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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just moved to a new place and will be here for then next year, if not longer. We just bought a Marineland 75G tank, and want to start a planted community. I've been doing a lot a lot of reading and once I think I have an idea of where to start and what I want, it changes to something new. I am reaching out to the forums for help on where to begin. We have the tank set up and are ready to start buying supplies. I believe we would like a high-tech tank, but if opinions are that it would be too much then that's ok! Now, where do we begin?! :smile2:
 

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Decide on a look, natural, or the very hardscaped Japanese looks with a few rocks and a ground hugging cover or maybe Dutch.
Do you want fish, if so, which do you like. They would all need to be from a group that likes similar water parameters and have suitable dispositions.
What are you doing for filtration? That is a big tank. I would go with an overflow box and sump if the cabinet allows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Decide on a look, natural, or the very hardscaped Japanese looks with a few rocks and a ground hugging cover or maybe Dutch.
Do you want fish, if so, which do you like. They would all need to be from a group that likes similar water parameters and have suitable dispositions.
What are you doing for filtration? That is a big tank. I would go with an overflow box and sump if the cabinet allows.
When we bought the tank, the woman at the aquarium store build us an invoice for a heavily planted tank with some fish...she recommended the fluval 406 canister filter. Any thoughts on that?
 

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When we bought the tank, the woman at the aquarium store build us an invoice for a heavily planted tank with some fish...she recommended the fluval 406 canister filter. Any thoughts on that?
IMO Fluval filters are over priced. If it were me I'd go with an Eheim classic. They are simple, been around for ever and super quiet.
 

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IMHO for go low tech. Going high tech you are trying to learn a lot more at one time. Start off simple. Learn about the important things like filtration, lighting, and substrates. Set the tank up so when you do go high tech you wont be buying a lot of equipment as the tank will have it. For example get a light that is led and dimmable that way when you go high tech you just turn the light up.

Once you have those down move to high tech and learn ferts, co2 etc. High tech is a lot more work and I would suggest make sure that planted tanks are for you with the maint. required like trimming etc which becomes even more once you go high tech. If you go high tech and make a mistake you are going to be much more frustrated. Trust me one thing this forum is full of posts from newcomers to the hobby who struggle with low tech and getting them balanced and high tech introduces even more variables. I understand the desire to have a Lamborghini but does that really make sense for a first car? I'm sure there are those who will disagree but this is my opinion for whatever its worth. Good luck with the new tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
IMHO for go low tech. Going high tech you are trying to learn a lot more at one time. Start off simple. Learn about the important things like filtration, lighting, and substrates. Set the tank up so when you do go high tech you wont be buying a lot of equipment as the tank will have it. For example get a light that is led and dimmable that way when you go high tech you just turn the light up.

Once you have those down move to high tech and learn ferts, co2 etc. High tech is a lot more work and I would suggest make sure that planted tanks are for you with the maint. required like trimming etc which becomes even more once you go high tech. If you go high tech and make a mistake you are going to be much more frustrated. Trust me one thing this forum is full of posts from newcomers to the hobby who struggle with low tech and getting them balanced and high tech introduces even more variables. I understand the desire to have a Lamborghini but does that really make sense for a first car? I'm sure there are those who will disagree but this is my opinion for whatever its worth. Good luck with the new tank!
I think we will definitely go low-tech just for the sake of it's 2 people putting both of their ideas into the tank. These past couple of days it's been more research, and going around to the aquarium stores in the area to get ideas. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
IMO Fluval filters are over priced. If it were me I'd go with an Eheim classic. They are simple, been around for ever and super quiet.
I went to the LFS today and asked what they would suggest running with a 75G and they too, suggested to use a Fluval..In my reading I have been seeing issues with them leaking, but have also read good things about the Eheim 2217. Also, will I need more than 1 filter? I would only like to use 1 if possible.
 

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Fluvals are very nice filters and the lfs are trying to sell you those because they have them in stock. I would go with an eheim 2217. You can find them for about $145 shipped from amazon and other smaller websites. You would only need one of these either way you went. Def go lower tech when you start. This will all be around the lighting. Someone mentioned a dimmable led fixture which is a good idea so you don't have to buy another light when you want to try more challenging plants with co2. You will want to go with co2 eventually I promise you that. It's a wonderful thing lol. Look up aquascapes and how to design them before you buy any plants or hardscape. It's so much easier to do it right the first time. Read about focal points and depth. You have an amazing footprint to create some beautiful scapes.
 

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I went to the LFS today and asked what they would suggest running with a 75G and they too, suggested to use a Fluval..In my reading I have been seeing issues with them leaking, but have also read good things about the Eheim 2217. Also, will I need more than 1 filter? I would only like to use 1 if possible.
You should be free be with one. If it were my tank I would probably run 2, but I tend to over filter my tanks.
 

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Not trying to sway you away from a good filter, but if you find the eheim to be too much, SunSun canisters are a good budget alternative. I'd use two of the 304 canisters with varying stages of filter foam and then a tray of seachem matrix (or your preferred bio media). I had one and air stones on my 75g for water flow and it was fine.

Feel free to scroll through my journal of the tank I'm taking this experience from:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12-tank-journals/858145-freemans-75g-tank-rip-retired-sold.html

EDIT: I took some snappits to quickly defend my lighting choice.

Here are the lights hanging, quit ugly, in my hood.



Here's the tank when it was planted:



And a few months later, under these lights:



They work! And well in a low tech tank.

Filter aside, which is important. I'd like to suggest some solid, budget, lighting. I did this on my 75g tank and I loved it. But if you are looking for a sleeker, no hood, appearance, I have a suggestion. I used 3x 13w spiral CFL bulbs in 10.25" shop lights from Lowes. So take these shop lights:



Some high temp paint, VHT is my favorite. I've used it on everything under the sun. It can handle a light fixture's heat no doubt, it took the post turbo heat on my downpipe just fine.



And then you paint the shop light black. You also remove the spring clamp that is just bolted on. You'll end up with something similar to this:



Lastly, you make yourself a hanger with PVC or metal conduit from the hardware store. Of course, painted black. It can look something like this:



Then you hang the lights, these are all rear mounted, which I like more than the previous example.





You've now got an extremely adjustable lighting apparatus. Some will complain that you need to change the bulbs once a year or so, but that isn't what I'm worried about. This light setup can be lowered and raised extremely easily. You can change the wattage of the bulbs or even color spectrum. Lastly, and this is important, it allows you different lighting levels in the same tank easily. I had 23w bulbs over my vals and dwarf sag and 13w bulbs over my amazon swords and crypts at one point. Just to try it out. I suggest the 3 13w bulbs at first. Then, after 1-2 months, up the lighting if necessary.

For the rest of the equipment, you'll want some solid heaters. I suggest hydor inline 300w heaters and a 300w heater controller, finnex for example. In a densely planted tank, you won't even see the in tank heaters if you'd prefer to go with those. I know you couldn't see mine or my overflow in my tank.

After that, you'll be well on your way. Start with the fishless cycle and you'll be ready to stock in no time.

You'll notice the lighting examples are reef tanks. Pendent lighting is more popular in reef tanks. Kessel and other top names aren't popular in the planted community due to price. They just do more than we need and budget is always on the list of concerns.
 

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If I can recommend a High temp spray it is the Rustoleum one.
The black is awesome, it goes on super thin, and has a type of eggshell sheen rather than gloss or straight mat.
Although it isn't marketed as such, it also stops metal pieces from rusting better than most paints specially formulated to do it, and because it is so thin it doesn't splinter off.
You could spray paint lug nuts and the black wouldn't even come off with the wheel spanner.
 

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If I can recommend a High temp spray it is the Rustoleum one.
The black is awesome, it goes on super thin, and has a type of eggshell sheen rather than gloss or straight mat.
Although it isn't marketed as such, it also stops metal pieces from rusting better than most paints specially formulated to do it, and because it is so thin it doesn't splinter off.
You could spray paint lug nuts and the black wouldn't even come off with the wheel spanner.
I'd go with Rustoleum then. I needed super high temp stuff that wasn't going to move, so I used VHT. It is top notch stuff. I have used rustoleum but it didn't stand up to the temps as well. A light shouldn't exceed 150~ *F, so it will probably be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Haven't posted an update here because, well, I just about finilly have everything to put the tank together...I think I'm ready today once I pick up plants and substrate at the LFS. Still unsure on plants (ugh) but will use the LFS advice when I get there. Things I've bought:

Fluval 406
Current Satellite + Pro
Eheim 300w heater

Large malaysian driftwood (been soaking for 2 weeks now)
Dragon stone

Today:
Eco-complete
Plants (probably hardy to help fill the tank)

....and I think that's it? I need to get a siphon or water changer as well today and a thermometer but I can't think of anything else if anyone has any advice
 

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Api master test kit. Then also buy api gh and kh tests.

Bring your smart phone and Google the plants your considering to make sure they fit your setup. Carpeting plants will be more difficult in ecocomplete but something like dwarf sag would work nicely. Java ferns, anubias, mosses, bacopa, hornwort, anacharis. Just look them up before you buy so you get basic lighting info and co2 need info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Api master test kit. Then also buy api gh and kh tests.

Bring your smart phone and Google the plants your considering to make sure they fit your setup. Carpeting plants will be more difficult in ecocomplete but something like dwarf sag would work nicely. Java ferns, anubias, mosses, bacopa, hornwort, anacharis. Just look them up before you buy so you get basic lighting info and co2 need info.
I was going to put a layer of powder type substrate or something like that in the foreground where I want the carpet to be...would that be more beneficial?
 

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Unless you do a real thick layer the ecocomplete will work its way to the top. Finer substrate usually sinks in after a bit. Go thick probably ok. What type of powder substrate? Amazonia powder or "aquarium sand" from petco/petsmart? I ask because I did the exact same thing to get some carpet spread and it sank in
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Unless you do a real thick layer the ecocomplete will work its way to the top. Finer substrate usually sinks in after a bit. Go thick probably ok. What type of powder substrate? Amazonia powder or "aquarium sand" from petco/petsmart? I ask because I did the exact same thing to get some carpet spread and it sank in
Was going to get amazonia
 

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Unless you do a real thick layer the ecocomplete will work its way to the top. Finer substrate usually sinks in after a bit. Go thick probably ok. What type of powder substrate? Amazonia powder or "aquarium sand" from petco/petsmart? I ask because I did the exact same thing to get some carpet spread and it sank in
Was going to get amazonia
Then if you want a carpet of sorts just in the front don't layer it. Pour in ecocomplete and push it back away from the glass as far as you want the carpet and then on the bare glass bottom add the Amazonia. You'll probably have a better chance of not mixing them too much this way.
 
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