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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newby here.

I've had saltwater reef tanks for quite a while (since the 70's) but never freshwater. I have decided to jump ship on reef tanks and dive headfirst into a planted freshwater. I'm sure I'll be asking some really stupid questions so please be gentle and patient with me :confused:

I have no preconceptions and have not started yet. I just want to do it right from the beginning.
 

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Well, welcome to the planted tank! I was a saltwater guy my whole life, too, and I find planted tanks to be very soothing and relaxing. Saltwater tanks are a little too multi-colored and frantic for my liking, these days...
 

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Welcome to The Planted Tank! No question is too stupid!
 

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Welcome Guy. Planted tanks are the rage these days. Lots of great info here and don't forget the Tank Journals. Lots of interesting story and info there.
 

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Guy, Welcome, I beat you here by a few days :) I am looking at my reef right now and counting down the days (4) until a firend comes and takes everything out of the tank. WHOOT! I am so excited to go planted!

I was just laughing with my wife about the High Tech and Low Tech tanks in the planted world as compared to the reef. I am looking forward to having space in my stand to keep stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, obviously my first task is to cleanup the equipment situation. I have a 155 bow front with MH + PC lighting. I can easily swap out my MH 400s for 250 watt ballasts. Would 750 watts of MH overkill? I would also easily increase the number of PCs and eliminate the MHs.

For substrate I'm thinking of something like flourite so that's going to be a major starting expense. I'm sure it will go up from there.

How much circulation is needed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK so it sounds like I should replace the MHs with a few more PCs. I currently have a pair of IceCap ballasts running the PCs so adding more PCs is very easy.

When the tank was a reef I was running over 1500 watts.
 

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in regards to lighting, you could grow most any plant with 250+ watts of T5HO + reflectors with a tank of your size.

Sell the MH's, make some $$ + buy a T5 fixture/retrokit + use mineralized topsoil + buy pressurized C02 + buy some ferts = Cheap and beautiful planted tank! =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What are the dimensions on your tank?

If it's deep like most bowfronts are, you'll get much better depth penetration with MHs or T5HOs rather than PCs.

Will you be injecting pressurized CO2 on the tank?
72" X 24" X 24" in the middle tapering to 18" on the sides.

I have a calcium reactor (for reefs) so I will be able to easily convert it to just a CO2 injector.

After pondering I'm beginning to think I could keep an MH on one side and use the PCs in the middle and the other side and just limit anything demanding a lot of light to one side. That way I could have a darker side and a bright side. Is there anything wrong with that or any pitfalls there?
 

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When the tank was a reef I was running over 1500 watts.
Wow...

Sounds like you have the luxury of easily having as much or as little as you want, and you are not limited by cost.

Just bear in mind that the lighting level plays a direct role in the balance of the aquarium and the growth rate of the plants. Intense lighting creates a fast growth rate which is beneficial if you want to be constantly pruning and re-planting to sculpt the plants in a particular aquascape design. The draw back is that it is harder to keep things balanced with intensive light and excellerated growth. Its like putting your plants on roids. It creates a much bigger demand by the plants for C02 and nutrients, and if anything is lacking even for a short time everything can crash with a huge algae bloom.

On the other hand a more moderate light level creates a more moderate growth rate with less demands for nutrients and is easier to maintain a balance and if things get out of wack the result is much less severe.

Now what constitutes intensive and moderate light can be hotly debated :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow...

Sounds like you have the luxury of easily having as much or as little as you want, and you are not limited by cost.
Oh noooo, I sold corals and tank bred saltwater fish to pay for the hobby. More light = more coral. I just cannot keep up anymore and I need something I don't have to be on top of everyday.
 
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