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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first post on TPT!!

Hi everyone.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations, or ideas..

I am finishing my basement soon, and plan on building a 'planted' 180g into the wall.

I would like to keep costs down for the items I need, if possible.

The tank came with 2 18g sumps for filtration, hooked up together.. My 1st question is: (concerning CO2)
Should I place this filter on a timer to shut off, and THEN have co2 come on with a power head over it to spread it around the aquarium when the lights come on? Or is there a way to keep CO2 in the water with this type of filtration on?

2nd question, concerning substrate-- @180g, 6'x2'x2', quite a large tank.. Is there a cost effective alternative to buying fluorite, or power sand?
If not, I'm wondering if maybe I should do a soil substrate... any drawbacks to it? Could anyone share a good link on this, if it is a good way to go? --Thanks again.

3rd question-- Lighting. I want this tank to have medium high lighting.. Do you think 2 250w MH fixtures is the best way to go, or a bunch of T5's?
What do you think the most cost effective/bang for the buck way to go is?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I'm hoping a few with big hearts will lend a helping hand!!
Thanks again!!!

Here is a picture of my newly scaped 75g for an example of what I wanted to accomplish with the 180g.
 

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Agree, 2x150 watt MH will be just fine. Or 4 to 8 - 39 watt T5HO.

Look into Turface or Schulz's Aquatic Soil. They are lighter weight and it can be difficult to keep plants down though. After 11 years either I have got the hang of it or my SAS has gotten heavier. They have the same high CEC as the specialty substrates at the LFS but aren't nutrient rich like ADA Aqua Soil.

Or do mineralized soil plus fine gravel or sand on top. Time consuming and there is potential for making a mess when you rescape. There is a sticky on how to do it in the substrate forum.

For CO2 use a solenoid on the regulator, plug it into a simple timer same as you use for your lights and turn the CO2 on and off with the lights, no need to mess with your sump pump.

Remember it is good to have a lot of water circulation so plants have good access to CO2 and nutrients, be looking for about 1,800 gallons per hour water movement between your sump and powerheads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both very much, willknowitall, and Kathyy!

This may sound strange, but I was doing some searching on some aquarium supply shops, and I didn't find a MH @ 150w. Great idea..

Those are super bright, eh?
I hate to ask, but for the above fixture, and the 4 to 8- 39w T5HO, which site, or store would you recommend I shop?
Thanks in advance..

I did have SAS before, great stuff, but it is very light, that is the reason I was checking with you, for maybe a different option. the Turface is sort of new to me though..
I have used Soilmaster select, and that stuff was amazing, but again, very light..

The only reason I was trying to stay away from light substrate was I might be getting some larger fish, and they could thrash a scape in 2 seconds if they get spooked..
Thanks for steering me to the substrate forum..
If you know any other drawbacks to a soil substrate, please share (besides making a mess when rescaping..

So you think CO2 will be fine even if I'm using a sump with this tank?? I've heard that CO2 loss is tremendous with this type of filter.. :(

And thanks for the turnover rate I should be looking for!
 

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Larger fish? How much digging would they be doing? If I had had T bar cichlids with soil no matter how well covered it would have been a mess. They dug out under a piece of wood and buried it. Then bit me whenever they were spawning.

My 150 watt MH are from fish need it. I thought they are fairly common.

The current thinking is 10x tank volume is a good amount of movement and it doesn't all have to be from the filtering pumps, you can use powerheads if needed. When I first planted the big tank 11 years ago the goal was only 3x tank volume. I only have about 5x at the moment, the big ph bit the dust.

I have been using a sump for 11 years now and maybe I use more CO2 than I would with a canister but much prefer the easy access, room, constant water level, surface skimming and all equipment in the sump. Minimize turbulence and cover the sump closely and it is fine.
 

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...Those are super bright, eh?
I hate to ask, but for the above fixture, and the 4 to 8- 39w T5HO, which site, or store would you recommend I shop?
You did a nice job on your 75!

Please look at our Site Sponsors 1st for equipment. They help keep the site running. I'm buying light soon for my next tank. I recommend AquaCave I've bought two heaters from them, Nice people good service.

Also look at our Swap page for plants. Support your fellow forum members, The time will come when you have excess or plants to trade too.

Good luck with your new tank and welcome to the forum.
 

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I think I'd go with T5HO's and steer clear of MH's, that is a lot of light. I'd also tie the Co2 into the pump returns, which pumps are you using? I had a planted 120g set up with a sump and changed out the standard impeller on my Mag Drive to a needle wheel impeller on Tom Barr's suggestion, then fed the co2 tubing into the pump, worked good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Man, Thanks all for the replies!!

I am quite busy tonight, will check this out further when I get a chance..

Thanks again, everyone, and please feel free to keep posting away, I'm going to read all of it, and I'm most definitely going to take my time setting up this tank.
 
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