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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Live in the PNW area and always been a pet lover of all kinds. Long time aquarium keeper, fish, frogs, lizards. Have been in the Saltwater reef game for the last 3 years but due to time and current living space I decided to tear the tank down. Its been about 4 months and time with family has been great but I cannot be without a tank.

Which brings me to today. I am in the planning stage of setting up a 50 breeder (36x18x18) bottom drilled. Planning to go with a High Tech setup. Not super familiar with planted tanks but have had a few low tech planteds in the past. In the research process and planning to do a dry start method to get some root development and to give me time to finish getting my equipment. Looking forward to meeting some people and sharing photos and info. This has definitely been my go to forum for the last 2 weeks ive been researching/planning. Cheers!
 

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Even if you are going to dry start, I suggest starting your pressurized C02 research now. If your going high light/high tech, this is a must. Darkblade has a great primer. You should figure out your budget and decide if you want to build your own or get a prebuilt reg. I would also suggest looking into what fert dosing schedule you want to do, EI or Pro. You also want to figure out what lights you want. Probably T5HO or LED. My personal suggestions are...

Lights- look into finnex (24/7 or Ray 2) or the Satellite + pro ( You will probably need two strips)
Ferts- Do EI and buy from Nilocg (user here). I really like the DIY liquid EI system he has.
C02- Green Leaf Aquariums (GRO 1 or PRO 1) If you built your own, you can make one better for cheaper, but that will take a fair amount of searching for equipment and research.
 

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I agree with everything that sevendust11 said. I had a finnex and loved it. GLA makes great regulators and has awesome costumer service. I also dose with GLA's EI ferts and really like it. I don't know your budget, and I'm kind of bias, but I really like the Kessil lights. Coming from saltwater you should know they have a good reputation. You could get two 150(non adjustable), two 160(adjustable), or two 360(adjustable) if you have the budget. I'm really enjoying my 360.
 

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I guess I could have included a bit more info just didnt want to put too much in my initial post. Here is what I have so far.

- 50g breeder with bottom drilled and stand
- 20lb C02 tank
- Odyssey CFS 500 v.2 (probably will be upgrading or possibly modifying this one.
- 4 bulb t5HO Hagen Glo DIY. Good quality reflectors in a hood with the Glo ballasts. Planning on Giessmann Midday x2 and Giessmann Flora x2 ran somewhat staggered so all 4 are only on for a couple hours mid day. Figured (4) 39W bulbs is about 3.12 Watts/gallon.

For plumbing I am planning to build risers for the intake and output for the canister utilizing the bottom drilled holes.

Still researching substrates was considering ADA power sand, Aqua soil and some of their lighter sand for a riverbed effect. Currently have a large piece of manzanita I plan to use and picked up 20lbs of lace rock for the rest of the scape. Shooting for a nature type scape with a mountain for on one corner.

Still lots of research to be done on C02 which is why I was thinking dry start would be the way to go. I am a research nerd so not concerned much from that aspect. Was thinking Cerges reactor plumbed inline with the canister (one reason I need to make sure the canister is capable of that without too much flow loss. Still need a regulator which Im researching possible options. Mid range budget dont want to invest thousands in the equipment but dont mind spending a little extra for quality equipment. Any advice is greatly appreciated and thanks for the info thus far.

Another thing having not gone to this length with planted tanks that I still need research on will be dosing. I would like to make this system as automated as possible. I have a dosing pump from my reefkeeping that can be setup to run with minimal limitations its a Jebao DP-4. Planning to see how evaporation is and possibly do a ATO type setup down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I did some more C02 research last night and I think I have decided I am going to build a regulator using the Victor HPT 270 stainless as my base. Found Darkblades C02 primer and that was one of the regs on his top list. Im guessing once build I will be in the 200-300 range but for efficiency and functionality seems like its the way to go. Looking through the primer I was shocked at how much the solenoid valves were that he recommended after seeing quite a few of the other "aquarium" brands in the $40-60 range. Still some more research to do and want to get a parts list ironed out so I can start chipping away at it.
 
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