6500k is mostly personal preference. you will get similar plant growth with either, but they will appear slightly different in coloration because the bulb is a different color. i normally go with 1 6500k and 1 10000k if i have the option for 2 bulbs.
 

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Looks like your off to a good start so far going to have to follow your build and see how it goes.

As for the bulbs I like the slight hint of blue from the Actinic bulbs personally, I'm currently running a DIY Led system with 16 3watt Led's 8 6500k 8 10k along with 2 55watt 10k/actinic blue Power compact fluorescent. I find that this combination brings out the colors of the plants as well as the fish and the plant growth is just fine.

As for substrate there are a lot of options to choose from depending on budget as well as availability and how much time you want to wait for shipping. I looked at just about all the popular options and I opted for Miracle grow potting soil capped with flourite black sand. there are many pros and cons for each option just do your research and find what suits your needs.

So far with the amount of lighting you have so far looks like you might need to add CO2 depending on what plants you go with and how long your photo period is going to be.

Flora and Fauna all depends on what type of look your going for Me personally I like red plants and lots of 1 - 3 inch colorful fish. Take a look at my tank journal link is in my sig my tank has only been setup for about 4 weeks now so I'm not to far ahead of where you are now.
 
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