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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, My name is James, and I live in michigan. I have been and avid reefkeeper for 4 years now, and would like to expand my hobby to a planted tank.

As you can see, I am brand new to this site, and from what I have seen there is a wealth of info to be had. I have never had a truley planted tank before, just a 30g cube with plain old gravel, and dual t5 lighting. I have a lot of easy plants such as anubias and swords, just things that require very little work. I am looking to tear down the 30g cube and restart with the mineralized soil substrate, along with black flourite to cap it off. I have so many questions, I don't even know where to start. Examples of questions I have, will I need a 2nd dual t5 fixture, what is a cheap (around $150 CO2 setup) or can they be even found that cheaply?, and also what plants should I choose along with how to go about an aquascape! I'm sure I'll start some threads pertaining to these individual questons, but I figured I would introduce myself first! :icon_mrgr
 

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greenleafaquariums.com's GLA CO2 Regulator would be a good starter C02 kit but take a look at all of his stuff there pretty good.
SuMo has some good stuff as well but it's a bit more money. Also take a look at Left_C's Victor thread in the Equipment section of the forum that should answer most of your questions.

For lighting take a look at what AHSupply has to offer if your into a bit of DIY stuff there prices are really good and you can give them a call or e-mail and ask what they recommend I've never been steered wrong so far.
- Brad
 

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Make sure you try the "search" links also. Almost all of your questions are somewhere in here if you search for it. There are tons of plants available here also in the "swap and shop" forum. We have all been there and done that right along side of you my friend, and we are still constantly learning.

Since I have started this hobby, my blood pressure has gone down because I love to watch everything so much. It is very relaxing in my opinion.
 

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Might I suggest you take a look at some tank journals. Try to decide what styles, tanks you like. You can ask them what their tank set up is and what plants they have. Also begin with easy to grow plants. Once you learn how to grow them you can take the next step. Here are some articles that can give you a basic background on planted tanks. Good luck!

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/index.html
http://www.rexgrigg.com/
http://beginneraquarist.petfish.net/Beginner%20Aquarist/Home.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow thanks so much everyone! I'm gonna spend some time searching the forums and reading around to get an idea of where I would like to go with this! Thanks again!
 

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Welcome to TPT!

Is your current fixture one of the Coralife T5NOs, or is it a T5HO? Because IME there's a huge difference in light output between the two. The Coralife fixture would put you in the low light range (since the bulbs aren't well reflected at all) whereas a good T5HO with individual reflectors would put you in the mid to high light range, and make the most advantage of a pressurized CO2 setup.

If you've got the Coralife fixture I think you've got 2 options to increase your light levels, either of which I think would work just fine. You could add another fixture (which would be the cheapest way to go) or instead find a T5HO fixture to replace it. www.CatalinaAquarium.com, www.MarineDepot.com, www.BigAlsOnline.com are the first places I'd start pricing out T5HOs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They are definatly NO's, and yes there is a huge difference between HO's and NO's (trust me I know this from my reef tanks.) So probably just another one of the same fixture would work for me, (I think I also have a 55wt. PC retro in the basement that I had on my reef a few years ago, this would prbably work too with my current fixture. I've also been reading around and see that there are some CO2 kits that use the paintball cartridges, and I think that would be really convinent. Anybody use that type of system? I'm not looking to have the extermely top notch tank here, and I dont want to spend too much money because my 120g reef sucks enough money, I just want a decent planted tank thats enjoyable and not too much work.

I also have a strong interest in celestial pearl danios and blue rams (which I've kept before), and bluespotted sunfish. These are at the top of my list for fish I would love to stock this tank with.
Thanks for all the help everyone!:cool:
 

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My 2cents on CO2- either make it a real investment and get good equipment that won't drive you batty failing every time you turn around (costing more $$ in the long run anyways), or stick with a low tech tank and skip the CO2 all together.
I agree. If you want less work, go low light. If you want more work, more growth, and more plant choices, go high light. Whatever you do, if you get CO2, that will be your most important investment.
 
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